Monday, March 1, 2010

Spicy Pumpkin Bars

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 large organic egg
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Turn up the heat just a bit and stir until mixture is hot and starting to bubble. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Let cool until you can comfortably test it with your finger.

Add vanilla, baking powder, salt and spices. Beat well. Add egg, beating until smooth and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin, flour, raisins and dried cranberries, mixing thoroughly. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake the bars for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center reveals moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

I ummed and aahed for ages with this recipe, because I have never made a strudel topping I wanted to try it but I diod n not want a dry cupcake. Apart from it creating a mound of washing up the recipe turned out just great


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon,
smidgen of allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large organic eggs
1 1/3 cups freshly roasted pumpkin
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
Cream cheese topping
1 x 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 large organic egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
3 tablespoons mucavado sugar

Streusel topping

4 1/2 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the centreand gradually incorporate eggs, mashed pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Fill cups with pumpkin mixture to about a third full , add a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture and top with a little more cupcake mixture. Sprinkle on the streusel topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth. Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans.Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pumpkin Almond Butter

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
Blend ingredients until smooth.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beef and Butternut Squash Curry

Beef and butternut squash curry is the ultimate comfort food for cold Winter waether and the perfect foil for snow in London.


2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 sweet yellow onion, sliced thinly
kosher salt
2 lbs. stewing beef,
2 branches of curry leaves (about 30 small leaves)
Thumb of fresh ginger, sliced
3 cloves whole garlic, peeled
1 13.5 oz. can coconut cream
2 cups water
2 teaspoons tumeric
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate


Heat the oil in a laerge pan, add the sliced onions and cook until softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the curry leaves and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season the meat lightly with salt. Working in two batches, add the meat to the pot with the curry leaves, and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the squash, to the pot.

Bring the ingredients to a boil on high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer partially covered, stirring occassionally for three hours. Then, add the squash to the pot, stirring the pieces in with the sauce and cook for ten minutes until tender.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I make cookies often and blog about them on my cookie blog, but this cookie has to be here and I have to say it is one of my favourites.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/3 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
good pinch of all spice,
2 sticks)unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
1 large organic egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon and brown sugar for sprinkling on top of the dough before cooking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a bowl. Cream butter, honey and sugars in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy about three minutes. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla - mix well.
Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Drop the cookie dough onto baking sheets with a tables`poonspoon. Bake for fourteen minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a couple minutes and then transfer to wire cooling rack.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Curried Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup.

A cold and wet January in London calls for something that is tasty and heart warming and this soup ticks all the correct boxes. Not only is the soup tasty, but it is ready and on the table in about twenty five minutes, so it is still very do-able after a hard day at work.


1 butternut squash peeled and diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of Thai green curry paste
1 can of coconut milk
5 cups of chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
4 chicken breasts thinly sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
sprinkle of sea salt

Fried leeks
raw scallion or spring onion

Heat the oil in a large heavy pan and sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger in the oil for about five minutes. Add the curry paste and stir well in. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, chili sauce, squash, and stir again . Bring everything to a boil, and simmer for about fifteen minutes until the squash is al dente. Add the chicken, sugar, and salt and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the pumpkin done. Taste to see that it has sweet, tart and spicy balance, top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges dipped in salt.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chilli With Pumpkin

I desperately wanted to eat chilli this weekend and when I looked the only beans I had were chickpeas, sooooooooooo as I did not fancy the chilli chick pea combination, plan B came about. Surprisingly enough the pumkin was delicious with chilli, so much so I think I will add it anyway the next time I make it. Although the chilli is technically ready when it is cooked it tastes better the next day, it improves with keeping and is one of the few dishes that develop a depth of flavour in the freezer.

4 dried ancho chiles
3 oz. bacon, diced
3/4 pounds onion, chopped
1 kilo of stewing beef cubed
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
10 Ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bottle dark beer such as Guinness
4 fresh chillis
2 large handfuls finely chopped fresh cilantro or coriander leaves
1 peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash

cilantro leaves
chopped red onion
diced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
warm tortillas


Place chilies in medium bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to completely cover. Soak until chilies soften, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sauté the bacon until it begins to brown, then add onions, reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Place the beef in a bag with seasoned flour and toss to coat. Drain chilies, reserving soaking liquid and blend them. Add all the ingredients to the pot except the squash and the fresh coriander. Cook for a few hours on a simmer until tender. Add the squash for the last ten minutes of cooking time and when it is ready add the coriander leaves.