Pumpkin-Rye Rugbrød

The only thing more fashionable in fall than Pumpkin-Spice everything is hating on Pumpkin-Spice everything. How can you be so mad at cloves? I understand the instinct to push back on the attempt to pumpkin spice everything, but only because lost in the process is transposition of the associating the flavors of that latte with actual pumpkin.

I like pumpkin spice (when used appropriately), but I love pumpkin. This year we grew pumpkin and realized that pumpkins are the jerks of the garden. They take over everything, pull plants down, and don’t fruit until they spread over your entire yard. The pumpkins we got did not make up for the garden and yard space we lost, but I can’t hold a grudge against a vegetable. That is a sign of mental decay. The best way to get revenge is to use them well.

This bread is not the cake disguised as bread which you may see throughout the fall. Anybody worth a tub of cream cheese frosting knows that cake is delicious, but it is cake. This is bread. I wanted the bread to use the sweetness of the pumpkin as an accent, not as a feature. I also had just picked up a load of baking supplies. I have loved mixing rye and pumpkin for awhile. I love the combination and have lots of pumpkin things and lots of rye things. Additionally, I have been talking to a cook for whom I have the maximum amount of respect about the greatness of dense Danish Rye.

The questions for me was how to incorporate roasted pumpkin into bread. With bread being a relatively elemental combination of solids and water, I tested the water content of pumpkin and found pumpkin roasted is still about 75% water. I assumed the 25% solids were starchy and broke the weight of pumpkin to formulate the bread.

The rye team consisted of a rye starter, rye flour, rye bran, rye berries and rye flakes. The pumpkin team consisted of roasted pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds and the only palatable pumpkin beer I have tasted in awhile, New Glarus Pumpkin Pie Lust. Not that ‘palatable’ is a huge compliment, but it is a beer I’d drink on purpose and it fit the pumpkin theme. Toasted black sesame seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds were also added.

After baking and cooling, I sliced the bread. The bread has a less dense texture than other rugbrøds I’ve baked, primarily because when I added the pumpkin, I offset the mass of the solids in the pumpkin from the mass typically made from seeds. One of my favorite parts of the rugbrød-style breads from Tartine 3.0 is the texture – with the nuts, seeds, and berries in such a dense loaf. Reducing the seeds in place of pumpkin did not take away from the great texture, eventhough it tweaked it slightly. Rye and pumpkin flavors are soft in the bread and the toasted sesame flavors are forward. Slathered with butter, it is a delicious slice of bread, and works even better sliced thin and crisped a cracker.

The flavors might never make oreo filling or a latte, but are delicious nonetheless. People can enjoy those and this.

Pumpkin-Rye Rugbrød

Based on the Rene’s style loaves in Tartine 3.0

155 grams rye starter 13 grams water 68 grams pumpkin beer 90 grams buttermilk 300 grams roasted and pureed pumpkin 250 grams rye flour 20 grams salt 25 grams flax seeds 30 grams sunflower seeds 50 grams toasted black sesame seeds 100 grams toasted pumpkin seeds 175 grams sprouted rye berries 20 grams rye flakes 10 grams rye bran butter

Step one: Add the first set of ingredients and mix until they are consistent.

Step two: Add rye flour and mix until consistent. Wait for 20-30 minutes.

Step three: Add salt and seeds and rye berries and mix until consistent. For three hours, fold the batter/dough to develop strength. For you and for the bread. I use a plastic bench scraper.

Step four: Grease a loaf pan with butter then dust with rye bran. Scoop dough into pan and cover with rye flakes. Cover loaf pan with a towel. If cooking on the same day, let rise again for 3-4 hours. If letting rest overnight, place in fridge.

Step five: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mist the loaf with water and bake for 80-90 minutes.

Step six: When the loaf is done, remove it from the loaf pan and let cool for 6-8 hours.

Step seven: Eat. Don’t skimp on that butter.


Zombie Bacon Pudding Cups

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Looking for a Halloween-themed recipe that has your favorite food in it? Want something that is super easy to throw together? Zombie Bacon Pudding is here to save your Halloween party from “lack of bacon” boredom!

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Ingredients:

Chocolate pudding
Uncooked bacon
Sour Gummy worms
Zombie lollipops
(We found some skeleton arm and leg pops that we used, but any ghoulish kind of candy will do!)

First off, let’s start by making some delicious candied bacon. Line a jelly roll pan with foil. Lay out some bacon strips about an inch or so apart. Coat each piece of bacon with brown sugar on both sides. You can add cinnamon for extra flavor. Place bacon in the oven, then heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. You’ll want to flip your bacon strips after about ten minutes to prevent burning. Sugar can burn easily, so make sure you keep an eye on your candied bacon while it’s cooking.

While your bacon is cooking, it’s a good time to make your tasty dirt… I mean chocolate pudding! Follow the directions on the box and chill until you’re ready to serve.

When your candied bacon is done cooking, transfer the strips to paper towels and let excess grease drain. After they cool for bit, chop the bacon into little “dirt clump” sized pieces.

To assemble your tasty bowls of dirt and rotting zombie flesh, here’s what you do: In clear single-serving sized cups, layer your pudding and gummy worms nearly to the top of the cup. Sprinkle the candied bacon “dirt clumps” on top of the pudding. Then, top with your zombie candies or lollipops! What a great way to enjoy some tasty bacon and zombie flesh. Grrr-aaarrrrgg… delicious.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Tartlets

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This entry in the Pillsbury Bake-Off represents so many of our favorite things! Like, bacon. Peanut butter and chocolate, too. And of course some delicious pastry! Wowzers! We gotta hand it to Lenore Klass from Koloa, Hawaii for coming up with this genius idea. And these tartlets are so pretty, you almost don’t want to eat them! ALMOST!

pb tartlets

• prep time 25 min
• total time 50 min
• ingredients 7
• servings 12

Ingredients

1 Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
4 slices packaged precooked bacon
1/3 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
¾ cup chocolate fudge creamy ready-to-spread frosting

Steps

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.

2. Unroll pie crust on work surface. Using 2 1/2-inch fluted round cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds from pie crust. Press 1 round in bottom and 1/4 inch up side of each muffin cup. Prick bottom of each cup 3 times with fork. Bake 8 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cups from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.

3. Place bacon on cookie sheet. Bake 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cool 5 minutes; finely chop.

4. In small bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, butter and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spoon 1 tablespoon chocolate frosting into each cup; spread over bottom and up side of each cup. Spoon or pipe, using 1/2-inch open star tip, about 1 tablespoon peanut butter mixture into each cup; sprinkle with bacon. Store covered in refrigerator.

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Chick-N Bacon Tater Melt Munchie Meal Review

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Night owls, rejoice! Jack in the Box’s new Munchie Meal items and Munchie Peel instant-win game were designed with you in mind. The Munchie Meal is only available after 9:00 PM, and includes 2 items with DELICIOUS BACON!

I sampled the Chick-N-Tater Melt Munchie Meal. This includes the new Chick-n-Tater Melt: crispy chicken, hash browns, bacon, Ranch dressing and an ooey gooey three cheese sauce, all on a buttery croissant. At first I was a bit baffled at the concept. Is it a breakfast sandwich? Is it lunch sandwich? Is it both??

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I ordered mine with no Ranch, and was surprised at how tasty it was! The cheese sauce really made the sandwich, and the chicken and hash browns were extra crispy. And you can’t really go wrong when bacon and a croissant bun are involved. The Munchie Meal also came with 2 tacos, a soda and “halfise” fries, a 50/50 french fry/curly fry mix. It’s a ton of calories for a tiny price. You know, for people who have really worked up an appetite.

The cutesy box made it a little more apparent who the target market for the “munchies” meal is… “Couch Bingo” lets you play bingo from the comfort of your own sofa, which is apparently where the Munchie Meal is meant to be devoured!

Another bacony M.M option is the Loaded Nuggets meal. This item includes chicken nuggets covered in cheese sauce and bacon. If only the Hella-peno Burger and the Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger included BACON!!

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This is late night food that includes a side of WINNING! With Jack’s #munchiepeel instant win game, Jack in the Box is giving away over $1,000,000 in food and other prizes, with one in four entries being a winner. Peel off the sticker from the iconic purple box to see if you’re an instant winner! Alas, I was not a winner.

For us non-winners, Jack is giving away a second chance to win the ultimate prize at JacksMunchiePeel.com: a VIP experience for four in Las Vegas kicking back at the MTV Real World Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Money can’t buy it and only Jack in the Box can provide it.

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Available on Jack’s Late Night Menu exclusively from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., you can enjoy your Munchie Meal combo complete with 2 tacos, halfsie fries (half regular, half seasoned curly) and a 20 oz. drink. Click Here to find a location near you!

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BaCon’s Virgins and Veterans Crawfish Boil, 2010!

Hey ya'll, it's me again. And I come bearing excuses, one for each of you! Now, now, don't shove, there are plenty to go around.

Yes, I've stayed away for awhile. At first, I was on a post-litigation high. I get a lot of satisfaction from working late nights with nothing but my work, a pizza, and a smuggled bottle of wine to keep me company at the office. So I did that for a few months and wallowed in the strange sickness of an occasional workaholic. There's also that pesky Gaga obsession that has led me to make/wear fourteen costumes since I last blogged. Now that I've counted, I'm sort of embarrassed. Errr. Moving on.

After that, things got weird in la casa de Luz y Lee, and cooking felt more like a burden than a reprieve. So I threatened to move to the guest house and live in tidy, well fed, laundered splendor ALL BY MYSELF DAMNIT. NOTE: We don't have a guest house. Happily, Mr. Luz and I have worked through those problems and we again share (the benefits AND burdens of) tidy, well fed, laundered splendor.

Now, we just have too many ridiculously awesome friends, which gets to the point of this post.? (Only one paragraph later than usual, I might add.)? After reading through my old posts, I realize that I complained a lot about D.C. and 2009 in general.? Much has changed, and though it would make my imaginary therapist cringe to hear me say this, 2010 has been amazing and it's because of my friends.?


The realization that we are truly blessed here in D.C. hit me with full force at our First Annual Veterans n' Virgins Crawfish Boil.? One sunny day in May, we rolled an icy cold keg of beer on to our twee front yard in downtown D.C. and got ready to boil the 120 lbs. of live crawfish that FedEx delivered from Louisiana that morning.

The front yard was packed with happy people enjoying the Spring day.? Some of them were crawfish veterans and Tulane alum, most just adventurous people ready to try something new and unique to the land we live in in our dreams and speak of often, NOLA. ? All of them were sexy, sexy people and that's really what matters, isn't it?? I digress.

The afternoon began with a demonstration of how to pinch da tail and suck da heads for the virgins, and for the next 4 hours, we sipped Ramos Gin Fizzes (thanks, NickV!) and beer and ate through all but a few pounds of the crawfish as well as the garlic, corn, andouille and smoked sausages, and artichokes we threw in da boil with the mudbugs.?
As day turned into night, everyone stayed around and a few more showed up for more cocktails, some impromptu cajun fiddle playing (thanks again, NickV) and a concert by the ladies, who all raided the costume closet before belting out Salt n' Peppa songs (remember those?! Of course you do) in the living room and then outside while marching around the block.? In sum, it started sunny and spicy and ended up wild and weird--I don't know what more I can ask for.

That day more than any so far, I felt like I was in the middle of a big and ever-expanding family where things are fun, easy, and open-hearted. Really, although we were trying to bring a little NOLA to our friends that day, they brought it to us instead.? That feeling still overwhelms me when I look at the pictures on this post, and it's something I'll never forget.? Thanks again to our friends in D.C.-you guys make my divided heart (one half here, one half in NOLA) so, so happy.