October 2007


It’s hard to believe but this weeks issue marks the one-year anniversary of Hillman’s Helpings! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoying sharing my recipes (and sometimes others recipes) with you.

One of my favorite fall flavors is pumpkin. I love pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin bread, pumpkin-flavored lattes and most of all, pumpkin soup! Canned pumpkin is readily available (and cheap!) and great to use in pumpkin soups!


2 Tbs. olive oil

1 medium to large onion chopped

2 Tbs. chopped garlic

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups 100% pure pumpkin ( I use Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin in the can, not to be confused with the sweetened spiced pumpkin pie filling in a can.)

1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk

1 tsp. of salt or more or less to taste

In a large pot saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until onions are soft. Be sure they do not brown. Once soft, add the pumpkin, coconut milk and chicken broth. Simmer and stir until well blended, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add salt to taste and serve.

Bon appetit!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Hillman’s Helpings!


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings



I love sweets. They’re the perfect ending to a meal, a great snack, and a good pick-me-up if you’re ever down in the dumps. I made these easy brownies this week for all of the reasons above and they didn’t dissappoint.

Brownies are great to make becuase they don’t require any special cooking tools. As long as you have a bowl, a spoon and an oven, you’re good to go!

Feel free to add walnuts to this recipe if you want.



2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt the butter or margarine and mix all ingredients in the order given.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes in a 9 x 13 inch greased pan.

Definitely make these brownies anytime you’re trying to cheer someone up.


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings

The month of October is devoted to raising awareness in the world of our need to move toward diets which do not rely solely on animal based foods. This move toward plant based eating has implications of greater health and well being for all of us-and on a global level, it raises awareness of how how better to deal with world hunger issues by utilizing plant and grain resources.

Below is a recipe to kick-start the month!

pasta with wild mushrooms and peas

1 lb. mixed fresh wild mushrooms (shitake, cremini, porcini, lobster, chanterelle, Portobello)
4 oz. dried porcini
¼ cup finely chopped garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 10 oz. bag frozen organic peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. dried organic penne, farfalle or rigatoni (any short pasta will work)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano

Bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of sea salt to a boil; reduce to a simmer while you prepare the sauce:

In a small bowl, soak the dried porcini in enough hot water to cover them for about 20 minutes. Remove the porcini to a cutting board and reserve the liquid. Slice thin the rest of the fresh wild mushrooms and the porcini. In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil at medium heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and sauté for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked down.

Add the Porcini and continue to sauté for an additional 10 minutes. Add the garlic and mix thoroughly. Continue to sauté another 5 minutes. Add the reserved porcini soaking liquid. Reduce the heat to low. Bring the water back up to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente (no more than 10 minutes). When the pasta is finished cooking, add it to the skilled with the mushrooms. Add the peas and the chopped fresh herbs and mix together. Add the rest of the olive oil and season with the salt and freshly ground pepper.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with half of the grated cheese. Serve the rest of the cheese alongside the pasta.