Category Archives: Seasonal

One-Bowl Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Icing

Every fall kitchen needs a good pumpkin square recipe, and this cake does not disappoint. Pumpkins were originally cultivated by Native Americans and are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Bake these squares in a 13-by 9-inch pan, and freeze them unfrosted if you like to bake ahead. And if you like less icing and more of a glaze, cut the icing recipe in half and spread it over the warm cake.
Makes about 24 to 32 squares
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 25 to 30 minutes
Ingredients for the Cake:
Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Icing:
4 ounces (half an 8-inch block) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist a 13- by 9-inch pan with vegetable oil spray, and set the pan aside.
2. Place the pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture has thickened slightly and is smooth, about 100 strokes. Place the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt on top of the pumpkin mixture, and with a fork, toss the dry ingredients together to combine lightly. Using the wooden spoon, fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and stir until smooth, about 50 strokes.
3. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and has turned lightly browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven to cool.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Place the soft cream cheese and butter in a medium-size mixing bowl. Blend with a hand-mixer on low speed, or with a wooden spoon, until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla, and blend until smooth, 1 minute.
5. When the pumpkin cake has cooled to the touch, spread the icing over the top of the cake, and let the cake rest for 1 hour before slicing into squares or bars.

Easy Hushpuppies for Your Next Fish Fry

As summer winds down, weekends become even more important for gatherings for family and friends. A weekend spent fishing can reel in more than just a good catch. Around here, we have lots of favorite fishing spots, but you don’t have to catch it to enjoy it. As a matter of fact, the conversations in the kitchen and around the table make it all taste better anyway. We love a good fish fry and we like to experiment with flavors, so we’ve taken inspiration from our Corn Fritters and added corn to the hushpuppies. It’s a great savory treat with just a hint of sweetness from the corn.

Easy Hushpuppies

Ingredients:
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh corn kernels
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno or bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion, if desired
Vegetable oil for frying
Directions:
Place the hushpuppy mix, egg, and buttermilk in a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork just to combine. Fold in the corn, pepper, and onion, if desired. Set aside.
Place enough oil in a large, heavy skillet or pot to measure 2 inches deep. Heat over medium-high until the oil is hot, 365 degrees on a thermometer. Scoop or spoon generous tablespoons into the hot oil. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Makes 12 hush puppies.
We also have a great Catfish Breading, so stock up on both!

The Best Watermelon Salad

Labor Day picnics and family reunions beg something wonderful to bring. If you want to wow everyone, make a watermelon salad. And it’s just so easy! The following adaptable, changeable recipe is based on three of our favorite summer flavors – watermelon, peaches, and ripe tomatoes. Combined in this salad, they speak end of summer and celebration. You salt the watermelon and tomatoes first. Just before serving, add the peaches, and pile the fruit on top of your favorite lettuce, and sprinkle with oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs. Garnish with feta and almonds. You can serve on individual plates, or pile onto a large platter to feed 8. If you don’t have the basil or mint, use dill or parsley. And if you don’t have feta, use cubes of fresh mozzarella. In a hurry? Drizzle with one of our Old Mill favorite salad dressings.

The Best Watermelon Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups seedless watermelon chunks, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 cups good, ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups sliced, peeled ripe peaches
  • 6 cups fresh arugula or your favorite salad greens
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil, or a combination
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. Place the watermelon and tomatoes in a mixing bowl and season with salt. Toss to coat, and let the fruit sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Fold the peaches into the watermelon and tomato mixture. To serve, spoon the fruit on top of the salad greens. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Garnish the top with chopped fresh herbs, feta cheese, and toasted almonds.

 

Old-Fashioned Blackberry & Peach Crisp

 

When summer blackberries and blueberries arrive in the mountains, well, it’s a signal that summer is really here. If you didn’t know from the heat and the lines in front of the Creamery, you surely know summer is here when berries come into season.

Berries used to grow wild in vacant lots and along fences, and you had to brave the chiggers to wander into those weeds to pluck wild blackberries. You can still find them, but most of the berries we are eating here in the Smokies are grown by local farmers.

A great way to use them is this easy pie called a crisp. No crust is needed. You just pile the fruit and sugar into a baking dish or iron skillet, and then top with a crumbly mixture of oats, flour, sugar, and butter. It bakes up into a heavenly rite of summer passage – something to enjoy with vanilla ice cream.


Old-Fashioned Blackberry & Peach Crisp
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Appalachian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
An old-fashioned favorite, using fresh berries and fruits of the season.
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon soft butter for greasing the skillet
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3 cups sliced fresh peaches
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup Old Mill Thick Table Rolled Oats
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rub a 12-inch cast iron skillet with the butter. Toss the fruit with the sugar to combine, and turn the fruit into the skillet. Set aside.
  3. Make the topping: Place the brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and stir. Scatter the butter over the top and cut into the dry ingredients with two dinner knifes until it forms coarse crumbs. Fold in the oats. With your hands, crumble this mixture over the top of the fruit. Place the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake until the topping is golden brown, and the fruit mixture is bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.