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Archive for the ‘fall’ Category

Fall-ing

It’s time.  I had to put another blanket on the bed last week, and I need slippers in the mornings.  It’s fall!  I can now indulge in a few of my cold-weather Southern-California-vaguely-cool-weather obsessions, so I pulled out two of the biggies last night: butternut squash and pumpkin flavored treats.

The first you already know about, but the second is another winner. It’ll probably go in the special occasions pile, but oh, what an occasion. I came home late from work the other night and found a fabulous organic sourdough bread loaf waiting for me on my doorstep.  I suspect one neighbor in particular who works for People’s Co-Op, but I haven’t run into her yet to confirm and thank her. A true friend brings gifts of carbs. Ahh.

Anyway, I already had my toast loaf ready to go, so I decided to repurpose my gift into a decadent pudding, adapted from Epicurious:

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

For the pudding:
2 cups half and half
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (or just forgo the above combination and throw in a bunch of pumpkin pie spice)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
10 cups 1/2-inch cubes sourdough bread

For the sauce:
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream

Whisk half and half, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, spices and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes and transfer mixture to 13×9-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake at 350° until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.

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Doncha just love fall?

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Power Pumpkins

What makes pumpkin carving even more awesome, you might wonder?  Power tools. 

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We stole shamelessly from Extreme Pumpkins, because we were so excited about this new art form, but left with about 20 minutes until sundown. 

Here’s Chris’ pumpkin, complete with wrinkly face:

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Impressive!  And I went for the Extreme Pumpkin cover-girl:

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Argh.  Hungry for pumpkin flesh.  Must.  Eat.  Own.  Kind.

I think that the actual carving pictures are on Chris’ camera, but it was pretty entertaining to watch him with a jigsaw, hacking into these babies. I can’t wait until next year, when hopefully I’ll have success with pumpkins grown from my own garden!

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