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What to Know When Buying a Home

Buying a home is a huge milestone and a huge investment, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be intimidating. As long as you prepare ahead of time and do your due diligence when it comes to researching and understanding the ins and outs of buying a home, the process can be a rewarding one, and you can avoid any of the potential pitfalls standing in the way of you and your future dream home. 

Make an easy and beautiful wreath for your home this fall

If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to liven up your home this fall, why not try making a unique homemade wreath? Jump right into this exciting DIY project.

How to attract butterflies and birds to your backyard

Love butterflies and birds? Here’s how to create a butterfly garden and attract birds to your home. These flying creatures are sure to brighten your backyard.

Eating Your Jack O'Lantern After Halloween

You can always tell when Halloween is just around the corner, because that’s when the pumpkins start appearing on everyone’s front steps, and all over the internet too. 

 

Halloween Jack O’Lantern Designs

We’re getting into the spirit with a few great pumpkin carving templates of our own. Just print out the design of your choice! To use it, line the paper up on your pumpkin and use a pushpin to outline the design onto it, then just cut along the dotted lines.

[include a branded image of a pumpkin design if you want to make one, or cut the previous paragraph out before posting]

We’ve found a few links to some great pumpkin carving designs to help you get inspired. There’s more to pumpkins than making jack o’ lanterns, though. Pumpkins are delicious, and Halloween is the perfect opportunity to make some tasty homemade recipes you’ve never tried before. 

 

Making Pumpkin Puree

The first step in most pumpkin-related recipes is pumpkin puree. It doesn’t sound too appetizing on its own, but pumpkin puree is very versatile. It can be made into muffins, soups, and the most delicious option of all: pumpkin pie. Pumpkin puree can be frozen, so don’t be afraid to make a lot and then portion it into an ice cube tray for frozen cubes of puree on demand. 

Cooking pumpkin is very easy, and you can use your carved pumpkin to make the puree as long as your pumpkin isn’t too old. Just make sure you generously carve away and discard the bottom of the pumpkin if you used real candles -- no one wants wax in their pumpkin puree. 

 

Baking Instructions

Step one: Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Step two: Rinse the pumpkin of any dirt and dry it with a clean towel, then cut your pumpkin in half.

Step three: If you’re using a halloween pumpkin you will already have removed the seeds and fibrous innards of the pumpkin. Otherwise, do so now with a metal spoon or scoop. 

(Note: Save the seeds if you like for toasted pumpkin seeds -- yummy.)

Step four: Rub the pumpkin down with oil and place both halves cut-side down in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan and bake for 90 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.

Step five: When cooked, remove pumpkin halves and allow to cool. Then, scoop out the pumpkin flesh.

Step six: Puree the pumpkin in a food processor or with a hand blender, then drain the puree in a paper towel lined sieve or colander over a bowl for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Step seven: Your pumpkin puree is done! Portion it out into freezer-safe containers and freeze for later. We recommend an ice cube tray.

 

Pumpkin Fudge

There are a lot of incredibly delicious recipes you can make with pumpkin puree, but we’ve got a great one to start off with. Pumpkin fudge is not only delicious, it doesn’t require any baking, and it’s fairly quick and simple, which makes it a perfect recipe to make on the same day as your pumpkin puree. 

 

Ingredients

12 oz. white chocolate chips

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup pumpkin purée

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

 

Instructions

  1. Line a medium sized pan with parchment paper or tin foil and grease it with butter. 

  2. Combine the white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute intervals, stirring after each minute, until smooth. Don’t let the white chocolate get too hot, or it might separate.

  3. Fold in the other ingredients until the mixture is smooth, and then pour into the prepared pan and cool it in the refrigerator for approximately 3 hours. 

  4. Cut into squares once the fudge has set, and serve.

Eating Your Jack O'Lantern After Halloween

You can always tell when Halloween is just around the corner, because that’s when the pumpkins start appearing on everyone’s front steps, and all over the internet too. 

 

Halloween Jack O’Lantern Designs

We’re getting into the spirit with a few great pumpkin carving templates of our own. Just print out the design of your choice! To use it, line the paper up on your pumpkin and use a pushpin to outline the design onto it, then just cut along the dotted lines.

[include a branded image of a pumpkin design if you want to make one, or cut the previous paragraph out before posting]

We’ve found a few links to some great pumpkin carving designs to help you get inspired. There’s more to pumpkins than making jack o’ lanterns, though. Pumpkins are delicious, and Halloween is the perfect opportunity to make some tasty homemade recipes you’ve never tried before. 

 

Making Pumpkin Puree

The first step in most pumpkin-related recipes is pumpkin puree. It doesn’t sound too appetizing on its own, but pumpkin puree is very versatile. It can be made into muffins, soups, and the most delicious option of all: pumpkin pie. Pumpkin puree can be frozen, so don’t be afraid to make a lot and then portion it into an ice cube tray for frozen cubes of puree on demand. 

Cooking pumpkin is very easy, and you can use your carved pumpkin to make the puree as long as your pumpkin isn’t too old. Just make sure you generously carve away and discard the bottom of the pumpkin if you used real candles -- no one wants wax in their pumpkin puree. 

 

Baking Instructions

Step one: Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Step two: Rinse the pumpkin of any dirt and dry it with a clean towel, then cut your pumpkin in half.

Step three: If you’re using a halloween pumpkin you will already have removed the seeds and fibrous innards of the pumpkin. Otherwise, do so now with a metal spoon or scoop. 

(Note: Save the seeds if you like for toasted pumpkin seeds -- yummy.)

Step four: Rub the pumpkin down with oil and place both halves cut-side down in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan and bake for 90 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.

Step five: When cooked, remove pumpkin halves and allow to cool. Then, scoop out the pumpkin flesh.

Step six: Puree the pumpkin in a food processor or with a hand blender, then drain the puree in a paper towel lined sieve or colander over a bowl for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Step seven: Your pumpkin puree is done! Portion it out into freezer-safe containers and freeze for later. We recommend an ice cube tray.

 

Pumpkin Fudge

There are a lot of incredibly delicious recipes you can make with pumpkin puree, but we’ve got a great one to start off with. Pumpkin fudge is not only delicious, it doesn’t require any baking, and it’s fairly quick and simple, which makes it a perfect recipe to make on the same day as your pumpkin puree. 

 

Ingredients

12 oz. white chocolate chips

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup pumpkin purée

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

 

Instructions

  1. Line a medium sized pan with parchment paper or tin foil and grease it with butter. 

  2. Combine the white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute intervals, stirring after each minute, until smooth. Don’t let the white chocolate get too hot, or it might separate.

  3. Fold in the other ingredients until the mixture is smooth, and then pour into the prepared pan and cool it in the refrigerator for approximately 3 hours. 

  4. Cut into squares once the fudge has set, and serve.

What to Know When Buying a Home

Buying a home is a huge milestone and a huge investment, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be intimidating. As long as you prepare ahead of time and do your due diligence when it comes to researching and understanding the ins and outs of buying a home, the process can be a rewarding one, and you can avoid any of the potential pitfalls standing in the way of you and your future dream home. 

Make an easy and beautiful wreath for your home this fall

If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to liven up your home this fall, why not try making a unique homemade wreath? Jump right into this exciting DIY project.

How to attract butterflies and birds to your backyard

Love butterflies and birds? Here’s how to create a butterfly garden and attract birds to your home. These flying creatures are sure to brighten your backyard.

Shining Hill