Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

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What makes Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings a Fall Favorite?
A couple years ago when I started my Vegan Before 6:00 diet I was looking for new fun ways to prepare vegan main dishes.  Around that time I was practicing how to make homemade dim sum.  I kept trying new dim sum recipes so I’d get the techniques down.

As many of you know, I love pumpkin during the fall, especially in savory dishes.  So creating a new fall favorite with pumpkin put a smile on my face.  When a friend came over for lunch I prepared these Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings and instantly fell in love!

The filling is…

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Handmade Wonton Wrappers

Handmade Wonton Wrappers

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Why Make Your Own Handmade Wonton Wrappers?
Wonton wrappers are known by several names:  dim sum wrappers, dim sum skins, and dumpling skins, among the most common  Yet in the end this single basic Handmade Wonton Wrapper recipe will help you prepare yummy dim sum dumplings to eat steamed, grilled or fried.

There are other types of dough for other types of dim sum.  To make make buns you will need a dough with a leavening agent, such as yeast or baking powder.  For dumplings to boil in wonton soup, you will need a sturdier dough usually made with eggs added.  Last there i…

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Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Why make Pumpkin Latke Waffles?
This Hanukkah season I wanted to create a new kind of latke (potato pancake) with some leftover boiled potatoes and a wedge of fresh pumpkin.  As many of you know, I love using pumpkin, especially in savory dishes.  For more pumpkin recipes follow this link or this other link.

Autumn is also my favorite season of the year.  I adore the various hues of yellow, red, orange and brown everywhere as well as the abundance of harvested vegetables and fruit.  All kinds of squash, nuts, apples, and pears are among my top choices during autumn.  

Adding pumpkin to …

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Preparing Pumpkin Puree

Preparing Pumpkin Puree

Roasting vs. Boiling when Preparing Pumpkin Puree
Since pumpkin in cans is almost impossible to find outside of the United States, I usually prepare pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin.  If you follow this step, remember to leave the cooked pumpkin in a strainer over a bowl for about 30 minutes to eliminate the excess water.  But do not throw this liquid out as it is absolutely delicious to drink as is or to add it to smoothies, oatmeal, soup or any other dish.  I find this liquid to be my autumn gold as it is so refreshing.

Most cookbooks recommend roasting pumpkin in the oven to remove the …

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Gingersnap Pecan Crust

What Makes This Crust So Delicious With Pumpkin Pie?
For several years I have made this delicious Gingersnap Pecan Crust with pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.  It is easy to make and is so yummy!  As pecans are rare in Belgium, this Gingersnap Pecan Crust can become pricely to make here.  However, if you can afford it or live where pecans are more abundant (In the South in the United States), try it.  You will not be disappointed.

If you are looking for other ideas for pie crust for pumpkin pie, see my recipe for Speculoos Pie Crust.  For those looking for a more classic crust, try my Pastry C…

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Speculoos Pie Crust

Speculoos Pie Crust

What are Speculoos Cookies?
If you are wondering what the heck are Speculoos,  they are a traditional Belgian and Dutch spice cookie eaten all year round yet primarily made for Saint Nicholas day (6 December in Belgium and 5 December in the Netherlands) and the winter holidays.  In some Anglo-Saxon countries, these traditional cookies are known as Biscoff.   In the Netherlands, they refer to these cookies as Speculaas.   In Germany, where these cookies also have deep roots, they are known as Spekulatius.  Many countries in Europe and the Americas follow their own favorite version of a spice c…

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Thanksgiving in Belgium

Thanksgiving in Belgium

How do we celebrate Thanksgiving in Belgium?
Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Belgium. My children and I therefore celebrate Thanksgiving in Belgium each year either the weekend before or after the actual holiday. This year, we celebrated it on Saturday 21 November 2015 with friends and family. Each year is an opportunity to invite new friends to join in the celebration and get a taste for this American holiday. Most people have seen Thanksgiving celebrated in films and on TV and are curious to experience it up close.

When new people join our Thanksgiving table, the dish that is the most u…

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Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Why is this Sweet Potato Casserole Chunky and Juicy?
Most sweet potato casseroles at Thanksgiving are overly sweet with marshmallows and candied pecans and blended into smooth puree.  My Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole leaves the sweet potato, carrots and fruit in chunks, allowing each ingredient’s true flavor to shine.  Very little sugar is added to this casserole, making it more healthy for you to eat.  A naturally light version of this traditional dish should be welcome at your Thanksgiving dinner table to help your guests enjoy their food without feeling guilty or overly stuffed.

The …

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Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Simple Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Sometimes Simple Stuffing Recipes are Welcome on Thanksgiving
If you are like me on Thanksgiving Day, you somehow suddenly become a master multi-tasker.  Preparing several dishes at a time, making sure the oven is constantly filled with dishes being cooked in a pre-determined order, and decorating the table and dining room for the main event:  Thanksgiving dinner.  In all this chaotic order it’s welcoming to have some dishes that remain simple, without any extra fuss.

My Simple Stuffing recipe is exactly what is needed.  It has the all the main ingredients (bread, celery, sage, vegetable b…

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Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

What Makes This Speculoos Pumpkin Pie Worth Waiting an Entire Year?
For more than 30 years I’ve been making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I have always considered pumpkin pie to be one of my specialties.    Truth be told, I’ve basically followed the same recipe for the filling all these years, initially inspired by the Joy of Cooking (6th edition).  However, from time to time I’ve tried different crusts.  This year I tried a new Speculoos Pie Crust and found it to be easy and delicious.  Follow the link above to discover the recipe for this amazing pie crust so you can have as much success a…

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Vegetarian Enchiladas: Delicious and Healthy

Vegetarian Enchiladas:  Delicious and Healthy

How do you turn Vegetarian Enchiladas into an evening?
Why Vegetarian Enchiladas?
A few days ago I prepared dinner for a friend on her way to Cuba.  Although she will certainly have fabulous and authentic Cuban food while she’s there, I wanted to make a Latin American dish to celebrate her upcoming trip.  I decided to make Vegetarian Enchiladas since they are tasty, healthy and comforting.

As Vegetarian Enchiladas may be prepared in advance, reducing the effort needed when company arrives, they are ideal for a mid-week supper. Weeknight suppers should require less preparation, even if you…

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Barbecue to celebrate Father’s Day

Barbecue to celebrate Father’s Day

What makes Barbecue perfect for Father’s Day?
For Mother’s Day I prepared 2 posts with brunch ideas (one tasty vegan and the other tasty non-vegan) to help you celebrate the special occasion.  Somehow brunch seemed to be the appropriate meal for recognizing mothers everywhere.  Let them put their feet up at the start of the day so they know it’s a day to relax.  We show our special affection for mothers by putting some flowers on the table or in a bouquet in the room.

For Father’s Day, however, the norms seem completely different.  The only ideas that come to my mind as “typical” Father’s …

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Tastiest Carnitas North of the Border

Tastiest Carnitas North of the Border

How can you make the Tastiest Carnitas?
Carnitas are the Latin American version of shredded or pulled pork. Cuts of fatty pork shoulder and layers of pork belly are braised together slowly over the stove to create delicious, juicy meat with a slightly smoked flavor. Most chefs use the fat from the pork to enhance the flavor of this yummy dish. I however remove as much fat as possible from the pork before putting it on the stove. Removing the fat makes this dish more healthy and no less tasty. Try for yourself!

I love that this whole carnitas dish can be prepared in a single Dutch oven, mak…

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Homemade Salsa Recipe

Homemade Salsa Recipe

What makes this Salsa Recipe one of my most popular recipes pinned on Pinterest last month?
There are literally hundreds of recipes for salsa on Pinterest (and far more on the Internet). This Homemade Salsa Recipe by Biddy Talk on Tumblr has however attracted hundreds of fellow Pinners’ attention above the others as they selected it to share with their fellow pinners. The ingredients are fresh, easy to find for most people, and common for a pico de gallo salsa recipe. In fact, this recipe resembles the one I follow from Dean & DeLuca Cookbook by David Rosengarten, Joel Dean and Giorgio De…

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