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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ideas For Using All Those Pumpkins

10 Cool Pumpkin Ideas

When we hear about pumpkins, we think of Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns, pumpkin pie, and potentially Thanksgiving front door decorations. Actually, there are lots more ways to use a pumpkin – and you might like them even better!
During October, pumpkins abound. (In some cases, they are too bountiful.) And it’s not unusual to see excess pumpkins cast aside or left to rot after Halloween. However, there’s really no need to let all those pumpkins go to waste.
The following are a few of the great uses for pumpkins:.
1. Pumpkins in Dishes.
As a food, pumpkins are low in calories yet high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, protein, and potassium. Dig out your preferred cookbook and search for dishes containing pumpkin.
Pumpkin breads, pumpkin pies, soup and pumpkin muffins are favorites, however you can probably find lots of others. There are more exotic dishes to try also – pumpkin juice, pumpkin ice cream, as well as fried pumpkin. It might even turn out to be your favorite vegetable!
2. Pumpkin Seeds.
pumpkin seedsAlso called “pepitas,” pumpkin seeds are known to be highly nutritious and are used in weight-loss diets. They provide fiber, healthy fats and protein, along with such minerals as magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc and copper.
They are also known to strengthen the immune system and to be good for people with high cholesterol. In fact, you can find pumpkin seeds in health food snacks like paleo bars because they are so nutritious. Check out the Live Pumpkin Bar here.
Roasted pumpkin seeds make excellent snacks between meals, can be sprinkled over a holiday squash soup and are a favorite in Mexican food preparation. Candied pumpkin seeds are great for parties also – as well as your youngsters may accept them amongst their Halloween candy. Here’s how to make a batch:
3. Pumpkins for Animals.Mashed pumpkin is a good remedy for digestive trouble in dogs. It can be used to combat weight gain or diarrhea, and for resistance to infections. It is also said to be good for a dog’s night vision and general health.
Simply add a few spoonfuls of cooked and mashed pumpkin to your dog’s food. (Important: it must be pure mashed pumpkin, not a mix!) For information on how to create your very own mashed pumpkin, see # 4 below.
Cats may like pumpkin too, and it can be offered to help cats with similar digestive troubles, in addition to hairballs.
Keep in mind, if your pet is sick, take him to the vet! Ask your vet about making use of pumpkin as a home treatment.
4. Pumpkins for Later.
You can save them for later use in dishes and for winter holidays if you have more pumpkins than you know what to do with. There are several ways to create pumpkin puree which can be frozen for later. The following are three preparation methods:.
1. Baking – Cut the pumpkin into two halves, place it on a baking sheet with the flat side down, and bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for about an hour, or until it hurts when tested with a fork.
2. Microwave – Follow the above procedure, but instead of placing the pumpkin in an oven, microwave it on high for about 15 minutes, or until it hurts.
3. Boiling – Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and then wash. Then, place the chunks in a pot, cover with water (fully immersing the pumpkins, while leaving one inch of water on top), and boil until tender.
Once you’ve utilized among the approaches above to soften the pumpkin, cool it off, peel it, and mash it in a food mill. You can also make use of a potato masher or another similar device.
Just seal the puree into zip lock bags, or whatever is hassle-free, and freeze it for for the winter season. The puree can be used as a substitute for canned pumpkin, in any dish.
5. Pumpkins as Dishes.
You can clean a pumpkin well, cut it in half, and dry it for use as a serving bowl or a flower vase. You can also utilize a halved pumpkin to prepare or bake other foods in. Great if you’re going to a potluck dinner or need an easy, festive table centerpiece.
6. Pumpkins for the Skin.
Pumpkins contain anti-oxidants and alpha-hydroxy, which are said to be helpful for the skin. You can use pumpkin peels as a facial, to fight wrinkles or help with other skin troubles.

7. Pumpkins for Children and Games.
You can use pumpkins in kids’s drawing and carving contests. If your kids are too little to begin sculpting yet, they can also decorate pumpkins with markers or paint – or even create a pumpkin collage.
Chalkboard paint is a cool way to turn anything ordinary into a fun, artistic item. Paint a pumpkin with chalkboard paint and kids can draw on it, erase it and draw again. Super cool. Here are 9 more crafty chalkboard paint ideas.
8. Pumpkins as Ornaments.
Pumpkins, gourds, and squash can be used to create candle holders, Thanksgiving centerpieces and other ornaments. You could even paint them with black chalkboard paint! Check out these stencil ideas.
9. Musical Pumpkins.
Yes, that’s right, pumpkins make excellent musical instruments. Or, at least they can if you know how to make (and play) them. You can find a range of concepts for instruments that can be made from pumpkins, gourds, and squashes. Although many musical instruments are made from gourds, one can easily imagine how a large or small pumpkin would do just as well oftentimes.
10. Pumpkins for Crafts.
You might try some more advanced and imaginative uses of pumpkins if you are an experienced craftsman or a sincere enthusiast. You can make pumpkin leather like the American Indians did, or just settle with a simple pumpkin bird house.
As you can see, there’s really no need for pumpkins to go to waste, either before Halloween or afterwards.
Instead of letting additional pumpkins go to waste, these are a couple of ways to stretch your grocery spending plan a bit more, enjoy some health benefits, get your children away from the tv and get some fun family time as well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How a Dishtowel can help transport a hot dish

This little trick will be very useful during holidays, any time you need to take a hot dish to a potluck or whenever you are taking a dish anywhere. The trick is  to use a dish towel to help transport a casserole dish While many have nice casserole carriers there are those times that you may not be able to or want to use it for one reason or another. Then you are faced with a bit of challenge of transporting your dish without spilling and making sure it stays hot. In a pinch this little trick can help you control both.
Get a cardboard box slightly larger than your casserole. Line the box with a bath or beach towel and place the casserole (covered of course!) on top. Then back extra dish towels on either side of the casserole and cover the rest with another large bath or beach towel.
The towels will not only keep your dish hot until you get to the potluck, but it will also soak up any spills

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

Its pumpkin season and everywhere you look there is pumpkin flavored or pumpkin scent. Why not let the little ones get in on the act with this awesome smelling pumpkin pie play dough
Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

5-1/2 cups flour
 2 cups salt
8 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 spice container of pumpkin pie spice (about 1-1/2 oz if buying in bulk)
3/4 cup oil
orange food coloring (if you don't have orange, use 2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
4 cups water

In a large saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring until all lumps are blended. Allow to cool then knead pumpking pie playdough on a lightly floured counter or table until it is smooth and of playdough consistency. Add small amounts of water or flour if needed. Store in airtight container or tightly sealed ziploc bag.
Mix all ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until all lumps disappear. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth. Store in a plastic bag.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Dip

A pumpkin dip that is perfect for your next party or after school snack.

15 oz can of pumpkin
1 box of instant vanilla pudding powder
16 oz container of fat free cool whip
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tbsp Cinnamon

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.
Stir until well blended
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving


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