I'm not sure what it is--maybe the "scientist" in me who likes to experiment--but I don't follow a lot of recipes exactly. Instead, I seem to like to use a recipe as a starting point and then experiment with my own concoction.
For the pumpkin chili, I combined the one from my must-try list, my mom's & a friends. This is what I came up with:
- 1lb. ground beef
- half a medium onion (chopped)
- 2 15oz. cans kidney beans (drained)
- 2 15oz. cans stewed or diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 cup pumpkin
- chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, brown sugar (all "to taste")
In a large pot, brown onions and ground beef. Once brown, add the pumpkin, kidney beans, tomatoes & sauce. For the spices, I added everything "to taste"--starting with (about) 2 tsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar. Let simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour (stirring occasionally). I ended up adding a little more chili powder & pumpkin pie spice.
To go with, Pumpkin Cornbread muffins sounded delish! Between the baby & toddler, I wasn't up to making it from scratch though (although I'm sure the original recipe I found for the pumpkin list is fantastic). Instead, I used this cornbread muffin mix packet:To the mix, I added just under a 1/2 C milk, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 C pumpkin, 2 tsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, and a little extra sprinkle of cinnamon.
Verdict on both?...
Neither the chili nor the muffins had an overwhelming pumpkin taste, but just a slight hint of those yummy fall spices & flavors. They were both great ways to use some of my mass quantities of pureed pumpkin from Halloween. Another huge plus--the house smelled wonderful!!
Not only will I make these both again, but will do big batches to freeze. These will both be great to have on hand in the freezer for quick meals this fall & winter!