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I served this recipe at a Halloween themed party years ago and it was a big hit. I had moved and lost touch with most of the ladies who had attended the party. However, several years later, I received a phone call from one of the women who had been a guest at the party...she said she had been trying to track me down all that time because she wanted a copy of the recipe of the pumpkin dip I had served. I very happily provided her with the recipe and here it is for everyone else. I served this inside a large round of bread, which can be dyed orange to make it look like a pumpkin. Just use any recipe you like for a yeast bread and add orange food coloring to the dough (you can reserve a small dough ball and dye it green to stick on top of the round loaf before baking to represent a stem)...cut off the top of the loaf of bread and scoop out the inside to form a cavity to place your dip inside, then serve the bread "guts" as dippers, along with fresh veggies, crackers, chips, etc..whatever you prefer.
- 1 lb bread, whole round loaf, unsliced (see the description above for suggestions)
- 3⁄4 cup cooked pumpkin, mashed, unseasoned (canned is fine)
- 12 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature (Neufchatel)
- 2 tablespoons Mexican seasoning, blend
- 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
- 1⁄3 cup deli ham, thinly sliced, cut into small pieces
- 1⁄3 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1⁄3 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1 (2 1/4 ounce) can black olives, sliced, drained
- Beat together the pumpkin, cream cheese, Mexican seasoning blend,garlic powder, and pumpkin pie spice -- test seasoning and adjust to your liking. (NOTE:if your Mexican seasoning is not salty/peppery enough you may wish to add a bit of salt & pepper to taste as well, cayenne pepper if you want it zesty).
- Gently stir in diced bell peppers, the ham, and the olives to combine.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Before serving, cut off the top of your round loaf of bread and scoop out the middle, forming a bread bowl and lid (see description above for more complete suggestions) and fill the cavity with the dip.
- Serve dip with assorted fresh veggies, crackers, chunks of torn bread, etc.