It’s October!!!! Time for the switch from apples to pumpkins!!! So far, its only the 11th and we have been super busy here! Mei is making strides in the scooshing department and working on crawling everyday! She has decided that she can’t hang on the sofa with me and play with her toys but she has to be on the carpet where she can roll and stretch and scoosh around, so baby gates here we come! The house is slowly becoming more and more baby proofed as she becomes more and more mobile.
Patella went under the knife for her 7th & 8th surgeries, entropian on both her eyes. Entropian is when the eyelids roll under themselves causing the eye lashes to rub on the corneas which is terribly uncomfortable and can cause blindness, so of course, we got that fixed. She gained enough weight to cause a wrinkle to develop on both her eyelids just like when she was 9 months, but those wrinkles she was born with. Patella is happy and enjoying the fall though, so we play with her lots and let her explore all the falling leaves (which she growls at) on her walks. Here are some photos from a nice morning walk Patella and I were able to enjoy through our neighborhood while Mei slept with her daddy at home, giving us plenty of quality Mama and Patella time!
Then to mix things up some more, we had some friends visit from Italy for a two-day whirlwind tour of London & Cambridge!!! We were really busy! The house had to be cleaned up since we had re-arranged all our furniture in all the rooms to make some room for all of Mei’s toys and to open up space for a couple new bits of furniture, etc. Which of course we were doing right up until the last-minute before our friends arrived, and what would a vacation, even a short one, be without good food? So I had to bake cookies and prepare some yummy foods to be enjoyed while our guests were here so I didn’t have to waste any time cooking after they got here so we could maximize our visiting time. For these reasons I had to (reluctantly) abandon my blog these past few days but now we are back!
Just to get in the spirit of fall, the time for crisp pages in a new, good book, apples, pumpkins, hay bales, corn mazes, warm scarves, cozy sweaters, piping hot cups of chocolate and cider, the house smelling like spices, the kitchen enveloped in the warmth of fresh bread coming from the oven…. I LOVE it, I have decided to make as many pumpkin recipes as I can!
But before we get started with that, I want to share some pictures from this past weekend. We went to London to eat fish n’ chips in a pub, ride the London Eye, see Westminster Abbey, and other sights around town. Then we went punting on the River Cam in Cambridge – one of the best things we have done in such a long time and a great way to see Cambridge University. It was so great that we almost fell asleep on the ride! Well, Mei had some lunch and then she did fall asleep during the ride!
Once our company went home, I mixed up a bit of pumpkin pie spice. It’s so easy, I had all the spices on hand already and its much cheaper than buying the little canister of it in the store. I needed a couple teaspoons for my pumpkin spice latte. This is possibly the most popular way to greet fall due to the mass consumption of Starbucks worldwide. This is one of their fall favorites, although it doesn’t quite reach to the Starbucks in the UK, so it was a nice treat for my husband and I, a little after-dinner pumpkin spice latte! Look for the recipes after the pictures from this weekend.
Back to the pumpkins! Here is my list of pumpkin recipes that I have been storing up all year in my notebook and want to try out. So many sound so good but I know I wont get to them all, so I’m going to try to make the ones I have been dreaming about first, and making my way down the list as much as I could (these are in no particular order).
- Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flan (a French Friday with Dorie catch-up from last year)
- Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Brandy Sauce
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pie
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Caramel Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Spice Scones
- Pumpkin Butter
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Cream
- Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Pumpkin Bourbon Tart with Marscapone
- Soupe au Pistou
- Pumpkin Cookies
- Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese
- Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
- Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Pumpkin Donuts
- Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Creamy Pumpkin Glaze
- Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Meringue
- Pumpkin Streussel Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Blondies
- Pumpkin Pie Biscotti
- Pumpkin & Chocolate Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirl
- Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Ok, ok, here are the recipes you have been waiting for! I hope you have enjoyed this post!
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Pie Spice:
makes about 5 TBS of PP spice
- 3 TBS ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1-1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cloves
Combine all the spices in a small bowl, mixing well to combine then store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Latte:
makes two 8 oz servings
- 2 C of half and half, whole or skim milk
- 2 TBS canned pumpkin puree (you can certainly use more, I used 3 heaping TBS)
- 1-2 TBS sugar, to taste
- 2 TBS vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1-4 shots of espresso or very strong coffee
First, brew the coffee or espresso, using double the grounds if you are brewing regular coffee.
In a small saucepan, combine the half and half or milk of your choice with the pumpkin puree, sugar and spices heating until the mixture is very hot but not boiling. Remove it from heat and then add the vanilla extract, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until frothy if you like; otherwise, pour 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the coffee mug and add 1-4 shots of coffee, dust the top with spices or add some whipped cream and dust the cream with spices before serving. Enjoy!