Pumpkin Paradise

  
These days, way before you smell the crisp fall air, see leaves turning, or start wearing long sleeves, you are smacked in the face with the arrival of the pumpkin. This popular gourd signals autumn before anything else whether it be in lattes, baked goods, or home decor. But who’s complaining?! 

The thing that immediately comes to my mind though, is always, pumpkin pie. (And pumpkin soup, but that’s another post for another day.) 

Baking and family history are two of my most favorite things so I’m elated today to combine the two with this delicious pumpkin pie recipe, made in my husband’s late great aunt Louise’s pumpkin pie dish. It’s so seasonal and so simple you’ll love it. The men in my life wouldn’t even let it cool before they dove in; the (homemade, anything else is just a sin) whipped cream was melting all over the top. I prefer it a little more room temp but either way, it’s pretty delicious. Here’s the recipe.

Beauty & The Butcher’s Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can organic pumpkin (make sure you get plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix that has all kinds of seasonings already in it)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (I like to use Pilsbury pie dough and form in it in the pan myself but you could use a pre-baked pie shell, ooh graham cracker might even be good!)
  • Whipped cream (I’d say OPTIONAL but it’s really not, what’s pumpkin pie without FRESH whipped cream?! If you’ve never made your own it’s very simple, just mix about 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and with a whisk attachment beat the daylights out of it until it’s firm and full of little peaks. But don’t over mix, that’s how you get butter!)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  • Pour into pie shell.
  • Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F; then bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours (or two minutes in my house) Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before devouring…er, serving. 

I’m going to be honest, yours might not taste quite as good as mine unless you also have an heirloom pumpkin pie dish and a crate & barrel plate that says “easy as pie” to serve it on. But you can certainly try! 

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September calling…

It’s September! Not quite fall here in Florida but the excitement of falling leaves and mulled spices is definitely in the air. I feel like Meg Ryan in You’ve got Mail as she saysstrolling through the leaf covered streets of Chelsea past pumpkin window displays and children drinking apple cider, “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

So to celebrate, and since I can’t send you all pencil bouquets, I made you a wallpaper for your phone! Simple save the image below and set it as your wallpaper, lock screen, or both! Maybe if you like it, I’ll make one every month! Now I’m off to go buy some clearanced school supplies! 

 

Pie Paraphernalia

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Baking and family history are two of my most favorite things so I’m elated today to combine the two with this delicious pumpkin pie recipe, made in my husband’s late great aunt Louise’s pumpkin pie dish. It’s so seasonal and so simple you’ll love it. The men in my life wouldn’t even let it cool before they dove in; the (homemade, anything else is just a sin) whipped cream was melting all over the top. I prefer it a little more room temp but either way, it’s pretty delicious. Here’s the recipe.
Beauty & The Butcher Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1 can organic pumpkin (make sure you get plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix that has all kinds of seasonings already in it)
1 can evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust
Whipped cream (I’d say OPTIONAL but it’s really not, what’s pumpkin pie without FRESH whipped cream?!)

Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; then bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours (or two minutes in my house) Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before devouring…er, serving.

That’s my name, don’t wear it out!

What is that expression from and why did my dad always say it when we were growing up? I’m sure if he ever actually remembers to read my blog he’ll give me the exact reference from which it was taken…that’s right Donald, I’m talking to you! Anyway incase you don’t know,my married name is Rao so when my partner in crime and I saw this little decorative fall branch with three wheat hangy things for super cheap at JoAnn’s we knew it would be a perfect autumnal decorative piece and easy to personalize for my three lettered last name! I simply bought plain thin wooden letters, drew chevrons and polka dots (to make it “trendy” like Ang suggested) with a brown marker, accented with gold glitter because I mean come on, EVERYTHING is better with glitter, and hot glued the letters onto the wheat hangy things (I’m sorry I can’t be more technical, I guess they’re actually mini wreaths?) So here’s the final product, I love the way it turned out and I hope it inspires you to personalize something for your home!

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chalk it up!

In a recent post I talked about a sign my dad was helping me make, and here’s the finished product!

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Here’s what I did:
1. Pick your desired shape and trace it on a piece of plywood.
2. Using a scroll saw cut out the shape (or have your dad do it) and screw in a yard post to the back then sand the edges.
3. Paint the sign with chalkboard paint. In the past I’ve used the brush on paint but this time I used a spray like this and was much happier with the result; a nice thin even coat and no streaks!
4. Paint the sign post the color of your choice and let it dry.
5. Find your favorite quote or whatever saying you’d like to put on the sign and get inspiration from Pinterest for cool chalkboard lettering and designs to make with a chalk marker. You can use regular chalk but chalk markers are neater, much easier to work with, and last a lot longer (my sign is outside and the chalk is holding up great!)
6. Stick it in the ground, step back, admire your hard work, and wait for the compliments to pour in!

Here’s the full look of my outdoor fall display. Like the little hanging “Rao” sign? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!

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pumpkin snack attack

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its that time of year again! the air is crisp and the pumpkins abundant! why buy pumpkin seeds when you can make your own at home that are healthier and soooo much more delicious?! its pretty simple, just half the pumpkin, scoop out the insides and extract the seeds from all the gooey pumpkin pulp. Rinse them and pat dry, you want them to be completely dry before you go any further. next choose your flavor profile. I like to keep it simple, just a little salt and pepper-tastes exactly like movie popcorn! but you could certainly be more creative and do a spicy blend with cayenne and paprika, a garlic basil flavor, or even go the sweet route with a little cinnamon and sugar! once dry, toss the seeds in a few tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle your desired seasonings. put them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until they start to get some color. (cooking time depends on the size of the pumpkin and the amount of seeds obviously.) now the next step is very important….try not to eat them all in one sitting! as you can see my nieces were having trouble in this department! what to do with the gooey pumpkin guts? stay tuned my friend, another blog for another day.