3 Ways To Reuse Your Halloween Pumpkin

“Row Of Pumpkins” by Rosemary Ratcliff

Pumpkins are a fun and festive decoration this time of year – beautiful vessels that symbolize the fall harvest. About 1.5 billion pounds are bought each year, but way too many of those wind up in the trash the week after Halloween. Before throw yours away, consider these Jack-tastic recipes that will turn your Jack-O-Lantern into something delish.

Pumpkin Seeds

Start by toasting the seeds. Take a metal spoon or melon scraper and remove the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin. Using a strainer, rinse under water and remove seeds from pulp. Pat seeds dry, then toss in butter or olive oil. Spread on a cookie sheet or roasting pan, sprinkle with salt, and place in a 400-degree preheated oven. Toast until golden brown, between 5 and 20 minutes depending upon their size.

Make salty and sweet pumpkin seeds by tossing them with butter, two tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.

Make spicy pumpkin seeds by tossing them with olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

Or make savory pumpkin seeds by tossing them with olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.

Next create your own pumpkin puree by cutting the pumpkin in half, covering the top with foil, and roasting in a 325-degree oven for an hour or until tender. Scrape the meat from the shell and puree in a blender or food processor. You can use your homemade pumpkin puree to make your own Thanksgiving pie or in one of these two great recipes:

Nana’s Pumpkin Cobbler

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree
  • 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Yellow cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup nuts

Mix first eight ingredients and pour into an ungreased 8 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix on top and drizzle with butter. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Top with nuts.

 

Pumpkin Pie Martini from MixThatDrink.com

  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 ounces white creme de cacao
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1.5 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
  • 1 dash of ground nutmeg (for garnish)
  • Powdered graham cracker (for the rim)

Rim two martini glasses with crushed graham cracker. Fill a shaker with ice and add the vodka, creme de cacao, cream and pumpkin puree. Shake well until it’s chilled. Strain into the martini glasses. Sprinkle the ground nutmeg on top for garnish.

 

An Insider’s Guide to Shopping the Art Van Tent Sale

 

Tent Sale

At Art Van Furniture, tents are our “thing.” Our founder owes his success to a legendary liquidation sale held 56 years ago at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. Since then we’ve been popping up the big top in our parking lot to offer great deals and rekindle fond memories.

 

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned tent sale shopper, here are eight things you can do to make the most of this fun event:

 

  1. Have a plan. Whether you need a new sofa or kitchen table, know what you’re looking for so you can find it quickly.

 

  1. Take measurements. If you’re adding a piece to an existing grouping or building a room from scratch, measure your wall and floor space so you can be sure your new treasure fits.

 

  1. Bring paint and fabric swatches. The overall design of your room is important, so bring your colors to help you find the best match.

 

  1. Come early. The early bird gets the worm. Many items are one of a kind, so you don’t want to miss out on your chance to bring them home.

 

  1. Come back. New items are brought out to the tent during the day, and additional savings are added throughout the sale.

 

  1. Walk the tent. When you arrive, take a tour to spot what interests you. If it’s a one of a kind item, grab a sales associate and get it marked sold.

 

  1. Don’t wait. If you love it, buy it. If you decide to think about it, you risk that it will be gone when you return.

 

  1. Get credit. We say “yes” to credit in minutes, and we have a great payment plan for you even if you currently have no credit. Cardholders get invitations to exclusive sale events, and advance notice of new merchandise.

 

Rain or shine, the Art Van Tent Sale will be held this weekend. Lace up your comfortable shoes and we’ll see you under the big top!

What’s Fresh for May

One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store is to buy in-season produce. Not only is it at the peak of flavor; it’s at the best price because it’s plentiful and available from local farmers. Get your carts ready: Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that are in season for May:

  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Blueberries
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Turnips

 

Introducing Gascho Authentics

If you love statement pieces, you’re going to love Authentics from the Amish furniture maker Gascho. Authentics repurposes lumber and other materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces that will last for generations, and Art Van Furniture is excited to be the first retailer to carry this new line of reclaimed wood furniture.

Take a look at these two unique tables that are sure to generate lots of table talk due to their extraordinary style:

Gascho Barnwood 

Authentics Barnwood Table

This gorgeous table is made from solid hardwoods that have been reclaimed from American barns. The wood, which includes ash, elm, maple and oak, is sorted and hand-selected to create the special look and design. The boards are natural in their reclaimed form, but Gascho applies their catalyzed varnish finish to enhance their beauty. Each tabletop is distinct with characteristics like saw markings and distressing. Variations in size, splitting and knots add to the character of the product, and the power-coated bent steel base completes the striking urban look.

Gascho Barrel

 

Authentics Barrel Table

For something completely different, the Authentics Barrel Table will make a dramatic statement. The base is made using reclaimed solid white oak barrels from American distilleries. Each barrel is one-of-a-kind, and features a Rift sawn, distressed solid white oak top and base with glass insert. To preserve its beauty, Gascho craftsmen apply their special catalyzed varnish finish. Imagine the party that will gather around this piece in your breakfast nook, rec room or sunroom.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Simply break it into smaller steps. Today, things are looking up. Literally. Get out your stepladder and tackle these four high spots to get your home ready for the season.

1. The top shelf. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Go through your home with an eye toward the ceiling, looking for high surfaces that never get any attention. Dust or vacuum them.

2. Ceiling fans. Ever look at the top of your ceiling fan blades? These things collect dust – lots of it. Wipe them down with a damp rag, and make sure your fan is in the spring/summer flow direction.

3. Crown molding. Just like your baseboards, crown molding can collect dust. Wipe it down with a damp sponge to rejuvenate the finish.

4. Your refrigerator. The top of your refrigerator collects grease that splatters when you cook, and that grease traps dust and dirt. Get a bucket of warm water and a mild detergent to break down the grime.