The Orange P Word

October 16, 2010

My, my. This has been a near-perfect day!

Matt and I spent the afternoon chilling (as promised) and then got that “We need to leave the house since it’s so beautiful” feeling.

Should we go for a walk? No, my legs are tired.

Should we go for coffee? Yes, I’m cold. But coffee in the afternoon just feels wrong.

Should we go for a beer. It’s only 4PM. We have kegs in the basement. Probably not.

What about TEA? Where can we get tea.

[Cue Google]

The Tea Bazaar!

A quick 15 minute bike ride later…

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We were downtown!

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And bazaaring our own teapot

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We ordered a pot of chai tea, but quickly had to amend the order when I realized we had ordered a pot of whole milk and sugar. Luckily I caught it in time and we got a delicious pot of chai spice.

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Spiked with a little honey

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And because I am ravenous today, I packed the perfect tea accompaniment: cookies! Suzanne’s peanut butter chocolate cookies (which are PERFECTLY seasoned with salt and sugar) and one of Emily’s Hungry Bars.

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We split both and hunger subsided

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We read and sipped for about an hour and a half. I will be back! It was such a perfect place to read. I find when I read during the daytime I home I get antsy that I should be doing something else. At a tea bar, not so much!

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We departed for home around 6PM and immediately set into baking some whole pumpkins to stuff for dinner!

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I know you are probably tired of the ‘P’ word, but I gotta soak ’em up while I can! You wouldn’t want to see pumpkins in July, would you!?

While the pumpkins baked a la Emily’s instructions, we pondered the mountains with a few P Beers

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First up was this Hoppin’ Frog Double Pumpkin

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It was light and reminded me of the Pumking a bit…but not nearly as flavorful or aromatic. And I felt that it was a bit too light for my liking of a pumpkin beer.

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Next on the tasting menu was the Weyerbacker Imperial Pumpkin Ale

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But I did not care for this one that much either. It tasted and smelled metallic to me. I did appreciate the darker color though, and some of the spice was there.

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Note the comparison: Weyerbacher on the left

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We rounded out the tasting by adding Matt’s pumpkin beer to the line up.

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But compared to the other two, it tasted like a wannbe pumpkin soda. It was lower in alcohol and lacked spice. It made the others actually taste better. I think Matt’s beer is quite good, but it’s not nearly as pumpkin spice as I’d like.

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Dinner tonight was Risotto Stuffed Pumpkins!

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The risotto was made traditionally with parmesan and veggie broth on the stove top and then we stirred in cooked bacon, mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, celery, and garlic that we cooked separately in a skillet, with arugula stirred in. It was DELISH!

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I was surprised that the pumpkin “meat” was SO much like spaghetti squash. It was yellow and not orange and very stringy. Not nearly as good as canned!

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Thinkin’ about something for dessert. A wee bit of chocolate perhaps!?

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie @SavvyEats October 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm

LOVE this dinner idea!

I wonder if you used the wrong kind of pumpkins? The best pumpkins for baking are sugar pumpkins (sometimes called pie pumpkins), and they get soft but not stringy. That’s what I use for all my pumpkin purees!


2 Kath October 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm

That’s what the display implied they were!?


3 Julie @SavvyEats October 18, 2010 at 11:37 am

Hmmm…that’s strange that they came out stringy! :(


4 Kristin October 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Looks like you enjoyed a great day!
Matt is a hairy dude, lol.


5 Hannah October 16, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Not only a wonderful day, but the CUTEST dinner I’ve ever seen! I’ve never come across mini pumpkins here in Canberra…


6 Sarah October 16, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Love the risotto in the pumpkins! Incredibly festive. I’d love to spend an afternoon reading a tea bar, sounds like my kind of bar :) Though I’ve never balked at having coffee in the afternoon…


7 Amy October 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I’m so glad you discovered the tea bazaar! I love that place. When smoking was allowed in restaurants you could order a hookah!


8 Kath October 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

You still can order a hookah! I think they are served outside?


9 Amy October 16, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Oh good! I’m so glad that institution’s still around. The tea bazaar just didn’t seem the same without hookahs on the menu.


10 Christine October 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm

That pumpkin photo with the cap on the side–is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, thank you for it!

I was wondering too if you bought the right type but you seem to have the covered.


11 Estela @ Weekly Bite October 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm

What a wonderful way to end a great day :)


12 Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) October 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

What a cute hangout! Love the decor and the dedication to tea.

Everyone is SO in the fall spirit this weekend and I’m right there with you! 😀


13 Emily GG October 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I bought Pumpking tonight and LOVE it!!!! I love pumpkin and all winter squash, so keep it coming!


14 Laura October 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm

What a cute dinner!


15 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm

LOVE your dinner! I also stuffed a pumpkin for dinner tonight but I need to tweak the seasonings a bit… they weren’t as strong as I’d anticipated. Oh well, just another reason to eat more pumpkin, right?! :) Looks like a great Saturday!


16 Lauren October 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I don’t think this day could be more perfect. A great run, a lovely afternoon tea, and that dinner!!! Oh my, perfect indeed! :)


17 Heather October 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

sounds SO relaxing. I love reading. But, I know what you mean about feeling like you should be doing soemthing else!


18 lynn (The Actors Diet) October 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

dinner looks heavenly!!!

i went to a tea place today too. but i didn’t have any tea!!!


19 Erin @ Shortcut to Bliss October 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I literally have pumpkins baking in my oven right now for dinner. You know what they say about great minds…They read Emily’s blog… Wait that isn’t it… 😉


20 Kristina @ spabettie October 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm

we’re bottling our pumpkin ale tonight !! 😀


21 Debbie B. October 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I’ve been there before an love it! I had some sort of matte smoothie and it was really delicious.


22 Amanda October 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I read recently that the reason canned pumpkin is orange instead of yellow is that they puree the skin with the flesh. I tried it last week after roasting with cinnamon and nutmeg and it looked and tasted exactly like the canned pumpkin!


23 Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Ohhh mee stuffed pumpkin sounds incredible!! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before, actually.


24 trang October 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I think it’s adorable that you and matt eat outside nearly everyday with candles and all the works. And no I am not tired of hearing the “P” word. Keep it coming. I love it!


25 Kori October 17, 2010 at 5:56 am

I agree! It’s so romantic, and I’m definitely loving pumpkin right now, so I’m not sick of hearing about it either! :)


26 Gree October 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I love the idea of spending the afternoon at a tea bar, how lovely! And those stuffed pumpkins look great, though I am with you on the pumpkin meat, it is more squashy than canned. The only way I have ever managed to get that real pumpkin flavor from real pumpkins is to slow roast them, then you get that nice caramel flavor and color. But it’s a process.


27 Mandiee October 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I’m totally not over pumpkin yet so keep it coming! 😉 I agree with you that pie pumpkins aren’t actually all that great, though. I think it is because we are used to Libby’s (or Kabocha-YUM!), which is made with Calabaza squash instead of pie pumpkins. Maybe that’s why the organic canned pumpkin doesn’t taste the same (because it’s made with a different kind of squash)?

Have a lovely day!


28 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef October 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm

the stuffed pumpkin is so pretty!


29 Mads October 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Awesome beer review! Believe it or not, I’ve never had pumpkin beer so I can’t wait to try your faves!

The stuffed pumpkin looks perfect for a themed dinner party.


30 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat October 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I’ve never actually cooked with pumpkins, but after seeing them all over the blogosphere, I am definitely intrigued!


31 Danielle October 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I love the pictures of the pumpkins in that lighting! It has such a fall feel to it, I love it! This post also makes me want to make risotto!!


32 'laina October 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm

That risotto looks amazing, I’m going to try it out on the fam. 😀

I need some beer advise (from you, Matt, or readers?). I *want* to like pumpkin beer, but so far I’m not impressed- only because I ended up with bitter beer face :@. I’ve tried Buffalo Bills’ pumpkin ale, and Dogfish Heads’ pumpkin ale. I like smooth beers like Blue Moon/ Honeymoon-who also happens to have a pumpkin beer, but I don’t want to plop down more $ if it’s going to have the same result as the others. Is Pumking bitter? Anyone? Bueller? Thanks in advance, from the beerdiot.


33 Kath October 17, 2010 at 8:09 am

Buffalo Bills and Blue Moon Harvest are both GROSS!!! Not even drinkable to me!

Here’s a list of the ones worth seeking out:


34 Meg October 16, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Tea time 😀 All of your posts have been SO fall-esque and just gorgeous, Kath! I love it, keep it up 😉 That stuffed pumpkin, ohh my good gosh! SHARE! 😀

Enjoy your evening!


35 holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 16, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I love meals served in the food — like in a pumpkin or a breadbowl :) What a fun way to eat!


36 Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up October 16, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Looks like a fantastically fall day! Love it!


37 Kasey October 16, 2010 at 9:56 pm

What a cool tea place!!! And your dinner is so creative and delicious.


38 Erica October 16, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Kath, I am loving your pumpkin creations, they are giving me new ideas to try with mine! Just be careful…last year, I was eating pumpkin consistently enough along with sweet potatoes and other orangey foods…and my skin turned a bit orange :P.
I also have that tea steeper you used earlier today…I love it! I just have to make sure I use a mug that it fits…but it is great for loose tea leaves.


39 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Looks like a great day! We had a perfect day here! I love baked pumpkin, but it is very different from canned.


40 Krystina (Organically Me) October 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm

What a beautiful dinner! I love the feel of that tea place, too.


41 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 16, 2010 at 10:33 pm

That dinner looks so delicious! I agree whenever I read throughout the day, I feel like I could be doing something else. I can’t read unless it’s right before bed!


42 Natalya (Deliciously Suite) October 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm

The stuffed pumpkin looks amazing! It just feeds into my pumpkin obsession.


43 Cara Craves... October 16, 2010 at 10:49 pm

I won’t get sick of pumpkins for a long while, so don’t hold back!


44 Camille October 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

What a lovely day!
I love the idea of a tea house, unfortunately I don’t love tea :(


45 Maddie October 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Looks like a great dinner! I’ve never heard of a tea bazaar before but it looks fun.


46 Diana @ frontyardfoodie October 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I love a good pumpkin ale but they are hard to find! My husband made one this fall and it’s delicious! We were worried that it wouldn’t turn out because it’s always scary to add spices to a good beer brew but we’re happy with it. I think it would probably be a bit better with a higher alcohol content though so maybe next time we’ll do things slightly different. As it is, we’ll enjoy it this season!


47 Kristen @ Kristen, Sweetly October 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I can’t believe what you guys find right around your house. The tea place looks so funky and cute!! :-)


48 jen October 17, 2010 at 12:09 am

i loooove pumpkin, i bake one at least 2-3 times a week.

i use pie pumpkins but also larger carving pumpkins.

for me, the key is roasting it in the oven for 45-60 min- cut it in half or quarters, flesh side down in a half inch of water.

when its done, peel it and puree the flesh in a food processor- it turns orange-er… and tastes amazing. i would not blend in the skin as someone above said- its very tough and kind of bitter.


49 Namaste Gurl October 17, 2010 at 12:25 am

Yum–your dinner looks fab! I always feel like I’m reading a mini story when reading your posts, love it! :)

I’ve never cooked or stuffed pumpkin myself– does opening a Libby’s can count? :) Looks yummy. My favorite winter squash to stuff is acorn, but I love scooping out kabocha and spaghetti!


50 Meagan October 17, 2010 at 12:59 am

I had NO idea you could eat a pumpkin like that…!


51 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) October 17, 2010 at 6:21 am

Those stuffed pumpkins are just too cute! I’ve never eaten an actual pumpkin, just its family members. :)


52 Heather October 17, 2010 at 6:50 am

What a beautiful dinner! I love the idea of stuffing risotto into a pumpkin.

I love tea so much – I wish I had a place like that near where I live!


53 Sara @ October 17, 2010 at 7:12 am

What a great looking dinner! I love the pumpkin talk, so keep it coming!! It’s fall, after all :) I want to try making b-nut squash risotto this week, hopefully it’s not hard…I don’t mind time consuming :)


54 Food & Other Things October 17, 2010 at 7:13 am

The Tea Bazaar looks so cute…chai spice is my favorite!


55 Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice October 17, 2010 at 7:25 am

There’s something so cozy and relaxing about tea houses. That pumpkin dish looks pretty dang amazing. I can’t get enough of all your pumpkin posts.


56 Alaina @ The Jogging Concierge October 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

Do you like stouts beers? There’s a company in Gloucester MA called Cape Ann Brewing Co. and they make a pumpkin stout. It has the color of a Guinness but it’s quiet smooth with a light pumpkin flavor. I loved it!


57 Christie {Honoring Health} October 17, 2010 at 7:59 am

Those little pumpkins look so cute. I haven’t used any pie pumpkins this year so can’t really speak to what they should be like but I don’t think they should be stringy! Weird.


58 Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear October 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

That tea place looks incredible!


59 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 17, 2010 at 8:04 am

That tea place looks adorable! That would be a perfect place to go and read for an afternoon.


60 Jess @ atasteofconfidence October 17, 2010 at 8:14 am

What a cute afternoon!


61 Aggie October 17, 2010 at 8:20 am

What a great tea bar! That chai spice sounds great…I love chai tea, but not with all the milk and sugar…glad you caught that before it was too late :)

I’m a little jealous of your pumpkin beer tastings! I can’t find any pumpkin beer this year!

Your dinner looks amazing! Keep bringing on the pumpkin…love it all!


62 Christie {Honoring Health} October 17, 2010 at 8:21 am

That pumpkin risotto looks awesome. It has been a while since I cooked a pie pumpkin but I am pretty sure it was not stringy inside. That is totally weird. I wonder if it has something to do with the rain?


63 Ally @ Girl in Her Kitchen October 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

I love the stuffed pumpkin idea! I made stuffed acorn squash the other day and for some reason it hasn’t occurred to me that I could do that with pumpkin, too! I am going to try this! :)


64 Tammy October 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

So I guess canned “pumpkin” isn’t really pumpkin at all but a sister squash to butternut – so that’s why it’s darker orange color instead of yellow :)


65 Katie @ peacebeme October 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

There are many different varieties of pumpkins and you can find some that have meat that taste just like the canned when cooked right. Size also matters. The small ones are best.


66 Vivi October 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

I love catching up with your posts on Monday morning! Looks like you had a nice weekend. I love Harvest time and those pumpkins look so amazing! What a nice post. :)


67 anne October 18, 2010 at 11:23 am

What a lovely afternoon (at the Tea Bazaar) and cozy dinner!


68 Lauren October 18, 2010 at 11:25 am

I made Emily’s pumpkins for our pumpkin cutting party Saturday haha! I think they are taking the world by storm! So cute!!


69 Heidi - apples under my bed October 19, 2010 at 4:31 am

It looks like the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon. I just love going out to read over a cup of tea :)
Heidi xo


70 Amrita Shoinbekova October 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm

That looks great! I really enjoy reading your blog, and for me you are my Jamie Oliver 😉
I am from Moscow, from freezing Russia.
I love risotto, i love pumpkin, can u give a recipe of your one pleeeease!
from Russia with love


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