Some of my friends and I are having an extra–culinary–affair. Sounds deliciously dirty, doesn’t it?
What it means is that we get together and cook, or at least that’s the plan. So far there’s only been one official meeting of the ECA, and although cooking is wonderful I personally keep hoping we’ll get together soon just to eat new and intriguing foods.
Probably not the best idea for me, though.
Meeting one of the ECA involved heading over to Sandi’s house to learn how to make homemade chocolate candies.
Can you see where this is going?
I know I tend to be dense, I honestly didn’t think it would be that hard. But there I was; like the Panda Bear sitting in the middle of a bamboo forest it couldn’t chow down on.
Chocolate is my number one temptation food. I’ve mentioned before; I like the sweetest, fattiest, no-dietary-benefit-having chocolates the most. The milky, fatty chocolates. The white, non-cocoa containing, made-of-pure-fat chocolates. And hey, even though the dark, anti-oxidant-having variety is my least favorite – I’ll happily eat that too.
But oh no – I didn’t think it’d be that hard.
I’m not going to say it wasn’t fun, it was – and I proved to myself that I could endure about the most difficult food experience possible and get through it without blowing my calorie content for the day. I admit; I ate one and I intended to eat none; but when I looked it up later the one I ate was probably about 75 calories – not a Greek tragedy.
Although how sobering a thought is that? One chocolate candy is about 75 calories. ONE. And how easy is it to eat ten? Ten = 750 = half of the calories I can have in a whole day. Gone, that easy. Bam.
The worst part is that I think I was embarrassingly cranky all day. Nobody said anything to me about it, but… I’m pretty sure I was. I also skipped lunch. Note to chocolate makers; don’t skip lunch on chocolate day. Very, very foolish.
The good part was dinner. Awesome salads, great potatoes and smokies! For those who don’t know a smoky is a buffalo / pork / beef sausage from a local buffalo farm here in PA. If you’ve never had one – I weep for you.
I made pumpkin pie soup from a recipe I invented myself from cobbling together the parts of other recipes I thought were the most appealing. So – just in case anyone would like to have it. Here ‘tis…
And please note that since pumpkins are a huge butt-pain to dismantle; the pumpkin portion of this program can easily be substituted with butternut squash with no flavor harm done whatsoever.
Pumpkin Pie Soup
1 medium sized pumpkin
1 yellow onion
1 small ginger root
1 box of college inn chicken broth (48 oz.)
4 tbsp. butter
2 cups of light cream
½ cup of brown sugar
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla
A generous sprinkle of nutmeg
Dismantle the pumpkin; cleaning out all the string and seeds and cutting it into sixths (leave the outer skin on).
Pull out the seeds for roasting later as a garnish.
Spray a baking sheet (or two) with non-stick cooking spray and roast pumpkin pieces at 350 degrees for an hour.
Remove, let cool, and then peel off the skin and cut into chunks (the skin should be really easy to remove now).
Rough chop the onion and ginger root and then puree in food processor.
Melt butter in your soup pot, and then add the onion and ginger mixture.
Sautee until soft (about four minutes).
Add the brown sugar, thyme, black pepper, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.
Add about ten to twelve cups of the chopped pumpkin, then cover with the chicken broth and mix well again.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about twelve minutes.
Insert immersion blender and blend until you have a smooth, thick consistency – adding the light cream as you go.
Cover and simmer for another ten minutes, and enjoy!
The entire batch of pumpkin pie soup contains about 1,663 calories – so if you eat a tenth of it, it’s 166 calories per serving. If you divvy it up into eights, its 208 calories per serving. You get the idea…
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