featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It’s that time of year again – pumpkin time. Monica S. writes for Feast Your Eyes!,  which is a company that does event-planning and catering in Toronto. Today she joins us to offer 15 suggestions for things to do with your pumpkin. -- AP

15 Things To Do with Your Pumpkin

Autumn is the season for cooler weather, amazing parties and most importantly, pumpkins. This time of year, you see pumpkins everywhere. Many believe that the only use for this large vegetable is turning it into a delicious pie or carving it for Halloween, but this is not the case. There is so much that you can do with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Here are fifteen things to do with your pumpkin.

1. Make candleholders
One great way to utilize mini pumpkins is creating cute little candle holders. Whether you are holding a party in your home or planning an event, pumpkin candle holders are great additions to any autumn décor. Carve a hole in the top portion of the miniature pumpkins and place candles inside. For a more detailed look, carve designs on the outside.

2. Make pumpkin seeds
Instead of throwing out your leftover seeds, rinse them out and sprinkle them with a little salt or spice. Then place them in a 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes until they turn golden brown to create a tasty and nutritional snack. Pumpkin seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, iron and zinc as well.

3. Paint your pumpkins
In order to use your pumpkins as beautiful decorations, paint them instead of carving. With the help of latex paint, you can paint almost anything on a pumpkin.

4. Pumpkin Bowling
Look for the roundest pumpkin you can find and then remove its stem, Afterwards use the round pumpkin instead of using the ball in a kiddies bowling set. Don’t expect the pumpkin to roll straight like a ball. That’s where the fun comes in!

5. Make a pumpkin gift basket
Instead of going to the store to purchase pre-made gift baskets, create your own by using pumpkins. Once you hollow out the pumpkin, you can fill it with flowers, jams and other gift foods to give to party guests or family members.

6. Use your pumpkin as a vase
 Carve out the top part of your pumpkin and clean the inside. Place a vase inside to hold the flowers. The other options is to hot glue flowers or candles on the top of the pumpkin.

7. Use as fireplace decorations
Once you have painted or carved your pumpkins, you can use them as fireplace decorations. Beautifully decorated pumpkins can highlight a focal point, such as a fireplace, in a room.

8. Pumpkin Games
Halloween parties can be fun; coming up with ideas for games can be a bit challenging. Find some really mini pumpkins to use for pumpkin bobbing, or play the passing pumpkin or even finding the pumpkin games.

9. Set up an outdoor pumpkin wagon
When you want to spruce up an outdoor space and give it that seasonal feel, set up an outdoor pumpkin wagon or two.

10. Carve a pumpkin
It’s something fun that people of all ages can do. You can either carve out something really silly and simple or you can carve out something really scary and spooky.

11. Bake a pie
Everyone loves to sit down and enjoy a delicious pumpkin pie with a nice cup of coffee or tea.

12. Plant and grow more pumpkins
When cleaning out your pumpkin, don’t forget to save those seeds for planting season.

13. Use as photo props
At a party or event why not set up a photo area with pumpkin props? A cute picture for guests to take home is a great idea that will ensure they remember the occasion.

14. Make a bird feeder
Make sure to use a small pumpkin in order to create the bird feeder. Cut your pumpkin in half and gut it. Then use a strong, sturdy rope to hang the pumpkin on a tree branch or your porch. You can use small sticks for birds to perch on by inserting them in the pumpkin. Don’t forget to fill the pumpkin with birdseed.

15. Make curried pumpkin seeds
Several delicious recipes are available for curried pumpkin seeds. With a few simple ingredients that include lime juice, curry powder and a few spices, anyone can make this tasty snack that can be served anywhere.

Overall, there are so many options when it comes to pumpkins. You can use them for food as well as a variety of creative crafts, décor and gift ideas. If you are planning a party or event, you can use these ideas to decorate the event space. Aside from these ideas, do not forget catering Toronto. A great caterer can make any party or special event even better. They may even have a few great ways to incorporate pumpkin into the menu.

Thanks for the wonderful suggestions, Monica! -- AP


Kathy said...

The kids in my neighborhood would add

16. Kicking the pumpkin down the street.

This is apparently great fun for kids which is why none of us on my street put pumpkins on our steps anymore.


Kathy, in my neighborhood the squirrels eat the pumpkins before the kids can kick them.