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Pumpkinpalooza October 15, 2018

Posted by thejinx in life.
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For all my love of books, board and video games, miniature painting, and science fiction and fantasy, sometimes I take great joy in being domestic. In no way is this more apparent than with baking. And at this time of year, that means pumpkins.

I’ve become one of those people who is crazy about pumpkin goodies. I started out a few years ago, the first time I cooked a fresh pumpkin for muffins, and since then, I’ve made a lot of pumpkin recipes. Breads, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and more. Not all of them have worked spectacularly, but I’ve made enough that have turned out very nice that I thought I would share some today.

A couple of notes before I begin: first, I only use fresh pumpkin for my recipes. I tried canned pumpkin once and it was not nearly as tasty, so bear that in mind. Cooking a pie pumpkin is easy, anyway. Chop it in half, scoop out the pulp, cook for an hour, and puree the innards. It takes time, but not a lot of work.

Second, I feel that a lot of pumpkin recipes are a little heavy on the spice and light on the pumpkin flavour. So, my cardinal rule for pumpkin recipes is 50% more pumpkin, 50% less spice. This usually doesn’t affect the texture with fresh pumpkin, which is thicker than canned. I also tend to cut back on sugar, but I do that with all my baking. Of course, this is my preference.

Without further ado, my favourite pumpkin recipes:

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Pumpkin biscotti – recipe

This was one of my earliest pumpkin recipes, found after being randomly inspired to try searching for one, and has been my most popular. Aside from my cardinal rules, I follow the recipe precisely. Perfect for dunking in coffee or tea. (If you prefer a softer biscotti, however, you can cut the second baking time in half.)

Pumpkin scones

I’ve made the popular Starbucks copycat pumpkin scone recipe a few times, and while tasty, I found myself wanting a more authentic scone. After extensive research on the topic, it seemed to me that British scones are much like North American biscuits. So, I searched instead for a pumpkin biscuit recipe and was very pleased with the results. I did take a cue from the Starbucks knockoff and added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger, which peps it up nicely and makes it the perfect accompaniment to a nice cuppa tea and a grey day.

Pumpkin sugar cookies

This was entirely an experiment on my part last year that worked out better than I anticipated. I took a standard sugar cookie recipe, replaced half the butter with pumpkin, and added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. They are better when iced properly, but I wanted to show the colour for this post.

Ravioli with pumpkin alfredo sauce – recipe

After all these treats, I found this while searching for savoury pumpkin recipes. I made it for the first time a few weeks ago and it was an instant hit. I did not include the nuts in the recipe and added zucchini and mushrooms to the sauce, but otherwise followed the recipe closely, and it came out delicious. I also used ravioli stuffed with roasted cauliflower, which complemented the flavours nicely, but I imagine the sauce works just as well on regular pasta.

Finally, if I have just a little pumpkin left over, I recently discovered a very nice homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe, or my go-to is to use the rest in pumpkin pancakes. I eyeball this one more than measure, but I add about half a cup of pumpkin to a standard pancake batter and add a dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

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An autumnal interlude October 16, 2016

Posted by thejinx in photography.
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Pictures taken 10 October 2016 in Huntsville, Ontario. The third image is the only one with any post-processing done to it (and I’m still not that happy with it, but I am only using my tablet’s built-in image editing).

Picture of the week: Back to school April 26, 2009

Posted by thejinx in art, calendar.
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New art:


September image for the 2010 catgirl calendar.  Only three images left to go!

Picture of the week: Fall foliage March 23, 2009

Posted by thejinx in art, calendar.
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Okay, so really, I have two new pictures this week, though the first is all of the size of a trading card.

That would, of course, be the first image, of Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.  The second marks the sixth image of the 2010 catgirl calendar, half of the images now complete.

Also, as point of note, I failed to show restraint in an art supply store last week and decided to dabble in something I would otherwise have thought beyond me: mail.

Mail necklace

If I ever meet my muse, I’m going to have a few choice words on its inability to focus and desire to get me interested in everything under the sun.  I at least have finances to prevent me from buying more rings, as I am still unemployed, and past the end of my severance pay.

Autumn reflections December 31, 2008

Posted by thejinx in photography.
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The winning photos from an October trip up to Huntsville, Ontario, slightly late in the season but, obviously, when the trees were still fiery with fall colours.  Enjoy and stay tuned for more photos.  After the trip to Niagara Falls the past couple days, I do believe I should have some more good ones to add to the pile.