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Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

14 Nov

Between jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, it seems like pumpkins are everywhere for the months of October & November…. Growing up I thought they were just for Halloween, but the older, more mature (?) me appreciates so many things about pumpkins…  Here are just a few of those things:

Decorating With Pumpkins

There are SO MANY ways pumpkins can be dressed up for the season.

Here is a link to our post on How to Make a Pumpkin Planter

how to make a pumpkin planter

How about these pretty pumpkins?

pretty pumpkins collage

You can carve your Pumpkins…

carved pumpkins collage

Cooking with Pumpkins

Make a Pumpkin Shake:

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of milk

3 tablespoons of pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Tastes just like pumpkin pie in a glass!

pumpkin pie milkshake

Pumpkin Bites – see our previous post for how to make them

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Roast Pumpkin Seeds:

2 cups pumpkin seeds

1 1/2 TBSP butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp c

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Clean and dry to seeds.  Melt butter in saucepan and stir in salt, garlic salt & Worcestershire sauce.  Add seeds and stir to coat.  Spread seeds on a single layer on a large un-greased cookie sheet.  Cook for 60 minutes stirring at the 15, 30, 40 and 50 minute marks.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

roasting pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Soup (courtesy of Allrecipes.com)

Makes 8 to 10 servings6 cups chicken stock1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

5 whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

pumpkin soup

And finally, you can always store your false teeth in them!

pumpkin with teeth collage

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Make an Autumn Wreath

7 Nov

Make an autumn wreath

Make an Autumn wreath

Now that Halloween is over, you can put away all the ghosts and jack-o-lanterns until next year.  The Autumn season is still in full swing so now is a perfect time to make a beautiful wreath that celebrates the colors of the season.

 

A grapevine wreath is very easy to work with and has the perfect natural look to go with the Autumnal colors.  Your choice of flowers and a bow can dress up or down the look of your wreath.

 

Prep the flowers and leaves for your wreath by cutting them off the longer stems:

Autumn wreath - prep

Now is the time to make the bow for your wreath.  Our How-to guide can be found in this post:

Autumn Wreath - make the bow

Dry-fit all of the pieces on the wreath until you get the look you want.  We recommend you take your time with this step so that you are truly happy with the final look.  Remember, there are no wrong answers here, and you can’t make any mistakes.  Enjoy this step and let your creative juices flow!

Autumn wreath - dry-fit

Once you are happy with your wreath, now is the time to hot glue all the pieces together:

Autumn Wreath - put it together

That’s it!  Your Autumn wreath is all finished.  Now all you have to do is hang it and enjoy!!!

 

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Pumpkin in the Morning….

27 Oct

The Autumn season brings with it hearty stews, rich flavors and spices.  It doesn’t necessarily bring a slower pace in my house though, so meals need to be fast, filling and flavorful.  One very quick breakfast item in my house are pumpkin bites.

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These pumpkin bites are very rich and have a denser consistency than a muffin or cake since there are no flour or egg like ingredients.  Three mini muffin size bites and a glass of milk are more than enough for breakfast to get your day started…

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1/2 cup peanut butter

1 15 ounce can pumpkin

1/2 cup whole nuts (I used pine nuts which gives a distinctive flavor, but you should choose your favorite)

1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.) – I happen to use 1/2 Craisins and 1/2 raisins

1 cup rolled oats

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (optional)

3 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

350 degree oven

In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits.

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Mix peanut butter and pumpkin until a well blended.

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Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

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Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin pans and bake for 15-20 minutes.

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Let us know what you think – do you use a lot of pumpkin in your cooking this time of year?

Anne-Marie Dunn is the Owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in Baptismal, First Communion & Confirmation Apparel for both boys and girls.

Are You Hosting Thanksgiving?

24 Oct

Although Halloween has not yet passed, now is the time to think of Thanksgiving — especially if you are hosting the holiday.

Modern Family Thanksgiving

Plan your menu now including appetizers, main course (turkey, of course!), dessert and beverages.   Purchase any non-perishables early since many of these meal items are on sale now.  Cranberries can be bought and frozen and butternut squash can be stored in a cool place.  Beer, wine and soda can also be purchased in advance.

Thanksgiving Day Menu

If you are serving dinner for a crowd, designate which food items are being contributed by your dinner guests.  Ask them to bring items that require advanced preparation so they will prepare them before arriving at your house.  This will free up more kitchen space and time for you!

family at dinner

Finally, if you are having overnight guest, now is the time to prepare the guest room.  Change the sheets, dust and find some pretty towels.

guest room preparation

Most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff and have a happy Thanksgiving!

May your Thanksgiving be

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year?  What preparations can you possibly do in advance to prepare yourself so you can enjoy the day and not be as stressed out?

 

http://www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com specializes in Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation apparel for boys and girls.