Pinteresting Picks for September

Fall is a great time for home-improvement projects and crafts. Our Pinterest followers are in a mood for decorating and DIY. Many already are casting their eyes toward Halloween. The Lakeside Collection has a huge selection of eerie decor for the indoors and outside to make your home boo-tiful for trick-or-treaters. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for September.

Trade your real candles for this Set of 6 LED Candles for the safety of your children or pets.

Trade your real candles for this Set of 6 LED Candles for the safety of your children or pets.

Sculpted Pumpkin Planters are handpainted to look like real pumpkins!

Sculpted Pumpkin Planters are handpainted to look like real pumpkins!

 

Make yours the scariest house on the block for Halloween night with these Lighted Ghosts Yard Stakes.

Make yours the scariest house on the block for Halloween night with these Lighted Ghosts Yard Stakes.

Handprint Ornament Kit gives your Christmas tree a personalized touch from your kids.

Handprint Ornament Kit gives your Christmas tree a personalized touch from your kids.

 

Decorate Your Home for Halloween with These 10 Tips

Halloween-DecorationsHalloween costumes are for more than you and your kids; your home also gets a scary new look when you decorate for the holiday. This year, make Halloween extra special with these spectacularly spooky decorating tips that are ideal for impressing party guests, trick-or-treaters and anyone who visits.

1. Create a focal point for every Halloween scene

Decorating experts recommend making a favorite piece of furniture or art the focal piece for a room, and the same design concept holds true for temporary decorations at Halloween. If you have a favorite decoration or hand-created centerpiece, use it as the inspiration for the decor around it.

2. Give guests a dramatic entrance

Your front porch, door and foyer set the tone for the rest of your house’s Halloween finery, so make an impact where it counts with decorations up front.

3. Lighting sets a mood

Things that go bump in the night seem spookier in eerie, subdued lighting. At the same time, keeping lighting levels too low affects safety for trick-or-treaters and party guests, so look for ways to light it up while sticking to your Halloween theme. Lighted decorations, such as this ghostly ground-breaker, are perfect for lighting your Halloween event.

4. Make your own decorations

Nothing puts a fun new spin on Halloween decorating like coming up with your own wreaths, tabletop displays and centerpieces. Old clothes, some straw and newspapers can become your very own scarecrow. Cut your own bat shapes out of construction paper. Whatever you decide to craft, start early, so your decorations will be ready for Halloween.

5. Incorporate nature in your decorating scheme for Halloween

Naturally warty or oddly shaped pumpkins and gourds have character, especially when you group them together. Find bare branches from your backyard to serve as a spooky take on floral arrangements.

6. Add surprises throughout your home

Party-goers don’t stay in one room, so add a few Halloween touches to the kitchen, restroom, and back porch or patio. Anywhere that guests might see should get a few fearsome touches.

7. Use age-appropriate decorations

For households with small children, some Halloween decor is a little too gruesome for comfort. While the kids are little, stick to friendly ghosts and smiling jack-o’-lanterns like these cheery porch Halloween light covers.

8. Appeal to all the senses

Your decorations may offer spooky sights, but don’t forget to add an equally eerie soundtrack to your Halloween display. Halloween scents such as pumpkin and candy corn evoke memories of the holiday for guests. If you’re really ambitious, add a fog generator for atmosphere.

9. More can be better

If one pumpkin on your porch looks good, then a row of them will look great. When you multiply decorating elements, you increase their impact. Some items work best as stand-alone displays, especially if they’re large and dramatic, but for smaller items, grouping creates an interesting tableau.

10. Go with your tastes

Picking decorations that suit your style will give your Halloween decorations a unified feel. This Medusa Halloween decoration would look right at home on an elegant mantel. If you’re fond of country style, decorate with scarecrows and straw bales.

However you choose to decorate this year, shop Lakeside’s selection of Halloween goodies for your home and make it your best spooky season ever!

Image Credit: apartmenttherapy.com

Exciting Fall Pumpkin Recipe Ideas

Fall-PumpkinAs this especially steamy summer segues into fall, we’re beginning to turn our heads toward the seasonal tastes that we know and love. Goodbye watermelon and iced tea, hello mulled cider and pumpkin! It’s easy to bring out the old standards, like pumpkin pie and those unbelievably good pumpkin spice lattes, but maybe it’s time for a change. If you’re looking to really make the most out of this season’s pumpkin harvest, read on to find out my favorite ways to use that most versatile of squashes.

Pumpkin Curry
This squash makes a fabulous vegetable backup dancer to the proteins in Thai or Indian curries. It’s easy to adapt your standby curry recipe to fit it, too! All you need to do is sauté about two pounds of chopped raw pumpkin with your curry spices and paste, then simmer it with coconut milk and vegetable stock until the pumpkin becomes tender. The flesh of squash will absorb the curry spices; you’ll love how its sweetness compliments the warm spiciness of your curry paste.

Pumpkin Hummus
Believe it or not, pumpkin goes fabulously with chickpeas. If you’re looking for a quick hors d’oeuvres for a fall-themed party, this recipe takes about 30 seconds to make. Simply combine a whole can of unseasoned pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin pie spice with a 32 oz. container of pre-made hummus. Of course, you can and should add a few dashes of cayenne pepper to it if you’re a heat fiend. The resulting creamy concoction tastes like a pleasant fireside chat feels. This dish is nicely complemented by a bowl of multigrain pita chips.

Pumpkin Granola
Preheat your oven to 325˚F. In a large bowl, mix half a can of pumpkin puree, ⅓ cup of coconut oil, ⅓ cup of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a couple hefty dashes of pumpkin pie spice until everything becomes well-distributed. Mix in your granola fixings — that could include coconut, oats, pepitas, sunflower seeds, whatever! Spread your granola mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then bake for about a half hour, stirring intermittently. Once this mix cools off, it’ll harden up and become the most pumpkin-y breakfast cereal you’ve ever had! (I also like to put a palmful of this granola on top of vanilla ice cream.)

Pickled Pumpkin
This is a recipe idea that I got from my Anglo-Saxon friends, who would regale me with stories about their Old World grannies who tended to pickle everything in sight. Though I wouldn’t leap to have a taste of their fermented pigs’ feet or rutabagas, pickled pumpkin actually tastes much better than it sounds. It’s actually incredibly easy to make, especially if you can get your hands on some pre-chopped pumpkin flesh. All you need to do is put together the pickling liquid. I like to make it equal parts white sugar and white vinegar, with a handful of cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to add some fall spiciness. Boil the liquid to dissolve the sugar and pour it over the pumpkin, which should be in a heatproof bowl. Let it sit in the fridge overnight, then pour the whole mixture into a pot, but without the whole spices. Boil the pumpkin until it becomes transparent, then let the mixture cool. Transfer the pumpkin and pickling liquid into small mason jars — they make great gifts!

Pumpkin Lasagna
Now this is my all-time favorite pumpkin recipe, especially since it doesn’t require the kind of hacking and chopping that pumpkins generally require. The recipe that I use again and again comes from Food and Wine magazine — you can find the complete rundown here. Basically, instead of meat and tomatoes, you use Swiss chard, heavy cream, sage, nutmeg, and pumpkin puree to hold this lasagna together. The salty richness of Parmesan cheese makes a great counterpoint to the slightly bitter greens and sweet pumpkin. Frankly, I prefer this variation over normal lasagna!

Soleil is a former chef, with an encyclopedia of recipes floating around in her head. Nowadays, she applies her culinary expertise to the wonderful world of fancy picnic baskets.