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Roasted Pumpkin and Shallots with Sage

roasted pumpkin and shallots and sage

I made this side dish a few days ago for a meal that my church provided for a grieving family after a memorial service.  I had a pumpkin that I needed to use, but I didn’t want to make a pie.  A quick Google search turned up this recipe from Martha Stewart.  I got several compliments about it and enjoyed the spoonful that I ate, as well. In fact, I’m planning on using my other pumpkin to make for Thanksgiving, also.  It’s incredibly simple – practically foolproof and uses very few ingredients.  I recommend it, especially if you’re looking for something to do with those little pie pumpkins you bought for fall decorating.



  • 1 medium pie pumpkin (about 4 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2-4 shallots, quartered lengthwise (I cut mine into eighths and then halved the longest slices.)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients until pumpkin and shallots are coated in oil and seasonings.
  2. Spread into one layer onto a large cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 450-degrees for 30-35 minutes, tossing once halfway through.


Happy Thanksgiving!

God bless you!


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Pumpkin-Nut Bread

pumpkin nut breadI recently mentioned the move my family has in our near future, and along with cleaning the house we are currently in, I am also trying to clean out our “pantry.”  The less I have to pack, the better.  Last fall, I made some pumpkin pureé from a couple of pie pumpkins and froze it.  (Check out the post here:  https://crystalpoe.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/pumpkin-puree/.)  I decided that I needed to clean out the freezer first, just so we don’t have to move a bunch of stuff that needs to stay cool, so I pulled out a package of the pureé and let it thaw.  While it was thawing, I went through a couple of cookbooks to find a good pumpkin bread recipe, and I found one in Quick and Easy Family Baking:  Cakes, Cookies, Pies, & Breads That Anyone Can Bake called “Old Pioneer Pumpkin Bread.”  The recipe easily makes two loaves of bread, and I even got 16 mini-muffins out of it, too.  It’s pretty simple to make, and my grandma told me she loved the bread.  My three year old niece even ate one of the muffins and declared it, “Mmmm!”  High praise indeed from a kid who normally won’t even eat the cake part of a cake.



  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups (1 can) pumpkin pureé
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg  (The book says all-spice, but I didn’t have that.)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup craisins or raisins (The book says chopped dates, but I didn’t have that, either.  I used craisins.)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. Combine oil and sugar in bowl.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla and pumpkin; mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour.
  6. Add to sugar/pumpkin mixture, and beat well.
  7. Stir in craisins and pecans.
  8. Grease and flour two 9×5-inch loaf pans.
  9. Pour batter into pans.  (As I said before, I also got 16 mini-muffins from this batter.  I just used muffin liners for those.)
  10. Bake for one hour and ten minutes to one hour and fifteen minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Bake the mini-muffins for about 20 minutes on 325-degrees.


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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

A couple of days ago, I shared with you how I made pumpkin puree, and today I’m going to pass along how I made roasted pumpkin seeds.  I’ve never made any before, so I looked at how other people made some, and went with this particular recipe from www.pumpkipatchesandmore.org/pumpkinseeds.php.  They had several recipes to choose from, and I went with the Savory flavor.  They said it was the most popular, and it sounded like it would have the flavor of Original Chex Mix, which I really like.  As it turns out, roasted pumpkin seeds don’t taste too bad, but I may still give these away because I’m not fond of the texture of the seeds themselves.  Anyhow, here’s how to make your own roasted pumpkin seeds.


Step 1:  Separate the seeds from the pulp.

If you’ll remember, I told you to put all your pumpkin “guts” in a bowl to save the seeds.  Well, now comes the fun part, separating the seeds from all that slimy pulp.  If you have kids, put some old newspaper on the table, and set them to doing it.  They will love it.  If you are the honored one to get this task, however, the seeds pop off the pulp easily.  Just kinda squeeze them off the pulp, and they will “pop” off.  I dropped my seeds into a strainer and tossed the pulp.  There is nothing you can do with the pulp as far as I know.  This is a bit of a time-consuming process, but it’s not too bad.

Step 2:  Clean the seeds.

Run the seeds under some warm running water, and sift through them with your fingers.  If you find some stray pieces of pulp among the seeds, just pull it out and throw it away.  Continue to rinse the seeds until you get the slimy stuff off of them, and then it’s time to set them out to dry.

Step 3:  Dry the seeds.

Spread the seeds out on a linen towel and let them dry for awhile.  I let mine dry overnight because I wasn’t in a hurry, but you can speed up the process some by rubbing them between two towels or maybe try blow drying them.  The website I told you about above also says you can dry them in the oven (120-150 degrees).  Just give them a stir about every ten minutes until they get dry.

Step 4:  Season and cook the seeds.

I don’t have a picture of this step, but it’s easy enough.  For the Savory flavor I made, you will need your dry pumpkin seeds, 4 tbsp. of melted butter, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, and 2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce.  Mix all of this in a small bowl, being sure to coat all of the seeds.  Spread the seeds evenly over a cookie sheet covered with foil, pour any excess seasoning over them, and roast them in a 275-degree oven for about 10-20 minutes until golden brown.  Check and stir them about every 5 minutes.  In my electric oven, my seeds finished in about 15 minutes.  However, according to the website, it can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes, depending on how hot your oven cooks.  Just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.  Once they are finished, sprinkle some salt on them and serve them hot or cold.

 And here is what the finished project looks like!  Savory Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Pumpkin Puree

I don’t normally cook a lot of pumpkin goodies, so I’ve only ever made puree twice, both times were mostly because I had a pumpkin that I needed to do something with before it began to rot.  Normally, I make jack-o-lanterns from pumpkins, but when I went to find a good jack-o-lantern pumpkin at the store this year, all I found were badly misshapen or already rotting pumpkins.  Call me snoody, but I’m not paying $3.50 for a rotten pumpkin; it’s just that simple.  And I’m picky on the shape of my jack-o-lanterns.  Therefore, I wandered over to the pie pumpkins to see how they looked.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to carve them with my regular kitchen knives and didn’t really have money for pumpkin carving knives, but I still wanted to get a pumpkin.  Since they were so cheap and in good condition, I bought two little pie pumpkins.  For some fall decoration during a couple of get-togethers we had last month, I left the pumpkins sitting on the table, but yesterday was D-day for those little pumpkins.  (Quite frankly, I’m getting to close too my own “D-day” to put some stuff off.  It’s time to get things done.)

The first time that I made pumpkin puree was a couple of years.  I had never made puree or seen it made, and I didn’t have easy internet access to google any ideas.  What I ended up doing was taking a jack-o-lantern sized pumpkin, gutting it, peeling it, and cutting it up into little chunks before boiling those chunks and pureeing them with a hand mixer like mashed potatoes without milk and butter.  It worked, and if you’re willing to get a few blisters, go for doing that way.  There is a much easier way, though.  😉


Step 1:  Give that pumpkin a bath!

It is better to use pie pumpkins from what I’ve read because the “meat” (the yellow interior wall of the pumpkin) is supposed to be more tender and “sweeter” (less bitter).  However, never fear if all you have is a jack-o-lantern pumpkin because they can be cooked, too.  To bathe the pumpkins just wash off the outside of them to get the dirt and what-not off of them.  No biggie.

Step 2:  Cut that bad boy in half!

To do this, I started at the stem and went down to the bottom.  Then, I did the same thing on the other side, cutting from stem to bottom.  Once I had it cut, I pulled the pumpkin apart.  In both cases, the stem broke off with one side or the other, and I just broke it off from the side of the pumpkin.  I did read a blog post where the person cut the stem in half, but my knife isn’t that good.  If you have a good knife, go for it, but I hear it’s tough.  If you leave the stem on, it will easily come off once you cook the pumpkins, so what you do with the stem is up to you.

Step 3:  Gut the pumpkin!

As you can see in the picture above, I have cleaned out the “guts” (pulp and seeds) of the pumpkins.  I just used a spoon and scraped the slimy pulp off the meat of the pumpkins.  I did read where someone suggested using an ice cream scoop, which I have never thought of, but I’m sure would work wonders.  However, I wouldn’t use a scoop with the little lever to push the ice cream out of the spoon.  It would probably break your lever or at least be a pain to clean.

You can just throw away the seeds and the pulp or put it in a bowl to separate the seeds later.  You can either toast the seeds or save them to plant next year to grow your own pumpkins.  Also, if you compost, you can put the “guts” in your compost pile, but you probably already know that.

Step 4:  Butter up your pumpkin for its sauna experience!

Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and brush it onto the cut edges and inside walls of the pumpkins.  Place the pumpkins buttered-side down onto a cookie sheet covered in foil.  Bake at 350-degrees for about an hour or until your pumpkins are nice and soft.  I’ve read everything from baked apple soft to baked potato soft.  Mine turned out soft baked potato soft, and it worked just fine.  Really, you just need it soft enough to easily peel the rind off the meat and then to puree the meat.

As you can see, once the pumpkin comes out of the oven, the rind is much darker.  This is perfectly fine. All you’re going to do with it is toss it anyway.  Also, you will probably have some juices on your cookie sheet.  You should save this because you may need it when you puree your cooked pumpkin meat.





Step 5:  Peel off all that dead skin!

As I told you earlier, my pumpkins got real good and soft.  They were so soft, in fact, that the rinds came off in one solid piece.  Peeling was incredibly easy in my case.  If your pumpkins aren’t as soft, the rinds may come off in strips, but either way, it will be much easier than peeling it before cooking it – trust me.

When you do peel off the rind, be sure to use a spoon or a fork or something if you don’t let the pumpkins cool first.  As you can see in this picture, the meat of the pumpkin is HOT, and the rind acts like a blanket, holding all that heat inside.  The pumpkins are hotter underneath the rind than the rind itself is, and remember that steam can burn just as much as boiling water or a hot pan.  My point is, be careful!

Step 6:  Puree the pumpkin meat!

Scoop all of that soft pumpkin into a mixing bowl, a food processor, or even a blender.  My pumpkin was so soft, I just used a spoon to smoosh it really good.  (Not to mention, I was starting to get tired and was running out of time and didn’t feel like messing up another bunch of dishes to wash later.  Shortcuts are your best friend when you’re nine months pregnant.)  If your pumpkin isn’t as soft, use a mixer or processor of some kind.  You may need to add a bit of water or some of the juices from the cookie sheet to get it that nice smooth consistancy.  I didn’t add any liquid because mine was super soft from the start.

Step 7:  Bag the pumpkin, tag it, and give it a proper burial!

If you’re going to use your puree immediately, then don’t worry about this step, but if you’re making this for future use, you gotta store it.  One can of pumpkin from the store is about 1 3/4 to 2 cups worth of puree.  I have some quart-sized freezer bags, and I put about 2 cups of puree in each bag for easy use.  My two pie pumpkins made about 4 cups of puree, so that’s equivalent to two cans of pumpkin from the store.  (Did I mention that I bought my pumpkins for $0.79 each?  You can do the math for the savings, I’m sure.)

Once you bag your pumpkin puree, flatten out the bag and freeze it.  Don’t forget to lable your bag!  If you’re a canning kind of person, I’m sure there’s a way to do that, but I don’t know what it is.  But I figure your puree would last much longer canned than frozen.  Most frozen things have a shelf life of about a year, whereas canning is normally a few years.  But either way, you do it, you’ve saved some money and have something that tastes much better than what you buy at the store.

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