Trendy Pumpkins 2012 – Not just on the porch anymore!

For the past two years I have posted about what I consider to be “Trendy Pumpkins” (see Trendy Pumpkins 2010 or Trendy Pumpkins 2011) and last year declared it a tradition. Each year around fall I get a huge spike in readers who are once again prowling the Interweb for cute porch-sitting pumpkins. Therefore this year I’m going to stick with my usual pumpkin designs of the year, but I’m also gonna throw in a couple baking recipes because heaven forbid you don’t bake, drink and love all things pumpkin in 2012!

I know you don’t need my expertise as much now with the help of Pinterest, but regardless I still enjoy putting my two cents out there, so here goes:Chalkboard paint pumpkin

Chevron pumpkin Let’s start with a Chevron pumpkin and Chalkboard pumpkin from feeling Lovesome- 

With some masking tape and white spray paint you can easily achieve this look.

Halloween Owl Pumpkin

Or someone might give a hoot about this adorable Owl pumpkin– I found this little guy on HGTV.com.

napkin covered pumpkin finished

I prefer this pumpkin without the pipe-cleaner stem, but that’s just me.

Also, I found this great tutorial to cover a pumpkin (or fake pumpkin for reusable purposes) with a napkin, scrapbook paper or whatever fabric/pattern you want to use! Napkin-covered pumpkin– Super cute.

Use a pumpkin as a drink holder by cutting out the middle and removing the top.

And in case you haven’t seen this Party pumpkin– how neat is that?!

Now for the recipes:

My Favorite Pumpkin RollPumpkin roll

First off I’ll mention my most favorite pumpkin dessert is a pumpkin roll I’ve made two or three times now and I left the recipe here on Callie Lately, so check it out. Callie’s favorite pumpkin roll recipe.

Pumpkin Whoopie

From my best friend Katie, I received a book about making whoopie (not like that!) Inside there’s a recipe for a pumpkin whoopie pie that I have been meaning to try, and I think with fall in the air it’s perfect timing right about now. Here’s the recipe from the book whoopie pies. Whoopie Pies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. brown sugar (doesn’t specify light or dark)
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 1/2 c. solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the first six ingredients (#6 is salt) onto a sheet of waxed paper. Beat together the brown sugar and butter with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer on low speed until combined. Add the pumpkin, then egg, beating well. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Pumpkin whoopie pie

Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Using a small ice cream scoop, drop about 2 tbsp. of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 15 minutes each, or until the cakes begin to crack and are firm to the touch. Let the cakes cook on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

For the frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temp.
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar (one box)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium; beat until creamy and smooth (about 4 min).

Low-fat pumpkin cake bars (thanks to Pinterest and She Knows Food & Recipes)

Not only is this cake absolutely delicious, it’s very low in fat and calories because it’s made with no added butter or oil! Serve with low-fat cream cheese frosting for a deliciously deceptive holiday dessert! You might want to double the recipe — this pumpkin cake will go FAST!

Yields: About 16 cake bars

Ingredients:

Low fat pumpkin cake bars

For the cake:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Cooking spray

For the frosting:

  • 5 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Directions:

  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch glass cake plate with cooking spray.
  2. Mix pumpkin, yogurt, vanilla, egg whites and sugar well in a large mixing bowl. Once combined, add in baking soda, baking powder, flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice until fully mixed.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cake comes out dry when inserted with a toothpick.
  4. To make the frosting: Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together. Once cake has cooled, frost and garnish with toasted almonds.

Enjoy!

-Callie

Food, fashion, fall- what’s your Pinterest?

My Pinterest Boards

My Pinterests

Pinterest was recently featured in TIME magazine’s “The 50 Best Websites of 2011” and it recently caught my attention as well. Prepare to meet your new obsession if you haven’t found this little gem yet. The site is a way of sharing large thumbnails with images of DIY projects, food, fashion photography, interior design and wedding ideas (to name a few). Some images are merely meant to entertain, warm the heart or create a laugh while others are interactive images that lead to websites with recipes, videos and more information.

Those already using Pinterest understand it is a deadly time killer (I would’ve had this blog post done two hours ago if I hadn’t gotten trapped in the web of ideas on Pinterest)! Just imagine scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of pictures of puppies, delicious looking desserts, arts and crafts ideas, home decorating, workout plans- you name it.

So how does it work?

pumpkin images

Pumpkin search

Everyone on Pinterest will have a main page where people you “follow” will have content that is constantly posted and changing, just like a Facebook newsfeed but with large images instead. Then you have your “profile” or what Pinterest calls “Boards.” This is where you can “repin” things– taking things you love and categorizing them in whatever way you would like so they can be referenced again anytime. You can name boards anything you want from “Wedding wishes” to “Kick butt workouts,” the skies the limit! Also, re-pinning things (in my opinion) can be a statement about your personal style, things you enjoy or a way to share information you value.

Here’s what sets Pinterest apart- you don’t have to be “friends” with people you follow on Pinterest to repin things or use them, follow whoever you want, it doesn’t matter if you actually know them. Anybody and anything is fair game. Also, you can find people who have mutual interests by typing words into the search bar like “Phi Mu” for my sorority and then it will show every “board” with the words Phi Mu (or fill in the blank here with whatever personal interest you have). Also, if you’re searching for something in particular, for example- type in “pumpkin” and 100s of posts people have pinned about pumpkins will show up.

How convenient that it will bring all of these great ideas to your fingertips without searching through Google images or hundreds of sub-par websites to find what you’re looking for!

I think the boundaries of Pinterest are very few, you can connect with people who have mutual interests, find your new favorite things online and get that recipe you want without a hassle. Give it a try, the website is still in beta testing right now, meaning you have to submit a request to be able to use the website but my request was approved in a day or so. I have yet to see a downfall of this great resource- so get out there and start pinning!