Monday, October 31, 2022

Sugared and spiced pumpkin seeds

Growing up, making pumpkin seeds was always the follow-up tradition to pumpkin carving. As I grew older, my tastes evolved from the simple salt seasoning that we used into more sophisticated flavors. This is one my children and I created together several years ago 


  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried 
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry and toasted. While seeds are toasting, mix together 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and pie spice and set aside. Heat the butter in skillet and cook seeds remaining    sugar over medium high heat until sugar melts and begins to brown. Pour seeds into spiced mixture and stir until well coated. Cool before serving. 

Pumpkin chia seed pancakes recipe

Every once in awhile I stumble across a recipe so unique that I absolutely have to share with my readers. These pumpkin chia seed pancakes from Nestle is one of those recipes. Not only are these pancakes delicious, they give a great nutritional boost, as well!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole-wheat flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups lowfat buttermilk 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/2 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin 
  • 2 tablespoons honey, granulated sugar or packed brown sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
  • 2 tablespoons Chia seeds, plus more for garnish 
  • Nonstick cooking spray 
  • Pure maple syrup 

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl. 

WHISK together buttermilk, eggs, pumpkin, honey and butter in large bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir until combined. Do not over-mix. Let batter sit for 10 minutes; stir in chia seeds. 

SPRAY griddle or a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake into skillet and cook for about 2 minutes or until edges are set and look dry. Flip over and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown. Top with syrup and additional chia seeds. 

~Recipe and image provided by Nestle, used with permission~ 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Pumpkin bread recipe

Another seasonal favorite that is perfect for breakfast, dessert or as a snack! 


  • 1 cup softened butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 
  • 1 can canned pumpkin, 16 ounces 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 2 9X5 loaf pans. Cream together butter and sugars, add eggs and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture until just moistened. Add pumpkin. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean). 

Pumpkin alfredo sauce recipe

If you're like me and can't get enough pumpkin in your life once the temperatures start falling and the leaves turn color, this is a must-try recipe. I recommend using it with a pumpkin or mushroom ravioli to really dive into the flavors of fall!


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


Over medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in sage leaves and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the butter has been flavored with the sage to suit your palate. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and cook until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Pumpkin roll recipe

This autumn treat is so popular that bakeries routinely run out during the holiday season. If you are the do-it-yourself type, make your own and customize it to suit your palate. 



  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • powdered sugar for dusting 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Generously grease and flour paper. Beat eggs on high for five minutes then slowly add sugar and pumpkin. Mix in flour, cinnamon, and baking soda until just mixed. Pour batter in pan and tap several times on countertop to spread it evenly. Bake for 15 minutes and immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with powdered sugar. Peel paper from cake and starting with the short end, roll cake up in the towel. Cool. While cake is cooling, make filling by mixing powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Carefully unroll cake and spread filling over cake. Roll up again. Cover roll and refrigerate until time to serve. 

Cook's Notes Roll can be garnished with additional powdered sugar or caramel sauce. If desired, sprinkle filling with chopped walnuts or pecans before rolling cake. 

Pumpkins are the pick of the patch

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash that belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumbers, melons, gourds and squash, and also one of the oldest domesticated plants. They are native to North America and are especially popular between the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays thanks to Autumnal decorating/jack-o-lantern carving and pumpkin pie baking. Pumpkins are widely grown for commercial, food and recreational use and their history with humans goes back as early as 7,500 BC. 

Top worldwide producers include the United States, Canada, Mexico and China while Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California are the top growers in the country. Not very surprising, Antarctica is the only continent that cannot grow this popular fruit. The word “pumpkin” originates from the Greek word “pepon”, which means large melon. Scientifically, pumpkins are a fruit since they contain seeds, but nutritionally they are more similar to vegetables. Pumpkins generally weigh between 6 and 18 pounds and have smooth, slightly ribbed skin. While the most common colors are a deep yellow to vibrant orange, a wide range of hues are available including white, tan, red, green and blue. 

In the culinary world, pumpkins are most commonly used for holiday desserts such as pies, custards and cheesecakes, but they can also be used to make a variety of savory dishes as well. And they are an extremely beneficial addition to anyone’s diet. Pumpkins are also high in carotenoids, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. These three powerful anti-oxidants work to help reduce oxidative stress, minimizing the damage caused by free radicals. This protection is especially helpful in combating cancer, especially skin, stomach, throat, breast and pancreatic; eye disease and other conditions. The high level of beta-carotene is also beneficial for our skin as it acts as a natural sunblock and offers some protection against asthma. Potassium, vitamin C and fiber are all beneficial to the heart and help improve overall heart health by lowering blood pressure, decreasing the risk of stroke and protecting against the oxidization of LDL cholesterol. Potassium also helps to preserve bone mineral density and protects against muscle mass depletion. Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen which keeps our skin strong and healthy and aids in healing wounds. It also increases white blood cell production, making the immune system work more efficiently. 

Several other nutrients are found in pumpkin that provide a wide variety of health benefits. Vitamin A, vitamin E, folate and iron help strengthen the immune system and the body fight off infections. Vitamin A conjunction with lutein and zeaxanthin, work together to protect eyesight and fight cataracts. Pumpkin is also a weight loss-friendly food as it is high in water, low in calories and a good source of fiber. 

Fresh pumpkin is the best way to enjoy the many health benefits of eating this superfood, but 100% canned pumpkin retains many of these benefits. If you are cooking fresh pumpkin, choose one that is hard and heavy for its size. If using canned pumpkin, make sure to purchase 100% canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling as it is filled with added sugars. Pumpkin’s versatility makes it an easy fruit to Incorporate into your diet. It is as delicious in sweeter foods, such as custards, pies and pancakes as it is in more savory recipes, like roasted veggies, soups and pasta. Please click HERE to view my collection of pumpkin recipes.