Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Juice - Caity

I am a Harry Potter fanatic. Now that that's out in the open, I can confess that for 13 years (since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came out) I've been dying to try pumpkin juice. Harry, Ron and Hermione were always quenching their thirst with a couple of bottles of ice cold pumpkin juice and I didn't want to be left out. 

This year I reached a whole new level of Harry Potter obsession. I bought the "Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook" and I've researched many Harry Potter inspired recipes on Pinterest. I've been waiting for Halloween to test out the pumpkin juice recipe I found on the "Babble" blog and I am happy to say it's great! It would be really fun to serve this out of a big pot with dry ice to make fog. Then again, what drink wouldn't be better with dry ice in it? Happy Halloween! 

Serves 2

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Syrup - Caity

I heard an interesting segment on NPR the other day about the pumpkin craze that hits every October. Obviously I am one of the crazed victims (Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Pumpkin Spice Creamer, Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal) so I was immediately interested. 

They talked about the fact that most pumpkin flavored things don't contain ANY pumpkin, they simply contain the spices that people associate with pumpkin like cinnamon and nutmeg. Even the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks contains "natural and artificial pumpkin spice flavoring". Therefore, I was determined to make a pumpkin syrup with REAL pumpkin. 

I have made Pumpkin Spice Creamer for lattes before, but I wanted to test out pumpkin syrup since these days I use more flavored syrups in my coffee than creamers. Consider this a happy alternative as both are delicious! 

This recipe is based on a recipe from the blog "Savvy Eats" with a few changes. Enjoy in a latte, on ice cream, over oatmeal, in a chai latte, straight from the bottle... 

Makes 1 cup

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Slow Cooked Applesauce with Browned Butter - Caity

Autumn means the grocery store has been flooded with a huge variety of tasty apples of all colors and sizes. The New Seasons by my apartment had a sampling table where you could sample a dozen different varieties to help you decide what to buy. It didn't help me much because I was convinced that every apple I tried was the best apple in the bunch. I ended up taking home about one of each. I'm starting to think that was their plan all along... 

What do you do with twelve apples? Make applesauce of course! A few days ago, my mom had told me about some delicious applesauce she had made using the slow cooker and a splash of browned butter. She said the browned butter added a nice warm savory flavor to the sauce and combined with all the spices, it was a must make. Then she told me she served it warm for dessert with vanilla ice cream and crumbled gingersnap cookies. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I also like to eat it cold from the fridge sprinkled with Auntie O's Granola for a fast breakfast. 

I like leaving the peels on the apples, partly because I like the taste and partly because I hate peeling apples. My mom says she prefers it without them or else she will end up picking them out of the sauce. It's a personal preference. If you are going to keep the peels on, make sure you buy organic apples. 

Makes 2-3 cups of applesauce. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mushrooms on Toast - Caity

I was a lucky girl yesterday. I got to go to the DMV and hang out with all of the interesting people there while waiting to renew my tags. After 45 minutes of waiting and listening to the man sitting across from me tell me about how I shouldn't use my iPhone because the government was using it to spy on me, I was just a teensy bit grumpy and ready to go home. Also, it was getting close to lunch time and I was starving! 

When I got home, I dug through the fridge looking for anything edible and non-moldy. Voila! Mushrooms on Toast! It's easy, filling and not too heavy. You can use any type of mushrooms you like: I happened to have button mushrooms and Chanterelle's on hand so that's what I used. It looks pretty to use a couple of different kinds, but tastes great with any type. I used sandwich bread but it would be especially tasty with fancy shmancy bread. 

Serves 1

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal - Caity

Either you're a pumpkin-hater or a pumpkin-lover: I fall strongly in the latter group. The day the calendar switches from August to September, I eat anything and everything pumpkin flavored. I was so excited to get a pumpkin bagel after work the other day, I talked about it multiple times throughout the shift to my friend and co-worker, Emily. When we got to the bagel place, Emily told the cashier about how obsessed I am with pumpkin bagels and the cashier gave me a free pumpkin bagel. Being crazy pays off!!! 

My mom sent me this recipe for Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal and I knew I had to try it ASAP. After a long night at the hospital (where they seem to be trying to freeze out all the employees by hiding the thermostats), a warm breakfast makes everything better (after a long, hot shower too of course). Usually, I am so tired after work I will eat the first thing I see (for example apple, chips, cookies, ice cream, etc.) which is another reason I really love this recipe. Since it uses steel cut oatmeal, the oatmeal reheats really well without getting mushy. The recipe comes from The Kitchn and I have only made one small adjustment. Prepare yourself for a bowl of chewy, pumpkiny pearls that taste like the best of fall. 

Serves 4-6

Two years ago: Hearty LasagnaSnickerdoodles