Pumpkin Quinoa Soup–The Results

Let me start by saying–my hubbster is picky and I haven’t had anyone else over to the house to be on my side about this soup. I loved it!
If you’re a picky eater or not fond of weird foods then perhaps continue your google searching because you may not like this recipe. My hubbster might have liked it if I had included chunks of ham or chicken. However, as the recipe is below, Kit had no seconds nor leftovers.

You may recall that I posted a blog talking about how I make up recipes and end up a trial Franken-recipe once I get to the kitchen. Here is what I changed once I actually got into the kitchen to cook this soup.

Ingredients
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 TBSP garlic to taste (I never measure this)
2 TBSP olive oil (never measure)
2 TBSP curry powder (you can continually taste and add more/less as you cook because soups are wonderfully forgiving)
salt and pepper
A couple of shakes of red pepper flakes
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
3 small/medium sized yellow squash, washed and chopped

2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 cup uncooked quinoa

Toppings–Grated cheese. I tried both cheddar and mozz.

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and spices in olive oil until translucent. Then add carrots and squash. Cover and allow to cook on low medium until veggies are a bit more tender–Remember you don’t want them super mushy because you want some texture to the soup.
Add broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, diced tomatoes and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat the low and cook until quinoa pops open and liquid is absorbed. It took perhaps 30 minutes to make sure the quinoa was popped open and delicious.

What did it taste like?
It was awesome! The pumpkin was prominent and the coconut milk made it creamy and comforting. The curry powder did NOT make this soup hot but added a little kick and more complexity to the soup itself. I thought the veggies gave it just enough goodness to munch on.
If you please, you could reduce the quinoa amount at 1/3 of a cup and chicken broth by 1 cup. You would end up with about the same amount of broth/fluids.

The Process of Making a Recipe

People are constantly begging for my secret, Where on earth do you find these amazing recipes, Kat! Or, Gee, your cooking is the greatest, Mrs. Clark.
Honestly, no one says that, but in my head that is what it translates to when people compliment my cooking.

So here is that process I have to making a recipe. My methods are not unique, but do typically yield good results. It begins with me finding an ingredient, hearing people talk about or getting exposed to a food via media and it the gears start turning.

I have been thinking about pumpkin soup all summer because I have tons of cans of pumpkin in my cabinet and a co-worker mentioned that he really loves making pumpkin soup. Especially as the weather has gotten colder.

I started searching the Internetz for recipes that sounded good to me and almost immediately, had an unhappy realization. Almost all of the soup recipes I found had quite a bit of broth. Kit prefers a chunky soup, so I knew that a watery soups would mean I would have to eat the whole pot.

After pinning a few recipes I liked I started thinking and ultimately chose quinoa. It is filled with good proteins, has a good texture and soaks up liquids quite well. Quinoa and savory pumpkin sounds amazing to me. I also like the idea that I could adapt a recipe to having vegetable broth and make it for my veggie-saurus brother.

The trickiest thing about soups are that if you want a certain result of liquid you have to start with the right amount of liquid. Or suffer the cycle of doom where you keep adding things until it gives or you give….And end up with double the amount of soup you intended.

Under closer inspection of the recipes I found some similarities and pulled all the ingredients I knew we would love. I pulled ingredients from this Coconut Curry Pumpkin soup recipe I found on all recipes and a crock pot Chicken Quinoa-Pumpkin soup that I found on a personal blog.

That’s basically the process. The next step, of course, is making it on a night that I will not burst into tears if I have to order a pizza and dump it out. However, that isn’t so hard because I usually enjoy trying a new recipe.

crock-pot-chicken-quinoa-pumpkin-soup

Here is the Pumpkin Quinoa soup recipe that I came up with:
Warning: I have not tried this yet, but am looking forward to it mid-week. I will post an update to let you know what changes I made to the recipe below.

Ingredients
1 sweet onion, chopped2 TBSP garlic to taste (I never measure this)
2 TBSP olive oil (never measure)
1 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa

Toppings–Sour cream, or grated cheese (parm) and chopped fresh spinach.

Optional–potatoes, carrots, celery, cooked chicken.

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and spices in olive oil until translucent.
Add broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, diced tomatoes and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat the low and cook until quinoa pops open and liquid is absorbed.

Because I haven’t used this recipe before I’m not sure if three or two cups of chicken broth is more appropriate. I think for most people that three cups would be fine, but knowing that we like thicker or stew-like soups we should probably go for less. I already have a feel too, that I will want more pumpkin.

I’m really debating if I want more stuff in my soup. I usually have carrots and celery on hand to fill out a soup, if necessary. Chicken would be good, but it shouldn’t be a main player in the soup. I feel like the chicken would try to steal the show, when really, it is more about the creamy pumpkin soup.

After actually trying the recipe, Kit and I will sit down with our bowls or plates and eat for about five minutes before we start the deconstruction. What spices did you use? Are the flavors mellowed together? If you could change one thing to make this better, what would you do? And so on. We don’t place blame on the cook if the food isn’t perfect, but rather, figure out if we should try it again, tweak it, or keep it exactly the same. I love, love, love this part of our relationship. Not only can we cook and hang out in the kitchen together, but we make a game out of the recipes. Perhaps, like a friendly panel of judges on Iron Chef.

What process do you use when you’re trying to find new recipes to add to your regulars?

Do you ever follow the recipe exactly as you found it?

Ultimate Fall Bucket List

Fall is my favorite time of year and I realized that it has become a thing to make seasonal bucket lists or other short term Fun To Do lists. I searched the topic to death and came up with a massive fall season Bucket List. I have already completed a couple and will insert those pictures as breaks from straight text.
jacksonsorchardFall Bucket List

  1. Make a new fall wreath
  2. Visit an orchard
  3. Make Chili
  4. Watch Football
  5. Go apple picking
  6. Bake a pie
  7. Go on a fall color drive
  8. Enjoy cider
  9. Make/Eat caramel apples
  10. Sit by the firegirlspumpkinguts
  11. Go on a hayride
  12. Celebrate Oktoberfest
  13. Visit a pumpkin patch
  14. Carve a pumpkin
  15. Play in the leaves
  16. Find your way through a corn maze
  17. Decorate pumpkins
  18. Fall crafts
  19. Go trick or treating
  20. Make Halloween costumeKitpumpkinseeds
  21. Take fall photos
  22. Make apple cobbler
  23. Rake leaves and jump in pile
  24. Make pumpkin dessert
  25. Tailgate football game
  26. Find the perfect fall sweater
  27. Perfect a pumpkin/caramel/or/apple latte DIY
  28. Host a friendsgiving
  29. Go on a picnic
  30. Have a campfireKatcarving
  31. Roast marshmallows
  32. Go on a hike
  33. Make pinecone bird feeders
  34. Go out for coffee/hot cocoa and doughnuts
  35. Host a football party
  36. Stargaze under a quilt
  37. Bake pies
  38. Roast pumpkin seeds
  39. Create leaf art
  40. Decorate for fallpumpkinseeds
  41. Candles and music at night
  42. Crunch leaves
  43. Make fall soup
  44. Jump in puddles
  45. Fall treasure hunt
  46. Have a Halloween party
  47. Bob for apples
  48. Make a scarecrow
  49. Make apple cider
  50. Learn the Thriller danceKspumpkin
  51. Wear flannel
  52. Go to a fall festival
  53. Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  54. Gather leaves
  55. Press leaves
  56. Make pumpkin pancakes
  57. Make mini caramel apples
  58. Blend pumpkin smoothies
  59. Go to a haunted house
  60. Watch Halloween/Thanksgiving movies
  61. Aspumpkin

Pumpkin Bread

image
The final moist and delicious product!
image
The other day I got really upset about something that went down and instead of moping and crying I used the negative energy (anger) to create good things.
I fixed my hair, put on makeup, washed up some dishes and made pumpkin bread. Instead of having sore fists or tear streaked cheeks I had an amazing smelling house and pumpkin bread to share with Kit and friends.
image
Here is the recipe I found in a book-this is weird for me. Most recipes I find online nowadays. What isn’t weird is how I always tweak a recipe. Below are my adjustments.

I added 2 cups of pumpkin (3/4 cups baked cushaw from farm and 1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin).

I also only added 1/2 cup water instead of a full cup because it wasn’t a very thick batter already.

I baked it for about 1 hour.
On the top I added almond bits and chocolate chips.

Next time I make this recipe, I will substitute 1 cup applesauce instead of oil or at least a half and half substitution. I have done it before with banana bread and I really like it.

image
This VIP Cookbook was written in 1979 with the intent that proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and their research.

I picked this up at a library book sale for less than $2 so don’t think I was being noble. There are some things in there that may be out of date but I figure a good recipe is almost always a good recipe.
image
One loaf got devoured by my husband and me. The other loaf I took to a wedding shower and gave to the bride to be, who just happened to love anything pumpkin. Score!

My mouth us watering just looking at the pictures again. Kit found three more huge chushaw from our volunteer plant in the compost pile and I have tons of canned pumpkin too. I know what I’m doing come Monday!

Shortcut Pumpkin Cheesecake {Recipe Revealed!!}

image

I found plenty of from scratch pumpkin cheesecake recipes. I knew I could figure out a way to do this in a quick and dirty fashion. I left out the dirt in the recipe below.

Enter Kat’s Shortcut Pumpkin Cheesecake!

Supplies needed
• One box of no-bake instant cheesecake
• Butter & sugar as directed by box for crust
• One can of pure pumpkin (15 oz)
• Pumpkin pie spice to taste or cinnamon/nutmeg, ground cloves, and ginger to taste
• 2 TBSP brown sugar
• Dash or two of water to aid with smooth consistancy
• Pie plate or other container you want to be filled with amazing flavors

Method

Combine sugar, butter and graham cracker crust packet. Mold to pie plate.

In a medium sized bowl combine, cheesecake mix, pure pumpkin, brown sugar and spices. Add water a little bit at a time until you have a smooth mixture, about 1/4 cup.

Dump into prepared crust/pan and chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Serve awesome.

Day 314: Health Food Store

image

Sorry this blog is so late for today! I unexpectedly got called in for work.

While visiting my brother, we went to a health food co-op store. The deli had many pretty things behind glass. I particularly liked the zucchini bread muffins.

I have tons of cushaw that need to be cooked up. Cushaw bread with chocolate chips and cinnamon-y spices? I think it is worth a try.

I also bought some lavender dry soda. Lightly sweetened, but otherwise tasted similar to a seltzer water with a yummy lavender flavor.

I decided to do this with them: Make mint and lavender mojitos. Using half simple syrup and half lavender soda, rum and fresh mint.
What do you think? I cannot wait to try it!!

Day 311: Witch Stitch

image

This is the witch pattern I just recently transferred. I hope to get some work done on it over the weekend.

I am really enjoying stitching the witch because she can be whatever color I wish.
Here is my progress so far:

image

I took a break from it because I got jealous of her hot lavender boots. I need some more dress shoes but I realize that lavender high heel boots aren’t practical.

Want to stitch your own cute witch? Then click and get stitching!
Or for the people who aren’t pinterest disciples: Feeling Stitchy.