5 posts tagged DIY
Homemade fortune cookies are a little tricky to make but taste so good! Everyone at our Thanksgiving table will have one to open. With the help of my mother and a daughter I made these yesterday. I posted the recipe last February. Thanks go to Jill for help taking pictures!
How to roast a sugar pumpkin
Despite the rain and the cold and drizzle, I don’t mind the turn from summer to winter in Portland. I’ll be sick of it in 8 weeks, but perhaps because I grew up in central Illinois I enjoy the change of the seasons and find the sound of rain on the window panes comforting.
We have great produce to close down the season, including crisp apples, squash and pumpkins. The little sugar pumpkins are finally available, and if you can get them you should consider buying a few.
Sugar pumpkins are smaller than the Jack-O-Lantern type and have a small, sweet flesh that is perfect for making into pies, soups and the filling for ravioli and tortellini. Today I roasted two of these little beauties.
To roast them:
- Cut off the stems with a very sharp knife.
- Cut pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.
- Place pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet.
- Roast pumpkin halves in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes or until very tender when poked with a roasting fork.
- Remove pulp with a spoon.
- Process pulp in a food processor with 1/2 cup (or so) hot water until very smooth.
- 2 sugar pumpkins yielded 3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree.
Gardening’s a pretty big deal around here in the summertime. I wish I could say that I’m the one with the green thumb, but it wouldn’t be true. It’s my husband, and recently one of our daughters who seem to have the magic to make things grow. I, on the other hand, enjoy harvesting the bounty and then working my special magic in the kitchen. I think everyone would agree it’s a win-win arrangement.
This summer, our oldest daughter, (author of Garden Science) had a small, experimental garden. Basically, she scrounged around in one of our kitchen drawers where I keep dried foods and found an interesting array of dried beans and seeds. She then planted these in a small, raised bed and waited to see what grew. Two, store-bought popcorn kernels were part of the experiment. As the summer progressed, those two kernels germinated and grew into two robust popcorn plants. Between the two plants, they have produced three viable ears. What you see here is one of the ears she harvested just a few days ago.
We haven’t tried popping it yet, but I’ll keep you posted. Good times.
Sterling silver souvenir spoons I dipped in semi-sweet and white chocolate. To see the one with my espresso, go here.
A little chocolate with your espresso?
When I visited Barcelona, the coffee shop we frequented most often served little pieces of semi-sweet chocolate with their café con leche. It may be common practice in that part of the world to serve espresso this way, but it was new to me. I seriously loved the taste of the espresso once the chocolate had melted in. So a couple of days ago I dipped a few of my antique, silver souvenir spoons in melted chocolate. After they had cooled on parchment paper for a half an hour I went back and decorated a few. What I ended up with was better than I imagined it would be.
This would be a great gift for a bride or as an upscale hostess gift. You can still find some of the less-elaborate sterling silver spoons at an affordable price, and chocolate’s not expensive. Along with a pretty coffee mug or tea cup tied up in a satin ribbon, it would make a really special, unique gift. Alternatively, plastic spoons dipped in chocolate could be just as fun and you could make lots and lots of gifts or party favors!
To see more of my chocolate-dipped sterling silver spoons, go here.