In the Bag: My mini halloween pumpkin puppets

October 31st, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Halloween hadn’t really reached France when I was a kid. That might explain that I never really got so enthusiastic about the whole thing even now that Halloween is taking over Europe. However, as a gourmande, there’s one thing I love about Halloween… 
I love pumpkin in all its edible forms (especially soup!) and thanks to Halloween I can indulge myself in a one month pumpkin cure every october!

Talking about pumpkin, it’s the main theme of Julia’s ‘In the Bag Event’ this month. It’s a long while since I had the occasion to participate, but I definitely cannot pass on this one. Unfortunately, I’m nothing of a pumpkin carver and there will be no scary carved pumpkin in my bag but I’m sure Julia won’t complain with what I made up instead.  

In honour of Julia’s In the Bag event and of those who brought Halloween and its pumpkins to me, I’ve improvised some mini-mini muffins with roasted pumpkin and hazelnuts and tiny little pieces of dried apricots. Now, I’m not sure they will scare many of you, but I doubt you can resist them…

My Halloween Pumpkin Puppets
And let me present you with my not so scary mini halloween pumpkin muffins puppets!

So, what will it be for you: trick or treat…

Happy Halloween to you all, happy pumpkin day!

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Trick or treat flop

October 31st, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Today, just back from work, I settled comfortably in front of my computer with a steaming expresso ready to get blogging when the doorbell started singing… Not expecting anyone. Probably my big friend the doorbell ghost again, I thought  (damn interferences!). But we never know, so I got up and went to the door…

Surprisingly, there was someone at the door this time: a ghost actually, the cutest little dutch ghost I’ve ever seen. Halloween! of course, it’s halloween today… Believe it or not, this was my first trick or treat experience ever. Halloween is far not as popular in Europe as it is in America.  It didn’t even exist in France when I was a child, and has always seemed to me as one purely commercial event that shops are forcing into our lives to fill their pockets while awaiting the christmas season…She was so cute though. I melted. And then I freaked: I had nothing, not a chocolate bar, not one cookie in the house (I have to take drastic measures to combine food blogging and a decent waistline), maybe a mandarine?… she was not tempted… I felt just like Rachel in one of these episodes of Friends, when she rushes to her checkbook when she realises she’s out of treats… What a flop!

I’ve rushed to the shop at the corner in the meantime to get a bag of candy, but my doorbell keeps now desperately silent…

So, to make it up… here’s at least a little pumkin treat, all smooth and velvety, for all the smaller and bigger ghosts who will knock at the door of my blog tonight.


 

pumpkin_cappucino

 

Pumpkin cappuccino
Cappuccino de citrouille

serves 6 (as apetizer*)
prep: 10 min cook: 15 + 20 min

Ingredients:
A small butternut squash (~350g), peeled, seeded and roughly cut in ~0.5 to 1cm thick slices,
1 Tsp olive oil,
1 apple, chopped,
1 shallot, chopped,
1/2 tsp ginger powder (fresh should be great to, but I didnt have any at the time),
3 pods of cardamon
1 knob of butter,
50 cl chicken stock**
15 cl milk,
10 cl liquid cream,
sea salt and pepper to taste
To serve:
Whipped cream or creme fraiche,
Cardamon, crushed.
Preheat the oven at 200 deg C.
Line a baking tray with baking foil. Put the pumpkin slices on the tray, drizzle with the tablespon olive oil and season with salt. Toss gently and bake for about 15 min or until the pumkin flesh soften.
In a pan, warm up the butter on medium fire and add the chopped shallot, ginger and cardamon. When the onion is translucid (~5min), add the apple, pumpkin and cover with the stock. After the first boil, lower the fire and cover. Simmer for 15 min. Leave to cool for 10 min. Remove the cardamon pods. Then, add the milk and cream and blend until smooth.
To serve, warm the pumpkin cream on low fire, and pour in nice glasses or coffee cups, top with a generous lump of whipped cream or creme fraiche and sprinkle with cardamon. Serve immediately.

Cheers!


* Double the proportions, if you wish to serve this cappuccino as a starter.
** If your stock is very concentrated, cut it with water so that it doesn’t overpower the pumpkin.

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