3 Easy Pumpkin Recipes

Fall has arrived, and the harvest season has begun to fill the supermarkets with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. During these next few months, pumpkins can often be seen decorating peoples yards with eerie or whimsical expressions carved into them. But pumpkins can be much more than a great Halloween decor item. These easy pumpkin recipes utilize the versatile squash in a number of interesting ways, and very tastefully so.

Pumpkins can be somewhat pricey if purchased at your local pumpkin patch. The grocery stores tend to offer them to consumers at a significantly cheaper price. Additionally, some recipes utilize a can of pumpkin puree rather than whole pumpkins.

Pumpkin-Cider Drink
This delicious drink should be served hot, and is especially warming on chilly fall days or nights. It’s a great drink to serve at Halloween parties or Thanksgiving dinners as well.

In a large saucepan, mix together 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 2 cups of apple cider, a teaspoon of nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice, and a cinnamon stick. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin has a liquid consistency. Serve garnished with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

Candied Pumpkin Pieces
This next easy pumpkin recipe is a big hit with children, and a wonderful treat to serve at children’s Halloween parties.

Starting with two miniature pumpkins, slice off the top and remove the pulp and fibers. Peel the pumpkins, then dice the pumpkins into bite-sized pieces. Melt four tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add the pumpkin pieces, cooking about 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in 1/3 cup of sugar and allow it to dissolve as you stir. Then add 3/4 cup of maple syrup, 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the pumpkin pieces to cool. Then refrigerate the candied pumpkin pieces for at least three hours or overnight. Then enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin
With just a few spices and some time in the oven, roasted pumpkin can be an amazingly delicious treat.

Using miniature pumpkins (one for each serving), cut off the top of each pumpkin around the stem but do not discard. Scoop out the pulp and fibers.

For each pumpkin, mix together a 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice or allspice. Sprinkle the spices inside the pumpkins. Then add to each pumpkin a 1/2 tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of maple syrup.

Place the pumpkins on a baking dish and add a 1/2″ of water. Put the lids back onto the pumpkins and roast them for about a 1/2 hour or until tender. The skin is fine to eat. Serve hot, with a dollop of whipped cream on the inside and another sprinkle of nutmeg for garnish if desired.

For a large assortment of additional pumpkin recipes, be sure to visit the Pumpkin Nook, at http://www.pumpkinnook.com/cookbook.htm, and the Better Homes and Gardens Website for a section on pumpkin recipes at http://www.bhg.com/home/Pumpkin-Recipes.html.

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