Tag Archives: pumpkin soup

Best hits and what may come for the Gruel: Opinions wanted

31 Dec

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Happy happy! It is a new year. Yayza. In this delightful little post I am going to recap part of vacay, make a proposal, and then recap a few favorites on this lil’ blog of mine.

I went to St. Louis for Christmas. Whilst there, with my lovely fwife Eleanor I went to the MOST awesome of places, Blood and Sand. The MOST friendly of people work there. They can deduce exactly what you MOST want to drink, even if you do not know.

I drank the two MOST fantastical drinks, along with eating some MOST delightful truffled tater tots. One of the drinks had the MOST awesome of names: “Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives”. It was so much the MOST of the most-ousitous of times. The drink consisted of Rittenhouse rye, brown sugar simple, Punt e Mes, lemon juice, allspice dram and rosé sparkling. If rye and apple pie had an alcoholic child, this would be it. I am contemplating if the different elements of the name stand for different ingredients of the drink, and if so, which. I intend to recreate this come heck or high water. Clearly high standards I have for 2014.

I want to get y’all’s opinion on something. What if I did little restaurant/bar/food reviews from time to time? I do like to get out of the house to dine, shockingly enough. Between trying new recipes for the Gruel and also for my Hello Giggles column The Book Cook, I am getting a bit stressed. And much as I love writing and food-oriented opportunities I want to keep my mind on the acting game and not get too distracted. I still would still do mostly recipes, and I have some exciting theme weeks like a “Carrot Caked” week planned, but I’d like to have the options. I’d like to try new things, maybe even recommend a wine or two from time to time. Could be fun. Why am I nervous about this? I feel like I am asking you to go on a date or something.

It’s my blog and I can do what I want, obviously, but I want to know if there are any major objections out there to the review thing. Ooh, I may not be asking you on a date but maybe I could even go on some blogger dates and tell you about them. There are some LA bloggers I’d like to meet. That would be fun for all. I think.

Okay, now a little bit of year end wrap-up. Because I can. I am going to link you up with some of your most favorite-est recipes. I’m basing popularity, or at least reader interest, on the stats of what was clicked on the most. I’d also like to round up some of MY favorite things, especially from the early days of the blog when my photography sucked even more and not many folks were reading. I could revisit the less viewed recipes and get some better shots of them. Maybe next week. The blog may be a bit more sporadic in January and February, so don’t freak out or anything. I’m still here.

Oddly enough, the recipe that got THE MOST hits this year was this one for a clear chocolate martini. Quite frankly I am a wee bit distressed by y’all’s standards. Is a clear chocolate martini really what you want? With a photo like this?:
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I am disturbed. But my hope was renewed when I saw the second most clicked upon recipe was for Mark Bittman’s Creamed Bulgur and entitled Bulgur Not Vulgar which of course means it was NOT a chaste entry. But delicious:
20131009-210958.jpgNext up was a Pumpkin Polenta Pizza I would deem to be worthy, taste-wise if not aesthetically, of a few more clicks:
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Next-most clicked upon this year, and the most clicked upon of all time is this pumpkin soup:
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It helps that the photo was pretty, I imagine. But I was proud of my recipe too.
The least popular recipe, at least as I write this, was from the long-ago waffle week. I waffled a bran cracker. Enough said.
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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.

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!