Jan 142013

This past weekend we were having a couple over for dinner, and the meal had to be heavy on the vegetable and fruit side, as the guest is a Personal Trainer. The first course was Pumpkin Soup and the rest of the dinner will be coming later this week. This Pumpkin Soup, I was inspired to make after a weekend in Paris. It most definitely will become apart of my soup repertoire, such a perfect mixture of different flavors and crunch.

Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro

Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro

1 Can of Pumpkin Puree

1 Yellow Onion Medium in Size Chopped

2 Small Shallots Chopped

4  Cloves of Garlic Chopped

2 Celery Stalks Chopped

3 Tablespoons of Butter

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

2 Sprigs of fresh Thyme

3/4 Cup of White Wine

1/2 Cup of Milk

1/2 Cup of Cream

2 1/2 Cups of Chicken Stalk

1/3 Cup of Chopped Cilantro

Salt and Pepper to taste

Zest from 1 Orange

Optional Toasted Hazelnuts (chopped not too finely), Croutons or Roasted Corn

In a medium sized saucepan heat the oil and melt the butter, add the onions, celery, shallots, garlic and thyme. Saute for for 4-5 minutes, then add the white wine followed by the pumpkin puree and mix together. Add the remaining liquids and cook for 15- 20 minutes on low heat. Add the Cilantro and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a blender. (Now I did not put through a strainer after blending, I think it would have been a little nicer had I.  Honestly, I  just didn’t feel like adding that step or cleaning the extra utensils.) Return the  soup to the pan. When ready to serve place a little orange zest on the bottom of each bowl before serving. Optional to add a few chopped hazelnuts. Top the soup with a sprig of cilantro and either roasted corn nuts or buttered croutons (I had corn-nuts and thought it would give it a crunch that I wanted and was happy with the result.)








Nov 292012

For Thanksgiving I wanted to serve something special and fun to start the evening. When perusing Daniel Boulud Cocktail book, I came across this Pumpkin Smash. I thought it couldn’t have been more perfect. It does take some preparation but well worth it. (The Spicy Simple Syrup needs to steep overnight) Comments made about the cocktails “It tastes like pumpkin pie in a drink but better!”

Pumpkin Smash Ingredients

Pumpkin Smash Cocktail

1.5 oz Appleton Estate V/X Rum (  I used just a dark rum I had)

3/4 oz of spice syrup

1/2 oz of lemon juice

1/2 oz pumpkin puree

1 drop of The Biter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter bitter

1 Cinnamon Stick

3 Cloves

In Shaker, combine liquid ingredients with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with a 2″ square ice cube. (i just used regular ice) Garnish with cinnamon stick and cloves.


Bring to a boil 2 cups of water with 2 cups of white sugar, 8 cinnamon sticks, 8 cloves, and half a ground nutmeg. Let steep in the refrigerator for a day, then strain mixture into a clean, sealed container. Can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.