pumpkin

Entertaining the Kids: Pumpkin Fun!

It’s pumpkin time! Woohoo! I am not a pumpkin carver. Boo, hiss, say what you will. It is no secret that I’m not a craft lover. Thankfully I have creative people in my life who enhance the creativity in my children. For example my mother, who found this activity on Pinterest. Hurray for grandmas! As it is, I have young children not ready for carving themselves. So this is a perfect option, even for last minute too.

What you need:

plastic/cloth or newspaper

pumpkins

glue stick

crayons

hair dryer

Oh, and that secret ingredient: enthusiasm!

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Place the plastic or cloth on your workspace. This doesn’t have to be fancy. It could be a garbage bag on your kitchen table. Place the pumpkins in go position (on top of your prepared workspace). Tip: Use room temperature pumpkins

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Unwrap and break the crayons in half. My kids liked this part best.

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Use the glue stick around the top of the pumpkin stem to get a sticky surface for the crayons. Place the crayons around in your own artistic color pattern. And hey, if you want to use a pumpkin with a nicer fuller stem than ours, that’s your prerogative.

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When crayons are set, bust out that hairdryer and blow! This could get messy (hence the table cover).

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You’ll naturally find that you need to adjust the hairdryer angle to work the drips, mostly from directly above facing down. We also found that working one section at a time seemed easier than letting the wax harden again as you try to go around.

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Have fun! Then admire your work Picasso!

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Bread

I love it when friends and family members send me recipes to try for my blog. For one, that’s what it’s all about for me- trying new things and sharing good recipes. For two, I love the connections- the new ones being made and keeping in touch with friendships of the past. I cherish those things. Coincidentally, I think this recipe embodies both too! I’ve been making pumpkin bread for a long time. It’s a fall standard in my home. I’ve never tried mixing it with chocolate… and why not? Chocolate makes everything better! And what is it about making swirls that is so much fun? Anyway, thank you Jenny for sending this my way, and enlightening me to Harmon’s Grocery videos in general. This bread smells delicious, tastes yummy and makes a beautiful presentation for the family table. Uh, yes please!

As seen on vimeo by Harmon’s Grocery or on their website at harmonsgrocery.com

And of course as usual from Sadie’s Nest, as organic as possible:

Nonstick cooking spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 ounces dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and coat the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Does everyone appreciate the marked parchment paper as much as I do? Thank you for giving me lines so I don’t have to get out a pencil.

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In a large bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Wow! There is nothing like pumpkin pie spice, or allspice if you prefer, to instantly make your kitchen smell like the peak of fall baking.img_7688

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Fold in pumpkin. Liquid gold.

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Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and whisk just until no lumps remain. Or else… the world will explode… or you will have a lumpy batter, that will turn into not perfect bread.

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Divide batter in half. Add the melted chocolate and cocoa powder to half of the batter; you will want to dip your finger in the chocolate and have a little lick; but remember it’s HOT! Stir to combine.

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Add the two batters to the loaf pan, alternating between pumpkin and chocolate.

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Using a table knife, swirl through the batter. I’ll be honest, I could have swirled a little more.

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Repeat

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Bake for 55 to 65 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove and cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

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In a small bowl stir together the powdered sugar and milk. Spoon over cooled loaf.

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When icing has cooled slightly, slice and serve. Or serve it right away if you want to, it’s your bread and there is nothing wrong about eating icing while it’s warm.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Bread

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and coat the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and sugar.
  6. Add melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  7. Fold in pumpkin.
  8. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and whisk just until no lumps remain.
  9. Divide batter in half.
  10. Add the melted chocolate and cocoa powder to half of the batter; stir to combine.
  11. Add the two batters to the loaf pan, alternating between pumpkin and chocolate.
  12. Using a table knife, swirl through the batter. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  13. Remove and cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  14. In a small bowl stir together the powdered sugar and milk. Spoon over cooled loaf.
http://sadiesnest.com/pumpkin-chocolate-swirl-bread/

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I really wish I could take credit for this recipe. I’ve been making it for so many years that it feels like mine. I mean when you’ve had something be a part of your holiday traditions longer than your children, that’s got to be something. And as often as I like to put my own twist on things, this recipe remains untouched – because it’s perfect every time, just the way it is. It’s creamy and luscious and sweet and seasonal with the pumpkin… so without further ado: From Better Homes and Gardens’ Test Kitchen Favorites:

As organic as possible: (ok, there’s my twist)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 squares)

1/3 cup sugar

3 Tbsp butter, melter

2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup half-and-half or light cream

1 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

4 eggs

1 – 8 oz carton dairy sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. For crust, combine crumbs, the 1/3 cup sugar, and melter butter. Press onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 5 minutes; set aside.
  2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, half-and-half, pumpkin, the 3/4 cup sugar, flour, the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined.
  3. Spoon filling into crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 1 hour or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
  4. Combine the sour cream, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; spread over cheesecake. Bake 5 minutes more.
  5. Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan with a thin-bladed knife or narrow spatula and cool 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. Makes 16 servings.

To store cheese cake: Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or seal a whole cheesecake or individual pieces in a freezer bag, in an airtight container, or wrapped in heavy foil. Freeze a whole cheesecake for up to a month and pieces for up to 2 weeks. To serve, loosen the covering slightly. Thaw a whole cheesecake in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Thaw individual pieces at room temperature 30 minutes.

You’re welcome! Have a great weekend!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melter
  • 2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 - 8 oz carton dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. For crust, combine crumbs, the 1/3 cup sugar, and melter butter. Press onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 5 minutes; set aside.
  2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, half-and-half, pumpkin, the 3/4 cup sugar, flour, the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined.
  3. Spoon filling into crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 325°F oven for 1 hour or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
  4. Combine the sour cream, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; spread over cheesecake. Bake 5 minutes more.
  5. Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan with a thin-bladed knife or narrow spatula and cool 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan; cool 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. Makes 16 servings.
  6. To store cheese cake: Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or seal a whole cheesecake or individual pieces in a freezer bag, in an airtight container, or wrapped in heavy foil. Freeze a whole cheesecake for up to a month and pieces for up to 2 weeks. To serve, loosen the covering slightly. Thaw a whole cheesecake in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Thaw individual pieces at room temperature 30 minutes.
http://sadiesnest.com/pumpkin-cheesecake/

Cranberry-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

I make this bread every Thanksgiving. It’s like edible baked Autumn.  It’s got texture, body and flavor. It’s sweet enough to serve with dessert but so pretty served with dinner. Besides, can you have too many dishes on the table for a holiday? But don’t limit yourself to just one day! I make this bread other times too. It’s great with coffee for breakfast, it goes fantastic served with salad, and I serve it as a sweet bread side dish with all of our regular staple dishes (soups, stews, even pasta…) to give them a Fall feel. No one is disappointed to see this bread being served.

As organic as possible:

1 cup Brown sugar

1/2 cup Sugar

1 cup cooked or canned Pumpkin

1/2 cup Walnut oil

2 Eggs, beaten

2 cups Flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

3/4 cup dried Cranberries

3/4 cup chopped Pecans

1/4 cup Water

Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix sugars, pumpkin, oil and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. In a small bowl toss cranberries and pecans with a couple tablespoons of the flour and spice mixture. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and combine. Add the cranberries and pecans and stir until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 65-75 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack*.

*If using a molded loaf pan: The bread does rise. I have used a thin string to slice the loaf and give it a flat bottom to invert onto a plate. However, I have found that the best method (and prettiest on a plate) is to use a serrated knife and cut the loaf about 1/2″ over the loaf pan. That is also the best part about using the loaf pan, because you get to eat some of it without cutting into the presentable part! (And you’re going to want to taste it right away.)

Cool completely before slicing.

Cranberry-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup cooked or canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Walnut oil
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground Ginger
  • 3/4 cup dried Cranberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix sugars, pumpkin, oil and eggs.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. In a small bowl toss cranberries and pecans with a couple tablespoons of the flour and spice mixture.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and combine. Add the cranberries and pecans and stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 65-75 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack*.
  6. *If using a molded loaf pan: The bread does rise. I have used a thin string to slice the loaf and give it a flat bottom to invert onto a plate. However, I have found that the best method (and prettiest on a plate) is to use a serrated knife and cut the loaf about 1/2" over the loaf pan. That is also the best part about using the loaf pan, because you get to eat some of it without cutting into the presentable part! (And you're going to want to taste it right away.)
  7. Cool completely before slicing.
http://sadiesnest.com/cranberry-pecan-pumpkin-bread/