Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Cutting Through Squash

September 22, 2015

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Fall is squash season. Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash are just a few of the wonderful vegetables from the gourd family. Once roasted, or baked, the flesh becomes tender and delicious. Before cooking, they can be hard as a rock and nearly impossible to cut through. Rather than risk losing a limb while hacking at a roley poley squash with a large, sharp knife, we suggest softening it in the microwave first.

Rinse the outside of the squash to get the dirt off before cutting into it. Pierce the skin of the squash in multiple places with a fork or the tip of a knife.  Microwave it for a couple of minutes, until it is just soft enough to cut through. Don’t leave it in long enough to start cooking; just cook it for enough time to make the flesh a bit more pliable. Although time varies based on the size of the squash and the strength of the microwave, 3-4 minutes is a good estimate. This can also be done in the oven, and will take about 15 minutes to soften. Place it on a baking pan so the juices that release won’t mess up the oven.

Remove it from the microwave, and carefully slice it in half. It will be hot! Scoop out the seeds from the cavity of the squash and discard. Peel or cook according to your recipe and enjoy!

Bonus tip: Try this before carving your Halloween pumpkin. It will make the job much easier and more precise!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Happy Halloween

October 31, 2014

Have a happy halloween! Stay safe out there.
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photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Pumpkin Spice Bread

September 24, 2014

 

IMG_3101Once the weather begins to change and the days begin to shorten, the craving for cinnamon, spice and everything nice seems to come about as well.  Step away from the empty calorie bomb that is the pumpkin spice latte, and try this healthier alternative, adapted from Fit Sugar.

It has real pureed pumpkin in it, and uses whole wheat flour and oatmeal instead of the white stuff. Unsweetened applesauce and oil replace the stick of butter traditionally found in this type of thing. While not really an UN- recipe, feel free to make it one, by adding nuts, raisins, or a dollop of whipped cream on the side. ( OK, that last one took us to whole other place, but it would sure taste good!)

 

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Pumpkin Spice Bread:

In a mixer, beat 4 eggs, a 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup neutral oil ( grape seed, canola, sunflower etc.) 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, and 2/3 cup of water. Mix until it is a creamy consistency.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 2/3 cups sugar *( I prefer a mix of white and brown sugars for a richer flavor), 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoons all spice. Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your palette. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix thoroughly.

Pour the batter into 2 loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkle the tops with a little of the rolled oats. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and dry. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: How to Peel Squash

November 19, 2013

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I love winter squash; butternut, acorn and even fresh pumpkin. Peeling and dicing them; not so much. I often feel like I need a machete to slice through them, and fear that I will not come through the cutting process with the same amount of fingers I started with. This tip changed all that, and made the process of cutting hard squash much easier.
Rinse the dirt off of the outside of the squash. Use the tip of a sharp knife to poke a few holes in the squash to allow the steam to escape (and prevent it from exploding) and pop it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is just soft enough to cut. If the squash is still too hard, try another minute. Just don’t leave it in there long enough to start cooking. This will make cutting it open a breeze!

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut each half into smaller pieces and slide your knife between the skin and the flesh of the squash to remove the skin. This is easier in longer strips, as opposed to small chunks. Once it is peeled, cut it into smaller pieces, depending on what the recipe dictates.

You should have perfectly peeled squash with minimal waste, and all 10 fingers, when you are done!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Pumpkin Bread

November 4, 2013

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It’s pumpkin season, and it seems like everything from lattes to Oreos wants in on the action. This pumpkin bread recipe is full of “sugar and spice and everything nice,”  and is a cinch to make.

Pumpkin Bread

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1 cup of vegetable oil. (used sunflower oil). Stir in 1 16 oz. can of unsweetened pumpkin, and 4 eggs, slightly beaten.

In a separate bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour (the recipe called for white flour but I used whole wheat ) with 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon cloves.

Blend dry ingredients with pumpkin mixture, and 2/3 cup water. Mix well and divide between 2 greased loaf pans, or one sheet pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing. Slice and enjoy!

photo: Spencer Jones /Glasshouse Images

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CSA Tuesday: It’s a Wrap!

December 20, 2012

This week marks the end of our CSA series for the season. I have mixed reviews about it. On one hand, I did become acquainted with a few new vegetables, and I did need to flex a little culinary muscle to use some of the items I received.

On the other hand, there was a lot of waste. Things that went bad before I could get to them, and things I just didn’t like that much that kept on coming.

This week we received more beets ( yum), lettuce, spinach and pumpkins (hence the things that just keep coming!). We also got butternut squash and garlic.
I have 4 day weekend coming up, so I hope to be creative and use it all up.

Spinach…That’s an easy one! Saute with garlic. ( 2 items used already!)

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I love beets!

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Roasted beets in a salad? That’s a no-brainer!

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People were leaving the pumpkins behind…they are heavy to carry, and harder to prepare. Late in the season pumpkins are not always so tasty. I will give them a try, one last time!

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photos: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Assignment

Feeding Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012

All of us in New York are hunkering down and waiting for Hurricane Sandy to have her way with us. Sunday was spent preparing lots of leftover ingredients into edible dishes.
The leeks, celery and potatoes became a delicious potato leek soup; rich and creamy, without the added calories of cream.

The pumpkins were roasted and pureed. A pumpkin tart was quickly assembled, using what I had in the house. The traditional evaporated milk was hastily replaced by coconut milk, with no adverse reactions to the texture or flavor.

The leftover roasted pumpkin puree will become pumpkin gnocchi tomorrow night, assuming I can see to cook it!

There is still a giant cabbage awaiting it’s fate. I think the carrots and celery can get slivered in with the cabbage and tossed with an avocado dressing,assuming we have electricity for the blender. I guess sooner or later, they will be soft enough to blend by hand!

The flashlights have batteries, the bathtubs are filled with emergency water, and the candles and matches are laid out on the dining table.
We are as ready as we can be for Sandy’s wrath.

We hope all of our east coast readers weather the storm safely.
We will continue to post as long as we have the internet connection to do so.

Leave a comment to share your hurricane stories here…

CSA Tuesday

October 24, 2012

It’s CSA Tuesday again, and this week’s selection is a little different.

I am getting a bit backed up in the pumpkin department. Pie? Ravioli? Halloween decor?

We got some carrots, parsley, a giant cabbage and some broccoli.

We also got 4 enormous leeks.

While I am sure some of this will become CSA soup by Sunday night, I intend to get creative with some of the rest.

Ideas always welcome!

CSA Tuesday

September 26, 2012

It’s CSA Tuesday, and I am a little unexcited about today’s selection.

There is a head of lettuce, some potatoes, 2 types of squash and a pumpkin.

There is an herb that looks like mint and smells lemony. I think its lemon balm.

I will try that tonight with some sautéed seafood and see how it goes.

The pumpkin will hopefully yield a small pie, something B has been requesting since last Thanksgiving.

Any ideas for the squash?

Unrecipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition

November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is almost here, and we are cooking up a storm! If you haven’t made your pies yet, here is a classic pumpkin pie recipe that works perfectly with the pie crust recipe we posted earlier. Ours came out pretty good, if we say so ourselves!

Pumpkin Pie 

Mix together 1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin,  3/4 cup sugar, 1 heatlhy teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.

Beat in 2 eggs and 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk.

Pour into a prepared pie or tart shell, and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 and bake another 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center come out clean.

Serving with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and enjoy!

If you are making it in advance, cool it and store it in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

photo: Spencer Jones /Glasshouse Images

food styling: Shari Hershon/ Indigo Jones


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