Hail(ey) to Pumpkin!

Each year, Fall beckons me to enjoy all things pumpkin, so I thought I might pass a few of these favorite things on to you!   You don’t have to be a Fall fanatic to enjoy them.  However, if you DO share the the same sentiments toward Fall, may your little heart beat sappily (is that a word?) and happily  as you try a few new pumpkin things!

1.  Pumpkin bread: Recently, I photographed my first batch of the season, and I got tons of comments!  This is a family favorite that my mom baked every Fall, brought to our Thanksgiving gatherings, and froze so that we could enjoy throughout the holiday seasons.  (Warning: If you dare try the recipe included at the closing of the blog, you may want to make more than one recipe.  It never stayed in the freezer long!)

2.  Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter:  I tried this for the first time this year, and it was instantly a favorite.  Eat it on scones, add it to your peanut butter sandwiches, spread it on pancakes.  Every way we’ve tried it has been quite delectable!  (Bought at Central Market)

3.  Lola Savannah Pumpkin Spice Coffee:  I am usually quite disciplined with my coffee intake, considering caffeine does a number on my body (if I drink a cup after dinner, I’m bound to stay up until 2 AM), but this coffee tempts me to drink unresponsibly.  It’s a perfect combination of pumpkin, spice, and coffee flavors minus the sugar and price of a Pumpkin Spice latte.

I will leave you with our family recipe for pumpkin bread in hopes that you enjoy it as you carve a pumpkin, sit outside on a cool night, or something else fabulously fallish!


2 3/4 c. sugar (I’ve been told you can put half this, and I’ve tried half sugar, half Splenda if you are especially health-conscious)

1 c. Crisco

3 unbeaten eggs

2 c. pumpkin (1 can pumpkin)

3 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp each: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice

Cream sugar and Crisco.  Add eggs, beat well.  Add pumpkin.  Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.  Add to mixture.  Grease pans and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (more or less, depending on ovens).  Makes 2 loaves.  Top will brown and crack when done.

A really good recipe…

The other night, my husband facebooked a photo of our dinner, and I have had many people ask for the recipe, whether through message or in person.  Because of this, I thought I would just share it with the world.  I know this is a photography blog, but I also know that this is my life–cooking, cleaning, being a mom and wife–even more so than photography is.  I believe there are many more moms out there balancing their time between many things, so this one is for you!  I don’t take total credit–this is a revision of a Martha Stewart Recipe (I made the revisions to make it more quickly.)

Sausage Hand Pies


Olive oil

1 pound Italian sausage, without casings

1 large onion, sliced thinly

Salt and pepper to taste

6 tomatoes, quartered, then diced  (I used small tomatoes on the vine)

5-8 oz feta cheese

1/2 cup fresh parsley (I didn’t even measure)

Refrigerated Puff pastry or one recipe Pate Brisee (check out Martha for that one, too!)


Defrost puff pastry as directed on box. (You can prepare the rest of the recipe as it defrosts.)  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Crumble sausage into pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.  Transfer sausage onto a paper-towel lined plate.  Set aside.

Add a little more olive oil to the skillet along with the onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, as you season with coarse salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until tender.  Add tomatoes and cook, stirring until they release their juices, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool.  Stir in feta cheese and parsley.  Set aside.  (I let it cool as I prepared the puff pastry, then added the other ingredients)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out one puff pastry sheet.  Cut into 6 squares.  Roll out each square just a bit, and fill them with a large spoonful of the sausage filling.  Fold the corners in, so that the points come to the middle, but don’t touch.  It should leave about 1/4 inch space between them.  Repeat with the other puff pastry sheet.

Bake for about 30 minutes, watching carefully.  Each oven varies in time.  The pastry should be golden when done.  Serve warm.

Below is the photo Drew took on his phone.  You HAVE to try this at home!  Enjoy!