Made By Hand: Georgia Pellegrini’s Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe

I like a good pumpkin dessert as much as the next girl. But I think we need more savory pumpkin dishes on the Thanksgiving dinner table, to show the pumpkin’s full glory and potential.  Enter… the stuffed pumpkin. This is one of those dishes that is a breeze to put together, tastes otherworldly, and has an impressive presentation that makes you seem like a kitchen Goddess.

You will need: a pumpkin that is 3 pounds, (or if you want to be whimsical about it you can try to get small ones and serve them individually), leek, gruyere cheese, stale bread, nutmeg, pancetta, thyme, a head of garlic, and smoked paprika. You’ll also need a mystery ingredient which I failed to photograph here…Cream! Heavy cream! The best ingredient there ever was.

Begin by roasting a whole head of garlic. Simply wrap a whole head of garlic, with olive oil, in tin foil. If the cloves fall apart like mine did, that’s A-OK. Roast them in the oven for 1 hour while you get the rest of the ingredients together. When they are done you will be able to squeeze them right out of their casings.

Carve off the top of the pumpkin. It will be full of fresh seeds. If you’re feeling patient you could save some of them and toast them, in fact I recently roasted them and then drizzled them with melted dark chocolate, then popped them in the refrigerator for the chocolate to harden. It was a delicious snack.

Season your pumpkin with a good dose of salt and pepper on the inside. Then set it aside and get the stuffing ready.

Cut the pancetta up into a small dice. It has a more nutty, complex flavor than bacon does which is why I prefer it, but bacon will work if that’s what you have available.

Next you’ll prepare and clean the leek, cutting the white and light green portion into thin slices. You can save the tougher green ends for stock making.

Next, render some pancetta in a skillet and let the fat sizzle and the pancetta crisp.  Add the leeks, season them with some salt and pepper and let them wilt.

They’ll become soft and translucent. Try to resist eating the whole thing with a spoon right then and there. It’s hard.  Once you have it where you want it, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

Then you’ll cut some stale bread… it can be semi-stale, it’s going to soak up some liquid. You’ll want 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces.

Then grate the heavenly gruyere cheese.

In a separate bowl, combine the bread, gruyere, picked thyme, the smoked paprika and the nutmeg!

Mix it all together, add the pancetta and leek mixture to the bowl… and give it a a nice stir. And don’t forget the best ingredient of all…the roasted garlic! Which you can now squeeze out of their magical skins into the bowl.

Scoop the stuffing into the pumpkin and fill it up.

Then pour on some cream for moisture.  Put the lid on top and bake this in the oven for about 90 minutes.

It will become very tender and easily pierced with a knife. That’s when it’s ready.

This is festive to present to your guests at the dinner table, and bonus points if you can find very small pumpkins to serve these as individual servings.

The filling is to die for and highlights pumpkin’s many virtues.  Leave a comment below if you’ll be trying this for your Thanksgiving table!

“Stuffed Pumpkin”

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 3-pound pumpkin, 2 1.5-pound pumpkins or 4 1-pound pumkins
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup pancetta, diced
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups croutons or stale bread, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese, plus more for sprinkling at the end
  • 1 tablespoon freshly picked thyme
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

 

Instructions

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Cut the root and top end off of the garlic head, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in tin foil and roast in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, or until soft.
3.  Cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin and remove the lid. Cut the seeds off of the lid and scoop out the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin. Season the inside with salt and pepper.
4.  In a medium-large saute pan over medium heat, brown the pancetta to release the fat. Add the leek and sweat until soft. Turn off the heat and let cool.
5.  In a bowl, combine the croutons, cheese, thyme, nutmeg and smoked paprika. Once cooled, add the pancetta and leeks and mix to combine.
6.  Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and squeeze the cloves out of the skins. Roughly chop and add to the mixture.
7.  Fill the pumpkin with the stuffing mixture. Pour over the heavy cream, put the pumpkin lid back on, and place on a sheet tray covered with a rack or a silicone pad to prevent it from sticking.
8.  Bake for 90 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
9.  In the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the lid from the pumpkin and top the stuffing with the extra grated gruyere. Return the pumpkin to the oven, keeping the lid on the side of the sheet tray so the cheese can brown and bubble.
10.  Serve warm, sliced into fourths, in half, or as individual pumpkins depending on their size.

About Georgia Pellegrini:

Georgia’s taste for simple food and outdoor adventure evolved as she grew up in the Hudson Valley. She followed her passion to the French Culinary Institute and then to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and La Chassagnette in France. Georgia is the author of “Food Heroes,” “Girl Hunter,” and the new book “Modern Pioneering.” She has appeared on Today, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Iron Chef, and much more, and her outdoor Adventure Getaways have been featured everywhere from the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal, to HBO. She lives in Austin, Texas and chronicles her adventures on her wildly popular website GeorgiaPellegrini.com and her Facebook fan page.

Made By Hand: A&J King Bakery

Andy and Jackie King, artisanal bakers based in New England, have certainly made a splash with their perfectly imperfect hand-made breads and baked goods at their headquarters cafe and bakery.

After opening up in 2006, A&J King quickly established themselves as a go-to for beautiful, well-made breads, utilizing traditional methods that match the historic ambience of Salem, MA, where they are located.

Andy and Jackie are no one trick ponies, also offering up delicious pastries, signature sandwiches and more in their full-service cafe.

The magic starts in the kitchen, where each step of the baking process is performed by hand, from kneading the dough to cutting the beautiful patterns on each loaf that are brought out during the baking process.

In 2013, Andy and Jackie published their first cookbook, Baking by Hand (MacMillan), further elaborating their philosophy on baking and the quality of craft they live by. They’ve shared with us their favorite recipe for the holiday season – bread pudding!

Bread pudding is one of Andy and Jackie’s favorite things to make at the bakery, and they’ve been making them since Day One! It is simple, can be adapted to whatever fruits or flavors are in season (or whichever ones you have one hand), tastes great hot, cold, or room temperature. There’s not a lot of science to it. You need a bread product to soak up your custard, and you need enough custard to soak into the bread. That’s pretty much it!

Pro tip — make sure to use stale bread (or stale it yourself by leaving it on your counter for a few hours, as fresh bread tends to fall apart when absorbing the liquid). Once you get the idea of how to assemble bread pudding, you’ll be off and running with your own unique flavor combinations.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 lb stale croissant, brioche, challah, or other enriched dough, 1” dice

3  large eggs

7 oz whole milk

7 oz half and half

2/3 cup sugar

6 oz roasted, pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin

1.25 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Whisk eggs, milk, half and half, sugar, pumpkin puree and spices in a large bowl until combined and smooth.

Add the bread, and toss with your hands or spoon until all the bread is coated with the custard. Let it sit at least 30 minutes (but no longer than an hour) stirring occasionally.

Put all of the bread and custard mixture into a greased circular 8″ pan or paper mold.

Bake at 375˚F until golden brown and it feels firm when pressed, about 45 minutes. When cooled, drizzle with maple sugar icing.

Maple Sugar Icing

(Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and lump free)

6.5 oz Maple Sugar

2 oz Confectioner’s Sugar

2 oz Half and Half

Learn more about Andy and Jackie at www.AJkingbakery.com.

Made By Hand: Camp Wolf

A few months ago we were introduced to the adorable, handcrafted designs of Camp Wolf.  Designers, Cristin and Cora, repurpose denim along with Pendleton wool to create one-of-a-kind pieces that endure the active lifestyles of little ones.

Check out our Q&A with Cristin and Cora to learn more about Camp Wolf and the inspiration behind each of their handcrafted designs.

Plus be sure to enter the Minnetonka + Camp Wolf giveaway for the chance to win a Camp Wolf vest for you and your little one, along with matching Minnetonka mocs!

Tell us about yourself and your background and how Camp Wolf came to be?

Camp Wolf was born in Portland, Oregon out of a love for the Pacific Northwest and our passion for making unique things for the people we love.  Camp Wolf started as a kid’s clothing and accessories line, but since our launch in September 2013 has grown to include styles for men and women, too.

Believe it or not, we met through Instagram just over a year ago and live on opposite sides of the country (Portland OR & Richmond VA)!  We are both mamas to boys (Miles, 2; Henry, 3; Jack, 2) who keep us super busy.  We’re pretty amazed by how much we’ve grown in our first year, and sometimes we still just can’t get over seeing photos of our amazing customers and their children wearing things that we’ve made!

Tell us about the handcraftsmanship that goes into each Camp Wolf piece. How is each piece unique?

When it comes to our products, we believe in function, craftsmanship, and above all, individuality. All of our denim garments are repurposed and feature authentic, 100% pure virgin Pendleton wool, made right here in the USA.

Because all of our denim has been carefully selected from all over the country and is embellished by hand, no two pieces are exactly alike. This is what makes them truly unique!

Describe your design process.

If we had to pick one area of our business where living so far apart presents the most challenges, it’s here!  Since we aren’t able to work together in the same studio space, we begin designing a lot of our products independently.

Thankfully, it’s really easy to stay connected between endless phone calls, texts, emails, Skype sessions, and the good ol’ USPS, so we’re still able to be involved in one another’s creative processes.  Naturally we are drawn to different styles, and the way we create new products allows for each of them to be represented within our line.  We love that!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

We are endlessly inspired by the gorgeous materials that we use daily for our line.  Pendleton wool comes in so many beautiful prints and colors, and we love challenging ourselves to find new ways to use it.

Our boys are also a constant source of inspiration!  They all have such different personalities, and it’s so much fun to see our designs come to life on them.  It’s also a great way to test the durability of our products.

What’s been your favorite piece that you’ve created so far?

Our denim jackets are, hands down, our favorite pieces.  They are what started it all, and they are what truly embody our line.  The process of hand-picking a jacket and pairing it with the perfect Pendleton print to give it a whole new life is so much fun, and we’re always in love with the final product.  Knowing that our garments will be worn with love on adventures great and small is awesome!

 Photography by:

Margaret Jacobsen
Aspen Summit
Clair Morgan

DIY Spotlight: Embroidered Mocs

We can’t wait to try this adorable DIY Tammie from Dear Whimsy created using her favorite pair of Kilty Mocs.

Check out the tutorial below on how to colorfully embroider your favorite pair of moccasins and be sure to visit Tammie on Instagram for more design and DIY inspiration!

Supplies:

Embroidery yarn

 - Black
 - Coral pink
 - White
 - Mustard yellow

Sharp Stitching needles
Thumbtack
Chalk pencil
Scissors
Turquoise beads

Step 1: Draw your design using a chalk pencil. Use it lightly just incase you make a mistake.  If you happen to make a mistake, have a soft toothbrush nearby and brush lightly to remove the marks. I started my design with triangles one inch apart.

Step 2: After I was done drawing out my design, I used a thumbtack to prepare holes for my needle so it’s easier to sew.

Tip: I like to lightly coat the tips of my yarn with glue stick to keep it from fraying. To be honest with you, I chose this simple design because this is my first time trying embroidery! Let’s just say YouTube was very helpful.

My YouTube searches included: “how to thread an embroidery needle” & “how to make frenchknots.” It’s very easy, I promise, just pretend your needle is your pen.

Threading an embroidery needle is little different than threading a regular needle. Instead of doubling the yarn you leave a short tail and a long tail, tying a knot at the end of the long tail.

Step 3: Trace out your triangles. Once you finish one, you move on to the next one until you have completed all four.  Then make a small knot inside to finish it off.

Step 4: Since the triangles are one inch apart, make a line at the half inch point using your white yarn. Just like the previous step, once you finish one, move on to the next until you’re done with all four and make a small knot inside.

Step 5: In between that line you’re going to make a upside down “V” to make an arrow using your mustard yellow yarn.

Step 6: This is where I had to YouTube “How to Make a French Knot” it’s easy, don’t worry. If you’re unsure, get yourself an embroidery hoop and practice. I loved making them, it’s such a cute little detail.

Step 7: BEADS! Okay, this might be a little tricky. When I was at this step I realized my bead didn’t fit through the “eye” of my needle SO, this is where coating the tip of my yarn with glue stick came in handy. I removed the needle, threaded the yarn through the bead and then I threaded the needle again to sew them to the shoe.

Tah-dah! It might look a little crazy from the inside but in this case it’s what’s outside that counts.  I hope you enjoy this DIY!

 

DIY Spotlight: Painted Flower Mocs

Looking for the perfect summer moc? You’re in the right spot!  Today Courtney from A Little Craft In Your Day will be teaching you how to paint your White Smooth Leather Mocs with nail polish. These floral guys are the perfect DIY shoe for any occasion from fancy country club events and polo matches to a family barbecue or a casual day in town.

Check out the tutorial below on how to give your smooth leather mocs a makeover with nail polish and be sure to visit A Little Craft In Your Day for more fun DIY inspiration.

Supplies:
Minnetonka White Smooth Leather Mocs 
nail polish in a variety of bright colors
adhesive flower stencils

Step One: Pick a place on the shoe to start the pattern. Place the first stencil there. The rest of the design will stem off of your first flower.

Step Two: Using the nail polish, paint in the stencil. Let it dry before removing. These adhesive stencils are reusable which is very helpful.

Step Three: Going off of your first flower, create a pattern with the different shaped flower stencils. Try to alternate colors to get the best effect on your pattern. I try not to have two of the same color flowers right next to each other, but sometimes it is inevitable. Cover the entire top section.

Now, go enjoy your new floral mocs!