Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate... Actually, that first pumpkin is right in that it is getting late. As in getting ready for Halloween. But, if you are perpetually last minute like we are, then heck, you're right on time for carving those pumpkins. So to help you with your last minute spooky prep, here are some great pumpkin links.
HGTV's 24 free printable pumpkin stencils- classic Halloween themes:
WWFs free pumpkin stencils- 9 nature themed stencils:
Better Homes and Gardens page of pumpkin ideas- includes links to free stencils for every level of skill and ambition:
What to do with those pesky pumpkin guts and seeds- Compost the guts. Next spring's plantings will thank you. As for the seeds, roast those little suckers up. An easy peasy, yummy, good for you snack!
Roasted pumpkins seeds: wash and drain (very well drained) seeds. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toss seeds with 2 tbs melted butter (or oil if you prefer) and a little salt. Spread in a single layer on cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. Want to get fancy? Add cinnamon and 1TBS sugar (for sweet) or garlic powder ( for savory and, bonus, keeps away those pesky vampires) when tossing in the butter and salt.
Don't know what to do with those left over pumpkins AFTER Halloween? I take our carved ones and simply fill them with bird seed or corn and leave them for the squirrels. But if you have any of those little ones often left uncarved, you can simply cut the top off, clean them out, and stuff them for dinner. I like rice or barley with garlic, onions, mushrooms, any veggies you have left lying about, sausage (for the carnivores) and a little allspice and maple syrup. Simply saute the sausage and veggies. Mix with precooked rice or barley, stir in some allspice and maple syrup. Stuff into the little pumpkins and bake at 375 until the pumpkin is soft on the inside (like you would expect any squash to be when done.) Smells like autumn, tastes fabulous, and if you don't fess up, the kids never know exactly how healthy it is for them.