Thursday, October 16, 2008


Today I am joining in again with my friend Alaina for Keeping Creative Kitchens.

This post is all about the magnificent and wonderful pumpkin, and how to be creative with it.

I'm a big fan of the pumpkin. They've always been a symbol of Autumn to me, and especially of Thanksgiving time. I remember my mom taking us kids to pumpkin farms where we were each allowed to pick out a pumpkin.

We used our pumpkins to decorate around the house and then turned them into pies at Thanksgiving. The best part was cutting up the pumpkins and roasting the seeds in the oven, sprinkling them with salt, and then eating them by the handful.

My earliest recollection of really being taken with pumpkin was at my eleventh birthday when I requested a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing. It was so soft and moist and gooey, and covered with that delicious mix of tangy-sweet that is the hallmark of cream-cheese icing. Ever since, I have snapped up recipes from friends for things like pumpkin muffins, cookies, bread, and even fudge!
Much of my pumpkin cooking in previous years involved lots of sugar. Recently I've discovered many recipes for savory dishes using pumpkin. I find that very exciting (especially since I'm supposed to avoid sugar). So, here is a collection of recipes, ideas, and links for using pumpkins this Fall.
Sausage and Pumpkin Roast

Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta

Tagliatelle with Roast Pumpkin, Sage, Ricotta and Smoked Cheese

This last recipe is from a cookbook that I reviewed once called Roast Figs, Sugar Snow by Diana Henry. A lovely cookbook for this time of year.

I try to stock up on butternut squash and other squashes when they go on sale. Wal-Mart had them for 48 cents a pound last week and so I stocked up. The cashier ringing up my 30-pounds worth asked if I was decorating my yard with these. "No," I replied. "We are going to eat these -- probably much to my childrens' chagrin." This week I added 5 pie pumpkins which I found for a bargain. At present this huge collection is decorating my hearth, but, fear not, we will be (and have been) eating it!

Just for a note on the price of canned pumpkin: Aldi's has canned pumpkin for 79 cents which is much better than Wal-Mart's $1.29.
I don't yet have a pumpkin soup recipe that I'm crazy about. However, there are plenty to discover on the web. I did try a pumpkin soup "topper" that I enjoyed: parsley, grated orange zest and dried cranberries. Lovely! You must try it!
Now onto things with a bit more sugar (or honey).....
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Seed Brittle -- you can see the brittle in the picture below, to the left. I can't find the recipe I used! However, you will surely find one on the web if you look!

And then there are:

Pumpkin Cheesecake -- a terrific idea for Thanksgiving

Emily's Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie -- which has been my favorite pumpkin pie in years past

Pumpkin Fudge

Golden Pumpkin Raisin Bread

Sugared Pumpkin Seeds

I'd also like to try Easy Pumpkin Chutney and especially Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!

And then there are pumpkin cookies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bars, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin mousse, etc. etc. etc.

Last, but not least, my friend Heather gave me an idea for the children: Pumpkin Play Dough! Adding orange food coloring and pumpkin pie spice to the regular play dough recipe makes for a great twist to playdough!
I hope you all will enjoy pumpkin in one form or another this Fall!


Mrs J said...

Never seen so many Pumpkins! Great pictures!

Ruth MacC said...

My gosh, that was a big post and lots of work... well done! it all looks delicious!


Seán MacC said...

Hello Heather,
thank you for visiting my blog! Here is a poem I put on my blog last year. It is about pumkins.

Pumpkin poem

One day I found two pumpkin seeds.
I planted one and pulled the weeds.
It sprouted roots and a big, long vine.
A pumpkin grew; I called it mine.
The pumpkin was quite round and fat.
(I really am quite proud of that.)
But there is something I'll admit
That has me worried just a bit.
I ate the other seed, you see.
Now will it grow inside of me?

(I'm so relieved since I have found
That pumpkins only grow in the ground!)

Lovella said...

Wow, Heather what a bunch of yummy looking ideas. I love Pumpkin Cheesecake and so any of the other suggestions I know I would love.
Thank you for all the work of this post.

Alaina said...

What a beautiful post and GREAT ideas! I'm going to send you a pumpkin soup recipe that someone just gave me! I love pumpkin.

Heather said...

Heather - great post! A treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds! You have me hungry for pumpkin pancakes this morning, but alas - we have no milk! Thanks for all of the great recipe links!

I hope all of these great pictures means your camera is working again?

Amy K said...

I'm going to try your pumpkin muffins this week! Sounds great and very healthy! Thanks for sharing all the great ideas. :)