Monthly Archives: October 2013

PeanutPimpMama Makes Pumpkin Soup!~ (All Things Pumpkin 2013)

peanutpimpmamaPumpkin attempt #2 occurred at “My Cozy Home” also known as my Cousin Erika’s House. We had a pretty eventful weekend blessed with friends staying from out of town and G-ma sitting! In honor of this special occasion we decided to head down to the shore. We stopped by Belmar beach and stuck our piggies in the water and later decided to fill G-ma’s belly with all of the Pumpkin-y-licious goods that she would otherwise never touch. If she were aware of our orange squashy friend’s presence in her meal we would have a problem on our hands.

After a quick trip to the grocery store, we learned that it is nearly impossible to get your hands on frisée in Belmar. Whouldadonethunk? We were forced to settle for the mixed garden blend. While Chef Mitra began to assemble the salad and I opened up our cans of pumpkin, Cousin Erika tended to a Q&A session on the couch.

In addition to the salad, our pumpkin-main was inspired by Food Network Magazine’s-50 Things to do with Canned Pumpkin Insert.

This was the highlight of the entire meal, and what we were really all looking forward to.

T’was another super easy and delicious recipe requiring very few ingredients and minimal effort.

Ze Ingredients:

3/4 Can of Pumpkin, 4oz. of cream, 2 cups of chicken stock, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Salt, Pepper, 1 Apple, Bacon (In this case vegetarian bacon)

Ze Directions:

How it really went down….I scooped out 3/4 of the pumpkin from the can and combined it in the sauce pan with 4 oz. of cream…No it was really more like 6oz. of cream. Simultaneously we were frying vegetarian bacon (by Morningstar) in a neighboring pan until it became crispy. I added the two cups of chicken stock and stirred my little heart out as I salted and spiced until everything was nice. Finally, I chopped up one red apple into tiny cubes and stirred them in. The “bacon” was the last touch to add a salty element, a chewy consistency and a contrasting garnish. Everyone loves bacon even if it’s “fakin'”.

While we were at the grocery store fresh baguette was a bit of a challenge to find. Sorry Food Network Magazine! We improvised and sliced the closest thing we could find resembling a baguette. This can be an impossible feat when attempting a last minute grocery shop in Belmar on a Sunday evening. After applying a bit of olive oil to the pan and slicing our toasties, we allowed them to bake while I whipped up our pumpkin goat-cheese spread.

There was 1/4 of the can of pumpkin left and 8oz. of honey flavored goat cheese we purchased. The honey and pumpkin combination really took the edge off the goat cheese especially after we sprinkled in some crushed almonds.  I would recommend this for people that do not actually appreciate the bite a nice pungent goat cheese can offer. After 2.5 years in France, I like my cheese as stinky and pungent as they come. It is safe to say I grew an appreciation for fromage while abroad.

After our cheesy combination was generously spread on our toasty tranches, we garnished each slice with craisins. G-ma loved these. I watched her scarf about five alone! It’s a miracle to get her to eat, let alone five of anything.

Seriously, this soup looked fantastic with or without the help of Instagram. It tasted pretty amazing too! It had it all: sweetness, spice, contrasting textures and a savoury finish.

Look at that… Don’t you just want to join in the fun?

While I was finishing up the meal, Cousin Erika served us one of her signature cocktails including; Vodka, Blood Orange Juice and Grapefruit Pellegrino. She then popped out to the store for the evening complementary wine selection. A job well done!

Until Next Time!

Peace, Love and Pumpkins!

~PeanutPimpMama

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

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PeanutPimpMama Makes Pumpkin Alfredo!~ (All Things Pumpkin 2013)

peanutpimpmamaCertain things like grocery shopping in Suburbia with the Mecca of grocery stores can be daunting. There is a running list of NJ-things that I have really made an effort to be in a constant state of denial over in efforts to save my sanity. One of them is trying to convince myself that spending three hours daily on unreliable mass transit for $400.00 per month is A-Okay with me! Now that it is Fall, (Translation: Autumn) at least I have something to look forward to after my 50 minute nap on the morning express train (besides neck pain)…I have Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Coffee.

No worries, I’m not going to rehash my great disdain for their seemingly never-ending receipts or how I think their beverages are in fact liquid cocaine that we can no longer function without.

Last week I was about to hit up my normal DD’s on the Amtrak Platform at Penn for my pumpkin pick-me-up. I made it to the front of the line (half asleep) as they shouted “CASH ONLY NO CREDIT CARD!!!!!” right into my face. I decided to make a move for the 7th avenue entrance DD’s located in the back of the Hudson News store. It was there that I found Food Network Magazine’s Pumpkin issue with the most amazingly cream-a-licious image on the cover. The enticing full-bleed picture of pumpkin soup topped with apple and bacon chunks actually caused me to salivate. I flipped it open to find an insert with 50 recipes for dishes including canned pumpkin! It was instant motivation to plan cooking dates with friends.

My long time friend from college was my first experimental cooking pal. We went for a trip to the grocer and decided to sauté some kale alongside Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta. While I was in charge of the sauté station, she was concocting a genius apple creation of her own.

The sauce was incredibly easy to make. Although cooking on Mom’s stove is always a stressful experience. I age a little with every crumb that falls out of my pan onto the black and shiny (freshly cleaned) stove top. Mom likes to keep a clean kitchen.

We can thank Food Network for this easy-to-do recipe with a total prep time of 10 minutes. In the end I ended up adding just a touch of Louisiana’s Slap Ya Mama for an additional kick. My only complaint for this recipe was it went a little flat. I decided to add some walnuts as the finishing touch.

Ze Ingredients:

Ingredients: 10 sage leaves, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of Pumpkin, 1 Cup of Cream, Pinch of Nutmeg, 12 ounces of cooked pasta and grated Parmesan

Ze Directions:

Sauté 10 sage leaves in 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in 1 cup each pumpkin and cream, and a pinch of nutmeg; simmer 5 minutes. Toss with 12 ounces cooked pasta. Top with grated parmesan. PPM Comments: I would also add in the fact that you should salt and pepper to taste. In this case adding some serious kick with Slap Ya Mama created some dimension.

As the kale finally became manageable I dumped my goodies into the pan. I started off with two table spoons of olive oil and a splash of white vinegar. It’s tricky adding the kale bit by bit while making sure it doesn’t burn. The sautéed craisins along with the almond slices added the Fall touch. Finally I broke up a small block of Grana Padano cheese and sprinkled the bits on top for presentation purposes.

On the way home from the train I popped into my favorite local liquor store, Johnathan Ron Wines & Spirits. This label caught my eye and I was convinced “Vintage Blend, Extra Smooth” would not let me down. The Rib Shack Red was priced very fairly at $12.00 and was a beautiful blend of 70% pinotage and 30% shiraz with intense flavors and a smokey finish…It was right up my alley.

 The meal ended up a success! Hopefully it was the first of many pumpkin attempts of the season!

Comments by Chef David Hult (My Dad): “The food tonight is excellent. I really like the kale, especially the way the cranberries bring the flavor back around.”

A meal is never complete without a good dessert. Our pastry chef Mitra Elahipanah produced a lovely Apple Torte that was served à la mode with Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream. Superb.

Until Next Time!

Peace, Love and Pumpkins!

~PeanutPimpMama

Questions, Comments, Concerns please email to: PeanutPimpMama@aol.com

Click Like* and Share* with your Friends! Also follow my foodie adventures on Twitter and Instagram!