Sunday, November 7, 2010


This weekend was the first time that I have been out to the deer lease this hunting season.
I liked this tree that was in our camper area..couldn't figure out what kind of fruit it was though.

Cody and Ellie coming back from the pond
Since I do have fairly new found love of cooking, I figured it was time to contribute to the deer lease food supply. I made
-this taco soup
-this deep dish pumpkin pie
-this granola
-these burger patties
and this new recipe for Pumpkin Muffins. Let me also share that I started not from a can of pumpkin pack, but from an actual pie pumpkin. It was easy and yummy!
1. Prepare the pumpkin for cooking
Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water, no soap.
Cut the pumpkin in half. A serrated knife and a sawing motion works best - a smooth knife is more likely to slip and hurt you!
2. Scoop out the seeds...
And scrape the insides. You want to get out that stringy, dangly stuff that coats the inside surface. I find a heavy ice cream scoop works great for this.
Save the seeds:
Place the seeds in a bowl of water and rub them between your hands. Then pick out the orange buts (throw that away) and drain off the water. Spread them out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry. Place in a pyrex or a loaf pan. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven on 250 for a little over an hour, then bump the oven up to 350 for a little while.
3. Cooking the pumpkin
Steam on the stovetop
It takes about the same length of time in a steamer (20 to 30 minutes). I used a large pot with a steamer basket inside it.
4. Scoop out the cooked pumpkin
Once it is cooked until it is soft, it is easy to scoop out the guts with a broad, smooth spoon, (such as a tablespoon). Use the spoon to gently lift and scoop the cooked pumpkin out of the skin. It should separate easily an in fairly large chunks, if the pumpkin is cooked enough. Many times the skin or rind will simply lift off with your fingers.
If your pumpkin puree has standing, free water, you may want to let it sit for 30 minutes and then pour off any free water. That will help prevent you pie from being too watery!

Pumpkin Muffins
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 3 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 cups shredded fresh pumpkin
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a muffin pan. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour. I sprinkled the top with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
4.Bake at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

I also made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting earlier this week for my mother-in-law's birthday. It turned out much denser than I thought it would be, but it was still good!
Starlight Yellow Cake
-2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
-1 1/4 cups milk
-3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-3 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 13 X 9 X 2 inches, 2 round pans 9 X 1 1/2 inches, or 3 round pans, 8 X 1 1/2 inches with shortening and lightly flour.*
3. Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
4. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally; pour into pan(s).
5. Bake rectangle 35 to 40 minutes, 9-inch rounds 25 to 30 minutes, 8-inch rounds 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
6. Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack; cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1. Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and chocolate.
2. Gradually beat in just enough milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frosts 13 X 9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.

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