Hannah Drake

25 Pumpkin Recipes to Try This Fall

EntertainingHannah DrakeComment

Check out my recipe for a pumpkin spice cocktail!

I know you’re not surprised to hear that I love pumpkin everything in the fall. Well, except for the pumpkin spice latte. (Or even a pumpkin spice chai, because I don’t actually drink coffee.) I especially love baking with pumpkin, but it wasn’t until the last year or so that I’ve been more interested in cooking with pumpkin. So today I’ve rounded up 25 pumpkin recipes from some of my favourite food bloggers and elsewhere on Pinterest, some of which I’ve tried and the rest I’m pretty much just bookmarking to try in the next few months.

SWEET

Thai Pumpkin Soup from Ayla Rianne
(I have tried this one and it’s on our regular soup rotation for meal planning!)

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

EntertainingHannah DrakeComment

I’m so glad I remembered these cookies last year! I first made them years ago totally forgot about them in all of my pumpkin craze. I’m not sure what sparked my memory, but I had my mom include a box of instant apple cider mix in my autumn care package (I say that like it’s a regular thing…nope, I just need one in the autumn!) along with a carton of Trader Joe’s chewy caramels, which are THE BEST. (For this recipe, I cut each caramel in half while still wrapped.)

I love making homemade apple cider when the weather starts to turn. It’s become one of my regular autumn activities. I mean, all those apples from the apple orchard aren’t going to eat themselves! We’ve turned warm apple cider into a delicious seasonal cocktail. But I’d actually pair these cookies with pumpkin juice (a la Harry Potter). Though, whatever your preference is, these are a fantastic autumn treat and they’ll definitely earn you some points with whomever you share them.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 10 packets instant apple cider

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 24-30 chewy caramels

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (This is necessary for any caramel that might leak out.)

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt cinnamon, and apple cider powder.

With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix to combine.

Slowly add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.

Scoop out 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball.

Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the middle of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Shape it back into a ball.

Place on parchment or baking match covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.

Bake 11-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. They may not look quite done in the centre, but you want a chewy centre.

Allow the cookies to cool on the parchment or mat (slide it off of the tray, if needed) so the caramel is hardened and the cookie will not fall apart when you pick it up. You’ll know it’s ready when you can twist the cookie off the parchment or mat and it comes off clean. Allow them to finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter.

I was seriously impressed with how they turned out and I have to say they’re probably the prettiest cookies I’ve ever made. So of course I had to do a little photo shoot with them (last year). Sadly, I’m somehow missing 100ish photos from my hard drive that include my cookie photoshoot, so I had to scour my blog and social media for any photos that I had already shared before deleting them.

For another apple cider baked treat, try these apple cider donuts, which use actual apple cider, which might be easier to find—and certainly easier to make!

Marriage: Year Two

MarriageHannah DrakeComment

Today is our second marriage anniversary! [Insert cliche about how quickly time goes here.] The second year of our marriage has been comfortable, exciting, and brought about some of the biggest changes in our lives! We’ve been incredibly blessed in our marriage that it’s been quite easy thus far. We haven’t had major curve balls thrown our way and we find that we’re truly two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together.

Last year, I talked about how communication, gratitude, silliness, and alone time contributed to a good first year for us. And those four things continue to be pillars in our relationship. Communication is probably even more important now that we’re home owners and taking care of our dog and cat. Gratitude is still a nightly practice for us, telling each other everything that we’re grateful for throughout the day before going to sleep. Silliness is like the essence of our entire relationship. We always joke that our kids are going to be insanely embarrassed by how ridiculously silly we are pretty much all the time. And of course alone time, both alone and alone together, is key for us getting the time we need as individuals and as a couple.

Of course, no matter how fun and easy our relationship can feel at times, it’s still something that we need to take care of every single day. We both still have areas we need to work on as individuals and we have areas we need to work on together. Yet every day we make a choice to do just that. We make the choice to love and respect one another, to dream together, to support each other.

So as we move into our third year as Mr. and Mrs. Drake, here are three things that I want to focus on to continue to build a strong relationship, especially amidst everything we have going on in our lives.

QUALITY TIME

This has always been something we need to be better at. We spend so much time together and we’re actually really good about having a weekly date night. But we’re getting increasingly worse at spending quality time together, if we’re being honest. While we used to spend Saturday mornings playing board games or spending our evenings playing card games, we more often than not flip on the TV and sit on the couch for hours, both of us with our phones in our hands. Over the summer, we had a phone curfew and would put our phones away at 7:00PM every night, but we’ve gotten lazy with that habit in recent weeks. We’ve also found that asking each other out-of-the-box type questions is a great way to connect, whether it be over dinner or breakfast at the weekend, or even a long car ride.

GRACE

I guess when I think of grace, I think of being forgiving and understanding. In understanding, it’s important to try to see someone else’s perspective in the situation. In forgiving, it’s important to let go, to not carry something with you forever—even in the back of your mind—and to not keep score. Grace goes such a long way to make a relationship not only last, but to keep a relationship strong. In fact, I can’t really picture a long and loving marriage without grace at the centre.

PATIENCE

Patience is always something that I need to work on. It’s 100% one of my “blind spots”, if you will. But patience is also going to be key going forward in our relationship together. We just bought a house and things aren’t going to be exactly how we want them straight away. We need to be patient when working on our house, holding out for things we really want rather than settling for something that’s “okay” just to make some type of progress. We need patience searching for furniture or materials and even if Luke is going to build things for our new house. We’ll need patience as we help cultivate a relationship between Eggs and Benedict, who are doing okay together, but certainly not the best of friends already. We need patience as we navigate life in general together, whether that’s with work or relationships outside of our own.

Header photo & dancing photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.