Classic Pumpkin Scones

So, I know I posted a pumpkin scone recipe just a few weeks ago, but I couldn't resist posting another one. Since it's almost the end of November (which I consider the unofficial pumpkin-baked-good month) I had to share this recipe before the month is over. I've made quite a few different pumpkin scone recipes in the past which have all been good, but when I made this one last week I knew I had the winner! I think this is probably the best one of the bunch. It's a classic scone, buttery and tender, with the addition of a little pumpkin and scented with warming autumn spices. I was planning on adding some chocolate or nuts to the dough, but I realized when they were all cut and on the baking sheet that I had forgotten to add anything at all. But I needn't have feared, they turned out amazingly! Everything I wish for in a scone. Whether you keep theses scones plain, or add your favorite mix-ins, you won't be disappointed, I promise! 

Yum!! So tender and delicious! These scones did not turn out tough like some pumpkin scones do. I think it's key to work the butter evenly into the dough, not leaving the pieces too big so the butter just melts out. And also be very careful not to add too much liquid. I've made this mistake in the past and it leads to a tough finished product. You want just enough of the liquid to pull it all together, and not any more. I usually don't add all the liquid right away at the beginning, instead adding it a little bit at a time until all the dough is moistened and just sticks together. Stop at this point and start shaping. This will help that end product be a real winner! Some chocolate, walnuts, pecans, or cranberries would all be fabulous. Or just keep them plain and simple, and enjoy those warm and buttery spices.


Classic Pumpkin Scones
Adapted from Vanilla and Bean

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut the cold butter into 1/4" cubes and place in the freezer while prepping the other ingredients.

Sift the flour, corn starch, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Add the cold butter to the sifted ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter into the pastry until evenly incorporated. The butter should be small, about pea sized, evenly coated, and distributed in the flour.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the half and half, pumpkin puree and vanilla and pour into the flour mixture. Gently stir the mixture until the flour is just moistened. The dough will be shaggy and seem dry. Add more half and half very slowly as needed for the dough to just hold together. Do not add too much liquid or the scones will turn out flat and tough, you want to add just enough so that the dough barely holds together. 

Dump the contents out of the bowl onto a flour dusted work surface and shape into a circle approximately 3/4-1 inch thick, depending on your preference. Cut the circle into 4-6 wedges. Place scones on the parchment lined sheet pan, cover and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. (At this point, the scones can be held in the fridge overnight for a quick bake in the morning. Just make sure they are wrapped tightly).

Preheat oven to 425F while the scones are resting in the fridge.

Before baking, sprinkle the coarse sugar evenly over the top of each scone if desired, using a little water to help it stick if needed. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. 

Spicy Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

It's squash season at the farmer's market and grocery store, I just wanted to let you know in case you've missed the giant piles of butternut, spaghetti, acorn, delicata, hubbard and other squashes that seem to have taken over everywhere produce is to be found. I don't know about you, but I never tire of delicious winter squash, never. I love the sweet and creaminess of this extremely versatile vegetable. You can eat it on it's own, sweet or savory, you can add it to salads, soups, stews, chili, pasta, or you can add the mashed flesh to baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal...the list just goes on and on.

I have been baking up squashes left and right over the past couple of weeks. I love having already cooked squash sitting in the fridge, ready for whatever I feel like making. One of my recent creations was this delicious soup. With a couple of cups of cooked butternut squash hanging out in the fridge and some red lentils that have been trying to make an appearance for some time now, I knew a simple soup was just the thing. The perfect thing to sit down to on a cool autumn afternoon.

The inspiration for this soup was a recipe I found on Food52 for a sweet potato red lentil soup. I took the idea and made it my own, substituting butternut squash for the sweet potato and a chipotle pepper for the harissa since I didn't have any harissa on hand. For the spices, I just threw in a mix of some of my favorites such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, you get the idea. I didn't measure them. When you're making a quick soup for yourself on a chilly day there's no need to measure or worry about exactly which spices to add. Just pick some of your favorites, add in whatever seems like a good amount and go from there. It's not an exact science, that's what makes cooking so fun, it turns out different every time, but always tasty!

Spicy Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup
Heavily Adapted from Food 52

  • 1/4 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 small chipotle chili
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1-2 cups cooked, cubed butternut squash
  • A few shakes each of your favorites spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, etc.)
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Heat a small amount of oil in a small saucepan. Once hot, add the onion and saute for 5-10 min, until translucent and just starting to color. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, a minute or two. Then add the carrot and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, let cook over medium heat, covered, until carrot begins to soften. Then add chipotle, stock, lentils, butternut squash and spices. 

Cook until everything is soft and cooked through, 20-30 minutes, adding water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Transfer soup to blender and blend until smooth. Return blended soup to pan. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth.) Add water more water if needed. Taste for seasoning and serve, garnishing with cilantro if desired. 

Yields: 2-3 servings

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a great thing. It's fun to eat, it's tasty, it's healthy and it is extremely versatile. Since it is not very flavorful on its own, you can pretty much do anything you want with it. You can make it sweet or savory, whatever you feel like. I've done the typical 'spaghetti' by adding a nice tomato sauce and pretending the squash is actually noodles and I've also added butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and eaten my squash for dessert. Recently I've been looking for something new and different to do with my spaghetti squash though. When I saw this southwestern version I knew I had to try it.

This dish combines the cooked spaghetti squash with onions, peppers, corn, beans, cilantro, cheese and lots of cumin and chile powder. The result was a slightly spicy, nicely seasoned light and healthy main dish. And making boats from the squash shell makes a fun presentation (I wasn't thinking and accidentally cut the ends off my squash so the 'boats' were a little unstable, but still fun). You get a lot of food out of one spaghetti squash this way, I got four servings out of the one recipe, and the recipe only uses half the squash so you can play around with the rest of it for fun. The leftovers reheated quite well the next day, they were a quick and delicious lunch. This is one to make again in the future.

Grab a nice spaghetti squash and get it cooking

The rest of the players

All chopped up

Fresh cilantro adds so much to a dish

Start cooking those peppers and onions

Add the spices and then 

throw in the corn, beans and cilantro

Mix it all up

Scrape the flesh out of the squash

Add the squash to the veggie mixture and 

then pile it all in the squash boats, 

don't forget to top with cheese

Place it all under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese in nice and melty, then eat!

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
From Bev Cooks

  • 1 spaghetti squash 
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (leave seeds in for more heat) 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin 
  • 1 Tbs. Mexican oregano (if you have it, I don't and so I just used my regular oregano) 
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder 
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed) or about 1 cup dried beans, cooked 
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed 
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro, plus more for garnish 
  • 1 lime 
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 

Start by cooking the spaghetti squash. You can either by roast it on a baking sheet for 50 minutes at 375 degrees or if you're in a hurry, just poke some holes in it with a fork and stick in the microwave for 12-15 minutes, turning every few minutes. Let cool another 30 minutes, then cut in half. Spoon out the seeds, then using a fork, scrape up the flesh.

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper and red bell pepper. Saute 2 minutes. Add cumin, Mexican oregano, chili powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute another minute. Add the beans, corn and cilantro. Stir to combine. Squeeze in the lime juice and give one last stir.

Add in half the squash to the bean mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season accordingly.

Stuff each squash half with the mixture and top with grated cheese. Stick it under the broiler until the cheese melts and gets all brown and bubbly.