Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chicken apple butternut squash filled pumpkin

 The culprits - my beautiful pumpkins  
Last week i stopped at the pumpkin patch (no cameras allowed because g-d forbid we see someone famous without their hair and makeup done this is Beverly Hills) and found the prettiest little pumpkins.  I wasn't sure what i'd do with them, but i knew i would find something.  These pumpkins were larger than those baby pumpkins that you see in markets, but not as big as the good, carving pumpkins.  

I decided to bake the pumpkins and save the pumpkin meat for something i'll use later, but i'll use the pumpkin shell to stuff with my own concoction.  It turned out yummy!  Healthy, yummy, and easy.  What more could you ask for?

  •  4 small pumpkin to your liking
  • 1 red apple, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package (4 or 5) of chicken-apple sausages, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of golden raisins and/or cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock or apple juice
Slice off the top of the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds.  (I later roasted my seeds and they were delicious - not very meaty, but had good crunch.)
Bake the pumpkin bowl, lid and butternut squash in a 350°F. oven until it's al dente, or just tender.  The butternut squash should be easy to slice, but not too easy otherwise it will not hold it's shape when you chop it.  When finished baking, allow to cool overnight in the refrigerator.

Spray a pan with olive oil and saute the chopped apple and chopped onion, gradually adding some of the liquid stock or juice.  
When the onions are starting to brown, add the mushrooms, chopped sausages and butternut squash. (I tried chopping all of the ingredients to be pretty much the same size.)
Add more of the liquid, if necessary.
Add the raisins and/or crandberries.
Continue cooking until you can't take it any more.

 Bon appetito!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ann's Plum Cornbread

Years ago i enjoyed making cornbread, but in those days i "cheated" since i would use a popular brand that comes in a can - all you would do is add milk or water.  But today, i'm proud to say no more boxed or canned mixes for Lollie!  I saw this recipe on The Food Network's show with Ann Burrell.  I thought it sounded nice and hardy and since it's made with a little honey (although i used agave), it would be a tad sweet.  And how could you go wrong with delicious, sweet cooked plums! 

It was easy to make and looked very homey.  I especially liked the outside part which came out a little crispy.  And the cooked plums were delicious!  However, i was a bit disappointed because the cornbread was very dense.  But as i'm writing this post, i can't help but wonder if i remembered to include the 1 cup of milk.  Oh my!  I just got back from the fridge and found my new quart of milk was in fact opened and missing one cup.  This means i didn't omit anything, yet the cornbread is dense.  It's still good; just don't expect light and fluffy.   

Ingredients -
  • 4 to 6 black plums (if they are large, use 4, if they are small use 6), sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey (I used 4 tablespoons of Agave Nectar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, for serving
In a small bowl, combine the sliced plums and sugar and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Sliced plums mascerating.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter or "spray" an 8-inch cast iron skillet or an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
In another mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk to thoroughly combine.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.
Mix gently to combine.
When the mixture has just come together, transfer it to the prepared skillet or baking pan.
Sprinkle the plums in an even layer over the top of the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.
Serve topped with vanilla ice cream (ok... i forgot the ice cream)

Fresh plum cornbread, fresh out of the oven
Only missing the vanilla ice cream

The stars