Oct 12

Autumn brings Pumpkin Palooza and a Giveaway!

in News

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the combination of reds, oranges, and yellows, the smell of cinnamon, the cooling of temperatures, and the anticipation of the holiday season. Although autumn isn’t as recognizable here in Southern California as it is in other places I’ve lived, there is still a chill in the evening air, and the leaves of the trees along some of our streets are beginning to turn.
I have definitely been in an “autumnal” mood lately, and it’s showing up in my cooking and in my crafting. I am taking full advantage of my parents being overwhelmed by apples on their apple trees.
I tried out Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for apple cake. The cake was thick and moist–if you like apples, you’ll enjoy this cake.
Of course I’m never one to leave well enough alone and had to go and “improve” on the recipe with the addition of some Bird’s Custard (you can buy it at World Market).
Mmmmm, that takes this dessert into the realm of divine!
I also borrowed my mom’s dehydrator and dehydrated a bunch of apple slices so that we can continue to enjoy autumn’s bounty when all of the apples have fallen from the trees.
Although I am a chocoholic through and through, one of my all-time favorite seasonal treats are candy corn and I make sure that we always have some in the house (and no, I’m not willing to admit for the record how many bags we’ve gone through already).
One of Squirrel’s favorite new discoveries are pumpkins (or “punkins” as she calls them). With all of the Halloween decorations popping up in stores she has had ample opportunity to tell me all about the “punkins” she is seeing. To honor her new love I whipped up a cute little “punkin” hat for her which she is thrilled with (the pattern can be found here).
I’m loving pumpkin right now too, so much in fact that I’m making the coming week here on LFM as “Pumpkin Palooza”. So get ready because we’re going to go pumpkin crazy as I feature a different pumpkin recipe each day this week. Hopefully no one will be pumpkined out by the time we reach the other side.
To kick off Pumpkin Palooza I’d like to have a little giveaway. I’ve been making some hair clips inspired by my favorite treats and have an extra pair that could be yours! They are wonderful for little girls hair (as well as adult hair) as they have a nice strong grip.
To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me about your favorite seasonal treat or tradition and you will be automatically entered. If there’s a recipe that goes along with your story, I’d love to hear about that too! Comments will be open until Friday night, October 17, 2008, 8:00 PM PST. Only enter once ’cause that is all that counts. International entrants are totally and completely welcome. The winner will be selected by random draw and will be announced here (and by email) next Saturday, October 18, 2008. Good luck!

Comments are now closed for the giveaway! Check back tomorrow to find out who the winner is!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

micaela6955 October 12, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Because my husband is from Guatemala, we always have tamales for Christmas. Me, not being from Guatemala, cannot make them at all. I have seen them being made, and I am too scared to try! But they are bigger than the traditional Mexican tamales you see, and consist of masa with either chicken or pork, spices, on a banana leaf. They are then wrapped in tinfoil and steamed for a few hours until the masa is soft, the meat cooked and the tamales are ready to be eaten! We usually get them from his sister in RI, or heaven forbid, have to buy them at $2 each in a Central American market!

micaela6955 at msn dot com


Jennifer October 12, 2008 at 10:28 pm

ok first let me say that apple cake looks so yummy! I’d have to say that my favorite treat for this time of year is an apple crisp that my late Grandmother always made. I have never attempted to make it myself but my mom does have the recipe so maybe I’ll make some this week…mmmmm oh and the hair clips are adorable!


Bob October 12, 2008 at 10:58 pm

When I was a kid we would go apple picking in the fall and all the orchards would sell unpasteurized cider. We would always buy some and mull it. There is nothing like fresh, unpasteurized cider.


Bekah October 12, 2008 at 11:06 pm

those clippies are insanely KAWAII!


tamakikat October 13, 2008 at 1:56 am

Hi there.

Love how you can just whip up a hat. It looks as cute as the wearer.

Wondering what the orange, yellow, and white things in the photos above are…beads?

As to seasonal things, I like anything with apples-apple crumble, apple turnover, baked apples, and apple pies. Like the idea of using apples from the tree in the back yard to cook with/dehydrate.



Abigail October 13, 2008 at 6:26 am

Oh, that custard totally reminds me of my hubby’s Mum’s cooking in Marlow, UK. Yum yum yum.

My favorite holiday treat is the pumpkin cheesecake I make every year at Thanksgiving. It’s heavenly, if I do say so myself!


Phoe October 13, 2008 at 6:41 am

Mmm… candy corn. Cute hair clips too!


upstateLisa October 13, 2008 at 7:15 am

Nothing like going apple picking on a beautiful Friday afternoon and coming home to make dutch apple pie and homemade applesauce!!!


LollyChops October 13, 2008 at 8:21 am

Oh YAY! I loved reading this post! I am sooo ready for fall it’s not even funny! What is that Bird’s Custard? I have never seen anything like that before. Would it be in the pudding isle?


Reeva October 13, 2008 at 9:43 am

yummy! that dessert looks so delicious!

My favorite fall treat is homemade donuts. My grandma, and now my mom gets so excited over the coming holiday season that they get this baking/frying bug and starts whipping up donuts and tea-cakes.

It also helps to warm the house with all the heat in the kitchen. Maybe thats why they do it more during the fall/winter seasons. hmm *lightbulb moment*


Damaris October 13, 2008 at 9:48 am

ohhhh I love hair clips so much so that I want to eat them. I have a lot of hair and am always looking for clips.

One tradition we have is making shrimp inside the pumpkin. It’s so good. yum.


Adriana October 13, 2008 at 10:06 am

My favourite fall treat is definitely apple crisp. I made some last week. It was delicious! I am hoping to go apple picking soon.
Lest you think I am just about the apples, I also adore oven-roasted pumpkin seeds. That is my favourite part of carving pumpkins.


The Carroll's October 13, 2008 at 3:01 pm

My favorite time is really at the church’s chili cookoff/trunk ‘r treat. I know lame, but it really is so much fun. And it doesn’t matter where you live, you know every ward is going to have one! So if you could find a fabulous chili recipe before the 25th and share it with us, I would love to make it. I made the ‘quick fridge pickles’ for my Sister in-law and she LOVED them. I’m not even a fan of pickles.

You are awesome!


Abigail October 13, 2008 at 4:12 pm

By the way, I LOVE that teapot!


Melanie Gray Augustin October 13, 2008 at 6:27 pm

I love that top shot with the teapot! Gorgeous lighting! How do you find the dehydrator? That’s on my wish-list when I move back to Oz.

Mmm… as for favourite seasonal treat… I think it would have to be kakigori in summer. Eating that while hanging out at a Japanese summer festival really helps takes the heat away. Oh, and in autumn, I get so excited about persimmon season.

By the way, the clips are super cute :)


Goldie October 13, 2008 at 6:41 pm

I love when my husband or mother-in-law make their cheesebread. It’s not an ordinary bread with melted cheddar cheese. It’s rather a sweet, soft pastry with a delicious cream cheese filling. Kind of like a danish but way better. My husband tweaked the recipe and added berries to the cream cheese mixture. It’s oh so good!!!


Jackie October 14, 2008 at 12:21 pm

We do dinner in a pumpkin in October. If you haven’t heard of it I know you would love it, kind of a rice pilaf mixture with ground beef, mushrooms, water chestnuts, rice, etc. and you bake it in a pumpkin and scoop out rice mix with pumpkin flesh and eat it as a meal. Fun presentation and a hearty meal. I’ll probably do a post soon on it, we’ll see.

So I just barely learned how to make some fancy girl hairclips last week and while I don’t have a little girl to make them for I had a lot of fun making them and would gladly pass these cute clips on to one of my nieces! You need to tell me how you made them because they are so cute! Hey have you seen the candy corn hershey’s kisses? Yummy!


Loz and Dinny October 15, 2008 at 4:27 am

It would have to be Quince paste. My husband is the preserver in the family – so when summer comes round and they’re in season he makes up big slabs of the stuff. It goes so well with cheese and we put it in the Xmas hampers we give to our friends (packed with homemade shortbread, apricot balls and white Xmas). Gosh your blog makes me feel so hungry everytime I read it!!!!!!! and the clips you made are devine!


Julie October 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm

How great to have such creative talent. Candy corns are the BEST!!

I grew up in Central America so my favorite “seasonal” (our seasons were very different) tradition included spending our “white Christmas” at the beach. We would pack up the whole family after a delicious breakfast and head out across the isthmus to go scuba diving. I always looked forward to the holidays although they were spent so differently than one might expect. I love the beach!!!


Beth October 16, 2008 at 6:54 am

Just found your blog — take a big thumbs up because I love it!

I especially enjoy your pumpkin palooza, because pumpkin (and autumn/winter squash) are my favorite seasonal food items. I adore making and eating pumpkin burritos, cottage cheese and pumpkin, stuffed acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and roasted butternut squash, just to name a few!


Mel & Seigo October 17, 2008 at 12:56 am

My fave seasonal treat would have to be Pavlova at an Aussie Christmas (with lots of passionfruit)…yum!

I just saw your recipe for Pumpkin Choc Chip cookies and think I may have to give them a try. Do you think I’ll have any problems with finding all the ingredients over here?

Thanks for your generous giveaway!

Melanie :)


Shanbanan October 17, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I LOVE pumpkin cookies, but I prefer white chocolate chips in them. Don’t really care for white chocolate any other time, but w/ the pumpkin, it’s a taste sensation. I’m definitely making your cookies!



Fuji October 17, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Melanie– I think you shouldn’t have any problems finding the ingredients to the cookies, except for maybe the pumpkin. But, you could always try substituting pureed kabocha for the pumpkin–I’ve never tried that, but I bet it might be good! If you do make them, let me know. I’d love to know how they turn out!


Sherry Goodloe October 17, 2008 at 8:56 pm

My all-time favorite seasonal treat is a homeade pumpkin roll. Here’s the recipe:

3 ggs
1 cup Sugar
2/3 cup Pumpkin
1 teaspoon Lemon juice
3/4 cup All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt

8 ounces Cream cheese — softened
4 tablespoons Butter — or margarine
1 cup Powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

in large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating well. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.
In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 350 ° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside.

While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.

Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Slice before serving. Keep leftover slices refrigerated.

Pumpkin rolls freeze well!

Another favorite is an alcoholic drink called Hot Applie Pie:

2 oz Tuaca
hot apple cider
whipped cream
cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour the Tuaca in an Irish coffee glass.

Fill with hot apple cider

Top with whipped cream

Garnish with a cinnamon stick



nakayoshilife October 22, 2008 at 7:29 am

What exactly is candy corn? i’ve never seen it before? is it made from corn?


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