Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall Notebook

The garden all tucked in for fall
November, 2010

I used to keep lists of everything I needed to do in the fall. When my daughters were young, fall was the busiest season and it still is. Their birthdays and the holidays were squeezed into three short months. As they got older and one went to college in Maine and the other worked in New York, we managed to squeeze in a trip to the East coast every October. There was a lot of planning and juggling, and lists were a necessity. Recently I have found some of these old lists and they have brought back wonderful memories.

This year I want to reinstate them and put them together in a notebook, the old lists as well as the new. There is so much to do right now and this season, my favorite, always goes by too fast. The house needs to be spruced up and the garden will need new fall plants. My feeling is that if I get back into the habit of keeping these lists and records again, I will savor every detail. And in the future, I will look back and remember. In the next few months there will be more entertaining than usual as well as holidays to celebrate -- all the things I love. My old lists are filled with flowers to buy, candles to replenish, tablecloths to take out, and recipes to make. I am noticing there are things I still do each year, as well as things I forgot about and want to do again. So I decided this year to keep a fall notebook. This season is filled with so many delights. So here we go. Let the season (and my notebook) begin with Pumpkin Recipes!

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Frosting

This is one of the best cakes I make. I found it in a Country Living magazine years ago. Although it looks impressive, it is very easy to make. You mix together an easy batter that produces three layers of the most delicious and moist pumpkin cake you will ever taste. Then you frost them with a rich cream-cheese frosting flavored with pumpkin puree and orange juice. This will become a favorite in your house as it has in mine. Go here for the recipe.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

These cupcakes are the creation of Ina Garten. Covered with cream cheese frosting and topped with pieces of Heath Bar, they are as pretty as they are delicious. Go here for the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

This is the pumpkin bread I have been making forever. I remember cutting it into slices and packing it in my daughters' lunches when they went to school. It is delicious with a cup of coffee in the morning or a cup of tea in the afternoon. This recipe makes two loaves, so you can freeze one for later.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup canola or safflower oil
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 x 3 - inch loaf pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk together the sugar, eggs, and oil in a separate bowl until well blended. Stir in the pumpkin, water, and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all the ingredients are moist and blended. Do not overmix. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean and the top begins to crack slightly. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Serve warm or place on a baking rack to cool.

I love this time of the year. The days get shorter and the weather begins to cool down. We start to see pumpkins and squashes at the farmers' markets. There is an excitement in the air. It's all about celebrating the comforts of home.

Happy Fall!


  1. Happy Autumn Sunday! I've noticed many people claiming Fall as their favorite season. Must be the cozy foods and warm blankets. Your recipes look delicious. I'm especially going to try that pumpkin bread. Have a lovely week!

  2. What a fabulous idea - to keep a Fall notebook, or any season. I may just have to do that, Sunday.
    I love Autumn with its colors and tastes and aromas. My pumpkin bread recipe is very similar to your, only I add raisins. I've used it for years upon years, having gotten it from, of all places, a fabric store. Oh dear, now I'm hungry.

  3. Υour garden is unbelievably beautiful Sunday! Never tasted a pumpkin bread.How is it consumed? Like a cake with coffee or tea?

  4. Autumn is the season that returns us to the warmth and comfort of home. I love to go back and read about or look at photographs taken of family traditions. I am and always have been a list gatherer. The cake is amazing! Hugs, Bonnie

  5. Sunday this post is fabulous! I am going to be making each of these desserts in the coming weeks as each one sounds like it will be a new favorite. Cream cheese frosting on spice cake...can it get any better?

    I too am a list writer, if for no other reason than to be able to mull over in my mind ideas for parties, holidays, trips etc.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes! Anything that has the taste of Fall is a favorite of mine. I am looking forward to trying your recipes.

    Have a beautiful week Sunday!

  6. Your garden is so lovely. It looks peaceful and soul-reviving.
    I really love pumpkin desserts. My mom made pumpkin cookies every year when I was a kid and they still remind me of fall and going back to school.
    I am looking forward to October and November. It is still so hot here in Phoenix that it is hard to even think about the traditional comforts of fall.

  7. What a great idea keeping your lists and recipes in a "seasonal" book. My mouth is watering looking at those pumpkin cakes! Thank you for showing where to get the recipes!

  8. Fall is my favorite time of year. I am desperately missing experiencing it on the East Coast. I become completely invigorated and buy new candles, put wreaths up, bake bake and bake all the time. Your back yard is just beautiful. I love how it is designed. I've pinned your pumpkin loaf and plan to bring several loaves with me to my in-laws when we journey up there in October (to experience fall!)

  9. I love Autumn too, and miss the east coast at this time of year always. I love pumpkin anything, except pumpkin lattes at Starbucks! All the recipes look delicious, and I wish I had a slice of the spiced pumpkin bread with my coffee right now.
    Can't wait to buy some firewood - and need it!

  10. Love the idea of collating your autumn lists. Autumn is my favourite season, too and I think the American epression 'Fall' is beautiful. I like 'frosting' instead of our 'icing', too!

  11. the pumpkin spice cake looks delicious. Ill take a look at the link you provided and see if Im up to it!