Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall

Lone red leaf.

The faces of fall in Michigan

I always mourn the passing of summer a little bit, because I hate to see the end of enjoying days spent outside, walking on a warm Lake Michigan beach, biking until after 9 PM, gardening in our back yard, and just for a short time, not freezing to death every day of my life as I do the rest of the year. The consolation  is that fall in Michigan is a beautiful time. The air has the crisp autumn smell of leaves and chill. The trees take their time changing colors, so one can enjoy them for a while. The apple crop is finally ready, and for a couple of months we can eat fresh instead of storage apples, and bake all sorts of delicious apple deserts.

Here in Michigan, it’s too early to find a dramatic display of fall colors, so I’ve brought you a little bit of all the tastes of early fall. Enjoy.

Autumn Joy, my favorite

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© Huffygirl 2011


Hearty pumpkin rolls

Hearty pumpkin rolls (Photo: Huffygirl)

This is a great recipe for a cold winter day when you have time to stay with it for about 3 1/2 hours. I’ve also made the dough one day, refrigerated it overnight and shaped the rolls and finished it the next day. The original recipe had a few glitches and I’ve added my modifications.


Proof one packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons regular rise yeast in 1/8 cup warm water. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the following:

Just under 1 cup milk or soy milk, warm

2/3 cup white sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, room temperature

2 teaspoons salt

3 cups white flour (5 1/2 to 6  cups total)

Mix all together on low with an electric mixer. Then stir in an additional 2  to 2 1/2 cups of flour by hand. 

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured cloth and knead in an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of flour until the dough is no longer sticky and becomes smooth, about 5 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1  to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured cloth. Divide dough with a

You'll need 2-4 baking pans, depending on their size. (Photo: Huffygirl)

sharp knife into 32 pieces and shape into rolls. Place into greased baking pans. Cover and allow to rise again, about 45 minutes to 75 minutes, until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-27 minutes, until rolls are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Turn out onto wire rack to cool. Serve warm. Rolls may be frozen for later use.

Variation 1: If you have a stand mixer with dough hook (I don’t) mix all ingredients in mixing bowl on low until combined, then increase speed to medium low and mix for 5 minutes to knead, adding additional flour if needed.

Variation 2: For hearty bread, shape into two large loaves and bake in bread pans or round cake pans. 

Variation 3: For hearty cinnamon rolls, instead of shaping into rolls, roll dough out into a rectangle. Spread with melted butter or margarine, then sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture and mini chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, or currents. Slice into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices, lie flat on cookie sheets or baking pans, and follow the directions for rising and baking rolls.

Yum! (Photo: Huffygirl)


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