Posted in Matters of the Heart, Warm the Soul

Warm and Comforting

20171004_132813

My kids that are local are coming for dinner tonight so I thought I would whip up a pot of Pumpkin Chili. Pumpkin may seem like an odd addition to you soup pot but in this recipe, it adds richness making it very hearty and comforting. For those eating less/no meat or avoiding gluten in their diet, it is a dish that satisfies. Enjoy

Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 15-ounce can corn
  • 12-ounce beer or 1 1/2 water (for gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in spices and garlic. cook another minute or two until spices are fragrant, stirring often.
  4. Add tomatoes and pumpkin. whisk to combine.
  5. Stir in black beans, corn, beer or water, and salt and pepper.
  6. Reduce heat to low, simmer covered for at least 30 minutes, stirring often. The longer it cooks, the more flavor develops, so feel free to get started in the morning for a day full of the comforting smell of something yummy for dinner.

 

Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.

Ina Garten

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baked Perfection

Sugar and Spice, And Everything Nice

Oh, Autumn! You have arrived.

I love this time a year. The weather is very fickle. Hot one day, cool the next. Here in So Cal we long for New England color but our trees will not turn until sometime in December.  Sweaters and boots come out as we are teased that autumn is finally here. But the very next day, it is summer again with temps into the 100s.

But it is not the weather that makes me long for this time of year, although I do enjoy the cooler days (when we get them). It is the pumpkin. Or maybe I should say, it is the pumpkin spice that I desire. That luscious smell of cinnamon and cloves with a hint of ginger that we identify with being thankful and family celebrations can be found in various forms almost everywhere.

MCW8YNWO0DI have to admit the scent of Pumpkin Spice makes me feel cozy. I want to spend time with friends chatting. I want to slow down and enjoy life. It’s crazy how a little whiff of its sweetness can bring on the desire of simplicity, but it does.

This past week, I made our first pumpkin dessert of the season. I stirred up a dump cake and boy-oh-boy, the kitchen, well. . .the whole house for that matter, smelled delicious. I served it to a group of friends who were happy to be in on the yumminess. Needless to say, it was a hit. I hope it had the same effect on them as it did on me, storing up yet another cozy memory of friends, standing around the kitchen eating, and enjoying life.

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Khalil Gibran


Pumpkin Dump Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 9×13 baking dish
  2. In large bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spices until well blended. Pour into baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top of the batter. If adding pecans, sprinkle them over cake mix.
  4. Thinly slice/shave butter over the cake mix/pecans. You can also melt butter and pour over top.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes until pumpkin filling is set and top is browned. I usually give it a little jiggle to test the firmness but it can also be tested by inserting knife to see if it comes out clean.
  6. Cool. Serve with whipped cream or Cool Whip. Ice cream works, too. Yum.
  7. Enjoy.

fall-950442_1280