Fall is here and if somehow it doesn’t quite feel like it, trust us, you’re not alone. It’s a bit different this year, and the fact that stores are already prepping for Christmas really doesn’t help any.
But with a little patience and creativity, you can transform your home into an autumn-smelling paradise, full of treats and meals that bring the festive season right to you — coziness and all.
The best way to do that? Adding some pumpkin to your meals or desserts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
½ a can of pumpkin purée
1 cup broth of choice (Beef is highly recommend unless you don’t eat meat)
⅓ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp onion
½ tsp sage
½ tsp tarragon
½ tsp oregano
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese to serve, optional
This baseline pumpkin pasta sauce is divine with penne, rigatoni, or orecchiette — something with books and crannies to catch the sauce.
First prepare the pasta noodles according to package instructions. Remember to salt the water so your noodles have flavor, but hold off on oil — it makes it hard for the noodles to absorb any sauce later.
Then melt that butter over medium heat and sweat the onion until translucent. Toss in your pumpkin purée, stir until combined, and add your broth.
Once that’s mostly dry, add your cream and herbs. Stir well to combine and turn the heat to low. Use salt and pepper, toss in your pasta noodles, taste it for seasoning and adjust as needed. Finally, plate up and top with shredded parmesan.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup pumpkin purée
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chocolate chips (hold onto about ⅓ of them for decoration before baking)
So these are probably the easiest cookies you’ll ever make. Just preheat the oven to 350, mix all the ingredients together, and use an ice cream scoop to portion out balls of dough.
Place them on a baking tray flatten them out slightly and then top with the extra chocolate chips.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve with your drink of choice (I highly recommend oat milk with about 1 tsp of maple syrup.)
Cheating Pumpkin Hand Pies
Half a can of pumpkin purée
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar (hold onto about ½ tbsp)
One box of Pilsbury pie crust dough
Sometimes you want to cheat, and that’s ok… we all need a break sometimes. No one needs to know, and we certainly won’t tell. These pumpkin hand pies are the perfect quick treat.
While the oven is preheating at 350, cut out a bunch of pumpkin shapes from the pie crust using a cookie cutter — you need an even number, these make about 3 pies (6 cutouts).
From there, mix your purée, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Spoon some out and place onto half the cutouts. Don’t use more than a half tbsp at a time, or one whole tbsp, depending on the size of your cutout.
Top these with the other half of the cutouts, use a fork to press the seams together so they don’t leak, and use an egg wash to give them some color. Then slice three small lines into each one so they can vent. Sprinkle on the remaining sugar and bake for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven. They should be golden brown, deeper in color.
— By Jennifer Mendez
Jennifer Mendez is a content creator and Lynnwood resident who specializes in copy, graphic design and photography for her clients. Whenever she’s not creating something, she’s exploring new places to eat in the area.