The pumpkin is the ticket to seasonal baking and festive family bonding

Near the end of October and beginning of November, the feeling of the Fall season really starts to set in: Halloween, memorable times with family, delicious food and laughter are all in the air.

What better way to give thanks for all the wonders in life than to indulge in a delicious seasonal treat? We have much to celebrate in life, and there is nothing better then a warm whole made pastry.

Since my family is Italian, it is tradition to spend countless hours in the kitchen perfecting long standing family baking recipes, many of which came directly from Italy. A few that spark my tastebuds are: vanilla bean cookies, dark chocolate macaroons, and my favorite, pumpkin spice scones!

When I think of Fall foods, the pumpkin is at the heart of them all. Thanks to the local, Trader Joe’s, the creation of fall treats is right at your finger tips! If you are in college, not to worry, many pumpkin mixes and pulps will fit your budget.

Trader Joe’s offers a multitude of kits and packages that include everything you need to create a tasty and easy pumpkin treat. They offer recipe kits such as: caramel pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spiced cheesecake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced babka, pumpkin pancake and waffle mix, pumpkin toaster pastries, pumpkin scones, pumpkin spiced whip cream and even pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds!

Clearly, there is no better place to kick off pumpkin season then Trader Joe’s.

Tradition is essential to celebrate during the holidays and specifically around Thanksgiving. Whatever your origins and cooking traditions may be, it is important to shed extra light on them during this grateful time of year.

I was given the opportunity this weekend to speak to the owner of Grazia Puma Panetteria, a family owned Italian bakery in Willow Glen, California.  Suzette Sorrentino agrees with me about about the importance of baking and family tradition:

Around this time of year, many start noticing the trees turning colors, or for children, many start thinking about Halloween costumes, but for my family the onset of Fall evokes a specific memory and ongoing tradition that we’ve enjoyed year after year. As Fall marks the beginning of our Italian cookie baking season! Based on recipes handed down through many generations, we al share in the enjoyment of our unique, mouth watering, artful cookies.

Essentially, instead of the focus being on Halloween candy, we should all strive to incorporate family bonding into our sweets by baking a home prepared treat this season.

We all need a break to our healthy eating regime; relish in the sweetness. After all, calories don’t count during the holidays!