4 Fabulous Pumpkin Recipes: Dip Dressing Pasta and Muffins

Pumpkins are things of beauty. We carve them, decorate them, roast pumpkin seeds, and celebrate autumn and Halloween with the festive pumpkin icon. We recall the wonderful smell of fresh pumpkin pie being baked , and many people have happy associations with pumpkins. Anyone who loves squash and squash recipes should be delighted to know that pumpkins are really a variety of squash. The pumpkin is versatile and fun to cook with resulting in many tantalizing treats. Below are four new recipes for pumpkin lovers to try. Enjoy!

Gingersnap Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients:

2 cups confectionery sugar
8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
15 ounces canned pumpkin pie filling
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 tablespoons apple juice
1/2 cup crushed ginger snap cookies

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and cream cheese, beating until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients and then beat with electric mixer. Refrigerate in covered food storage container and serve with ginger snap cookies or vanilla wafer cookies or graham crackers. You can even try it spread on toasted bagels.

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Curried Pumpkin Pasta

Ingredients

8 ounces penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic , crushed
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
15 ounce can solid-packed pumpkin
1 cup half and half
2 teaspoons flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and keep warm.
2. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and then stir in garlic and let it brown slight;y.
3. Reduce heat and add tomato sauce and pumpkin then stir in half and half.
4. Add curry powder and black pepper and when thoroughly heated, serve immediately over cooked pasta.

yields 4 servings

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Pumpkin-Blueberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons pumpkin oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup blueberry juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and whisk together. Pour into cruet type jar, shake and serve immediately over salad greens.

Yield: 4 servings.

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Raisin Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
3.5 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup softened margarine
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped or crushed pecans
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Put paper or foil muffin cup wrappers into muffin tins.
3. Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in pumpkin and eggs with electric hand mixer.
5. Dredge raisins in 1/2 cup of flour.
6. Sift remaining flour and spices together.
7. Pour milk into a mixing bowl.
8. Mix in dry ingredients by hand until just mixed.
9. Stir in raisins and nuts.
10. Spoon batter into muffin cups in muffin tin.
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until tops are golden.

Yields: 2 dozen muffins

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