Pumpkin Troll Horns - Happy Thanksgiving!

And here another pumpkin recipe... These Pumpkin Troll Horns were a perfect addition to the fantastic Thanksgiving Dinner of our friend Jamie's family that we were allowed to be part of.

The first time we experienced these yummy "Troll Horns" in Disneyworld at EPCOT's World Showcase at a Norway Bakery called "Kringla Bakery Og Kafe". They were delicious! The original ones had a white cream filling with cloudberries.

After a long, exhausting and unfortunately unsuccessful search for the original recipe (calling Disney world and google search), I ended up comparing several different internet "cream horn filling" recipes and as it is holiday time, we decided we want to have a pumpkin cream filling.

For this recipe I had to purchase steel cream horn molds (a package of 6). They are not expansive and you can order them online, it is well worth it :)


  • Cream horn molds
  • 1 package Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets)
  • Flour
  • 1 Egg + 1tablespoon water (eggwash)
  • Crystal sugar 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix (about 2.5 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cream (whipping or heavy)


Troll Horns
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Thaw the puff pastry sheets for about 20 minutes. Flour the surface and unfold the pastry sheets. Roll out the pastry sheets lengthwise a little bit more (about 2 more inches). Cut each pastry sheet lengthwise into 9 stripes. Take the cream horn molds and use one stripe for one horn. Start wrapping the pastry stripe around the form, starting at the point of the cone. Make sure to overlap so that there are no gaps. In order for the molds to easily slip out, don't wrap the pastry over the opening. Patch the end together with the rest of the pastry so that it later does not unwrap.

Spray the baking sheet with oil and place the horns on it. Beat the egg with the water and brush the horns with the eggwash. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals (large grains of sugar). Bake the horns for about 15 minutes till puffy and light golden brown. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. The molds should slide off right away. If you only have a package of 6 molds, repeat this procedure 2 more times.

Important: Cover the left over pastry with a wet kitchen towel, so that it does not try out while the other horns are baking.

Pumpkin Cream Filling
In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, vanilla instant pudding, cinnamon and milk. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until thick. Test by turning the bowl up side down, the whipped cream should stay in the bowl and not drop down. Fold the beaten cream into the pumpkin mix till everything is evenly mixed.

Pipe the pumpkin cream into the horns (use a decorating pipe or a ziploc bag with one corner cut of).

Pumpkin Cannelloni & White Wine-Sour Cream-Sage Sauce

And here comes another pumpkin recipe for the Fall... I am on a mission here :)

I looked through several pumpkin cannelloni recipes and decided that I will mix the pumpkin filling with a mushroom-spinach-pine nut filling. The pumpkin is very sweet and I wanted to balance it up with something more earthy and nutty. I also decided to go with a sour cream based sauce because of the sweetness of the pumpkin. Another tip, I used a lot of salt as well for the filling.



  • olive oil
  • 1 pound Pumpkin - peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan - grated
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Sage - chopped
  • 3 Garlic gloves - minced

  • 6 brown crimini Mushrooms - sliced
  • 3 handful of Spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup Pine nuts
  • Salt, Pepper
  • 1 package oven-ready Lasagna sheets


  • 5 tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 sweet Onion - diced
  • 3 brown crimini Mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 cup dry White wine
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cream
  • 5-6 Sage leaves
  • Salt, Pepper


Preheat oven at 350 degree.

1. Pumpkin Filling 
For these cannelloni, you have a pumpkin and a spinach-mushroom filling. First, you need to create the pumpkin filling. Peel, seed and dice the pumpkin, add 1 cup of water, some salt. Cover the pot and let steam for 15 minutes till tender. Then remove from heat, set aside and start smashing the pumpkin till it is soft. It should be so soft now, that you don't need to apply much strength.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and sautee for 2 minutes. Add the chopped sage and fry for 1 more minute. Add the mixture to the smashed pumpkin, add the butter, salt, pepper, ricotta and parmesan cheese. Mix till it's smooth.

Another method that doesn't require so much peeling and cutting would be to roast the pumpkin: Therefore, cut the pumpkin in half, seed it and put it in the oven. Let it roast for about 40-60 minutes (depending on the size) at around 370 degree. When its tender you can just scrape of the soft pumpkin meat.

2. Spinach-Mushroom Filling
For the spinach-mushroom filling, heat some oil, sauté the onion, add the mushrooms and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the pine nuts and roast till they are golden brown, add the spinach and heat for another minute. Remove from heat.

3. Cannellonis
For the cannelloni, bring a large pot with water and salt to boil. Add the lasagna sheets and boil for 2 minutes till they are tender. Drain the pasta and place the lasagna sheets on a cutting board, drizzle with oil so that they don't stick together. You will roll the lasagna sheets and as the sheets are very long and I did not want to have much of an overlap of lasagna sheet or big rolls, I cut the lasagna sheets widthwise in half. Then place 2-3 tablespoon of pumpkin filling in the middle of each half of a lasagna sheet, add 2 tablespoon of mushroom-spinach filling, and roll the sheet. Place in a casserole dish, add 1 cup of water, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the cannellonis, add a few sage leaves, and close the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes at 350 degree.

4. Sauce
For the sauce, heat the butter, add the onion and sauté. Add the sliced mushrooms and the sage leaves, fry for 5 minutes. Add the white wine, salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes. Add the sour cream, mix and taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat down and add the cream. Do not boil with the cream as it would separate. The sweet cream will balance the sour cream taste.

Pumpkin Chowder

The main ingredient of this dish is the pumpkin - perfect cooking ingredient for the Fall. I got inspired to cook with pumpkin by my friend M. who had such a fabulous halloween themed dinner on Halloween (bat pasta with a pumpkin sauce and pumpkin cider).

The most common pumpkin to use for cooking would be the small sugar pie pumpkin, the one that looks like a smaller version of the big pumpkins used for jack-o-lanterns. However, there are tons of different pumpkins and squashes that you can use and it could be fun to try some new ones. For this chowder I went and looked at all the different possible pumpkin and squashes. I ended up using a mix of sugar pie pumpkin, hubbard squash and sweet dumpling squash.

This is a recipe for a pumpkin chowder instead the pumpkin soup. A chowder is a vegetable or seafood stew, usually with added milk or cream. The difference to the soup is that the chowder is just a thicker soup with lots of good chunks in there.


  • olive oil
  • 1 leek - sliced
  • 3 garlic gloves - minced
  • 1 red pepper - chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper - in cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper - in cubes
  • 2 pounds of pumpkin - peeled, seeded and in cubes 
  • 2 teaspoon fresh marjoram - chopped
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
  • garnishment: shaved pumpkin seeds (roasted and salted), parmesan cheese


For the chowder you do need to peel, seed and cube the pumpkin. The pumpkins/squashes are pretty hard and it took me longer than expected. I would suggest to do this first, so that you don't need to rush later.

Heat the oil in a big pot, add the sliced leeks and cook for about 5 minutes till they are soft. Then add the minced garlic and chopped red pepper and cook for 2 more minutes for the spices to open up their flavor. Add the cubed bell peppers and cook for 5 more minutes. Then add the pumpkin cubes, marjoram, bay leaves and corn. Stir and add the white wine. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 20-25 min till the pumpkin cubes are soft. Reduce heat, add cream and spice the mix to taste (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper). Do not boil with the cream in it, as it would separate.

Transfer 1/3 - 1/2 of the chowder to a blender and mix till smooth. Transfer it back to the chunky chowder still in the pot and mix. This will result in a creamy chowder, that will still have lots of flavorful chunks in it.

For garnishment I bought shaved pumpkin seeds, I quickly salted and roasted them at 350 degree for about 5 minutes. If you want to use the ones from your pumpkin you need to roast them and then peel them. You can also top the chowder of with some grated parmesan.

If you want to go all cutesy, you can by an extra small pumpkin and seed it and serve the soup in it :)

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Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs - one of my boyfriend's favorite appetizers - were another quick appetizer that we brought to our potluck dinner.

I got inspired to these deviled eggs by my work colleagues M. and K. who I was lucky to share the office with for a time. M. actually made these deviled eggs for a work potluck lunch and I immediately fell in love with them. On K.'s suggestion I looked up Paula Deen's recipe for spicy deviled eggs.

Over time I modified the recipe to my liking. Really, there are no limits - from the use of a spicy aioli mustard, the additions of chives, or peppers, or relish, or bacon...


  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup aioli mustard 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sliced spring onions or chives
  • 2 tablespoons relish
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
  • optional: 2 slices of bacon - crispy cooked and cut into tiny pieces
  • for garnishment: sliced red pepper rings, sliced spring onion/chive rings


How to boil the eggs:
Place the eggs in a pot and fill with cold water till they are covered about 1 inch. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat down. Don't keep boiling them on high heat as that results in a green, ugly ring around the egg yolk. However, I like to leave the eggs on low heat for a few minutes, then I turn the temperature off and let the eggs sit on the warm stove and in the hot water, covered, for 10-12minutes. Drain the eggs and fill the pot with cold water. This will make it easier to peel the eggs. Peel the eggs, cut in half lengthwise and remove the egg yolk and place in a separate mixing bowl. Keep the egg white halves. They will be filled.

Mix the egg yolk:
Take the bowl with the egg yolk and smash them. Add the other ingredients (mustard, mayonnaise, spring onions/chives, relish, red pepper, vinegar). If you don't have aioli mustard, you can use any other mustard and add a minced garlic glove. Mix everything, if it is still to dry, add more mayonnaise. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. If you like it a little more crunchy and hearty, add the crispy bacon pieces and mix.

Fill the eggs:
Use a cookie decorating bag with a tip to fill the eggs. If you do not have one, you can easily use a ziploc back and cut of one corner. Fill the decorating pipe (or ziploc bag) with the egg yolk mix and . Pipe the mix into the egg white halves so that they are a little overfilled. Fill a plate with dried green split peas and place the egg halves on there in a circle. The peas will prevent the egg halves to move. Garnish each egg hall with a red pepper ring and/or a green spring onion or chive ring. Sprinkle red pepper powder over it.

Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus

The other day we were pondering what kind of appetizer we could bring to a potluck dinner. Life is busy and we did not have much time to prepare the dish, but we still wanted to have something "special". We first thought to recreate these bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos that my boyfriend prepared for our Caribbean BBQ during summer. However, not everyone likes it spicy and I tried to think of other veggies we could wrap in bacon.

I remembered this one time during high school were my friends and I were invited to my friend K.'s place - a very nice place with winter garden, a back yard and a half blind dog. She always had exquisite taste and was very creative. That time she had prepared a few delicious looking appetizers that I had never tasted before. One was melon wrapped in prosciutto ham. At that time I did not fancy prosciutto much, I was a very picky eater and I guess I was to young to appreciate it. However, now it just sounded perfect. And because my boyfriend and I were craving asparagus that night, we decided to prepare asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.

Prosciutto, also called Parma ham, is much thinner than bacon, but has still tones of flavor as it is a dry cured ham. It tastes delicious uncooked and you can wrap the prosciutto around the already cooked asparagus and just eat it like this, but I decided I want to have crispy prosciutto. That's also the way I like my bacon - very, very crispy.

So, here is the recipe to a very FAST and SPECIAL appetizer:


  • 1 bundle of green asparagus (about 20)
  • 10 slices prosciutto (half the amount of asparagus)
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese (herb & chives) - optional
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Break off the bottom part of the asparagus, it is hard and not very tasty. Place the asparagus in a single line on an oven tray, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper them. Toss around till all spears are coated. Cut each thin slice of prosciutto in half, lengthwise. Now you should have as many prosciutto slices as asparagus spears.

Who wants it a little decadent, can smear a tiny little bit of cream cheese on each prosciutto slice. It will be a little juicer then.

Now, wrap one slice of prosciutto around one asparagus spear. Start at the top, a little under the scaled tip and circle downwards, so that there are almost no overlays. Put the asparagus back in the oven tray, make sure that the spears are separated and don't touch each other. If they touch, the prosciutto will steam and not get as crispy. You have now two choices of baking them:

  1. Broil them for 5 min: Place them on an oven rack about 5 inches below the broiler, turn the asparagus after 3 minutes of broiling.
  2. Bake them for 15 min: Pre-heat the oven to about 400 degrees, let the asparagus bake for about 7 minutes, then turn them around.
They can be served fresh out of the oven, or even cold the next day.

Ratatouille with Polenta

I am a big fan of vegetables, so ratatouille seems very fitting to me. However, my first ratatouille dish I ever ate was back in college in our dining hall and I didn't like it at all. It almost ruined this dish for me. I am not sure what recipe they followed, but I took this as a challenge to prove that there must be a ratatouille that I like.

This recipe is such an easy and fast recipe, with lots of fresh vegetables and herbs, gives me the feeling of eating healthy :) There is actually almost nothing you can do wrong or not like if you stick to the basics. What I especially liked about this recipe was the use of fried polenta slices instead of the usual pasta.

And please check back for my "soon to come" classic Ratatouille's ratatouille, another ratatouille recipe based on the cute movie :)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 5 mushrooms - in halves or quarters
  • 1 red bell pepper - in cubes
  • 1 small eggplant - in cubes
  • 1 zucchini - in cubes
  • 1 yellow squash - in cubes
  • 2 tomatoes - in cubes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • fresh herbs (majoram, thyme, rosemary, basil) - chopped
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes
  • salt, pepper, italien herbs to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Polenta, sliced

  • parmesan cheese for garnish


    As mentioned, this is a very easy dish to prepare. Just dice the onions, cut the mushrooms in halves or quarters (depending on how big they are), and cube the bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes. Chop the fresh herbs, about 1-2 tablespoon of each.

    Start with sautéing the onion in the olive oil for about 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and bell pepper and keep sautéing for 5 more minutes until you can see that the mushrooms change their color. Next, add the rest of the fresh vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, squash and tomatoes), the garlic, bay leaves and the fresh herbs. Stir everything and let cook for a few more minutes (5-7 min).

    In the meantime start frying the polenta. I chose a polenta with dried tomatoes and basil. There are a variety of different flavors, all work very well with the vegetables. Cut the polenta in 1/2 inch thick slices, heat up the butter in the frying pan and add the slices. Let them fry for 5 min, then turn them around. They are ready when the slices are slightly crispy and golden brown.

    After all the vegetables have cooked for a few minutes, add the can of diced tomatoes to the vegetables and stir everything. The can will not add too much liquid, but I do like it when the vegetables are in a little bit of a sauce. Add salt, pepper and dried italian herbs to taste. The fresh herbs have been added earlier, so the sauce only needs to be heated up. Cook for a few more minutes (3-5min), till everything is hot and the vegetables are soft. Serve with the polenta slices on the side, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top (which I completely forgot in the end).

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