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Spiced Pumpkin Bars

Spiced Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

I had written all but the recipe by Sunday night, but then Monday and Tuesday we were down at the Pacific Northwest Pastors Conference all day, and this morning, I taught a writing class at the Bible College at Calvary Fellowship. I couldn’t get back to it until now. So just tell yourself it’s still Sunday when you read “this morning” and “today.” 😀

What a perfectly wonderful Sunday we had! It was flawless in every way. First of all, I came flying over the last hill on my way to church this morning and saw that the cornfields below our property were shrouded in a misty fog, which is exactly how I like my cornfields. I almost stopped to take a picture, but I was about to be late for worship practice, and I still had to unload my crock pot (full of chili), dish of corn bread, and pan of spiced pumpkin bars from the back seat of my car once I got to church. So I had to just mentally tuck that picture away.

This morning, Dave ordained another assistant pastor — Joel Belcher. I love Dave’s ordinations. They’re unlike any I’ve ever seen or heard about. Teaching from both Leviticus and John, he spent both services instructing the body on why God has established pastors and teachers, and what qualities a pastor must have: brokenness, love for God, a hunger to meet with Him, a strong appetite for the Word, and a willingness to serve Him by serving others. Ministry, Dave reminded us, is sacrifice.

He then brought Joel forward, and called all the elders to lay hands on him and pray for him.

And then, to give us a picture of sanctification (which means being set apart for God’s use), Dave anointed Joel’s right toe (that God would guide his steps), his right thumb (that every work of his hands would bring God glory), and his right ear lobe (that he would guard his mind and dwell only on those things that are pleasing to God).

Every shepherd needs a staff, right? Dave searched our property to find this just-right alder branch, then spent a half an hour at the Quilceda Tannery hunting down the perfect leather scraps to adorn it.

If you ever stumble onto a Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference, you’ll think a cruise ship shot off course, traveled inland, and spit out a thousand vacationing men, all wearing Hawaiian print shirts. I don’t see the fascination, but there you have it. Our guys like Hawaiian print shirts. But have you ever tried to buy Hawaiian-anything in the Pacific Northwest in late September? Slim pickin’s. We did manage to find these shorts, though. I actually think they’re an even better fit for Joel.

And here’s his lovely bride, Samantha. What a gift she is to Joel, and to our church family. We are grateful that God sent the Belchers to us.

After second service, we had our monthly ministry leaders’ meeting out on the back porch. Because Sundays can be very long days for us, I thought I’d bring lunch for the group. This afternoon’s menu: Crock Pot Chili over noodles and topped with shredded cheese,

a batch of no-fail corn bread,

and Spiced Pumpkin Bars with a cream cheese frosting.

I know. Between the corn bread and the pumpkin bars, that’s a LOT of bread. I expected a mutiny. But, funny thing … not a peep from anyone.

Fall has just begun, you know. I’ll bet someone in your house would love a batch of these.

Spiced Pumpkin Bars

  • 4 eggs
  • 16 oz pureed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt

In mixer, blend eggs, pumpkin, butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy.

In separate bowl, mix flour and dry ingredients. Add slowly to pumpkin mixture and blend well. Spread batter in an UNgreased 15 x 9 jelly roll pan (a rimmed baking sheet) and bake @ 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until cake is cooked and top springs back lightly when touched. Try not to overcook.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • About 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • a dash of salt
  • 2-2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla and salt, then begin adding powdered sugar, tasting as you go, until it’s as sweet as you like. Frost cooled cake and cut into bars or diamonds (my preference).

Enjoy!

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