Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

If a cinnamon roll and a pumpkin roll were ever to meet, this is what would come of it.

And believe me, its good.
As are most things 'pumpkin' slathered in cream cheese frosting.

I got the recipe from HERE from Good Life Eats. 

here's where we link

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall Front Porch Decorations

What a nice pile o' pumpkins! :)
I think few things are as festive as a great big stack of pumpkins. I love seeing them at the stores, and I love walking up to my house and seeing them. It's a good reason to walk out the front door--just so I can walk back in and see them. :)

Plus my kids LOVE the creepy gigantic spider.
Remember my mom's fun pumpkin party?
Well, we did more than just have fun--I came home with a nice pile of pumpkins to use on my front porch this year.
This pumpkin is my favorite--it looks all nobbly and warty. Apparently they are good for eating too, but so far I prefer to just decorate with it.

My kids also think that the pumpkins are the perfect front-porch bench to sit at as well. So many uses for one simple vegetable!

I hope your fall pumpkin baking and decorating are going well!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

I love muffins. I know I've said it before, but I do.
This recipe is no exception.

I love how they dome up nice and tall when I bake them.

I love how they make my whole house smell.

And I especially love eating them hot out of the oven with a little butter melting right in.
Oh so good.
I'm pretty sure you'll love them too, so here's my recipe!
Pumpkin Muffins
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients and add to dry mixture. Mix just until incorporated (a few lumps are ok). Spoon into greased muffin tin (I usually make 10 or 11 muffins instead of all 12 because I like them to rise up tall). Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Enjoy!


here's where we link

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Soda

This post is from one of our good friends--someone we go WAAAAYYY back with--Jeremy, aka The Homemade Soda Expert. Yes, that's right, he makes his own homemade soda! How fun is that? You should go check out his blog and think seriously about it as a neighbor gift this year. :)
Anyway, he has mastered the art of making pumpkin pie syrup that you can use for your soda or hot chocolate or even your breakfast pancakes, waffles or french toast. Mmmmm, or even mixed with some cream cheese for a festive fall dip. Yum-o!
Take it away Jeremy!
Let me just say that fall is a particularly favorite time of year for me.  October is a good month.  It's time for harvest celebrations, Halloween, and all things pumpkin.  Sometimes I wish that everything could taste like pumpkin pie.  Jones Soda did place doubts into my mind with their Pumpkin Pie soda in one of their holiday packs (really Jones, you could have tried harder).  At the first taste of their not so pumpkin pie soda, I knew there had to be a better way.  After many failures in years past to produce a suitable pumpkin pie soda, (a little pumpkin goes a long way) this is actually a tasty recipe that by far makes them all worth the effort.

You'll Need:
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2-3 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree

1. In a small sauce pan, combine the 1 cup of the water and all four spices.
2. Cover and bring to a simmer for about 5 min.
3. Allow to cool, then strain through a fine mesh sieve or suitable strainer to remove the ground spice.  You should have plenty of good spice flavor infused into the water.
4. Top up your spice infused water to 1 cup (I used the remaining 1/4 cup) and combine in the saucepan (rinsed of all spice granules) with the sugar.
5. Heat to dissolve the sugar, this may take it to a simmer again.
6. Remove from heat and add pumpkin puree.
7. Allow to cool and add to soda, oatmeal (I know, I know, it's already been done here), pancakes, waffles, french toast, hot chocolate, cream cheese, egg nog, or whatever!

For soda:
To 2 Tbsp syrup, add 8-10 oz of Club Soda or to taste.  Carefully stir and enjoy.  With this recipe, there will be pulp from the pumpkin, so a finished soda doesn't bottle and store well.  I've tried to keep the particulates at a reasonable level by filtering out the spice.  You can leave the spice unfiltered if you wish for using this recipe in things like cream cheese, ice cream, pancakes, hot chocolate, egg nog or anything where you might expect spice to linger.  For a thinner body beverage like soda, it's best to leave the spice granules out, but keep the flavor in.
This makes a great recipe for anyone who owns a Sodastream and wants to use it for something festive.  The syrup will store for about three weeks in the fridge, and since it really doesn't take much pumpkin, you can still use the rest of your fresh pumpkin (or from the can if you must) for real pies.

Thanks Jeremy for sharing your tried-and-true recipe with us!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

You'd think we'd be getting tired of all the pumpkin baking going on around here!? Not hardly! :) Loving it, and this one has been one of my favorites. I like coffee cake anyway, but it seemed to me after tasting this version that coffee cake and pumpkin are an incredible duo. :)
I can never really decide if coffee cake is a breakfast food, a dessert, a treat, or what. I think most people eat it for breakfast or brunch; we tend to eat it for dessert, but as good as this one is, I think you could eat it anytime you darn well please....
As usual with my recipes, I added a lot of whole wheat flour and "healthed" it up a bit, so this version has a nice, hearty-yet-sweet flavor. Can't wait to eat it again. :) 

Pumpkin Coffee Cake
slightly adapted from Week of Menus

3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. (packed) dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. whole-wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
scant 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can of pumpkin (15 oz)

For the topping, combine flour, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until crumbly. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour 13X9X2-inch baking pan. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup of butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually the sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Mix in entire can of pumpkin. With the mixer on low, add the dry mixture. Mix until just all blended.

Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half the 1/2 the topping mixture. Pour and spread remaining batter on top. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake until tester inserted into center comes and clean and topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool cake. Serve room temperature. (It gets better with some rest.)

Click here to print.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin and Cinnamon Chip Scones

Need a new breakfast idea?

 This one's pretty self explanatory.... but delicious!

Here's the recipe:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
!/4 cup butter, chilled
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
Cinnamon or chocolate chips
Combine all the dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Mix pumpkin and milk, then add to dry mixture. Mix with a fork till just mixed, (its okay if its a little lumpy). Add cinnamon chips or chocolate chips. Spoon onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 12.
*You can usually find cinnamon chips around the holidays in the seasonal baking aisle.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Party!

Pumpkin Party time!
Every year my mom grows a pumpkin patch and every year she hosts a pumpkin party for the kids to come and pick out some pumpkins. It is such a fun tradition! It's nice to see family and get together with them before the hectic hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season. Plus, you just can't beat being with those you love in a festive-feeling pumpkin patch, sipping warm apple cider. This year we had chili and rolls along with lots of fun fall side dishes and desserts. Too fun.
Plus it's just plain fun to have kids and have them be so excited.

So, why not plan a trip to a pumpkin patch sometime this fall? You won't regret it. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Pi Onsie

I'm excited to be part of Pumpkin Palooza today!  Thanks so much for hosting such a fun series, Emily and Jaime.  I've got several cans of pumpkin in the cupboard and I really need to try some of the recipes I keep seeing on here.

...But I have a different kind of Pumpkin Pi for you today.  No, I didn't misspell it.  That's Pumpkin Pi as in the number Pi or 3.14159... and so on.  We're a bit nerdy over at Helping Little Hands.  I'm a former math and chemistry teacher and I married an even nerdier high school science teacher, so we're turning our kids into super nerds and they don't even know it.

This is my youngest, Anson, sporting his new Pumpkin Pi Onesie.

He's outgrown his other Pi themed onesies, and this was a perfect one for Halloween and Thanksgiving...because what's more Thanksgiving than Pumpkin Pi?!?

It's getting a bit hard to take pictures of this guy because he wants the camera SO BAD!

So bad in fact, that he crawled for the first time trying to get to the camera.
(And if you like those pants, I'll be posting the pattern and tutorial on my blog sometime in the next week or two.)

Lucky for me he hasn't realized this crawling thing can actually take him places more than a few inches away...I know...give him a few days.

What to make one of your own?

Trace the pumpkin shape onto some Heat'n Bond Lite or similar product.  Cut it out, and iron it onto the backside of your fabric.  My fabric of chose for shirt appliques is T-shirt scraps because you don't have to worry about the edges fraying and it makes stitching it onto your shirt easier.  Then you'll cut out the fabric to match the edges of the Heat'n Bond.  You'll also want to trace the green stem and iron that onto a green scrap.
Then trace the Pi symbol onto the papery side of some freezer paper.  (You find freezer paper at the grocery store near ziploc baggies and the like.  One roll of it will last you for hundreds of cool, personalized T-shirts.)  Iron your stencil onto your pumpkin shape, making sure the Pi symbol is centered.  Trim off most of the excess freezer paper.
Dab your paint into the gaps in your stencil.  Be sure to tap up and down, not side to side so that the paint doesn't leak under your paper.  I usually use regular acryilic craft paint because that's what I have on hand and it my experience it works well and ends up with a slightly textured distressed look.  Using fabric paint will also work well.  

Peel of the freezer paper and let dry COMPLETELY.

Once your design is dry, iron the pumpkin shape onto your T-shirt.  (By the way, I check out the racks at Goodwill for plain, good quality shirts every time I go.  It's usually cheaper and better quality than shirts from a craft store, as long as you're selective.)  Tuck the stem piece under the pumpkin slightly before ironing.  Iron thoroughly to get it to stick.

Stitch around the edge of your applique to secure the edges permanently.  (You can buy Heat'n Bond that does not require stitching, but I don't recommend it.)  I don't do anything to secure the ends of the thread because I don't want extra thread to show.
Instead I leave long tails of thread.
Pull the front thread around to the back.
Then tie the ends together in several secure knots.
And trim.
It looks perfect on the front and your thread won't unravel.
Then put your shirt on your cute baby...or bigger kid...or even yourself.

And if you're the type who likes the number Pi as much as we do, you might want to check out this post with more shirt ideas and other Pi fun.
I've also got some other great nerdy posts coming up later this week on my blog as well as a giveaway, so be sure to come over and follow along, so you don't miss them.

And as one last shameless little plug, I'm selling a couple of mini-quilts for funds to purchase quilting supplies to make quilts for donation to Seattle Children's Hospital.  I'd love for you to check them out here.

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