Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Found this recipe when I was finally inspired to use the canned pumpkin from the prior year Thanksgiving. Cake-y and pumpkin-y with a smear of sweet cream cheese frosting these are a great cookie to make for Thanksgiving, Christmas or especially a Christmas Cookie Exchange. Plus we had extra canned pumpkin which our infant daughter Abby liked much more than purred carrots – such a gourmand.


Pumpkin Spice Cookies Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter (Sweet Cream Salted)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Ginger
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter (Sweet Cream Salted)
  • 8 oz. block of Cream Cheese
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon


  1. In a mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  2. Add eggs and pumpkin and mix well. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and fold into cookie batter. Mix until well blended. At this point you can add the nuts if you like.
  3. Use two spoons to drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto a cookie sheet. (Two sheets with a dozen per sheet)
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. Switch sheets top to bottom half way through. 
  5. While cookies bake – make the frosting. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixer until blended. Add powered sugar a cup at a time and continue to mix until sugar is incorporated. Finally, add cinnamon.
  6. Allow cookies to cool completely before applying frosting. 

Recipe source: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/pumpkin-spice-cookies/


Blackberry Ice Cream

Our toddler son Emmett loves any kind of fruit he can get his hands on. So when we discovered a blackberry thicket growing on the side of a retaining wall mere blocks from our house, he was in heaven. Multiple times a week during the summer he would lead us on a walk to pick blackberries for his morning walk and mid-morning snack. As the summer reached its peak there was such an abundance we would all collect an extra handful or two to wash and freeze for later. By the end of the season we had multiple pints of fresh frozen berries in our freezer and I was inspired on a hot August weekend to put them to good use.


  • 2 pints fresh blackberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate (chopped)


  1. Combine the blackberries, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over high heat until the blackberries are broken down and syrupy, about 20 minutes. (If you’ve ever made any kind of fruit jam, it’s the exact same process.)
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Using a whisk or spoon, force out as much of the deep purple liquid as you can, and then set it aside to cool. (Compost the blackberry pulp and seeds.)
  3. Wash the strainer – you’ll need it again later
  4. Heat the half-and-half and remaining 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile, using a whisk, beat the egg yolks until pale and thick.
  6. Temper the eggs by splashing a small amount of the warm cream into the yolks, whisking constantly. (This is an important step, make sure the cream is warm but not boiling. They key to tempering is to get the egg yolks warm enough so they mix with the warm cream to make a base the custard rather scrambled egg yolk suspended in cream)
  7. Pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan, stirring gently. Cook over medium-low heat until thick, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Don’t let the custard boil, small simmering bubbles on the sides will happen as you get close. (your custard base is ready when you can coat the back of a wooden spoon, run your finger through the liquid and it doesn’t fill behind)
  8. Remove the custard from heat and strain it into a second glass bowl to let it cool for 5-10 min (for best results cool in an ice bath to halt the cooking process as fast possible.
  9. While the custard is cooling, fold the heavy cream into the bowl with the cooled berry jam base
  10. Finally, fold in the cooled custard base
  11. Cover and refrigerate this mixture until cool. (4-24 hours)
  12. Freeze the mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. My cuisinart was about 15 minutes of churning. (Add the chopped chunks of semi-sweet chocolate at this point if you want to go that route. I love it both ways so I usually sprinkle them on top of an individual serving)
  13. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and allow it to harden overnight.

    Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/blackberry-chip-ice-cream-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Creole Seasoning


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Mix and use

Smoked Turkey Gumbo

An adaptation of Emeril Lagasse


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 cups sliced andouille sausage
  • 2 quarts stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and cayenne
  • 2 Tablespoons Creole spice (see Emeril’s creole seasoning recipe)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey meat (I left overs from Thanksgiving or when I hickory smoke a turkey)
  • Steamed rice, for serving
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish


  1. In a large soup pot slowly heat oil and flour together over low heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes a nutty brown color and is very fragrant; be careful not to burn. 
  2. Add onions, pepper and celery and cook, stirring, 4 minutes. 
  3. Add garlic and andouille and cook 5 minutes, until some fat releases from sausage. 
  4. Add stock, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons salt, cayenne and Creole spice to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. 
  5. Add turkey and simmer 30 minutes more. 
  6. Adjust seasonings and serve with hot steamed rice and a generous sprinkle of green onions.

Crispy Potato Latkes


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and shredded
  • 1/2cup grated onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • Vegetable oil


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. Toss potatoes, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl. Place half of potato mixture in center of dish towel. Gather ends together and twist tightly to drain as much liquid as possible into bowl and repeat process with remaining potato mixture. Set potato liquid aside and let stand so starch settles to bottom, at least 5 minutes.

2. Cover potato mixture and microwave until just warmed through but not hot, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring mixture with fork every 30 seconds. Spread potato mixture evenly over second rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes. Don’t wash out bowl.

3. Pour off water from reserved potato liquid, leaving potato starch in the bowl. Add eggs and stir until smooth. Return cooled potato mixture to the bowl. Add parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and potato starch mixture and toss until evenly combined.

4. Set wire rack in clean rimmed baking sheet and line with triple layer of paper towels. Heat 1/4-inch depth of oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking (350 degrees). Place 1/4-cup mound of potato mixture in oil and press with nonstick spatula into 1/3-inch-thick disk. Repeat until 5 latkes are in pan. Cook, adjusting heat so fat bubbles around latke edges, until golden brown on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until golden brown on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Drain on paper towels and transfer to baking sheet in oven. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding oil to maintain 1/4-inch depth and returning oil to 350 degrees between batches. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Cooled latkes can be covered loosely with plastic wrap and held at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Alternatively, they can be frozen on baking sheet until firm, transferred to zipper-lock bag, and frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat latkes in 375-degree oven until crisp and hot, 3 minutes per side for room-temperature latkes and 6 minutes per side for frozen latkes.

Sunday Chili

Adam Grossman’s Sunday Chili
Cook time: 3 hours on stove

Prep Time: 1 Hour


  • 2 oz. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (1 inch chunks – optional)
  • 3 bell peppers – yellow, red, green (strips)
  • 2 Serrano chilies (diced)
  • 5 green chilies (diced)
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes or 26.5 oz. canned diced tomatoes (diced and peeled) 
  • 16 oz. red kidney beans
  • 12 oz. black beans
  • 12 oz. Cannelloni beans
  • 2 carrots (optional)
  • 2 potatoes (optional)


  • 1/2 cup Jim Beam bourbon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. chipotle powder
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 2 california bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika 
  • 1/4 tsp. all spice
  • 1 tsp. Ketchup


  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro


  1. In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in oil over medium-high heat until translucent (5 min.)
  2. Brown ground turkey for about (5-7 min.)
  3. Add bourbon and brown sugar, and allow the alcohol burn off (5-7 min.)
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add all peppers and cook until they begin to sweat (7-10 min.)
  5. Stir in all seasoning except for ketchup
  6. Stir in all tomatoes 
  7. Drain and wash canned beans and add them to the pot
  8. Cover and simmer on medium-low stirring occasionally to keep bottom from burning (~90 min.)
  9. Add potatoes, carrots and ketchup and continue simmering (~75 min.)
  10. Serve with cheese, sour cream and/or cilantro (and beer)

Butterscotch Pudding 

What You Need


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Large bowl
  • Whisk with a long handle
  • 4-quart saucepan
  • Shallow glass container with lid 
  • Fine mesh strainer (optional)
  • Plastic wrap or wax paper


  1. Make a cornstarch slurry: Whisk the cornstarch with the salt in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. (If you want to be sure you didn’t miss any lumps, reach into the bowl and gently rub out any lumps between your fingers.)
  2. Whisk in the egg yolks: Whisk in the egg yolks and set the bowl aside.
  3. Melt the butter and brown sugar: To make the butterscotch, melt the butter in a deep 4-quart pan set over medium-high heat. When it has melted completely, whisk in the sugar.
  4. Cook the butter and brown sugar: The sugar will look lumpy and grainy at first. Whisk vigorously with the butter. As it melts, it will smooth out and then become a liquid bubbling mass.
  5. Whisk the melted sugar until it emulsifies: You will see the melted butter pooling up around the sugar; keep whisking until the butter and brown sugar are smooth and homogenized.
  6. Cook just until smoke appears: Continue cooking the brown sugar until a small amount of smoke appears. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. (Be careful! The sugar is very hot.)
  7. Whisk in the cream: Slowly whisk in the cream. Be very careful as you do this; the cream and sugar will steam up violently. Whisk thoroughly. It is normal for the sugar to seize into small, hard bits as the cream is added. Return to low heat and continue whisking until the sugar has melted.
  8. Temper the cornstarch slurry: Add most of the hot butterscotch liquid to the bowl with the eggs and milk and whisk.
  9. Return to the pan and cook: Return the tempered slurry to the pan to cook. Raise the heat to medium-high. Whisk thoroughly and energetically (it’s a workout!) as it comes to a full, rolling boil.
  10. Boil for 2 minutes: Once the pudding comes to a full rolling boil, with popping bubbles of pudding, continue whisking and cook for 2 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and turn off the stove. Whisk in the vanilla.
  11. Strain into a container (optional): For smoothest results, strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer into a glass container. (This step is optional but it does make the pudding silkier.)
  12. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap or wax paper: This prevents a “pudding skin” from forming.
  13. Refrigerate for up to 3 days: Chill for at least an hour or up to 3 days.
  14. To serve, whip lightly: Whip lightly with a whisk or the paddle of a stand mixer to make the pudding extra creamy for spooning and serving.

Recipe Notes

Butterscotch flavor: Truly traditional butterscotch doesn’t get cooked quite to smoking. I like a hint of smokiness in my butterscotch, but if you prefer yours milder, then take the butter and brown sugar off the heat as it forms a bubbling, molten mass, and do not wait to see any smoke.

To serve: I love butterscotch pudding with whipped cream, of course, but also try it with creme fraîche and a sprinkle of salt or turbinado sugar.