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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Can You Do With a Can of Pumpkin?

As soon as the temperature drops, and the leaves start changing, our menu changes too.  Watermelon, strawberries, and cantaloupe are replaced with squash.  Our favorite squash is pumpkin.  Pumpkin is one versatile vegetable.  Any vegetable that can make a yummy dessert is one worth knowing.

I'm always on the lookout for great new recipes to try.  I wanted to share a few of my "Pumpkin Favorites".

Pumpkin Dip---Here's a savory pumpkin recipe.
12 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasonings
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1/3 cup dried beef, chopped

Cream together cream cheese, pumpkin, taco seasonings, and garlic powder until smooth.  Stir in bell pepper, olives, and dried beef.  Chill and serve with crackers and vegies.

Pumpkin Bread-This is the best pumpkin bread I've ever had.
2 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
4 eggs
2 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup nuts (optional)
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda

Combine sugar and shortening.  Add eggs and blend well.  Blend in pumpkin and water. Sift dry ingredients together 3 times, then add to pumpkin mixture. Then add nuts.
Blend well and pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies-This is a great recipe Lesli shared with us.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1 egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
(optional: 1 cup walnuts or 1 cup raisins)
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1/4 cup butter-softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons whipping cream, fresh OJ or rum

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg,  Stir into butter mixture until well blended.  (Add nuts and raisins if using). Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment covered baking sheet, about 2" apart. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden.  Cool.

Icing: Cream confectioners sugar and butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. (If icing is too thin, add more sugar, if too thick add more liquid) drizzle over cookies (I used a sandwich bag and clipped the corner-perfect!)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies-Head on over to Tidy Mom for this delicious recipe.  They were so good and so easy!

I hope one of these inspires you to get busy in the kitchen!
Happy Fall Cooking!

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Crocheted Candy Corn Bunting Pattern

I love all things Candy Corn, if you haven't noticed.  A few months back I saw an adorable Felt Candy Corn bunting from The Funky Polkadot Giraffe.  I loved it, but didn't want to spend the time cutting, sewing, more cutting and more sewing.  Instead, I went back to my elementary days and cut out construction paper and used my glue stick.  Here is a picture of my first attempt at a bunting:

I thought this was pretty cute, but as you can see, some of the candy corn turned backwards.  I also had two little boys who enjoyed hitting it.  The construction paper wouldn't last much longer.

Since I have a renewed passion for crocheting, I thought I would give it a try.  I made a simple band for all the candy corn to hang from.  If you know how to double crochet and half double crochet, this will be super easy and quick!  Here is the updated mantle and a close up:

I'm really happy with how this turned out.  This banner is more likely to withstand two little boys!  If you are interested in making your own, here is the pattern:

Crocheted Candy Corn Bunting

Yarn needed
1-    #10 Yellow Peaches & Creme
2-    #11 Sunburst Peaches & Creme
1-    #1 White Peaches & Creme

H/8 Hook

Chain 353.  Less or more depending on the length desired.  (I got 9 Candy Corn from this length)

Double crochet in third chain from hook.  Double Crochet in every chain till the end.

Row 1-Using Yellow, sl st into the 20th st.  Ch 1, make 1 hdc in the next 25 sts.

Row 2-Ch 1, turn, make 1 hdc in every hdc st for a total of 25 sts.  Ch 1, turn.

Rows 3-5-Skip the first hdc st, hdc in remaining sts, ch 1, turn. 

Row 6-Skip the first hdc st, hdc in remaining sts. Join Orange color and ch 1, turn.

Rows 7-17- Skip the first hdc st, hdc in remaining sts, ch 1, turn. 

Row 18- Skip the first hdc st, hdc in remaining sts. Join White color and ch 1, turn.

Rows 19-25- Skip the first hdc st, hdc in remaining sts, ch 1, turn. 

Row 26-You should have two hdcs remaining.  Hdc in second ch.  Finish off.

Weave in all loose yarn pieces into coordinating color.

For those of you who love Candy Corn like I do, I have another candy corn project in the works.  Be on the lookout for that soon!

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