Paleo Pumpkin Pudding

While browsing the Paleo in Portland blog, I came across this tempting butternut squash pudding, which she, in turn, had adapted from paleOMG’s Sugar Detox Carrot Cake Pudding.

Having neither carrots nor butternut squash on hand, I decided to take it up another notch and make pumpkin pudding. This recipe is adapted from both Paleo in Portland and paleOMG.

15 oz. puréed pumpkin (1 can) – or use fresh!
2 Tbsp coconut milk
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp honey (optional*)

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and purée to desired smoothness. For a silkier finish, drizzle in more coconut milk, a tiny bit at a time.

That’s it! Enjoy!

Serves 2-4.

Of course, I made this non-paleo by adding whipped cream to the top! But it’s pretty wonderful on its own, too. If I’d had any grated coconut, I would’ve used it.

*I buy local, raw honey from Round Rock at the Austin Farmer’s Market.

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Three days of food!

For the holiday weekend, my parents decided to come visit.  So it was another long weekend of celebratory food.  Here is some of what we’ve enjoyed here in sunny, beautiful Austin.

Happy hour!  Started the weekend early at 4:00pm at Freddie’s.

Crème brûlée at the Driskill ($6 – and a ridiculous $3 during happy hour).

Breakfast tacos from Arturo’s (now open again for Saturday breakfast, 9:00am – 1:00pm!).

Milanos dipped in coffee!

My new favorite allergy medicine: the Tartufo cocktail at Sagra (regular $10, $8 during happy hour).  Waterloo Gin (from Treaty Oak Distilling Co.), honey, and lemon.

Gin and tonic, expertly mixed by one of my favorite bartenders in Austin, Dred at Clay Pit.

One of the specialties of the house at Clay Pit: Khuroos-E-Tursh.  Khuroos-E-Tursh ($15.00).  Medallions of chicken-breast stuffed with seasoned spinach, mushrooms, onions & cheese, simmered in a rich cashew-almond cream sauce.  Possibly one of my all-time favorite dishes.

Goan Yellow Curry with Shrimp ($15).

Perfect basmati rice.

Aloo Ghobi: braised cauliflower and potato curry  ($10).

Threadgill’s special: Shiner-braised pot roast served over mashed potatoes, with a side of black-eyed peas and macaroni and cheese ($12.95).

Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Easter, and Happy Spring!

Skillet Paella at Joe’s Crab Shack on Town Lake: clams, shrimp, mussels, scallops, and sausage simmered in a tomato basil sauce served over rice and topped with crispy calamari.

Salmon Orleans, topped with a creamy Cajun sauce and crawfish, shrimp, and andouille sausage. Served on a bed of dirty rice. This was awesome.

Ragin’ Cajun Steam Pot: Dungeness crab, Queen crab, shrimp, andouille sausage, and corn on the cob.

Bon Bons by Serena

Y’all know I love local products, smart design, and delicious treats. This one’s a three-fer!

Austinite (via New York City and Tyler, Texas) Serena Hicks is cranking out the bon bons! Last night I had the opportunity to sample her delicious creations at the Austin Social Affair at the Rattle Inn. Recently featured in the Austin American-Statesman, Bon Bons by Serena is generating a lot of well-deserved buzz.  If you’re still looking for a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that special foodie in your life, look no further!

Serena currently offers four unique and addictive bon bons:

The Matriarch is inspired by Serena’s 84-year-old grandmother, and they’re made using her original, vintage recipe! Described as a “classic vanilla shortbread cookie hand stuffed with a maraschino cherry, hand dipped in a vanilla frosting,” this sweet treat is my favorite in the line. The cherry’s bright flavor and smooth texture is a nice complement to the buttery exterior.

The Susie Q is named after Serena’s mother and incorporates ingredients from her favorite cocktail: brown sugar and dried apricot, hand dipped in a 100% Arabic coffee bean liqueur frosting and topped with an espresso bean!

The boy’s favorite was The Texas Treat, a basic vanilla shortbread bon bon containing a Texas pecan, then hand dipped in Texas whiskey and chocolate frosting. His favorite part? Serena uses Balcones Baby Blue Whisky, homegrown in Waco!

Finally, the Brown Sugar Kiss bon bon is a brown sugar confection with a kiss of chocolate on the inside and outside! The dough is wrapped around semi-sweet chocolate morsels, hand dipped in a semi-sweet chocolate sauce, and then finished with a banana chip. Fancy!

You can order bon bons in adorable boxes of four or luxurious boxes of twelve on the Bon Bons by Serena web site–she even delivers! These little treats are a great gift; the expert design and packaging makes the most of a great product and inspires a real sense of occasion. Serena also does catering.

And be sure to check out Serena’s blog for all the latest from the bon bon curator! This is a local food business to watch.

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Eric’s Pumpkin Roll

As previously mentioned, Eric has successfully grown some pumpkins in our allotment garden. We’ve been obsessively researching pumpkin recipes for a few weeks in anticipation (I really want to make a curried pumpkin soup!).

Our homegrown pumpkins are wonderful for cooking, because they are or a variety meant for cooking. Most of the pumpkins you see at the store are grown for decoration. Their pulp is therefore stringy and flavorless. I’m sure you’ve encountered this nastiness if you’ve ever carved a jack-o-lantern. However, our tiny handful of seeds have matured into an overflowing plot of medium-sized pumpkins containing soft, flavorful flesh.

We’re using the whole pumpkin, too.  In addition to making delectable treats such as this pumpkin roll, we’re composting the shells and stems, and Eric’s also making his own home-baked pumpkin seed snacks, with a generous dusting of Old Bay!

Though this pumpkin roll is properly more of a dessert, owing to its cream cheese icing and overall sweetness, we ate it for breakfast. It’s especially tasty with coffee.

Eric’s Pumpkin Roll

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 medium-sized pumpkin (~1 cup of flesh)
2 Tbsp cinnamon (powdered)
1 Tbsp nutmeg (powdered)
3 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

plus extra butter and flour for greasing

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease and flour a standard size cookie sheet.

2.  In a blender, purée the pumpkin to a smooth consistency.  This may require scraping down the sides of the blender a couple of times.  Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, and half the cinnamon. Stir in the puréed pumpkin, eggs, and lemon juice.

4. Pour mixture onto the cookie sheet, making sure to spread evenly, and bake for 15 minutes.

5. On a clean counter top (or cutting board), sprinkle the confectioner’s sugar.  Pour the pumpkin mixture onto the surface.  Carefully roll up the pumpkin mix, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, cooling.

6. Meanwhile, you can prepare the icing.  In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and sugar.  I recommend using an electric hand mixer.

7. Once the pumpkin is cool, unroll it on the counter.   Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon over the entire surface.  Then carefully spoon the icing onto it, and spread it out evenly.

8. Re-roll the mixture and secure it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the roll for at least a couple of hours, to solidify.

9. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and cut carefully into slices, then serve immediately.

The pumpkin roll should be replaced in plastic wrap after serving, and will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.  It also freezes well; wrap securely in foil and use within a couple of months for best results.