Pumpkin Possibilities

You can feel it in the air, the crisp periodic cool breeze, the rustling of the leaves, the cool nights when you can actually open your window and let in some fresh air without using the AC.  Fall is right around the corner and summer is coming to an end. In honor of this most beloved season, I have included some quick and yummy pumpkin recipes that will kick off your fall and send summer’s heat wave packing. Also be sure to check out some creative pumpkin crafts to have your home looking fall festive. 

 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

(Ever wonder what you could do with the pumpkin guts after you carve a jack o lantern?  Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my absolute favorite fall delights. This is an easy & excellent snack, perfect for back to school lunch boxes) 

  •  Remove the inside of the pumpkin and separate the seeds.  (I have found the easiest way is using a strainer and running water over the seeds and pulling the strings apart)
  • Lay the seeds flat on a dry paper towel, and take another paper towel to pat dry
  • In a separate small mixing bowl combine 2-3 TBSP of olive oil, 2 TBSP kosher salt, 1 TBSP black pepper, a pinch of brown sugar, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and whisk together for a few seconds.
  • Add your pumpkin seeds to the mixture and stir
  • Pour out onto a baking sheet and spread the seeds out flat
  • Roast in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes until seeds are slightly browned.
  • Let cool and enjoy. 

Pumpkin & Shrimp Bruschetta

Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta

“If this recipe doesn’t have you salivating at the sight of it, then something is terribly wrong!”

Ingredients

  • 20    fresh or frozen peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp in shells
  • 1  cup  canned pumpkin
  • 1/2  cup  crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature (2 ounces)
  • 1  tablespoon  lemon juice
  • 1  tablespoon  honey
  • 1  cup  arugula or spinach
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2  cup  roasted pumpkin seeds*
  • 1/4  cup  bottled Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 20  3/4-inch-thick slices  baguette-style French bread
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  ounces  Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

Directions

1. Peel and devein shrimp, if desired, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp. In a large skillet, cook shrimp in a large amount of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque (pink). Drain well.

2. Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, goat cheese, lemon juice, and honey; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, arugula, onion, pumpkin seeds, and salad dressing; set aside.

4. Brush both sides of baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 2 minutes or until toasted, turning bread over once.

5. Spread pumpkin mixture on one side of toasted baguette slices. Top each with a shrimp and some of the arugula mixture. If desired, top each with shaved Parmesan cheese. Makes 20 appetizers.

Did you know that pumpkins are 90% water?
Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes
Once October hits, be sure to make these scrumptious pancakes. They are a special treat your family will be sure to love and crave every fall.
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 TBSP raw sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 TBSP canned pumpkin
  • 2 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup of egg substitute)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin, butter, and egg.
  3. Fold pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients.
  4. Measure out 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook on heated, greased griddle, about 3 minutes on each side.

This recipe makes 8-10 delicious pancakes. Serve with butter and syrup 

 
 
Pumpkin Squares
 
This dessert will tease your taste buds for days.  A twist on the traditional pumpkin pie, but with all the flavor.
 

Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Filling

  • 1 lb can pumpkin
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Topping

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:

Mix crust ingredients until crumbly using a fork, press into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Meanwhile mix filling; pour on to hot crust and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Combine topping and sprinkle on top and bake for another 15 minutes or until filling is set.  Let cool in pan and then cut into squares.

  

Painted Mini Pumpkins

Mini Painted Pumpkins

This little activity will be one that all the kids will love!  Using mini pumpkins and pom-poms for noses, felt pieces and push pins for eyes, pipe cleaners for hair, and drawing the mouths with black permanent marker and teeth with white acrylic paint (or nail polish).  I suggest not using glue (too messy) just attach everything with pins. These little pumpkins will be adorable and last a lot longer than carved pumpkins. The orange mini pumpkins will work best because they have a softer skin and thus easier to pierce.  

 I hope that you enjoy these palatable pumpkin pleasantries. Stay tuned for a perfectly savory pumpkin and carrot soup and many more fall delights & remember that cooking can be simple, have more dinners at home and get together around the dinnertable! 

 

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