Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pumpkin It Up.... a yummy Cookbook

One of the fun things about having a blog is when it attracts the attention from publishing companies and they graciously ask you to review their cookbook.  Can it get any better than that?   And if you know me, well that is like the frosting on a cupcake, as this girl loves to bake.  I bake when I’m happy, I bake when I’m sad, I bake when I’m under stress and it’s always time to bake when the little grand-angels come over.  I have personally started to train them to be “enthusiastic bakers” which in my world translates to “messy bakers” and I am the queen.  After a day of baking, well…. lets just say my kitchen will resemble what I would imagine what an explosion in a flour factory would look like.  (even my own mom won't let me bake in her kitchen...true story!  Lol )

One of my favorite flavors is pumpkin and when I was offered the chance to review “Pumpkin it Up!” by Eliza Cross, well it took me all of 2 seconds to respond back with - yes! And I have to tell you this is going to be one of my very favorite cookbooks.  This book offers recipes from starting your day with a Pumpkin Spice Latte to be enjoyed with (my personal favs)  Pumpkin-Apple Crunch Muffins or Pumpkin Applesauce Bread, slathered with pumpkin butter.  You could end the day with a slow-cooked Pumpkin Chili or a comforting Pumpkin Chicken Soup. 


The book starts out with the helpful hints whether you buy premade puree or make your own.  Personally I like to have my own homemade puree on hand and one afternoon of puree making yields numerous happy hours spent in the kitchen baking or cooking. Each recipe is accompanied by a stellar photo of the end product.  The recipes are easy to follow, no fussy techniques (always a plus for me) and all the recipes require basic ingredients. Here is the link to order your own  copy Pumpkin It Up

On a side note, I also was able to easily convert many recipes to gluten/dairy free for my brother Barry. He likes it when I get to demo a new cookbook.

As much as I enjoy the summer, I can’t wait till I get to harvest my own pumpkins again as there are so many recipes to still try.  Come on October!

I did want to tempt you with a couple more favorites of mine as well.......and the author graciously let me publish these.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Makes about 12 pancakes

1 1⁄2 cups milk
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin purée
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Maple syrup, for serving

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, and vinegar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.

Heat a lightly greased griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour 1⁄4 cup batter on the griddle and spread out slightly using a spatula or spoon. Brown on both sides and serve hot with maple syrup.~~

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 50 cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3⁄4 cup sugar
3⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin purée
1 1⁄2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture gradually into the butter mixture, alternating with the pumpkin purée, beating well after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12–13 minutes, until edges are just browned. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.~~

And with that, I’ll leave you for now as I’m working on the next article that was specifically requested from my blog task master, Kristi.  From the last blog post about courage and silver linings – well I received so many wonderful and heartfelt comments, that Kristi asked me to write about that hard topic of coping and discouragement.  So with that keep watching as the blog post is underway.  As always, feel free to email at  or leave a comment as I love to hear from you.  All my best, Gayle 

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