Thanksgiving may be over for the year (and with it “official” pumpkin season), but I’m still riding the Thanksgiving wave.
It is far and away my favourite day of the year. Food, family, gratefulness… it’s like a wonderfulness bomb that explodes joy all over my heart.
Is that too much? I can’t help it. I love it so.
And I love ALL of it: the planning, the lead up, the actual event, and the days and weeks following it. It makes me feel giddy.
In this season of togetherness, friends, and family fun, it’s great to have a set of fast, go-to recipes that can provide holiday cheer to share with last minute or as an unexpected treat for the kids or even for the parents when the munchkins have been tucked into bed for the night.
Is there any food that screams Thanksgiving quite like pumpkin? I’ve been turning pumpkin goodies out of my kitchen like it’s going out of style, but nothing quite compares to the ease of this thick, velvety Pumpkin Cheesecake Milkshake.
Inspired by the Pumpkin Smoothie from The Pioneer Woman’s new holiday cookbook, this treatful shake makes any celebration just that much tastier. It is rich, pumpkiny, and completely satisfying, to be sure, but it is also done in mere moments which makes it even more fun!
Are you a Thanksgiving nut like I am? What’s your favourite part? Family, friends, food? Something else entirely?
Dishes that Make a Difference
While I was in Ecuador with World Vision in September and October of this year, I met Diana. She was a single mother who was raising her children and caring for her ailing father.
She welcomed us into her home and made a meal for us with vegetables she grew after learning from World Vision how and why to keep a garden. Among the dishes was a pumpkin soup made from a pumpkin she gathered as she walked us through her vegetable patch.
Every time I have pumpkin now, I am reminded about my time in Ecuador and being chosen by a child to be involved in his life as a sponsor. That experience was one I will remember for the rest of my life.
We ate lunch in a courtyard filled with children who had just chosen sponsors, and in my mind food and togetherness are always linked. There are quite a few ways to give food-related gifts this season through World Vision.
Whether you shop in the World Vision Catalog and give the gift of food to those in need around the world or sign up to be Chosen by a child or choose traditional sponsorship, you are helping promote togetherness across borders. What a beautiful tradition to add to your holidays.
Take it from me, making the commitment to be Chosen by a child is one of the most incredible things I’ve done this year. You can, too, and feel the joy of helping a child empower him or herself to take hold of their future.
For some more ideas on how to add magic to your Christmas season with meaningful foods and gift choices, check out my friends’ posts and recipes that were inspired by our time in Ecuador: Mary has fruit and nut chocolate bark, Meseidy has Puerto Rican Fried Rice, and Matthew has a baby kale salad.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Milkshake
Add all ingredients (except for the graham crackers) to a blender and blend on HIGH just until the mixture is smooth. It will be thick.
Divide between three glasses and garnish with crumbled graham crackers.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Milkshake
- 1 can pumpkin puree 15 ounce, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese Regular or 1/3 Less fat
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 small pinch ground cloves
Optional for garnish:
- Crushed graham crackers
- Add all ingredients (except for the graham crackers) to a blender and blend on HIGH just until the mixture is smooth. It will be thick.
- Divide between three glasses and garnish with crushed graham crackers, if desired.
This post was originally published November 2013, and updated December 2019.