How to Make Pumpkin Challah

Written by Megan of Stetted.

I am nowhere near a bread expert. I have trouble achieving the proper rise and crumb, especially when it comes to sandwich bread. Yet that doesn’t stop me from practicing my kneading or remove the thrill that comes from seeing a bowl full of puffy dough.

Of all the breads I’ve tried making, the one I always come back to is challah. I not only love the flavor, but the methodical technique of braiding the loaves. I know many people hate the work that is involved with making bread, but the process relaxes me and is a great way to center my concentration. And let’s face it – we all need a little bit of relaxation when the holidays are fast approaching.

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A Healthier Autumn Cookie (Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Snaps)

When developing this particular recipe I had two goals in mind: to create a healthy cookie as equally desirable to my children as their beloved (yet overly sugar-filled) gingersnap, and to make a prettier pumpkin cookie than the standard lumpy brown drop cookie versions.

These pumpkin spice snaps are a success on both accounts.

I’ve eliminated the white sugar, reduced the butter, added whole-wheat flour and incorporated pumpkin for extra flavor and beta carotene. Raw ginger and freshly ground cinnamon kick in to make these spice snaps live up to their name.

These cookies are soft on the inside, thanks to the pumpkin purée, but are not cakey; they still have that chewy factor that is always desirable in a cookie. Still, don’t expect the same texture as a traditional gingersnap, as the caramelizing of all that white sugar is what give the gingersnap its ‘chew’.

Still, these cookies snap with flavor, and most importantly, my kids are crazy about them. As a bonus? They’re kind of pretty in an old-fashioned way. [Read more…]

Weekend Links (and giveaway winners)

Thank you to all who entered my weekend giveaway from Mortimer Snodgrass. I hope you got a new idea or two for your Christmas shopping.

We have two winners! Congratulations to Lesley who will take home Giveaway Basket #1: Around the Table. And the winner of Giveaway Basket #2: Playroom Decor is Judy.

Congratulations, you two! I’ve contacted you both via email to confirm your win.

And now here are a few recipes and articles that caught my eye this week around the web.

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Giveaway for Kids: Dishes, Playroom Fun & More from Mortimer Snodgrass

On the 24th I sent out a tweet commenting that in exactly two months it would be Christmas Eve. Instantly about thirty @ replies jumped into my feed, nearly all of them exclamations of horror. Most of the freakout factor was based around the amount of shopping that needed to be done before the big day.

Here’s my secret for holiday shopping – I do it online. In my bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, with a cup of cocoa. I stay far away from hectic malls, line-ups, snowy roads, and parking vying. I scope out a few shops ahead of time (like now) because I like to feel the material of clothes or read the back cover of a book, but most of my final purchases are made online.

Some of my favorite gifts for kids come from a local store with the unforgettable name of Mortimer Snodgrass; I could easily get something for everyone on my list there. Fortunately for non-locals, Montreal’s funkiest gift store also has a flourishing, easy to navigate online shop that ships worldwide.

Mortimer Snodgrass is kindly offering two awesome gift baskets of some of my favorite items at the end of the post, but before the giveaway, read about a couple of products that simply ‘work’ for my family.

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23 Ways to Use Up Leftover Pumpkin Purée

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity.

Last year Lynn gave a wonderful tutorial on how to make your own pumpkin purée. Whether you make your own or use a can, it seems you’re almost guaranteed to always have just a little bit left over. And, nobody likes to waste any precious pumpkin purée.

Today’s post is all about ways to use up that little bit of extra pumpkin so you can squeeze every last drop out of pumpkin season.

If you’re anything like me you like to find as many recipes as possible to help use up that last half a cup (or less) of pumpkin purée. I wanted to compile a list of recipes and ideas for doing just that and I thought I would share it with you. Make sure to tuck these ideas away for reference later. If you save them for that little extra, you’ll have something to look forward to and no reason to get bored of eating pumpkin the same way over and over.

Sometimes it makes sense to simply freeze the leftovers (especially when using canned purée) but if you already thawed your own pumpkin purée, you probably don’t want to stick it back in the freezer.

Here are a couple of ideas (and some recipes too) that use half a cup or less of pumpkin purée.

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