St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun

Here are four ideas for a four leaf clover kind of St. Patrick’s Day that could make your kids friends green with envy.

Cattleman's PieFirst: Dinner.
A great idea from the February menu if you bought it, is the Cattleman’s Pie which is really like a Shepherd’s Pie and would make a hearty dinner for all your leprechan’s in the family.

Second: Dinnertime conversation.
Get super fun with a little help from a book we found on Amazon that is sure to get chuckles at the table all week long. This little inexpensive book is called St. Patrick’s Coffee Table Quotes and is only 7.99.

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Take a tray and make a way to say…

We love centerpieces you can pull together with simple things found around your house or inexpensively. We found a gorgeous way to make an arrangement with any tray in your cupboard. Just grab a couple of votive candles, a vase and a few roses from the grocery store or your garden. Great for Valentine’s Day, a bridal shower, in your bathroom, living room and more.

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6-Steps to a Beautiful Appetizer Table

This isn’t a low cost solution; it’s a “no-cost” decorator idea that will make your presentation look like a magazine in 6-simple steps.  And believe it or not, you most likely have all the materials needed already inside and outside your home.

Step 1: Put a table cover over your buffet table.

Step 2: Place 3-boxes on the table, a short, medium and taller box, that are wide enough to hold a platter.

Step 3: Cover your boxes with a contrasting color of fabric. Could be drapery fabric, or scrap fabric.

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Pumpkin Carving Tips & Tricks

Every October for many families brings the tradition of picking out and carving pumpkins. Depending on how many you are carving, between the prep work and finish, an entire evening can be dedicated to just this fun project. Plan ahead for dinner and add some fun music in the background. For dinner, our Maple Glazed Pork Roast or Beef Pasta Bolognese both cook great in your crock pot leaving you more time to prep your pumpkins and less time cooking and cleaning up after dinner.

There is an amazing amount of ideas online for decorating and some pretty impressive templates you can purchase at your local store. However, good carving starts with selecting the right pumpkin. It is best to choose one that is fresh, has a strong, sturdy stem and no bruises or soft spots. Pumpkins with a flat bottom are ideal to prevent them from rolling away. Here are a few additional tips…

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Easy Edible October Centerpiece Idea

Photo Credit: Antonis Achilleos/Woman’s Day

We love elegant simplicity and this super easy edible harvest theme centerpiece idea is perfect. Just pour your candy corn into a clear glass container of just about any shape small or large. Put a white or black candle inside for a little Halloween festival flair. Stagger them with small pumpkins in between the vases and you’ve got a 60-second centerpiece solution!

We really like this whether we’re serving this month’s Mexican Meatballs or the Seared Valencia Tuna Steaks and hearty comfort foods on the menu this October.

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Family fun carving pumpkins

If you’re looking for a great pumpkin to carve this Halloween season, the best place to look is your local pumpkin patch. The best varieties for carving are Connecticut Field, Howden and Baby Bear pumpkins.

Be sure the pumpkin you choose is symmetrical enough to rest squarely on a flat surface. Pass over any with bruises, cracks or broken stems, because they tend to deteriorate quickly and try not to carve your pumpkins earlier than a day or two before Halloween.

Here are a few tips:

  • Flatten a spot in the base of the pumpkin for the candle but avoid digging too deep because the pumpkin becomes prone to rot.
  • Make sure the flame is not too close to the top of the pumpkin.
  • To prolong the life of the jack-o’-lantern, seal in moisture by coating all cut surfaces with petroleum jelly or vegetable oil, or cover it with a damp towel when not on display.
  • Consider giving smaller children stickers, tempera paint, or markers to decorate their own pumpkins.

For  a full list of great carving tips check out:

Perfect Pumpkins on FamilyFun.com

Great ways to decorate for fall holidays!

This season, families and loved ones naturally gather around the table. Why not create a beautiful autumn ambiance to enhance their experience? Your few moments of effort will invite loved ones to linger a little longer, affirming the warmth and connection you share.

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