Passion for Pumpkin

Fall is lovely…gorgeous colors, the crisp nights where you can leave the windows open and snuggle under a down comforter, the boots (OH the boots!).

There is one “flavor” that is fall and it is the great pumpkin. I adore all things pumpkin, so here is a special list to satisfy your pumpkin cravings in a savvy way!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes

They are the Shamrock Shake of the fall. They embody fall in a heavenly cup of warm & toasty goodness. If you are looking for a little less expensive latte, hit up Dunkin’ Donuts! They have a Pumpkin Spice Coffee and a Pumpkin Latte for less. If you sign up for their Dunkin’ UpDDate, you automatically get a free beverage!

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix

Ok, stay tuned because I have a whole post coming soon dedicated to this stuff. There are a million and one things you can do with this multipurpose mix. I usually whip up a batch of muffins with either a cream cheese or vanilla frosting filling.

Designer Pumpkin Carving

I don’t just carve pumpkins with the triangle eyes and a gap-toothed grin. I absolutely love creating a mini masterpiece out of the jack o’ lanterns. Here are a few sites to grab some stencils. It really isn’t as hard as it looks…really. Seriously. Tape the pattern to the pumpkin and use a toothpick to poke a dotted line along the black parts of the stencil (white part stays, black part will be cut out). You need a super small pumpkin carving knife to tackle the small curves, but can find them at any drug store for a few bucks.

Pumpkin Masters
Creative-Type Dad (where I downloaded the Linus stencil)
Pumpkin Pile
Pumpkin Glow (need to enter e-mail address, but they have the BEST patterns…hello Marilyn Monroe!)

Yeah, I carved it!

Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds

The best part of carving pumpkins is that you get TWO fabulous items out of one project! First, the amazingly carved pumpkin and second, toasted pumpkin seeds. I made these every year when I was little and am excited to try the grown up versions this year. BONUS: pumpkin seeds are actually good for you- they contain zinc, vitamin E, vitamin B, protein and healthy fats. Grab recipes below:

Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Bobby Flay’s Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Patterned Pumpkin Decorations

This year, I got all Pinterest-y with the spray paint and made my own patterned pumpkin display. Best part? I get to use them again every year! Easiest way to do this is spray the faux pumpkins with your base coat, then use a metallic paint pen to create the designs.

Enjoy and please share your favorite pumpkin projects with me!