Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin recipes’

Autumn Leaf Colors Shorter days and cooler air send signals to leaves to change their colors. As their veins constrict, leaves gradually loose their dominant green coloration, unmasking inherent yellow and orange pigments. Reds and purples, newly produced at the end of summer, make their appearance. But no matter what their color, these leaves ultimately fall slowly to the ground. Autumn is a season of change, revelation, and closure. And so it is with the autumn of our lives.

#1 – Art That Moves
soap, Oil and Ink by Ruslan Khasanov Time, color, and movement are key components of Russian artist Ruslan Khasanov’s work. Like a scientist, he experiments with the properties of soap, oil, and inks, but like an artist, he plays with their colors, shapes, and movement.

#2 – Fabulous Pumpkin Treats

12 Pimped Out Pumpkin Treats

Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes

During this time of the year, a title that reads, “12 Pimped Out Pumpkin Treats You Have To Try” cannot be ignored. If the title doesn’t lure you to click on the links, the mouth-watering photos will!

#3 – Setting The Table
Whether you’re having an informal or formal gathering this Thanksgiving, you might want to review this table setting guideline:

Thanksgiving: Formal vs. Informal Table Setting

#4 – More Christmas Ideas
27 Christmas Decor Ideas In last week’s Friday’s Fresh Five!, I featured a link to 25 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas. To top that, this week I’m presenting 27 Christmas Decor Ideas. Unsurprisingly, my favorite project is the one using photographs. So many cute ideas, but so little time!

#5 – I Meant to Do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today–
but a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
and a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand–
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Richard Le Gallienne

Now Go and Spread Joy!

This post is dedicated to the memories of Yvonne Hall and Andy Mar.

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Fallen Oak With a lonely heave, a small oak tree fell across a pathway. People walked around the “nuisance,” refusing to break their stride. It was as if a fallen tree was an everyday impediment. No one paused long enough to admire its beauty, even in its sad state, or to show appreciation for the gifts it had bestowed upon the earth during its lifetime. No one mourned its loss–except for, perhaps, one. That one stooped down low and touched the tree. As her gaze followed her fingers, something caught her attention. A random broken twig, bound tightly to the tree by delicate lichens, resembled a cross.

#1 – Make a Difference
Make a Difference Day Making a difference in the lives of people and in the world should be an everyday happenstance, but sometimes people need a little push or added motivation to get involved. To that end, an official day has been declared. Make a Difference Day is on October 26th this year. To learn how to register a project or to find ways you can help, click on the link for more information. If you want to search for an organized project in your area click here and insert your zip code or city in the box. Large or small, your participation can make a whole world of difference.

#2 – Sit!
30 Places You'd Rather Be Sitting Right NowFor those of you who sit for many hours on the job, you’ll enjoy scrolling through 30 Places You’d Rather Be Sitting Right Now . I guarantee you that all of the seats offer more fun and excitement than your desk chair!

#3 – One Great Costume
 Operation Game Costume Remember the board game Operation in which participants would pretend to be surgeons and try to remove plastic “body parts” with a pair of tweezers? Well, a creative person figured out a way to make the Operation game into a costume. It’s clever, it’s fun, and it’s interactive!

#4 – There’s Pumpkin on Your Face
6 DIY Pumpkin Face Mask RecipesPacked with essential vitamins and minerals, pumpkins are good for your body inside and out. Along with your favorite edible pumpkin recipes, add these 6 DIY Pumpkin Face Mask Recipes to your collection of homemade beauty recipes.

#5 – Live Your Life
“Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.”
Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief


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Pumpkin Cream Pie As leaves start taking their final bows and nights become longer, fall’s spectacular show appeals to our senses more than ever. Acorns make music as they fall from tall oak trees and drop to the ground. Autumn leaves paint fiery displays of color on bright blue backdrops of sky. Familiar smells of favorite spices set the stage for the holidays. With a little over three weeks until Thanksgiving, now is a great time to test out new fall recipes. Imagine a fluffy and lightly-spiced pumpkin cream pie – one that even non-pumpkin-eaters will like and one that can be prepared in advance. That’s my idea of a fall showstopper!

Pumpkin Cream Pie
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

For the Crust:
1-1/2 package graham crackers (about 15 Cookie Sheets)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 stick butter, melted

For the Filling*:
1 box (3 oz. box) Vanilla Pudding (Cook and Serve variety)
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons whiskey, optional
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup additional heavy cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Extra graham cracker crumbs, for garnish

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Grind graham crackers in a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, place them in a large Ziploc and pound them with a rolling pin). Add powdered sugar and melted butter and process until totally combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan until nice and firm. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until warm and “set.” Remove from oven and allow crust to cool completely.

3. In a medium saucepan, mix dry pudding mix with half-and-half and cream. Add spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick.

4. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey, if using. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Place lid on pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough, place pot in the fridge to cool completely.

5. When mixture is cool, remove from the fridge. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and brown sugar. Beat until very light and fluffy. Fold in pumpkin cream mixture until combined. Pour into cooled crust.

6. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve with graham crackers crumbled on top.

Serves 8

Linnell’s Notes:
1. This recipe called for 15 graham cracker “cookie sheets” which I assumed meant 15 double sheets or the sheets as they come out of the bag. This was way too much, so the author’s definition of a sheet must be half of that. I used part of the leftover crumbs for the garnish.

2. *In the photo of the pie on The Pioneer Woman I noticed the pie looked a bit shallow, so I decided to double the filling ingredients. A 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée was a bit more than what a doubled amount would have been, but I went ahead and used the whole can. Didn’t make sense to let a small amount of pumpkin go to waste. Extra filling filled four individual ramekins and was called pumpkin mousse!

3. The next time I make this pie, I will try sprinkling a tiny bit of finely chopped candied ginger on top along with the graham cracker crumbs – just for a special interest.


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 OctoberOctober brings magnificent fall colors, birthday cheer for Libras and Scorpios, sausage and beer, pink ribbons, scary-looking pumpkins and sweet-tasting treats. L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, once said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Don’t you agree?

#1 – Thank a Teacher
World Teacher's Day Every October 5th UNESCO celebrates World Teacher’s Day. There are very few of us who cannot give credit to a teacher for helping to shape our lives in some way. I had many wonderful teachers who I didn’t appreciate until I was older. When I thought to thank them, they were gone. So don’t wait, today’s a good day to thank a teacher who’s made a difference in your life!

#2 – Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Who’s Got the Pumpkin?
50+-Pumpkin-RecipesOctober means it’s pumpkin time! Thanks to Lil’ Luna, who’s scoured the internet for us, we have a source for many delicious pumpkin recipes. If Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, Glazed Pumpkin Buttermilk Donuts, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, or Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream sound good to you, you’d better go check out her list of links to 50+ Pumpkin Recipes.

#3 – Cyber Security
October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Watch this 5 minute video from SANS on “how to spot and protect yourself from one of the most common attacks, email and phishing.” It could be 5 minutes that saves you from days, weeks, or months of future headaches.

#4 – Squish Your Pink
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancerAlthough the color orange, as in jack-o-lanterns, comes to mind when we think about October, there is another color that dominates the month – the color pink. Pink ribbons are everywhere in support of breast cancer awareness. But this month just don’t wear pink or buy pink, please “squish your pink!” It’s a good month to remember to have a mammogram done and to encourage other women to have theirs done, too.

If cost is an issue for you or someone you know, many facilities have breast-screening specials this month. Here are links to sites with more information for free or low cost mammograms:

Planned Parenthood


CDC National Breast and Cancer Early Detection Program

How to Find Where to Get a Free Mammogram During Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Find Free or Low-Cost Mammograms

And here are sites to check out if you want to help fund mammograms for women in need:

The Breast Cancer Site
“In just a few seconds each day, visitors can click on the pink “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE” button on the home page and, at no cost to them, help fund a free mammogram for a woman in need. The mammograms are paid for by The Breast Cancer Site’s sponsors and distributed by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.”

National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Susan G Komen

#5 – Think About This
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie

Enjoy the treats of October!

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It’s not too early to plan your menu for the Thanksgiving holidays, especially if you are having overnight guests. These pumpkin muffins have a lot going for them: a moist, subtle-pumpkin-flavored cake with a little cream cheese surprise tucked in the center and topped with a nutty, crunchy streusel. All that deliciousness, plus you can do the preparations the night before and quickly throw them together the next morning. Your guests will wake up to the smell of freshly-baked muffins! A word of caution, though, with food coming out of the kitchen like this, your guests may never want to go home!

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
Adapted from a recipe found on Pumpkin Nook

1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 cubes

Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and put paper liners into a 12-cup muffin pan.
2. In a bowl, combine egg, milk, pumpkin, oil and mix well.
3. In a another bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and spices.
4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. The batter will be lumpy.
5. Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full of batter.
6. Place one cube of cream cheese on top of each muffin cup of batter.
7. Add remaining batter on top of the cream cheese, distributing the batter evenly.
8. Combine streusel topping ingredients, mixing well. Sprinkle over the muffins.
9. Bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown.
10. Serve warm.

Makes 12 muffins.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Do not over mix the batter when incorporating dry into wet ingredients. Too much stirring overdevelops the gluten in the flour, resulting in rubbery and dense muffins.

2. If you like nice, crusty muffins (tops and sides), forgo the paper liners and grease the muffin tins thoroughly, even the top surface.

3. For the best flavor, use butter instead of margarine when making the streusel topping and use freshly ground nutmeg if you can!

4. To do ahead for Thanksgiving morning: prepare the wet, dry, and streusel ingredients in separate bowls. Cover and refrigerate. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and place in airtight container and refrigerate. As soon as you get up the next morning, heat the oven and then proceed with the recipe directions.

5. Watch the muffins towards the end of the baking time. Muffins are baked in a hot oven to get “crunchy” tops, but muffins topped with streusel can also burn easily.


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Want a simple, yet elegant fall dessert recipe? Like the flavors of pumpkin pie, but don’t have the time to make and bake a pie? Don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but want a pleasing pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving? Want a dessert that you can pretty much make a head of time? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to check out this recipe! Using store bought puff pastry and canned pumpkin puree, the only hard part about this recipe is waiting the two hours it takes to chill the pumpkin mousse!

Pumpkin Mousse in Puff Pastry Shells
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Claudia Fleming, Gramercy Tavern

1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup canned, unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. plus 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided use
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of cloves
Whipped cream for garnish, optional

1. Bake puff pastry shells according to package directions. Cool. Remove centers.

2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1 tablespoon of water in a microwave-safe cup. Let stand 5 minutes to soften. Microwave on HIGH 10-15 seconds or just until dissolved.

3. Mix pumpkin, granulated and brown sugars, 2 tablespoons cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Heat to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in gelatin. Cool completely.

4. Beat remaining cream in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Refrigerate until mixture is set, about 2 hours.

5. Spoon pumpkin mousse into pastry shells. Serve with fresh cranberry sauce, if desired.

Serves 6.

Linnell’s Notes:
The pumpkin mousse can be easily made ahead, but the pastry shells will taste better and have a flakier texture if baked the same day as serving.

Although, you could spoon the mousse into the pastry shells, I chose to pipe it in. Instead of using a pastry bag, I used a sandwich-sized, zip-type plastic bag. By cutting less than a half-inch off one of its corners, I was able to insert a coupler and a pastry tip into that corner of the bag. After filling the bag half full with the pumpkin mousse, I piped the mousse into the shells.

Instead of using fresh cranberry sauce as garnish, I whipped up a little extra whipping cream (adding a little powdered sugar while I was whipping it to sweeten the cream) and put a dollop of it on top of the mousse. I finished it off with a light sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Chopped candied ginger sprinkled on top of the cream would also be a nice finishing touch.

The next time I make this I will add a little orange zest to the pumpkin mousse mixture and perhaps add a little less nutmeg.


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