The return of cold weather also signals the return of pumpkin flavored food (and drink)! My absolute favorite thing to eat at Thanksgiving is my dad’s pumpkin pie. Every year, he’s kind enough to make me my own pie; I’m never quite able to get through it on my own, so I end up sharing some with the family a few days later. :-P But still! It’s the idea of having my very own pie that delights me.
Last year at the Renegade Craft Fair, I bought my dad this pie print. It really reminded me of him because he’s a master pie creator and he also used to quote Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. :) His favorite gesture was the “Dr. Evil pinky.”
Okay, back to the pumpkin bread! To create this loaf, you use a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out pumpkin-shaped slices of bread. You place the cutouts back into the loaf pan and pour the pound cake batter over them. Then everything bakes and the pumpkin surprise inside is revealed once you slice into the pound cake.
- Pumpkin bread mix – 1 box
- Pound cake mix – 1 box
- Eggs – 4
- Canola oil
- Orange food coloring
- Cream cheese icing
- Chopped nuts – I used walnuts for the topping
- Pumpkin cookie cutter
1. Prepare pumpkin bread mix as directed on the package. Stir in food coloring to give the batter more of an orange color. I used drops of red and yellow food coloring to create my orange tint.
2. Pour batter into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Consult recommended baking times on package and bake for 5-10 minutes less. (The bread will have time to bake again.)
3. Remove loaf from pan and let it cool. Cut into thick slices and then use pumpkin cookie cutter to create pumpkin shapes from slices. (My cookie cutter was too large to use for slices, so I only used about 2/3 of the shape. I marked my end points with masking tape to ensure evenly sized cutouts.)
4. Place cutouts in greased loaf pan and then prepare pound cake mix as directed.
5. Pour pound cake batter atop pumpkin bread slices in loaf pan. Be careful not to overfill the pan. (You will likely have extra pound cake batter remaining.)
6. Bake pound cake as directed. Remove from loaf pan and allow time to cool.
7. Apply cream cheese icing and chopped nuts.
My roommate recently celebrated a big birthday milestone: the “flirty 30.” She had her party at a taqueria. While she prepared for her outing, I made her these Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots in honor of the occasion. I used a lemon lime margarita mix to help flavor the JELL-O, but would like to try a strawberry margarita mix next time.
- Strawberries – 1 pint (I used a pint since I was entertaining a super small group of folks, but there was enough JELL-O mix leftover to fill at least 2 pints of berries)
- JELL-O (JELL-O actually sells a margarita flavor, but I wasn’t able to find it in my grocery store. I opted to use Lemon instead.)
- Tequila – 3/4 cup
- Margarita mix – 1/4 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Lime – 1 for garnish
1. Trim off bottoms of strawberries so that they stand flat. Trim off stems, too.
2. Hull out strawberries with a paring knife to create strawberry “cups” to hold JELL-O. (Be careful not to cut holes in the bottoms. A few of my berries didn’t make it through this process, but they still made delicious snacks. :))
3. To prepare gelatin, follow instructions on JELL-O box. Boil 1 cup of water and add to gelatin mix, stirring until mix is dissolved. Swap 1 cup cold water for 3/4 cup tequila and 1/4 cup margarita mix. (You can also follow the speed-set method to prepare gelatin if you’re short on time.)
4. Use a measuring cup with spout to pour JELL-O mixture into hulled strawberries. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
5. Slice lime into tiny slivers to use as garnish.
Our group had a few of these before we went out to celebrate. The sour zing of the lime balanced out the sweetness from the berries. :)
This recipe was adapted from She’s Cookin’
Have I mentioned that my roommate LOVES Halloween? For the past two years that I’ve lived with her, she’s turned our place into a wickedly awesome wonderland of haunted decor. We have Halloween-themed candles, dishes, mugs and signs. We even have a broom outside of our door.
The lil ghost below always gives me the side eye whenever I want to take a piece of candy from our bat-tray, and our other lil ghost glows brightly in our hallway. It’s fun to come home to such a spooktacular place. :)
More Spooktacular Sweetness: