Alabama Living Magazine

Whether as part of a main dish, in a dessert, or as a snack, the abundance of pumpkins this time of year is one of the many reasons October is a favorite month for many of us.

Cook of the Month: Ruby Christian, Franklin EC

Ruby Christian likes to experiment a lot with different recipes, and even though she doesn’t care for pumpkin all that much, she used a bit of pumpkin puree to flavor her winning “Sausage Pumpkin Pinwheels” recipe.  By the time she’d perfected the bite-size pastries, “I forgot it was pumpkin,” she said, laughing.  The biscuit-like treats are great for breakfast or for any get-together, says Ruby, who retired after 25 years as an engineering assistant with the state Department of Transportation. She also recommends dipping the pinwheels into a bit of ranch dressing for some extra zest.

Sausage Pumpkin Pinwheels

  • 2 2-ounce links mild Italian sausage
  • 1 17.3-ounce box of 2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed but cold
  • 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, divided
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped and divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 9×13-inch pans with parchment paper. Remove casing from sausage. In a small skillet, cook sausage over medium heat stirring until brown and crumbly, drain on paper towels. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry sheets and spread each sheet with 3 tablespoons pumpkin. Sprinkle each sheet with half the onions and cheese and gently press into pastry. Roll each sheet into a log, pinching seams together to seal. Cut each log into 12-slices. Place in pans. Bake about 10 minutes, turn over and bake 7 more minutes. Cool 20 minutes before serving. Yield: 24 servings.

Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 24 gingersnaps, 2-inch
  • 1/4 cup pecan halves or pieces


  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs


  • 1½ tablespoons honey 
  • ½ cup pecans

Crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use pulsing action of food processor to process gingersnaps and ¼ cup of pecans until finely crushed. Press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. 

Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add pumpkin, pie spice and vanilla. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each until just blended. Pour over the crust. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim. Cool before removing rim. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Topping: Cook honey and remaining pecans in skillet on medium heat 5 minutes or just until honey is foaming and mixture is heated through, stirring frequently.  Spread on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, using fork to separate nuts. Cool completely. Top cheesecake with glazed pecans before serving. 16 servings.

Nancy Sites Sizemore, Baldwin EMC

Pumpkin, Date and Nut Bread

  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 31/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 2/3 cup nuts, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dates, chopped

Cream sugar and shortening, add eggs then pumpkin and water. Sift dry ingredients and add to above mixture. Mix well and add dates and nuts. Spray two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. Divide mixture between pans. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Wanda H. Stinson, Pioneer EC

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

  • 1 ¾ cups flour, sifted
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the middle of the mixture and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and butter. Stir butterscotch chips and pecans into wet mixture. Pour wet mixture into the well of dry ingredients. Fold together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-mix. Spoon batter evenly into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Place on rack to cool. Makes 18 muffins. Cook’s note: 1 cup of canned pumpkin pie filling can be used in place of the canned pumpkin; omit pumpkin pie spice if substituting.

Jennifer Smith, Tallapoosa River EC

Pumpkin Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana (fresh if using frozen pumpkin)
  • 1 vanilla Oikos triple zero Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash each of nutmeg, ginger and cloves

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Autumn Enoch, North Alabama EC

Pumpkin Mousse Dip

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 3-ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup whipped topping    
  • Combine milk, pumpkin, pudding mix and spice. Stir in whipped topping. Serve with gingersnaps. 

Martha Black Handschumacher, Arab EC 

Pumpkin Soup

  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes or fresh minced parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin, mashed
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes 
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper 

Sauté pepper, onion, parsley, thyme and bay leaf in butter until tender. Do not brown. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. In small bowl, combine flour and milk, blend well. Stir in soup mixture, add salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture boils. 

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Laurie Myer, Southern Pine EC 

The Buttered Home

We love fall for so many reasons. Pumpkins and other winter squashes give us a bounty of new seasonal flavors. Here we will show you a surprisingly good way to use those harvest pumpkins. As the weather turns cooler, slow cooker cooking saves you time and gives you more time to gather together to enjoy the season. 

This delicious recipe celebrates the thrill of fall and will allow you to enjoy the simple pleasure of comfort food shared with the ones you love. By substituting the pumpkin and radishes for the potatoes and carrots, you also get the added health benefits of lower-carb vegetables. It’s a healthy option that still has all of the beef stew flavor you love. For more recipes like this one, be sure to visit our site at

The Best Slow Cooker Pumpkin Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups radishes
  • 4 cups pumpkin, cubed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup onion
  • Parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

Wash pumpkin and radishes. Peel and cube the pumpkin. Trim and cut the radishes into pieces about the same size as the pumpkin. 

Season two pounds of stew beef with ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Sear the seasoned beef in a skillet for two to five minutes until slightly browned on all sides. Add to the bottom of your slow cooker liner, pan drippings and all!

Add two to four cups cleaned and trimmed radishes and four cups cubed pumpkin to the beef in the crock pot. Add in eight ounces mushrooms, ½ cup onion and mix to combine. Add two tablespoons tomato paste, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme and two tablespoons minced garlic and mix well to season. Pour in four cups beef broth and add the bay leaf. Cover with lid and cook on low for eight hours or high for four to five hours, until beef is tender and almost falling apart. Garnish with parsley, more thyme, salt and pepper if need be. 


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