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Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin recipe’

Halloween is just over a week away and Thomas and I are getting excited.

Pumpkins, Costumes, Decorations and Treats are in all the shops and supermarkets, but if you can make your own I think it is much more fun and it could save you money too. Here are a few ideas if you are celebrating at home or at school.

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PUMPKINS

Now widely available to buy, look for one that is firm with a tough skin and not damaged (they can soon go rotten if their skin is broken, especially if they are kept somewhere warm).

If you have grown your own now is the time to harvest them before any frost, cut them off the plant leaving a long stem then place in a cool greenhouse/polytunnel or windowsill in the sun to ripen, if you want to grow your own next year click on the link below, it not as difficult as you might think and perfect for children to do.

Grow your own Pumpkins for Halloween

The traditional way to decorate your pumpkin is to carve it and place a light inside to make them glow, click on the link below for a step by step guide.

Make a Pumpkin Jack O’ Lantern

Lit Halloween Pumpkin 1

There are many other ways to decorate your Pumpkin without carving, these are ideal classrorrm activities in schools and nurseries and for young children at home, here are a few suggestions.

Sparkly Pumpkin – Cover your Pumpkin with glue and sprinkle generously or make patterns and shapes using different colours of glitter.

Painted Pumpkin – Simply use paint to decorate your pumpkin, paint on patterns, swirls, spots, stripes, flowers, faces, cats, spiders or use stencils or paper doilies for templates.

Collage Pumpkin – Accessorise your Pumpkin by sticking on sequins, beads, ribbon, string, wool, stars, gems, buttons – make an abstract pattern or a face.

Natural Pumpkin – Collect Autumn leaves of different colours, shapes and sizes and stick them all over your Pumpkin.

FUN AND GAMES

Pin the Nose on the Wicked Witch

Draw a witch on a large piece of card, it can be an outline or more detailed if you wish include its pointed hat, colour in or decorate with spiders and webs, hang your witch on a wall.

Draw and cut out a large crooked nose, place a piece of sticky tack on the back.

In turn, blind fold each child and ask them to stick the nose on the witch, older children/teachers/adults may need to be spun round to make it more difficult, the nearest to the spot wins.

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Pass the Pumpkin

A Halloween version of pass the parcel, fill a hollowed out, carved pumpkin with sweets when the music stops whoever is holding the pumpkin picks out a sweet, the winner gets to take the pumpkin home.

Rosy Apples

Apple Bobbing

Fill a bucket or large cauldron ¾ full with water and add some eating apples, place an old towel or sheet underneath to catch any spills. Try and bite the apples with your hands behind your back, keep a towel handy. For a dry alternative or for those in Halloween make-up hang apples by their stems from doorways or for little ones use marshmallows or mini doughnuts.

TREATS

If you have carved your own pumpkin use the flesh to make Mini Pumpkin Cakes and toast the seeds for a delicious snack – Sweet or Savoury the method is still the same.

Sweet Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg

Savoury Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcester Sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • Sprinkle of Garlic Salt

What you need to do

  1. Rinse the seeds and remove as much pulp as possible, dab with kitchen roll to remove most of the moisture.
  2. Add the seeds to a bowl containing all the remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed and the seeds are completely covered, spread the seeds out on a tray lined with baking parchment.
  3. Cook in a preheated oven 275 F/135 C for about an hour or until crunchy and golden brown turning occasionally.
  4. Allow to cool.

Quick and Easy ‘Spook’ Cakes

Ingredients

  • Fairy Cakes – shop bought or homemade (plain or flavoured)
  • Ready to roll white Icing
  • Icing Sugar
  • Glace Cherries
  • Marmalade or light coloured Jam
  • Currants or suitable dark sweets for eyes

What you need to do

  1. Take the fairy cakes out of their cases and place upside down.
  2. Melt your jam in the microwave and brush over your fairy cakes.
  3. Place a cherry on the top of each, and brush with the jam.
  4. Dust your worktop with icing sugar and roll out the icing thinly.
  5. Cut out circles of icing using a saucer as a template.
  6. Re roll the offcuts to make more circles.
  7. Drape the icing circles over the cakes to create wavy pleats.
  8. Press your currants/sweets into the icing for the eyes.

Trick or Treaters

Whatever you are doing to celebrate have lots of fun

Gill

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Huge thanks to everyone who took part in our October competitions.  The word search proved to be a hugely popular indoor activity for lots of gardening clubs and many of the pumpkin recipes were just delicious!

…The first correct word search entry out of the hat was from the gardening club at More Park R.C Primary School in Kent.  Congratulations to you all your bird feeding prizes are on their way to you.  We do hope you enjoy feeding the birds at your school over the winter months.

Our favourite pumpkin recipe came from Ileana Fernandes in Slough.  Congratulations Ileana for a truly yummy entry.  Below is her recipe for pumpkin, ricotta and pesto lasagne. 

We have found that one of the secrets to a good recipe is some fresh herbs to complement the other ingredients.  For everything you need to grow your own herbs on a windowsill take a look here.

Ingredients
Pumpkin peeled and cut into cubes
Mushrooms
Onions
Grated Garlic Cloves
Dash of Olive Oil
Seasoning

Method

  1. Roast the cubed pumpkin, mushrooms, onions and grated garlic cloves with a little olive oil and seasoning for around 30 to 40 minutes until soft and caramelised
  2. Meanwhile prepare the ricotta sauce by mixing 2 tubs of ricotta with a little milk to thin it out
  3. Blend some fresh basil with olive oil and a clove of garlic and then add to the ricotta
  4. Mix well and season to taste
  5. When the vegetables are cooked layer them on the bottom of a dish and follow with lasagne sheets
  6. For a more intense basil flavour add some more pesto or fresh basil leaves on top of each pasta sheet layer
  7. Add some ricotta mixture on top and continue to layer in this fashion
  8. Finally mix the remainder of the ricotta sauce with a little more milk to make a more runny texture and pour over the top lasagne sheet
  9. Add grated cheese over the top and cook in the oven for 20 to 3o minutes
  10. Serve with fresh green salad drizzled with pesto – DELICIOUS!

If you would like the chance to win a bird bath, a wooden bird table and some bird feed mix why not enter our family competition for November 2010.  …And if you are from a school have a go at our school competition where you could win a Recycling DVD, a leaf mould composter and a bottle of compost magic!  The closing date for both competitions is 30th November 2010 so get your entries to us as soon as you can!

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We were recently contacted by Kath from the Peel Kids Gardening Club, and she asked for some ideas for activities with a Halloween theme. 

pile of pumpkins

We have put together our Favourite Spooky Halloween Ideas  in this fact sheet so do take a look .  Packed full of easy to do activities there’s a Yummy Recipe for Pumpkin Soup, a Make Your Own Jack -O-Lantern craft activity, Grow Your Own Spook, and all you need to know about making your very own Ghostly Scarecrow.

Hope you all have fun this Halloween!

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