all about the pumpkin…

It’s all about the pumpkin this time of year, and if you are anything like me that is pretty much my favorite part of the season.


1 lb spiralized butternut or sweet potato or cubed winter squash

1 TB extra virgin olive

1 tsp cumin

1 chipotle with juice, smashed

1 sweet red pepper sliced in ¼ inch slices

1 sweet yellow onion sliced thinly

1 tsp Hatch New Mexican chili powder

½ tsp Himalayan pink sea salt

3 TB pure maple syrup (optional)

Toss spiralized noodles, onion and sweet pepper with all seasonings, chipotle and olive oil. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until noodles are tender. Drizzle maple syrup over top and lightly broil.



2 cans black beans

½ can coconut milk

1 cinnamon stick

1 cup vegetable stock

½ tsp cumin

1 chipotle chili

1 cooked small white sweet potato

Drain and rinse black beans. Put in pot with vegetable stock and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer. Add all other ingredients. Simmer till liquid reduced by one third. Remove cinnamon stick and puree.



2 medium butternut squash

2 cans coconut milk

1/2 quart vegetable stock

1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 to 2 TB yellow curry paste (or more start with 1 TB and keep adding until you have the heat you want. I always use MaPloy if I don’t make my own. Check ingredients to make sure no fish products)

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 TB agave nectar or honey

2 baked apples with skin and core removed

Bake apples and squash at 350 for at least 45 minutes for apples and 1 and a half hours for squash. Peel seed and mash together. Add to all other ingredients and simmer on stove. Keep checking curry and nutmeg levels for adjusting.



8 ounces jumbo lump fresh crab meat

3 stalks celery

1/2 yellow onion

6 tsp butter

1-2 tsp Old Bay

1 tsp Herbamare

½ tsp white pepper

¼ tsp cayenne

½ tsp nutmeg

2 cups pureed winter squash (sweet dumpling, kambocha or buttercup is what I prefer)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 bay leaf

1 tsp fresh thyme (optional)

½ cup Gran Marnier (optional)

Dice celery and onion. Saute’ onion in butter until translucent and beginning to brown, then add celery and cook till softened. Add all ingredients EXCEPT CRAB and allow to simmer gently. When thickened to desired consistency, remove bay leaf and use an immersion blender. Gently blend in crab before serving, be careful not to break up lumps and save some for garnish.

Chef Gretchen Hanson


1 medium white sweet potatoes uncooked

2 cups white sweet potato cooked

½ yellow onion finely diced (optional)

1 cup panko, matzoh meal or almond flour

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cayenne

2 eggs

Extra virgin olive oil

Peel and grate uncooked potato. Mash cooked potato and combine with all ingredients. Don’t over mix. Heat extra virgin olive oil in saucepan over medium high to about a quarter inch depth. Drop latke mix by a rounded tablespoon full when oil is hot. When bottom is seared, mash slightly and flip over. Should be brown but not scalded. Cook both sides and put in 350 degree oven for eight minutes to finish.

Top with pumpkin butter and sour cream.



2 cups winter squash cooked (kambocha or buttercup are my favorites)

8 tsp unsalted butter or vegan butter

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 -2 tsp pumpkin pie spice *see below

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup water (if using vegan butter omit)

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Smash winter squash and stir all ingredients to incorporate. Simmer over low heat for twenty minutes. Consistency should be smooth and silky.



1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground allspice



Chef Gretchen Hanson | pumpkin


½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup organic sugar

1 cup winter squash, cooked and mashed

¼ cup molasses

2 medium eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 TB fresh ground ginger

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup organic sugar

2 tsp pumpkin pie mix

Preheat oven 330 degrees. Beat butter and sugar together until well incorporated. Add pumpkin, vanilla, fresh ginger and molasses, beat again till well blended. Add eggs and beat again. Mix dry ingredients together separately until well incorporated and with the beater on slow add ½ cup at a time until well blended. Mix last cup of sugar with 2 tsp pumpkin pie mix and form dough into tablespoon size balls. (I use a mini ice cream scoop) Roll in sugar mix and place on parchment lined or non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure edges don’t scald. Let cool. Dip in pumpkin pie dip or use to top the pumpkin ginger cheesecake.



2 c. milk

1 3.4-oz. instant vanilla pudding mix

1 c. cooked pumpkin or sweet potato

2 TB pumpkin pie spice *see below

1 TB pure vanilla extract

1 cup confectionary sugar

Ginger snap cookies, for serving *see below

Put all ingredients in food processor and whip on high speed. Chill.


Chef Gretchen Hanson | pumpkin


For the crust:

6 ounces gingersnaps

6 ounces nilla wafers

6 TB unsalted butter

3 TB brown sugar

For the filling:

2 cups winter squash pureed

1 1/2 cup organic sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Pinch of salt

1 ½ cups heavy cream

4 eggs

1 pkg cream cheese

1 box vanilla instant pudding

Crust: in food processor crush cookies and sugar, add butter cut into tsp size chunks. Pulse until roughly blended. Put filling in the bottom of pint size mason jars and mash down till about a ½ inch thick. Bake at 340 for ten minutes. Let cool.

Filling: In saucepan heat squash and sugar with vanilla and spices until sugar melts and spices are fragrant. Add mixture to food processor and add all ingredients in the order listed. Blend well.

Preheat oven to 340. Put mason jars in a water bath up to two thirds of the way to the top of the jars. Add filling dividing between jars. There will be enough filling for twelve jars.

Bake for approximately one hour. Check by sliding a knife down the side of the jar. If it comes up clean they are finished. Remove from water bath and let cool for at least another hour before refrigerating, or top with a pumpkin gingersnap cookie from above recipe and serve while hot.

*If you wish to forego the dairy in the pumpkin dip or the pumpkin cheesecake, use this recipe from hell yeah, it’s vegan


Vegan Vanilla Pudding

Recipe type: dessert

Prep time:  2 hours

Cook time:  10 mins

Total time:  2 hours 10 mins


3 tbsp cornstarch

2½ c vegan milk, divided

⅔ c sugar

2 tbsp vegan butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract


In a small bowl, whisk together ½ c vegan milk and cornstarch.

Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together remaining vegan milk and sugar.

When mixture begins to steam, add cornstarch mixture.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken and just reaches a boil, about 5 minutes.

Turn down heat to very low and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick.

Turn off heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.

Pour into a 1-quart dish or 4-6 (heat-resistant) ramekins or bowls.

Cover dishes and refrigerate for a couple of hours, until firm and fully cooled.

Serve as is or with non-dairy whipped cream and sliced fruit.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


In addition to weekly posts with recipes and stories, you will receive…

  • notice of FB live cooking demos
  • advance notice of all public cooking demos
  • advance copy of cookbook offer before general release
  • the ability to consult privately on dietary or wellness questions

and get my
eBook for

Ever wondered what was
in all that deliciousness?

Subscribe to my blog and get my new eBook with all the recipes you loved…

“How to Be a Hobo”

PLUS the bonus

Chesapeake Recipes”