5 Things to Do with a Pumpkin

I realize these ideas come late, but I hope that if you can’t use these ideas this year 
they will give you inspiration for the future.
Technically the first two use canned pumpkin, but it’s still pumpkin. Right?
#1 – Pumpkin Pie Dip in a Pumpkin


 My friends request this dip from me. It is sooooo good!
I wish I could call it my own, but I got it from Southern Living.
It’s very easy.

Mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar. Make sure cream cheese is softened or it will
be lumpy when mixed with pumpkin. Add pumpkin and mix until blended. Add spices and
mix until well blended. I add 1/2 tsp nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon and ginger. That’s it!
Transfer dip into a small pumpkin and serve with gingersnaps or graham crackers.

Recipe for Pumpkin Pie Dip
 
#2 – Pumpkin Chili



My bestie Melly from Chicago sent this recipe to me. I have to say I was a bit skeptical of this recipe at first. But I’ll try anything once, so I went for it. So glad I did! The pumpkin gave the chili a rich, nutty flavor. 



 Pretty basic ingredients. Recipe calls for 2 jalapenos, I didn’t even use a whole one. 

I’m a wuss!I used white kidney beans (cannellni beans) because I thought 
they would go better with turkey than dark kidney beans. I also used fire roasted diced 
tomatoes because I really like the flavor.

Chop veggies and saute in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. 

 Add ground turkey and cook until browned. 
Please let me tell you about this wonderful Pampered Chef tool! It’s one of my new faves! 
The Mix and Chop. See the before picture above. . .



and now the after picture! This tool does what it says, it chops up the meat and

mixes it with the veggies. LOVE IT!

Add tomatoes, pumpkin and spices. Bring to a boil and turn down heat. 
Add beans, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

I felt the need to add a good bit of salt at the end of cooking. 
Serve with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.
You can find the recipe on the Whole Foods website.
# 3 – Paint it!
We got these little guys at the pumpkin patch. I mixed Crayola Kids’ Paint with a little water, stuck a brush in each jar, and let the kids go at it. Parker Reese just wanted to eat the paint (like everything else), but he managed to get a little paint on the pumpkin.
 These masterpieces make a great decoration on my dining room buffet!
#4 – Carve It!
Before
I’m pretty sure most of us know how to carve a pumpkin, but just in case. . .
1. Cut off the top
2. Scoop out the guts
3. Eat the top (no please don’t)
4. Carve the face
5. Light it with a candle


After!

# 5 – Use the seeds for a snack!

 Don’t throw those seeds away! This can be somewhat time consuming, but so worth it! 
Separate the seeds from the guts and soak in salt water for 10 minutes.

 In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Strain water from seeds. Remove any remaining pulp.


5Spread seeds in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes (seeds should be golden and slightly browned), stirring twice during baking.
There you have it! 5 things to do with pumpkins. 

Oh, wait, I thought of one more. . .
#6 – Use it as a pillow! My cute little monkey!