Secret #1 The Best Pumpkin Pie

This is my absolute favorite pumpkin pie recipe: Pumpkin Pie Recipe

…But of course, I deviated from the recipe! First, I used fresh ground spices to go along with the fresh pumpkin.  Second, I never keep canned milk products in my pantry, so I had to replace the evaporated milk with something else.  “Something else” was either whole milk (goat’s milk here) or half and half (half cream, half milk) to make a rich replacement.  You can also use coconut milk to if you’re dairy free. 

The results? Amazing!!!!

Secret #2 Fresh Spices

Fresh herbs and spices make everything taste living and delicious.    I even purchase Ceylon cinnamon sticks whole and grind them for a “popping” intense flavor.  

Secret #3 A Yummy Chocolate Cream Pie

The secret to yummy chocolate cream pie is using Rapadura Sugar. 

Something about this sugar specifically, over brown, coconut, etc… is really yummy when mixed with chocolate. 

Secret #4 To Roll or Not to Roll

Homemade French Bread vs. Homemade Rolls — this is a hard choice.  Here is my FAVORITE dinner roll recipe that gets me the “dinner roll job” everywhere I go.  (PSST!  I use rapadura here as well!)

Nova Scotia Dinner Rolls Recipe

Or, you can make quick and easy French bread! 

Kayla’s No Fail French Bread

5 Cups Cold Water

5 t. SAF Yeast

5 t. Sea Salt

10+ cups bread flour

Personally, I use a Bosch mixer, so kneading this dough is easy for me.  Mix all ingredients, adding flour as needed until you have a soft dough.  Knead fully to the window pane stage (see this video).  It takes 20 minutes for my dough to reach this point in my Bosch mixer.  

Allow the dough to rise until doubled.  Then on a floured surface, shape into 4 torpedo-shaped loaves — not forcing out the bubbles in the dough, but being careful to handle it minimally.  Allow to rise until doubled again.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a cast iron pan on the lowest rack.  Brush loaves with water, slash them, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Place in the hot oven and put water into the hot cast iron pan.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until loaves are dark golden brown.

Cool and enjoy!

Secret #5 No Cans — All Fresh

This year try something new and make your own cranberry sauce.  I’ve been doing this for a few years and really love this recipe using honey instead of sugar.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe