Pumpkin Party! | The Food Party! | Laura Stec | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

View all posts from Laura Stec

Pumpkin Party!

Uploaded: Oct 20, 2023

It’s all things pumpkin right now. Fun to visit Half Moon Bay farms for fall decorations and Trader Joe's for the new pumpkin treats.

Interestingly, “pumpkins” are not always the best choice for sweetness or flavor in cooking, probably because many of our options, even the sugar pie pumpkins, are bred for everything else: travel, appearance, color…. If you are looking for a winter squash that offers more, make sure to check out the kabocha squash. With a beautiful orange interior, natural sweetness, satisfying texture, and soft skin that can easily be eaten, kabocha may be your best option. Kabocha has been gaining notoriety; find the squash at many grocery stores and farmers markets.

- courtesy of Creative Commons

A fun game to play with Kabocha is Split the Squash in Half - aim cleaver in the middle, embody samurai essence, breathe in the Force, strike from above. Damn, it feels great when you land it!

Don’t get stuck on traditional uses of winter squashes, such as roasting or using them in pies; there are many options for winter squash. Try grating them raw into a fritter, like this fabulous recipe for Delicata Squash and Corn Fritters from the New York Times,

or once baked, adding them into a smoothie, the same way you’d use a banana. Great texture!

- here we use sweet potato, fresh turmeric, black pepper, bottled chai and ground nuts for the smoothie

Kabocha also works well as a spread for your morning toast and afternoon snack. You can bake, pressure cook or use your instant pot to prepare, then mix with tahini (or even a nut butter). Try this recipe on baked rice cakes for a new treat. BAKE packaged ice cakes? Yes, please do. If you don’t, they taste like cardboard. But if you do it’s crispy crunchy heaven.

Kabocha Squash Toasts
This spread is delicious on your favorite bread or try something new – a toasted rice cake.
1 small kabocha squash
Olive oil for drizzling
Tahini, well stirred

optional: cinnamon , nutmeg, allspice, or a sweetener like maple syrup or honey

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet drizzled with a little olive oil. Rub a touch of oil on the skin. Bake until soft inside, time will vary due to size, but start with 40 minutes. Cool slightly, remove pith and seeds. Scoop out squash and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mix in some tahini to taste (start with 2 tablespoons) some salt, and any optional spices or sweetener. Spread on Toasted Rice Cake.

Toasted Rice Cakes
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place rice cakes on dry baking sheet and bake 8 minutes or till crispy.

- photos by LSIC unless noted

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Corina Marquess, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Oct 21, 2023 at 9:58 am

Corina Marquess is a registered user.

A slice of bacon goes good on top of the rice cake presentation.

As for baking pumpkin pies, the canned Libby's stuff always works the best. It is a no-brainer.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Oct 28, 2023 at 9:31 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Here's a pumpkin carving tip from a reader: For those of you who are planning to carve your pumpkins this month in our current rather warm weather, I have a tip to make them last longer. If you spray all the cut surfaces with Lysol spray, it inhibits mold growth and the jack o'lantern will last longer without getting moldy and mushy. Probably not all the way from now until Halloween though; you might want to wait at least another week. Bleach also works.

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Almanac Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

My Holiday Wish List for Menlo Park
By Dana Hendrickson | 3 comments | 3,877 views

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,239 views

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,216 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,627 views


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Almanac readers and foundations contributed over $300,000.