Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin mania!

Hooray, finally a place to put all my cooking adventures! I've agreed to do a 52-week cooking challenge, where each week I make a completely new recipe - preferably a meal, or at least several smaller items. I'm going to crunch the last two weeks together since all the new dishes I've made have been with PUMPKIN! In fact, I'm cooking up a pie as I type this. But first, the previous....

I made this pumpkin ravioli with mushroom sauce from BitterSweet, a wonderful blog! I had never made ravioli before so it was very exciting. We bought Dynasty brand wonton wrappers from the local asian grocery, since the wrappers at my regular grocery and at Whole Foods contained eggs. My raviolis were not quite as pretty, since I messed around with several methods of folding my square wonton wrappers before settling on folding them diagonally to create triangular raviolis. I also added Tofutti cream cheese to the filling, as one commenter suggested, but I was shocked to realize I didn't have any sage! Bummer, but not terrible.

I was rather nervous about the sauce because neither Tom (my boyfriend) nor I actually like mushrooms. However, I want to move out of my comfort zones with food so I gave it a whirl. Right before I was about to start chopping Tom reminded me that I could chop with a food processor, which made things go so much faster. Overall we enjoyed the sauce but next time I would actually puree the mushrooms, since I didn't like the chunkiness of it.

Overall it was very delicious and I'm so happy to know that I can make my own ravioli now! They've always been my favorite type of pasta. In fact, since making this complete dish I've whipped up a couple more batches of just ravioli to eat with olive oil, salt, and pepper - totally scrumptious and simple. What can I say? I've always had a taste for simple foods.

On the 100% successful front, I've made this incredible chocolate chip pumpkin bread from Little House on the Vegan Prairie TWICE now! I whipped it together as a gift for my family, and they loved it so much I made another loaf for us. It's very much like cake - crumbly, moist, and soft. I had hopes of toasting it but instead I would slice off a piece, heat it in the microwave for about twenty seconds, and then spread Earth Balance on it. MMMM. Like savory, pumpkin-y, spicy cake. This one is set to be a seasonal staple!

Right now I'm waiting for my very first pumpkin pie to finish baking. I made it from an actual sugar pumpkin, which was cut up, steamed, and pureed. However, I ended up Frankensteining several recipes together, relying on my admittedly poor judgment to pick the correct ingredients - the pie has a normal crust, but the filling contains MimicCream (god I hope it isn't horrible), blackstrap molasses, spices, sugar, pumpkin, and flax eggs. I'm mostly worried about the flax and the MimicCream...but I'm gonna stop putting my pie down before it's even out of the oven! We'll see how it turns out.... Even if it's awful, at least I'll have some delicious roasted pumpkin seeds!

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