Pumpkin Recipes 2012

Did you go shopping for your Halloween or fall decorations yet? My front stairs have something on every step; mums, gourds and pumpkins. While we were at the pumpkin patch getting Jack O'Lantern fodder we also picked up some cooking pumpkins, including an heirloom type I wasn't familiar with called a Cinderella pumpkin. So what am I going to do with these pumpkins? I have some excellent recipes to share.

This recipe for pumpkin and lentil soup from Nibble Dish doesn't have any animal protein, is full of anti-oxidants and fiber and is not hard to make. The hardest part of it is probably peeling the pumpkin. http://www.nibbledish.com/people/thecoffeesnob/recipes/pumpkin-and-lenti... BTW, lots of times you don't even really have to peel the pumpkin. If you roast it in the oven the cooked flesh will come right out of the rind with very little problem. If you are allergic to peelers you could always use canned pumpkin, just make sure it's pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.

Now we switch to something less healthy that looks incredibly appealing. In keeping with the salted caramel craze currently in vogue, Two Peas and Their Pod brings this recipe for pumpkin toffee cookies with salted caramel glaze. This recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree but fresh will make these cookies even yummier. http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/pumpkin-toffee-cookies-with-salted-car...

This recipe for pumpkin and Gouda soup is perfect for anyone who wants pumpkin soup but also wants a dose of bacon and cheese. It takes about an hour to fix and of course you can use fresh pumpkin instead of canned. You are going to need a blender or some other way to puree the soup until smooth. http://frenchfood.about.com/od/soupsandstews/r/Pumpkin-Gouda-Soup-Recipe...

This is the most baffling recipe I've seen in some time. It's for something called jealousy stuffy pumpkin. I was dying to know how the jealousy fits in and feel like I should have been able to guess. Apparently you are supposed to be the object of your guests' envy when you serve it. The ingredients are also confusing to me as I am not familiar with “source” in this context. I'm wondering if the author of the recipe meant stock? You can make your own interpretation here: http://www.opensourcefood.com/people/fieldpainting/recipes/jealousy-stuf...

The Queen of Quinoa website has a fast and easy peasy recipe for chili roasted pumpkin seeds. They only take about five minutes of prep time, although I'm not sure that includes pumpkin chopping open time, and then bakes for less than half an hour. Just be advised that they're a little messy and you should be not eat them while committing a crime, as your fingerprints will be very easy to spot. http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2012/10/chili-roasted-pumpkin-seeds/

This pumpkin spice hummus looks revolting but is secretly tasty. It is both sweet and savory, which is fun for your palate, and you can fiddle with the spices to get it exactly to your taste. This might be a fun way to introduce skeptical kids to hummus as it's not too intimidating or spicy. You do need a food processor to make it. http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2011/10/18/pumpkin-spice-hummus.ht...

No list of pumpkin related foods would be complete without pie. This particular recipe, from Extraordinary Life, is paleo based, so if you spend your mealtimes imagining that you live on the Savannah, spurning all agriculture, it should make you happy. The crust is made from walnuts, pecans, cashews, grass-fed butter (who knew butter ate at all?), and a little salt. The filling requires a food processor, which we all know was a vital part of our cave-people ancestors' existence. http://my-extraordinary-life.blogspot.com/2012/10/paleo-pumpkin-pie-reci...

This recipe for baked pumpkin black bean burritos is vegan and not hard to make. It is slightly odd to use low sodium beans and then add garlic salt. I think we can skip that extra salt entirely. Also cilantro is the work of the devil (who else would create “food” that tastes like both bugs and soap?) so there's no way I would put it in anything I was fixing. And as always feel free to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned. http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/vegetarianentreessides/r/Recipe_Veg...

This red lentil and roast butternut squash (i.e. pumpkin) curry can be easily made vegan by swapping the butter for vegan margarine. http://www.tastemag.co.za/Recipe-2176/Red-lentil-and-roast-butternut-cur... It's also wheat free and gluten free, which makes it suitable for a variety of meal plans. Because I am extra lazy I would peel my pumpkin after I roast it. Also after it cools down, so I don't fry my fingers.

Sweets and savories are all very well, but what about drinks? Did you know you can make pumpkin wine? I've seen pumpkin beer but not wine. This site says it is an acquired taste, so be forewarned. http://www.squidoo.com/pumpkin-wine

And to go with that here are three pumpkin cocktail recipes that utilize something called Pumpkin Spirit. I am not a drinker so I can't really give you much feedback on these. You must travel this road alone if you choose to take it. http://madtable.com/2012/10/pumpkin-spirit-adds-to-wealth-of-seasonal-pu...

Bonus Treat:
This week's bonus treat is from Nedroid and is about the one thing a house guest might do that crosses the line and is not acceptable on any level. http://nedroid.com/2012/09/unforgivable/