Some may say I slacked yesterday in my food-blogging profession; I should have been at the 8th annual Madison Food and Wine Show. THE finest gourmet food producers in Wisconsin were there, exhibiting their one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-food-world-art delicacies. But most of these I can easily find through my work on Wisconsinmade.com.
So, I decided instead to immerse myself completely in the Slow-Food Movement. In fact, I went beyond slow. I participated with food in reverse. I interacted with food moving away rather than toward the table. In short, I startled geese and ducks at Wisconsin's Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge. And let me note, this table fowl can move amazingly fast. But most of the time that I watched, it didn't. After making dramatic splash landings on the marsh, the Canada geese pretty much lazed around socializing with peers. The ducks were more active. The shovelers, pintails, scaup, grebes, buffleheads, and of course mallards, were in their characteristic feeding pose, - you know the one: "When it's sups for ducks, it's bottoms up!" The fastest-moving birds were in the flocks of blackbirds tearing through the sky, which is why we don't eat them, -they're too hard to catch. But Horicon Marsh is more than a poultry smorgasbord. Complimentary side foods were strewn about the grassy and woodland trails; nuts of hickory and walnut lay near ripe apples. These apples were probably the fastest food to prepare available, but I didn't need them. I had packed a snack. It was a healthy autumn snack. I had a so-healthy-I-can't-believe-they-taste-so-good sort of snack. I had made Kay's spiced pumpkin cookies. Click on "Continue reading..." for the recipe and more about fun fall things to do in Wisconsin.
First, here's the recipe for spiced pumpkin cookies. You'll read the ingredients and say this recipe is for a granola bar, and I suppose you could shape the cookies into a bar shape. But there are no whole oats in the recipe, just a lot of bran! Yes, bran with pumpkin, raisins and pecans, - ALL VERY HEALTHY. And if you make the recipe like I did and forget to add the half cup of corn oil I think it qualifies as fat-free. And cholesterol? - egg whites only in this recipe. So where's the flavor? How can this taste good? Well, the cup of brown sugar and all of the spices deliver incredible flavor. In fact, I've had a very difficult time abstaining from over-indulgence of these cookies and have silently vowed not to make them again. These cookies are dangerous because of their addictiveness. Beware. Make them at your own risk.
Spiced Pumpkin Cookies
- 1 1/4 cups oat bran (I substituted wheat bran because I was so certain I had oat bran I didn't check the cupboard until I was making the cookies. Then I discovered instead I had two packages of wheat bran. I've had the cookies now with both kinds of bran and don't have a preference. So I recommend using whatever bran is handy.)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 Tablespoon ginger
- 1/4 Tablespoon ground cloves
- 2 Tablespoons non-fat dry milk
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 2 egg whites, beaten with 1 teaspoon corn oil
- 1/2 cup corn oil (Kay says the oil has to be corn oil - not a healthy oil like canola. Kay's healthy to an extreme so if she nixes healthy oils here you should too. But I think I out-healthed her this time. I think I've discovered that the 1/2 cup of corn oil is an optional ingredient, unless I did put it in and just don't remember, but it's more likely that I goofed the recipe. )
- 1 cup cooked pumpkin (my pumpkin cups are very generous)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla (I still hadn't gone shopping so once again I substituted almond extract, - I really like almond extract.)
- 1 cup raisins (Some recipes say raisins are optional; but I won't say that about this recipe. The raisins taste terrific in these cookies; even my raisin-hating daughter likes them here smothered in pumpkin, bran, and spices.)
Combine dry ingredients and mix well. In separate bowl, combine and mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and blend well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on to greased cookies sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack.
Pretty simple recipe. You may wonder if I mistakenly typed Tablespoon when I should have typed teaspoon. I assure you I didn't. My typing is much better than my cooking. Do put Tablespoons of spices in; you'll be glad you did. Enjoy.
Now back to fun things to do in Wisconsin in the fall. The leaves are almost down but you can still see the gorgeous color and stay warm at the same time. Just take a driving tour. Wisconsinites have written marvelous guides for your leisurely travels through our state. Dennis McCann Takes You For A Ride is one fun Wisconsin travel guide. Another is Mary Bergin's Sidetracked In Wisconsin. And if you're like me and have only a weekend for travel and will be traveling with kids, a great guide is Sue Lampert Smith's Wisconsin Family Weekends. If you want to know about specific festivals or events, check out Travel Wisconsin's Events Calendar. There's bound to be something fun to do where ever you're going in Wisconsin. So hit the road before it's iced.