Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Cooking

We made pumpkin rollout cookies yesterday. I love this recipe because it's easy to work with, is low in its sugar content, and uses real pumpkin. I can also sub some of the flour with whole wheat flour, and Sucanat in place of brown sugar works fine too. Rollout dough is fun to use with kids because, even if they don't help make the dough, they typically enjoy the cookie cutter and decorating parts! In these pictures, Caroline is doing her favorite part: peeling the scraps of dough from between the cookie shapes. She used to call this scrap dough the "wrapper," which I thought was cute.

She is covered in flour because a lot is needed to keep the dough from sticking. We used pumpkin and cat cookie cutters.

We decorated about half of the cookies using raisins, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. Caroline liked giving the cats eyes, noses, and mouths. The raisins and cranberries didn't stick too well... but we made an attempt, anyway. Caroline also made a random gingerbread man and put raisins on it too. She's holding a baking sheet of unbaked cookies.

And here she gets ready to enjoy the finished product for dessert. This is a cat she decorated with chocolate chips. Perhaps mini chocolate chips would have worked better and made the cats look less possessed!
A few people asked me about the Cranberry-Apple Chicken recipe. So here is a photo of it. It was nothing spectacular, but it was easy, healthy, and Caroline requested seconds (which is a compliment since she isn't a huge fan of baked chicken dishes). I thought it tasted a little boring... salt and pepper helped. If I make it again, I may try soaking the apples and cranberries in a little orange juice, maybe with a pinch of brown sugar...

And finally, tonight I thought I'd add a simple, fun touch: melty cheese pumpkins in our bowls of chili. I had the chili cooking in the crock pot all day so it'd be easy to eat whenever and be able to work around trick or treating. Caroline was excited to come back in after trick or treating to find a cheesy surprise in her bowl! I stole this idea from a picture I saw on the cover of a magazine in the grocery store checkout line, by the way.

I love fall cooking! There are so many foods that evoke thoughts of this season. The chili may have to become a tradition for our All Hallow's Eve meal.

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