Pumpkin + Pasta = Perfection!

As much as I love pumpkin spice scones, pumpkin cream cheese muffins and pumpkin pie, the fat fall squash is superb in savory dishes. I could eat quarts of its homemade bisque. But for a more toothsome Friday night meal,  I decided to try pumpkin in an alfredo-style sauce served over homemade fettucine. Most of the recipes I found seemed a little bland for my garlic addiction, so this is what I came up with. It is THE dish to eat while wearing comfy lounge pants, btw. Well, one of the dishes anyhow. I have several which rival one another for that coveted distinction. 

Caramelized Onion Pumpkin “Alfredo”  
*These are approximations* I don’t measure as I go unless I’m following a recipe. 

 1/4 cup chopped onions 

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Whole stick of butter

8 oz pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

2 pinches of nutmeg

1/4 tspn white pepper

Salt to taste

4 oz. whipped cream cheese

4 oz. milk

Melt half the stick of butter in a small pan on medium heat and add onions. Lower heat to low or med. low. Once onions are translucent add garlic. While these are caramelizing, melt other half of butter in a pot over medium heat. Add pumpkin, cream cheese, nutmeg, white pepper (and salt if desired). Reduce heat. Stir until smooth and then mix in onion-garlic mixture. Gradually stir in milk until desired consistency is reached and allow to heat a few more minutes while stirring. Serve over freshly cooked fettucine. Top with fresh basil, parmesan, or whatever you desire. 🙂 

Wild Orchids 

For last few years, I’ve kept tabs on a native orchid that I found growing on the underside of a sideways Magnolia tree. Seeing orchids in the wild is exciting, even if they aren’t rare. These Green Fly orchids (Epidendrum magnoliae) appear so delicate, almost magical. I imagine fairies would like them. A wetlands biologist told me they smell like honey at night. How fitting. 

Autumn Birthday Celebration

Our favorite time of the year kicks off with our daughter’s birthday in October. We keep birthdays simple with just a few decorations and the cupcake flavor of her choice. Target had the wooden oval banner pieces in their dollar section so I just printed letters and glued them on. I also added letters to some leftover burlap. The leaves are also from Target. The highlight was SMORE’S cupcakes, which were so yummy.

I used the cupcake recipe from here but instead of making the meringue topping, I made marshmallow cream from Alton Brown’s recipe. As soon as the concoction was whipped thick, I put it in a plastic bag and piped it onto each cupcake. A quick torching browned them nicely.