Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recipes b4 Trick or Treating

Treating your kids to a spooky Halloween dinner will make them less likely to eat the candy they collect.  Check out these cool recipes.


1-1/2 lb ground Beef
6 slices cheese, cut into desired shapes
Red or green bell peppers, cut into desired shapes
Pitted olives, cut into desired shapes
6 lettuce leaves
6 hamburger buns, split

Lightly shape ground beef into six 1/2"-thick patties. Choose a cooking method.
To broil, place patties on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 3 to 4" from heat. Broil 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are no longer pink, turning once. To panbroil, place patties in preheated nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are no longer pink, turning once.

Season with salt and pepper, if desired, after turning. During last few minutes of cooking, top with cheese, bell peppers and olives to make faces. Serve in lettuce-lined buns. 6 servings.


1 large pumpkin
Melted butter
2 large onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
Olive oil
3 pounds chuck steak, cubed
1 pound tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 1/2 pints beef stock
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 pounds raw pumpkin, cut in chunks
2 cans sweet corn
12 canned yellow peach halves, sliced
Syrup from canned peaches
Bouquet garni
1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper

To prepare the pumpkin, cut the top to form a lid, angle cutting so the lid will sit on and not fall in. Leave the stem for a handle. Remove the the "guts", the fibers and seeds and discard. Scoop away most of the solid flesh, leaving a sturdy wall of pumpkin, being careful not to cut through it. Measure out 2 pounds of the pumpkin flesh for the stew.

Brush the inside of the cleaned pumpkin with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Replace the lid and set the pumpkin aside on a baking sheet.

Cook the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft but not browned. Transfer to a large saucepan. Brown the beef in the oil and add it to the onion mixture in the saucepan. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, half the stock, the bouquet garni, a little salt and plenty of pepper to the meat and onions. Cover and simmer until the meat is almost cooked. This should take about 1 hour.

At this time, put the pumpkin shell in the oven at 375 degrees. Leave it for 30 minutes, or longer if the walls are thick. But be careful not to collapse the walls. You can use a large casserole as a support for the walls.

Add the sweet potato, potato and pumpkin to the saucepan and cover with more stock. Return to a boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender, the potatoes are cooked, and the liquid is thickened with the dissolved pumpkin.

Stir in the sweet corn and peaches and simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste, correcting the seasoning and adding a little of the peach syrup. Remover the bouquet garni and discard. Ladle the stew into the pumpkin and put back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


1 Pumpkin (14 or 15 inches in Diameter) or 2 smaller ones
4 TB Sugar
2 TB Tamari sauce
1 c Water
1/2 LB Fresh shelled chestnuts
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c apricots, Chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped or any tart apple
1/2 c Walnuts, broken but not too Small
1 Stalk celery, chopped
1 medium White onion, chopped
1 medium Red onion, chopped
1 can Corn, drained
1 medium Sweet green pepper, chopped
1 medium Sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium Zucchini squash, chopped
1 medium Yellow squash, chopped
2 medium Fresh jalapeno peppers, Seeded and minced
2 c Cooked brown basmati rice
1/4 Ts Mace
1/4 Ts Tumeric
Black pepper
1/2 Ts Cinnamon
4 TB Tamari sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Wash pumpkin and cut off the top, angle the cut so that the top will fit back on more easily, use a big spoon to scoop out strings and seeds. Mix sugar and 2 tbs. tamari sauce (you can warm them in the microwave so they will mix more easily ) and spread evenly over insides of pumpkin. Line the bottom of a large pan with single piece of aluminum foil folded over itself 3 or 4 times, pour 1 cup water in pan, place top back on pumpkin and place in baking pan, cover the pumpkin and the pan with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until pumpkin is just starting to become tender, the thicker the pumpkin the longer it will take.

2. Steam the nuts for about 15 minutes. Rinse them in cool water and slip off the brown skins. Chop chestnuts coarsely.

3. Combine chestnuts with raisins, apricots, apple, walnuts, celery, white and red onions, corn, green and red pepper, jalapeno peppers, mace, tumeric and rice, mix well. Add the 4 tbs. tamari and mix again.

4. Dust the inside of the pumpkin with the cinnamon. Pack the pumpkin with the filling and replace the pumpkin top. Return pan to oven, add water to cover the bottom of the pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

5. If you are going to serve the pumpkin on something other then the pan it was cooked in BE CAREFUL. The bottom of the pumpkin may be VERY soft. Wrap the foil from the bottom of the pan up around the pumpkin as you pick it up, this will keep the bottom intact.

When serving this recipe, scrap the inside of the pumpkin with the serving spoon and mix the pumpkin into the stuffing.

If you have leftovers do not leave it in the pumpkin. Remove the filling and scrape out the pumpkin and store in your refrigerator.


1/2 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon (generous) baking powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Whisk pumpkin, egg, salt, nutmeg and baking powder in large bowl to blend. Mix in flour (dough will be soft). Dip 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon into boiling water to moisten. Scoop up generous 1/2 teaspoon of dough and return spoon to water, allowing dough to drop. Working in 2 batches, repeat dropping 1/2 teaspoonfuls of dough into water, first dipping spoon into water to moisten each time. Boil dumpling until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to colander and drain. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add dumplings. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer dumplings to bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Makes 4 Side-Dish Servings.


Pumpkin (Red Hubbard Squash Preferred)
White Eastern Potatoes Bacon

Cut up a pumpkin into manageable pieces. Remove skin off of the pumpkin with a potato peeler. Run pumpkin slices over a grater to shred the pumpkin. Shred enough to fill half of a 9" x 13" pan. Pile the shredded pumpkin higher than the sides of the pan as it will shrink as it cooks. Mix 1\2 to 1 cup of granulated sugar into the pumpkin to suite your taste.

Peel and slice enough white potatoes to fill the other half of the pan. Add salt to the potatoes and mix thoroughly.

Place pan in oven at 350 degrees for 1-1\2 to 2 hours. During the first 1\2 hour, stir the potatoes.

Also stir the pumpkin. After 1\2 hour, cover the top of the entire pan with slices of bacon. Turn bacon over halfway through the baking process.

Enjoy a great one pan meal. I personally like to use Hubbard Squash (red in color pumpkins). They are a sweeter pumpkin for use in cooking and especially for pumpkin pie.


Pumpkin Filling:
2/3 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. fresh grated
or shredded Parmesan cheese
(preferably parmigiano-reggiano)
2 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. ground amaretti cookies or almond biscotti
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
Dash nutmeg
Dash salt

For sauce:
1/4 c. butter, melted with dash fresh chopped sage, poured over hot pasta, or to above melted butter and sage, stir in 1/2 C cream and heat to hot but not boiling, pour over hot pasta

Make ravioli dough and press or buy pre-made.

Combine all filling ingredients. Use to fill ravioli dough by putting 1 tsp. of filling onto one square of dough; moisten edges (use egg wash or egg beaten with a little water), then top with another square of dough, pressing edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cook in boiling water for 6 - 8 minutes or till pasta is cooked, but firm. Drain ravioli and keep warm while preparing sauce.


1-1/2 teaspoons dried ground small red chilies such as Piquins
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/4 cup dry sherry
grated nutmeg

Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft and transparent. Add the pumpkin, stock, Chile pepper, ground pepper, allspice, sugar, and sherry. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add the half-and-half, and simmer until heated. Garnish with the nutmeg and serve.

This soup can be served either hot or cold. Serve it hot with grilled fish and seasoned green beans or cold as a luncheon entree with a crisp salad.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 LB pumpkin flesh, peeled seeded and diced (use one pumpkin about 1 3/4 LB)
8 fl oz strong vegetable stock
2 tbsp. parsley, or 1 tsp. dried parsley
4 fl oz single cream
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
pinch of ground black pepper
pasta, freshly cooked, to serve

Gently fry the garlic and onion in the oil for 3 or 4 minutes. Do not allow them to burn. Add the pumpkin and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender.

Break up the pumpkin by beating it with a wooden spoon, and stir in the parsley, cream, nutmeg and seasoning. Cook for a further minute and add a little of the pasta cooking water if the sauce is too thick. Pour over the pasta and serve immediately. Serves 3

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