Recipes from Kaylin's Kitchen - Hey there, Punkin'!

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Harvest time is here!  Pack up the kids and head to the nearest pumpkin patch for family fun adventures filled with hayrides, corn mazes, and pick-your-own pumpkins and gourds.  Not only are they great for carving and adding that special touch to your holiday decorating, pumpkins are great for eating too!

Mature pumpkins are firm and have a rich, orange color. To test for maturity, make sure the bud end is dry and press into the skin with your thumbnail; mature pumpkins will resist scratching. It is important to select pumpkins appropriate for how you plan on using them.  If you plan to make a jack-o-lantern, a large pumpkin will best suit your needs. Use small, heavy pumpkins, sometimes marketed as pie pumpkins, for pies and other dishes because they contain more pulp than larger jack-o-lantern varieties.  If making roasted pumpkin seeds, either type of pumpkin will do.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 ½ cups fresh, raw pumpkin seeds
2 tsp. butter, melted
½ tsp.+ garlic salt
Other seasonings as desired
Place seeds in a colander and rinse thoroughly.  Spread out on baking sheet and let dry.  Toss seeds in a bowl with melted butter, spread onto baking sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and/or other seasonings.  Bake for 45 minutes at 300°.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of Vitamin E, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

The University of Illinois Extension states that a pumpkin’s orange color is, “a dead giveaway that pumpkins are loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene.”  Cooked pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, and Zinc. 

Pumpkin Bread Surprise
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. Flour
1 egg
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 cup prepared pumpkin
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 325°.  Spray the bottom of two loaf pans with vegetable spray.  Beat cream cheese,   1/3 cup sugar, and 1 Tbsp. flour together in small bowl.  Add 1 egg, blend well.  Stir in orange zest.  Reserve.  In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, and 2 eggs.  Add 1 ½ cups sugar, salt, cloves, cinnamon, 1 2/3 cup flour, and baking soda, combine well.  Pour ¼ of batter into bottom of prepared pans.  Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the batter.  Add remaining batter, covering the cream cheese filling.  Bake for 1 ½ hours or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes, cool completely and store in refrigerator.

A Pumpkin Prayer
{cut off top of pumpkin}
Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about You.
{remove innards}
Remove the things in my life that don’t please You.
Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.
{cut open eyes}
Open my eyes to see the beauty You’ve made in the world around me.
{cut out nose}
I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food You provide.
{cut out mouth}
Let everything I say please You.
{light the candle}
Lord, help me show Your light to others through the things I do. Amen
By: Liz Curtis Higgs

Fresh Pumpkin Pie 
Makes: 2 small pies
2 medium sized baking pumpkins
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ cup cream
1 ½ c. scalded milk, slightly cooled
2 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 325°.  Wash and cut pumpkin in half crosswise, scrape out seeds.  Place in dripping pan cut side down and bake for 30+ minutes until pumpkin begins to fall in and is tender.  Turn pumpkin cut side up for 5 minutes to slightly dry out and cool.  Scrape pulp from shell, strain.  Blend in food processor or blender until smooth.  Preheat oven to 450°.  Line 9” pie plates with pastry, make a fluted standing rim.  Combine eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Gradually add cream and milk, then pumpkin.  Pour into pie shell and bake in 450° oven for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350° and bake additional 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean.