Meal Planning Monday ~ Pumpkins Galore

           October is National Pumpkin Month, and I am definitely celebrating!  I love cooking with pumpkin, especially when it’s combined with cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice.  Canned pumpkin is on sale just about everywhere right now, so I am stocking my pantry with it so I’ll have plenty to last me through the winter.  I am finding all kinds of creative ways to use pumpkin, and I thought I’d share them with you this week.

  • Christine’s Power Pumpkin Muffins ~ I posted this recipe a few months ago on my blog.  These delicious, hearty muffins make a great breakfast or snack.  I make double batches and freeze them.  Thaw them out on the counter for an hour or two, or defrost them in the microwave.  I like to warm mine up in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and then slather them with a little butter and honey.
  • Pumpkin Spice Pancakes ~ I start with my favorite pancake recipe that I got from my Uncle John.  I add a cup of pumpkin, a scoop or two of vanilla protein powder, a teaspoon of cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice), and ¼ cup of chopped walnuts.  These also freeze and reheat well, too.
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte ~ Nothing heralds the beginning of Fall like the annual comeback of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte!  Unfortunately, my wallet can’t handle buying too many of them, and neither can my hips.  Thankfully, I found this copy-cat recipe that is light on calories and inexpensive to make.  Score!
  • Roasted Pumpkin Bowls ~ Here’s a cool way to add some flair to a Fall dinner party!  Serve pumpkin soup, beef stew, or chili in a roasted pumpkin bowl.  You can even eat the pumpkin when you’re finished with your soup.  Click here to see how.
  • Toasted Pumpkin Seeds ~ Don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds after helping your kids carve jack-o-lanterns this year.  Those little seeds are full of vitamins and minerals, and can be toasted and flavored a variety of ways.  How about some Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds?  Or Cajun Spiced Pumpkin Seeds?  Maybe some Drunken Pumpkin Seeds soaked in whiskey?  Yes, please!
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake ~ Pumpkin Spice Cake with cream cheese frosting is by far my favorite way to enjoy pumpkin!  I use the recipe from the “Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook,” by Anne Bryn, below.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

Pumpkin Spice Cake

From The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Bryn

  • 1 Package Spice Cake Mix (18.25 oz.)
  • 1 Package Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (3.4 oz.)
  • 1 Cup of Pumpkin, canned or fresh (mashed)
  • ½ Cup of Oil
  • ½ Cup of Water
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tub of Cream Cheese Frosting
  • ½ Cup of Chopped Pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place all ingredients, except frosting and pecans, in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low for 1 minute.  Scrape down sides of bowl and blend on medium for 2 minutes.  Pour batter into prepared pan and place in the oven on the middle rack.
  3. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed, 32 to 35 minutes.  Allow cake to cool.
  4. Frost cake with the cream cheese frosting.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans.  Slice cake into squares and serve.