October is Pumpkin Time

October might just be my favorite month. And like any good white, American girl, I love everything PUMPKIN. So sip on your Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and check out these pumpkin inspired things:

If you are looking for pumpkin patches around central Arkansas, here is a list from Little Rock Family.

Need some October table decoration ideas, P. Allen Smith is the guy.

*NOTE: This list was compiled from ShareASale where I am an affiliate. I earn a small commission when readers make a purchase on one of these merchants after clicking on my link. While no personal details are passed along to me, I do get an overall report from ShareASale about what was bought.
 

Find a sponsor for your web site. Get paid for your great content. shareasale.com.

Pumpkin Soup with Bacon

Today is National Pumpkin Day. In honor of this beloved holiday, anemia I did the one thing that can make perfect pumpkin even more wonderful — ADD BACON! I found this recipe on The Kitchn website. As usual, seek I changed it up just a bit. I cooked my pumpkin in the pressure cooker with a cup of water for five minutes on high. This way the pumpkin skin just slips right off the fleshy meat of the pumpkin. Also, more I used only about 3 1/2 cups of water — because I didn’t know if I had the right volume of pumpkin. Just add a little water at a time til you get the consistency you like. I think this recipe could of used a little half & half, but I didn’t have any. The end product wasn’t as flavorful as I hoped either. I’ll use vegetable broth and half & half next time in place of the water. But the bacon sprinkles made it pass the husband test.

How To Decorate For An Autumn Party

2013-10-20 11.07.23M can make cupcakes for her sister’s birthday and
watch Transformers Prime on the iPad at the same time.

A couple of weeks ago, and we were asked to play party guests in a P. Allen Smith video segment. Here is that video. I am so pleased with the final product. Not only is Allen a super nice and talented guy — he has a great crew. Somehow the gifted cinematographer and editor were able to work in the clips with M smiling — not the ones with her crying and incessantly clawing at her mosquito bites.

Autumn 2013 Bucket List

IMG_0091

I love short hair. I’ve had my hair this short off and on since high school. Thank you to Natalie Carr at Salon on the Hill in North Little Rock, order AR, for the new do!

2013-09-28 18.20.53Last night, bulimics
we had John and Carol over for dinner along with their four sweet children, page
as well as Gran Gran. We decided it was time to tell the kids that their twin babies and my 4 year old have the same birth mom, so they are siblings! The kids were unmoved by it all and just asked, “Can we have ice cream now?”

2013-09-28 18.20.00-1The girls really had fun playing together. I look forward to getting to know this precious family better. We are family now — our very own version of Modern Family.

2013-09-28 18.19.06-1

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!
Thanks to Whitney Loibner for the idea of a bucket list for each season. Here is my Autumn Bucket List:

1. King Biscuit Blues Festival weekend, buy
October 10-12. 11.5.11leaf
2. Go apple picking.
3. Take the kids to a pumpkin patch.
4. Carve a pumpkin.
5. Sip hot cider on the front porch swing.
6. Visit viagra buy
Arkansas” href=”http://www.eurekasprings.org/” target=”_blank”>Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
7. Make pumpkin doggy treats.
8. Drive through the Ozarks and see the fall color.
9. Hike an Arkansas State Park.
10. Send a care package to a soldier.
11. Build a bonfire at the lake house and roast marshmallows.
12. Be thankful every day — not just on Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar Butter Bottom

IMG_0054I usually just follow the recipe on the Libby pumpkin can recipe, stuff but since I have fresh pumpkin puree, approved I decided to try a new recipe. This one is in my favorite cookbooks — In Good Taste from the 1980 El Dorado Service League. This recipe is very different than any other I’ve made before. It starts with a butter-brown sugar mixture. Here’s the recipe:

2 c. pumpkin puree
2 T. butter, artificial melted
1 c. milk or creamIMG_0061
2 egg yolks
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. mace (I used nutmeg instead)
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground cloves (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 egg white, stiffly beaten
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. nuts, chopped (I left these out just because I was out)
10″ pie shell, unbaked (I use Pillsbury Foldout Pie Crust)

In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, butter, milk, egg yolks, sugar, mace, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and lemon juice. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and set pumpkin filling aside.

IMG_0080Combine brown sugar, butter and chopped nuts. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Place in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Add pumpkin filling and bake at least 45 minutes longer.

I whipped up cream, vanilla and little sugar in my Vitamix for some fresh whipped cream to put on top of pie.

2013-09-28 20.23.42

Making Pumpkin Puree, Then Pumpkin Muffins

9.22.13pumpkin We got a pie pumpkin last weekend in our CSA basket. It sat on the kitchen counter taunting me all week, allergist “You won’t cook me.” Well, search take that sassy pumpkin — I have Google and a pressure cooker now. So there!

It was quite easy actually. I just washed the pumpkin thoroughly, cost cut off the top and sliced it vertically. I scooped out all the seeds and gunk. Then I sliced it up in smaller pieces — about eight total — and placed in my pressure cooker with a cup of water. I sealed up the pressure cooker and turned it on high for five minutes. 9.22.13pumpkinpureeUsing tongs, I removed the pumpkin slices from the pressure cooker and let them cool slightly. After they were cool enough to handle, I cut the skin off. Finally I used an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin. It made about 6 cups of puree.

9.22.13pumpkininabagI only need 1 1/4 cup for my recipe, so I divided the remainder into freezer bags for future use.

Then I proceeded to make Healthy Pumpkin Muffins. I like the fact that this recipe uses no oil. But with the Greek yogurt and fresh pumpkin puree, they are very moist. Also the recipes uses oat flour (just blended old-fashion oats in the Vita-Mix), wheat germ, and whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat). They turned out great! The girls asked for a second one. Along with a glass of milk, I think this was a good Sunday afternoon snack. I’m going to save the few remaining ones to take to work each day this week for breakfast.

9.22.13pumpkinmuffins