Delicious pumpkin cake

I have no idea why we save all our pumpkin desserts for Thanksgiving,especially when you concider the year round availability of canned pumpkin. This cake is so moist and delicious and will stay fresh longer due to the addition of oil and not butter. Serve it dusted with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. I wish I knew who to thank for this recipe ,but it was sent in by a group member under an e mail address. Thanks

3 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 can pumpkin puree

1 cup cooking oil

4 eggs,beaten

Mix dry ingredients. Add pumpkin and oil;blend well. Beat eggs seperately and then add to mixture. Blend till creamy and smooth.

Baked in a greased and floured bundt pan at 350*F  for about 45 -50 minutes,Check at 45 minutes. Do not overbake.

When cool sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with a dollop of whipped cream


Eggless Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and lets face it,its pumpkin time. The fact is we all need a little sweet after dinner,even those that do not eat eggs,so here goes.

Makes 2 pies

2 ready -made graham cracker crust

4-5 ginger snap cookies

1 can pumpkin pie filling

1 box vanilla instant pudding

1 container of cool whip

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make pudding according to directions on the box

Crush ginger snaps. Mix the pudding ,pie filling, cool whip,pumpkin pie spice,and crushed cookies  together in a large bowl.

Spoon mixture into the pie crust, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.


Eggless peanut butter pie with fudge topping

The Daisy Flour Mill in Rochester, New York ,makes just about the most delightful peanut butter pie. With the holidays fast approaching ,I love to something that appeals to every generation. The only change here is I omitted the stem of making a Graham cracker crust and use store bought to save time. Feel free to make your own shell ,should you choose.

Serves 8

8 oz cream cheese,room temperature

1 cup peanut butter(do not use old -fashioned style or freshly ground)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter,room temperature.

1/2 cup chilled whipping cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1/2 cup whipping cream

6 oz semisweet chocolate chopped

Beat cream cheese and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and butter and beat until fluffy. Beat cream in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaing 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla and beat to stiff peaks. Fold in 1/3 of cream mixture into peanut mixture to lighten.,gently fold in remaining cream. Spoon into crust. Refridgerate till firm,about 3 hours.


Bring cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan over low heat.Add chocolate and stir till smooth. Cool to luke warm.Spread topping over pie. Refridgerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Maybe prepared 1 day ahead,covered. Cut into wedges to serve.

Coconut chicken soup

I was just reminded of this soup by my son,Rahul,currently away in college. He was feeling under the weather and was craving a good bowl of soup. As you can guess this is  family comfort food,it is spicy and despite the addition od coconut cream ,not heavy. My contibution to this recipe is just the icing on the cake. I take an ounce or so  of rice noodles and quickly deep fry them till puffed.Place some of the nnodles in a bowl and pour piping hot soup over.Yum.

This great recipe comes from  Thai Pepper,Oregon.

6 servings

2  14 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup drained canned straw mushrooms

8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast ,thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh lemon grass

11/2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger

1 tablespoon sugar

11/2 teaspoons minced jalapeno chili

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through,about 5 minutes. Mix in cilantro and lime juice.


Scallops with Cava and Saffron Sauce.

Next time you want to impress your guests try this dish of Veneras con Cava y Azafran ,from the famous restaurant Horcher,one of Madrid’s legendary restaurants.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

20 sea scallops

11/2 cups dry Cava or other sparkling wine

Pinch of saffron threads,crushed

1 cup whipping cream

Fresh Lemon juice

Minced fresh parsley

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and saute just until cooked through,turning occasionally,about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate. Add Cava and saffron to same skillet and boil until reduced by half,about 7 minutes. Add cream and boil until reduced to sauce consistency,about 10 minutes. Season sauce to taste with lemon juice,salt and pepper. Return scallops to sauce and stir just until heated through. Divide scallops and saffron sauce among plates. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley.

Patatas Bravas

Potatoes with Paprika sauce is a popular Tapas dish in spain. This particular dish is from a Tapas bar in Madrid called La Ardosa,well noted for their Patas Bravas. I have amended the recipe to be suitable for vegetarians,but the body of the recipe remains true to the original.

Serves 4

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion,chopped

1 large tomato ,chopped

2 large garlic cloves,chopped

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup vegetable stock

11/2 lbs Russet potatoes ,peeled cut into 3/4 -1 inch cubes.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in heavy medium skillet over medium low heat. Add onion,tomato,garlic and paprika and cook for 10 minutes,stirring occasionaly. Add flour and cook 3 minutes,stirring constantly. Gradually add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer till mixture is reduced to 2 cups ,about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender and puree till smooth. Season with salt and pepper. ( can be prepared 1 day ahead,cover and chill,before serving  BRING SAUCE TO SIMMER THINNING WITH ADDITIONAL STOCK IF NECESSARY)

Heat remaining oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add potatatoes and cook till golden brown and cooked through,stirring constantly, about 20 minutes. Transfer potatoes to paper towels to drain. Divide amongst 4 plates,top with sauce and serve.


Tofu in Chili Basil

Tofu or bean curd is a vegetarian’s best friend.It is a great source of protein to replace the absence of animal protein in the diet.I love this recipe with Seitan or Mock Duck,other sources of non animal; protein. Here I have omitted Fish Sauce and replaced it with salt and “maggie “seasoning,widely available in Asian markets or some supermarkets.

4 firm squares of Tofu,Drained. (wrap the tofu beweensheets of paper towel or cheese cloth and weigh it down for at least 1 hour.discard the liquid and use)

Cut into triangles or diamond shapes.

3 stalks lemongrass,trimmed of outer leaves

4 fresh red chilis

4 cloves garlic

1 inch piece galangal or fresh ginger

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 teaspoon palm sugar or light brown sugar

1/2  teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oyster sauce

1 cup Thai basil or Half regular basil and half fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon Maggi seasoning

1 red chili ,sliced

1 green chili ,sliced

1 red onion quartered.

Grind lemongrass,red chilis,garlic and galangal. Heat oil and fry Tofu.Remove.

In the same pan and oil fry the paste for 20 seconds,add salt and sugar,stir 20 seconds more. Add Maggi and onion,add some more oil if this becomes too dry. Stir fry for at least 2 to 3 minutes.

Add in half the basil and stir another few moments. Add in Basil,stir .Stir in soy sauce and vegetable flavor oyster sauce. Now add in the tofu,toss gently,not to break. Now stir in the balance of the basil and green chili.


Typically the garnishing basil is deep fried,the option is yours.