Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pumpkin Puree, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pie Spice

Did you grow pumpkins in your garden or pick up some pie pumpkins at the pumpkin patch or super market? How about making some fresh pumpkin puree for your favorite holiday pumpkin recipes?

Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe

Select ripe and firm small or medium pumpkins. (Bigger pumpkins can have a grainy texture)

Cut open the pumpkin and remove the seeds and fibrous strings.

Cut the pumpkin into four to eight pieces.

Line a large baking pan aluminum foil.

Place the pumpkin pieces, rind side up, onto the baking pan.

Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for one to 1 1/2 hours, or until pulp is soft.

Scoop the soft pulp from the rind with a spoon. Discard the rind.

Use a potato masher, blender, or food processor to mash the pulp into a smooth texture.

You need to eliminate as much water content as possible. Place the puree into a cheesecloth and drain. Squeeze out excess water.

Now you are ready to bake those delicious desserts! Make a yummy pumpkin pie or these pumpkin muffins!

I just baked these Pumpkin Muffins and they are some of the best muffins I've ever tasted, especially warm from the oven! The cinnamon sugar topping blends with the pumpkin for flavorful moist muffins.

Pumpkin Muffins

From Gourmet November 2006

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-oz can) or use 1 cup of fresh pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp Watkins Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Watkins Cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Equipment: 12 foil or paper muffin liners; a muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups
If you don't have paper muffin liners, lightly butter the muffin pan cups.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put liners in muffin cups.

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Add chopped nuts and mix.

Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.

Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about 3/4 full), then spinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

Watkins Pumpkin Pie Spice is on sale this month. Order some now for your holiday baking!

Watkins Cinnamon is on special too!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Watkins Nutmeg - Old-Fashioned Spice Bars

Capture the essence of the holidays with Watkins pure ground Nutmeg (05206). The intoxicating aroma enhances traditions like eggnog, custard, hot drinks, spiced cookies and baked goods.

This collector's edition tin is based on artwork from the 1920's and beautifully displays our premium-grade nutmeg. Regularly $12.99 USD/$17.99 CAD
SAVE $3.00 USD/$5.00 CAD through the month of October!

Use Nutmeg in

Baked goods
Cheese, egg, fish and poultry dishes
Whipped cream topping
Boiled vegetables
Cream soups
Ice cream
Sweet potatoes
Hot Milk
Sweet doughs

Did You Know?

  • Nutmeg comes from the seed of a peach like fruit of an evergreen tree that is native to Moluccas, or Spice Islands.
  • Nutmeg is one of the oldest spices; it has been cultivated for over 1,000 years.
  • Grenada is known as 'The Nutmeg Isle' because of the amount of nutmeg that is cultivated each year.
  • Connecticut is known as the Nutmeg State.

Old-Fashioned Spice Bars

Fall is the perfect time of year to warm up your home with the fragrant scents of nutmeg and pure ground spices. This recipe will quickly become one of your favorite autumn desserts.

1 cup/250 mL raisins
1 cup/250 mL hot water
1/2 cup/125 mL Watkins Original Grapeseed Oil
1 cup/250 mL sugar
1 egg
1-3/4 cup/425 mL flour
1 tsp/5 mL baking soda
1 tsp/5 mL Watkins Cinnamon
1/2 tsp/2.5 mL Watkins Nutmeg
1/2 tsp/2.5 mL Watkins Allspice
1/2 tsp/2.5 mL Watkins Cloves (Ground)
1/4 tsp/1.2 mL salt
1/2 cup/125 mL chopped walnuts or other nuts of your choice


3 cups/750 mL powdered sugar
1/2 cup/125 mL vegetable shortening
1 tsp/5 mL Watkins Original Double-Strength Vanilla
Milk as needed for texture

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Combine raisins and hot water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, add oil and set aside to rehydrate raisins. Place sugar and egg in mixing bowl; combine until smooth. Sift flour, soda, spices and salt together; add to sugar and egg mixture. Stir in water/oil/raisin mixture; add nuts. Pour batter into a jelly roll pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine icing ingredients: mix powdered sugar and shortening. Add vanilla and a teaspoon of milk at a time while beating. Frost bars while still warm (not hot).

Monday, October 01, 2007

Around the Kitchen Table - Watkins Newsletter - October 1, 2007 Issue

Welcome to another issue of Around the Kitchen Table!

Autumn has officially arrived. The leaves are beginning to change color as the days grow cooler. The fall apple picking season will begin soon.

Our super special continues through October - Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Black Pepper - are all on sale!

Our 2007 Holiday Gifts and Entertaining Products are now available at our online catalog. Some of the new products include Holiday Sprinkles Set, Baked Potato Soup Mix, Snowflake Cookie Cutters, Mini Shower and Travel Kit, Mini Moisturizer Kit, Head to Toe Starter Kit, Roasted Garlic Snack and Dip Mix, and Country Gravy Mix. You'll find them under Gifts.

Recipes this issue include Slow-Cooked Praline Apple Crisp, Crock Pot Turkey Breast, Cranberry-Orange Pork Roast, Peppery Herbed Turkey Tenderloin, and Caramel Dip for Sliced Apples. If you have a slow cooker recipe to share, email me and I'll include it in the next issue.

If you are interested in starting your own Watkins Home Business get all the details at Watkins Business Details

Build your own home business so you can stay home with your family, save for your children's college fund, retire early, pay off bills, or save for retirement. With consistent effort you can build a thriving business! Let me help you.

Join Watkins to buy your favorite products at a discount, to earn part time income, or for a full time career. For details about Watkins, the Summit Group, Starter Kit Choices, and How to Sign Up online visit

Read this issue now:

Until next month,