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The enjoyable pumpkin spice

Lund

This is the time of year when our markets are saturated with pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkin spice coffees, breads, creamers, butters, rolls, beers, liqueurs, cookies etc, etc. etc.

I enjoy pumpkin spice as much as the next person, but only natural pumpkin flavor, not artificially flavored pumpkin products. I’ve tried to like those products but if it just doesn’t taste like homemade pumpkin pie, I’m disappointed.

Last year as I mulled the lack of what I consider delicious pumpkin options, I broke down and bought something I rarely buy – a magazine from the checkout stand selections. 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes published by Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications called to my desire for pumpkin deliciousness.

I rarely buy these publications because they are usually very expensive and if I’m going to spend $10 or more on a cookbook; I prefer spending a bit more for a hardback book with more than 100 recipes.

However, this purchase was so worth the $9.99 I paid for it. I found several recipes I used last year and I was happy to get it out again when the weather got cooler and pumpkins showed up on our grocers’ shelves. I’ve been keeping fresh roasted pumpkin in my refrigerator and stocking up on cans of this vegetable as it goes on sale so I can keep making these treats.

The first recipe from this publication that I have enjoyed using is a homemade pumpkin spice creamer for your morning coffee. It is delicious. I have made this with whole milk, fat-free half-and-half and almond milk. All of them were really good and made my morning coffee a joy.

Pumpkin Waffles are the perfect breakfast for Thanksgiving weekend. They are a lovely color, full of vitamin A and fiber and a great way to start your day. I like them with real maple syrup instead of the maple-walnut cream suggested by the authors. The cream is delicious but so is maple syrup and it takes a lot less time.

The third recipe is one I love for breakfast all fall and winter – pumpkin pie in a mug. It is not from this book and it’s been in my recipe file for several years. I wish I could remember where I got it so I give the source credit. If I have a bit of pumpkin in my refrigerator this is the perfect mug of goodness and it has become one of my favorite breakfast treats.

Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Creamer

2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half or non-fat half-and-half or nondairy milk

1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk

3 tablespoons canned pumpkin

1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

^pIn a 1-quart canning jar, combine all of the ingredients; mix, shake or stir well until pumpkin is incorporated into the milk and is smooth. Add to your coffee and enjoy.

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Walnut Cream

4 cups flour

1/4cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 ground ginger

1/2 ground nutmeg

4 eggs

3 cups milk

1 can (15-ounce) pumpkin (1 and 3/4 cups)

1/4cup butter, melted

Maple Walnut Cream

^pIn a large bowl, stir together the first seven ingredients (through nutmeg). Make a well in the center of the mixture. In another large bowl¸ combine next four ingredients (through butter). Add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy). Prepare Maple Walnut Cream. Add 1 to 1 and one-fourth cups batter (or amount suggested in manufacturer’s directions) to a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker. Close lid quickly; do not open until done. Bake according to the manufacturer’s directions. When done, use a fork to lift waffle off grid. Keep warm in a 300-degree oven while preparing remaining waffles. Serve warm with Maple-Walnut Cream.

Maple Walnut Cream

^pIn a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add three-fourths cup coarsely chopped walnuts; cook and stir to 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted. Stir in 1 and one-half cups pure maple syrup and one-half cup heavy cream. Heat through.

Pumpkin Pie in a Mug

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon half-and-half

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

^pSpray a microwave safe cup with nonstick cooking spray. Mix all of ingredients thoroughly in the mug and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. Eat as is or with a dollop of whipped cream. Recipe Note: I use artificial sweetener instead of sugar and almond milk instead of cream. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon is also delicious. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste and remember you are eating a vegetable for breakfast. Yes!

Quote of the Week: Autumn – The year’s last, loveliest smile! — John Howard Byrant


Local
Tuesday calendar

Today

Salvation Army Kettle Kick-Off Chamber Coffee, 9-10 a.m., The Salvation Army, 707 N. I St., Fremont.

U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s office open, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 641 N. Broad St., Fremont.

Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, 10 a.m., Chapter 5 Club, 136 N. Main St., Fremont.

Ready for Kindergarten Storytime, 10-10:30 a.m., Keene Memorial Library, Fremont. This is for ages 2-5.

Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, noon, Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Hormel retirees, noon, Union Hall, Fremont. The gathering will feature a turkey and mashed potatoes luncheon. Attendees are asked to bring a salad or dessert. Bingo will be played after lunch.

Fremont Jaycees board meeting, 12:30 p.m., Valentino’s, Fremont.

After School Chess, 4 p.m., Keene Memorial Library’s large meeting room, Fremont. Kids of all ages are invited to the library to learn how to play chess.

Fremont Utility and Infrastructure Board meeting, 4 p.m., Fremont Municipal Building, 400 E. Military Ave. The meeting is open to the public.

Operation Christmas Child relay center, 5-7 p.m., First Lutheran Church Mission Center, 3200 E. Military Ave., Fremont. Operation Christmas Child is a worldwide children’s project of Samaritan’s Purse that collects and delivers gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in more than 130 countries. For more information or if you need assistance with shoe box drop-off, call First Lutheran Church at 402-721-2959 or Charlotte Young at 402-719-1753.

Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, 5:15 p.m., Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Fremont Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group, 5:30 p.m., The Heritage at Shalimar Gardens, second floor community room, 749 E. 29th St. For more information, contact Dina or Tracy at 402-721-1616 or Mary at 402-753-2078.

Supportive Singles, 5:30 p.m., Mac’s Café, 1744 N. Bell St., Fremont. For more information on the group for men and women, call 402-660-8474.

TOPS 58, 6-7 p.m., St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Fremont. Weigh-ins are from 5:30-6 p.m. For more information, contact Nancy Wit at 402-727-6745.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 6:30-8 p.m., Fremont Health’s Health Park Plaza. The connection group, for those living with a mental illness, meets in Room 5 and the family support group, for the family and friends of a person living with a mental illness, meets in Room 1.

Narcotics Anonymous open meeting, 6:30 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 540 W. Eighth St., Wahoo.

Narcotics Anonymous It Works Group, 6:30 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Education Building, west of the church, 1440 E. Military Ave., Fremont. Enter through the rear door.

Fremont City Council meeting, 7 p.m., Fremont Municipal Building, 400 E. Military Ave. A study session begins at 6:45 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

Al-Anon meeting, 8 p.m., Chapter 5 Club front room, Fremont. This support group is for families and friends of alcoholics.

Alateen meeting, 8 p.m., Chapter 5 Club, Fremont. The meeting is for ages 10-17 who are affected by a friend or relative’s drinking.

Narcotics Anonymous open meeting, 8 p.m., United Faith Church, 218 W. Gardiner St., Valley.

Wednesday

Medicare Open Enrollment Session, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dodge County Extension Office, Fremont. To make an appointment, call 402-727-2775.

Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, noon, Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Teen Games (ages 13-18), 3-4 p.m., and Get Your Tech On For Tweens (ages 9-13), 4-5 p.m., Keene Memorial Library, Fremont.

Operation Christmas Child relay center, 5-7 p.m., First Lutheran Church Mission Center, 3200 E. Military Ave., Fremont. Operation Christmas Child is a worldwide children’s project of Samaritan’s Purse that collects and delivers gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in more than 130 countries. For more information or if you need assistance with shoe box drop-off, call First Lutheran Church at 402-721-2959 or Charlotte Young at 402-719-1753.

Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, 5:15 p.m., Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Narcotics Anonymous Library Group, 7 p.m., Keene Memorial Library East Building, Fremont.

Alcoholics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Thursday

Medicare Open Enrollment Session, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dodge County Extension Office, Fremont. To make an appointment, call 402-727-2775.

Alcoholics Anonymous big book study, 10 a.m., Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Storytime, 10-10:30 a.m., Keene Memorial Library auditorium, Fremont.

Fremont Area Art Association’s Third Thursday Luncheon, 11:30-1 p.m., Gallery 92 West, Fremont. The cost is $12 per person. To make reservations, call 402-721-7779 or email gallery92west@92west.org.

Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, noon, Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Fremont Kiwanis Club, noon, Presidential Dining Room, Midland University.

Friends of Fremont Area Parks Inc., noon, Fremont City Auditorium meeting room. The meeting is open to the public.

Soup for Veterans, noon to 2 p.m., Premier Estates of Fremont, 2550 N. Nye Ave. Homemade soup will be served to all veterans.

Lego party, 4-5 p.m., Keene Memorial Library, Fremont. This is for ages 3-10.

Operation Christmas Child relay center, 5-7 p.m., First Lutheran Church Mission Center, 3200 E. Military Ave., Fremont. Operation Christmas Child is a worldwide children’s project of Samaritan’s Purse that collects and delivers gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in more than 130 countries. For more information or if you need assistance with shoe box drop-off, call First Lutheran Church at 402-721-2959 or Charlotte Young at 402-719-1753.

Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, 5:15 p.m., Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Hamburger night with potato soup, 5:30-7 p.m., Fremont Eagles Club. Everyone is welcome.

GriefShare group, 6:30 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 1546 N. Luther Road, Fremont. This group is for anyone who has experienced the loss of a family member or friend. For more information, contact the church at 402-721-5536.

WinItBack Tea Party Patriots of Dodge County, 6:30 p.m., Keene Memorial Library, Fremont. The public is invited. For more information, call Doug Wittmann at 402-317-1270.

Pioneer Amateur Radio Club, 6 p.m. supper, 7 p.m. meeting, Gambino’s Pizza/Hero Deli, 1900 E. Military Ave., Fremont.

Narcotics Anonymous It Works Group, 6:30 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church East Building, west of the church, 1440 E. Military Ave., Fremont. Enter through the rear door.

Bingo, 7 p.m., Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8223, 742 N. Main St., North Bend. Everyone is welcome.

BLEND, 7 p.m., Fremont Opera House, 541 N. Broad St. The long-running quartet sings songs like “One Fine Day,” “Rock Around the Clock” and “Earth Angel.” Tickets are $15 each and are available at Sampter’s store and online at www.fremontoperahouse.org. Tickets are free for season ticket holders.

Civil Air Patrol, 7 p.m., 1201 W. 23rd St., in yellow hangar at Fremont Airport.

Fresh Hope Support Group, 7 p.m., Dunklau Gardens Conference Room, Fremont. The faith-based support group is for those suffering from mental illness or family members and/or caregivers.

Storytime, 7-7:30 p.m., Keene Memorial Library auditorium, Fremont.

Tally Ho Toastmasters, 7-8 p.m., Midland University’s Anderson Building, Ninth and Clarkson streets, Fremont. Everyone is welcome to learn skills in communication, self-confidence and leadership. For more information, call 402-936-3479.

Alcoholics Anonymous big book study, 8 p.m., Chapter 5 Club, Fremont.

Narcotics Anonymous open meeting, 8 p.m., First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 201 N. Davis Ave., Oakland.