Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater...

...had a wife and couldn't keep her. Put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.

I can assure you that any of these three authors are BIG fans of pumpkin, and this "unsavory" nursery rhyme scenario might not be a bad gig for us. From well before Halloween to much after Christmas, we're finding ways to sneak pumpkin into our baking, cooking, and snacking. And why not? It's one of nature's perfect foods. High fiber, low fat, Vitamin A and antioxidant rich and shelf-stable in a can, pumpkin works perfectly as a sweet or savory dish. If you're the gardening type, they are easy to grow and will inevitably produce more than you can carve, cook, eat, and admire. Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl.
Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread (for graham crackers, bagels, or ginger snaps)


1 - 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Makes 1-1/2 cups (24, 1-tablespoon servings). Can also be shaped into a ball as a sweet "cheese ball".

Pumpkin Mushroom Soup with Curry


1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. curry powder
3 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. honey
dash nutmeg
1 (1 lb.) can pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk

Saute mushrooms and onions in butter.  Add curry and flour, stir.  Add broth gradually.  Add everything but milk, cook, stirring 10-15 minutes.  Add milk, heat through witjout boiling.  Top with cream cheese or yogurt, if desired.  Serves 6.

Pumpkin Seeds


2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.

Add your own preference to this nutty flavor with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, etc. for a tasty treat.

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