Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Fever

Yesterday, I dragged the Husband on an hour-long trek to the nearest pumpkin patch. It's a farm south of Tucson, and their fall festival includes a hay maze, petting zoo, farm store (my favorite), contests for the kiddos, and, of course, a pumpkin patch. We did not pick our own pumpkin, alas. We were trying to minimize the walking for the sake of my back. But we bought a we-pick pumpkin, and some local jams. The produce was beautiful. I love fall and I love fall colors and I love gourds and pumpkins of all shapes and varieties. It was fun.
We took a lot of pictures and The Husband loves to take candids, so I was unaware of lots of pics he was taking of me. When I was editing them last night, I found it hysterical how normal I still look from the back, no?Not so much like my usual self from this angle though! This is a typical pose for me lately...the right hand pushing on my ribs where I get frequent pain. I don't know if Baby Girl has got her foot lodged in there or what.

These are fairytale pumpkins, which I had never seen or heard of before, have you? I love them! And I love that they're called fairytale pumpkins. They look just like Cinderella's coach. We bought one of these because we're not actually planning to carve one this year. They just rot too fast in the Tucson heat after carving.

This gourd reminded The Husband and I sooooo much of one of our favorite You Tube cartoons...
Doesn't he look exactly like a gourd? Specifically, like that gourd? We love him.

The Husband with sympathy belly. Or smuggling pumpkins. However you choose to title it.

While we're on the pumpkin topic, I thought I'd share a few recipes I'm loving this month. Let's just say I'm getting plenty of beta-carotene. We'll be lucky if the baby doesn't emerge with orange skin.
This one you'll see in the next Try This!, if you're a subscriber...
Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
Being pregnant, and not working right now, I've become a big fan of smoothies. A pretty basic blueberry-banana smoothie had been my standby until I found a recipe for a pumpkin one and tweaked it to my liking and needs. So here is my version. I think the original came from the Cooking Light website and you could likely find it there through a search. All I changed was the yogurt:pumpkin ratio and the sugar content. My version is not too sweet, so if you prefer it sweeter, just add more sugar and/or orange juice. And I added wheat germ, the crunchy kind. I used canned pumpkin in the recipe, but I'm sure you could use fresh just as easily. You may just need to blend longer.

Blend together the following:
~3/4 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
~3/4 cup canned pumpkin (refrigerate first if you want it cold)
1 banana (I slice and freeze mine the night before for the coldness)
~1/4 cup orange juice (preferably the kind with calcium added)
~1-2 Tbsp crunchy wheat germ
~1 tsp cinnamon
~1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
~1/2 tsp Splenda (or brown sugar, or honey, or white sugar, whatever)

This makes enough for two servings as a snack or one serving as a full meal, which is how I tend to have it (for breakfast). Soooooo good for you: calcium, protein, huge amounts of Vitamin A (beta-carotene). If you include the wheat germ, you get all kinds of folic acid and iron, too. And if you weren't looking to make it so healthy and wanted more of a dessert-y smoothie, I bet you could swap in some frozen yogurt or ice cream for the yogurt. It's the perfect time of year for this! Enjoy!
Also not to be missed are Amy Karol's chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, here. I got requests for this recipe after The Husband brought some into work. Amy doesn't mention how many it makes, but I made 2 dozen large muffins. You could easily get more if you made them smaller. Mine came out looking just like hers do in her photo.
I also made pumpkin bread last week. An old standby recipe that's been good to me over the years, but pumpkin bread recipes are so easy to come by that I won't bother sharing it unless I get a specific request. I'm feeling ready for a new twist on the old standby...any suggestions?


Sarah Berry said...

Currently feeling a little stupid... what's going on with Kiwi in that video?!?? Did he kill himself? What was all the hammering? Was he making himself a little hammock to catch him? What the heck is going on! :)

Many thanks for my long-awaited belly shots though!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the belly shot, I have been wondering how you look, great as a matter of fact. I can't wait to try the smoothie, I have flax seed to add to Marilyn

Strongmama said...

I noticed that your link for amish friendship bread on wikipedia had a variation for adding pumpkin. Might be worth a try since the other bread is so good.

Red said...

My comment was going to be, holy smokes you look fabulous! From the back, from the side, either way. Crazy how unprego you look from the back - although sounds like you need a bit o' yelling that unprego doesn't equal "normal". :) Love you!