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Pumpkin Stencils



Create Amazing Halloween Pumpkins With Pumpkin Stencils


Halloween is one of the holidays that my family and I really look forward to, and one of the most exciting things my family likes to do together for this holiday is to carve pumpkins using pumpkin stencils.  It can be fun to go to a local pumpkin patch a couple of weeks before Halloween and let each of my family members select his or her favorite pumpkin.  Once we get them home, we are ready to decide how we want each pumpkin to look depending on its shape and on our ideas.

Pumpkin Stencils
A Pumpkin Stencil
My children love searching for just the right pumpkin stencils to make their pumpkins look professional.  We all work together and make a party of the night, complete with music and treats.  We wash the pumpkins and use a pumpkin saw to cut out a lid around the pumpkin stem on top.  Then we all dig the seeds out of the pumpkins, first using our hands and then using large metal spoons.  Some of my kids pretend the seeds and strings inside the pumpkins are the brains and have a lot of fun with it.  We wash some of the seeds and toast them in the oven with some flavoring to eat later.

Pumpkin Stencils
Last Holloweens Pumpkin :)
Once the pumpkins are cleaned out, we wipe down the outside to get it clean and dry and attach the pumpkin stencils with tape.  We then each use a small nail to poke along the lines of the pumpkin stencils.  I usually help do this part for the younger children.  Once we have our patterns ready, we pull the paper pattern off and begin to carve.  I have found it best to start with the small cutout areas first and then move on to the bigger ones.  

If you go online, you can find some excellent pumpkin stencils in a variety of styles.  You can choose scary designs, words, animals, or even people.   I like the many free options as well as the ones that I can purchase.  If I want pumpkin stencils that are more intricate, I will need to pay for them, but it is always worth it. I can get great instructions on the best way to carve my pumpkin right along with the pumpkin stencils when I order them.  By using the pumpkin stencils with the included instructions, I have created pumpkins that have amazed me and my family.  We always put lighted candles in our finished pumpkins and place them outside on the steps to take pictures of them when we are finished and then enjoy them for the rest of the season.

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Cooking Pumpkin



Cooking Pumpkin



Cooking pumpkin is actually a lot easier than you would think. Steam cooking pumpkin is the prefered way to make sure the flavor stays inside.

To steam the pumpkin begin by cutting it in half. Next you'll want to take a spoon and scoop out all the seeds and pull off the strings.  If you have a steamer then you're in luck, but most people such as myself don't have such a luxury so I tend to use a metal colander to fit into a larger pot.

Cooking Pumpkin
Pumpkin Pie
Steam the pumpkin for 50 minutes depending on how much steam your source is generating and the size of your pumpkin. From my experience most pumpkins finish steaming around the 30-40 minute mark, I advise you to frequently monitor it in five minute intervals.

Another way you can go about cooking pumpkin is to boil it.  The process to begin is the same as steaming, you'll want to cut the pumpkin half and pull out the seeds and strings. After it's all cleaned out cut the pumpkin into small sections and peel away the outer layer. Take the pumpkin cuts and put them into your lightly salted water. Boil the pumpkin for 20-25 minutes.

Personally I prefer steam cooking pumpkin  than boiling it. From my experience it seems that steam cooking pumpkin keeps the flavor of the pumpkin and that's what you want. That doesn't mean boiling it is a bad thing, my favorite soup recipes involve boiled pumpkins.

If you decide to make pumpkin soup, after it's finished heating you'll either want to immediately want to serve it or you may want to chill it. Pumpkin soup is actually very tasty cold. If you haven't tried it yet I would definetly recommend it.

Cooking Pumpkin
Pumpkin Soup
I would always serve pumpkin soup with some sort of whipped cream on top. The cream not only has great contrasting colors between orange and white, but the cream itself adds to the pumpkin flavor.

If you went the pumpkin puree route your probably going the traditional route and baking a pie. I would suggest pumpkin pudding, this stuff is absouluty amazing. Not only is it just as tasty, but it's at least ten times faster.  Pumpkin pudding is essentially pumpkin pie without the crust which is yum yum yum!

Cooking Pumpkin
Pumpkin Pudding
Cooking pumpkin is very easy and satisfying. Most recipes only take one to two hours to make. There are literally thousands of recipes that involve cooking pumpkin so if your looking to cook your family dinner for the holidays ( which are almost here ) I would definitly suggest cooking a pumpkin.

There are plenty of recipes online involving pumpkins, but if your looking for something simple I would stick to a soup, pie, or pudding. These recipes are the easiest and the quickest so you can do what really matters around the holidays, spending time with your family.

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