A Holiday Treat: Pumpkin Crunch

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and one of the staples on every Thanksgiving spread is pumpkin pie.

While you could stick to the same old boring pumpkin pie you have at the table every single year, you could switch it up and make something easier and—believe it or not—more delicious.

What I’m talking about is Pumpkin Crunch—my absolute favorite dish to make during the holiday season.

 

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED?

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-1 yellow cake mix

-1 16oz can of pumpkin

-1 ½ cups sugar

-2 teaspoons cinnamon

-1 teaspoon nutmeg

-1 12oz can of evaporated milk

-3 eggs

-1 cup crushed pecans

-2 sticks of melted butter

 

HOW DO I MAKE IT?

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13×9 inch pan with Canola Oil.

2. Mix together the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs and evaporated milk using a stand or hand mixer. Pour the mixture into the cake pan.

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3.  Sprinkle the cake mix on top of the pumpkin mixture until it is covered completely and evenly.

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4. Sprinkle the pecans evenly on the top of the cake mix.

2014-10-19 09.21.555.  Pour the melted butter on top of the dry cake mix evenly.

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6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the Pumpkin Crunch is golden brown.

7.  Top with whipped cream and enjoy.

This delectable dessert is best served warm, but you can enjoy it in whatever way you wish.

Don’t make the same old pumpkin pie this year that you have every other year before—switch it up and try Pumpkin Crunch! You won’t be sorry!

 

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A different perspective in “Room”

room

As many of you know, I’m currently a part of a book club which I absolutely love. It seems like such a mature adult thing to do. We read a book, and then get together to eat, drink wine and discuss what we read.

The way we pick a book is very intricate. I’m actually being sarcastic with that—we literally just draw the name of a book out of a hat. This month, our book was one that has been getting a lot of feedback all over the place. We read the book “Room” by Emma Donoghue.

“Room” has something going for it though—it is unlike anything I’ve ever read.

What’s so different about this novel, you may ask? The main difference between this book and every other one I’ve read is the fact that this book is told in the perspective of a five year old boy named Jack. For the first time ever a child of only five years is the narrator. The innocence of the child makes the chillingly eerie plot hard to take in.

The thing about Jack’s story is that it isn’t a happy story about living in a two story house with a white picket fence and a mother and father taking him on trips to Disney World. Instead, this is a story of captivity.

Jack and his Ma are being held captive by a man named Old Nick who keeps them in a shed behind his home. The only life Jack knows is as a prisoner. Jack has never been in the outside world.

I would give a synopsis of the book, but honestly if I say anything more than I have said, it would completely give away important elements of the book.

What I can say is that this book was well crafted in its originality. I think writing a book in the perspective of someone so young was a bold choice. It could have gone very wrong, but instead it somehow works.

While I will admit it took some getting used to, once you get past the first twenty pages or so, it gets easier to understand the voice the story is written in. When you identify with the character, it isn’t too hard to get into. However, I could understand this being a real road blocker in reading this book.

I think using the voice of a child also makes the reader connect with the character instantaneously. While I’ve read many books in my time that had characters I couldn’t relate to, despite my 21 years on Jack, I could familiarize myself with him. Mostly because he was such a young boy. The moment I began the story, I was on Jack’s side because he was a child. I also think it made it easier for the author to write about horrible circumstances but not make a completely depressing book. Had this story been told in his mother’s voice, it would have been hard to read and very emotional throughout.

I can also say that the book’s plot kept me very entertained. I wanted to know the entire time if Jack and his mom would ever escape and if so, where life would take them from there. While I can’t say the book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, I can say it intrigued me in a way I haven’t been intrigued while reading a book. For the entirety of “Room” all I wanted was for Jack and his mom to be okay.

I try to use humor in all my book reviews to show that no matter what I’m reading—good or bad—I still have my sense of humor. This book, though, is nearly impossible to crack a joke about.

I can’t promise you that you will love this book. It’s creepy in the worst kind of way, but I can promise you that if you read it, you will experience a type of literature you have yet to.

I’m grateful to have read it because it was so original and I respect that. Most books are written in first or second person and generally narrated by someone between the ages of 16-60 years old. As I writer, I really loved reading something completely different. It pushes me to want to think outside the box in the works I create too.

I do recommend “Room,” but I recommend getting it from the library and not buying to read whenever you want. Even though I enjoyed reading “Room”, I probably won’t be dusting it off the shelf anytime soon for a second read. I just found it a little too disturbing for pleasure reading, but for a thought provoking discussion piece—“Room” is perfect.