Pumpkin and Olive Oil Challah – Thanksgivukkah Link up

thanksgivukkah challahThis year, Thanksgiving and Chanukah (or Hanukkah) fall at the same time. Everybody is really excited about Thanksgivukkuh, and we’re no different. Apparently, the two holidays won’t coincide for another 70,000 years or something! Of course Jewish Americans everywhere are eager to celebrate!  Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread + Chipless Pumpkin Muffins

I got a pumpkin from my CSA! It’s a baby bear pumpkin, how cute is that! I had all sorts of ideas of things to do with this pumpkin, but since it was so little I had to limit the pumpkin recipes. I ended up roasting the seeds to make bizir and then getting about two cups of puree. With one cup I made this pumpkin bread and I froze the other cup with intentions to turn it into ice cream soon.

This chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe has been in our family for ages. We have been making it at least once a year for as long as I can remember, always from fresh pumpkin. Jessica has the original copy of the recipe, which I’m pretty sure is a photocopy of a recipe that my mom used to use in her nursery school class. After going apple and pumpkin picking with her class she would always bring us a pumpkin to bake with; don’t we have the best mom!

I have memories of freezing the extras and being happily surprised a few months later to find pumpkin bread hiding among the ice cream in the back of the freezer somewhere. I think I’ll freeze some of this and then try to forget about it so I can find it later.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the recipe is pareve? No need for adaptation here! Just make sure to use pareve chocolate chips (duh!). Because I thought I had in my freezer, but they ended up being dairy, which is why I made the muffins chipless (yeah, that’s a word).

Luckily, I just got another baby bear pumpkin from my csa! Maybe I will make pumpkin pie! And ravioli! Maybe some soup or risotto, too! I think I may be getting carried away, but for some reason the fresh stuff is so much better than the canned kind. I know it’s pure pumpkin, but why is it so orange?

Here’s a copy of our handwritten recipe for you:

Bizir Revisited

So I know I already showed you how I toast pumpkin seeds to make bizir, but the photo (that’s right, just one photo!) is ugly, so when I got a baby bear pumpkin from csa I took some better pictures for you. The technique is the same, I cleaned, rinsed and dried the seeds and then tossed them with a bit of olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper for some kick before roasting them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. They’re a little bit harder to crack open than the ones you buy at the markets on Kings Highway, but I made them, so they’re better!

This tiny pumpkin gave me about 2 cups of puree, so get ready for some pumpkin bread and ice cream!

Pumpkin Ice Cream

We love making ice cream, and have been making it for years (though you can’t really tell from this blog!) It’s pretty easy, and the results are delicious! Much better than anything you can get at the supermarket. You can also experiment with all kinds of flavors, which is how I got to pumpkin. Though pumpkin season is over, the idea of pumpkin ice cream really got to me, and when I realized I still had a can of pumpkin in my pantry, I decided that this would be the perfect flavor to share with you.

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Toasted Pumpkin Ravioli Appetizers

Remember when we made pumpkin ravioli and saved the ones with the store-bought wonton wrappers in the freezer for future use? Well, this time, instead of a classic brown butter and sage sauce, I decided to cook them up finger-food style as toasted pumpkin ravioli, not too unlike the toasted ravioli Rachael Ray inspired us to make a while back.

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter sauce

I like to cook with real pumpkin when it’s in season. About once every year I get my hands on a pumpkin, and after roasting the seeds, I cook with the flesh. Usually I make chocolate-chip pumpkin bread. This year, I decided to try a recipe I saw a lot of online: pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter sauce.

Does anyone serve dairy for Thanksgiving? Instead of (or in addition to) a traditional pumpkin pie, this would be a great seasonal recipe for anyone whose menu wasn’t filled with turkey and meat. Try this for a vegetarian (or your unkosher) Thanksgiving feast!

After pureeing and flavoring the pumpkin for the inside of the ravioli, I made my own dough to wrap it in, and rolled it out by hand. I only got about as far as 20 raviolis before I broke my rolling pin. I suggest using a pasta maker or the pasta Kitchenaid attachment. I have neither, so I went out and bought some wonton wrappers the next day (for less than $3) to form the rest of my raviolis, which I threw into the freezer to save for another day.

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Bizir, or Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Bizir is the Arabic name for toasted pumpkin seeds. I’m not sure what the correct English spelling is; it can just as easily be bizid or bizit. There isn’t really a letter in the English language to substitute for the sound I’m trying to make, but it’s pretty much a combination of those three.


Anyway, bizir is something I grew up watching people around me eating. As a kid, it’s impossible to crack open the shell to leave an intact inside, so sometimes I would get frustrated and eat the whole thing (not a good idea). But now I’ve gotten the hang of it, and it’s a light and fun snack. My family often pairs bizir with dessert and after-dinner tea, but it can just as easily be a watching TV snack on its own.

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