Friday, November 21, 2008

Pumpkin Heaven!

One of my favorite tips is to use fresh, pure ingredients when you can. After Halloween, we slice open the pumpkins that we don't carve, clean out all the stringy junky stuff and the seeds, cut the flesh into chunks, and put it in a pot! Add a little bit of water to the bottom and cook on low for about 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork-tender. Drain well and smash with a potato-smasher (or a food processor, depending on what texture you like). Voila! You have a great, fresh ingredient to put in your pies, breads, and soups! Also, cooked pumpkin freezes well. I put mine in ziplock freezer bags so that I can thaw-and-snip.

Here is one of my very favorite things to make with fresh cooked pumpkin: pie! We usually leave some lumps in the pumpkin to give the pie more texture and body, but you can puree it, too.

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

2 cups fresh pumpkin (see above for tips)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
2 uncooked pie crusts (use your favorite recipe or - gasp - a store-bought crust)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Gently roll each pie crust onto two pie dishes. In a large bowl, mix well pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt. Pour half of the mixture into one of the prepared crusts, and pour the other half into the second prepared crust. Cover the exposed edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil, and bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the filling comes out clean. Yield 2 pies.

The Only Way to Get Me to Eat Brussel Sprouts . . .

. . . is to hide them in this delicious dish with tart apples and smoky bacon! This recipe is based on a dish that my in-laws discovered at a tiny local restaurant here in North Georgia. The sweet and salty flavors are just wonderful together.

North Georgia Brussel Sprouts

1/2 lb. brussel sprouts, washed and quartered
2 McIntosh apples, washed and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
6 strips of lean bacon, whatever is your favorite.
2 tbsp olive oil.
1/3 cup apple juice (recommended: Simply Apple)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon strips. Cook, turning once, until browned. Remove the bacon to a cutting board and slice into 1" pieces. Reserve 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings and discard the rest. Add the olive oil to the bacon drippings in the large skillet and add brussel sprouts and apples. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the apple juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until sprouts turn bright green and tender. Add bacon back to the skillet, and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Cozy Comfort Cooking

This is a recipe that my mom and dad used to make when they were first married. It has become a favorite of mine to feed a crowd, or just to have a cozy comfort meal with my husband.

Cheesy Chicken Crescent Supper

2 cups chicken, cut into small cubes (leftover chicken breast, a roasted chicken, etc.)
2 cups shredded cheddar or American cheese, separated
1 10.5 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls
Salt and pepper to taste

Cell Phone Pic - Yum!

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 inch pan. In a large bowl, mix the chicken and 1 cup of the cheese, and the salt and pepper. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat condensed soup, milk, and 1/2 c of the cheese. Heat over medium heat until cheese melts and sauce simmers.

Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the pan. Reserve the remaining sauce. Open the crescent rolls, separate into individual triangles. Place 2 tbsp. of the chicken mixture on a triangle, and roll it up into a crescent shape with the chicken mixture inside. Place on top of the sauce in the pan. Repeat, and line up all of your crescents in the pan about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top.

Another Camera Phone Pic - too hungry for real photos :-)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crescents are puffy and lightly browned. Sprincle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top and return to oven for 5 minutes until melted. Serve with remaining sauce, and enjoy!


Hello, and welcome to Vintage Victuals! I thought I would take a moment to lay out what my blog is all about.

My blog is dedicated to good ol' fashioned cooking and baking from scratch. From traditional treats to family heirloom recipes passed down over the generations, these recipes are time-honored, tried-and-true.

With today's thirty-minute-meals (which end up really taking forever), and grocery store take-out lifestyle, I am saddened that some of our most loved, traditional recipes are getting lost in the hustle and bustle. With this blog, I hope to take our mother's recipes, our father's recipes, and our grandparents' recipes and bring them back to life!

Let's go back to when there were no cake mixes or ready-made items. Let's cook like our grandmothers did! I think you'll see it's worth the extra effort to preserve the memories and traditions of those who baked before us.

Made by Lena