Shout aloud, O earth beneath; burst into song you mountains, you forests and all your trees.
Happy best. month. of. the. YEAR!!!! Ya’ll, my family and I look forward to October 334 days out of the year. Yes, I’m as basic a white girl as they come, concerning the autumn season. And if they didn’t cost so dang much, I would be strutting around in those duck boots and fair isle socks. I don’t even know if those are trendy anymore, but that doesn’t matter. L.L. Bean, like Chanel, is eternal. I am obsessed with all things fall. The pumpkins! The leaves! The campfires! The mums! The scarves! The hayrides! The mountains! The flannel shirts! The pumpkins! The spiced teas and coffees! The corn mazes! The festivals! The hot apple cider! The pumpkins!!! Need I go on (I can)??
In honor of this most glorious month, I’m going to share some of my favorite pumpkin recipes and store finds. Try them out, pick up a pumpkin, gather around a bonfire with those you hold dear, and join the celebration of nature praising our Creator.
Favorite Fall Finds
I will first state the obvious: Trader Joe’s is a pumpkin lover’s haven. Go stock up on their pumpkin streusel, pumpkin pancake mix, petite pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin cranberry crisps (sooo good paired with goat cheese), and, my personal favorite, pumpkin body butter. Click the link for even more autumn options.
Caramel apples at Aldi are delicious, festive, and only $2.49 a pack. Aldi, we love you.
Lidl is where it’s at for fresh pumpkins and mums. Large carving pumpkins are only $2.49 and big beautiful mums are $3.99. With these prices, you won’t feel guilty about loading up your front steps with fresh fall decor. While you’re at it, grab a joyful bouquet of sunflowers for just $2.99 and try not to break into a huge grin every time you look at them. I dare you.
Starbuck’s new pumpkin cream cold brew is. to. die. for. Get a venti or you’ll live in regret for the rest of the day.
Silk is making all my dreams come true with a dairy-free option to enjoy pumpkin spice in my morning coffee.
I have been making this spicy bread on the first day of autumn every year since I was a teenager. I don’t remember where I got the original recipe, but I’ve tweaked it over the years and I’m convinced there’s no better pumpkin bread. Extra tip: I always heap all my spice measurements and sometimes double them (i.e. 1 tsp cinnamon = 1 big heaping tsp cinnamon).
- 15 oz can Libby’s pumpkin
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 1/2 c. cinnamon applesauce
- 1/4 c. water
- 2 c. sugar
- 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- Splash of vanilla
- Chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two loaf pans. Mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, applesauce, water, and sugar until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mix until just blended. Add vanilla and nuts, if desired. Pour into pans and bake for 50 mins until toothpick comes out clean.
Fire-Roasted Stuffed Pumpkins
This recipe, from Smoke, Roots, Mountain Harvest, is so stinking easy, delectable, and just too much fun. The main ingredient is time, but don’t let that deter you. You can roast the pumpkins while you make the filling and start the charcoal. Then, just throw it all together. Or stuff the pumpkins and refrigerate the day before and roast when you’re ready. This really is as good as it looks.
- 4 small pie pumpkins
- Olive oil
- 1 lb Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 cups crumbled cornbread (bake beforehand)
- 1 1/2 c. shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese
- 2 Tbs Fresh green onion, chopped
- 1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Place pumpkins directly on oven rack and roast for 30-35 mins, until the skins darken and become shiny. Remove and let cool until easily handled. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic powder until meat is browned and onion is soft. Remove from the heat. Add cornbread, Gruyere cheese, goat cheese, and herbs. Toss to mix evenly.
Cut the top off the cooled pumpkins like you would a jack-o-lantern. Scoop out the seeds and fibrous innards. Season the inside of the pumpkins with a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Fill the pumpkins with stuffing mixture and replace the tops of the pumpkins. Finish roasting on a charcoal grill (or wrapped in foil on a campfire) in indirect heat until the centers are hot and cheese is gooey, about 30 mins. Transfer the pumpkins to plates and dig in.
Skillet Apple Pie
This is my go-to recipe for fall gatherings. It was featured in a Southern Living magazine years back. It’s super easy and the presentation is festive. Plus, it can easily be reheated over a fire with friends. This pie will knock your socks off, it’s so good. Remember to always always always serve with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.
- 2 pounds Granny Smith apples
- 2 pounds Braeburn apples
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350º. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss apples with cinnamon and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.
Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and place 1 piecrust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over piecrust, and top with remaining piecrust. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush top of piecrust with egg white; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 4 or 5 slits in top for steam to escape.
Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly, shielding with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla or butter-pecan ice cream.
Because I’m obsessed with Starbuck’s pumpkin cream cold brew and I cannot afford to buy a cup everyday, I went in search of a recipe. Give Me Some Oven inspired my cream creation, but I wanted to make a bigger serving so I ended up with this. I’ve been using this cream in my hot coffee, too. It’s the perfect balance of creaminess and sweetness.
- 1 Tbs canned pumpkin
- 1 cup half n’ half
- Pinch of salt
- Maple syrup (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Combine ingredients and mix with a milk frother until thick and foamy. Stir into your cold brew or morning cup of coffee.
Fall Fun at the Apiarists’ House…