Yes! It’s another pumpkin recipe and one that isn’t doused in sugar, cinnamon and frosting! I’m trying new things with pumpkin, and I know that stuffing a pumpkin isn’t all that original but this beautiful, heirloom Musquée de Provence pumpkin is not just another pumpkin.
Last year, I promised myself that I would try a new pumpkin every week. I think I got through 2 ? Continue reading →
Yes, today is the obligatory pumpkin post that every self respecting blogger must publish every autumn.
As the wind picks up and the days are more blustery; ripping the last remaining leaves off the trees and forming swirling, golden whirlpools on the ground, one might think these are the signs that autumn has arrived. No. The signs of autumn are the pumpkin recipes on websites, the horrible PSL at Starbucks and Pinterest. Continue reading →
My posting schedule is going haywire. My good intentions, to post weekly at my scheduled time, are going awry and the universe is out to get me. I am not as organised as some of my wonderful blogger friends who always have two or three posts scheduled in advance. I usually fly by the seat of my pants! Most of the times I don’t even know what I’m posting till I sit down to write! You’re all probably wondering what I’m doing writing a blog at all with this level of disorganisation! In my defence, I’m usually not like this. I do have at least a few posts ready to go normally, but these days, nothing is normal.
I was all ready to write my post on Monday night and publish Tuesday and what happens? I catch a bloody cold. My head’s full of snot, my ears are blocked, my throat hurts, my ears are watery, my nose is red and raw, and my head is spinning in Exorcist proportions. If that’s not all, it’s been snowing since yesterday and it’s 3F/-16C outside with road conditions so slick, that I pretty much skated to my physical therapy appointment this morning.
Anyway, though I am seeing double, I will get this post out.
Anyone who reads this blog regularly, will know that I have a love-hate relationship with pumpkin. But let it be known that I am a team player and will willingly and unselfishly, cook and bake with pumpkin solely for others 🙂
Having said that, damn, these Pumpkin Doughnuts were delicious and especially with the salted caramel sauce and the chopped pistachios. Somehow, all those flavours just blended perfectly.
I posted these because they got such rave reviews from adults and children alike. I wanted to make sure to taste a little bit so I broke off a tiny piece. I ended up eating two whole ones. Pumpkin doughnuts aren’t anything new, and they’ve been done before but I wanted to use my new pans, and this allowed me to do something seasonal for my cooking demo last Saturday. I am so glad I did! These will be made again.
To me, a doughnut is not a doughnut unless it’s fried. However, I loathe frying and I didn’t want to fry in the showroom; not the best air flow there. I have mixed feelings on cake doughnuts because to me they are just….a muffin….with a hole….
BUT, team player and all…here are my baked, pumpkin muffins, I mean doughnuts. In time for Thanksgiving breakfast or even dessert.
So, I have to admit that I’m having a hard time venturing back into the kitchen. My inspiration and motivation seem to be running a bit low and it’s hard to get going. Actually, the inspiration is present and alive, but it doesn’t seem to be trickling down to the feet or arms so that it can be put into action. There are a lot of ideas knocking about in the old noggin but nothing is materialising.
I fear I may have burnt myself out over the summer. I really hope not because I keep going to the farm stand and buying bag loads of organic goodies and I need to utilise them creatively. Lately, dinner has been a last minute ditch effort and unfortunately, quite a bit of take away. It will not do. Thankfully, I’ve had a few recipes to share from over the summer and that has been my saving grace. However, after this one, I’m going to be up the creek without a paddle!
I’m hoping to get my mojo back soon so I can get back into the groove of enjoying the cooking and baking. I really want to because the temperature is falling and the days are getting cooler. The colours of autumn are very visible and I am yearning to turn up the oven and bake away. The other day I was so desperate to smell “autumn”, I baked up a batch of cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon, apples, brown sugar, vanilla and butter are all reminiscent of autumn and cool weather to me. They remind me of cosy, lazy weekends on the sofa with a cup of coffee and a good book, or even a leisurely walk on the trails, treading upon the golden carpet of fallen leaves with the blustery autumn wind whipping up around you. Fall is my favourite season and so, the fact that I have no motivation is just about killing me.
Until I get going, here is a fresh fruit tart, a bit summery I know, but you can change out the berries or it’s quite perfect for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere. This was the dessert that I served at the Moroccan Dinner. The filling is an orange blossom water scented mascarpone and heavy cream filling and the crust is a semi cookie crust with fragrant star anise. A drizzle of slightly warmed pomegranate jelly over the top to quell any rogue sour fruit rounds out the tart. This Mascarpone Cream Fruit Tart was quite the hit. I didn’t manage to get any photos of a tart slice because by the time dessert time rolled around, I had cleaned the kitchen, packed up my stuff and was ready to call it a night.
The topping for this tart are endless and you can easily substitute autumn fruit in place of the berries. The berries, however, make an absolutely beautiful tart.
I wanted to thank everyone who weighed in on the party etiquette question. I’m glad to see that all my blogger friends are well versed in dinner party etiquettes and also feel strongly about upholding them. It was also nice to know that I’m not the only one battling inconsiderate guests at times! I so want to invite you all to my place! I know I will have a well organised party with lots of hostess gifts and lovely thank you notes, emails and texts after!
So, here’s another question, this time on blog visiting, commenting and comment answering etiquette. I will say that I do fail miserably here, but definitely not on purpose. I write one post a week, some write three a week. There is no way I can visit and read all three posts. So, I’ll visit and read one or maybe two. But that’s impossible when you have 40+ blogs to read!
If I get a comment from a new blogger, I will visit their site at least once and comment and check out their site. If I like what I see and if we “connect”, I’ll follow them. I try very hard to answer all the comments on my blog but sometimes I just cannot get to all of them. Is that wrong? Do y’all get upset??
Your turn, what are the blog etiquettes according to you?
Ooooh, a third new post, I must really be back! To be honest, with the hectic summer I had with all that cooking in the hot sun, most of it done during Ramadan when I was fasting, this feels so good. It is therapeutic; just the action of typing out a sentence or two, or editing a photo whilst listening to music, the cooking’s a bit chaotic but for the most part, it’s been wonderful to get back to blogging and catching up with old friends.
I know I have been a bit erratic visiting everyone but I promise, I’m coming! I have finished my events for the year, I think and am looking forward to concentrating on my website, visiting all of you and maybe throwing a party or two.
Today’s post is not so much about the recipe, though the Herb Grilled Chicken is pretty delicious and became quite the hit this summer, it’s more about the experiences and adventures I had this summer.
One such adventure was had last week at a metal workshop where they work with….metal. I should say, not just work, but design and create, the most amazing things with metal.
I was, for lack of a better word, gobsmacked, at their workshop, their products and the great people who worked there. Since this was an evening event for a design association, they had transformed their big, old metal shed into the most graceful, rustic venue for the dinner/meeting. The textures, colours and ‘vibe’ were eclectic, artistic and so original.
The huge metal workshop tables were covered with colourful, floral prints, and while metal cutting and fabricating tools hung on the underside, vibrant, yellow sunflowers adorned the top side. The whole cold metal, warm fabrics, sunny flowers and the earthy, rustic feel, played so well together and worked beautifully.
As much as I loved the whole atmosphere, I loved their creations even more. So much talent and passion in this place and it can be seen by the way they talk about what they do. Raw Urth is located in Fort Collins and they basically design anything with metal. They are local artisans and if you are looking for something that’s unique, different and custom made, then you need to check them out.
Why is it that in this day and age, the craftsmen and the artisans are often overlooked? The ones who produce works of art, one of a kind pieces with so much passion that it can be seen in every stroke of their paint brush, every nail or every carved line; in a slice of artisanal bread or a cup of perfectly, crafted coffee. Even modern technology has its artists because I see beauty in a sleek, elegantly designed Aston Martin, or a shiny, gleaming Harley thundering off in the distance (I’m still working on getting mine, I figured I’d fix my knees first so I could ride the dang thing). My heart skips a beat when I see beautifully, crafted audio speakers or huge, powerful amplifiers, that fill the room with such a precise and soul wrenching sound. All these designs and creations require a desire for perfection. But in all this modernity, we seem to have forgotten the true art of creating and crafting. It’s so much easier and cheaper to go to IKEA or order from Amazon or walk into a Starbucks. And yet, thankfully, we still have these souls who take the time to create, carve and cultivate.
Let me tell you how excited I was to see a real anvil!
I have a good friend, who I don’t see very often and talk with even less, but we’re friends nevertheless, and on one rare occasion where we had the opportunity to converse, he showed me what he can do. What he can do, and do very well, I might add, is work with wood. He showed me photos of his past jobs: cabinetry and wood work. It made what I do seem incredibly insignificant! I just throw a bunch of ingredients together and hope for the best but here he was, all artisanal and cool, I was, I am, in awe. I knew he did this on the side but I didn’t know he was this brilliant.
custom metal vent hoods
I noticed something in my conversation with him that day, and I know this is true of anyone who loves what they do, the passion with which he spoke when he was telling me about the jobs. The ones who create the most beauty are the ones who put all of themselves into it; they are passionate, they are perfectionists and they are principled. I’d like to think I have passion, and I know I’m a perfectionist, but I’m a bit dodgy with the whole principles thing at times 🙂
So, what do you think? Are food bloggers artisans? Are we special in some way?
So, moving on to the recipe, the marinade and the sauce for this chicken is very much like a chimichurri and a Moroccan chermoula. I kind of didn’t stick to any hard and fast rule and mixed and matched so I didn’t want to call it either but it is inspired by them both.
The chicken was marinated in the sauce for about an hour and then grilled and served with more sauce on the side. I know it tastes good because everyone told me so. And it does, it’s quite excellent.