Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pinterest is at it again, this recipe received a lot of "pins" on pinterest so when it was requested for Thanksgiving weekend I thought I better try it out ahead of time.  It is going to make it to the Thanksgiving weekend menu list--- so good.  I found it blogged here: and was credited to the cookbook "Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms" by Jane Dorian.  I have to say the browned butter added great flavor to the cake.  Love this old tube pan that belonged to my husbands grandmother, I have round also but the square shape is more unique.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin
3 large eggs
2 1/2 c flour
2tsp baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray inside of tube pan with nonstick spray set aside.  In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar till blended.  Add pumpkin, eggs and mix thoroughly.  Combine dry ingredients & blend, then mix dry to wet ingredients blend on medium speed.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Streusel Topping

1/4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 T butter melted
1/3 c walnuts chopped

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and spread over top of cake.

Bake for 50-55 min till toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cake for about 15 min then slide knife around edges to remove, flip onto plate and then back onto another plate so that it is crumb topping up.

Brown Butter Icing

1 1/2 T  butter
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
whole milk

Heat butter in saucepan till it just begins to get golden brown, stir into sugar and add milk to desired consistency.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whole Pumpkin Soup

For the one year anniversary of blogging my recipes I have chosen a "fun" recipe.  I have learned so much in this year of blogging, between the way a blog leads you to places you weren't expecting, to family recipes you don't want to lose, to new recipes you can't wait to try, connections to people all over and techy stuff I never thought I would need to know.  I plan to continue on and see where the next year takes me, what started as an organizational plan has led to so much more. 
 Hope some of you are getting inspired to cook!
Whole Pumpkin Soup
Alton Brown from Food Network was making this soup while promoting his cookbook it peaked my interest and had to try it.  You can watch a video of him preparing it here at 
  Food Network .  Jim enjoys watching Alton because he goes into the history and science behind the recipe.  I'm usually "just get to the recipe" but glad I listened & tried this, will definitely be making it again.  The procedure is very easy, after you scoop the pumpkin out you just drop in the ingredients and bake.  The only draw back I would say is that it does have to cook for 2 hours.  This night the pumpkin had me thinking Thanksgiving so I did Turkey & a baked cheesy spinach which could all be in the oven at the same time.  The pumpkin takes up a lot of space & serves 4-5 with a cup of soup, so if you want more you would need to do 2 pumpkins.  I am guessing you could do it ahead not sure if you would loose the texture in reheating it though.  This is a savory soup you don't even taste the apple.
Whole Pumpkin Soup


1 whole baking pumpkin (about 4 lbs rinsed)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 small onion diced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 clove garlic minced
1 small apple peeled & diced
1 c low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c heavy cream ( I used 1/2 & 1/2 worked fine)
2 oz goat cheese
1 tsp Thyme leaves

Heat oven to 375°


Make a lid as you would for a Jack O'Lantern that you can replace into the pumpkin.  Scoop out seeds and scrape sides.  You must be careful not to cut through the pumpkin now or at the end when you prepare to blend.  Rub oil on the outside of the pumpkin and the inside of a casserole dish large enough to hold pumpkin.
Place butter, onion, salt, garlic, apple, broth, cream into pumpkin and replace lid.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the lid drop in cheese and Thyme continue to bake uncovered for 30 min.
Take the pumpkin from the oven leaving it in the casserole carefully scrape loose the soft pumpkin from the sides without puncturing skin of pumpkin.  Then using immersion blender blend soup inside of pumpkin to desired consistency, being careful as the soup is hot.  Serve immediately.

bake first 1 1/2 hours covered

Be careful not to break through pumpkin, it doesn't ruin it
but will involve some scooping!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grandma Wildenstein's Molasses Cookies

This is my Grandmother's recipe for Molasses Cookies, Bessie Ida Roney Wildenstein always had a Tupperware container filled with cookies.  Actually there were 3 containers one had chocolate chip, one had soft white cut out cookies, and these Molasses Cookies.  She would keep a piece of bread in the containers to keep the cookies soft, something we all still do.  Grandma raised 7 children, did all the cooking, mostly lived on a dairy farm (which means she did a lot of big time chores outside the house also), quilted, sewed amazing Barbie clothes, always had a puzzle going on the card table, and worked in a garment factory.  The work ethic in this family can't be beat, they all work hard.  I am the oldest of the grandchildren which range down almost to my kids ages, so when you visited Grandma & Grandpa Wildenstein's it was an event.  Lots of people coming and going, lots of talking (usually all at once), laughing, photos, & catching up with everybody.  They never seem fazed by the chaos of the crowd in fact I think they loved it.  Lots of good memories for all of us.  I really feel it is so important for our children to know their heritage, where they came from, what their ancestors were like, how they lived, all of it makes us who we are today.  Recipes are a great way of passing history on to the next generation.

 There were no instructions on the recipe so I mixed my wet ingredients and my dry, then mixed them together with the hook beaters.  Her comment about mixing until the dough gets to stiff means she didn't have a mixer with the dough hooks---that would be a workout on the wrists--so she mixed till the mixer couldn't get through the dough.  I think most hand mixers come with dough hooks now--great invention.

Mom’s (Grandma's) Molasses Cookies


1 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
2/3 c boiling water
2/3 c shortening (Crisco)
1 egg
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
pinch of salt
4 to 6 cups flour

Roll & cut – use as little flour as you can, just enough to handle dough and roll it

  • Note from Mom (aka- grandma):

“I put what flour I can in with mixer and then put some on board and mix by hand until I can handle and roll it.  Put these in a covered can with a piece of bread and they’ll be soft in a day”

**I refrigerated dough in a ziploc for a couple hours before rolling it out.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pennsylvania Dutch style Chicken Pot Pie

The perfect warm you up meal.  I had always associated Chicken Pot Pie as the type baked like a pie with a crust top which I blogged awhile back here.  When I moved to this area I was introduced to this style with a homemade pasta cut into large squares.  The broth, chicken, mixture is similar and you could add other vegetables if you like I really don't measure this part at all just throw in enough to feed your crowd.  I did celery, onion, carrots, with the thyme, sage, salt and pepper for the spices.  Saute vegetables, add a lot of broth, add cooked chicken, then slide pasta squares into pot.  I have also made this in a large baking dish and let it finish in the oven.

Pasta Squares (dumpling style)


2 c flour
2 T butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk

Combine dry ingredients and mix.  Cut butter into flour to form coarse crumb type mixture, then slowly stir in milk to form dough.  This is a really nice dough to work with.  Roll out dough on floured surface, cut into squares and drop into broth. Let cook about 15 min check the dough it is best if you don't over cook it.  The flour on the pasta thickens the sauce a bit making it even better.  If you want to make the broth part and let it simmer you an just add the dough 15 min before you are ready to eat.