Mini Gingerbread Muffins

mini gingerbread muffins
mini gingerbread muffins
Moist, spicy, and delicious!

Happy Halloween, everyone! For our post today, we’re going to make gingerbread. Not the cookies, but real gingerbread, or, perhaps, it should be more accurately called gingercake. It’s really more like a spicy-molasses cake than a bread. And, don’t worry, even though the title and photos show us making mini-muffins, you can go easy-peasy and bake this as a cake. We’ll tell you how.

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Pumpkin and Walnut Gnudi

pumpkin walnut gnudi
pumpkin walnut gnudi
Italian dumplings with sauce!

You haven’t heard of gnudi? We hadn’t, either, until we read about them in Pasta, by Gianni Scappin, Alberto Vanoli, and Francesco Tonelli, which provided us with a recipe for Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi, on which this recipe is based. Gnudi are simply small dumplings, somewhat like gnocchi, but easier to make. Easy is good. So, with a pumpkin from our CSA share, we went about making up a batch of dumplings.

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Bright Green Pea Cream Sauce

Acorn squash stuffed cappellacci with pea cream sauce
Acorn squash stuffed cappellacci with pea cream sauce
The green of spring!

We wanted a sauce so that our cappellacci would stand out and look nice when we had them for dinner. We surely didn’t want to drown the things in a heavy red sauce after the effort needed to fill and shape them. But we didn’t want to go with the standard sage-butter sauce, or light wine sauce; we wanted something bright and colorful. And we found it. Well, at least the germ of an idea for it, and went from there.

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Maple Candied Squash Seeds

maple candied squash seeds
maple candied squash seeds
Once cool, place in an airtight container, or they’ll absorb moisture from the air and become sticky again.

On Monday, we mentioned that you should clean and reserve the seeds from your acorn squash. Naturally, if you’re going to be making these roasted seeds, you’ll want to do it at the same time you’re roasting the squash, and not really save them for several days. We just figured that you probably weren’t scratchin’ out all our dishes immediately after posting, and we’d have time to get this post done before you’d break open your squash.

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A Bright and Cheery Bonus

weekly CSA produce share
Imagine hundreds of bright cheery sunflowers greeting us when we picked up our share.

Occasionally, our farmer, Farmer Frank, sends down a lagniappe — a little something extra. This week, we arrived to pick up our produce and found the courtyard filled with hundreds of bright cheery sunflowers. While these flowers are still in bloom, and we can’t get sunflower seeds, we gladly took ours home, anyway. We figured that we could enjoy it for a while, and, then, perhaps, some of the local birds might peck into the immature seeds for a bite to eat.

Our week’s share consisted of:

  • Red Russian Kale (1 bunch)
  • Swiss chard (1 bunch)
  • Tatsoi (1 bag)
  • Red onions (3)
  • Cucumbers (4)
  • Pumpkins (1)
  • Eggplant (1)

And, of course, our sunflower.

Shaping Cappellacci

cappellacci
cappellacci
Not fish, nor sailboats, but cappellacci.

We love filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini, but, to be honest, sometimes it just takes too much time to make dozens and dozens of them. If only there were a large filled-pasta shape that we could make, oh, perhaps, 15 to 20, and be done with it. Not surprisingly, there is such a pasta shape.

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Acorn Squash Filling for Pasta

acron squash pasta filling
acron squash pasta filling
Disposable piping bags make filling pasta easy. You can buy them online and they’re a real-time saver.

Okay, we’re starting off a multi-day series for a meal. Partly because each can stand on its own, and partly because we need a few easy posts to get back into the groove of writing up our dinners. We also like adding  suspense to the mix. You won’t know until Friday how this all comes together into a meal. Sure, from the post title, you know that we’re making a filled pasta, but what about the rest?

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