Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Cake Roll

Pumpkin Roll is a big thing here in Pennsylvania. It's everywhere this time of year. It's a spongy pumpkin sheet cake, rolled up around a cream cheese filling. I decided to try it last weekend because I felt inspired and I had all the ingredients available. It turned out surprisingly well and didn't fall apart! I was pretty proud of that. I did have some feelings though: the spices just weren't right, and the nuts did not belong at ALL. I had asked my gentleman prior to baking it if he wanted me to add nuts, and even though he'd never seen a pumpkin roll with nuts, he said we should try it out. Well, don't. Why mess with a good thing? It isn't that the nuts didn't taste good. They were just really odd and out of place. I'd love to try making another pumpkin roll but it will need to be a different recipe.


Pumpkin Cake Roll
Better Homes & Gardens

3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with waxed paper or parchment paper; grease paper. Set pan aside. In a small bowl stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs with an electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon color. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. Beat in flour mixture on low to medium speed just until combined. Spread batter evenly in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Bake about 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately loosen edges of cake from pan and turn cake out onto a clean kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove waxed paper. Roll towel and cake into a spiral, starting from a short side of the cake. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.

Unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cake with filling to within 1 inch of the edges. Roll up cake; trim ends. Cover and chill for 2 to 48 hours.

Yield: 8 servings

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sweet Potato Bowl with Chimichurri

This week, I again felt inspired to make myself dinner. This didn't take as long as I'd expected it to, which was nice. It was a good way to use up the last of my parsley from the garden (SO SAD). The chimichurri was a little strong, but that's likely my own fault. And my sad attempt to toast the quinoa did result in it being stuck to the pan, but it was still edible and tasty. Otherwise this was a very simple, yummy meal.


Sweet Potato Bowl with Chimichurri
Vegetarian Times (Still one of my favorite magazines!)

Chimichurri has its roots in Argentina, where it is usually slathered over grilled meat. Here, it lends spicy, garlicky goodness to a hearty bowl of sweet potatoes and quinoa.

2 large sweet potatoes, finely diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 small ripe avocados, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups loosely packed torn fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

To make Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa: Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss sweet potatoes with oil on large baking sheet, and spread in single layer. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and roast 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft, stirring halfway through.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook
15 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt, if desired.

To make Chimichurri: Warm oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Blend parsley, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes in food processor until coarsely chopped. Pour in warm oil, and pulse quickly until blended.

Divide sweet potatoes and quinoa among 4 bowls. Top each serving with 3 Tbs. Chimichurri, and garnish with sliced avocado, if using. Drizzle with extra Chimichurri, if desired.

Servings: 4

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Tacos

I actually planned and put forethought into making dinner for myself last night. Hooray! I made a couple of changes: I ignored the lime crema and subbed in some feta, because that's what I had available. I kind of regret that decision because it needed something saucier to make it less dry. I also used flour tortillas instead of corn because I dislike corn tortillas. These were okay but they weren't the greatest thing I've ever made. It was a nice change for taco filling, though.


Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Tacos
Two Peas & Their Pod

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets
Corn tortillas
1 cup finely chopped red cabbage
1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
1 large avocado, diced
Chopped-up cilantro

For the Lime Crema
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, lime juice, olive oil, and water. Stir in chickpeas and cauliflower florets. Place seasoned chickpeas and cauliflower on a greased baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally during cooking, until chickpeas are slightly crispy and cauliflower is tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

To make the lime crema, place the Greek yogurt or sour cream in a small bowl. Add fresh lime juice and cilantro. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Take a corn tortilla and place roasted cauliflower and chickpeas on top. Top with red cabbage, jalapeño slices, avocado, and cilantro. Drizzle lime crema over the tacos and serve!

Servings: 4