Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Oct 7th, 2010 // Breakfast, Most Popular, Recipes

Cantaloupe sized pumpkins, also known as sugar pumpkins, are truly great for baking. We took the most amazing combination of oats and spices and then baked them right inside the pumpkin. It’s so easy to make, it looks absolutely beautiful and tastes even better.

My kid assisted by scooping all the seeds and stringy bits out of the pumpkin and also selected which ingredients we’d include inside. You can really add anything you like to the oats – dried fruit, nuts, maple syrup. You name it. No matter what you pick, I can guarantee it’ will taste like fall.

When the oatmeal is done you can put this beautiful pumpkin right in the center of the breakfast table. Bellissimo! When doling out scoops be sure to scrape up some of that baked pumpkin goodness with the spiced oatmeal. Now for the recipe…

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Look at that Pumpkin Face!

Oct 6th, 2010 // Just for Fun

How cute is that face? The kid, not the pumpkin! Don’t feel so bad for that pumpkin, it got a lot of action this afternoon.

We actually made a special trip to K-mart (which is generally a nightmare) to get these Totally Ghoul Pumpkin Push-ins. They are THE BEST alternative to pumpkin carving.

It’s a jack-o-lantern with no carving and lots of possibilities. Each box comes with 3 faces worth of push-ins and my kid could easily push them right in a la Mr. Potato head. He made different faces on either side of the pumpkin and then removed them all and started over again.

It was truly hours of fun and didn’t involve any knife nervousness. Oh, and if you wash them with a little soapy water you can use them year after year. My kind of Halloween fun!

Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins

Oct 6th, 2010 // Breakfast, Most Popular, Recipes, Snacks

I consider myself a bit of a pumpkin muffin connoisseur. More accurately, I’m an all-forms-pumpkin-bread connoisseur. Most pumpkin breads and pumpkin muffins are expectantly dense like banana bread and when done right they are also moist and delicious. This muffin is an entirely different experience and the best part about it is that we sort of happened upon the recipe by accident.

It all started with a can of Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin. The pumpkin has similar qualities to a mashed up banana so I figured we could loosely follow our banana nut muffin recipe from a few months back.

We started with most of the same basic ingredients: flour, sugar, etc. but then I realized we were out of applesauce which is one of our go-to muffin ingredients.

Thinking quickly, we adjusted the recipe and added a new element – Greek Yogurt.

The result was a delightfully airy yet moist pumpkin muffin the likes of which I’ve never tasted. It was not dense at all. So good that we could not stop eating them. All day long my kid begged for more. I had to hide them in a tin for fear he’d eat the entire batch in one morning. Now for the recipe…

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What's up with gourds?

Oct 5th, 2010 // Just for Fun

There’s nothing that says fall like a pile of gourds. I can’t get enough of the brilliant colors, curvy shapes both smooth and nubby. I buy them by the armful and artfully arrange them all over the house.

But this year my kid asked me what they are for. As in, can you make or do anything with them other than decorate? Um, I don’t know, can you?

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Pasta

Oct 4th, 2010 // Dinner, Recipes

When my kid requested bow tie pasta for dinner, I wasn’t quite sure how pumpkin would factor into the equation. I had been imagining pumpkin soup or pumpkin risotto or even a whipped pumpkin puree.

He began our meal prep by sizing up the pumpkin perched on the kitchen counter – I knew just what he was thinking – it really would have made a pretty awesome jack-o-lantern. This pumpkin was destined for a different fate. We carved it up, peeled it and cut it into bite sized chunks.

One of my favorite things about cooking up pumpkin is that just a little bit of sweetness goes quite a long way. So we started  with the intention of roasting it and then giving it a very light dusting of brown sugar.

That’s when I got the idea for a little sweet and savory pasta dish. We started out by drizzled the pumpkin pieces with olive oil and cracked some salt and pepper on top and put them in the oven to bake. The meal was starting to take shape. Before I knew it we were also cooking up some (turkey) bacon and a new recipe was born…

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