Savory Pumpkin Bread

Savory Pumpkin Bread

Fall has arrived and that means everything Pumpkin! Grandma DiDi has been experimenting in the kitchen and whipped up this savory pumpkin bread!

The cub is at an age where not every morning is created equal. As she navigates her big emotions, we often invite her toys to join in on the cooking process to keep her engaged. Whatever it takes! 🙂

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The cub began by cutting the chives. She followed Grandma DiDi’s lead.

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Next up, they mixed all the wet ingredients together starting with the pumpkin.

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Followed by the yogurt. The cub is at an age where she wants to do everything by herself. We guide her with assistance when needed.

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Stir, whip, mix! The cub loves this part!

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Now the cub helps add the dry ingredients.  In goes the flour.

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Nothing better than the smell of spices! Even ones that aren’t sweet.

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A new fun activity is grinding the pepper. She can do it all be herself!

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In go the chopped chives! Sprinkle them everywhere!

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The cub takes her stirring duties seriously. With all that flour, the dough is getting really thick! “Look how strong I am,” the cub explains!

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Again, the cub is not always willing to participate. And she does want to do everything herself. Grandma DiDi has to offer help in this scenario. The cub does not approve.

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Once the dough is added to the bread pan, the cub gets to sprinkle hemp and chia seeds to the top. Now it’s time to bake!

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Ding! The bread is cooked to perfection. Perfect for a sandwich or just warm with butter or a cheese spread! Dig in!

Savory Pumpkin Bread
(Adapted from chefdehome.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • ÂĽ cup oil (canola, olive or oil of choice)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP fresh chives or thyme (or both if you’d like)
  • ÂĽ tsp black pepper
  • ÂĽ cup hemp seeds (more for top)
  • ÂĽ cup chia seeds (more for top)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 350. Grease a 5 X 9 inch pan
  2. In a medium bowl, add wet ingredients: eggs, oil, and yogurt. Whisk to break eggs and mix in yogurt. Add pumpkin puree and combine well. set aside
  3. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients: flour, spices and sugar. Mix well with fork to distribute evenly. Add wet ingredients in 3 batches and fold in until flour is moist and well blended. Add seeds and herbs.
  4. Transfer to prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes then loosen sides and turn out of pan.
  5. Slice thin and toast with butter or make sandwiches. Suggested ideas are cream cheese and olive, turkey and cheese. Peanut butter and jelly actually works, too!

Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch Box Ideas

It’s that time of year! Kids are back in school and the lunch boxes are pulled out and dusted off ready to take on the school year.

The cub started 3 Day Preschool last week and it’s her first year eating lunch at school. We purchased a Planet Box and a friend from school gifted us the Omie. Both are fabulous lunch boxes!

We prepared two fun and healthy lunch box ideas that incorporate some of our old recipes! Scroll down for links to the recipes!

Box

Omie lunch box:

  • New savory pumpkin bread (Recipe to come) to make a sunbutter and apple sandwich
  • Roasted seaweed
  • Watermelon balls
  • Grapes
  • Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies

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Planet Box

Artichoke Hummus and Whole-Wheat Poppy Seed Crackers

Artichoke Hummus and Whole-Wheat Poppy Seed Crackers

Crackers and dip – pretty much the epitome of snack time. We try not to snack too much in our house in order for the cub to focus on eating meals. But when we do eat snacks, we try to make them wholesome and nutritious.

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The cub began by helping prep our ingredients. In this case – butter! Her knife skills are improving! Practice makes perfect.

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Colorful, large measuring cups make it easy for little toddler hands to hold. From the look on her face, you know she’s proud of herself. Mission accomplished.

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A bit more difficult of a task, but she executed perfectly. Measuring herbs and spices always has an additional step – stop and smell the aroma!  She was picking the spices this time by smelling curry and garam marsala.  She picked curry!

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In goes the agave syrup. “I can do it grandma,” explained the cub.

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The cub enjoys using her pink piggy spatula to stir all the  ingredients for the crackers. We needed to mix it until it became a ball of dough. The cub started and then grandma DiDi took over.

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After the dough is formed, roll the dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. While the cracker dough chills, we started the hummus.

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Grandma DiDi heard that boiling your canned garbanzo beans first will help them blend into a creamier hummus. So after the beans boiled, the cub helped add them to our blender. Another fun task for her was watching the liquid separate from the beans.

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Measuring and smelling all the yummy ingredients into the blender. The cub dumped everything in and then stood back for the blending part. She doesn’t like how it makes such a loud noise.

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Cracker dough is ready. Slice into 1/8 inch rounds and place on a lined baking sheet.

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After placing them on a prepared baking sheet, sprinkle the tops with poppy seeds. The cub took this task very seriously and kept asking us to look at her work. “Good job, honey!” Pop them in the oven and then it’s time to eat!

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As soon as the crackers cooled, the cub dove right in!

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So yummy!

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Make some for your cub at home and feel confident you are feeding them whole ingredients, with no crazy additives you find in so many products these days. Dive in!

Artichoke Hummus and Whole-Wheat and Poppy Seed Crackers
(Cracker recipe adapted from Vegetarian Heartland )

Artichoke Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced –  or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 clove garlic or more to taste
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat garbanzo beans in juice with garlic and bay leaf at a simmer for 20 mins
  2. Remove bay leaf
  3. Strain beans and garlic into blender, reserving 1 Tbsp or more liquid for blender
  4. Add all other ingredients to blender and mix well until creamy
  5. To serve drizzle with good quality olive oil

Note: Store in air-tight container for up to a week in the fridge.

Whole-Wheat Pumpkin and Poppy Seed Crackers 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seed, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp ground spice of choice – we chose curry but you can use spice of choice, even cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Measure all dry ingredients into bowl.  
  3. Work cubes of butter into dry ingredients with pastry cutter or fork until they are incorporated well into dry small particles
  4. Add pumpkin and mix well into ball
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and form into log about 6 inches long.  Refrigerate for 1 hour
  6. Slice with sharp knife into 1/8 inch slices and place on a parchment covered baking sheet
  7. Sprinkle with more poppy seeds
  8. Bake 15 – 20 min until edges start to brown

Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs

Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs

The love of cooking didn’t just start with The Cub in our family. We have a long history of creative chefs who whip up delicious recipes with such ease. Grandma DiDi, being one of them, dug up some old family recipes a few years back and found these Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs her Great Aunt Adele used to make. Older family members were delighted to have them back on the Thanksgiving Day menu and newer members enjoyed them just the same. These are delicious, and come in a handy single serving size!

Speaking of amazing cooks, Grandma DiDi recently joined the San Diego Cookbook Club. A once-a-month cooking club where members bring a dish from a cookbook they are reviewing. She delighted the members with two dishes; a Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup as well as a Leek and Potato Galette. After all members silently voted, Grandma DiDi won first place for her soup! Way to go! Click on the link above to get the recipes for the holidays!

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Back to the Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs… The cub helped us by placing liners in each cupcake form. She had a choice between polka dots and stripes and she picked stripes!

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Next up, she helped measure the spices to add to the pumpkin mix, which was already on a double boiler over the stove.

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The cub watched as Grandma DiDi added all the ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.

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Separating eggs is a fun sensory activity for toddlers. The cub really wanted to pour the egg yolks into the bowl after Grandma DiDi separated the whites.

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For a toddler, the best part of an egg is the shell. She kept herself busy breaking apart the shells while Grandma DiDi prepped the rest.

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If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs in the store, make your own! We placed whole graham crackers in a plastic bag and used a rolling-pin to smash them. BIG fun for a toddler!

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After the crust mixture was mixed, the cub helped Grandma DiDi press the crust into each liner. Lots of finger-licking fun!

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Now that the pumpkin mixture had cooled, Grandma DiDi whipped up the 8 egg whites she had set aside. In they go with the pumpkin mixture.

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Then gently folded into each other until well mixed.

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Last but not least, the pumpkin mixture goes into the forms and they are ready to bake. The oven should be nice and hot by now!

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And there you have it! The most delicious, single-serve, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin chiffon dessert to add to your holiday menu. It’s not Thanksgiving without these in our family.

Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs

Please know that there are several approximations in this recipe.  The original recipe found was not complete and it had to be made several times to get things right.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups (approx) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 to 2 cubes butter – start with less and add what you need
  • 1 large can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can evaporated milk and enough regular milk to equal 2 1/2 cups milk total
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 8  large eggs separated
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup (or more…) brandy
  • Whipped cream

Directions
makes approx. 30 puffs 

Set oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a double boiler add pumpkin, all milk, 1 1/2 cups sugar (reserving the rest for the crust), spices, brandy and molasses and blend well. As it begins to heat add flour and whisk in along with the 8 egg yolks (after separating egg yolks, reserve the egg whites for later). Cook stirring occasionally until it thickens. About 10 – 15 minutes. At this point you can taste to add more brandy if desired. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. As the pumpkin mixture cools, make the graham cracker crust. If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs (very rare these days), make your own crumbs in processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling-pin.
  3. Melt 1 cube of butter and add to crumbs with 1/2 cup sugar. Mix well. Add more butter if needed. It should be at a consistency that will stick together when compressed but not greasy.
  4. Line the cupcake tins with paper liners and carefully pack the crust mix into each cup. Get it as far up the sides as you can, but truthfully, they don’t always go up all the way and that’s okay – more room for the pumpkin.
  5. With the pumpkin mixture almost cooled, whip the egg whites until firm then fold them gently into the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Fill the cupcake tins to the top and bake 12 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  They will puff up like a soufflĂ© immediately after cooking and then will drop after a while, but still taste yummy!
  7. Top with a dollop of whipped cream

*They can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies

Hello pumpkin season and my favorite time of year! To get in the spirit of the season, we decided to make some delicious pumpkin cookies.

*Warning, these are full of all the delicious ingredients that make cookies so good. Nothing gluten-free, sugar-free, butter free about these bad boys. Because a real cookie should be enjoyed once and awhile! Cookie1

Cooking should always be fun. The cub quickly discovered her reflection in the mixing bowl. A silly conversation ensued.  In the background you can see Grandma DiDi browning the butter over the stove.

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Grandma DiDi and the cub worked to add all the dry ingredients to the bowl. The cub helped stir while each one was added.

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Forget the spoon. Textures are fascinating to toddlers and they learn more by using their hands. The cub rubbed her hands in the flour, lifting it up and watching it fall through her fingers.

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In goes the cinnamon, but first, stop and smell it.

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Yum, that pumpkin pie spice smells delicious (and like my favorite season)!

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After deciding it was time to take her hair down, we were back to finishing the cookies. We mixed the wet ingredients and added raisins for flavor and texture.

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With curiosity, she watched Grandma Didi add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  We decided to also add a delicious new find from Trader Joe’s to this recipe.   Pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds.

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Time to scoop them onto the cookie sheet. The cub enjoyed using the ice cream scooper to plop the dough on the cookie sheet.

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These smell as good as they look. The cub thoroughly enjoyed her treat and we were so thrilled to introduce her to a pumpkin cookies. Something we will be enjoying for years to come! Note – This recipe was adapted from sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

 

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (170g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 and 2/3 (208g) cup whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice1
  • 3/4 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (228g) pumpkin puree ( not pumpkin pie filling and not the whole can) see note at bottom
  • Optional:   golden raisins and pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds(or plain)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Brown the butter: Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning– you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma.  Once browned, remove from heat immediately and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour the slightly cooled brown butter into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined, then whisk in the blotted pumpkin (see note about blotting). Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.
  4. Add optional ingredients at this time if you choose.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 heaping Tbsp of dough each) and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the balls out as the cookies won’t spread much unless you help out first!
  6. Top with more pumpkin seeds
  7. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned and set on the edges.    Cool and store in airtight container in refrigerator or freeze.

NOTE:   For chewier cookies blot the pumpkin in a paper towel lined strainer or bowl and let it sit for 1/2 hour or squeeze it so it becomes drier.