Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Tis Autumn! Inspired By Our Beautiful Autumn Colors - Pumpkins, Pumpkin Roll & ATCs

Autumn has been mild with the past month filled with beautiful swirling leaves of rust, gold, and red. Little plump orange pumpkins grew happily in my garden all summer long (about that only vegetable that grew successfully with the heat wave) and are now making their way into my kitchen for baking. This smorgasbord of color has inspired my autumn art of ATCs: Autumn Leaf Babies and Singing Leaf Girls. I also made several Autumn Tree tags for a friend of mine as a part of her art centerpiece she donated to be auctioned for an inner city ministry Fall Event benefit she's involved with. I'll post them later after she receives them.

Today I'm busy with house cleaning and baking my home grown pumpkins (sorry Libby's) for making Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes, and my festive Pumpkin Roll. My youngest daughter has been baking and filling the house with delicious aromas. She has plans for preparing her first Thanksgiving meal next week and has been trying lots of recipes, even making up some of her own. She won't even let me know some of the ingredients!

Baking home grown pumpkins is easy. The best pumpkins for baking are the small sugar pumpkins approximately 4-6 inches diameter. All it takes is washing off the out side with warm water (no soap), removing the stem, carefully cutting them in half or fourths (all fingers need to remain on hand), scraping out the seeds and all that stringy, dangly, slimy stuff, then place cut-side down in a oven baking dish, the 13x9 kind or cake pan ( I used a cake pan), add an inch or so of water and bake for 45-90 minuets at 350 degrees. Cool and then scrap out the cooked pumpkin with a spoon, no knife needed for this part, then mash or puree thoroughly and use as called for in the recipe. This can be frozen for future use too.

Another way to cook the pumpkin is to bake it whole for 30-40 minutes at 300 degrees. After that, take it out of the oven and let it cool a half hour, then stab or poke it a bit to release built up steam. Cut the pumpkin in half or quarters and continue baking for 45 minuets at 350 degrees, or until completely soft.

Here's my recipe for my Pumpkin Roll. If you make it and enjoy it, please, let me know. :-)

Pumpkin Roll

Preheat oven 375 degrees

1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
(instead of using individual spices, substitute 2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice)

Nut Topping:
1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar

1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
5 1/3 TBSP butter, softened at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla

Step 1
3 eggs - beat on high speed for 5minutes, eggs will look thick and pale
then GRADUALLY add in granulated sugar
next fold in pumpkin puree, lemon juice, and vanilla extract

Step 2
in a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt
fold into pumpkin mixture

Step 3
line a 13 X 9 cookie sheet with wax paper
spread pumpkin batter evenly over the wax paper on cookie sheet
sprinkle batter with sugar pecan mixture (sugar pecan mixture is optional, I don’t add nuts some times)
bake for 15 minutes

Step 4
turn out on a clean dish towel, wait a couple of minutes and then gently peel off the waxed paper
while still hot, start on the longest edge side, roll up in the towel and allow to completely cool

Step 5
combine filling ingredients and beat until smooth, keep at room temperature
after sponge roll is completely cook, gently unroll
fill with a generous layer of icing and roll back up and chill
dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving

I love this quote. There are some things such as family traditions we do over and over, every year, such as my Pumpkin Roll:
There is something about saying, 'We always do this,' which helps keep the years together. Time is such an elusive thing that if we keeping meaning to do something, but never do it, year would follow year with no special thoughtfulness being expressed in making gifts, surprises, charming table settings, and familiar food. Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts.
~Edith Schaeffer~
New art inspired by Autumn: 

Autumn Leaf Babies
"W" is for wind, "R" is for rustling, "H" is for harvest, 
"A" is for autumn, "L" is for leaf

Singing Leaf Girls
"Willing" and "Sing" 

Happy Autumn!!!

The images I used:

"Wind" Baby image: from Sanny - Be Creative Be Happy - her little 2008 Happy New Year girl.

"Rustling" Baby image: from Carol Anne - Carol Anne's Boutique - her little Magdalene.

"Harvest" Baby image: from Carol Anne - Carol Anne's Boutique - her little Baby Elsa.

1st "Autumn" Baby image: from Stacy - Primarily Primitives - the little sister of her brother/sister photo.

"Leaf" Baby image: from Jamie - Art-e-ology - her little Treasure girl.

2nd "Autumn" Baby with acorn cap image: from Jamie - Art-e-ology - her little Cutie girl.

"Willing" Singing Leaf girl image: from Viola - her plaid dress girl.

"Sing" Singing Leaf girl image: from Kerry - The Graphic Addict - the older sister on the right of her three sweet siblings.


  1. I love these! Thank you for stopping by my blog, you can use my images anytime :)

  2. Wow, your ATC's are beautiful, I am honored that you used 2 of my images!
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog...hope you will visit again sometime!
    Carol Anne

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. We do have much in common. Love your blog and your art. My art has been my passion really all my life, but I just got back to it a few years ago. I have acquired another passion in the past few months, hiking. So I have to balance my time between both my passions and work and my husband. He enjoys hiking too and loves my art, so life is soooo good. Hope we can meet some day, maybe at the ocean :-)

  4. These ATCs are all so wonderful, love them! :)
    Thanks for letting me know.


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"I had always felt life first as a story and if there is a story there is a storyteller."
~G. K. Chesterton~

"The heart, like the mind, has a memory. And in it are kept the most precious keepsakes."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~