Tag Archives: pumpkin

Baby Pumpkin Costume

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For my niece’s first Halloween, my mom wanted to make her a pumpkin costume. Seriously, how cute is a little six month old dressed as a pumpkin? My mom tackled the pumpkin body while I worked on the little stem “hat”.

The body was a simple silhouette – two rectangular pieces, gathered with elastic at the bottom and top, seamed at the sides with space for armholes. She was plumped up with a little tissue paper stuffing.

I created the stem / leaf topper by first sketching out on paper, then cutting out of felt. I stuffed the stem with fiberfill and hand stitched the stem to the leaf portion. Both elastic and a ribbon tie were fastened so my sister-in-law could determine which would work best once she tried the costume on. The stem hat looked great on my Cabbage Patch Kid model while I was constructing it, but it was way cuter on my niece in the end. My niece is the cutest pumpkin ever! Please forgive her blurred out face but I wasn’t sure if my brother and sister-in-law would want her photo posted online otherwise.

Multigrain Pumpkin Pancakes

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I had pumpkin leftover from the bread I made a few days ago, so I decided to use some of it in my pancake batter. When I want plain pancakes I typically make them from scratch, but for multigrain pancakes there is a great organic mix from Arrowhead Mills – you add a tablespoon of canola oil and just over half a cup of milk and you’ve got some pancakes. So simple. Of course, that’s not how I make them. I go for more of a homemade variation when I use this mix, I have never made pancakes simply as the directions advise.

The mix is great. It’s full of whole grains and has a wonderful flavor & texture already built in to your pancakes. Pumpkin is sort of a bitter squash, so I started by fork mashing a slightly overripe banana in my mixing bowl. Not only would that create great texture, but it would add a nice flavor and counteract the bitterness of the pumpkin.

After mashing my banana, I added 1 1/2 cups of the multigrain mix (double recipe), 2 tbsp canola oil, 1 cup and a few tbsp of fat-free organic milk, and close to 1/2 cup pumpkin (just under, maybe). Then I needed to spice up the batter. I added approximately 1 tsp vanilla, a touch of honey (maybe 1/2 tsp), a dash of allspice, ground cloves and nutmeg, a few shakes of cinnamon, and about 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Mixed up my batter with a fork and it was a good consistency. If your batter is too thick you can add more milk, if it’s too thin you can add more multigrain mix).

It depends on your stove, but pancakes are generally best cooked somewhere around MED-LOW heat. These will be slightly darker than white flour pancakes since they have all of those whole multi grains in the batter, but they still cook up with a nice golden brown color.

Add some greek or plain yogurt to the top, fresh fruit or nuts, a touch of maple syrup and you’re ready for a delicious breakfast. These are so quick and simple to whip up – and they are great to make ahead on the weekend and heat up later in the toaster on a busy weekday morning! Just wrap them in foil and store them in the fridge. I have never frozen them, though I am sure you can freeze them in a ziploc if you like.

I only make the pumpkin pancakes once a year when I have some leftover pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Usually I make these with any variety of fruit or flavorings including: blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, cinnamon, honey, blackberries, or really anything I have on hand at the moment. I have also used the multigrain mix to make waffles.

Pumpkin Bread

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October is here and when it comes to food, pumpkin is the word that comes to mind. I have been thinking of my Great Aunt Marie’s pumpkin bread for weeks. On this chilly Fall day, the time had finally come to whip some up!

If you are going to bake one pumpkin bread this season, this is the recipe to try! It is moist, has a smooth texture, a great pumpkin flavor and just the right amount of spice to enhance yet not overpower the pumpkin. It is delicious.

AUNT MARIE’S PUMPKIN BREAD
Recipe from Aunt Marie Caruso

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup water
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add pumpkin and water to the mixture. In separate bowl, sift together flour, powder, soda, salt and spices. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Add nuts and blend into mixture. Grease pans well and fill 3/4 full. Bake at 350* until cake tester comes out clean.

The recipe was paraphrased a little bit in my shorthand. Also, while it did not call for vanilla extract, I threw in a teaspoon to my batter. For breads I tend to use canola oil as my shortening (for cookies it’s butter). I generally use walnuts in this recipe, or even no nuts, but I think pecans would be good to try. I think I erred during the dry ingredient step and used less baking soda on this go around, but my bread still turned out delish! I baked most of the batter in a loaf pan for close to one hour, and the rest in two pumpkin-shaped forms for about thirty minutes.

This recipe can be baked into many different forms. My aunt has traditionally baked it in cans (like the kind you buy your beans, diced tomatoes, etc in), you can also use a cake pan, a loaf pan, cupcake pans, some cute pumpkin silicone forms or whatever you have on hand! Just be mindful that your cooking time will vary depending on your baking form. This bread also freezes very well which can come in handy if you want to prep ahead for an evening of entertaining, some out of town guests, or just to have something available when you get that unexpected craving!

I hope all of you enjoy this recipe. Let me know how yours turns out!