Devour This Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter

Hello, pumpkin season! What should I do to make the most of you? I can only eat so much pie, so I’ve been looking for recipes that’ll make better use of the pumpkin supply from our CSA (we’re 4 years in with Porter Farms from Elba, NY and still love it). This year: Pumpkin Butter.

Our maiden voyage into the world of homemade pumpkin butter began with a single pie pumpkin. It yielded so much spread that we’ve frozen it, and will probably be chipping away at our stash until the snow melts. Cozy things!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • brown sugar
  • maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • nutmeg
  • cloves

If you’re thinking this is going to be laborious, think again. You’ll use an oven, and then you’ll use a slow cooker, so it’s just about as hands-off as any recipe could be.

Start with your pumpkin:

Pumpkin going into the oven to soften.

Put it on a baking sheet covered with foil.

Preheat oven to 350.

Then take a drill bit or a sharp knife, and bore a few ventilation holes in the top of the pumpkin. No one needs a pressurized, explosive pumpkin inside their oven (that would make this a bit more uh, hands on).

Make ventilation holes in the top of a pumpkin before baking.

Bake it for an hour, whole, much like you would cook any other relative of the squash family. You’ll know it’s ready to come out when you can easily poke through the skin with the prongs of a fork.

Poke a pumpkin to know if it's done baking in the oven.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and slice it in half. Remove and toss the seeds, and then scoop the flesh into the slow cooker.

Scooping pumpkin for pumpkin butter.

In a separate bowl, I mixed ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Added a pinch of cloves, too. You’ll be able to go back while the butter is cooking to add more spices. Exact quantities vary by preference (and the size of your pie pumpkin, too).

Ingredients to make flavorful pumpkin butter.

Mix the spices in with the pumpkin in the slow cooker, and bake it on low for 6 hours. Open up, take a whiff and a taste, and add more spices or sugar if you desire. It’ll be dense, and no surprise, it tastes a lot like pumpkin pie. 5-STAR PUMPKIN GOLD. Try not to eat it by the spoonful.

Slow cooker pumpkin butter.

Once cooked, I packed mine 1 cup at a time into freezer bags, squeezing out the air and letting it squish flat, just like freezing pesto. As I thaw ones that I’ve already frozen, I try to use the butter within a week’s time so that it doesn’t begin to go bad in the fridge. Perfect on all breakfasty things. Enjoy!

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Kitchen Designs… Cabinets Ordered!

After three years of brainstorming a layout for our awkward kitchen (it’s shaped like a T and built on a platform), AJ and I finally came up with a design we loved and yesterday we ordered the cabinets! I’ve got views for you here of almost every angle but it’s fairly hard to picture exactly how it’ll look in real life since things are moving so significantly.

We aren’t reusing anything, including our floors, so we had to build in the cost for everything from cabinets and appliances to hardwood floors (I am counting down the days till we get to rip up the stained carpet and checkerboard vinyl floors!). I’ve become a very savvy researcher because I knew we needed to budget a significant amount of money for our plumbing and electrical (the not fun stuff).

Without further ado… here are our kitchen plans… scroll further down to see the more life-like renderings, I think it’s fun to see both styles of drawings. Keep in mind the room layout isn’t to scale.

Because it’s helpful to see exactly where we will put things:

Our current oven / microwave wall will become the range wall.

I think this is the only place where we will have a backsplash. I’m thinking about marble or shiny white beveled subway tiles with a pot filler and a custom wood range hood (it needs to be custom because the cabinet company only had hoods up to 36 inches and the range is 48).

The door to the office and mudroom will still be there:

The current fridge wall will become the pantry.

We are only going to have a 36 inch cabinet in the fridge space (not the left pantry cabinet) because we don’t want to protrude out any farther than the wall behind the empty cookie jar which has the pipes to the half bath in it. The black and white drawing above is more true to life.

Current Mudroom Desk and Wall Cabinet Area

The current upper cabinet area is going to be pushed back about four feet into the mudroom so that the fridge front is flush with the current rug (the desk will be removed to make room for this bump out).

The fridge will be centered in this area looking into the kitchen and our friend and talented builder, Nate from Boyd Builders, will be trimming it out to make it look more custom because we won’t have that little cabinet next to the fridge anymore to make room for a wider doorway from the mudroom into the kitchen.

The view above is missing the step down onto the lower level. That’ll be between the fridge and the large island. We will step down into the area where the kitchen table is in front of the coffee bar.

Standing at the Range… view into the backyard

The area you see straight ahead will become a 12.5 foot island with a stair on either side (in front of the cabinets in the large island) because we have to work with the existing platform and seating for six on the back side. I think we are going to do these barstools (because the Serena & Lily ones I wanted were about four times the price of these and because they weren’t bar height). The way we are getting around the platform, without spending $100,000 to change the entire roof line is to have the cabinets set on the platform (which is the floor height of the entire original house) and have the chairs on the lower level. Nate will make the entire thing look like it’s one level with a custom base around the barstools.

I think we will have three of these glass pendents over the large island. I don’t want anything too heavy… my goal is for the whole space to have a classic yet relaxed beachy vibe. And those sliding doors… I’m itching to paint them white instead of the orangey stain.

Kitchen Table Area

Where the fireplace is now will be this coffee / wine bar. I really thinking about this coffee maker (I love anything Cuisinart and it’s $30 off the original price) because it’ll give AJ his coffee and me hot water for hot chocolate and tea. Double duty. The bar was designed to fit our tallest wine glass at 9 inches and be perfect for any guests helping themselves to drinks when they come over (that’s the beverage fridge on the far right… it’s one of the most affordable ones I found). The cabinets will be glass front and will hold my collection of white serving dishes.

Now picture this same space above with hardwood floors, the same table, but newly painted, and the coffee bar:

The entire area in all photos above will be hardwood, it’s about 1000 square feet so it’s a big job. Tom, from NTP Hardwood, will be doing the floors. We discovered him while renovating our most recent flip and he’s very affordable and does a great job. The last project of the kitchen renovation is to remove the cabinet on the far right in the mudroom. It’s just a junk spot as you can see. We are going to turn it into a closet that mirrors of the look of the door to the garage (behind the brown post) and store appliances we don’t use all the time like our crockpot, blender, etc. Farther down the road we are going to nix the brown post and railing and build a really usable mudroom area but I don’t think we can fit it in the budget this phase.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?!?!

The cabinets will be here in 8-10 weeks so I’m starting to map out our timeline now of when all the pre-work needs to happen! I think the thing I’m most excited about is the hardwood floors… no more disgusting and embarrassing carpets that make us look like slobs. 🙂

Here’s a main source list. Nothing is sponsored except for the island lights.

Cabinets: Building Supplies Outlet; Peabody, MA. The cabinets are the Eastman Street line in Pure White and Gray Sheen (both Sherwin Williams colors)

Counters: North Shore Marble & Granite; Peabody, MA. Quartz counters from Q; it’s called Mara Blanca.

Island Lights: Kichler  ||  Barstools: World Market

Fridge: Lowe’s  ||  Range: Undecided but probably this one  || Dishwashers: Bosch  || Beverage Fridge: Target ||  Sink: Overstock  || Faucet

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6 Etsy Pillow Shops You Need to Know About!

Pillows are one of my absolute favorite design elements to play with in a space.  No matter what space we’re talking about, there’s almost always room for a pillow or two!

6 etsy pillow shops you need to know about

(Similar ampersand pillow & See more of my fall home

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