Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Love Pumpkin!


"...and I'll water you and feed you until you grow BIG and strong, like me...."


"...and I'll never, EVER, let Mommy use her big, sharp knife on you..."

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To be honest, I had never really cooked with pumpkin until just a couple of years ago. One fateful bite of a Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Muffin, and I realized I had been missing out.

So what have I done (so far) with this year's batch of pumpkin puree?

You might recall I set aside one hunk of pumpkin when I was roasting the rest for my pumpkin puree. Well, I took out my box grater and shredded it to make this...

Pumpkin Apple Salad from Allrecipes

Shredded, raw pumpkin, grated apple, raisins, lemon juice...it was missing something! I had never tasted raw pumpkin before and I thought it was pretty bland. I added some onion and nutmeg. I'd recommend trying something with a little heat, too.

Last year, my favorite muffin had been these...

Tender pumpkin muffin, chunks of apple, spices and a sweet, crumbly topping - Good Stuff! I almost made them again, but there are so many others I wanted to try.

Pumpkin Wheat Honey Muffins from (three guesses?)

I used dried cranberries instead of raisins - I LOVE cranberries in any sort of pumpkin bread! These are awesome! Moist, flavorful, the right amount of spice!

Now this was something I've wanted to try for a long, long time - Pumpkin Butter.

I used Pumpkin Butter I from Allrecipes, but used my own Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend and apple cider for the apple juice. It came out very good! A great topping for toast or even crackers, to get that salty-sweet combination. I even used some to sweeten and flavor a breakfast smoothie!

Like...THIS ONE!
Autumn Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie:

1/2 frozen banana, sliced
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/3 to 1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh, if possible)
1 heaping tbsp. Pumpkin Butter

Throw everything in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds.

I DO highly recommend fresh puree in that one - while I do use canned for baked goods, when used in something uncooked I can detect that "tin can" flavor.

Some other ideas? How about a nice warm, fruity, spicy hearty breakfast?
My variation of Pumpkin Oatmeal from Allrecipe was such a treat! Big tweak though - it needed sweetness! Once again I added dried cranberries, but also some brown sugar. Made this before I made my pumpkin butter, but I bet that would have been great in this, too!

Or a rich creamy dessert?
Pumpkin Crunch Parfaits - I used butterscotch pudding mix to make it richer. Nice when you're craving a non-chocolate dessert (for once in my life.)

Or one of my favorites, PUMPKIN PANCAKES!!


And finally, what to do with all those seeds? ROAST 'EM!
This time I used this recipe from Allrecipes, but there are countless ways you can spice them up.

So there you have it! A sampling of some pumpkiny recipes...now no pumpkin is safe!!!

11 comments:

Lissaloo said...

look at all those AWESOME pumpkin goodies! I want to make all of them!!! Pumpkin butter has been on my to make soon list for about a month now, hopefully I will get to it soon :)

5thsister said...

You are on a major pumpkin roll! Lots of new recipes to try and so little time!

Chicago Mom said...

I am gonna have to try pumpkin again - your recipes all look so delicious! I have never been a pumpkin fan. Every few years I will try the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and every year I still don't like it. But this can't be right! Your pictures are making me drool!

Willoughby said...

A plethora of pumpkin! I'm all about the pumpkin muffins. I haven't made them in a long time, but I think I must do so immediately (because you said I had to, didn't you?).

The picture of your little punkin with her little pumpkin is adorable!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Yum! My mom makes an amazing pumpkin bread, and I make a pumpkin pasta dish that is delicious; now I'll have to add some of your recipes to our repetoir!

5thsister said...

come by and pick up your award!

Holly said...

I think I am in LOVE...we just adore pumpkin over here. I am goignt ot try the Autumn Smoothie tomorrow...my kids will flip!
Holly @ 504 Main

Katie said...

I just stumbled upon a recipe calling for pumpkin butter and I had no clue what it was, so glad you just cleared that up for me!! I am going to have to try to make it myself now.

5thsister said...

I have something for you. Please stop by to pick it up!

Lissaloo said...

That picture of your daughter is soooo cute, I love it :) Just stopping by to say Hi :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Just stopping by to say hello and Happy holidays! hope all is well.

jj