Sure, we all love spending a crisp, fall day outside picking pumpkins, but what happens with them once you return home? Below are tips for using these orange gourds in your food and decor.
Prepare a healthy snack: Scoop out the inside of a pumpkin and gather the seeds. After cleaning and drying them, roast on a baking sheet with various seasonings for a healthy sweet or spicy treat. You can also toss the seeds in salads or use them to crust chicken or fish.
Create a tea light holder: Carve the tops out of mini pumpkins and fill them with tea lights or pumpkin-scented candles for a unique autumn centerpiece.
Spell out a message: Paint an individual letter on a series of large pumpkins to spell out a word or sentence. Place them together in order for all to see: (Try "The ____ Residence," "Happy Halloween," "Welcome" etc.)
Make a drink dispenser: Carve out a large pumpkin and clean the inside. Puncture a hole for a spigot and push it through the exterior. Fill with your beverage of choice.
Arrange a scavenger hunt: Place mini pumpkins all over your yard with different clues tagged onto the stems. Have kids search for a winning bowl of candy. Make it a grown-up version with a prize of pumpkin liquor.
Paint with them: Dip mini pumpkins in red, yellow and orange paint. Make festive autumn prints to hang around the house. Fun for both kids and adults.
Turn it into a serving bowl: Hollow out a medium size pumpkin and fill it with dip for your next soiree. Having a dinner party? Bake them in the oven, then serve your pumpkin soup inside the hallowed shell.
Grow a mini pumpkin patch: Plant seeds in pots, water continuously and watch them to grow. A great activity for the whole family.
Use them to weigh down balloons: Tie balloons to pumpkin stems and use them as a double duty decoration to keep them together. Place on tabletops, porch steps or around the perimeter of the room for any fall celebration.
Jenn Press Arata is a food writer and blogger. Visit her blog at thatssojenn.com. She also can be followed on Twitter, @thatssojennblog. She will be appearing on CT Style News 8 at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, with more Halloween tips.