Friday, October 22, 2010

It's pumpkin time Charlie Brown............

I love autumn. The cool, crisp nights...the beautiful colors as the leaves change. All the awesome hooror movies counting down the nights until Halloween, and of course pumpkins. Ever since I was a little girl, going pumpkin picking was a big family to-do. And I still love going out to the farms and selecting my beautiful orange globe of pumpkiny-delight. You can find me in the kitchen making pumpkin bread, pumpkin waffles, putting pumpkin in to my oatmeal. I <3 love <3 pumpkin and all the things you can do with them. Witht hat being said...I am going to share two recipes with you. (1) is to kick off a lovely autumn meal with Guinness Beef Stew. The (2) recipe is a delicious pumpkin bread which takes practically no time to put together and bake. Bon appetite mon amie's!

  1. Low-Fat Pumpkin Bread


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or raisins (optional)


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce and egg substitute; mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts or raisins if desired. Pour into two 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

2.     Guinness Beef Stew Recipe

  • 2 pounds beef chuck steak, boneless and well trimmed, cut into 1 inch cubes (you can substitute mutton if you prefer)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 cup quartered mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour

  • Pinch of crushed thyme

  • Pinch (or two) of crushed cayenne

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • 1 cup Guinness beer

  • 1 cup beef stock

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • 2 cups chopped carrots

  • 2 cups chopped potatoes

  • Chopped parsley for garnish

  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

  • Heat the oil in a wide skillet or saute pan that has a tight fitting cover until hot

  • Add the beef and brown well, stirring occasionally to brown all sides (turn the heat down if necessary so meat does not burn)

  • Brown meat in several small batches to avoid over-crowding the pan

  • Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook until onion is slightly browned

  • Combine the flour, thyme, black pepper and cayenne in a bowl and then add to the beef, stirring to make a roux

  • Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the roux is slightly browned (do NOT burn)

  • Stir in the Guinness and beef stock and bring to a boil, stirring until the sauce thickens and any lumps are cooked out

  • Add the carrots and potatoes, cover the skillet and place in a 325 degree F oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender

  • Correct seasoning, ladle to bowls and garnish with parsley and serve


    1. Are you carving a pumpkin? Hmm? HMMM????

    2. No....I don't think I am going to mar my pumpkin.