Friday, December 5, 2008

Basic Cooking

Well, not much interesting cooking has gone on here since Thanksgiving. I did make pumpkin bars with pumpkin that I extracted with great effort from our Halloween pumpkin. Ree, of Pioneer Woman Cooks, failed me in this one. Her blog post (with pictures so it must be the right way to do it) advised me to bake chunks of my (cleaned) pumpkin in a 350° oven for 45 minutes. I did that and the chunks weren’t even close to done. I baked and baked that pumpkin and finally ended up finishing it up in the microwave. I threw it on a plate and wrapped it in plastic wrap and nuked it for about 8 minutes and it was finally finished. My friend Betty successfully cooked her pie pumpkin in the oven. Smaller pieces and different kind of pumpkin, though. I’m thinking that canned pumpkin is in the stores for a reason. Remind me of that next year – free food is hard for me to resist.

So, I didn’t take pictures of the pumpkin bars – you’ll have to imagine them. My recipe is nothing out of the ordinary but it’s so good that we devoured them in one day. The Compadre brought some to work so that we wouldn’t add too many inches to our middles. Might as well add it to other people’s middles right? The best part of this recipe is the frosting. I could eat it straight. Hmmm, I’ve got enough pumpkin left for three more batches…...

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs

1 cup salad oil

2 c. sugar

1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)

Mix above ingredients in a large bowl. Sift the following and add to above. Stir.

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. soda

½ tsp. cloves

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

½ tsp. nutmeg

Mix well and pour into a greased and floured 12x18 inch pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Frost with Cream Cheese frosting. Will freeze well.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (6 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

¾ stick butter

1 T. cream or milk

1 tsp. vanilla

4 c. powdered sugar

Beat cheese, butter, vanilla and cream together until soft. Add powdered sugar until correct consistency.

I’ve also been diligently working on the recipe book of Aunt Ann’s recipes. My typing speed is getting better and better!! I’ve got about 60 recipes in the book so far. I’m using a cool tool to do it. Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software. I like it! It formats the recipes for me and adds them automagically to the index and even came with instructions for downloading a free pdf maker so that I can bring in a pdf file to the printshop when it’s time to print copies. I’ve printed a prototype and it looks great. Now I just have several hundred!! more recipes to enter and I’ll be done. Recipes are hard to type – a little thing like accuracy is so important.

I did have several people ask me how I make turkey soup with the turkey carcass. I know this won’t help you until you have another reason to cook a turkey but some people have turkey for Christmas too. Anyway my method is pretty simple. I bone the turkey (leave a little bit of meat on the bones) and throw all the bones into a big pot. Fill the pot with hot water from the tap and add onions and sliced celery. I boil this for a while – maybe a couple of hours and then remove the bones to cool on a plate. After they’ve cooled I pull off all the meat on the bones and put it back into the soup pot. Then I add rice and sliced carrots and boil for some more time – maybe another hour or so. Season with salt if needed (Anita didn’t need salt because they brined their turkey) and pepper. This year I added some garlic from my big jar of minced garlic in the fridge and it was good. I’m not giving amounts here because it depends on how big your turkey is and how big your pot of water is. And besides this is one of those recipes where you can really just use what you have. Some people use noodles, some use frozen vegetables, go ahead go crazy and add whatever you want!

I know I need to get going on the holiday baking. Maybe I should have agreed to participate in that cookie exchange after all. But first I really need to get some baby proofing done and some Christmas knitting done. I haven't started panicking yet....

And why does blogger insist on changing fonts on me at random? Grrr.


MNLacer said...

The pumpkin bar recipe looked good up to the 1 can of pumpkin. Then it looks like the wingdings or webdings font.... The rest of the post came through readable for me though!

Amy said...

I love Pioneer Woman, but I have to say I've had mixed results with her recipes. Some really yummy, some really meh.

Miss T said...

I haven't tried any of the Pioneer Woman's recipes yet. I suspect your pumpkin problem may have been because yours was a different variety. Or maybe oven calibration (yours or hers).

I do turkey soup much the same way, except that I can never stand to do it during the holiday season because it's such a big production, so I freeze the carcass and make soup in January or February!