Friday, October 24, 2008

I want brownies, not cake

Okay Ladies. So I made these the other night and was really excited about them. Martha Stewart claimed they were gooey, which I feel was false advertising. In which I can't help but to post a letter claiming my injustice.
Dear Martha,
I tried your Pumpkin Swirl Brownie recipe the other day and was gravely dissapointed. Seriously, I do love your food. Albeit, you make things way harder than they need to be, but I love your recipes/crafts nonetheless. Here's my problem; out of all people, you should know the difference between cake and brownies. Since apparently you don't, I will re-cap for you.
Cake: a food that is usually sweet and baked. When eaten, it makes you feel like you've eaten nothing but air. Most people are deceived into believing that this is not only an appropriate form of dessert, but delicious as well, since it has become the center of many celebratory events (i.e. weddings, birthdays, etc.), but trust me, this is only a ruse.
Brownies: a flat, baked square or bar, which is a denser, richer form of a cake. When eaten you are left feeling satisfied and happy that the calories you have consumed were well worth it.
Do you see my dilemma? When you told me that your Pumpkin Swirl Brownies were A) brownies, and B) gooey, I feel as though you have tricked me.
If I were to form a lawsuit, based on the claim of false advertising, the damages would be based on the following:
1. I spent 1.5 hours prepping, stirring, and baking the so-called “brownies.”
2. I waited for 1 hour in intense anticipation for the “gooiness” I was promised, only to be disappointed.
3. I wasted way too many calories eating air, instead of the rich denseness I kept thinking was coming with the next bite.
4. All those products have now been wasted, in which I have been forced to return to the store to replenish them.
5. Last, but not least, the God-like image I had categorized you in has been shattered. It really is a great and tragic loss.

So, I would prefer that from this point forward, you have learned a valuable lesson. First, that cake and brownies are significantly different, and second, I will never be able to look at you the same.

Sincerely, your former long time follower,


P.S. A free subscription to your magazine might make me feel better.
I only post this recipe, not to advertise it, but in hopes that someone can help make it what it claims to be. I’m open to all suggestions. Is it the amount of eggs/flour? The size of the pan? What?
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Ingredients - Makes 16
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer.
Work quickly so batters don't set. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.
Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Maple Glaze

Ahhh, again with my pumpkin obsession. I just can't help it, I love fall! We stayed up in Midway with the family for the weekend and I decided to make these wonderful waffles for Breakfast. If you choose to make any of my pumpkin recipes, this is the one.
With the snow having already fallen, I feel like fall has been stolen from me. I took this picture in Midway and it makes me feel like I captured the last of my beloved fall.
Ingredients - serves 4
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup melted shortening
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 crisp apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, spice and salt together in a large bowl.
Beat together the milk, pumpkin, melted butter, and melted shortening, egg and egg white, in a large measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk together to make a slightly lumpy batter.
For the topping: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and let cook until slightly browned, but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the maple syrup and walnuts and toss to coat.
Pour and spread about 1 cup batter into the waffle iron. Cover and cook until crisp and a rich golden brown, about 7 minutes. (Try to resist the temptation to open the waffle iron too soon. Steam will puff out of the iron while the waffles cook, when this stops the waffle is cooked.) Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with the apples.
Enjoy! Tish

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rigatoni with Pumpkin and Bacon

Pumpkin Obsession Part II

My lovely friend Jen makes this great Martha Stewart recipe every year for October book club. Well, she's due any day and I realized that I won't be getting my pumpkin pasta this month and decided to make it myself. It's always a crowd pleaser. I wouldn't serve it as a meal in itself (since it's so heavy), but it's great for a party with lots of other foods.

Serves 6
Coarse salt
8 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 sugar pumpkin (about 3 pounds), peeled and halved, seeds removed, and flesh cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound rigatoni
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons hulled raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Put bacon into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until bacon is almost crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; let drain.
Add onion to skillet with bacon grease. Cook, stirring, until soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Add pumpkin, sage, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add stock and cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to mediumlow, and simmer until pumpkin is soft and sauce has thickened slightly, about 25 minutes. Season with pepper.
Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and add to skillet. Add the bacon and Parmesan, and toss to combine. Divide among bowls. Serve with Parmesan.

Fall Pizza

I had bookclub at my house and wanted a fall menu. Among other things, I served a homemade pizza that turned out delicious.

Use your favorite dough recipe (make sure you put cornmeal at the bottom of your pan). Top dough with the marinade from an artichoke jar and add a little bit of olive oil.

Toppings include: mozzarella cheese, slices of red onion, artichokes, and a little bit of crushed red pepper and cracked black pepper. Pine nuts would also make a great addition.

So good!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pumpkin Obsession

With the start of fall, my pumpkin obsession begins! These Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are always a hit.

3 cups canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, vegetable oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt, and mix well. Add flour and mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Optional: frosting them with cream cheese frosting

Enjoy! Tish