Tag Archives | pumpkin

FALL dessert {holiday hospitality 101}

holiday hospitality 101I hope everyone had a lovely THANKSGIVING holiday! There is so much to be grateful for in life! I hope you felt a taste of that and enjoyed the company of loved ones.

fall dessertI have talked about making delicious coffee & ice cream floats before HERE. I love this simple and rich sweet treat. It only requires 3 ingredients, a cute mug & a spoon. For this Fall version I simply used Pumpkin ice cream {it was rich and had a nice spice to it}. Start with a small scoop of the ice cream in a mug. Add strongly brewed coffee over the top of the ice cream {or try different combinations such as vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate for the kids}. Garnish with dark chocolate covered espresso beans {or chocolate shavings or caramel} and serve with a spoon. See pictures below and get creative with your favorite ingredients! The possibilities are endless!

{P.S. This is a great dessert option if you don’t like to bake {like me} or made a more complicated meal and need something simple to throw together for sweets. Also, this can be really easy to bring to a small gathering. Just be sure to brew the coffee at home and bring in a carafe that will keep it hot or ask your hostess if you can brew the coffee there. And make sure they have room in their freezer! Enjoy!}

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Happy Sweater Wearing, Boot Loving, Cider Sipping, Back to School, Pencils Sharpened, Apple Picking, Pumpkin Cooking SEPTEMBER!

I for one love Autumn! Every year in September I’m giddy with the delightful anticipation of all-things amber and pumpkin spiced!  I decorate for fall and start making comfort meals before the temperature says its time and pumpkin puree begins to make an appearance in just about everything I eat, from my lattes to my pancakes, pastas and more. So it is in that vain that I share a few of my favorite recipes with you! Get your Fall taste buds ready!
Amy’s FAMOUS Pumpkin Cookies
3/4cup brown sugar
3Tbsp. honey
1(15oz) can of pumpkin
3/4cup oil (you can use melted virgin coconut oil or sub w/ unsweetened applesauce)
2tsp. vanilla
3cups flour (you can use spelt flour or whole wheat or any combo)
11/2 tsp baking powder
11/2 tsp baking soda
3/4tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
3/4tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp ginger (if you have pumpkin pie spice on hand you can use that instead)
1to 1 1/2  cups chocolate chips
Preheatoven to 350
Beat until blended sugar, honey, pumpkin, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and mix well. By hand, stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greases cookie sheets.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until they slightly firm up and bounce back after being touched.
Cool on wire racks.
Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookies
1 Box of Spice Cake Mix (or Carrot Cake Mix if Spice is unavailable)
1 – 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350
Mix the can of pumpkin with the cake mix, if too dry add water about a tablespoon at a time until just wet all the way through. Add desired amount of chocolate chips (at least 1 Cup, but I usually do more). Drop by rounded teaspoonful’s onto slightly greased cookie sheet
Bake at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes
*This is great to make with kids because it is so easy!

PumpkinSausage Lasagna

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 1/2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey, whatever you like), casings removed
1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (eyeball it)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Few dashes fresh nutmeg
1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, breaking them eat up as it cooks with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Push the meat to one side of the pan and add the eggplant, onion and garlic. Cook 7-8 minutes, until tender, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the veggies are cooking, place a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for about 1minute. Whisk the milk into roux, breaking up any clumps. Bring the mixture to a bubble and add the pumpkin puree and nutmeg. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 2-3minutes, until slightly thickened.
Spread about 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9″ casserole dish.Layer three lasagna noodles over the sauce, then top them with about 1 cup of the meat mixture, a cup or so of the sauce and a palmful of cheese. Repeat these layers two times, topping the casserole with a layer of lasagna noodles.Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles, sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake the lasagna until the sauce is bubbling and pasta is baked through, about 45 minutes.
During the last ten minutes of baking, remove the aluminum foil to brown the cheese.Once out of the oven, allow the dish to rest a few minutes before serving.
*I use butternut squash instead of the eggplant…and it’s AMAZING!  Also, if using pork sausage try to find the sage kind as sage tends to taste great with pumpkin…YUMMO!
Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte
(SOURCE:http://stephanieodea.com/…adaptedfrom Taste of Home’s Halloween 2008 edition)
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
2T canned pumpkin
2T white sugar
2T vanilla (not a typo. it asks for tablespoons)
1/2tsp pumpkin pie spice
OR:1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a teeny tiny pinch of ground ginger
1/2cup brewed espresso or 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
Add the coffee/espresso and milk to the crockpot. Whisk in the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. Whisk again. Ladle into mugs, and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon. You can add a cinnamon stick to be fancy.
*Garnish with whipped cream (optional)
**This will make enough for 2 people to have a big mug with a bit leftover. If you are having friends over, adjust the recipe accordingly. I used a 4-quart crockpot,but as small as a 1.5 quart will work with these amounts.
{You can simply buy some pumpkin spice syrup and add that to a homemade latte as well!}



{six week} MUFFINS

I’ve talked about these muffins before because I LOVE them!  I know it sounds weird that the batter can keep in your refrigerator for six weeks but it can (and they are yummy) so check them out. They are so tasty that ours usually only last a few weeks. Great for last-minute visitors or to have a nice afternoon treat with hot chocolate for the kids.  With this batter in the fridge you’re always ready to make muffins in about 15 minutes!  I even make a pumpkin flavored batch from time to time (see below)!
::Six Week Muffins::
Adapted from The Lazy Gourmet-
BEST OF THE BEST CALIFORNIA COOKBOOK – Alegra’s {six week} Muffins
1 (15 ounce) box Raisin Bran Cereal
3 cups sugar
5 cups flour
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
1 quart buttermilk (4 cups)
In a very large bowl, mix Raisin Bran, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add eggs, oil, and buttermilk.
This batter will keep up to six weeks in the refrigerator.
then, on the day you are ready to use it, fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at
400 for 12-15 minutes depending on tin size.
Yields 4-5 dozen
Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl & then the wet ingredients in another bowl!
Now don’t be afraid to get in there…I take off my rings and just mix the whole thing with my hands…but you can do it with a spoon…just be sure to mix the batter well!
Paige wanted in on the pictures!
Now if you want some pumpkin flavored…take about half of your muffin batter and add a small can of pumpkin (15 oz), a teaspoon of vanilla and some pumpkin pie spice!
Add to large muffin tins or small…bake and enjoy!
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