Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dinner in a Pumpkin

I'm excited to share this recipe with you.  I made it for dinner the other night, and my mouth still waters everytime I think about it!  I made a few adjustments to the original recipe from   Epicurious.

  • 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds (I used 2 small pie pumpkins)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (1 c. croutons)
  • 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruy√®re, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2–4 garlic cloves (to taste) coarsely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped (I used Jimmy Dean sage sausage)
  • About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions 
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • About 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a glass pan with Pam, to prevent pumpkin from sticking.

Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern).  Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it in the baking pan.

Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, sausage, and scallions together in a bowl. Season with pepper, and salt to taste.—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with the salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don’t want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It's hard to go wrong here.)  I just put the extra mixture in another dish and baked it alongside the other.

Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 45 mins to 1 hour—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. You can also take the pumpkin top off for the last 20 minutes to brown. I sliced the pumpkins into fourths to serve.

Additional personal notes:  I don't ever seem to have "stale" bread around.  It's either fairly fresh, or I toasted 4 pieces of wheat sandwich bread slices.  Instead of bacon, I used a pkg. of Jimmy Dean sage sausage.  Heat up a saute pan, crumble the sausage and cook until no longer pink, then drain grease.  I did use gruyere cheese, because it's just so creamy, and decadent.  I also added a cup of homemade croutons (I always keep a baggie full of croutons I made with bakery bread of whatever type, that are tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Then toasted in 350 oven for 15 or so minutes, until dried out and toasty.)  I added the garlic, green onion tops, and pecans.  

I used 2 fairly small pie pumpkins (5 -6 inches diameter). I did have a little extra stuffing, so I baked it in a separate smaller pan.  Both pumpkins were fork tender in about 45 minutes.  If using a bigger pumpkin, it may take longer.

This would make a great side dish, or main meal.  Hope you enjoy! Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, October 31, 2011

My very first blog post....EVER!

Artist's Point in Yellowstone National Park
Yes, it's true.  I've never blogged, and only recently started to discover this new world, thanks to Pinterest!  
So, why would a 50 year old, non-techie want to start a blog? 
 My answer is simple I guess...I have alot to 

 The title of this blog, "All things beautiful" came to me the other night because I do love beauty.  I love to add beauty to everything I do, be it in my home, or the meals I make. I enjoy the beauty of God's creation, I love the beauty of music, and I believe women were created to add a unique beauty to this world.  

My heart is to encourage girls and women of all ages
 to do and be just that!

I'm not Martha Stewart and I don't have the time or energy to focus too much on details.  So, I hope you find my posts to be doable and never overwhelming.  I saw a quote the other day that I want to remember and it's "let whatever you do today be enough."  How freeing is that? 

As much as I'd like to be superwoman, I can't sustain it for very long.  Who wants a tired wife, mother, friend, etc.?  Sometimes, it's those little things we do that can't be measured in "accomplishment" that matter the most.  For instance, maybe a friend really needed that hour long conversation with me that ended up adding more beauty to this world than getting all the laundry done.

My last thought  for today as I put myself out there, is that music plays such an important part in my life.  I am a pianist and not a particularly good one, which means only my family gets to endure my playing.  But, I do enjoy music of all genres.  Lyrics and music speak to my soul, so I want to share a song with you written by Bethany Dillon titled "Beautiful".  This song has meant so much to me as a woman and I think the message is so very take a listen and tell me what you think.

I was so unique 
Now I feel skin deep 
I count on the make-up to cover it all 
Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention 
I thought I could be strong 
But it's killing me 

Does someone hear my cry? 
I'm dying for new life 

I want to be beautiful 
Make you stand in awe 
Look inside my heart, 
and be amazed 
I want to hear you say 
Who I am is quite enough 
Just want to be worthy of love 
And beautiful 

Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me 
Fighting to make the mirror happy 
Trying to find whatever is missing 
Won't you help me back to glory 


You make me beautiful 
You make me stand in awe 
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed 
I love to hear You say 
Who I am is quite enough 
You make me worthy of love and beautiful
Lyrics by Bethany Dillon

We are worthy of love, just the way we are!
We are beautiful, just the way we are!

 "The King is enthralled by your beauty"....Psalm 45:11.   I love this verse and the very thought of it causes my heart to stir!