As the air has cooled around us and our culinary repertoire has shifted once again, I am pleasantly surprised at how my “favorites” have evolved through the years.

Last week I baked a batch of pumpkin bars and was immediately transported back in time to when bar cookies with frosting were the standard. For those who need to contribute something sweet to your Thanksgiving celebrations – I’m happy to share my pumpkin bar recipe below. Add some nostalgia to your baking this holiday!

And, for that extra special Thanksgiving, Catering By Design can help a little or a lot. Take a look at our holiday menu and please call us with your questions. Orders must be placed by Saturday, November 20 and will be available for pick up or delivery on Wednesday, November 24. Payment must be made at time of pickup or delivery, by cash, check or by Visa/Master Card. You may place your orders by telephone (816-753-8414), e-mail or Facebook.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and please let us know how the Pumpkin-Spice bars turn out for your family.



Sun-Dried Tomato Tapanade with Crostini (serves 10-12) $20/pt
Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms $18/doz
Puff Pastry Spirals with Prosciutto, Honey Mustard and Parmesan (approx. 25-30 pieces – slice and bake) $20/roll
Curried Appetizer Cheesecake with Cranberry Chutney (serves 20 or more) $45
Smoked Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce (2 1/2-3 lb. side) $85


Cranberry Ribbon Coffee Cake (8” loaf pan) $15
Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling $15/doz
Orange Currant Scones $21/doz
Traditional Scones with Blood Orange Marmalade $24/doz
Cinnamon Sugar Bombs (mini muffin size) $12/doz


Mashed Potatoes $15/9”pan
Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecans $14/9”pan
Catering By Design Traditional Stuffing $14/9”pan
Traditional Stuffing with Sausage & Nuts $18/9”pan
Haricot Vert with Crispy Shallots $12/qt
Bourbon Carrots $14/qt
Roasted Seasonal Vegetables $15/qt
Cranberry Chutney $12/pt


Gingered Butternut Squash Soup with Pecan Cream $12/qt
Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup $12/qt
Pistou Soup $14/qt


Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust $48
Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting $36
Chunky Apple Walnut Cake with Calvados Cream Glaze $32
Chocolate Pecan Pie $24
Vanilla and Cider Panna Cottas $6.50 each
Cranberry and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies $18/doz
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread with Orange Zest $21/doz


Recipe: Pumpkin-Spice Bars

4 large eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4. t. ground cloves
1 c. raisins, if desired
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease bottom and sides of half-sheet pan (18”x12”), with shortening.
Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin in large bowl until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves. Stir in raisins (if desired). Spread in pan.
Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean – do not overbake!
Cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours. frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Sprinkle with walnuts. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 t. pure vanilla extract
3/4 lb. confectioner’s sugar, sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract.
Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix until smooth.

Please note: this may yield more frosting than you will actually use. Refrigerate unused frosting in an airtight container for up to three weeks. Bring to room temperature and mix in mixing bowl until creamy.