Are we tired of all things pumpkin-y yet? I most assuredly am not. I usually have an entire mental list of dishes that I would like to cook at this time of year involving the adorable chubby bulbous pumpkin...but I usually only scratch the surface of all the dishes that I dream up.
|Setting the table for a fall inspired Sunday Supper
Being that fall is my favorite season, I feel completely rejuvenated to get in the kitchen and pull together all of my seasonal favorites. I've wanted to make pumpkin sage stuffed ravioli, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cheesecake, etc.
|Fall favorites...roasted brussel sprouts with rosemary fig balsamic vinagrette and maple cookies with pears for snacktime
It must be pretty hilarious for the rest of the world that does not put this odd orange bulbous orb of a vegetable up on a pedestal at this time of the year. The internet has exploded with recipe after recipe for all things pumpkin. We must be giving the world a good chuckle! But, we're obsessed for sure!
This is part of what I love about blogging. When these explosions of recipes wave through the internet blogging world, I enjoy feeling part of the crowd...going through similar motions and traditions throughout the U.S. and even the world.
|Deep Purple Roasted Eggplant, Fall light...Fall moods
I particularly enjoy when I am unfamiliar with certain holidays or festivals going on in other countries. I've been noticing articles on the Indian celebration of Diwali. Not only do I see recipes that I've never seen before, but I learn about how that culture celebrates their festivities and religions as well as what they eat at these get-togethers.
Lately, I've been craving everything seafood...particularly shellfish. While on the first house hunting trip to the Northeast, I had a delicious seafood casserole at this little café in Greenfield, New Hampshire, The Riverhouse Café
I enjoyed every bite and scooped up the last of the creamy sauce with my sourdough bread. I was not expecting such a delicious meal so I was doubly delighted!
With the house being up for sale, I've been haggling with myself over how much to mess up the kitchen. The first few weeks were filled with preparing mess-free meals that could be swept away a moment's notice if we got that little ping on the phone alerting us to a "showing".
|Getting ready for the pitter patter of little feet for Halloween night!
But, with this being my favorite season of the year and drooling over all things pumpkin-y on the internet...as well as craving seafood dishes...my kitchen ban didn't last long. It was time to mess things up!
|October afternoons and the beautiful fall light
Into the kitchen I plunged...I would satisfy my cravings in one yummy Sunday Supper meal. I was flipping through my Irish Pub Food cookbook and I came across a divine looking Fisherman's Pie.
I have also been eyeing that Spice Pumpkin Bread Loaf pan that William Sonoma featured in their catalog last year. The one that looks like a field of chubby pumpkins. I passed on it last year but kept lingering over the cuteness factor.
When I saw the catalog featuring it again this fall, that was it...all resistance gone..."click" "click"...in basket and straight to my front door. Way too easy to shop online these days...
This seafood stew is quite delicious. I used tiny sweet scallops, peeled shrimp, and chunks of soft cod. Lots of sliced mushrooms get sautéed in butter until nice and golden brown before being added to the seafood mixture.
The sauce is creamy with a dash of white wine, juices from the seafood, cream, and fresh dill.
I mashed some potatoes until thick and creamy and spooned them all over the top of the pie. Into the oven the pie went (@ 15 minutes)...not for too long so the seafood doesn't get overcooked.
Delicious! A hearty meal and one that left us with wonderful leftovers for the week.
Last week, we had our house "staged" by the realty firm. One has to have thick skin to go through this "staging" process, but it was great fun.
Basically, a team of people trained in how to make your house look good to buyers move from room to room rearranging furniture, accessories, etc. and give you critiques on how to make your home more presentable.
"Put this away in a closet"..."that area is too cluttered"..."rearrange the pillows this way"..."move that chair over there out of the room".
A few hours later, it was like I had a completely new house! I'm going to have to keep this type of advice handy in the new house. It is so revealing to see yourself through the eyes of others. I think of myself as a very "uncluttered" person but the word cluttered sure was used quite a bit!
So after squealing when I unwrapped my new pumpkin loaf pan, it was time to mess up the kitchen. Because most people want to look at a home with hardly anything on the countertops, I had to haul out my heavy mixer. I lined up all of those "dirty" ingredients on my sparkling clean island...flour, powdered sugar, eggs, spices...and goopy dollops of pumpkin!
Oh, what a lovely mess this was going to be!
So I decided to push the limits further by not only making a huge casserole of Seafood Fisherman's Pie and not one loaf of pumpkin bread...but three.
I was planning to drive up to Austin the next day to see Madeleine. I thought I would bring her a fall loaf of pumpkin bread. And then there is her sweet friend who loves to bake. Yes, I'll bring her a loaf as well.
Speaking of college visits, I had a wonderful time spending the weekend with my daughter and her friends. They have decided to apartment hunt for their senior year of college. I was the designated chauffeur.
How fun to spend the day with young 20 year olds. I was pounding the pavement of New York City at that age reveling in absolute freedom. I remember feeling the sky was the limit of what I would do in my future even though I really hadn't a clue at the time.
We carefully inspected a handful of apartments. I tried hard to fade into the background so the girls could run the show and ask their questions.
We lunched at a sandwich shop on grilled panini's and spoonfuls of roasted squash soup. They were so grateful to be easily whisked around town for a day without having to fret over public transportation time tables and traffic jams.
Back at home, I scrubbed down the kitchen once again. I stowed my heavy mixer and my items of "clutter" neatly in the cabinets.
Of course, during all of the cooking and baking before I took off for Austin, we had a "showing". At that point, the pumpkin bread was in the oven. I left it baking in there as we scuttled out of the house. My husband and son now can't wait for future showings because I mentioned the bright idea of baking cookies or cakes in the oven whenever we get a showing request so the house smells delicious.
I may have to live up to that notion! We'll have cookies and cakes galore around here. Not a bad thing perhaps...
Labels: Fisherman's Pie, Potato Seafood Pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin loaf, Riverhouse Cafe Greenfield New hampshire, Seafood Pie, William Sonoma Pumpkin Bread loaf