Friday, October 25, 2013

Whole Wheat Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins or Bread Redux--A Lighter, Healthier Version (No Paper Liners Allowed): In Memoriam--Rhonda Lundquist

A gentler,  kinder pumpkin muffin made with olive oil, whole wheat flour,  mini dark chocolate chips and more.

I love pumpkin. Pumpkin anything. Perhaps because I have an October birthday?  (Yes, I just loved my big 6-0.)   Each fall for most of my adult life, I've made loaves and loaves of pumpkin bread. The recipe has come and gone, morphed and morphed. 2013 is no different.

This one, baked in my pumpkin pan, has pumpkin seeds on top.

Below:  my typical sweet muffin:

Sometimes my bread contains candied ginger and lots of nuts; other years it's chock full of chocolate and dried cranberries. It's always decadent, calorically-dense, and great with coffee. In the last year or two, I began making pumpkin muffins in large coffee cups just to gild the lily--

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One-Pan Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary Vegetables

I'm not always in a hurry cooking.  Often I take my own sweet time and dust be damned.  Lately, with more boxes and mess than I want to own up to (after 16 days in the house), I'm still just throwing meals together in hopes that anything for which I heat the stove up will last a couple of days.  Because the larder is not up-to-snuff, I end up running to the grocery over and over; I'm wasting time on this stuff.  Bad words.

The kitchen is functioning though I have cabin knives and only four drinking glasses. #badlylabeledmovingboxes

Friday, October 11, 2013

Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Autumn Vegetables or a Vegan Thanksgiving

( Just thinking:  If you're interested in the huge South Dakota snowstorm, please read my friend Margaret Watson's post on her blog Leave it Where Jesus Flang It.  We had just passed by there in gorgeous weather on our trip to Colorado.)

While a towering stack of boxes looms, I can't find the stereo or my knife block, I still want to eat something delectable AND I want those around me to have a decent healthy meal as well.  For the next little bit, we've got our oldest son and grandson living with us while their house is being renovated.  Daughter-in-law arrives on weekends, traveling down from her job in Boulder.

Photo: :)

 We now have four dogs in the house for a Four-Dog Kitchen:  photo coming!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Butternut Squash-Zucchini Curry with Couscous or What is Home??

Last summer, when I began to make the first vegetable curries of the season, I was right here in our Colorado house up on the mesa.  I needed a quick dinner and had a bunch of vegetables lying around the counter--including lots of tomatoes.  A pot of rice was put to boil and I threw a bunch of vegetables and a little curry powder into a big skillet.  We ate quite happily very soon thereafter.

DISCLAIMER:  I'll freely admit I'm no authenic Indian cook; check out Just a Girl from Mumbai or The Lady 8 Home (two of my Ina Friday friends' blogs) for authentic recipes.  Or, for a general set of instructions, check out this post. 

Colorado kitchen
Last week, we moved permanently from Saint Paul back to Colorado into the house we've owned there for eight years by now.  To say it was or is a wrench is an understatement, because we love Saint Paul and I so loved my choir job at Prospect Park United Methodist in Minneapolis.  Finances dictated a change to owning one house only and here we are.  I'm still in the midst of figuring it all out and can't believe what an emotional upheaval it's been.  After all, it's just a house--right????

St. Paul backyard

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ina Fridays--Main Courses--Chicken Chili for Two

I once heard a woman say, "You can't make chili for two people."  As I began to write today, thinking about that conversation did make me do just a little bit of research...because I often make chili for one or two!

Chili is American, isn't it?  That much we think we know, but read on.  There's also the  beans or no beans dilemma.  "If you know beans about chili, you'll know there are no beans in chili," Texans say.  Minnesotans go, "Huh?"  when you quote the beans line.  Then there's the meat.  There's chili and there's chili con carne.  After a while, you start wondering what is in chili.  Today, there are as many variations as there are cook-offs, parties, and so on.  Chili is served regularly at Super Bowl, Halloween, and at neighborhood or church gatherings.  Here's an interesting bit of chili lore from for fun: