I love pumpkin season! You should see how many recipes I have bookmarked from other blogs that contain pumpkin. Since discovering how easy it is to make my own pumpkin puree' last year, I have upped the ante' with the number of pumpkins now collecting around my house awaiting their execution. Current count: 6 (with one already under the knife). Some are small, some are big; I'm not particular about only using pie pumpkins.
When I cut up my pumpkins, I have both roasted and steamed them as a means to cook up the pumpkin; I hear you can even cook them up in your Crock Pot. I don't think I have a preferred method, though I think steaming it in a large stockpot with only a bit of water was faster and heated up the kitchen less. Once they're cool, scoop out the flesh and blend it up. Last year I used my food processor which worked fine; this year I used my food grinder attachment on the Kitchen Aid. Once again, both methods worked fine so use what works for you. Then just bag it up in whatever amount works best for you; I normally bag it up using Ziploc snack bags in one cup amounts because that seems like a reasonable size to be able to use up after thawing. I really enjoy when recipes ask for a measured amount of pumpkin rather than a can size. This makes it so much easier for cooks like me.
After I cooked up a pumpkin last week, I saved the seeds and roasted them. You have got to try this! They were so good. Piper really loved them too.
One of my favorite recipes is for Pumpkin Bread. It came from a local cookbook given to me by Momma Kay. It is seriously so delicious that I don't even glance at other pumpkin bread recipes that cross my path; my heart belongs to this one. I like to bake it up in my 8-mini loaf pan, freeze them and just pop one loaf out at a time so it it is nice and fresh.
I have also been seeing numerous recipes around the blogosphere for Pumpkin Spice Latte. I bookmarked three different versions so one morning I decided to weed them out and test drive them all.
The first version of Pumpkin Spice Latte is the one I have been seeing most often referenced. My verdict: way, way too much pumpkin. I whisked my pumpkin milk up by hand and in the end the ingredients just congregated at the bottom. Yuck! Maybe using your blender is key. But I really just didn't like the texture of that much pumpkin.
The second version of Pumpkin Spice Latte was better, but not quite there. My verdict: why not just drink coffee? This recipe simply made me wonder why I was trying to doctor up my coffee drink as it was nothing exceptional.
This morning I tried one last one, a version called Clean Eating Pumpkin Spice Latte (courtesy of my stepmom). It doesn't use any actual pumpkin puree but still incorporates pumpkin pie spice. My verdict: I would have to say from the three this would be my favorite. However I use "favorite" loosely, because I think in the end I discovered something about myself - I like plain coffee. At least this version added only some spices and extra milk, so I could get on board. I also added an extra packet of Splenda beyond the suggested tablespoon of maple syrup.
So that's that. No more Pumpkin Spice Lattes for me. Straight coffee with cream and sugar is just fine. Unless I try and make this Pumpkin Syrup from Pennies on a Platter....