Edgar just left for work and today begins the first official day of my Christmas break. We leave for Fort Worth on Thursday, but in the meantime, I’m more or less stuck at home.
Doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve been able to make huge messes of the living room wrapping gifts.
That’s a lot of gifts. In actuality, a lot of them are actually gifts to us from my parents that we had to wrap ourselves. Yes, my family makes a big deal out of making sure we have something to open on Christmas morning, even if my mom already gave us the Christmas money to buy our our clothes and we’ve already been wearing them.
Speaking of gifts, since we’re on a fairly tight budget, and I love homemade food gifts, I’m making pumpkin butter for the in-laws. (Uh… surprise!)
I like the idea of giving pumpkin butter because it lasts longer than baked goods, and it’s super-simple to make!
2 cups (or 1-15 oz can) pumpkin
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar (honey has the best flavor)
1 tbsp real maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup!)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about 25%-50%, or until desired fruit butter consistency. Right before pulling the butter off the heat, stir in vanilla. Allow to cool before placing in container.
Makes 1-2 cups of pumpkin butter, depending on how long you allow it to reduce.
Let me take this moment to share with you possibly my favorite home-cooked meals. It’s simple. It isn’t fussy. Anyone can do it, and start-to-finish I think the entire meal was prepared in 30 minutes.
It’s bison burgers with roasted sweet potato fries.
I really think it’s very versatile, too. You can make many different flavor profiles by substituting just a few ingredients or flavorings. For example, this really was more of a heart-healthy-meets-what-I-have-on-hand version. I started off with some simply seasoned 96% lean ground bison (salt, pepper, and Lea & Perrins Reduced Sodium Worcestershire Sauce, which I got through the Foodbuzz Tastmaker Program. If I ever serve you beef or bison, I serve you Lea & Perrins. It’s a fact).
Instead of lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, I used spinach, roasted red pepper (which I
carefully roasted over my gas range!), and avocado, and I seasoned my sweet potato fries liberally with olive oil, salt, pepper and red curry powder.
Another option would be adding pepperjack cheese and tossing the sweet potatoes with adobe sauce (or if you can find ground chipotle chilies, you could sprinkle that on instead!) Or you could go Mediterranean and replace the avocado with basil pesto and toss the sweet potatoes with rubbed sage.
Or you could go lighter and replace the bun with a lighter bun (like an Ezekiel sprouted grain version or Nature’s Own low-cal variety), go light on the avocado, and use roasted winter squash instead of sweet potatoes.
See? Versatile! And deeelicious…
And since I’m feeling full of good tidings of food and joy, I’m giving away one coupon for a FREE bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.
Just leave a comment about what sort of thinks you like on your burger.
Winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday!