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Recipes from our last Grow and Graze of 2019, Pumpkins and Sweet Potatoes

Harvest Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette


1 baking pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 ½-inch -thick slices

¼ cup melted butter

1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

⅓ cup balsamic vinegar

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 shallot, minced

6 cups salad greens

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup toasted pecans


Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

Place the pumpkin slices 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and garlic powder; evenly coat pumpkin slices with the butter mixture. Roast pumpkin for 20 minutes, or until tender.

Using a food processor, mix together the oil, vinegar, remaining salt, remaining pepper, bacon, and shallot until well blended.

In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with ¾ cup of the vinaigrette. Mound the greens on a serving plate, and top with roasted pumpkin. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the pumpkin, and top with the Parmesan cheese and pecans.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Curried Pumpkin Hummus



1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon curry

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Garnish: pepitas, (pumpkin seeds), paprika, olive oil, and fresh thyme 


In the work bowl of a food processor, combine pumpkin, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Add curry, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper; pulse to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with pepitas, paprika, olive oil and thyme, if desired. Serve immediately with toasted naan or pita chips or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  

Yield: Makes 10 servings

Pumpkin Chai Pots de Crème


1 cup whipping cream

1 cup whole milk

¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

6 large egg yolks

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup canned cooked pumpkin

⅓ cup strong brewed chai tea

2 teaspoons grated orange peel or Meyer lemon peel

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pumpkin seed brittle


Preheat oven to 325˚F (convection not recommended). In a 2-to3-quart pan over medium heat, stir cream, milk, and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks until light yellow. Add granulated sugar and whisk until blended. Gradually whisk a fourth of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then slowly whisk in remaining cream mixture and the pumpkin, chai, orange peel, and vanilla.

Divide mixture among six ramekins (¾ cup). Set in a 12- by 16-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Set pan in oven and pour in boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins.

Bake until custards barely jiggle when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Lift ramekins out of water and let cool on racks for 30 minutes, then chill until cold, at least 1 hour. Cover when cold.

Shortly before serving garnish with shards of pumpkin seed brittle.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Pumpkin Seed Brittle Recipe

1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo® light corn syrup
2 cups raw, shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp baking soda
Butter for the baking sheets (about 2 tbsp)
Candy thermometer
Prepare cookie sheets and measure all ingredients before starting to cook. You will not have time to measure ingredients in between steps. Butter two cookie sheets and place on a heat-resistant surface. Combine pepper, cinnamon, salt and baking soda and reserve in a small bowl. Once the sugar mixture is ready, you have to work quickly, so keep these readily accessible. A wooden spoon is best for this recipe.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, syrup and pumpkin seeds and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Clip the candy thermometer in place and continue to cook, stirring frequently to keep seeds from burning on the bottom of the pan. Watch carefully when mixture turns light amber and you can smell the sugar starting to caramelize.
When the temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads, work quickly. Add the spice/baking soda mixture and stir to combine (mixture will foam up). Pour the mixture immediately onto the two cookie sheets, put the pan aside, and spread with the wooden spoon to distribute the seeds and foaming syrup. Continue to spread until the syrup is no longer foaming. Some recipes say to use two forks to further thin and stretch the mixture, or if desired you can wait a few moments for it to cool and use buttered fingers to stretch the candy slightly. Please use caution! This requires perfect timing. Too soon and you’ll burn your fingers. Too late and the candy will already be set, which simply results in a thicker brittle and does not affect the quality of the candy.
When cool, break into pieces and immediately store in an airtight container.


Maple Sweet Potato Bread Pudding


1 ½ pounds small sweet potatoes, or 3 large sweet potatoes

5 eggs

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1 cup maple syrup, plus additional for serving, warmed

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 (1 pound) loaf challah bread, cut into 1 ½- to 2-inch cubes (12 packed cups)

Ice cream or whipped cream


Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and bake until tender when pricked with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Carefully unwrap the foil and let them stand until they are cool enough to handle. Remove the skins and place the cooked sweet potatoes in a bowl. Mash coarsely using a potato masher. Lower the oven temperature to 375˚F.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the cream, milk, the 1 cup maple syrup, the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Add the bread cubes and stir to mix thoroughly. Let stand for 15 minutes for the bread to soak up the liquid, stirring occasionally. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Pour the bread mixture into the dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until the pudding is set in the center, 50 minutes to an hour. Uncover the baking dish and cook until browned on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with the warm maple syrup and topped with ice cream or whipped cream

Yield: Makes 9 to 12 servings

Linda Alexander

Pictures by Linda and Starla Willis

Thankfulness 2014

Our industrious group has had two bake sales in the last two months to raise money for our new garden: The Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills.   It takes a lot of planning, baking, and w-o-r-k to pull off these events.

Sue. Elizabeth, and Linda, Cooking and Planning

Sue. Elizabeth, and Linda, Cooking and Planning

We would like to thank many of  you for supporting us by sending you these recipes for your holiday feasts.

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins


1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup canned pumpkin

½ cup butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 apple peeled and finely chopped (Granny Smith, Pink Lady etc.)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 Tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 350°.

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Fold in diced apples. Scoop batter into greased muffin tin filling 2/3 full.
  3. Mix together 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 2 tablespoons sugar and sprinkle over top of muffin batter.
  4. Bake muffins at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes or until done in center. Cool slightly and serve.


October 2014 Dallas County Master Gardener Craft Fair

October 2014 Dallas County Master Gardener Craft Fair

Pumpkin-Pistachio Breakfast Bread

A yummy holiday bread that’s worthy of gift giving.


1 ½ cups butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

3 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 ½ cups canned mashed pumpkin

1 cup raisins

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 ½ cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

  1. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl; add to butter mixture alternately with pumpkin, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in raisins and vanilla.
  2. Spread batter into a greased and floured 13” x 9” pan; sprinkle with Pistachio Topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
  3. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk in a small bowl until smooth, using a wire whisk. Using whisk, drizzle cream cheese mixture over cake.

Yield: 12 servings


Pictures by Starla

For more Thanksgiving recipes refer to: Farewell to the Field and More Recipes from Farewell to the Field






Layered Pumpkin Pie in a Jar

imageLayered Pumpkin Pie in a Jar


For the graham cracker crust layer:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the whippy cream cheese layer and finishing dollop of sweetened whipped cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the pumpkin layer:

1 cup milk

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling)

2 packages (4-serving size) Jell-O vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Optional:  semi-sweet chocolate shavings to sprinkle over the top image Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the mixing bowl and beaters for beating the cream into the freezer to chill.

For the graham cracker crust layer:

1. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Then add the melted butter and stir until evenly moistened.  Spread mixture in a 9” x 13” pan and bake for 5 minutes.  Stir and bake for another minute or two, or until crumbs are fragrant and nicely browned.  Be careful not to burn.  Remove from oven and let cool completely while you prepare the other pie layers.

For the whippy cream cheese layer and finishing dollop of sweetened cream: 1. Using your chilled bowl and beater, whip the cream until stiff.  Add the powdered sugar and beat just to combine.  Remove sweetened whipped cream to another bowl and set it in the refrigerator.  Add the cream cheese to the same chilled bowl and cream until very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Blend in vanilla.  Now add half of the sweetened whipped cream back into the chilled bowl with the cream cheese, gently folding to thoroughly combine.  Place the bowl of whippy cream cheese and the remaining half of the sweetened whipped cream back into the refrigerator to stay chilled.

For the pumpkin layer:

1. Pour the milk into a large bowl.  Add the pumpkin, pudding mixes, and spices.  Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes, or until very well blended.  The mixture should be quite thick.

2. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip (ex. Ateco No. 808) with the whippy cream cheese mixture.  Pipe a layer of this mixture onto the bottom of a jar, starting at the perimeter of the jar and working to the center.  Lightly tap the jar on a towel (so jar doesn’t break) on the counter, to settle the mixture in.  Repeat this step with the rest of the jars.

3. Sprinkle the whippy cream cheese layer with 2 tablespoons of baked graham cracker crumbs.  Lightly tap the jar again to even out the crumbs.  Repeat with the rest of the jars.

4. Using the same large plain round tip, fill another pastry bag with the pumpkin pudding mixture.  Pipe this mixture onto graham cracker crust layer, in the same manner as the first whippy cream cheese layer.  Lightly tap again and repeat with the rest of the jars.

5. Add a dollop of the reserved sweetened whippy cream (without the added cream cheese) to the top of each pie with a spoon, or pipe a more refined swirl using the same large plain round tip.  Finish with a sprinkling of graham cracker crust and chocolate shavings, if desired. image *If transporting jars with their lids screwed on, allow for whipping cream not to get smashed when lid is added.

*These jars of pie can easily be made the day prior to serving. Better if chilled overnight.

Yield: 10 to 12 jars of pie


Pumpkin Cheese Ball

A “sure to delight” treat for festive gatherings.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball


2 (8-ounce) blocks extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (8-ounce) container chive-and-onion cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

1 broccoli stalk

Red and green apple wedges


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl until blended.  Cover and chill 4 hours or until mixture is firm enough to be shaped.

2.  Shape mixture into a ball to resemble a pumpkin.  Smooth entire outer surface with a frosting spatula or table knife.  Make vertical grooves in ball, if desired, using fingertips.

3. Cut florets from broccoli stalk, and reserve for another use.  Cut stalk to resemble a pumpkin stem, and press into top of cheese ball.  Serve cheese ball with apple wedges.

Yield:  Makes 16 Appetizer Servings

*Note: To make ahead, wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap without stalk, and store in refrigerator up to 2 days.  Attach stalk before serving.


Adapted from Southern Living Annual Recipes

Adam’s Autumn Biscuits

In a 1994 River Road Cookbook these biscuits are described as golden towers of light flaky pastries that belie their humble beginnings.  Louisiana “alchemists” can indeed turn lead into gold. 

Pumkin Biscuits


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup butter, chilled and cut into small bits

One 16-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree

½ cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons 1%, or less, buttermilk

½ cup brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixing bowl.  Using a pastry blender or food processor, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse meal.  Add pumpkin and raisins.  

3. Pat the dough into ½ inch thickness on a well-floured surface.  Cut out using a floured 1-inch cutter.

4.  Place biscuits on baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Brush biscuits with milk and top with ½ teaspoon brown sugar per biscuit.

5.  Bake 10 – 15 minutes or until done.

Yield: 24 biscuits


Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

Soul-satisfying contentment with a little “kick”! Pumkin Soup, Dallas Garden Buzz   Ingredients:

2 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 cups chicken broth

1 large baking potato, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups milk

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Garnishes: sour cream, fresh cilantro sprig, toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions: 1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, jalapeno pepper, and garlic; sauté 15 minutes.  Add chicken broth and next 4 ingredients; cook, stirring often, 30 minutes or until potato is tender.  Remove from heat, and let cool slightly (about 5 to 10 minutes).

2. Process potato mixture, pumpkin, and cilantro, in batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

3. Return to Dutch oven; stir in milk, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Stir in lime juice; garnish, if desired.

Yield: 10 cups

Review your pumpkin facts here.


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