A very happy Monday to everyone!
After a wonderful weekend at the Jersey Shore (no, not like you see on TV) with friends, it’s back to full speed today. I’m heading to San Francisco on Thursday afternoon to attend the Dailybuzz Food festival and visit my childhood neighbor, Christian. It’ll be my first trip to San Fran and I’ll be making a stop to Sonoma for a harvest party on Saturday. I’m beyond excited, but the short week means I’ve got plenty of preparation to do so I don’t fall behind in all other aspects of my life—work and blog included. On that note, I’d be more than happy to feature some guest posts during my upcoming trips. Just let me know if you’d like to do so!
Today I have a fun and very seasonal tutorial to share with you all. Pumpkin everything is popping up in the blog-o-sphere. Here are some I can’t wait to try: Pumpkin thyme mac and cheese, pumpkin granola bars, and who could resist a little pumpkin spice puppy chow!?
Last year I didn’t catch the pumpkin craze until it was nearly Thanksgiving, which posed a bit of a problem when I went to the grocery store in search of some canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. I was too late and had to trek to two or three grocery stores before I finally located a few cans of the highly sought after stuff.
Had I known that I could easily make my own pumpkin puree, I might have actually saved myself some time. Plus, homemade is always better. Sure, canned is convenient if you can find it right away, but there’s something really satisfying about making your recipes with the fresh stuff.
One thing to note about making your own pumpkin puree: You want to use what they call sugar pumpkins (also known as pie pumpkins). Sugar pumpkins are not your average jack-o-lantern pumpkins—sugar pumpkins have a sweeter, less stringy flesh that’s ideal for cooking.
For maximum freshness, choose pumpkins that are deep orange and free of soft spots or cracked skin.
To prepare these guys for roasting, first use a sharp knife to cut the stem off. It’s much easier to cut the pumpkin in half without having to go through the super tough stem and the flat surface you create makes it easy to anchor your pumpkin on the cutting board (trust me, you don’t want your pumpkin to be slipping and sliding while you’re trying to cut it, that’s a recipe for disaster!).
I made some heavenly pumpkin bread with this puree for a sponsored post that, unfortunately, won’t be live until November 1. Sorry to leave you hanging, but I’ll be back tomorrow with another delicious fall recipe to distract you.
Recipe by Brigitt
- 1 small sugar pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F. Wash pumpkin, cut off stem, cut pumpkin in half, and remove seeds (reserve seeds for roasting, if desired).
- Brush pumpkin halves with olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for approximately 1 hour, until tender and easily pierced with a fork (cooking time may vary up to a half hour depending on the size of your pumpkin, so keep an eye on it!).
- Let pumpkin cool. Using a metal spoon, scrape out flesh and puree in a food processor or blender (you may also mash by hand, but this may give you a consistency that is not quite as smooth).
- Use puree as an even substitute for canned pumpkin puree.