Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good Pumpkins and Bad Pumpkins

In honor of Halloween which features one of my favorite seasonal foods/decorations, today's post is my two recent experiences with pumpkins.

We'll start with the bad side. Andy and I carved our pumpkin last night, and in case you have delusions about our artistic abilities, we equal about a 1st grader if you add our talents together. It didn't help that I couldn't find our pumpkin carving knife (it must have been a victim of the move...though I don't know what we did last year (the historic election has clouded my memory of Halloween 2008). The result was this wonky and sad jack-o-lantern, (perhaps) made worse overnight by nibbling squirrels.

Now for the good news. A friend from work passed along what just might be the perfect fall cookie, and I'm spreading the word.

Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose baking flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With mixer, beat butter in a large mixing bowl on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, canned pumpkin, and vanilla. Beat well. Add dry ingredients and beat until well blended. Drop from teaspoon onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes.

These cookies are fast and easy and result in perfect little bites of pumpkin bread-like cookies. This recipe actually calls for 1 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, but neither my friend nor I ever add those (the horror of ruining these cookies with raisins!). She likes to make them into football cookies, so she makes them in an oval shape and then adds white icing to look like the laces. The icing is a simple confectioner sugar/milk icing. Last time I made these, I just sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top before baking. Next time, I think I am going to mix up the spices a bit to make it more of a pumpkin pie seasoning with ginger, but I love the combo of vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the original recipe.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Giant Corp or Indie Organic?

In my weekly update from the home of the best chocolate milkshake in the world, Traders Point Creamery, there were links to a couple websites that provide info on who owns different organic labels. I thought I'd share for anyone else who is trying to make their money and their mouth more organic. I admit some are obvious (Prego Organic for instance), but I actually didn't know that Kashi was owned by Kelloggs.

Nutrition Wonderland (!) provides a list of orgos owned by big folks like Heinz and Pepsico as well as a list of independent ones. The Cornucopia Institute has this chart:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fever in the Finals

In case you hadn't heard, Indianapolis's WNBA team, the Fever, is in the finals! They are tied with Phoenix 1-1 in the best of 5 series. If you live in Indy, I highly recommend you go root on Tameka, Katie, Tully, and the rest of the gang at one of the home games, either Sunday at 4 pm or Wednesday at 7:30 pm. They are incredibly fun. They were in danger of leaving the city, but it sounds like their trip to the finals has saved them for the moment. They really are an asset to the city. Unlike many NBA teams, they play the game as a team because they really like it not because they are getting paid lots of $$$. C'mon Hoosiers, support your Fever!!