October 25, 2018 at 1:10 p.m.

It is now pumpkin season

It is now pumpkin season
It is now pumpkin season

We are in the season of autumn…the season  of  squash and pumpkins, with some root veggies that are still in the ground.

I mentioned pumpkins  and I still like to do a little decorating using this bright  orange veggie. Skip the witches, black cats, ghosts, spider webs, etc. that make up the Halloween celebration…..I’m sticking with pumpkins. I trekked to a pumpkin patch and found a weird looking one with bumps all over it…like warts! Who  in the world would want to buy that? Me! It would be hard to carve but not to worry as I haven’t carved a pumpkin for years. Besides, I really like this weird looking bumpy pumpkin just the way it is. Someone had to buy it. If nothing else, it’s a conversation piece!

To get to the nitty-gritty of this column, It’s  recipes using the fiber-filled canned pumpkin.

No need to bake this creamy pie….it’s a chiller.

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PUMPKIN CREAM PIE
2 c. cold milk
2-small pkgs. (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1- (9-in.) baked pie shell, cooled completely
Thawed whipped topping, and coarsely chopped pecans, optional

In a deep bowl,  combine milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, spice and whipped topping. Beat with rotary beater or lowest speed of electric beater for 1 minute. Pour into pie shell. Chill until set, at least 3 hours. Garnish with additional whipped topping and pecans if you wish.  Makes 6-8 servings.
Another pumpkin pie recipe using less sugar.

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LOW SUGAR 
PUMPKIN PIE
1-1/2 c. canned pumpkin
2 T. granulated sugar substitute
1 t. each, ginger and cinnamon
½ t. each nutmeg and salt
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1 c. sweetened condensed milk

 In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Turn into a nine inch, unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.

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I received this recipe from a friend years ago. It’s a very moist, spicy bar that I think you will like.

CINNAMON 
PUMPKIN BARS
2 c. flour
2 t. each, baking powder and cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin
1-2/3 c. sugar
1 c. canola or vegetable oil
3/4 c. chopped pecans
Additional chopped pecans
Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

In a medium bowl, combine first 5 ingredients mixing well; set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat together next 4 ingredients. Add flour mixture; beat well. Stir in 3/4 c. pecans. Spread in ungreased 10x15-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with additional nuts. Makes 24 bars.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter or margarine, softened
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar or a bit more for spreading consistency

 In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Frost bars.

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EASY PUMPKIN MUFFINS
1 regular size yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin
1/2  c. chopped pecans, optional

In a large bowl, mix first 5 ingredients as you would a cake. Stir in pumpkin; mix well. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly pressing center of muffin with finger tips for muffin to spring back or test with a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from tins to cool on wire racks.  If you wish, fold 1/2 c. chopped pecans to batter with pumpkin.  Note: If you don’t have 24 muffin cups, bake 12 muffins and re-use muffin pan for remaining batter.

Thought for the Day: Something to think about: Grandpas and Grandmas are the ones who always love you and never yell at you no matter how many dumb things you do.  Edward, age 10.  Does that  sound familiar? 

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