CEiMB ~ Apple Brown Betty and A Savory Stuffed Pumpkin Dinner

Craving Ellie in My Belly Thursday is here and what a dessert! Apple Brown Betty, chosen by this week's host: Jessica of Learning to Love Vegetables.

The recipe for this delicious dessert is found on Food Network's internet site but I did alter the recipe by doing 2 changes.

Change #1: I used all natural, unsweetened applesauce with my apple slices instead of apple cider which made for a thick filling.

Change #2: I replaced 2 of the Golden Delicious apples with 2 Granny Smith apples for a slight tart flavor.

The apple brown betty was served with low-fat vanilla ice cream while the brown betty was still warm. Delicious! Thank you Jessica for hosting. If you would like to see the rest of the group's desserts, click here for the blog roll.

I also stuffed and baked baby sugar pumpkins, each pumpkin weighed about 2 pounds, and what a delicious dinner filled with chunky vegetables, potatoes, and chicken. All covered in a golden, flaky crust of puff pastry. Very easy recipe to approach and fun for entertaining!

Savory Stuffed Pumpkins
4 sugar pumpkins (no more than about 2 lb each)
4T butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped or diced
2 large russet potatoes(about 1lb-ish, of red or Yukon Gold)
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup sliced carrots(I used babies)
12 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 chicken, turkey, pork or veggie stock
1 cup heavy cream
about 3 cups left over mildly seasoned chicken (or saute 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes and add)
1-2T fresh sage, rubbed and chopped
kosher or sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 package puffy pastry sheets, thawed but cool or dough for 2 pie crusts, rolled into 2 rectangles
olive oil
1 egg white, beaten(optional)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary(optional)


Wash outsides of pumpkins and wipe dry with paper towel. Score around the top portion of each pumpkin with sharp knife and remove top with stem. Scoop out seeds and clean.

Lightly brush insides of each pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes until pumpkins have darkened and meat has slight give when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, in large, heavy pan, melt butter and add potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Let cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, until potatoes start to change color, slightly. Add celery and carrots and continue to cook another 10 minutes or so.

Potatoes should be started to get just a little tender and very slightly browning. Add onion, garlic and mushroom and cook about 10 minutes more. Add stock, chicken, cream and sage and stir well. Simmer about 10-12 minutes, stirring often, to thicken sauce.

Season with salt and pepper. Fill each pumpkin with the meat/veggie mixture. It's okay to take it almost to the top!

Roll each dough just enough to be able to cut 2 circles big enough to fit the pumpkin openings, and have about 1/2 inch extra to press down over the top of the pumpkin. Poke a couple small holes in top of dough and brush with beaten egg.

Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, or until pastry dough is browned and crisp.
Remove from oven and place one sprig of rosemary in top of each pumpkin to create "stem", if desired.


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