Monday, January 31, 2011

O-Face Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

I had read somewhere last year (Thanksgiving 2009) that there was a nationwide pumpkin shortage. If I recall, there was actually a note posted on the Target shelf about the shortage to let people know. I remembered that when I was shopping before the holidays this year (2010), and since I was feeling much more festive and Thanksgivingy than the previous year, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to stock up. Who knows, maybe everyone was going to stockpile canned pumpkin in fear of another shortage! Stranger things have happened, right? Well I’m sure you are shocked to hear it, but it’s almost February and I still have cans of pumpkin puree sitting in my pantry, waiting to fulfill their culinary destiny.


I saw this recipe in an old issue of cooking light and decided to try it out. The recipe was part of an ad for Buitoni, and the ingredients included their pre-made Alfredo sauce found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. That’s all fine and well, but I’ve had bottled Alfredo sauce before (it was not Buitoni brand, but still) and it was NOT GOOD. It tasted weird and preservative-filled, and the experience left me with a deep distrust of canned cheese. I was feeling ambitious, so I made Alfredo sauce from scratch. Not exactly the budget route, but way less expensive than years of therapy to deal with my food trust issues. I’m not sure that I’m ready to confront my feelings about canned cheese quite yet anyway. I used this recipe, found on, and then added the wine, shallots, and pumpkin puree. The original recipe calls for sage and green onion, but I didn’t have either of those things, and I didn’t miss them. The recipe also calls for the sauce to be served over pre-made cheese ravioli. I followed the instructions on this point, but I think the sauce would be better appreciated served over penne pasta or fettuccini (or any other sort of pasta that isn’t stuffed with cheese) so that the pumpkin flavor really comes through. The fine people of Buitoni probably have some choice words for me for sharing their recipe and then telling you that you don't actually need their products to make it... but they do make packaged fettucini and i'm sure it's the best packaged fettucini in all the land, so... there's that. (Also, i have no idea how to spell fettucini. Blogger, MS word, and Google have all corrected my spelling in different ways, so now I'm confused.)


1/8 cup of butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3/4 cup of Parmesean cheese (not Kraft sprinkle cheese- you want real, legit parm for this)
1/8 cup of fresh parsley (NOT optional- a lot of times I will leave out parsley from recipes just bc I don't have it on hand and used to think of it as glorified rabbit food- but if you're gonna make this sauce, spend an extra buck and buy fresh parsely. It's worth it.)
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup of chopped shallots
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon if you are using dried (optional)
chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

Melt the butter and then add the cream in a medium saucepan. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic, and gradually add the cheese. Keep stirring, and don't worry if it looks gloppy. Mine did too, but when you add the pumpkin later it evens out the texture. You can also add milk to thin it out a little. Add the parsley and then taste the delicious alfredo sauce you just made- from fuckin scratch! You're like an Italian grandmother! But way hotter, and with a better rack. Now, on to the next step.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside for a minute. Take a small saucepan and toss in the shallots and wine and let it cook down for a few minutes. The original recipe says to let it reduce to about a tablespoon, but I didn't wait that long, I think I still had closer to 2 tablespoons of liquid. Remove from heat and pour that into the saucepan with the alfredo, and put that back over low heat. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Now stop and taste, and try not to pee your pants, because it's going to be really good. Now is the time to adjust the texture. You can add more pumpkin and/or a little bit of milk if your sauce is lumpy or gloppy. It is extremely unlikely that you can add too much pumpkin. (You will still have probably half a can of the pumpkin left over. I debated making pumpkin banana bread, but this recipe turned out so so so good, I will probably just make this again. ) Once you get the sauce to the desired texture and the pumpkin/milk you just added is warmed through, you are done! Pour it over some warm pasta and dig in. You'll be making your O face in no time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"I've got the northeast on my side"

You already know this about me, but one of the reason why I love living in the northeast is because of the snow! People complain about it all the time, but its part of living up here. You gotta go through the winter to enjoy the summer, right?! I love having all the seasons and they all make me happy for their own reasons. You also know this about me, I hate to sweat. Its the James Roberts in me, no lake butt here! So fall and winter are right up my ally. There is something magical about the snow, and no matter what I am determined not to let the silly attitude of the northeast bring me down. I find it very calming and relaxing. I was even silly enough to walk out in the snow last night alone. If anyone looked out their window they probably thought I was nuts but I don't care, it was what I needed.

The camera on my blackberry doesn't give the beauty of the snow we had yesterday any justice. But I hope you get what I am talking about. I know you lived here but I'm not sure you really got to go through a nor'easter like yesterday. It's is truly something.

xo bekah

ps. I need a good camera, I'm hoping when I get the iPhone it will serve me better!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Standing On My Head

My manager at work yesterday asked me if I was coming to the kit building getting together on Sunday. I had to decline and my co-worker then proceeded to ask me what I was doing. DUH! NHL All-Star Weekend! This isn't a hockey blog, but over the past few years I have become quite the fan, so I'm sorry Hampton, this may come up from time to time.

There is a whole weekend of events going on, and I couldn't be more excited! They are doing things a little different this year. Friday they are having an All-Star Fantasy Draft, where the players get to pick each other (playground style), it will be interesting to see who picks who. Then on Saturday its the Super Skills Competition, which is always exciting to watch. I'm very curious to see the show Ovechkin is sure to put on. And then of course there is the All-Star Game on Sunday night! There is no better reason that I can think of to have a get together! We will have to dvr the shows Friday and Saturday, but that makes for an all day watching extravaganza on Sunday. So I'm sorry boss, I won't be able to make it to the kit building class this weekend.

Crosby & Malkin won't be at the game because of injury but I gotta shout out to my Penguins!

Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks

Bobby Ryan (Jersey's Own!) of the Anaheim Ducks

& of course Alex Ovechkin, always a show!

I figure since I'll be making dinner I have to have dessert. And since Grandma B will be hangout all day, I'm enlisting her to help me make some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Mmmm I can't wait.

xo bekah

Monday, January 24, 2011

yes, skulls.

I forget exactly how I found out about Michelle Chang Jewlery, but browsing around her Etsy shop, I found more than a couple of pretty things I'd like to add to my jewlery box. This skull ring is my favorite. I bookmarked it a while ago just because I thought it was cool, but having had more and more talks recently with my boo about our future, I've started to look at jewelry through a different sort of lense and I think this ring would make a really cute wedding band.


I know what you are thinking. "Skulls?!?! for a wedding band?!?!" But they are really, really cute skulls. Delicate skulls. They even have diamond eyes, which is perfect for those slightly more traditional non-traditionalists out there. I mean really, this ring is pretty badass. But at $1400, it looks like I will need to keep looking for a more wallet-friendly way to say "til death do us part."


Friday, January 21, 2011

"Up & Over it & Over Them"

It's funny. When I think about music, I always assume that you (Hampton) & I listen to alot of the same thing. I don't think that is true, and to be completely honest (you are my best friend that only makes sense, we've talked about everything else in this world haha) aside from Relient K & cheesy old skool christian ska (ahhh tooth & nail) I can't think of anything we share in common, music wise. Although, after typing that I realize we have New Found Glory! I feel better now.

However, I do think you listen to Tegan & Sara & if you don't I think you would enjoy them. I have always kinda been on the fence about them but after discovering their album "Sainthood" I have fallen in love. They have written some catchy tunes & their lyrics I find myself identifying with. Besides that, I really love their look. I feel the are very true to form & I like that. The artist in me wants to put makeup on them because they have bone structure to die for. But either way, take a listen! NOW! kthxbi.

xo bekah

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I look like Joan, right?!

Have I ever told you how much I love, I mean LOVE Christina Hendricks?! Sure, maybe you've seen her on my facebook, or in my twitter feed but I LOVE her. My self image hasn't always been the greatest, and with very few role models it's sometimes hard to picture yourself beautiful when nothing around you looks like you. & God, if someone else tells me "Well you know Queen Latifa is big & beautiful" I might as well shoot myself if that's what I have to look up too! (no offense if you have some crazy obsession for her, just not my thing)

I sometimes wonder if it's Christina herself or her character on Mad Men (which is amazing in general) that I like so much, but I figure it doesn't matter. I never had a celebrity or famous female to admire as a kid, matter a fact I hated them because I felt I wasn't up to par. But I've put my junior high sadness behind me & have fallen in love. One time had a customer tell me I looked her. I nearly died, and gave her a hug. I'm sure it was just the fact that I have red hair and red lipstick on but that moment is going down in my top 10.

Just thought you should know. Oh, and you should watch Mad Men, I was totally born in the wrong decade. (oops there I go wishing I was someone else again, dammit I gotta stop that!)

xo bekah

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jackson Pollack Diarrhea

(Jackson Pollack - Autumn Rhythm 1950)

Well, shit.

Yes, I said shit.

Shit! It's been a whole year since either one of us has probably looked at this. Kinda makes me sad, but like Hampton knows, I think everything happens for a reason. So for shits & giggles, 2011 is gonna be our blogging year!

We don't talk nearly enough as we should, and it always seems to be me who drops the ball on our phone dates. ( I can be pretty lame like that) But last night during our much needed phone date we didn't even mention this blog, which makes me think we should blog more often. Hampton works at a computer and I'm gonna be inseparable from my net book with school starting, I figure we need to do this for our own sake.

One time we had this little scrap book we would mail back and forth with the different shit we would put in there, and now since its 2011 we should so the same here. A lot cheaper this way! Ha!

So enough of this shit! & get on it!

xo bekah