Tag Archives: food

Halloween Cookie Recipe: Pumpkin Cutout Cookies


Did you know that October is National Cookie Month? Last year for the occasion, I wanted to send each of my sisters a care package with a cute little owl card and some pumpkin cutout cookies. Not only did I want my cookies to look like pumpkins, I wanted them to be made with pumpkin as well. I searched around but could not find a recipe that was well reviewed, so I came up with my own!


For  Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Libby’s Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
For Icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring
  1. Beat together sugar, pumpkin, and butter. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. beat flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Move to a well-floured surface and knead in any remaining mixture and additional flour if necessary to form a semi-workable dough.  The dough will be pretty sticky coming straight from the bowl.  Shape into ball, cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough into desired shapes.
  4. Bake 14 minutes or until cookies are light in color, and do not indent when pressed in the center. Do not over-bake (I use air-bake pans.  This helps keep the bottoms of the cookies from burning).  Cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Combine together powdered sugar, milk, and remaining vanilla extract in a small bowl. Mix well and add desired food coloring. Frost cookies and enjoy!

This year, when I made these cookies, I decided to use fondant frosting.  I rolled it out and used the same cookie cutter that I had used to make the cookies.  I don’t have a secret recipe for fondant, I just found one on Allrecipes.com and used gel food coloring.  I still used the frosting recipe in this post to adhere the fondant to the cookies.  See the finished product below!  Also if you are looking for a card send along with these yummy cookies, check out my shop:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElationGreetings


Tons of Tomatoes? Make Marinara!


This year was my first attempt at a garden, and I am happy to say that for the most part it was a success!  One thing that I learned is that one tiny tomato plant  produces lots and lots of tomatoes.  I also learned that they all ripen right around the same time!  When deciding what to do with all of these red beauties (along with a few from our produce delivery service), I felt that marinara was a natural choice.  Home-made marinara is another first for me.  I did a little research, and with the help of my husband came up with a tasty recipe that has a little bit of everything.  Here is what we did:


  • 3 lb Tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Large Mushrooms, Stemmed and Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1/3 Cup Spinach, Sliced into Strips
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Divided
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar*
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Preheat your grill on medium heat.  Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the stems.  Using 2 tablespoons olive oil, brush the cut side of each tomato.  Place the tomatoes cut side down on the grill and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.  The skin will start to wrinkle and turn brown at the ends and should be easy to take off.  Remove the tomatoes from the grill and remove the skins.
Meanwhile, in a large pot heat the olive oil on medium.  Add the onions and saute until they start to caramelize.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, spinach, and oregano and cook for 5 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with the red wine.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, sugar*, and 1 tablespoon fresh basil.  Bring to a simmer and cook on low, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon of basil just before serving.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
* Note that a few of our tomatoes were slightly under-ripe.  If you are using fresh, fully ripe tomatoes, you may not need to use the sugar.
I hope you enjoy!