Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Love of Pumpkins

I love fall.  I love everything about it.  I love how the air is crisp, I love the sound of leaves crunching under my feet, I love wearing warm cozy sweaters, and I love being able to wear boots and not worry if my pedicure is way overdue.  Fall makes me think of golden colours, spicy smells and warmth which in turn makes me think of baking.

I don't bake much in the summer.  I'm having too much fun playing outside and taking advantage of the warm weather to spend it inside.  But when the weather turns cold in the fall, and you can fill that nip in the air, then the warmth of my kitchen beckons me back inside.

I like to cook or bake seasonally.  Meaning when something is in season, I will use it a lot.  Case in point - pumpkins!

I get excited when the small little Sugar Pie Pumpkins make their appearance at the grocery store.  I'm not talking about the big 'ol Jack-a-lantern Pumpkins that are used for pumpkin carving (but that's fun too!) but the smaller sweeter ones that are best used for baking.  First off they make a great seasonal decoration even before I actually get around to using them, but when I finally roast them, I wonder why it took me so long to use them!

One of my favourite pumpkin things are the lattes from Starbucks.  I guess this would be the appropriate time to confess that I am a Starbucks-addict.  I love it - it simply makes me happy. When I was looking through some recipes one afternoon (probably while drinking coffee!) I found this recipe:

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting
 They are everything that a pumpkin cookie should be - light, ethereal, spicy and heavenly - just like those lattes from Starbucks.  I suggest that you give them a try!

But a pumpkin love-affair being what it is, the cookies weren't even gone and I was already planning on what I could make next.   You see the love of all things pumpkin isn't jut limited to me.  Every time I stop at Starbucks my kids beg and plead for a pumpkin scone.  That makes an expensive habit all the more expensive.  I figured I could probably make them for a fraction of the cost, and they would be fresher and healthier too.

They were in a word dee-lish (as my son described them).  They may not have been as uniform and pretty as the scones from Starbucks but hey - it was my loving hands that formed them.

You'd think after all that baking that I'd be done with pumpkins but all I'd really done was satisfy the sweet side of pumpkins.  You see like me, pumpkins can go either sweet or salty.  If you're in the mood for salty - try roasting the seeds.

I guarantee you won't be able to stop at just one handful.  Or possibly like in my case you can if when you turn your back the bowl is emptied!

The other thing I'd suggest is roasting the pumpkin wedges with a little olive oil, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper.  Try melting some cheese over top during the last few minutes of baking - I can guarantee that the result will be sublime!!

But last but not least, you can't forget those big old pumpkins that I talked about earlier.  They may not be as tasty as the little fellows, and they're a lot more difficult to clean, but they serve a purpose too!

Just don't forget to scoop out those seeds and roast them!


  1. Wow - you've left me salivating! Thanks for sharing how you use your pumpkins after Halloween. I've been staring at ours, wondering if it's time to throw them out. I know exactly what to do now: wedge them, roast them in olive oil, sprinkle with cheese and cilantro...and throw them on the dinner table. You're an inspiration.

  2. Mmmmmmm! It all looks so yummy!
    And why can't we live closer so that I can partake of all these treats with you?
    WITH some starby's?!