Get Crabby : A Bay Area Holiday Crab Feast

5 DUNGENESS CRAB RECIPES by charlotte miller

The holidays on the West Coast are more than just peppermints, parties, and presents. It also means the start of the dungeness crab season. And for those of us Bay Area natives, that means celebrating the holidays with a crab feast! This season why not do as the locals do and opt for a crab infused holiday meal. Grab a bottle of chardonnay and your crab crackers and celebrate the holidays with our five favorite crab recipes!



1. Crab Eggs Benedict on Sourdough // My Recipes


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 slices of Sourdough
  • 3 cups Dungeness crab, picked over and at room temperature
  • 12 large eggs


  1. Make hollandaise sauce: In the bottom of a double boiler or in a medium saucepan, bring 1 in. of water to a simmer over high heat and adjust heat to maintain simmer. Put egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard in top of a double boiler or in a round-bottomed medium bowl and set over simmering water. Whisk yolk mixture to blend.
  2. Whisking constantly, add butter in a slow, steady stream (it should take about 90 seconds). Cook sauce, whisking, until it reaches 140°, then adjust heat to maintain temperature (remove from simmering water if necessary). Add salt, pepper, and cayenne and continue whisking until thick, about 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Remove from stove and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°. Arrange sourdough slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until toasted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Put 2 muffin halves on each plate and top with crab, dividing evenly.
  5. Poach eggs: Bring 1 in. water to boil in a 12-in.-wide pan. Lower heat so that small bubbles form on the bottom of the pan and break to the surface only occasionally. Crack eggs into water 1 at a time, holding shells close to the water’s surface and letting eggs slide out gently. Poach eggs, in 2 batches to keep them from crowding, 3 to 4 minutes for soft-cooked. Lift eggs out with a slotted spoon, pat dry with a paper towel, and place 1 egg on each crab-topped muffin half.
  6. Top each egg with 2 to 3 tbsp. reserved hollandaise sauce and serve hot.



2. Deviled Crab // My Recipes


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted and divided
  • 5 cups soft breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1 cup melted butter, 4 cups breadcrumbs, and next 3 ingredients. Spoon crabmeat mixture into 10 baking shells or individual baking dishes.
  2. Top servings evenly with remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs; drizzle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup melted butter. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Turn oven setting to broil. Broil 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.



3. Chili Dungeness Crab Dip // Sea Salt with Food


  • 350 to 380 g Dungeness Crabmeat, from 2 Large Dungeness Crabs (reserved shells)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch Ginger, chopped
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
  • 8 to 12 Thai Birds-eye Chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • Peanut oil
  • Sea Salt, to taste


  • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
8 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp “Maggi” brand Chili Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Corn flour
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ Cup Water


  1. In a large wok over high heat, add enough oil (about ½ cup) and stir fry the crab shells for about 10 minutes or until the oil is aromatic. Strain the oil and discard the shells.
  2. Add 4 Tbsp of the aromatic oil into the wok and set over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the garlic, ginger, yellow onion and chilies. Stir and cook the mixture until fragrant and golden delicious in color.
  3. Then mix in the prepared sauce and bring it to a boil.
  4. Now add the crabmeat and give it a quick stir, and simmer gently for about 1 minute. Then add the eggs and stir until all the eggs are cook and well combined. Season with salt, if necessary and serve warm.



4. San Francisco Cioppino // A Spicy Perspective 


  • 2 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 Tb. tomato paste
  • 1 Tb. dried tarragon (2 Tb. fresh)
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 large pinch of saffron
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups wine
  • 1- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1- 32 oz. carton of seafood stock
  • 1 ½ lbs. little neck clams or mussels
  • 1 lb. firm white fish
  • 1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled
  • 1-2 Tb. flour
  • Lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnishing


  1. Prepare the fennel: Cut off the stalks. You can use the fronds later in the week. (Think salads, sauces, mixed with goat cheese, sprinkled over fruit…) Then half the bulb and remove the core. Slice the bulb thin. You may want to quarter the bulb for smaller slices.
  2. Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tb. of oil to the pot. Sauté the fennel and onions for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and tomato paste.
  3. Sauté one more minute; then add the tarragon, thyme, saffron, red pepper, bay, salt and pepper. Mix well. Next pour in the wine, stock and tomatoes. Bring the stew to a boil. Lower the heat, COVER, and simmer for AT LEAST 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the fish into 1 inch cubes and toss the fish and shrimp in flour.
  5. Rinse and check all mollusks for freshness. They should all be completely closed. If they are open, squeeze them shut. If they don’t instantly close up again, THROW THEM OUT. Any open or cracked mollusk should NOT go in the Cioppino!
  6. Once the stew has simmered for 30+ minutes, add the mollusks. Stir and allow them to cook for 3-5 minutes until they are mostly opened. Next add the fish and shrimp. Stir well and simmer another 3-5 minutes. The broth should thicken and all the mollusks should open wide.
  7. Remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and any unopened mollusks. Garnish the Cioppino with parsley and lemon wedges; then serve with LOTS of warm crusty sourdough bread or Parmesan toast.



5. Crab with Harrissa & Lemon-Garlic Butter // Turnable Kitchen

{cooking & cleaning a live crab}

  1. Place live crabs in freezer for approximately 15 minutes to numb them prior to cooking. Freezing the crabs before you cook them is more humane and makes it easier to place them in the pot because they won’t be moving around as much (or trying to kill you).
  2. Find your largest stock pot and fill it with water. Salt the water, heavily, and add 3 bay leaves, a tablespoon or so of whole black peppercorns, and a teaspoon of paprika. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove the crabs from the freezer and using a pair of tongs, grab them from behind so you don’t get pinched (see photo above). Depending on the size of your pot and your crabs, you’ll likely want to cook one at a time. Lower each crab into the boiling water with its legs facing down.
  4. While the crabs are cooking, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice. Allow each crab to cook for approximately 15 minutes (once they float to the top, give them an extra 2-3 minutes). Once they are done, drop them briefly into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. Let the crab cool for a minute before beginning the cleaning process.
  6. To clean the crab: begin by removing the top shell. You can do this by looking for grooves where your thumbs will fit near the rear legs. Pull up on the shell.
  7. Flip the crab over and locate the long, almost triangular section of shell running partway down the center of the shell. Pull that piece up and backwards to remove it.
  8. Flip the crab again and remove the gills that run along the sides with your hands. Unless you eat the “crab butter” (the mushy yellow stuff in the cavity) wash it away with the intestines.
  9. The legs should easily twist off and, in most cases, can be cracked by hand. For harder pieces (such as the claws) use a mallet to crack them. We like to wrap them in a tea towel before cracking to cut down on the mess.
  10. Take the body and fold it back and forth like a book. It should crack in half after a few bends. Place all of the crab pieces on a large serving dish.
  11. Get a bib and plenty of napkins. Eating crab can get messy. Eat crab using your hands and have a thin, pointed utensil on hand to help you get the meat out wherever your fingers can’t reach.

{for the harissa butter}

Combine 1/2 stick of butter, 1/2 tablespoon of harissa powder, 1 thinly sliced garlic clove and the juice from 1/4 of a lemon in a small saucepan. Slowly melt the butter over medium heat, stirring to mix it with the other ingredients. Cook for a few minutes before removing from the heat (don’t let the butter brown).


{ for the lemon-garlic butter}

Combine 1/2 stick of butter, juice from 1/4 of a lemon, and 1 thinly-sliced garlic clove in a small saucepan. Follow the instructions for making harissa butter.

Serve crab with plenty of napkins, Harissa Butter, Lemon-Garlic Butter, and lemon wedges. Beer and wine are optional, but highly recommended (unless you don’t or can’t drink, in which case, a nice bottle of sparkling water will do just fine).









So long figgy pudding!

5 CHRISTMAS FIG RECIPES by charlotte miller


Figgy pudding is one of those traditional Christmas recipes that absolutely no one likes. Not once have I actually heard someone say in seriousness “Now bring us some figgy pudding”, which is the chorus to the Christmas carol “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Why not incorporate figs this Christmas in a fresh and delicious way with these five holiday fig recipes that will leave you saying “Now bring us some figs”!


1. Black Jack Whiskey Sour // Salt & Smoke


  • 3oz bourbon
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup (see below)
  • 3 Black Jack figs, stems removed (can use other figs, but make sure they are fresh)?Ice cubes


  1. At the bottom of a cocktail shaker muddle the figs, pour in the bourbon. Add lemon juice, lime juice, and syrup. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and pour in the drink mix 2/3 full. Shake for 15 seconds and pour into glasses. Serve ice cold.
  2. To make simple syrup, bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil, and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Chill before using. You can also put ingredients in a mason jar and screw on the lid and shake until the sugar is dissolved.


2. Fig & Pistachio Crackers // A Communal Table


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios


  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 X4 loaf pans or four 6 x 3/14 inch pans (I like the smaller size pans for this but if you don’t have them, not a problem! In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, figs and pistachios. Toss to combine. In a large measuring cup combine the buttermilk, brown sugar and molasses. Stir to combine. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon. Divide batter evenly between the loaf pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let pans cool.
  2. Refrigerate loafs until cold – I place mine in the freezer for about 10 -15 minutes before slicing since the key to these crackers is to slice the loafs very thin.
  3. Pre heat oven to 300 degrees. Slice loaves into 1/8 inch slices. Place on an ungreased sheet pan and bake for an additional 20 – 30 minutes, turning slices after 10 – 15 minutes and bake until slices are crisp and brown. Cool.
  4. Store in an airtight container for 3 – 4 days. Serve with fruit and cheese!


3. Fig & Blue Cheese Pie // eatwell101

Serves 4


  • 1 pastry
  • 4 1/2 ounces o Fourme d’Ambert or any blue cheese
  • 6 figs
  • 4 cs liquid honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cs thyme
  • pepper


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 390 ° F (200 ° C)  (gas mark 6-7)
  2. In the dough, cut out 4 circles of 12 cm in diameter (I took a big coffee cups) and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Prick center with a fork.
  4. Mash the cheese with a fork (take it out a little before the fridge), then spread it on the tart, leaving 2 cm free all around.
  5. Mix the yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the edges of pies.
  6. Cut the figs into quarters and form a star on the cheese. Pour honey on top. Add pepper and sprinkle with thyme.
  7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes by putting the plate in the bottom of the oven, otherwise the fruit will burn.

4. Roast Chicken with Fig-and-Pancetta Stuffing // The Bitten Word


  • 1 capon (8 to 9 pounds), rinsed and patted dry, neck reserved
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 2 small onions, 1 finely chopped, 1 cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 6 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 6 ounces Black Mission figs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 oranges, 1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus 1 sage sprig
  • 11 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  1. Let capon stand at room temperature 1 hour. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, pancetta, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta begins to render fat and onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup broth and the figs to pan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Stir orange zest and juice, liqueur, and chopped sage into broth mixture. Tear bread into 1 1/2-inch pieces, and transfer to a large bowl. Pour broth mixture over bread, and stir until well combined. Fold in egg.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place orange wedges in a single layer in the center of a roasting pan; add onion wedges, sage sprig, and capon neck. Stir together remaining tablespoon salt and the pepper, and season body cavity of capon with half the mixture. Pack body and neck cavities with stuffing. Place capon on top of orange mixture in pan. Rub remaining 2 tablespoons butter all over capon, and season with remaining salt-pepper mixture.
  5. Roast capon 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and roast, basting every 15 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads 165 degrees, 55 to 65 minutes more, depending on size of capon. (If skin becomes deep golden brown before capon is fully cooked, loosely tent with foil.)
  6. Transfer capon to a platter, and tent with foil to keep warm. Let rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, shred neck meat, and set aside. Discard oranges, onions, and sage in roasting pan. Tilt pan, and remove excess fat with a spoon. Whisk together 1/4 cup broth and the flour.
  7. Place pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups broth, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, whisk in flour mixture, and boil 1 minute. Pour gravy through a fine sieve into a bowl, stir neck meat into gravy, and serve alongside capon and stuffing. Stuffing (without egg) can be refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before folding in egg and filling capon.


5. Christmas Cucidati (Italian Fig Cookies) // Brown Eyed Baker



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup dried figs
  • 1 cup dried dates, pitted
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped or ground in food processor
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup orange marmaladeIcing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk (approximately)
  • Colored sprinkles (optional)


  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar and combine well.
  2. Cut in the shortening with a fork or pastry blender and work the mixture until it looks like cornmeal.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix with an electric mixer for a full 3 minutes. Dough will be soft.
  5. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand for 5 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, wrap each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
  7. To make the filling, grind figs, dates, and raisins in a food processor until coarse.
  8. Place fig, date, and raisin mixture in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Mixture will be thick. Set aside.
  9. Preheat oven to 375° and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Work with one piece of dough at a time, leaving the remaining pieces in the refrigerator until needed. On a floured surface roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Cut dough into 2×3-inch rectangles. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of each rectangle. Carefully fold the short edges over to meet in the center and pinch to seal. Seal the sides as well.
  11. Place each cookie, seam-side down, on a baking sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between each cookie.
  12. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden in color.
  13. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before icing.
  14. For the icing, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve the desired consistency. You’ll want the icing to be thick enough not to be runny, but still easily spreadable. Ice the tops of the cookies and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Let the icing set completely before storing in an airtight container.



hey there pumpkin: four pumpkin recipes we love

FOUR PUMPKIN RECIPES  by charlotte miller

Our most recently released design, hey there pumpkin, was inspired by one of our favorite things about fall – the pumpkin. We love all things pumpkin and especially cooking with pumpkin! From savory to sweet, Here are our four (of many!) favorite pumpkin recipes.

1. Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is one of the classic fall recipes we can not live without. We especially love this recipes by Alexandra’s Kitchen. Her mother’s recipe, this pumpkin bread tastes just like how mom, well not my mom, but friend’s moms used to make it! Also, we love using mini loaf pans to give mini loafs as gifts as well!

yield = 2 standard loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans

{the ingredients}

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 16 oz. canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice (optional)
{the method}
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease loaf pans with butter or non-stick spray.
2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat sugar and oil together until blended. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. Add pumpkin purée and water and mix until blended.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Add to the mixer and mix only until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake for about an hour (if using standard loaf pans) but start checking for doneness after 45 minutes — the loaves are done when center springs back when touched. Note: When using the small pans, the loaves should be done in under 45 minutes. I started checking after 30 minutes, and the loaves were done after about 35 minutes

{recipe and image courtesy of Alexandra’s Recipes}



2. Pumpkin Pancakes with Salted Caramel Apple Sauce

Cecilia of Goodies a Volonte perfectly pairs signature fall flavors like pumpkin, caramel, and apple in these to die for pancakes. The addition of salted caramel adds a touch of savory to this sweet and scrumptious take on pancakes.


yields 10 pancakes

{the ingredients}


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice mix

Caramel sauce and apples

  • 2 apples (honey crisp)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp fleur de sel
  • 1 lemon, juiced (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water

{the method}

  1. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice mix, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Combine milk, egg and pumpkin puree in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the flour mixture in two additions into the milk mixture. Stir until blended. Do not over mix. Allow batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat up a lightly oiled pan on medium low heat. Add 1 scoop of  pancake mixture  onto the pan. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cook both sides until brown. Set on a plate.
  5. Slice apples in 2/3 inch wedges.
  6. Heat up a large non-stick pan on medium heat. When hot, lay apple slices in the pan and cook with a lid on for about 5 to 10 minutes until soft but slightly firm. Add 1 tbsp butter to the pan and brown the slices on each side. Set aside.
  7. In a heavy bottom medium sauce pan, add lemon juice and sugar. On medium high (more medium than high) heat, let the sugar dissolve completely. It should start to bubble. After about 5 minutes, the color should go from pale yellow to a dark amber. Watch carefully and swirl gently to avoid burning the caramel. Reduce the heat if coloring too fast.
  8. When the caramel has a dark amber color, remove from heat. Add 1 tbsp butter and salt. Stir gently until combined. Add water little by little to thin out the caramel. It should be slightly liquidy (as it cools down, the sauce will thicken a little).
  9. Carefully place the apple slices in the caramel to coat them.
  10. Serve pancakes on a plate, topped with apple and caramel sauce.

{recipe and image courtesy of Goodies a Volonte}


3. Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

What do you get when you add pumpkin + beer + cheese together? The most amazing soup ever by Spoon Fork Bacon. Hearty, comforting, and with a subtle infusion of pumpkin, this soup is a perfect for a cozy autumn meal.

serves 3 to 4

{the ingredients}

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced thyme
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle pumpkin ale
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (low-fat is fine)
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • simple butter croutons:
  • 1 cup diced sourdough bread
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon melted salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

{the method}

1. For croutons: Place all ingredients into a bowl and toss together until evenly coated. Pour croutons into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Toast croutons for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool and crisp. Set aside until ready to use.
2. For soup: Pour oil into a medium pot and place over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until onions and leeks become translucent. Add garlic, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper.
3. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes and stir in 2 tablespoons thyme. Add broth and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetable mixture is fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In another medium pot melt butter. Whisk in flour to create a roux and continue to whisk for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in milk until no lumps remaining and mixture thickens. Stir in pumpkin puree until smooth. Toss cheese together with lemon juice before stirring into the milk mixture. Stir until cheese sauce is smooth.  Stir in remaining spices.
5. Pour cheese mixture and broth mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture back into a pot and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until soup thickens slightly. Stir in remaining thyme and adjust seasonings.
6. Ladle soup into bowls and top with buttered croutons. Serve.
{recipe and image courtesy of Spoon Fork Bacon}

4. Pumpkin Gnocchi

Making gnocchi from scratch is one of our favorite things to make. Here is simple and easy pumpkin gnocchi recipe that pairs well with numerous sauces. Our favorite sauces are creamy gorgonzola and brown butter and sage sauce.

makes 8 servings

{the ingredients}

  • 2 cups pumpkin/squash puree
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (optional)

{the method}

1. If your pumpkin puree is really wet, simmer it in a sauce pan to dry it out a bit and then let it cool down.
2. Mix the egg yolk into the pumpkin puree.
3. Mix the salt and nutmeg into the flour.
4. Mix enough of the flour into the pumpkin puree to form a soft dough that is not too sticky to work with.
5. Knead the dough for a minute and then roll it out into 4 long thin rolls about 1/2 inch thick.
6. Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch pieces and then roll the pieces in flour lightly shaking off any excess.
7. Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or a fork to give them the ridges.
8. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water in small batches until it floats to the surface, about 2-3 minutes, remove and set aside to drain.
9. Use as desired.

{recipe and image courtesy of Closet Cooking}