Pumpkin Obsessed

Pumpkin Spice. Everything Nice.

Aldi Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Available at: Aldi
Cost: I don’t remember – probably two or three bucks

Notes: I love it when I can find things in the “weird” category of pumpkin spice. You never know if something might be surprisingly good… or not.

I made myself a quick salad while my gnocchi cooked and grabbed a quick forkful as I moved across the kitchen to heat up my sauce.


It was so bad I couldn’t quite believe how bad it was. So, I sat down and took another bite.


Off the bat, I’ll say that this has no pumpkin flavor to it whatsoever, which would mean an automatic low rating. But it’s beyond that. This was just straight-up not good. It tasted really strongly of mustard and vinegar, which I know are good flavors to have in a salad dressing, but in this case, neither the parts or the sum were in any way good at all.

I think I managed three bites before I chucked everything in the trash and made myself a new salad.

For the love of all that’s holy, do not buy this.

Rating: 0 🎃


Pumpkin Potato Gnocchi

Available at: Aldi
Cost: $2

Notes: I know this isn’t the prettiest picture in the world, but seriously, it’s gnocchi. They look like little blobs and that’s all there is to it. I made it with a garlic alfredo sauce, which is tasty but admittedly didn’t help at all with the presentation factor. Can we agree that gnocchi aren’t pretty and just move on? Thanks.

Gnocchi are delicious, and these are no exception. HOWEVER, this is a pumpkin blog and they have no pumpkin flavor whatsoever. You should definitely eat them if you have two bucks in your pocket and you like pasta. But as a pumpkin item?

Rating: 0 🎃

Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce, Sausage, and Spinach

Available at: I made it, using a recipe from The Good Mama
Quick and Easy: Yes! This was on my plate in about 30 minutes

Notes: This was a fantastic combination of flavors. You have our friend, pumpkin, enhanced with nutmeg and thyme. Fresh spinach. Parmesan cheese. And savory Italian sausage. Yes, yes, yes!

I made a couple of modifications to the recipe as given. I used rotini instead of bow tie pasta. Bow ties are cuter, so that’d be a better choice next time. The sausage I used was a chicken Italian sausage, and it was pre-cooked, so all I had to do was slice it and put it in the sauce. And I subbed sour cream for the plain Greek yogurt. I don’t think my mods made much of a difference to the finished product.

This recipe turned out great. I loved the spinach in it, for both color and flavor, and the sausage was really good – though you could leave it out if you wanted this to be a vegetarian recipe. The only change I would make would be to add some garlic, because garlic is awesome.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Almond Beverage

Available at: Trader Joe’s
Cost: They were in my care package from my friend Maria!

Notes: I like almond milk in general. It has an interesting nutty flavor (which I guess isn’t that interesting when you consider it’s from nuts, but you know what I mean, right), and it’s high in calcium. Chocolate almond milk is a staple at my sweetie’s house, so I was psyched to try this pumpkin iteration.

I began by swigging it directly out of the cartoon. It’s very good, with perfect pumpkin spices, and not too sweet. Where it was really, really amazing was in my coffee. I would buy this year round and use it instead of milk in my coffee if only I could.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Zombie Burger Pumpkin Pie Shake

Available at: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, Des Moines
Cost: I think it was, like $5?

Notes: This weekend’s road trip brought us to Des Moines, Iowa and a late night visit to Zombie Burger. My sweetie and I studied the menu, which is impressive and includes things like burgers with fried macaroni and cheese in lieu of a bun (for those of us with high-carb lifestyles). Obviously, we decided we needed shakes, too.

When they arrived, he asked me what kind I got, which means he definitely didn’t read the menu all the way through, because there was no choice for me but pumpkin pie.

This shake was absolutely delightful. It tasted like… pumpkin pie. Including bits of obliterated crust and a generous dollop of whipped cream on top. Better still, this is not a seasonal item. Looks like someone has figured out that pumpkin pie is delicious year-round.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Pumpkin Spice Fry Cake

Available at: New Glarus Bakery, New Glarus, WI
Cost: 70 cents

Notes: Since it’s pumpkin spice season, a weekend road trip means an opportunity to taste new pumpkin items. If only this were my actual job, we could consider it a write-off. But, since it’s not, I can find happiness in delicious pastries.

Such as this pumpkin spice fry cake from the adorable bakery in New Glarus. It’s a cake doughnut (or fry cake, if you prefer), and you can order it with sugar coating on the outside or without.

Why without? I don’t know either.

Anyway, this this is delicious, with a strong nutmeg flavor, and I regret not buying more of them.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Arcadia Ales Jaw-Jacker

Available at: I found mine at Hy-Vee
Cost: $10 for a six pack

Notes: I took a drink of this beer and enjoyed strong cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. And then – and here’s where I went wrong – I swallowed that mouthful of beer. And then I was hit, hard, right in the face, with a horrible, bitter, nasty aftertaste.

Blech. That can’t be right.

I tried again, two more times, to take a sip of this beer and was assaulted again with horrible flavor.

Then, I poured the beer down the sink and went out for pumpkin ice cream. It was terrible. It gets one pumpkin for the sole fact that the first flavors are good pumpkin spice flavors, but I’m being generous.

Rating: 🎃, 0🍺

Pumpkin Chipotle Salsa

Available at: Aldi
Cost: I don’t remember, but it’s from Aldi, so I’d guess about $3

Notes: I had this salsa for dinner last night with sweet corn and bean flautas, but I’ve also snacked on it with the Simply Nature Pumpkin Seed Tortilla Chips. It has an awesome, smoky chipotle flavor… but tastes absolutely nothing like pumpkin. It’s good, but I can’t rate it higher than…

Rating: 🎃

Pumpkin & Sage Ravioli

Available at: Aldi
Cost: $2.79

Notes: Look how cute this ravioli is! Isn’t that, alone, enough to make you want to buy it?

If not, I’ll go on to say that these pretty harvest-hue marbled ravioli are filled with pumpkin, sage, and I’d guess some kind of cheese, like maybe ricotta. I topped mine with brown butter, but either Aldi pumpkin sauce would have worked, too. An alfredo, I think, also would have been good.

These were as delicious as they were pretty. Excellent weeknight dinner.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

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