2015 Holiday Gift Guide - Gourmet Gifts

This year I decided to opt out of shopping during Black Friday so I could sleep in until ten and eat leftover pie for breakfast (while wearing my comfy jammies, of course.) I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day. Some people like to get up early and brave the crowds, but I will always choose pie over shopping, of that you should have no doubt.

Now, just because I took the day off and spent it acting like the glutton you know I am doesn't mean I didn't have you on my mind—I had a feeling at least some of you were staying in and enjoying your own food coma. So, for those of you who were smart enough to avoid the holiday madness that is Black Friday I have another handy gift guide made up of my favorite edible things. If store bought gifts really aren't your style, make sure you check out our DIY gifts and Cookies for some tasty holiday inspiration. 

2015 Holiday Gift Guide - Gourmet Gifts


This post contains my Adagio, Amazon, and Sur la Table affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that the Mix & Match Tea Gift Set was provided to me free of charge by Adagio for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas

Last year after the holidays I came across a great clearance deal—organic pumpkin was only $1 per can. I didn't know what I would do with it all, but I snapped up as much as possible since it didn't expire until sometime in 2017. Surely I could find a way to use 40 cans of pumpkin by then. It wasn't until a few weeks later I discovered that only half of my cans were actually pumpkin, the other half were pumpkin pie mix.

Talk about a major doh! moment.

I only make 1 pumpkin pie a year, what in the world was I going to do with 20 cans of pumpkin pie mix? I was pretty sure I couldn't be the only person on Earth to make this mistake, the cans for pumpkin and pumpkin pie mix look almost identical, so I turned to my trusty friend Google for answers. It turns out that there really aren't that many recipes out there that call for pumpkin pie mix.

I'm sure that comes as a total shock to you, doesn't it?

Not to be deterred I decided to follow someone's suggestion to make pumpkin bread out of it and it turned out fabulous. So, if you ever find yourself with a random can of pumpkin pie mix you now know what to do with it. Then again you could run out and buy one just to make this recipe—it's pretty tasty with a cup of chai or coffee.

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas
3 mini loaves


for the bread

½ cups white sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
15 ounce can pumpkin pie mix (not canned pumpkin)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda


pumpkin pie spiced pepitas


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl combine sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, and pumpkin pie mix. Mix until well-combined, then add all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until the dry ingredients are throughly incorporated, pour into loaf pan, and top with pumpkin pie spiced pepitas.
  • Bake for 35 - 40 minutes in a preheated oven. Loaves are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes away clean.


Mini loaf pan sizes vary quite a bit, which means baking time will vary as well. I used 7"x2.5"x1.8" paper loaf pans for this recipe. If you use a different size pan or one made of metal you may need to adjust your baking time. 

Can't find paper loaf pans? You can purchase them on Amazon, but I found mine at Home Goods they were $4.99 for a pack of 6. 


Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

The holidays are always a hectic time for us since we live so far from home. It’s a six hour drive (or longer if we’ve had a recent snowfall) so I like to pack a treat to eat on the road. Monday I spent the morning alternating my time between baking and rounding up every last thing we think we need for the trip back to St. Louis. Somehow we always pack twice as much as we actually need, but once the car was loaded up we hopped in and made our way home.

Even though I’m not in charge of cooking a single thing for the holiday meal this year I still hate to come empty handed. The pumpkin pie spiced pepitas I made for our trip are perfect to bring along to all of our family gatherings. They only take a few minutes to make, especially if you buy pre-hulled pumpkin seeds (look for them in the health-food section, the baking aisle, or with the snack nuts) and you can make them in advance if need be. Toss the seeds with liberal amounts of butter, salt, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice—bake for a few minutes—and you'll have a tasty treat to share with your friends and family. They'll be gone in minutes, so make sure to bring extras!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas
makes 8 - 10 servings


2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
12 ounces (2½ cups) pepitas
⅛ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
sea salt, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine melted butter, pepitas, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes, stir once, and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
  • Once the pepitas have been removed from the oven allow them to cool for 30 minutes and top with sea salt before serving.


Leftover pepitas can be stored in an airtight container. They'll stay fresh for at least 5 days, but ours are usually long gone before then.