The leaves are turning, the air is cold and crisp, and the pumpkins are perfectly plump. It is officially fall in Eugene, Oregon. This past weekend was the perfect time to go to the pumpkin patch, which is exactly what my roommates and I did. We decided to ditch the University of Oregon campus and check out Thistledown Farm in Junction City, Oregon. The staff of Thistledown were exceptionally friendly, the cider was extra delicious, the locally grown produce was Slow Food approved, and the horse-drawn ride to the pumpkin fields were absolutely nostalgic. It was a great way to spend a fall afternoon.
After carving my pumpkin, of course I had to toast the seeds. Toasted pumpkin seeds are one of my all-time favorite fall traditions. At the same time, one of my roommates was whipping up some pumpkin spice muffins topped with cream cheese frosting. Naturally, our house smelt like a dream as we indulged in our yummy autumn treats. Even better, she used the easiest recipe in the entire world, so I had to share it! Eat up Slow Foodies!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:
1. carve your pumpkin, separate the seeds, and wash them in a strainer
2. spread evenly on oil-coated cookie sheet
3. sprinkle salt on top
4. Bake at 375 for about 12-15 minutes, or until light brown
If you feel a little more daring, fun variations of toasted pumpkin seeds can be found at 101cookbooks.
Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins (makes about 12 muffins)
1 box spice cake mix
1 15 ounce can pumpkin pure
1. Mix both ingredients together (Do not add water!) The mix will be very thick.
2. Line muffin tins and pour batter 2/3 of the way full
3. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes
This recipe was adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese (I prefer fat-free)
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Mix butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes.
2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar until desired sweetness
3. Spread on your muffins!
This recipe was adapted from Simply Recipes.