Monday, September 27, 2010

Did you know...

That this what a beet looks like?

I did not. I have not tried them yet, but it might happen this evening. I am skeptical, but I'm committed to trying them. I did cut them down to this, per instructions in one of my cookbooks.

But I did try some new things this weekend. I attended a vegetarian festival that was just a few blocks from my house. There was everything from vegetarian food samples to pet adoption booths, animal activists and henna tattoos. It was an interesting scene.

There was also a food court with vendors serving all vegetarian food. And I was brave enough to try a veggie dog. I'm not going to say it's the best thing I've ever eaten, but it's probably as good as any other hot dog, just a slightly different texture.

After the vegetarian festival, we headed out to an apple festival. I've got great pictures and plenty to share about that soon but not in this post. The point is that I came home with a pie pumpkin.

I've never cooked with pumpkin — fresh or canned. I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie, but I do like pumpkin bread, though so far I've been content buying it from a bakery. But I felt like the pumpkin was a challenge to make pumpkin muffins from scratch. So I turned to Pioneer Woman for directions on how to puree the pumpkin.

I cut the pumpkin in half, gutted it and roasted it in the oven.

I peeled it, though I'm not sure it was ripe because the skin didn't come off as easily as it should have. But I it pureed in the food processor just fine. I did add a couple of tablespoons of water because it was pretty dry.

And I was able to turn it into pumpkin muffins.

Here's the recipe I used from AllRecipes, though I've discovered I'm completely incapable of following an entire recipe correctly. I left out the cloves because I didn't have any, and then I doubled the nutmeg by accident. I also forgot the chocolate chips (yeah, very unusual for me), so I just sprinkled some on while the muffins were baking.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
    •    3/4 cup white sugar
    •    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    •    2 eggs
    •    3/4 cup canned pumpkin
    •    1/4 cup water
    •    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    •    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    •    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    •    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    •    1/4 teaspoon salt
    •    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    •    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.


  1. Where can you buy canned pumpkin? Is that only a specialty thing? Will you try to make some pumpkin bread this fall? Need a recipe...and love your photo documentation. Impressed, as always, by the real pumpkin cooking!


  2. oh please tell me you didn't discard the beet greens! You can steam them and eat them with a little butter and salt and pepper and they are SO GOOD!