A Happy Pumpkin (and Owl) Filled Feast!


So I know it’s been a good week now, but I sadly haven’t had time to update. My Halloween is usually never typical, and this one was no exception. When I woke up, I was immediately inspired and motivated to cook and bake. I wanted to create a nice dinner meal for my family. And that is what I did. All day long. Eight hours. In the kitchen. And I loved every second of it.

It was a such a beautiful fall day so I went on an adventure and walked to the grocery stores, and trekked my groceries home. I walked around the lovely neighborhoods and checked out the awesome house decorations, carved pumpkins, fake spiderwebs and tombstones and such. It was quite lovely.
To start off, I made an ale, pork loin, and pumpkin stew in the slow cooker. That took about 5-6 hours all in all, so I made other things while that was going. I also made some sweet, salty, anise and orange spiced pistachios that turned out amaaazingly delicious. So easy too! Then I roasted some butternut squash and brussel sprouts, and tossed them in candied ginger with some chopped cilantro (both recipes from Rachael Ray). And then I made the most amazing thing of all: a (vegan) pumpkin ice cream torte. Yes. The recipe called for regular ice cream, but I had some coupons for free dairy-free pints so I took advantage of that, making my own pumpkin ice cream smash. It turned out amazing! And I added a little twist to it at the end, of course… pictures and recipes below!

I made my own pumpkin and leaf toasts out of black bread and a cookie cutter.Put a little butter and cinnamon sugar on them, stuck ’em in the broiler for about 2 minutes…

Ale, Pumpkin, & Pork Stew-2-3 lbs. pork loin
-4 c. chicken broth
-1 bottle of a good scotch ale (or any beer you think would pair)
-1 c. water
-15 oz. pumpkin puree
-4 T butter
-1 c. sliced carrots
-1/2 sliced red onion-1/2 t. cinnamon
-1/4 t. cloves
-1/4 t. nutmeg
-3/4 c. heavy cream
-salt & pepper to taste
Turn the slow cooker to ‘high’. Add the beer, broth and water – then the pork loin. Cook for 3-4 hours until the meat begins to fall apart. Take chunks of the pork out and break into bite size pieces and then return to the pot. Add the pumpkin and spices. In a pan on the stove, melt the butter and toss in the carrots and onions – lightly salt and pepper. Cook until they just become soft then add this to the stew pot. Stir the stew and cover – cook another hour. Add the heavy cream and cook another hour. Turn the soup to warm and serve when ready.

These turned out AMAZING! I plan on making lots of these guys and giving them out as gifts this season…

Pistachios with Anise & Orange-1 tablespoon superfine sugar -1 teaspoon ground aniseed -1 teaspoon salt -2 tablespoons vegetable oil -Grated peel of 1 orange -1 1/2 cups shelled raw pistachio nuts Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine 1 teaspoon each superfine sugar, ground aniseed and salt. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the grated peel of 1 orange and 1 1/2 cups shelled raw pistachio nuts and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 minutes. Toss the toasted nuts in the sugar mixture.
Butternut Squash & Brussels with Ginger & Cilantro4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10 cups) 3-4 cups sliced and quartered brussel sprouts (optional)1/4 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons ground coriander Salt and pepper 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large bowl, toss the squash and brussels with the oil, coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On each of 2 large baking sheets, arrange the squash in a single layer and bake, turning occasionally, until tender and golden-brown, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the squash to a serving bowl and toss with the crystallized ginger and cilantro.

Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte with Graham Cracker Crust and Caramel3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray
1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
9 cups vanilla dairy-free ice cream (about 1 1/2 cartons), divided
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1/4 cup jarred caramel topping (I made my own, which, by the way, was my first time making caramel and IT WAS HARD… all the recipes online said it was so easy.. liars! But it eventually kind of came out…)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients (mixture will be crumbly). Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
3. Combine pumpkin and the next 4 ingredients (through cloves) in a bowl. Soften 6 cups ice cream; add to pumpkin mixture, stirring to blend. Spoon half of mixture into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze 1 hour or until firm. Cover and freeze remaining pumpkin ice cream.
4. Soften remaining 3 cups vanilla ice cream; stir in 3 tablespoons pecans. Spread over pumpkin ice cream layer; freeze 1 hour or until firm. Soften remaining 3 cups pumpkin ice cream; spread over vanilla ice cream mixture. Cover; freeze 8 hours or until firm. Cut torte into 12 wedges. Place 1 wedge on each of 12 plates. Place topping in microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 45 seconds. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon topping; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pecans.

Cheers! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and recipes from the feast and that you’ll try out a few things as well!


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