white pumpkin pie

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When I bought this perfect white pumpkin with this lovely long stem, I had big dreams to carve it into a jack-o-lantern. But somehow, whenever I start to carve pumpkins, I lose interest, along with all desire to be creative. It’s sticky, the knives are difficult to wield, and I can never make them as beautiful as what I see in a Martha Stewart magazine.

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After this one had narrowly escaped the carving knife, and was sitting on my counter for a couple of weeks, I decided it was time to do something with it. It seemed like a good idea to make it into a pie. Though the pumpkin puree itself was light—it looked exactly like applesauce—the color of the pie did not turn out as white as I had envisioned, once baked. It did look paler than a traditional pumpkin pie, though. And, since the white pumpkin is milder in flavor, I used slightly different spices than usual, and used cream as opposed to evaporated milk to make this pie a little more sophisticated.

chicken soup with heart-shaped carrots

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Once, when I was in high school, my brother’s girlfriend got sick. He made a pot of chicken soup for her and cut the carrots into little butterflies. Later, she made him some soup as well, but cut the carrots into little hearts. I pretty much thought they were geniuses, and have copied their idea here and there over the years.

Today, my kids and I were all sick, and I knew we needed something a little extra special, so I made their chicken soup with the heart shaped carrots. Before you panic, there is a trick to making them. I’m going to blog à la Pioneer Woman for a minute, and show you how to do it, step by step.

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pumpkin stuffed french toast

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I had some mascarpone in the fridge, and I wanted to make something really special out of it. Something that would say fall. My mind got to work, and I decided something pumpkiny and breakfasty would be the right way to go. So I came up with this. The longer name for this is Almond-Crusted Pumpkin Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast. That’s what I announced when I made it last Saturday morning.

guacamole in 10 seconds

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I recently received an email asking if I wanted to try a jar of Hot Cilantro Chutney from Bollywood Chutneys. When it came, I put it on the shelf, promising myself to get it out when I made something Indian. But then, on a Sunday afternoon, we had some avocados to use up, some corn chips, and a lime. I knew I’d be dreaming about guacamole into the night if I didn’t make some right then, but we were out of fresh cilantro. I then remembered the cilantro chutney, and within a couple of minutes, we had a perfect guacamole. Even my daughter liked it.

Jarred cilantro is now my new favorite invention. Whenever I buy cilantro fresh, I only use a sprig or two for one recipe, and then have to throw the rest away after it turns into liquid in my fridge. Then surely, a day later, I need to buy another bunch of it for another recipe. The brilliance of this chutney is that it even has hot chilies added in, so I don’t even need to try to find a wilted jalapeño at the bottom of the vegetable drawer.