This is my last fall in Chicago. Although, I’m super excited to finally be in a place where it makes sense to move back home to CA, I’m already so nostalgic for my favorite season here. Sad face. Is it everybody’s favorite season, everywhere? It should be. It’s especially beautiful here when the weather starts to change and your steps get a little more hurried in anticipation of all that is to come- falling leaves, holidays, snow, etc. This year, in an effort to really take it all in I’m celebrating this season’s staple crop: pumpkin.
At the top of my “Must Do Once More Before Moving” bucket list was visiting my favorite pumpkin patch, Kuipers Family Farm. Kuipers is an apple orchard, pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm all on one. It’s the best.
Every year the Lovey and I along with friends ’til the end, T&J, load up the car and make the 45 minute trek out to the small town where Kuipers is located. Lovey and J mostly come for the amazing donuts and apple cider slushies (yup, it’s a thing), but I think they’ve secretly developed a fondness for it too.
After gorging on slushies and donuts we always pick up a few pumpkins. They have all kinds. Pumpkins for decorating. Pumpkins for baking. And, of course, pumpkins for carving. This year I also picked up a Christmas ornament to help keep the memory of this special place alive when we are in CA and can no longer visit. I’ve gotten into the habit of collecting ornaments as souvenirs. They make for a fun looking Christmas tree and it’s always nice to relive the memories of the places we have visited. Do you do something like that? What mementos do you collect?
3 ways: PUMPKIN
1. Candied Pumpkin
I was inspired to cook some candied pumpkin up by my mother. Every fall she shares her fond memories about my great grandmothers candied pumpkin. My whole life the idea of cooking a pumpkin just didn’t make sense. You carve pumpkins, you don’t eat them. I also didn’t eat avocados. What an idiot! Candied pumpkin is AHMMAZZING! I got to use a new ingredient, piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) and I kept the syrup and put it on top of vanilla ice cream. That was a good week.
2. Pumpkin Biscuits
I love the decadence of a biscuit. They are not something that I ever have at home but you better believe I always talk the Lovey into sharing a side with gravy when we make out to brunch. This version is sweet and does not pair well with poached eggs. It does, however, pair well with vanilla ice cream. You for sure will scream for a pumpkin biscuit topped with vanilla ice cream.
3. Pumpkin Smoothie
Okay, so far we’ve been a little (read: appropriately-A LOT) indulgent. But this recipe for a pumpkin smoothie will only feel indulgent. Reminiscent of one of my seasonal favorites a Pumpkin Creme Frappuccino, this one swaps out the “frap” for soy milk and Greek yogurt.
Indulge without the guilt.
Thanks for reading and sharing!