Pumpkin Cookies – A Taste of Autumn

One of our favorite treats for this time of year is pumpkin cookies. They are incredibly delicious as well as easy to make. Unlike a lot of cookies that are dense or hard, these are almost cake-like in texture. We haven’t found anything similar during our travels, so we consider this to be very unique to our family. Because we are not big sweet eaters, we generally share these with all of our friends who are extremely appreciative. We typically double this batch in order to use the full can of pumpkin pie mix, but that makes about six dozen cookies instead the usual three dozen that the recipe makes. They are a traditional drop cookie, so the size of the cookie is completely up to you, but we find that about a heaping tablespoon works best.

DSC_7699
Fresh Out of the Oven

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Pie Mix (canned or you can make your own)
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Butterscotch Chips
DSC_7690
Combine the Ingredients

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all of the ingredients together ensuring that the flour is completely incorporated.  Using a teaspoon or a small ice cream scoop, spoon out the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake the cookies on a center rack for 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a rack to completely cool. Depending upon the size of the cookies you make, the recipe makes about three dozen cookies.

DSC_7704
Traditional Drop Cookie Method
DSC_7698
Bake on a Center Rack
DSC_7721
Moist and Delicious

 

Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp

We made this as an appetizer for our Halloween party, but it would be just as good over a bed of linguine noodles.  The original recipe called for bay scallops, but we chose to use shrimp instead because we couldn’t get scallops.  Since we’re in Colorado, finding fresh seafood can sometimes be a challenge, but based on the way our guests gobbled them up, shrimp seemed to be a fine alternative.

Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp
Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Raw Shrimp – medium size, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) Softened Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Canned Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage – chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Lemon – cut in half

Instructions

In a bowl or food processor, combine the softened butter, pumpkin, sage, and salt.  Whisk or pulse until smooth.  Add a 1/2 tablespoon of butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1/3 of the shrimp to the skillet, making sure that the shrimp aren’t crowded, and cook until pink, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin-sage butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Remove the shrimp from skillet and repeat the steps until all of the shrimp has been cooked.  Serve warm or at room temperature with picks.

Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Sauté Shrimp
Sauté Shrimp
Stir in Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Stir in Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Shrimp Sautéed in Pumpkin-Sage Butter
Shrimp Sautéed in Pumpkin-Sage Butter

Spirit of the Season

To say that we’re into Halloween would be the understatement of a lifetime.  We’ve been throwing Halloween parties for twenty years now and every year we add a few more decorations, so we’ve accumulated a lot of really cool things.  For the ten years, the parties were for the kids, but now we’re all about the adult Halloween party.  This year’s party is tomorrow, so we’re frantically getting ready since our remodeling work didn’t finish until two days ago.  It normally takes us two weeks to decorate the entire house, so the pressure has been on to finish and get everything done in time.

Party Sign
Party Sign
IMGP5809
Pumpkin Jack
Front Yard Scene
Front Yard Scene

We decorate both inside and outside and every year the theme for the outdoor decorations change.  This year’s theme is spiders, so we had fun building a giant spider web that spanned the entire front porch.  We even have a body wrapped in spider webs hanging from the top of the porch.  We always do a small cemetery scene, so spiders are crawling throughout.  We also match our costumes to the theme, so we’re dressing as Frodo (assuming you get the reference from the Lord of the Rings) and a Black Widow.  Inside the house, we go as far as changing out our artwork and even change some of our curtains.

Animated Witch
Animated Witch
Creepy Cat
Creepy Cat
Mantelpiece
Mantelpiece
Giant Spider
Giant Spider

We’re making marinated mushrooms, antipasto spears (with olives, marinated peppers, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese), tea sandwiches, pumpkin sage shrimp, and a variety of other snacks.  Obviously we’ll have plenty wine and beer on hand as well.  We wish you could all join us for the party, but we’ve added some pictures to help everyone get into the spirit of the party.

Rising Corpse
Rising Corpse
Scarecrow
Scarecrow
Witch with Curtains
Witch with Curtains
Spiders in the Yard
Spiders in the Yard