Pumpkin 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.
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)
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!
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