Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pumpkin Milk For Coffee and Cocktails! And Link for My Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe.

Dear Folks,

When fall starts to beckon and all the pumpkin-spiced goodies show up in stores and Starbucks, I drop my 'tropical' mentality and go looking for ways to use pumpkin in recipes.

And I confess I LOVE pumpkin lattes.  But I don't love the chemical concoctions companies like Starbucks use to make the flavor (they announced this year they would use real pumpkin, but they still are using a laboratory experiment to flavor the coffees).

So of course I went looking for homemade versions and I found two which were the basis for my version -- FoodNetwork and Libby's both had okay sounding recipes but they were not good enough and they also were designed to make 1 or 2 coffees at a time calling for hot coffee immediately.  I wanted to have a batch of pumpkin milk on hand.

My Pumpkin Milk For Drinks
This makes 1 cup (I make up big batches based on how many serving sizes are in a small can of pumpkin puree and adjust the other ingredients).

2/3 cup milk (I use whole milk, but you can use any milk product you prefer)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree* - make sure it is the 100% kind and not pumpkin-pie filling which has other things added
2-4 teaspoons of sugar (or any sweetener you prefer - I usually use 3 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (go ahead and play around with PP spice combinations that equal 1/4 teaspoon - ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon are the usual components)
Optional:  Whipped Cream

Blend all ingredients except whipped cream well.  Store in the refrigerator and use as desired.

*I was delighted when Fry's / Kroger came out with an organic pumpkin puree under their Simple Truth line - I stock up and ran out with my first batch of Pumpkin Milk this fall before Frys restocked - then stocked up again!

Pumpkin Milk Punch
Again, this makes 1 cup but can easily be multiplied.  I would freeze some of the blended milks to make an "ice" if you want to make up a punch bowl and keep it cold.

Non-Alcoholic version would be enjoyed by children - it tastes a lot like a slice of pumpkin pie in liquid form. Go ahead and top with whipped cream :-)

So, my Deane rarely drinks but likes a bit of brandy in an eggnog during the holiday time so I suggested a Pumpkin Milk Punch and he loved it.

1/4 cup of Pumpkin Milk
3/4 cup of regular milk
A jigger +/- of brandy or other similar liquor to taste
Optional:  Whipped Cream

Stir well and enjoy.

Some other uses for the pumpkin milk would be a pudding (I need to try this, just sounds good to my mind), any baking where milk is an ingredient and the flavor would be complimentary, or maybe try a bit in a homemade hot cocoa.

. . .

Need a Last Minute Entree for Vegetarian or Vegan meals?  How about a stuffed pumpkin!  This is a fun entree or side dish and makes a great presentation at the table.

The recipe is from my cookbook "101+ Recipes From The Herb Lady" at Amazon. or My Publisher

Stuffed Pumpkin

Have a wonderful, peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Side Dish - Or Any Holiday - Braised Celery with Cranberries

Dear Folks,

This is from my cookbook "101+ Recipes From The Herb Lady"

While researching and experimenting with herbs, spices and loads of delicious ingredients for my cookbook, one vegetable, celery, stood out for its "lack" of use as a vegetable.  It had become demoted to a condiment - a use which while great does not keep it at a more flexible use, in my opinion.

In time for the holidays at the time of my writing to book, I made this dish and I loved it.


Braised Celery with Cranberries

        Celery has been forgotten as a vegetable by itself, replaced almost entirely for its "aromatic" qualities in mixtures. The sweeter "hearts" and tender center leaves give this vegetable another aspect. Save the tougher outer stalks and leaves for your soups and "aromatic" work.
        Celery, both vegetable and seed, has long been used as a "substitute" for salt, most likely in part because it has naturally occurring sodium. Celery is also a diuretic and a possible hepatic (liver and digestive aid).

2    cups cut-up celery (more attractive if sliced on angle)
2    tablespoons tender celery leaves for garnish
1    teaspoon olive oil
2-3    tablespoons water
1/2    cup whole fresh cranberries
1/4    cup dried cranberries  
1    teaspoon Bell’s Seasoning Or my PoultryPlusPB**
        Heat oil and add seasoning, mix well, add celery, whole cranberries and 2 tablespoons of water, stir and simmer covered for 25-30 minutes until tender. Whole cranberries will pop in first 5 minutes. Stir often. Add additional water if needed. Stir in dried cranberries last 10 minutes of cooking. Garnish with celery leaves.

**(Right now my blend is not available but I'm considering bringing it back.)

DID YOU KNOW I created my cookbook to feature different herbs and spices, some familiar and some 'exotic' for each of their great flavors, uses and health benefits.

Each herb or spice is discussed with some history and then the recipes using it.



Barnes & Noble 

My Publisher - Print Edition

My Publisher - ePub or PDF

Have a Wonderful, Save and Happy Thanksgiving

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe in the upper side bar link, to get all my posts!

Disclaimer: Clicking on links on this blog may earn me a small commission if you purchase something. Your price does not change.