Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Think you've tried everything pumpkin? Bet you've overlooked these pumpkin cookies.

Yesterday at a roadside fruit and vegetable market, the proprietor was extolling her delight in cooking with fresh pumpkin. She told me she had prepared every type of pumpkin recipe imaginable and knew of nothing "pumpkin" she hadn't cooked.

I asked her whether she had ever tried pumpkin cookies. She wagged her head "no". I hadn't either until I encountered this recipe. I told her that if she was a purveyor of fine things pumpkin, she must give these a whirl.

As with many other food items I've written about in The Newfangled Country Gardener, this recipe for Easy Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese-Pecan Frosting had secured a place of honor in my fall recipe binder but had remained there, untried, for several years. Well, this was my year!

I loved everything about this recipe—especially the close-to-Thanksgivingy smell that invades the kitchen when these delectable little cookies are baking. I also love the tip that was provided at the end of the recipe (which appeared in my Kroger grocery circular some years back): the fact that you can substitute fresh pureed or canned pumpkin puree for half the oil in many brownie, muffin, and sweet-bread recipes.

Considering that at the outdoor market yesterday I brought home six mini pumpkins and one large one, I'll have pumpkin puree to substitute for oil in recipes for a very, very long time.

I plan to give a tray of these to a neighbor at Thanksgiving, take some to my kids on an upcoming visit, and put a few on my Thanksgiving table for our family. They are wonderful!

Easy Pumpkin Cookies

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree (or 1 cup canned pumpkin)
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream-Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package Neufchatel (cream-cheese substitute) cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl stir together all ingredients until well blended. Drop by the teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets; press down cookie batter with a fork that has been dipped in sugar substitute. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on rack. While they cool, make cream cheese frosting by beating cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until the mixture is creamy. Gradually add sugar and salt; beat until blended. Stir in vanilla. When cookies are cool, frost with Cream Cheese-Pecan Frosting. Sprinkle on chopped pecans. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

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