Autumn, like every season, brings with it its own unique pleasures.
A crisp chill in the air. Jewel-colored leaves. Decorative scarves and stylish boots. An excuse to put pumpkin in everything.
MORE: Autumn's best recipes galore at Thanksgiving.com
If there's one thing we don't like about fall, it's that it doesn't last all year long, mostly so we can get our pumpkin fix (and pumpkin spice lattes) 365 days a year. Sadly, we only get 90 days, so it's imperative to make every day count.
These pumpkin recipes are a good start.
This versatile gourd is good for far more than just lattes. If you have a sweet tooth, it can be baked in a pancake and drizzled with caramel sauce. If you need something heartier, it's good for chili and soup - and even mac and cheese. That's right: pumpkin mac and cheese.
All hail the pumpkin.
Scramble's apple pumpkin pancakes are drizzled with caramel sauce and cream cheese glaze. (Photo: John Samora/The Arizona Republic)
Pumpkin Apple Pancakes
Chef Rick Moses of Scramble, Special for The Republic
For the cream cheese glaze:
4 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the pancakes:
¾ cup pumpkin puree
2 cups multigrain pancake mix
1¼ cups water
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Apple slices (5 per pancake)
Caramel sauce (about ¼ cup)
For the glaze: Combine butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add vanilla and cinnamon; blend until mixed. Put in a squeeze bottle.
For the pancakes: Combine pumpkin, pancake mix, water and nutmeg in a mixing bowl; mix well. Heat a non-stick or greased griddle to 375 degrees and ladle batter onto griddle in ¾-cup portions. Arrange five apple slices attractively on each pancake. When pancakes are bubbly and dry around the edges, flip and cook 2-3 minutes until done.
To serve: plate pancakes and drizzle with caramel sauce and cream cheese glaze.
Makes two servings.
Pumpkin mac and cheese. (Photo: Asbury Park Press)
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Courtesy of Omega Juicers for Asbury Park Press
16 ounces elbow macaroni (or any other fun shape works too!)
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
1½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces yellow American cheese (packaged is fine, just break into small pieces for easy blending)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup pumpkin puree (half of a 15-ounce can)
¾ cup panko style breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a heavy saucepot over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together and cook for thirty seconds. Add 2 cups milk, minced rosemary, and thyme and whisk until smooth. Add another cup of the milk (reserving one cup) and continue to whisk. Cook for approximately 5 minutes while whisking. The mixture will begin to get very thick!
Add the cheeses and stir well so that they melt evenly. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne followed by the additional cup of milk and the pumpkin puree.
Once everything is smooth, add the cooked macaroni and toss to coat. Pour into a 9- by 13-inch casserole pan, and top with breadcrumbs.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Makes eight servings.
Shamrock Farms Pumpkin Eggnog Cupcakes (Photo: Courtesy of Shamrock Farm)
Pumpkin Eggnog Cupcakes
Meghan Pembleton, Special for The Republic
1 box (about 17 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup Shamrock Farms eggnog
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting:
½ cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons Shamrock Farms eggnog
For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, eggnog and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Fill cupcake liners three-fourths full and bake 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool.
For the frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and beat again. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until frosting is stiff. Add eggnog, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles.
Makes about 20 servings.
Pumpkin chili (Photo: Kate Morgan Jackson, The Herald)
Kate Morgan Jackson, Herald News
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1½ pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 14-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup chicken broth
Juice from 1 lime
Any toppings you like: sour cream, scallions, shredded cheese, avocado and crushed tortilla chips are all wonderful.
Heat the olive oil in a large deep pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for about 3 minutes until tender. Add beef and stir until browned.
Add spices and stir. Add tomatoes and pumpkin and stir again. Add chicken broth.
Simmer over low for 30 minutes. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.
When you are ready to serve, stir in the lime juice and divide among bowls with your favorite toppings.
Makes four servings.
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