Vegan Pumpkin Pie

The Holiday season is upon us, which in the south means two things. Cooking and Baking. This Vegan Pumpkin Pie is an all american favorite sure to please even the pickiest eaters at your holiday table. Top with a spoonful of fresh whipped heavy cream and voila! The perfect dessert at Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Many thanks to Dr. Daisy Sutherland for providing this family favorite!


Vegan Pumkin Pie
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An All American Favorite
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: All American
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup unbleached flour
  • 7 Tbs. whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sugar or granulated sugar cane syrup
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbs. canola oil
  • 3 Tbs. almond milk plus ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. water
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin or puréed home-cooked fresh pumpkin (see note)
  • 1 cup low-fat almond milk or rice milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar cane syrup
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ Tbs. dark molasses or to taste
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
To make Crust:
  1. In medium bowl, combine both flours, salt, sugar and baking powder. In small bowl, mix oil and almond milk mixture.
  2. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix with a fork until it holds together in a ball. If it is too dry, add some water, a little at a time, until dough is moist enough to roll. (If time allows, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.)
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin forming an 11-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough. Flute or crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
To make Filling:
  1. In large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared crust and smooth top. Bake 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Top with your choice of dessert topping if desired.

The pie filling in this recipe needs to set overnight in the refrigerator, so make it the day before you serve it.

If you are going to use fresh pumpkin for the pie, do not use the jack-o’-lantern type; the flesh of these large pumpkins is too watery and stringy. Instead, look for small pumpkins, sometimes called pie pumpkins or other varieties of winter squash. To bake, cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds. Set, cut side down, in a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out the cooked flesh and purée.


Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe

Fall is here! And with fall comes all the rich earthy comfort smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, apples and pears. Today I’ve taken a fresh look at a southern favorite desert, bread pudding. I’ve added a few of my favorite flavors like cinnamon and wham, a Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe! Who could ask for more? Grab a print and let me know what you think!

Southern Pumpkin Bread Pudding
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Part cake, part pudding. Fully flavorfull.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 5 cups freshly cooked or canned pumpkin purée
  • 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tablespoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • ¾ cup plus ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 10 cups (2-inch) cubes slightly dry french, Italian, whole wheat or challah bread
  1. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin with eggs and egg yolks, half-and-half, brown sugar, ¼ cup of thegranulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons water and remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and heat over high heat.( As sugar melts, swirl the pan often to ensure even melting. )Do not stir with a spoon because it will slow the melting process and cause uneven browning.
  3. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until sugar has a deep caramel color; remove from the heat.
  4. Carefully whisk ¼ cup of the heavy cream into the caramel until well combined, then whisk in remaining ¾ cup heavy cream.
  5. Pour caramel mixture into a 2½-quart oblong casserole dish or individual ramekins.
  6. Top with half of the bread cubes, then pour half of the pumpkin mixture over the top.
  7. Top with remaining bread, then remaining pumpkin mixture, making sure to soak all of the bread.
  8. Set aside to let sit for 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes in a water bath, or until set.
serve in a wedge or square with simple fresh whipped cream or, vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.


Super Secret Ginger Cookies

Over the past few days the alarms have sounded more than a few times as friends have asked for some of  my specialty cookie recipes. I’ve not been too proned to share the old family cookies, but if I don’t who will? And now since most of the old folks have left our earthly home,  I think its time to share some goodies.. Yesterday was one of those days, and my dear friend Audrey needed some quick and easy cookies to bring for a party at her daughter’s gymnastics class party today.  I’d just made a few dozen of these lovelies and the recipe is so simple  I’ll share it here too. Audrey said she thought she’d been given the holy grail of cookie recipes..but truthfully, this one was passed on to me by my bestest friend Sissy’s, Aunt Sis.  We must have been 8th or 9th graders and it somehow got into our minds to make gingerbread houses.  Hours later and covered in royal icing, our houses appeared for all to see (I wish I had a picture).  More than slightly lopsided, we thought they were beautiful!  The recipe below can be used for making gingerbread houses (you’ll have to make your own template or download this one from Martha Stewart or Paula’s made it easy with  this

Over the years, I’ve learned some things about baking, burned my share of cookies and tweaked some recipes to get the results I want, so here goes..
There are several variations in the preparation through carefully. If I confused you anywhere, feel free to let me know through my contact page, I’ll be happy to help. The picture above is the last favorite and by far the easiest!

Super Secret Ginger Cookies
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Soft, sparkly cookies. Perfect for a holiday party!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: about 2 doz
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2¼ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
Simple Decorations, optional:
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup colored or crystal sanding sugar granules
For Cookies:
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth using an electric mixer.
  2. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
  3. Sift all the remaining dry ingredients in a separate large mixing bowl and mix well. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until a dough forms.
  4. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in waxed paper wrap.
  5. Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 4 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line cookie sheets.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Divide dough in half and put on a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it’s about ⅛-inch thick. While rolling, flour the work surface and rolling pin, as needed.
  8. Cut out desired cookie shapes with cookie cutters.
  9. Transfer cookies to a greased cookie sheet, spacing them 1-inch apart. (Yield depends on the size of your cutters.)
  10. Lightly brush cookies with milk and sprinkle with sugar granules, as desired.
  11. Bake until firm and edges begin to darken, 10 to 14 minutes.
  12. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
This is my favorite way to make these.
  1. Roll the dough into 2 logs that are about 2-inches high and 1-foot long.
  2. Wrap them in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Once thoroughly chilled, slice the cookies into ½-inch thick rounds and roll them as balls into sanding(coarse) sugar.
  5. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. watch them beginning at 8 min, bottoms should be browned tops cracked but cookies will be soft, cool on rack and let pans cool between batches.(Yield on this method is about 2 dozen.)

The chilling and rolling and sanding sugar make these crackle and crumble on top and ever so beautiful!


This Is How Ya Do The Watermelon Crawl

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say Summer in The South? Yep, hot, sweltering hot days. And most of my childhood, those sweltering hot days were usually accompanied by, you guessed it WATERMELON. Here are my favorite 3 great summer coolers for the adults and a couple of family favorites. Enjoy!


Kudzu Queen’s Dream (fit for Royalty)
Sexy and Fresh take on an old favorite drink
Recipe type: Adult Beverages
Cuisine: Southern
  • 2 oz. Reposado* tequila
  • 2 scoops fresh watermelon
  • 1 mint sprig 1 oz. simple syrup
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  1. Muddle mint and watermelon.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Shake and strain into a rocks glass.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig.

*Tequila Reposado

A Reposado Tequila is the first stage of “rested and aged”. The Tequila is aged in wood barrels or storage tanks between 2 months and 11 months. The spirit takes on a golden hue and the taste becomes a good balance between the Agave and wood flavors. Many different types of wood barrels are used for aging, with the most common being American or French oak. Some Tequilas are aged in used bourbon / whiskey, cognac, or wine barrels, and will inherit unique flavors from the previous spirit.


 Watermelon Martini

  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice or ½ ounce sour mix
  • 1 ounce melon liqueur
  • 1ounce citrus-flavored vodka (use the good stuff)
  • 1 ½ ounce freshly pureed watermelon
  • Crushed ice
    Sprig of mint, for garnish
    Small slice of watermelon with rind, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine lemon juice, melon liqueur, vodka and watermelon puree over crushed ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with mint sprig and watermelon slice and serve.


Watermelon Margarita (Frozen)

  • 5 cups watermelon, cubed, seeds and rind removed (about 1 3- to 4-pound melon)
  • 1 cup silver Tequila
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
    Watermelon slices (optional), for garnish


Place cut watermelon in airtight container and put into freezer overnight.

Put the frozen watermelon and remaining ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into margarita glasses and garnish with a wedge of watermelon if you like.



Watermelon Pickles

  • 2 quarts water
  • Rind from 1 large watermelon
  • 1/2 cup(1 dL) salt
  • 2 1/2 cups(6 dL) cider vinegar
  • 2 cups(400 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 small stick cinnamon, in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice

Remove the pink pulp from the watermelon and cut the rind into manageable pieces. Cover with boiling water and boil for 5 minutes; drain and cool. Cut off the green outer skin of the watermelon rind and remove any remaining bits of pink pulp. Cut the rind into 1-inch strips or squares or any shape you prefer. You should have 8 cups of cut-up rind. Mix the salt with 1 1/2 quarts cold water and pour over the rind. Let stand at room temperature for about 6 hours. Drain, soak in several changes of fresh, cold water, and drain again. Cover with fresh, cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer just until tender when pierced with a fork; drain. Mix the vinegar, 1 cup water, and the sugar in a pot, then add the cloves, cinnamon, and allspice tied in a cheesecloth bag. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add the watermelon rind and simmer until it is clear, adding more water only if necessary. Remove the spice bag. Pack in hot, sterilized jars and cover with the boiling liquid, leaving 1/4-inch headspace, and seal. If you wish, process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Ginger Watermelon Pickle: Add 1-2 tablespoons chopped preserved ginger to the vinegar mixture

Watermelon Salad

  • 1 (5-pound) watermelon
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
  • 6 whole mint sprigs

Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.
In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.
To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves

You Won’t Believe This Green Tomato Pound Cake Recipe

Southern Women have always been admired for their ingenuity and frugal ways. Just about this time each year when I was growing up, I spent a few months with my grand parents. They were truck farmers (they took their home grown veggies and fresh laid chicken eggs to the farmers market every day) Tomatoes were filling the vines, weighing down the plants, and fried green tomatoes were a compliment to almost every meal. But, granny had a special way with dessert, and here’s a wonderful “pound” cake with a unique ingredient. You’ll love it!

You’ll need a large bunt type or tube pan for this recipe. You probably will have some left over batter, so have a couple of small loaf pans ready just in case. Be sure to butter and flour your pans well. Also, this recipe calls for REAL butter. I’ve not tried it with margarine or any substitutes. Go ahead and splurge. Its worth it!

Green Tomato Pound Cake
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Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups diced green tomatoes
  • 1 cup golden raisins (soak until plump)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  6. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well (batter will be soft).
  7. Stir in tomatoes, raisins and walnuts.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from pan and let cool completely.
  12. Spoon Browned Butter icing over cake .

Browned Butter Icing:
In a medium saucepan over low heat melt ½ cup (1 stick) butter.
Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until butter is lightly browned.
Whisk in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth.



Somebody told me Paula Deen loves this recipe and has used it on her Food Network program. Well, she’s a  good southern woman, so I imagine it was handed down to her just as it was to me.