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It's Pumpkin Time!

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Once October begins, I am in full force planning Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin enters my world everywhere! I am decorating, baking and cooking with it all the time. I am changing things up this year...the traditional orange pumpkin is nowhere in my decorating plans this season!

I got these velvet, jewel tone pumpkins at Home Goods and Michaels. I have started decorating around the house with them and they will grace my Thanksgiving table too.

As soon as fall begins pumpkin is one of my favorite things to add to any menu. I have always loved pumpkin as a muffin and cake and this year decided to take a long time recipe and make it gluten free.

I did a little fall tablescape in my kitchen. These candy corn napkins were so cute and perfect little accent for my muffins and tea as clients arrived. The bronze metal floral container was under $20! Both are from Home Goods.

In the interest of being healthy and accommodating diet restrictions these days, I have come up with a way to make my favorite pumpkin muffin gluten free.

I simply adjust the flour and the soda for gluten free ingredients.

Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur have SO many options. I also ALWAYS use Libby's canned pumpkin. It just works and this is my go to brand. I would never consider changing it as the recipe is delicious! I literally just substituted the gluten free sources for my exact recipe. My daughter (who is gluten free) was very excited and they came out great!

My recipe ( and cookbook ) are literally over 30 years old. As you can see there is NO cover on the book and it is covered with Aunt Peggy gave it to me a million years ago. It was the Hadassah Westchester cookbook. Little did I know where Westchester was and never did I imagine I would be living in the neighborhood where this lady contributed the recipe. It has made the rounds for years in my home and graced my clients Thanksgiving table for 18 me its good:)!

Here's the recipe....enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread/ Muffins


3 cups flour, unsifted

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

3 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

2 Cups sugar

2 Cups canned pumpkin

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 vegetable oil

I split the recipe and add chocolate chips to half and raisins to the other half of the batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease two 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pans or 2 mini muffin pans. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Mix well. Pour into bake for 1 hour for loaves or approx 15-20 min for muffins.

As I mentioned above I have decided to forgo all orange pumpkins this year! I'm decorating all my outdoor spaces with white pumpkins for a change. For a quick weekend dinner I decorated my table with a little Halloween theme. Lots of black and white and a touch of fall plants and herbs.

I always make butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving, but decided to start the first batch once I felt that chill in the air! I served it as a first course in mini hollowed out pumpkins.

Believe it or not, about a dozen years ago I styled a Thanksgiving commercial for one of the major networks for the big holiday football games...and this was the opening shot on the dinner table....same soup served in mini pumpkins. I thought it was time to bring it back!:)

My client's will have a fantastic caterer for Thanksgiving... and we will be having a beautiful tablescape this year -while I can't give away too much... this will definitely be part of the plan in mini white pumpkins!!

Adapted from Epicurious

Serves 10


5 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)

2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)

1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

1/2 teaspoon chopped sage leaves

5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth

1 1/2 cups apple cider

2/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

Chopped fresh chives


Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pan. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)Bring soup to simmer. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives.

I have always loved my Mackenzie Childs dishes and with a touch of purple and orange they made a fun weekend table.

Not sure if Witchie Poo caught my eye because she was turned upside down or I liked the boots, but she added a little fun to the table!

Here is a close up of my "indoor" pumpkins. This will be part of my personal dining tablescape for Thanksgiving. Can't wait to show you the table...the linens are from the newest Ceci, Nuage linen collection. I can't wait to see it all together. Stay tuned!

Hope your fall is off to a good start and this pumpkin blog was a little sweet inspiration for your entertaining and decorating this season. Eat, drink and enjoy!!!

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