real life test kitchen: easy pumpkin pie pancakes

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All the pumpkin bread recipes I’ve tried over the years turned out moist but too dense. When I found a recipe for pumpkin pie pancakes in a magazine last year, I decided to give it a try. Of course, I discovered after I started that I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I used pancake mix instead. The result is a pancake that’s quick, moist, fragrant, and best of all, unbelievably light. So light, in fact, that after the flip I usually press down gently on the pancake with the spatula to flatten them a little. The recipe can easily be halved — all my impromptu recipes have a way of expanding on me. It’s a great way to use up some leftover pumpkin. And more good news? The leftovers reheat wonderfully! — Sarah L. Click for the easy pumpkin pie pancakes recipe! (more…)

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strangely appealing: the suitcase sofa

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Ah, the holidays — our favorite time of the year to spend an inordinate number of hours at the airport. Designer Eric De Nijs of Nieuwe Heren addresses this problem with his Suited Case. Like an upholstered Transformer, larger suitcases combine with hand luggage to create a couch built for two. While I’m a fan of classic suitcases, it would be nice to have my own couch to sit on while playing the waiting game this holiday season. View more photos at Dezeen. — Sarah C.

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gift idea: 18 short stories

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Give someone the gift of One Story, and your recipient will receive a new short story in the mail every three weeks for a year. At $21, it’s a steal, especially considering the quality of the writing. (You can view some author information here.) Processing takes 4-6 weeks, so if you want the first story to arrive close to the holidays, it’s not too early to add One Story to your list. I gave it to my youngest sister last year. She loved it so much, when my birthday came up a few months later, I gifted myself! — Sarah L.

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ebay find: amelia earhart luggage

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If you’ve seen the new movie Amelia, you know that Amelia Earhart was much more than an aviator and an inspiration to millions. In her far-too-brief 39 years, she authored two books, was an associate editor at Cosmopolitan, became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University (where she planned to return after her ’round-the-world flight) and was actively involved in the manufacture and promotion of several products that bore her name. My favorite? Amelia Earhart luggage, which Earhart insisted be up to the demands of air travel. Perhaps that’s one reason you still find great travel cases, trunks, and suitcases on eBay, like a demure set of three or this bright green, ribbon-trimmed assortment. (We found the vintage ad on eBay, too.) Me? I’ve been stubbornly holding out hopes for years that I’ll find one while antiquing. It’s part of the adventure. — Sarah L.

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post off: how do you carve your pumpkin?

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How do you carve your pumpkins for Halloween? From simple and scary to elaborate and goofy, there seem to be as many different answers as there are Nightmare on Elm Street sequels. I walk (or zombie shuffle, if you will) the traditional path of a carved, scary jack-o-lantern face. My new husband, on the other hand, spends hours delicately removing the outermost layers of pumpkin skin to create an intricate spooky, glowing graveyard scene (and yet, somehow, we make it work). So how about it, Ghouls and Goblins: is it an art form in your house? Do you attempt portraits ? Any disastrous experiments that we should know about? –Katie D.

Photo via ExtremePumpkins.com

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