Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Thanksgiving was established as a national holiday by President Lincoln in 1863, however the foods of the original celebration by the Pilgrims and Native Americans in gratitude for the autumn harvest were quite different including venison and wild fowl along with berries, dried fruit and assorted vegetables. Pumpkins, however, were a part of the original celebration as they are today although in a different form. Since there were no ovens, they were generally boiled or stewed rather than served as pies.
Start Thanksgiving early with a “Pumpkin Tea” consisting of lots of pumpkin recipes along with some other seasonal favorites such as turkey, cranberries and nuts.  Include lots of pumpkins around your home and on your table as centerpiece vases with flowers or even as holders for plates of tea time fare.  Here are some recipes to choose from to be served with your favorite black tea, rooibos or spiced blend:


Ginger Pumpkin Bisque
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1Tbs grated fresh ginger
1Tbs olive oil 2
4c chicken broth
1/2c apple cider
1-16 ounce can pumpkin
1/3c maple syrup
2 bay leaves
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp dried thyme
1/4tsp pepper
1/8tsp ground cloves
1 cup half and half
Sauté onion, carrot, and ginger in olive oil until vegetables are golden, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken broth and cider. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in rest of ingredients except half and half. Bring to boiling; reduce heat, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool mixture slightly.  Using blender, blend in matches. Return to saucepan, add half and half and heat through, but do not boil. Pour servings, swirl in additional half and half if desired.  

Harvest Pumpkin Soup
2Tbs butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp ground coriander
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
3c chicken broth
2c water
1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin purée
1/4c maple syrup
1/2c half-and-half
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Blue cheese crumbles
Toasted walnuts
Maple-candied pumpkin seeds

          Sauté onion in butter and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the broth, water, pumpkin and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before working in batches to purée the soup in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to a clean pot. Stir in the half-and-half and heat gently over low heat (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Maple-Candied Pumpkin Seeds
1c hulled pumpkin seeds
2Tbs maple syrup
1/2tsp butter
Toss the seeds with maple syrup, grease a baking sheet with butter and spread seeds out in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and caramelized. They should be on the dry side, but may still be sticky.

Pumpkin Corn Chowder
3Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2c sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6c vegetable broth
1c pumpkin puree
1c corn
1/2tsp dried thyme
1/2tsp crumbled dried sage
1/2c half-and-half
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Sauté onion, garlic, and sweet potato in olive oil until onion is translucent, just a few minutes. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 30 minutes, until sweet potato is tender.  Add pumpkin puree, corn, and herbs. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat again and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Puree half the soup in a blender and return it to the pot, stirring well to combine. Stir in cream and remove soup from the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Turkey & Cranberry Mayonnaise Tea Sandwiches

16 slices fresh white bread
1/2lb thinly sliced turkey
1/2lb smoked Gouda

1 cup mayonnaise

1 can cranberry sauce

          Combine cranberry sauce with mayonnaise.  Spread mayonnaise on each slice of bread.  Arrange turkey slices and gouda on half of bread slices.  Top with remaining slices.  Trim crusts and cut into 3 oblong sandwiches.


Turkey & Earl Grey Honey Butter Tea Sandwiches

1/2c butter

1Tbs honey

1tsp ground Earl Grey tea

1/2c shredded Granny Smith apple
1tsp lemon juice

Pumpernickel bread, thin sliced

Sliced turkey

          Combine butter, honey and ground tea.  Toss apples with lemon juice, squeeze out excess liquid and add to honey butter.  Spread the butter mixture onto bread slices and top half with turkey, then cover with the other slices, trim crust and cut into triangles.


Turkey & Maple-Pecan Brown Butter Tea Sandwiches

1/2c butter
1/2c chopped pecans
2Tbs maple syrup

Whole wheat bread, thin sliced

Sliced turkey

Sliced cheese
          Melt butter and simmer until butter begins to brown and has a nutty aroma, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and let sit at room temperature until set, about an hour. Add pecans and maple syrup and combine. Spread butter on bread, top half with turkey and cheese and then form sandwiches.  Cut into a leaf shape with a cookie cutter and serve.

Turkey & Pumpkin Butter Tea Sandwiches: Spread thin sliced pumpernickel bread with a nice thick layer of pumpkin butter. Add turkey to one slice and sandwich with the other.
          Pumpkin butter: Combine 1-15oz can pumpkin, 1Tbs pumpkin pie spice and 1c brown sugar in pan and cook slowly for 15 mins but do not let it boil. Cool and refrigerate or freeze if desired.


Basic Scones: Combine 2 c flour, 1/3 c sugar, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp baking soda and 1/4tsp salt in a mixing bowl.  Cut in 8Tbs butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add 1c sour cream or yogurt to dry ingredients until they are moistened.  Knead on floured surface until dough holds together.  Divide dough in half and pat out each into a 1/2 inch thick circle and cut into 6-8 wedges.  Place on greased baking sheet, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins or until golden brown.

          Cranberry-Orange Scones: Follow directions for basic scones adding 1/2c cranberries and 2tsp orange peel to dry ingredients before cutting in butter. 

          Pumpkin Spice Scones: Follow directions for basic scones replacing 1/2c of sour cream/yogurt with pumpkin puree plus add 1tsp of pumpkin pie spice.


Cranberry Orange Tea Bread: Steep 1Tbs Earl Grey in 3/4c boiling water until cool.  Combine 2 1/2c flour, 1 1/4c sugar, 2tsp baking powder, 1tsp salt, zest from 1 orange and 1/2c chopped dried cranberries.  Cut in 1/3c butter then stir in 2 beaten eggs, 1 (8oz) yogurt and cooled tea until blended.  Turn into a greased 9”x5” loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Cool 10 mins., remove from pan and cool completely.  Best if made a day in advance.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tea Bread:

          Crumb Topping: Mix 1 1/2c flour and 1c sugar, then cutting in 1/2c butter until crumbly. 

Cream Cheese Filling:  Beat1-8oz cream cheese, 1/2c sugar, 1 egg, 1Tbs flour and 1/2tsp vanilla extract until smooth

          Pumpkin Batter: Combine 3c flour, 1Tbs baking powder, 1 1/2tsp baking soda, 2tsp cinnamon, and 1 1/2tsp cloves.  Cream 1c butter, 3c sugar and 3 eggs with a mixer, add 1-16oz can pumpkin, then slowly add the dry ingredients just until mixed.


          Fill 2 buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pans half full, spread half of cream cheese filling over each and top with remaining pumpkin batter.  Sprinkle with crumb topping and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Cool and serve.


Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Tea Cakes: Combine a spice cake mix with 1-15oz can pumpkin.  Remove 1 1/2c of batter and mix with 1c Nutella.  Drop spoonfuls of the mixture over the pumpkin batter and swirl with a knife.  Fill mini muffin cups with batter and bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins.  Top with a mixture of 1-15oz can pumpkin, 2c whipped topping, 1tsp pumpkin pie spice and a box of instant vanilla or cheesecake pudding.
Pumpkin Pie Tea Cakes: Combine 1-15oz can pumpkin, 1/2c sugar, 1/4c brown sugar, 2 eggs and 1tsp vanilla, then add 3/4c half and half or evaporated milk.  Combine 2/3c flour, 1/4tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp baking soda, 1/4tsp salt and 2tsp pumpkin pie spice, then add to pumpkin mixture until well combined.  Fill lined mini muffin tins with batter and bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins.  Chill before serving topped with whipped cream.
Pecan Pie Tea Cakes: Combine 1c chopped pecans, 1/2c flour, 1c brown sugar, 2/3c melted butter and 2 eggs.  Fill greased mini muffin tins 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 mins.  Cool 1 minute and then flip them out onto a cooling rack.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

1/3c pumpkin puree

1 1/2c finely-crumbled gingersnap cookies

3Tbs powdered sugar
1tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/8tsp salt

4oz cream cheese

1c white chocolate chips, melted

1 bag dark chocolate chips

1Tbs vegetable oil

          Combine the pumpkin, gingersnaps, sugar, spice, salt, cream cheese and melted chocolate all in a food processor and pulse until well-blended.  Freeze for 30-60 minutes, or until the mixture is fairly hardened, then scoop and roll into balls and place on wax paper.  Place back in freezer for 2 hours or until solid.  Combine dark chocolate and oil and melt in microwave until smooth.  Use a fork to dunk the balls in the chocolate and sprinkle the top with gingersnap crumbs.  Serve or refrigerate.

No Bake Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies: Combine 1 1/2c sugar, 1/2c brown sugar and a stick and a half of butter in a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 box instant vanilla pudding, then add 1Tbs pumpkin pie spice, 3 1/2c quick cooking oats and 1tsp vanilla extract.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Drop from rounded tablespoon onto wax paper and cool completely.  Store in airtight container or freeze.
 Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins. 
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling
I Peter 4:8-9

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