Recipe

Pumpkin Butter

LOVE LOVE LOVE Pumpkin Goodies!

Now is a good time to make this pumpkin butter. It will last you all month and its  a great homemade treat to have on hand for “emergency gifts”. I made my batch today and im putting it in these small pint size jars and storing in the frig to have when needed.

Wrap it up along side of fresh made zucchini or banana bread. I have a great french toast recipe that this is an ingredient in that I will share later.  You can mix in oatmeal or spread on your morning toast. This is super easy to make and much cheaper than store-bought. I have purchased from Williams and Sonoma and Trader Joes and I think this tops both in price and flavor.

November keeps us busy with preparing for the holiday season and I think this pumpkin butter will enhance your holiday baking and gift giving. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Pumpkin Butter

This is where I got my recipe and a tweaks I did to it to make it my own.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approx. 3 1/2 cups or fresh
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2-1.5 teaspoons ground ginger (optional, sometimes I omit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice

I did not add the ginger for my first time but I think I  will try it the next time. I get my cinnamon from Dr.Sweet (how appropriate) local doctor here in Havasu. Its organic and really seems like the real stuff. He is a homeopathic Doctor and gives it to me since I’m a patient of his 🙂 Also I used Spiced Apple Cyder instead of Apple juice cause that is what I had. I am a firm believer of using what ever you have as long as its close cause you never know it might be better and sometimes it just does not matter. I’m thinking of trying a batch with 1/4 teaspoon or less of cayenne pepper. What do you think? Bam that will put a kick in it.

Makes 3.5 cups and stores well for up to 3 weeks so you are good to go thru Thanksgiving if you start now. Pumpkin Butter is super easy to make and smells like fresh-baked pumpkin pie as its cooking. If you love pumpkin goodies you will love this.

Directions:

1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil, covered with lid ajar (I prop it with a wooden spoon). Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, covered with lid ajar, for 35-45 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful as the mixture bubbles and pops!

2. Remove from heat and let it sit for a few minutes before removing lid. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Makes enough to fill one large mason jar or about 3.5 cups.

Get your super cute Mason jar and set aside…I packed my Pumpkin Butter in small Mason Jars for give aways.

Happy Pumpkin Butter Making.

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National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

National Choclolate Cupcake Day
National Choclolate Cupcake Day

That is a beautiful picture right there, wish I had taken it,I just can’t get my phone camera to take such magic. Oh well it’s a National Day and I wanted to help celebrate. This is from “The Creativity Exchange” she has a really cute blog. I have not made these yet but like you after seeing this I am going to make them before Thanksgiving!!

Love Chocolate and Coconut together so I pinned this for future baking. Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think if you make them before I do.Take close note to the tips she gives in Step #1. I have heard of this before and I think it is what helps step up a box recipe to a homemade taste.Love the whole Semi-Homemade thing she has going on, it just works for us people who have busy schedules but still want to call it your own, Semi anyway.

Thanks for the Inspiration Creative Exchange!

Chocolate Coconut Fall Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 Box Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
4 eggs
1-1/3 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup melted butter cooled
Cupcake liners
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (divided, save some for frosting)
2 teaspoon Cinnamon (divided, save some for frosting)
1-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (divided, save some for frosting)
1 Container of Duncan Hines White Buttercream Frosting
1 Cup powdered sugar
(optional) flaked coconut to mix in with frosting or sprinkle on top

1) Glenda, my expert cake baker neighbor, always substitutes the exact measurements of water with buttermilk when making box cake mixes. She also recommends substituting melted real butter (cooled) for the same measurements of oil. It makes a HUGE difference and it makes the cake texture more like homemade. She also adds one more egg than what the box mix requires. This is such great information to know because it really does make a big yummy difference and makes box mixes taste homemade!

2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix according to box and the substitutions above. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the coconut flavoring, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and mix together.

3) I baked my cupcakes exactly 26 minutes and they were perfect. Let the cupcakes completely cool.

4) Mix the ready-made buttercream frosting in a mixer with the powdered sugar (to stiffen) and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of coconut flavoring, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice. When I make these again, I will add 1/2 cup of flaked coconut into the frosting. I think it would really enhance the coconut taste.

I piped on my frosting and I left some plain and others I sprinkled with coconut and cinnamon.

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Just another reason to party and eat 🙂

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Pie Crust Croutons

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These are fun little guys to make. This is the finished product, but here are some steps on how to make them.

IMG_2519I got these mini fall cutters I think at Williams and Sonoma, love them. Any way you get your pie crust dough roll it out and cut shapes with your cutters. Preheat oven to 425, brush dough shapes with a egg wash and sprinkle with favorite toppings. I made Sweet (sprinkled with cinnamom and sugar) and Savory ( sprinkled with salt and pepper). Place on parchment paper and bake for approx. 7-8 minutes.

IMG_2525Note to self. This is a single layer of pie dough and I found on my second batch that if you fold over the dough and roll to make it thicker the croutons are even more AWESOMER! This is easy peasy and really fun to do.

IMG_2527This is before they went into the oven after egg wash and sprinkled goodies.

IMG_2529This is out of the oven. Ready for soups, salads, ice creams, puddings or just snacking by them selfs. The use’s for these little guys is just endless when you start thinking about what they are good on. Oh Im thinking the sweet ones on some Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream or the opposite way on some Butternut Squash Soup. Recipe to follow soon for that one.

I saw Martha Stewart decorate a Pumpkin Pie with these little treats now thats a “Good Thing” Enjoy

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October 1, 2013 Let the fun begin!

Pumpkin Lineup

Yay, It’s 10.1.2013. I think this is my favorite month.Partly due to where I live, out in the Desert where when October hits we finally get a break in the weather and because I love fall and all it brings with it. Holidays, football, fall food and the decorating with pumpkins. So by the way, do you know where your decorations are?

If you’re a early bird they are up and your family is already enjoying them, if not you have time if you act now!

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Let’s start the month off with “Pumpkin Buying Tips”: They  say “buy early and locally”. Well that’s a good tip if you live where this is available. For me I rely on the Grocery stores and Wal-Mart. Here are some good tips that I found on the Internet that will be helpful to us all:

Select a pumpkin that is completely orange. Partially green pumpkins might not ripen any further.

Size is an important factor. Medium pumpkins are best for pumpkin carving. Small pumpkins are better for cooking.

Does the shade of orange matter? If so, there are hundreds of varieties, with many different shades of orange.

Selecting the shape is a matter of personal preference. Some like ’em tall. Others, like ’em round.

Often, people select shapes to fit the carving patterns they will use. Pick your pattern before you go.

Do not lift or carry a pumpkin by its stem. The stem will likely break. The stem gives it character.

A ripe pumpkin has a hard shell that does not dent or scratch easily, when pressing on it with a thumbnail. Do this on the back or bottom of the fruit…….never on the face.

Examine the entire pumpkin carefully for soft spots. If you find even one soft spot, go on to the next pumpkin.

Check for cracks and splits. If you find one, examine it to be sure it is not turning into a soft spot or has mold inside of the crack.

Look for bugs and insects. Specifically, look for holes in the pumpkin, which are indicative of insect problems.

Pumpkin Patch Picking Tips:

Bring a small wagon with you. It’s easier to haul tired kids and pumpkins.

Wear boots or old sneakers. It could be wet and muddy in the pumpkin patch.

Pick a pumpkin that you can carry back with you.

If smaller children are carrying pumpkin, pick smaller pumpkins. Remember those little arms will probably get tired before reaching the car.

Bring a sharp knife or pruner.

Cut the vine on either side of the stem. After you get it home, you can trim off the remaining pieces of vine, and cut the stem at the perfect spot.

I have already purchased 8 pumpkins and that is only the beginning for me due to so many varieties being brought into our stores.

On this pumpkin I wrote a Pumpkin Pie recipe and displayed it in my kitchen. I think this is a cute idea that I got off Pinterest. 🙂

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This site has some cute ideas and FREE printables, check it out.

 www.bhg.com/halloween/crafts/free-halloween-printables-projects/?sssdmh=dm17.692599&esrc=nwdc091813#page=26

Happy Pumpkin Picking!