pumpkin

puzzles and pancakes in our pajamas

Lazy Saturday mornings are the BEST! We usually brew an extra-large pot of coffee, hang out in our pj’s and lounge. And, sometimes, we don’t get out of our pajamas until late afternoon!

We finished two large puzzles over the holidays.  A 500-piece puzzle of Santa Claus and a 750-piece puzzle of Rockefeller Center decorated for the holidays.  Rockefeller Center was full of people, skating, spectating, and snow falling.  And, the pieces were small, and irregular shaped.  This one took us almost two weeks, and often, we just had to walk away from the table until the next day.  A new day and a new perspective. Pieces were everywhere – all over the kitchen table.   For those two weeks, we ended up setting our table on top of the puzzle.  Oh well, if our table wasn’t covered in puzzle, it would be marker or art projects or homework or crumbs.  I love a good puzzle. Great family time, and everyone can help. Great conversation, relaxation, and a great challenge.  Here’s one of our finished masterpieces…

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I had some canned pumpkin left in the fridge, so I whipped up a batch of Martha Stewart’s pumpkin pancakes. Love the spice and the fluffy, moist cakes. I would definitely make them again.

Pumpkin Pancakes
adapted from Martha Stewart

Whisk 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt; 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg; and a pinch of ground cloves.

In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup milk, 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients.

Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup. (I served mine with butter, powdered sugar and whipped cream since I’m not a fan of maple syrup.) Makes 8 to 10.  Enjoy!

something to savor…sweet pumpkin dip

I was hooked the first time I tried this (some 5 years ago…)  It’s the perfect fall dip and it goes fab with red or yellow Bartlett pears or sweet, tart Haralson apples, or gingersnap cookies (if you like those).  And, if no one’s looking, you can eat it by the spoonful right out of the bowl.  (I have done it.)

 

Sweet Pumpkin Dip
adapted from Libby’s and various friends’ recipes
yield 5 cups

2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or more, to taste)

BEAT cream cheese and pumpkin in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; mix thoroughly. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with sliced pears, apples and gingersnaps. Enjoy.