Halloween Leftovers

Pumpkin Muffins with Extra Pumpkin

Although they did not start out well these muffins are surprisingly good.

I intended to make this American recipe*. The muffins have a cream cheese filling inside them and (unusually for me) I had a packet of cream cheese in my fridge so they seemed like the perfect post-Halloween bake.

The first mistake I made was in thinking the packet was 300g. It was 200g so I was 24g short. no matter I thought, I will use a small egg and it'll be just fine.
The second mistake I made was to assume that cream cheese was the same the world over. This is the stuff I had. Evidently this is not the same as American cream cheese because when I beat it up with the egg and some sugar I ended up with soup and not something I could spoon into a half-filled muffin cup.

Throwing caution to the wind I added the other egg to the cream cheese mixture, measured out the dry ingredients and mixed the two together.
Then I made my third mistake. I measured out the required amount of pumpkin purée and stirred it into the batter. Not wet enough, so I added the rest of the pumpkin -probably another cup. Now it was too wet. I decided to leave out the oil.

The batter was very yellow.

I made the crumble topping without any mistakes but I did substitute walnuts for pecans.

They were very dense, almost fudgy, extremely moist and absolutely gorgeous. The crunchy top was delicious. With so much pumpkin in them I'm sure one muffin must count as one of your five a day :o)

*The ingredients are in cups but you can switch to metric.

Creamy Chicken and Pumpkin Pasta.

Despite the over-pumpkinned muffins I still had pumpkin to use up. I also had a couple of chicken breasts in the freezer which needed to be stretched to feed five. This simple pasta sauce was a huge hit with my family.

I roasted the pumpkin first. I sprinkled it with some olive oil and salt and pepper before roasting it in a hot oven for half an hour. I cooked the chicken at the same time.

I cooked a couple of crushed cloves of garlic very very gently in some olive oil. in retrospect it would have been better to have roasted the garlic with the pumpkin. I added  a little fresh sage, just a couple of leaves, finely chopped. Sage is a bit of a bully so don't overdo it. Rosemary or thyme would work too.

Then I stirred in the pumpkin and the chopped chicken, followed by the cream and the cheese.

I generally have a small carton of double cream in the fridge. 85p buys you 300ml which will add a little luxury to at least one meal, depending how many you are feeding.
I used cheddar, but gruyère or a blue cheese would be lovely in this dish.

The pumpkin melted almost completely into the sauce making it velvety and luscious.
Finally I stirred in a handful of chopped walnuts. They added texture and their flavour went well with the other ingredients.

 I tasted the sauce to see if it was seasoned enough and then stirred cooked pasta into the sauce.
Definitely one of the best things I have done with leftover pumpkins.

For more pumpkin ideas and a slightly different perspective on using up your Halloween leftovers visit Coffee Lady :o)


Here is my monthly sampler for October.
You can also find it on the sampler page under my banner picture.




  1. Anonymous7:57 pm GMT

    You are so resourceful! You always amaze me with your ideas!Great pasta recipe! I'll try it myself!

  2. Hm, have to try the pumpkin pasta! Made pumpkin soup myself lots of times, but wasn't very inventive with pumpkin otherwise.

  3. That sauce, if made without the chicken, sounds like a wonderful veggie option. Family Halloween tradition demands I make jam with my pumpkin, but who knows, next year I may just say Boo-Humbug to tradition and try something simpler like your pasta sauce, or your scrumptious sounding muffins!

  4. all looks very delish ! Our big pumpkins here in the States are not really great for cooking - we have smaller ones known as pie pumpkins that we use for cooking and the big ones are for decoration and most are put out with the garbage - last year I collected 27 from the curbside for my compost heap. All good stuff !

  5. I'm glad I bought little ones Lizzie. Mine were all about the size of a small melon and actually very tasty.

  6. The pumpkin muffins look wonderful- I NEED to make some of those!

  7. Lynne Gill10:33 pm GMT

    So, what IS the difference between our soft cheese and the American version? I'd have used exactly the same - or as near as damn it.

  8. Anonymous11:32 pm GMT

    The pumpkin pasta looks lovely! And I love your samplers Sue, they would look great framed....I'm inpsired.

  9. Dear Sue, First of all, the food looks fantastic. Second, we have that kind of cream cheese too, however, we also have cream cheese that comes in a brick and is just slightly firmer and denser than the stuff in the tub. It is the kind that the recipes usually call for. It doesn't look like the difference was bad for your muffins though. They look great. Last, I have to say that I love your posts. I look forward to them and am happy when I see you have posted. Your sense of humor usually has me laughing out loud to myself. You are fabulous.

  10. That pasta dish looks truly delicious. I'm in awe of your thriftiness and cooking creativity.

  11. Those muffins look rather good :)

    I've just finished making my first monthly mosaic - that tested my brain cells to the limit. Shall include it later when I post - hope you don't mind me pinching your idea (I shall link back to you).

  12. Please don't feel you have to link to me Vicki. Making a mosaic/sampler/whatever out my pictures isn't my exclusive idea. Lucy at Attic24 has been making them for ages.

  13. I am running away screaming right now. I THOUGHT IT WAS OVER.

  14. Hi Sue,

    Hope you don't mind me saying, but I had a dream about those muffins last night :-) very nice they were too.

    Also, glad you said about the Mosaic Maker as I sort of borrowed the idea as well, should have said.


  15. Anonymous7:27 pm GMT

    Both recipes sound (and look) fantastic. I am regularly in awe of your incredible ways with leftovers. It's like an incredible culinary relay race that you run from one end of the week to the other.

  16. Looks DELISH! I am always getting told off for using cream in my pasta dishes, it is just heavenly though, has to be done, it must be quite tortuous for dieters reading your blog!

  17. Anonymous2:50 pm GMT

    I like the idea that one of my five a day could be from one of your muffins. If I ate five then I'd be covered for the day. Only kidding but both recipes look really gorgeous.

  18. Cream cheese in american recipes is the same as cream cheese in the u.k. Philadelphia being the main brand although there are many generics just the same but obviously a bit cheaper. Farmers cheese is the american version of curd cheese but soft creamy cheese from Waitrose is something that Waitrose has made up.
    I am not the true expert but have spent about half the year in the States and half in the U.k. for the last 34 years. What we really cannot get in the U.s. is the same sausages even when they are made up and sold in Whole Foods as bangers - the closest is Cumberland sausage. I am seriously thinking of buying a machine and have a bash at making them but then I would probably eat them everyday which would not be good.

  19. Thank you Lizzie. Maybe I should have used Philadelphia, but I thought I was using an own brand version of it.


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