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pumpkin Archives - Backyard Grocery


Venison, Pumpkin, and Blue Cheese Mushroom Caps

Venison, Pumpkin, and Blue Cheese Mushroom Caps

Venison appetizers are a great way to introduce people to this tasty meat. With pumpkin and blue cheese, what’s not to love?

Happy New Year! Hard to believe the holidays are already over and it’s 2013. I think this is going to be a fantastic year. It’s already off to a great start. I’m working in a job that I enjoy with great people, I’m cooking great foods, and I’m getting my health squared away. As far as the cooking great foods goes, I made these venison, pumpkin, and blue cheese mushroom caps for the New Year’s Eve party I attended this year.

I eat a lot of venison, as you know if you read this blog. I’m always trying to find new things to do with it. As with many of my recipes, this one was the result of leftovers in the fridge; specifically organic pumpkin. I’ve been on a pumpkin/blue cheese kick, so I figured if I added some venison to the mix, it’d be a winner.

I actually made two versions because I couldn’t find as many mushrooms as I’d like—this time of year, I can find locally grown mushrooms at the Maple Avenue Market. But I think there had been a run on them so I only got a dozen. Fortunately, I had some wonton wrappers in the freezer (alas, not local, not organic), so I was able to use all the stuffing by making little wonton pockets.

Finally, the blue cheese is also local, and raw. I was never a blue cheese fan until I started buying high-quality, local blue cheese. It is heaven on this Earth. I can not get enough of it. Mostly I’ve been crumbling it and eating it over greens with fermented onions and walnuts. But it was worth the sacrifice to add it to this recipe…the tang of the blue cheese pairs well with the pumpkin and the venison.

I actually think these would be great without the meat. I wouldn’t puree the pumpkin in that case. Rather, I’d roast it and then chop it finely, but still chunky. Try it, let me know!

Venison, Pumpkin, and Blue Cheese Mushroom Caps

I love pumpkin, blue cheese, mushrooms, and venison. It’s only natural I’d love all them together!

Recipe: Venison, Pumpkin, and Blue Cheese Mushroom Caps

Summary: A tasty appetizer for a cold winter night.


  • 1/2 lb ground venison
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup aged or raw blue cheese
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 24 medium Crimini (Baby Bella) or white mushrooms


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Brown the ground venison and set aside.
  3. Mix the venison, pumpkin, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Crumble the blue cheese and mix it into the meat mixture. Set aside.
  5. Wash the mushrooms and pat dry with towel. Remove the mushroom stems by gently twisting and pulling. Place the mushroom caps in a baking dish and spoon the meat mixture into the caps. Put enough meat in each cap so that the meat peeks over the top.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender, but still solid enough to hold the stuffing.
  7. Serve immediately.


Instead of mushrooms, you can use wanton wrappers. Place one won ton wrapper in each muffin cup of a mini muffin pan (oil first if you’re not using a non-stick pan), making a little nest. Fill each cup with about 1 tsp of the meat mixture.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Copyright © Susan Rose


Dark Days Week 4: Christmas Kale and Sweet Potato Stew

kale potato stew with venison

hearty winter stew with local venison, kale, and sweet potatoes

Merry Christmas! It is 6:31 a.m. and I’m the only one awake (at least when I started this…it’s almost 9 now and presents are opened.). Every year I think I’ll sleep in, especially when we don’t have the kids with us. Every year I’m awake at 5:30. Nothing beats Christmas morning! (new slippers and a ruby ring. nice.) While I’m waiting for Rick to wake up to open presents, I thought I’d get a start on my Dark Days Week 4 challenge post. This week I went old school and made stew.

Dark Days Week 2: Pumpkin Chocolate Chili

venison pumpkin chocolate chili

Venison, pumpkin, chocolate...awesome chili.

This week’s Dark Days Challenge really was a challenge. Work was insane and left me about zero time to think about cooking. The madness should be over by Wednesday, and I’ll have the rest of the year to just think about food.

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