Step AWAY from the Pumpkin Pie...

November 18, 2008 ...please!

We never got around to carving our pumpkins for Halloween, but don't think they escaped the feel of a sharp knife!  Now, I'm not about to write a blog on how to carve up a pumpkin...I think that's something 99% of the population learns how to do by age 5.  I will, however, celebrate this versatile package of flavor.  Aside from being a major dessert player in these holiday months, pumpkin can be used in rich soups, tasty raviolis, or in a creamy sauce to top spicy grilled chicken.

Pumpkins also have these little things called antioxidants...the culinary fountain of youth.  Yes, eating pumpkin-rich foods can be beneficial, but an anti-aging face mask could be just the ticket in helping out cold-weather skin.  (Just make sure your dog's not too close...apparently they think it's a great pre-dinner snack!)

Cut the pumpkin in half and roast it cut-side down in a 350 degree oven.   It took about an hour for mine to develop a nice caramelized edge.  After that, let it cool, scoop out the insides and either cut into chunks or blend in a food processor.  Good thing there's so many recipe options to choose from...I've still got the other pumpkin on the front steps, awaiting execution...

The first recipe on my list was a creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup.