Roasted Cinderella Pumpkin

Chef asked me to swing by the Munson Farm Stand for a Cinderella pumpkin he could roast and preserve for the winter. I LOVE pumpkin, so I was really happy he wanted to preserve some this year. I usually buy a few pie pumpkins to make my pumpkin peanut curry soup, and they’re much smaller- maybe smaller than a soccer ball. The selection of Cinderella pumpkins at Munson’s Farm Stand was impressive, and this one was larger than two of my heads put together.

Cinderella Pumpkin

Sean almost effortlessly sliced it in half. I would have needed a saw, I think.

Sliced Cinerella Pumpkin

Scooped out the seeds…

Cinderella Pumpkin ready for roasting

Drizzled olive oil on top and then some salt and pepper…

roasting Cinderella pumkin

And then they BARELY fit into our miniature oven. We live in 600 sq ft, and our kitchen appliances reflect that. But, we shoved it in there and made it work.

It roasted at 450 for more than an hour and didn’t quite come out as brown as we had hoped, but that’s sometimes what happens with miniature appliances- the end product isn’t as perfect as it could be. It still tasted great, so that’s really all that matters.

Roasted Cinderella Pumpkin

We let it cool and then scooped out A LOT of pumpkin.

Cinderella Pumpkin

Sean then pureed it in the Vitamix, poured it into jars, and processed it to save it for a wintery day. It’s truly wonderful to be married to a chef who likes to cook at home.

 

Taste 8: Sweet Potato Carrot Coconut Soup

Call me old fashioned.  But, when he calls me at 9 pm to say he’s coming over, I naturally ask if he’s eaten.  When the response is “no,” I think it’s time to get cooking. Nine pm is generally considered late to start cooking, so I decided to make something simple with whatever I had in the kitchen.  In this case, for my eighth dish in my 14-part series (or challenge:) of giving him a taste of how much I care, I made roasted sweet potato and carrot coconut soup topped with coconut baby bok choy. With a name so long, it might sound like a complex dish, but it was simple and delicious.

Here’s how I made it-

I started by roasting two garnet yams (peeled), four carrots (also peeled), and a sliced shallot in a tablespoon of coconut cream (or fat- the thick cream at the top of an undisturbed can of coconut milk) and a few tablespoons of maple syrup.  This took approximately 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

When the yams and carrots are easily pierced with a fork, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, skim off the rest of the coconut fat and separate it from the clear water. I LOVE this white temptress. I could eat it with a spoon.

Next, coarsely chop the baby bok choy and separate the leafy greens from the celery-like stalk. Chop a little red onion (maybe 1/2 cup), and you’re ready to assemble the meal.

Put the yams and carrots, the rest of the coconut water, and enough broth (veggie or chicken) to cover the yams into the Vitamix.  Blend this into a perfectly smooth puree (it just takes a few seconds in my favorite 2 horse-power toy).  Pour this into a stock pot and simmer on medium high.  I seasoned it with some cinnamon, cayenne, Vietnamese Sweet Lemongrass Curry (a Savory Spice Shop original), and soy sauce.  How much of those ingredients did I add? I don’t know… a little of this, a little of that. I’d say season to your liking.

While the soup was heating, I added the last dollop of coconut fat to a pan on medium high and started to sauté the onion.  When that was translucent, I added the stalky part of the bok choy and got that soft before adding the chopped bok choy leaves. Then a splash of soy sauce, and it’s done.

Top the soup with coconut baby bok choy and enjoy.

 

Taste 6: Get the Vitamix Involved

If you read my blog and/or know me personally, you are aware of my love of all things Vitamix. So, after cookies, cocktails, and Frasca, it’s time to demonstrate my appreciation through something healthy… like a veggie smoothie.

Into my Vitamix went a tangello, a kiwi, 3 carrots, 2 celery stalks, a handful of broccoli, 1/2 cucumber, some romaine lettuce, a cup or so of frozen pineapple,  1/2 jalapeño, and a few cups of water.  Turn that baby up to high and in 30 seconds or so…

Voilá. There it is. A veggie smoothie.

If you hang out with me, you’re going to eat your vegetables.  Or drink them…

Bourbon Peach Sorbet

Peaches. I just love them. I wait for them all year until they are local, ripe, delicious, juicy, sweet, velvety, irresistible… I guess I should say I long for them all year and then eat as many as possible until they are out of season. Then I wait and wait and wait..

Well, it’s that time of year: peach season! PEACH SEASON! I am thrilled! I was consumed by the thought of peaches today after Nathan Miller, the esteemed chef/baker/chocolatier from The Tasterie Truck, asked some friends if they had any requests for desserts with local Colorado peaches.  It had me thinking of peaches all day, and on a near-100 degree day, I had Bourbon Peach Sorbet on my mind when I came home from work.

It’s super easy if you have a Vitamix. You can make sorbet in less than one minute with fresh, seasonal fruits and add as little sugar as you’d like.  I like that.

I added a peach (pit removed, of course), 1/4 cup Maker’s Mark, 1/2 tsp homemade vanilla extract, 1 TB agave nectar, and 2 cups of ice to the Vitamix. Then, with the lid on and the tamper in place, steadily turn it up to 10, then high, tamping it along the way.  It will form 4 golfball size domes when it is done. Turn it off, and serve.
This sorbet was an ice-cold velvety peach delight.  And, there was just enough bourbon for the flavor to come out without overpowering it and making it taste like a whisky cocktail.  It has inspired me to do more with peaches this weekend, and has me eager to taste Nathan’s creations for The Tasterie Truck.  Visit their Facebook page to find out where they are and what they’re serving.  I’m known to be a fan of the whoopie pie.
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