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

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Trendy Pumpkins 2011

Last year I did a piece on Trendy Pumpkins that was a big hit and recently has had a popularity surge again. Since everyone has been enjoying this post so much I figured I’d make it a tradition– so here’s “Trendy Pumpkins” 2011 edition.

If you read last year’s post I featured a Southern Proper, Lilly Pulitzer and Monogram pumpkin and discussed some cute decorating ideas for them. Here are some fresh ideas for 2011 in case you are planning a last minute Halloween party or want some decorations for Thanksgiving. This year I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot more no-carve pumpkins that are painted, decoupaged, glittered and hot-glued! Here are some cute ideas from a fellow blogger, Juggling with Kids.

Boo made from buttons with a ribbon top-

boo pumpkin

Pumpkin with painted witch legs and ribbon “shoe strings”-

witch legs pumpkin

Here are some more “preppy pumpkins.” Or try some pumpkins incorporated into the decorations using flowers or putting them around inside. And of course it’s always nice to have different sized pumpkins that can be arranged in different ways to add dimension and interest.

Preppy painted monogram pumpkin with ribbon top and “flair”-

preppy pumpkingOr take a taller pumpkin and wrap with patterned ribbons like this one-

preppy pumpkin

Pumpkin with mums and a bow wrapped around-

Pumpkin with mums and a bow wrapped aroundHere’s a nice mixed setup-

Mix of pumpkinsFresh take on traditional lantern pumpkins-

Pumpkins with drilled holes for light to shine through and flowersOne of my personal favorites is this pumpkin perched on a wreath using natural colors and grasses for a super “fall” feel-

Pumpkin perched on a wreath

Or maybe you’re more into something flashy like this glittery pumpkin-

Glittery pumpkin
Finally, to round out this year’s ideas, I just found Martha’s (yes, Stewart, the queen of crafts) take on the subject and I think these gourd candles are really cute even though they’re from a few years ago. So good luck with your Halloween decorations and celebrations! Till next time,

Callie Lynne

My favorite pumpkin roll

So just because Thanksgiving has come and gone- doesn’t mean that you can’t savor all of your pumpkin favorites. Although I am a huge fan of The Food Network, I found my favorite pumpkin dessert on a different website, and it is a winner.

For every holiday my family celebrates, I love to use it as an excuse to carry out my all-time favorite guilty pleasures, baking. Baking is a passion that I love to pursue. This doesn’t make me a master of the mixer, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. After I went through my cheesecake phase, overcame the apple pie endeavor, took a stab at chocolate torts and make some cupcakes here and there, I branched out one year to make a pumpkin roll. This was a great decision.

Usually I like to bake something once and then move on to something new and more challenging. This usually upsets family members who had there favorite dessert one year and then didn’t have it the next, but I’ll come back around to the winners eventually. However, when I made the pumpkin roll, I had to do it again! It was just too good to resist.

Usually when I’m searching for something new to bake, I start with FoodNetwork.com and search by season and then by my favorite ingredients until I find something the looks delicious. The key to this is looks, I like to find things that are aesthetically pleasing so that it will be a crowd-pleaser and then a palette-pleaser. This is how I found the roll.

Paula Deen's pumpkin roll Paula Deen, bless her soul, had this enticing recipe but the longer I read the more I realized I didn’t want to mess with all those extra ingredients that didn’t sound good (like rum and English toffee- here’s the recipe if you want a peek). But I knew this was what I wanted to make, so I fell back on my alternative, allrecipes.com.

This is where I found the winning moist, ginger cake rolled to perfection with sweet cream cheese icing layers all rolled into a cute log. For the past two years I’ve made this cake and never has it lasted longer than 24 hours! If you want to give it a try- here’s how to do it (straight from the website):

Pumpkin Roll

Usually how my pumpkin roll looks

Ingredients-

Cake-
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup white sugar
* 2/3 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Icing-
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed for five minutes. Gradually mix in pumpkin and lemon juice. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger; stir into the pumpkin mixture. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle pecans over the top of the batter.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the center springs back when touched. Loosen edges with a knife. Turn out on two dishtowels that have been dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Roll up cake using towels, and let cool for about 20 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Unroll pumpkin cake when cool, spread with filling, and roll up. Place pumpkin roll on a long sheet of waxed paper, and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Wrap cake in waxed paper, and twist ends of waxed paper like a candy wrapper. Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled; before slicing, dust with additional confectioners’ sugar.

Let your family, friends or coworkers enjoy this great recipe, and try something new!

Trendy Pumpkins

Halloween is here, and with it comes pumpkin carving and lots of other creative decorating ideas.

This year I’ve been seeing some extra creative carving and it has been quite inspiring (although I myself will not be carving a pumpkin). The cover of Southern Living last issue featured an etching of fall leaves and it was a beautiful take on the generic pumpkin. Then my friend Wesley spent god-knows how long etching that guy from Huntsville, Alabama with “Hide yo’ kids,” into a pumpkin. To top it off, the University of Florida scuba team had an underwater pumpkin carving competition, and yet they still looked decent.

The generic pumpkin face made from three triangles and a toothy grin has definitely been chucked out the window.

On Total Frat Move (not a daily follower I promise, but if you’ve never read it it is an eye-opener) there was Southern Proper pumpkin

Frat Pumpkin

Southern Proper Pumpkin- Fratty

followed by a Facebook post of Lilly Pulitzer pumpkins wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper with palm trees and the Lilly logo carved out.

The pumpkin carving of today has definitely evolved. I believe it has come people’s guilty pleasure to one-up the pumpkins around them. Forget the kids- why did they ever get to hold sharp objects anyways? Now it’s all about having the best one, or more creative one, on the block.

Of course, being who I am, one of my all-time favorite pumpkins was when I carved the silhouette of a cat into a really tall pumpkin.

I say, “Let the competition begin.” However, if you are just going to be decorating with pumpkins and not carving this year, don’t forget to vary the shapes and sizes of your pumpkins. Find one with a really unique stem and make that the center of attention. If you are decorating the mantle or stairs, buy some green pumpkins or gourds to add some extra variety and colors.

Taking more inspiration from Southern Living, our house mom at my sorority recently used a pumpkin for a vase as the centerpiece for a brunch. It was really cute and lasted. The magazine recommended doing this with flowers you can replant in the yard that you can watch grow until Spring. They even carved out a pumpkin and used it as a cooler for drinks at the end of a table. Such great ideas!

Monogrammed Pumpkin

A wedding pumpkin- interesting.

I can’t wait to see the next ground-breaking ideas. For now, keep up the good work!