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10 things to do with pumpkin

10 Things :: 10 Things to Do with Pumpkin
this week's haul from blackheath farmers' market
Our neighbourhood has a farmers’ market every Sunday, from 10am to 2pm, and there are two appropriate strategies: go early and get the best selection or go late and get the best bargains. Seeing as I got all this for ten pounds this past Sunday, you can guess which strategy I managed. But the most exciting part: there are pumpkins galore! Just small sugar and pie pumpkins, which is perfect for me. And it’s the tenth… so I bring you ten things to do with pumpkin. Because 10 Things is a whole thing we do on the tenth, you know.

pumpkin cupcake recipe @ shimelle.com
Pumpkin cupcakes, of course. I usually make this recipe several times each autumn. When things start to feel a bit more holidayish, I Christmas them up a bit with brandy butter, using this recipe, which predates the day I learned how to take a halfway decent picture of a cupcake. Or anything else for that matter. Another alternative is to make a batch of vanilla cake batter, then halve it – so you have half vanilla cakes and half still as batter. Mix in pumpkin, brown sugar and a bit of flour to get the texture back to what it was originally. Perfect for two flavours when you don’t want twice as many cakes.

pumpkin pancakes
Pumpkin pancakes are a bit of a special thing in our house, made by The Boy for special occasion days. He says Martha’s is your friend and I say whatever recipe he uses, it’s lovely.

Strangely enough, I wrote another very pumpkiny post nearly five years ago, when we had first moved to this neighbourhood and were fashioning furniture out of moving boxes. At the core of that post was the classic idea of Pumpkin pie. I stand by the belief that there are few things nicer at the end of an autumn day.

It’s been years since I made Hunky Dory Pumpkin cake, but I’m thinking this year might be a good chance for its return. It’s here from the exceedingly early days of this blog. I do still like the expression Hunky Dory. It is also my favourite of all David Bowie albums, and you can argue the merits of Ziggy Stardust all you want, I will not change my mind.

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are my next project. I haven’t made them yet, but I have just enough pumpkin puree in my fridge to make these with the recipe at Smitten Kitchen. They look divine and every recipe I’ve tried from SK has turned out brilliantly. I have high hopes. And I need to ask The Boy to pick up more cinnamon on the way home.

Pumpkin scones I have made several times but somehow never photographed! Clearly I need to make them again… and somehow remember to take a picture before eating every last crumb. Find the recipe here from lovely scrapbooker (and 10 Things participant!) Sharyn Carlson.

Pumpkin pasta because lest you think pumpkin is only for indulgent, sweet things, it can certainly be savoury too. Simple, unfussy food. Just mix up a bowl of pumpkin puree with other flavours you like – pine nuts, herbs (basil, sage, rosemary and thyme all complement but offer different options), a tiny bit of honey if you like your savoury foods a bit sweet, chili if you like them with some kick – then layer with pasta. You can make it as a lasagna with pasta sheets and plenty of cheese or you can make your own ravioli with fresh pasta folded into parcels. Cook as usual then drizzle with balsamic vinegar or glaze. Fabulous with something fresh and green on the side too.

Pumpkin and blue cheese pie requires you to like blue cheese, of course, and also be able to come to grips with the idea of a pumpkin pie that is not for dessert. Line a pie dish with a basic pastry (this- works and is very simple). For the filling, mix pumpkin puree with gorgonzola cheese (I go with twice as much pumpkin than cheese by weight) and a bit of double cream in a saucepan, plus some thyme or other herbs if you prefer. Stir until all the cheese is melted and just bring to a simmer, then pop that in the pie dish and bake until the top browns and the pastry is cooked. I’ve made it with and without pastry on top. And once I made it with that crumbly, dry kind of gorgonzola? That didn’t work as well.

Pumpkin coffee, which is now a UK thing suddenly as Starbucks finally decided Britain was ready for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. The manager in our local Starbucks says expect their supplies to only last three to four weeks and they won’t be getting any more. So whether you want to avoid Starbucks or you develop an addiction, making pumpkin coffee at home is the solution. Mix pumpkin puree with brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a tiny bit of ground cloves and a few drops of vanilla extract. Mix that up and heat with milk, then add to coffee or espresso. I am rather fonder of this being actual pumpkin and not sickly sweet like the syrup, but you know I won’t tell anyone if you like it sweet and heap plenty of brown sugar or maple syrup in it. Your secret is completely safe.

Pumpkin milkshakes are so lovely, they make me tempted to book a flight to New York just to hang out at Shake Shack all autumn long. But that’s a bit extreme, even I will admit. So instead, take good vanilla ice cream and blend with pumpkin puree, the usual spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove – in that order from most to least) and a bit of milk. Blitz and top with whipped cream. (Or you can make it with actual pumpkin pie, like this, but I have one problem with that amazing idea: it requires having leftover pumpkin pie. Yeah… that really doesn’t happen in my world.

And there you go: a total pumpkin overdose. How very on trend. And now… I really need to get away from the computer. I’m suddenly very hungry!



10 October 2012



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22 Comments for 10 things to do with pumpkin

  1. Jennifer Grace Says:

    They all sound delicious, except for the coffee, I hate coffee! But I’d like to try the rest. I don’t tend to use pumpkin in recipes, but I do use butternut squash a lot in the autumn and winter. x

  2. Cathie Says:

    I’m going to have to make the pumpkin coffee. I love coffee like crazy but I’m not a big fan of coffee with sickly syrups. This sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing! Lovely post, btw.

  3. Jo Says:

    yummy. I made a soup from butternut squash today, it was also yummy,
    Jo xxx

  4. Sandy Says:

    Love it!

  5. Cinday Says:

    Oh my goodness thank you so much. I never would have thought about pumpkin pasta! Oh and the coffee, yum. Now I have to go out and get some pumpkin and definitely use my butternut squash!

  6. Flora Says:

    I’ve actually made pumpkin pancakes, and they’re delicious! As are pumpkin cookies, pie and muffins. Great list, Shimelle!

  7. senoritascrapper Says:

    Thanks for the yummy list.

  8. Nathalie Says:

    Your post made my mouth water and I love the idea of pumpkin scones (will try that soon) – sad to see that my favorite was not in there: chocolate chip pumpkin cookies!!! Yummy! I also linked my 10 things :)

  9. rebecca Says:

    I want some Pumpkin Pancakes! I’m going to try the Hunky Dory Pumpkin Spice Cake!

  10. Meghann Says:

    Awesome post, Shimelle! I always make my own pumpkin purée, and have two sugar pumpkins to roast tomorrow, so I will be coming back to this post for future ideas! Oh, and one amazing pumpkin pasta recipe I have found is Rachel Ray’s Penne-wise pumpkin pasta. Check it out!

  11. Dawn Cheshire Says:

    Ooh now I now what to do with the pumpkins we buy every year, tried your cupcake recipe before and love it. Now I’ve got a whole heap of food ideas!

  12. Mel Says:

    I used your pumpkin cupcake recipe as the basis for my ginger and pumpkin cupcakes this week :) Added extra ground ginger and some chopped stem ginger in syrup, and sprinkled pumpkin seeds on top of some of them (I meant to ice the others, but they kind of got eaten before that happened?!)

    I also completely underestimated how much puree one pumpkin would produce so my freezer is full of extra portions, so thank you very much for all these ideas! x

  13. Christine Says:

    Wow, I just bought the cutest little pumpkin yesterday. I had just remembered your cupcake recipe and am giving them a try today. Talk about coincidence.

  14. Julie Hearn Says:

    In my garden this last summer, (it is winter here now in Australia) my pumpkin vines took over my whole garden. we had pumpkins growing out of our ears and were giving them away to everyone we could find. Our top 3 uses for pumpkins would have been pumpkin soup, roasted as part of a roast dinner, and cubed into a curry or casserole dish. All savoury! I do make pumpkin scones and did make a pumpkin sort of loaf once (which was yummy). Am pinning this post to try some “sweeter” ideas if the pumpkin vines go crazy again next summer!

  15. Sharyn Says:

    It all sounds so delicious! I have pumpkin on my mind as well. I made pumpkin pie granola last week and pumpkin pancakes this past weekend. Thank you so much for linking to my recipe. I’m beyond flattered!

  16. Jimjams Says:

    It’s nice to see so many things to do with pumpkins TFS

  17. Scrapdolly Says:

    One word …. YUM

  18. Jen Hart Says:

    Great 10 things :D I haven’t made anything pumpkin before, usually use a butternut squash. I did think I would make the cupcakes this season!

  19. Kristin Says:

    Oh my yum. I’m a big fan of pumpkin and am looking forward to trying your recipes! YUM! Every fall I make Martha Stewart’s pumpkin chocolate chip bars at least a few times. They are a hit with everyone and I always get requests for the recipe. Here is a link if you’ve never had them: http://www.marthastewart.com/340195/chocolate-chip-cookie-bars

  20. Thea Says:

    I love roast pumpkin salad. Roast bite-sized squares of pumpkin sprinkled with something like dukka spices and throw onto a salad with a lit of raddichio for the bitterness and balsamic dressing. Toss leftover baked pumpkin into a risotto near the end with some frozen peas for a no fuss dinner. Puree roasted pumpkin for the best soup base – add low fat coconut milk, some lemongrass, chilli, lime juice and coriander for a Thai version. We bake heaps of pumpkin and freeze it to have on hand.

  21. The Nonna Says:

    So I am so far behind in every aspect of my life right now that it is ridiculous I am commenting. But just wanted to say a big thanks for the Pumpkin Coffee recipe! I have had several at Starbucks already this season (but opted out the other day for a Butterbeer Frappe!!). Because I love the Flavors of Fall better than any other foods in the world, it is the subject of my current layout and the recipes are so very welcome.

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