Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe

I am thankful I was not born a pilgrim...

Life in Plymouth, MA in the early 1620s was definitely not an easy one.  If you even survived the long voyage and the first few months on land (2-3 pilgrims died each day, possibly, from scurvy or pneumonia),  you had to build your life and home entirely from scratch in a completely foreign land.  You had to grow and hunt for your food (my brown thumbs would not have been handy) and spend the better part of the day preparing, cooking and preserving the food in pretty sparse and oftentimes harrowing conditions.  

There is one thing, however, that I may have enjoyed…it seems pumpkin or "pompion" was a readily available ingredient and was served throughout the day as depicted in this early verse:

"For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon."
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633

Now granted they weren't having pumpkin lattes, pumpkin ravioli and stuffed pumpkin cupcakes, but there was pumpkin home-brewed beer and this recipe for Pilgrim-era Stewed Pompion sounds pretty tasty despite the noted side-effects:

“The Ancient New England standing dish.
But the Housewives manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire a whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stew'd enough, it will look like bak'd Apples; this they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar, (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c.) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh: It provokes Urine extreamly and is very windy.”
Josselyn, John. An Account of Two Voyages to New-England, Made during the Years 1638, 1663. Boston: William Veazie, 1865.

I've enjoyed creating recipes with pumpkin over the past few years, branching out from the usual pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread that we all grew up enjoying.  I love pumpkin in both savory and sweet preparations and I'm not alone; pumpkin flavored anything is huge right now.  I do occasionally cook with a fresh whole pumpkin, but canned pumpkin is pretty handy and is still very healthy as it's loaded with Vitamin A, fiber, potassium and iron.  Canned pumpkin puree is the ingredient I use in this savory pumpkin turkey chili.  

This chili is perfect for a cool autumn evening.  The pumpkin lends a nice body to the chili and when combined with pumpkin pie spice adds a wonderful warm aroma and flavor to the dish.  I brown (tan?) the turkey and then combine it and the rest of the ingredients in a slow-cooker - so it cooks itself.  No all-day cooking over an open hearth for me!  We love it served with a squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and some crumbled tortilla chips, but you can top it with whatever you like!  So, I dedicate this recipe to those brave and steadfast pilgrims who paved the way for us to have an easier life full of freedoms. That is something we can all be thankful for.  

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Turkey Chili:

Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe:

Christina Verrelli - epicuricloud.com

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil (I used safflower)

2 pounds ground turkey breast

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 (15.5-ounce) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)

1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Tabasco

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Optional Toppings:

lime wedges to squeeze in

chopped fresh cilantro

sour cream

tortilla chips

Directions:

Add oil to large skillet over medium heat.  Crumble in turkey, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up as it cooks, until no longer pink or opaque.  About 10-12 minutes.

Add cooked turkey and all other ingredients to slow cooker.  Stir and cook on high for 4 hours or low for  6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.  Taste and season with more salt if desired.

Printable Recipe Link: Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Great for Pinning ⬇

Thanks for spending some time in the cloud with me!  I hope you like the recipe!  Tina ( :




Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

Warm spiced pumpkin cupcake stuffed with gooey chocolate chip cheesecake filling...

Variety is the spice of life, so pumpkin or chocolate stuffed cupcakes - What are you in the mood for?

I set out to make a pumpkin version of the chocolate stuffed cupcakes I just posted yesterday.  I thought the gooey chocolate chip filling would be amazing nestled down in a moist spiced pumpkin cupcake.  On my first try, I assembled them just like the chocolate version; dolloping the filling on top of the pumpkin batter.  I discovered that because the pumpkin cake batter is denser than the chocolate, the filling never sank into the middle of the cake.  It just lay on top - mocking me.  On my second try, I layered a little batter in the bottom, a dollop of filling next and topped it with a little more batter.  That technique worked!  Moist pumpkin cupcake concealing a cream cheesy chocolatey surprise!  WooHoo!

Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcakes:

Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe:

Christina Verrelli - epicuricloud.com

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 ounces mini-chocolate chips

Cake Batter:

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup oil (I used safflower)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners.

Filling:  In medium bowl, mix well, cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Cake Batter:  In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and sugars.  In medium bowl, whisk together, eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined.

Fill the bottom of the 12 cups with about 2 tablespoons of the cake batter.  Add a generous dollop of the filling on top of the batter. (about 2 tablespoons each.)  Using the rest of the cake batter, evenly spoon a final layer of cake batter over the filling (about 2 tablespoons each.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Printable Recipe: Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcakes

Perfect for Pinning ⬇

Thank you for spending some time in the cloud with me!  I hope you enjoy the recipe!  Tina ( :


 


Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

The last time I remember making these I was 14...

Hockey puck-like failed cupcake on the right.  Lesson learned!

I recall being amazed that there was vinegar in a cake recipe…seemed like a cool science experiment - combining vinegar and baking soda just like the lava you'd make for those paper maché volcanoes.  No eggs, no baking powder, just a cool chemical reaction to make them rise.  I did learn (the hard way) that once you mix the vinegar and the baking soda in the recipe the clock starts ticking, you only have so long to get them in the oven before the puffing power subsides.  How long you ask?  Not long enough to realize you are late for picking your daughter up from a birthday party, running to the mall to grab her, running home…approx. 30 min.  They came out like dense little hockey pucks.  So I mixed up another batch (the third in so many days.)  

The first time I made them, I followed the old recipe card from my Mom's recipe box - and they made 24 large cupcakes - more than I wanted to make.  So, I set out to adjust the ingredients to make just 12 regular-sized cupcakes at a time.  You could also make these as mini-cupcakes, but at the time I just couldn't muster the patience for filling all those tiny little cups.  

This is another recipe that originally came from my neighbor growing up,  Joanne English.  Thanks for sharing Mrs. English!  She called them "Chocolate Cheese Cups."  I have also seen similar recipes called "Black Bottom Cupcakes."  They could just be called - "Chocolatey Cups of Heaven"

Original Recipe Card in my handwriting ( :

Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes:

Love the notes Mom added in the upper corner.

Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe:

Christina Verrelli - epicuricloud.com

Originally from Mrs. Joanne English ( :

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 ounces mini-chocolate chips

Cake Batter:

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1/3 cup oil (I used safflower)

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners.

Filling:  In medium bowl, mix well, cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Cake Batter:  In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  In medium bowl, stir together, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined.

Fill the 12 cups evenly with the cake batter (about 1/4 cup in each.)  Add a generous dollop of the filling on top of the batter. (about 2 tablespoons each.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Printable Recipe: Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

Perfect for Pinning ⬇

Thanks for spending some time in the cloud with me!  I hope you enjoy the recipe!  Tina ( :