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Me me me

29 May

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This is a totally selfish acting post. I figure I gave you five freakin’ delicious pumpkin recipes last week, and that should tide you over nicely.
So the acting news is that I’m on the telly this Friday the 31st on the Chiller Network. It’s an anthology of five short films called “Chilling Visions: the 5 Senses of Fear” and I am in the short called “Listen My Children”. It is going I air a few times this Friday starting at 9pm eastern time and so if you get the Chiller, I do so hope you check it out! I think “Listen My Children” is the last in the line-up of shorts.
Think of it as gruel for your eyeballs.

Third Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Five: Black and White Pumpkin Cookies

24 May

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It ain’t a good meal if there isn’t dessert at some point. Seriously. I HAVE to have dessert every day. Just like I have to have a bedtime snack. I need a bedtime snack. I’ve practically broken up with a guy because he never had food at home. Sometimes I like my bedtime snack to be followed by it’s own special dessert. Considered breaking up with someone over that too.

Get yer mind out of the gutter Cliffy!

I am en route soon to do my second show with my improv group, Commonwealth at the Neon Venus Theatre, so I best be getting out of the gutter and into the game.

Then when the night is over I shall have rum, and maybe, just maybe, a cookie.

Incidentally, these cookies are not really black and white. They are black and beige (from the cinnamon) and orange. The world ain’t just black and white and has much more than just variants on the color grey.

Crud, I was headed back into the gutter there.

Black and White Pumpkin Cookies adapted oh so slightly from the Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson
Cookies:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
White Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Up to 1 tsp. water
Chocolate Frosting:
2 oz. (about 6 Tbsp.) oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
1 heaping Tbsp. butter
Pinch salt
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
FOR COOKIES:
Heat the oven to 325 F, line a baking sheet or two with nonstick foil.
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl whisk your eggs and sugar. Put some muscle into it, you want it to get jut slightly lighter in hue. Then whisk in pumpkin, applesauce and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture until totally incorporated. Dollop by heating tablespoons onto the sheet and spread to a 2-inch circle. Bake, start checking around ten minutes doing the clean toothpick test. When you stick it in the middle and it comes out clean, take them out if the oven and put pan on a wire rack for ten minutes, then grab a spatula and move cookies to the wire rack to cool.
FOR GLAZES:
Whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, adding water drop by drop if necessary until it is spreadable.
Melt the chocolate and butter. I put my chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes at 50 percent power, then add butter and stir. Continue to zap at 50% for shorter periods of time, stirring when you stop, until it is melted. Add the salt and corn syrup.
Turn the cookies over so you are putting the frosting on the flat side. Spread on, half and half, then give them some time for the frosting to get firm. Teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. Then eat.

Third Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Four: Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

23 May

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Omg you guys, there’s like, totally another Ellen. I’m not talking about Degenerous either. There’s another Ellen food blogger who calls her blog Ellen in the Kitchen and naturally I am seized with the fear that she may be prettier, recipe-er and wittier than I. So I say to myself, “Cliffy, it ain’t a competition”, which is true. At least that is what I’m saying to myself. I must say she did well with this soup which I changed only a little bit from the original recipe.

Pumpkin black bean soup is luscious, it almost has chocolate notes. That was the only inspired prose I had for you.

So I fed it to the same gentleman who gave me the description of “gourmet McNuggets” when I asked him about his sweetbreads, and this description made it past my editor at Blackboard Eats in my Joe’s review, so naturally I will quote him here.

He said “tastes like autumn”.

Feel the brilliance.

He also mentioned that this bowl of autumn would be good with croutons. He was eating the last of my soup (I accidentally typed soul instead of soup which may be accurate too) when he mentioned the croutons so I didn’t try it yet.

Perhaps one of you would like to prove him right.

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup adapted from this here blog
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 can o’ black beans (about half of them mashed with a fork)
1 cup of diced tomatoes (I used canned)
Olive oil spray
1/4 c. Diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Dash cayenne
2 c. Veggie broth
It’s easy. Spray a pot with olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic in it. Add everything else. Simmer to thicken. Purée with ye olde immersion blendere.

Third Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Three: Pumpkin balls

22 May

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I must interrupt this regularly scheduled pumpkin post to pimp my acting. I had the joy of acting in this lil’ ditty:

Beware the Gluten Monster!

Now onto this recipe. Which is NOT free of The Dreaded Gluten.

Pumpkin balls?
Hell to the friggin’ yes.
This is Thanksgiving in a ball.

Pumpkin Balls adapted from the allrecipes app
Olive oil spray
1/4 c. Onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried sage
1 1/2 pieces wheat bread, toasted and crumbled
6 Tbsp. pumpkin purée
2 Tbsp. beaten egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a pot with olive oil and sauté the onion until soft and clear, then add garlic and sage and sauté a bit longer. Transfer to a bowl and stir in everything else. Shape into balls. Put them on a greased or Pam-ed baking sheet and bake until firm, around 15 minutes.

Third Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Two: Pumpkin protein pancakes

21 May

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In a shocking move on my part, I’m going to say these are not the pancake to put butter on.
Observe cottage cheese and cinnamon topping.
It’s Tuesday. You’re busy, I’m busy (doing my mistress) and I think I should just get on with the goods.
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes from the NuNaturals recipes originally from Foods of April
1/2 c. Cottage cheese
1/2 c. Liquid eggs whites(3-ish)
1/2 c. Pumpkin
1/3 c. Oats
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
A few drops of liquid stevia
Use a blender, food processor or immersion blender(weapon of my choice) and blend.
Heat up a pan or griddle, give a spray of something non-stick, and cook em up.

Third Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day One: Not’cho Cheese Macaroni

20 May

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Oh that wild n’ crazee Kelly. If she spelled her name Kelli, “wild n’ crazee” would be wyld and cray-cray and have completely different and kinki connotations. And that is a fact.

As it is, Kelly with a Y keeps her craziness to the kitchen, and puts pumpkin in pasta. Because where there is one P another is sure to follow.

Enough alphabet madness.

Pumpkin Noocheeze Mac adapted from
this recipe

1 package shirataki macaroni
1/2 cup almond milk
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Drain zee macaroni. Rinse it very well, then microwave for a minute. Rinse it again, then put in a colander and drain it to be as dry as possible. You might even blot it.
Bring the milk and bay leaf to a boil. Whisk in the yeast, garlic, an Dijon. Cook a couple more minutes to thicken. Whisk in pumpkin, when it is as thick as you want it add the noodles and grind in salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf. You’re done, now dine.

Round up yer pumpkins!

9 May

Things were all slow and then in typical Hollywood fashion, they got busy. My next few days are as such: audition, workshop, agent interview, improv performance, web series shoot, improv rehearsal, class. The weekend is the new Mon-Wed.? I am taking next week off from being a blogger. And then oooohhh and then! Then it’s Pumpkin Week in Spring! In the meantime, enjoy a recap of the previous pumpkin dayz:

Yes, Mom, I meant to say “dayz”.

The very first of all the pumpkins madness was a savory pumpkin sandwich:

Next came a shake of oats and pumpkin:

Then there was another prettier shake recipe:

Then something terrible:

I closed out year one with waffles:

Year two! It was exciting, kiddos. First thing, I mixed pumpkin into my eggs. WHAT!?

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Then I got even more wild and put it in my salsa.

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Next up, I did probably my most adored recipe-in terms of people hitting the site and re-pinning, in my very of recipe for pumpkin soup.

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I can never stay away from my mistress Chocolate Covered Katie for long, and on the fourth day I made her Pumpkin Bread in a Bowl and her Pumpkin “boatmeal”:

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The last day was a conundrum in that the recipe could have fitted into either my un-pizza or my pumpkin weeks. Another popular recipe, it was, too. I give you, Pumpkin Cornbread Pizza:

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Naturally I’ve made pumpkin more than just during pumpkin week. How can I resist all the delicious pumpkin recipes prostrating their whorish orange goodness in front of me in Autumn? There have been pumpkin chia puddings

I tried a couple of pumpkin bar recipes but will only bore you with one picture:

And once upon a time, right when I was starting a-blogging, I made a big ol’ pumpkin. And wow, my photography is not great now, but it has gotten better than this:

See y’all in a couple weeks!

What week is this?: Second Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Five

27 Apr

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Oh, god, how I agonized when to post this. Second Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring? Or Second Annual Pizza Week?

If only I had waffled a slice.
What week would that be?
Waffle, pizza or pumpkin? We’d be REALLY confused.

I really wonder about the need to categorize and document that we humans have.

Why can’t I just let this food be what it is? Cause you and me are free to be…you and me.

Elementary school music class flashback. Sorry. I hope that song isn’t stuck in your head now too.

Geez, that was way dated even back when I was in school. I hope Jackson Park Elementary has updated their music books since then.
Anyway, thank you for reading my Second Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring! I don’t have any theme weeks planned just yet. Next year there will surely be Second Annual Pizza Weeks and Waffle weeks. I may slide in recipes in those categories at other times too. Try not to panic.

Any requests for future theme weeks? I know I had an “oft-neglected vegetable week” request from a friend that is a strong possibility…leave me a comment with requests! Purty please do.”

Pumpkin Cornbread Pizza(adapted from Laurel’s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders and Brian Ruppenthal)

Crust:
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp. applesauce
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Topping:
1/2 c. Chopped onion
Olive oil spray
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 ground coriander
1 c. Chopped tomato(I used canned)
1/3 tsp. dried basil
3 oz. grated Swiss
Mix pumpkin, sugar, egg, and applesauce. In another bowl mix cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Combine the two, then put in greased 10 inch pie pan and bake at 350 for ten-ish minutes.
Sauté onion using olive oil spray adding chili powder, oregano, cumin and coriander. Spread on baked cornbread, spread tomato on that, then the basil, then the cheese. Bake about ten more minutes.

Thanks Katie: second annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Four

26 Apr

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I love Katie.

Thanks to Katie I grew a pair and faced my nemesis Rosemary.

You’ve seen me get down with dirty with my girl Chocolate Covered Katie before.
You’ve seen us do it with pumpkin before.
I did her muffin.
We screamed a lot.
Turned purple.
So we took a dip.

So in this dire I’m-bloody-busy-and-need-more-pumpkin(it is like cowbell, you always need more), I have looked to lovely Katie once again.

I tried her Pumpkin Bread in a Bowl, which I made in both the regular way, and then with chocolate almond milk, Instagrammed below for your viewing pleasure:
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Both versions quite worthy.

And I also made her pumpkin baked oatmeal, see below:

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Better with Butter(or, as the case was in honor of the vegans, Smart Balance Light):

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So take that pumpkin you have leftover from the other pumpkin recipes and get down with Katie. She’s kind of like cowbell too.

For one? Second Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Three

25 Apr

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Welcome day three of the Second Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring!
Boo-yah. Merriment, etc.

Let us get started.

I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been dating my career this year, and she is one foxy wench.

Demanding. She consumes my mind, body and soul and I love her.

So clearly, I want to keep her. So I cook for her.

Fortunately she’s a small eater. I can cook for one person who has a big appetite and it is enough. Which is good because I spend a lot of money on her for other things,

This recipe, which I reduced to be “for one” was also actually a request of my friend. She wanted to see soup on the pumpkin week menu. It is thanks to this friend I made this Indian Potato Salad so when she requested that I make a soup part of Pumpkin Week in Spring, I obliged.

My woman got jealous, but I soothed her with a good staged reading, so that saucy minx career of mine would shut the hell up.

Here you see the romantic candlelit dinner I made for me and my work:

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Note that we share a spoon. We’re that close. As one. She completes me.

I consulted a few recipes for this but decided on using the basic recipe from The Joy of Cooking and elaborating. To make it more trendy-um, I mean vegan, I used almond milk instead of broth or cream. I wanted to get my date hot so I added some hot sauce. Then just a dash of my favorite spice, cumin. Topped with a smattering of cilantro.

Pumpkin Soup for you and your not-too-hungry Love(adapted and reduced from The Joy of Cooking)
Olive oil spray
1/3 c. chopped onion
a couple Tbsp. celery, chopped
1 c. pumpkin
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. almond milk
1 tsp. sugar
salt
freshly ground pepper
Dash of hot sauce(I use Bufalo Chipotle)
Pinch of cumin
Cilantro
Spray a small pot and heat over medium. Add onion and celery and heat until translucent. Stir in pumpkin, then remaining ingredients except the cilantro. Break out Bad Boy, I mean your immersion blender, and blend that sucker up. Get as hot as you want(delicious both hot and chilled!), garnish with cilantro and serve to your lady.

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