Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cooking with Kristin: Lazy Girl's Pumpkin Feast

As I mentioned earlier, we had a lovely fall feast this weekend.  Our main dish was cous cous from The Kitchn, but I also made two simple, pumpkin based items that I would highly recommend for your next gathering, potluck or even simple dinner at home.  They're easy enough to make at 11:30pm on a work-night.  (Which is, you know, my way of determining the ease of a dish.)  They taste perfectly of fall, and I hope they help you celebrate autumn this year.

Pumpkin Whip (from All Recipes)
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree (I like Libby's best)
  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 package of cool whip
  • Pumpkin pie spice (or, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice)
This recipe could not be easier.  Just stir pumpkin and pudding powder together until combined.  Fold in thawed cool whip.  Season to taste and let chill for two hours.  Put it in some fancy glasses, and ta-da! You've got pumpkin whip!

It's not the most natural of desserts, of course, but it's simple and makes a huge batch.  We used sugar-free pudding and fat free cool whip, and it still tasted fantastic.  (I'm on Weight Watchers, so the substitutions helped keep this reasonable in points.)  I bet you could also try butterscotch or chocolate pudding, and it would be great.  We served it with graham crackers, but it would also be lovely on apple slices.

Pumpkin Beer & Apple Cider Cocktails (adapted from Brit & Co.)
  • 1 bottle of pumpkin ale (I used Harpoon's UFO, but I also love Southern Tier's Pumking)
  • 1 cup of apple cider
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • Cinnamon
Divide the beer evenly into two glasses.  Pour half a cup of apple cider onto each. (So, the proportions are about 2:1 beer to cider, though adjust as you see fit.)  Squeeze in a little of the lemon (then use the peel as a garnish) and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon.  This would work just as well with sparkling cider, so give that a try too.  Bottoms up!

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