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Recipes made with Fall ingredients in Central Texas

Pumpkin Recipe Round-up

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Pumpkins get a limited window of glory each year. Let’s take the pumpkin past carving and pie with a variety of sweet and savory pumpkin recipes. If you’re using fresh, pick one of the smaller variety. Smaller is better food cooking, you can save the big ones for spooky jack-o’-lanterns.

Stuffed Pumpkin with Cheese, Bacon and Chipotle Chiles, Homesick Texan

Smoky Braised Mexican Pumpkin, Martha Stewart

Roasted Pumpkin with Goat Cheese Frittata and Arugula Salad, Naturally Ella

Borani Kadoo, SF Gate

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Pumpkin Seeds Eight Ways, Rachel Cooks

Beef Curry with Pumpkin, Rasa Malaysia

Pumpkin Quinoa Bowl, Wonky Wonderful

Spicy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sour Cream Sauce, Ambitious Kitchen

Warm Roasted Pumpkin and Cashew Salad, A Fresh Legacy

Sweet & Sour Pumpkin, Blogging Over Thyme

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Pecan, Julia’s Album

Pumpkin Ice Cream, Williams-Sonoma

Pumpkin Carrot Cake, The Baker Mama

Learn roasting basics and more about getting your pumpkin out of its shell on our Pumpkin Pinterest board.

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Eggplant Recipe Round-up

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Green Curry Eggplant


Have you ever stopped to think about the name eggplant? Someone just decided to stick the words “egg” and “plant” together?  Well thanks to Cooking Light, I recently found out that eggplant got its name from the first varieties of its kind, which were white, round, and egg-size. Makes sense, case closed.

On to more important matters, cooking it. Eggplant can be used in an Asian stir-fry, classic Italian dish or even as a meat substitution. It’s pretty easy to find a way to incorporate eggplant into a dish or create a meal around it. Enjoy some of our favorite “plants that used to looks like eggs” recipes.

Eggplant Enchiladas, Kristi’s Farm to Table

Simmering Summer Ratatouille, Kristi’s Farm to Table

Eggplant Stacks, Kristi’s Farm to Table

Moussaka Pasta, Kristi’s Farm to Table

Green Curry Eggplant, Kristi’s Farm to Table

Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Spread, Jo Cooks

Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb Filling, Crumb

Eggplant Pizza, Eat Good 4 Life

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs, Fine Cooking

Eggplant, Peppers, and Shitake with Soy Dressing, Camille’s Kitchen

Layered Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomato Casserole, Food & Wine

Moroccan Pickled Eggplant, Feasting at Home

Crispy Eggplant Fries with Chipotle Aioli, The Science of Eating

Spiced Eggplant and Cucumber Salad, A Couple Cooks

Still hungry? More eggplant recipes on pinterest!



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Hatch Chile Season Madness

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When I smell the aroma of roasting chiles in the grocery store parking lot, I know it’s Hatch chile season.  For a brief period from August to early September these New Mexican chiles make their annual appearance at Texas markets, tempting us with their heat.

Chile roaster in New Mexico

The chiles are typically the size of a poblano (think Hatch chile rellenos) and vary in spiciness from the mild that can be as gentle as a bell pepper or the hot with more punch than a jalapeno.

I usually buy a case to roast and freeze so that I have them through the winter for stews, casseroles and any other dish where I can substitute for another pepper. Two of my favorite recipes were a Hatch chile arancini (risotto balls) that I made for a party and a Hatch chile and onion soup that had a nice kick.

My friend Natanya Anderson at Fete & Feast is a fellow Hatch chile fiend and has a number of great recipes on her blog.  I’m particularly fond of her Green Chile Pork Stew and I really want to try her stuffed squash calabacitas and Hatch green chile cornbread madeleines.

Hatch Green Chile Cornbread Madeleines
photo by Natanya Anderson of Fete & Feast

If you don’t feel up to cooking Central Market and Whole Foods grocery stores both offer Hatch chile specials during the season so don’t be afraid to try something spicy.  I can’t wait to stock up on Central Market’s Hatch chile scones.  Yum!

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Grapefruit and mint sorbet

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I love grapefruit and was so excited when Texas Sweet sent me a half dozen Texas Rio Star grapefruits to cook with.  The challenge was not eating them all plain, peeling them like oranges and devouring the big, tart slices. And, I adore grapefruit juice.  A big glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice is divine in the morning.

As I perused recipes, I was hesitant to apply heat to my beloved prizes.  Then, I remembered seeing a recipe by David Lebovitz for a Grapefruit Campari Sorbet.  The recipe caught my attention because of Lebovitz’s delightful story of finding American grapefruit in the Paris shops.

I opted to skip the Campari so that I could share the sorbet with my nephew who is a devoted fan of citrus ice creams; the kid is nuts for the lemon gelato at Mandola’s Italian Market. To spice up the sorbet a bit, I decided to make a mint simple syrup with some of the bounty from my prolific mint plant. The result was a refreshing dessert with a hint of sweetness and enough tartness to tickle your tongue.  If you prefer sweeter desserts, increase the amount of simple syrup, adding it slowly and tasting as you go until you find the right balance.

As Texas’ citrus season draws to a close, consider freezing up a batch so that you can enjoy grapefruit well into the summer.

Photo by Sandra Ramos

Photo by Sandra Ramos

Grapefruit and mint sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/8 of cup of fresh mint leaves (do not chop the leaves unless you want pieces of mint in the ice cream)
2 cups of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

A few days in advance, place the cooler of your ice cream machine in the freezer to ensure that it is good and cold.

Combine the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a gentle boil.  Stir to combine the sugar and water, add the mint and lower the heat.  Simmer until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

Strain the simple syrup to remove the mint leaves.  (I had to do this twice.)

Combine the simple syrup and grapefruit juice.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely.

Place the grapefruit mixture in the cooler of your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for your equipment to whip the mixture.  Place in the freezer and allow to freeze through.


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