I was deep in the middle of my Saturday morning routine (painting my nails and watching PRV’d weight loss shows), when my boyfriend announced he wanted to make pumpkin muffins.
“Great!”I said, “Love pumpkin muffins!”
“Want to help?” he asked
My immediate reaction was:
…but, in an effort to be more domestic, I decided to bite the bullet. Plus, he has been watching a lot of Pioneer Woman lately, and I’m starting to develop a bit of a complex.
“Sure” I responded, Tis the season right?
Since canned pumpkin just “wouldn’t do”, step 1 was heading to the market to pick up an actual, real-life pumpkin. There, I entertained myself by taking autumnal instagrams
while my boyfriend agonized over the perfect gourd. Since they were all $2, we ended up walking away with the biggest pumpkin we could find. Literally, it was like, country fair-winning, radioactive isotope variety.
With the help of a wheelbarrow, some patience, and a LOT of complaining on my part, we eventually got the beast home and set about de-gutting the thing.
“You want to do the honors?” he asked me
In my head, I was like:
But deep down I knew that the Pioneer Woman wouldn’t be afraid of a few pumpkin guts. She’d get her strong, ranch hands in there and tear those guts out with her award-winning southern smile. So, I got myself a rubber glove, and was like:
Suffice to say, it was not pretty- but in the end, we got the thing cleaned out, and used the pumpkin flesh to whip up these delicious muffins:
Only problem was, even after making the muffins, we still had about 98% of the mutant pumpkin left.
“So, what are we going to do with the rest?” he asked “We can’t just throw it out”
Both my patience and will to live were severely compromised at this point, but instead of getting down, I thought to myself: WWRDD – What Would Ree Drummond Do? B*tch would get in there and whip up some more delicious pumpkin specialties.
“Of course we won’t throw it out!” I choked, “let me Google some ideas!”
I found a website devoted to “50 things you can do with leftover pumpkin” and my mind was literally blown. Up until that point, my experience with pumpkin was limited to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and the occasional Pumpkin Spice Latte, if I was feeling frisky. This website had everything from pumpkin risotto, to pumpkin flavored margaritas.
I found a recipe for lamb and pumpkin stew that sounded delicious, and decided to attempt it. Guess what? It turned out AMAZING.
Next, I roasted the pumpkin seeds with some olive oil, smoked paprika and cumin:
But despite these two further recipes, we had still barely made a dent in the pumpkin. I knew I had to take drastic measures, so I decided to roast the remaining pumpkin and make pumpkin puree.
At this point, I was starting to get really into it. I had become obsessed with using every last inch of the pumpkin – even the peel. My boyfriend looked at me with shock and awe as I peeled off the skin of the roasted pumpkin for later use.
“It’s for facials,” I said, “Did you know pumpkin is amazing for your skin?”
“I think I’ve created a monster,” he replied.
With the pumpkin sufficiently disposed of, the only question remaining was: what to do with all of this damn pumpkin puree?
Um.. smoothies obviously!
I started with this pumpkin pie smoothie recipe and it was damn delicious.
Things were going so well, I decided to try another smoothie- this time a “Green” variety. This one included pumpkin, spinach, frozen banana and almond milk.
Uhhhh… guys- do not try this one at home.
When I told my best friend about all of this, she couldn’t believe my domestic prowess, and challenged me to use the leftover pumpkin for her birthday cake.
Even though I had never baked a cake in my entire life , I’m not one to back down from a challenge- so I got my apron on and set to work.
I won’t lie that the process was a little touch and go….
But with a LOT of help from my boyfriend, we did it:
A three-tiered, pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting:
The cake was a big hit at the party (mostly because I forced everyone to eat it while repeatedly yelling “Can you believe it?? I MADE that sh*t!!” in their faces) – and thankfully I have used up most of the remaining pumpkin (I was seriously starting to worry I was going to turn orange there for a while).
Do I have a future in food blogging? Probably not- but I’d still like to think I could give the Pioneer Woman a run for her money.