Hey you! Don't eat that, eat this!

Every year, around late September or early October, pumpkin season starts. When I was a kid, there wasn't much pumpkin flavored foods... pie and bread were really about it.
Then at some point a few years back, somebody realized that pumpkin is a flavor that can be used for all sorts of wacky treats! This blog is primarily about those pumpkin items.
Typically, if it's pumpkin flavored, I will try it. If it has pumpkin in the name, there is a strong chance I will try it. The weirder, the more fun.
In order for this to not be a September - December only blog, I'll also highlight other weird foods (typically prepackaged, mass produced stuff) as well. There will also be a healthy dose of beer reviews.
Wanna suggest something? EMAIL Fido!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving: A bountiful feast!

Now that I can actually think about food again after stuffing myself on Thursday, let's cover some pumpkin stuff that I ate recently.

Dreyer's Slow Churned Pumpkin (Limited Edition) - This stuff is awesome. It mixes two of my favorite treats together: ice cream and pumpkin. It's smooth and creamy and has a great pumpkin flavor! Plus, it's a lower fat product (Dreyer's also makes a regular pumpkin ice cream, which is quite good too, although I like the slow churned better) so you can feel a little less guilty about eating it.

Libby's Pumpkin Bread Kit and Einstein Brother's Bakery Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread - Libby's, maker of fine canned pumpkin products (and pretty much the only maker of canned pumpkin products), put out this pumpkin bread kit that I found at Target for about $5. It makes two loaves worth of pumpkin bread (I used one big 9 x 13 pan and made a big cake like loaf). Since it uses real canned pumpkin (as opposed to dried stuff in a mix), it came out pretty moist and flavorful. Plus it's really easy so most anybody could make this stuff without screwing up. I will admit, though, that I added tiny bits of some other stuff to the mix like some extra Pumpkin Pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, a shot of the Archer Farms Pumpkin Nog Milk, and a shot of amaretto. MMMMMMMM!
To top it off (literally), I gave the bread a nice frosting of the Einstein Bros. Pumpkin Cream Cheese. Normally, I get this and spread it on the Einstein Bros. Pumpkin Bagels, but I haven't actually seen any of those this year. This Cream Cheese Spread is excellent. It's very light and fluffy and is a near perfect blend of pumpkin and cream cheese. There are other pumpkin cream cheeses out there, but this on is by far my favorite.

Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts & Holes - For the record, I actually bought a box of the donut holes, but this can cover both items since they are basically the same food, just in a different shape.
Donuts are a nice treat, although I've lost some interest in them over the years. These Pumpkin Spice donuts are not bad, but not really a winner. Sure the donuts themselves are good (granted, I don't really see the big deal about KK), especially since they are cake donuts which I prefer, but they just don't pack a powerful pumpkin punch. Sure you can taste the pumpkin, but the whole thing is a just a step or two away from a regular cake donut.

On Thanksgiving, we took my family out to lunch at a Fort Worth restaurant called Ferre. I think the missus tends to enjoy this one more than me, but it's not bad (personally, I prefer Saint Emilion). There were a couple of gourmet type pumpkin items on the three-course menu, so I was forced to try them.
The first, an appetizer, was a Pumpkin Gnocchi with pancetta, brown butter and sage. First off, I am not a fan of bacon and bacon related foods. Meat should be tender and juicy and should not crunch. Pancetta, while not bacon in the strictest sense, is still a bacon-y food and so the flavor ran amuck in the bowl. The gnocchi was not bad, but failed to impress. It was chewy but lacked any real flavor of it's own (largely tasted of pancetta). This could have been better. More pumpkin, butter, and spices, less pancetta.
The other menu item, a dessert, was Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake with candied pecans and maple whipped cream. This was fantastic... one of the best pumpkin cheesecakes I've ever tried. I can't stand ricotta, but it was blended together so well that the entire cheesecake came out smooth and creamy and not overpoweringly rich as cheesecakes can tend to do. They maple whipped cream was a treat too. Definitely made up for the gnocchi.

Okay, that's about enough for now. Time to hit the mountain bike and work off all these calories!

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