The Post-Vegetable Season

Now that I’m on my own for vegetables, I’ve ranged a bit back into baking. Also, 3 of 4 family members have been felled by the flu (most likely the H1N1 strain), so cooking and blogging have been sparse of late, even though I’m the outlier.

These looked better than they were. If I made dinner rolls on a regular basis, than these orange-pumpkin cloverleafs might have been a welcome change. As it was, we wished for regular ones, not varietal.

Orange-Pumpkin Cloverleaf rolls

I was very hopeful that I could come up with a quick, easy dinner the kids would eat. I used frozen tomato sauce on a pre-baked pizza shell, topped with mozzarella, parmesan, mushrooms and Greek olives. G. Grod and I enjoyed it very much. The kids wouldn’t touch it.

Olive-mushroom pizza

The last time I made the below snacks (probably about a year ago) I was reading The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder with my son Drake. He asked what I was making, I said snack mix, and he called them Snarf Snacks after the treat in the book. So Snarf Snacks they became. These are an Asian variation, using tamari-seaweed cashews in place of the peanuts.

Snarf Snacks

Asian Firecracker Party Mix, from Cook’s Country

Makes about 10 cups. Wasabi peas can be found in the international aisle of most grocery stores.

5 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups sesame sticks
1 cup wasabi peas
1 cup chow mein noodles
1 cup honey-roasted peanuts
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereal, sesame sticks, wasabi peas, chow mein noodles, and peanuts in large bowl. Whisk butter and soy sauce in small bowl, then drizzle over cereal mixture. Sprinkle evenly with ginger, garlic powder, and cayenne and toss until well combined.

2. Spread mixture over rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Serve. (Mix can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

Finally, this is actually a veg entry, using up pumpkin I roasted a few weeks back.

Pumkin cake with cream-cheese frosting

Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting, from Cook’s Country

Serves 16

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

6 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese , cut into 8 pieces and softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs, oil, and granulated sugar until thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add pumpkin, and mix until incorporated. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until only a few small lumps of flour remain, about 1 minute. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool completely.

2. For the frosting: With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese 1 piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until smooth. Turn cooled cake out onto wire rack, then invert onto serving platter. Frost cake and serve. (Cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

2 Responses to “The Post-Vegetable Season”

  1. Memory Says:

    That pizza looks and sounds great. I’m surprised to hear your kids didn’t want any.

  2. girldetective Says:

    They’re tricksy that way. They will occasionally eat things that astonish us, then refuse totally kid-friendly fare. Keeps us on our toes. And irritated.