In Season: Pumpkin Ale Floats

Pumpkin Ale Float
It’s time for another In Season post with Jen over at Cook It, Click It, Eat It. Up today – pumpkins! It’s nearly Halloween and there are pumpkins everywhere. I started researching drinks for this post and I found a lot of pumpkin smoothie type recipes, but nothing that really intrigued  me. Plus, they all called for only 1 or 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, which would leave nearly an entire can of pumpkin left over and wasted unless I wanted to drink 3 or 4 pumpkin smoothies everyday for a whole week. I didn’t think that was a good plan!
Pumpkin Ale Float

Finally inspiration struck while I was enjoying another pumpkin beverage that is everywhere right now – pumpkin ale. I’ve had Guinness floats before, so I thought why not try the same idea but with pumpkin ale instead of Guinness? And of course, why not serve it out of a hollowed out pumpkin? I’m sure you can follow my logic on that one.
Pumpkin Ale Float
There were doubters about this particular experiment. Even I was a little worried. Luckily, I attended a pumpkin carving party the day before the photoshoot, hence the Jack O’Lantern in the pictures. His look of surprise perfectly reflects how we all felt about the deliciousness of the drink! Like so much about the Halloween season, something initially scary can wind up being wonderful if given the chance. Just like Teen Wolf.

Pumpkin Ale Float

I used butter pecan ice cream for the float, mostly because that’s what I already had in the freezer. But the nuttiness of the ice cream really worked, though I am quite sure vanilla ice cream would be a tasty substitution.

Pumpkin Ale Float (in a pumpkin), serves 1

1 smallish pumpkin

12 ounces pumpkin ale, I recommend Cottonwood’s Pumpkin Ale if you can find it

3 large scoops ice cream, butter pecan or vanilla

Cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out seeds. Scrape out as much of the icky pumpkin innards as possible then give the pumpkin a good rinse and dry. Pour beer into the hollowed pumpkin and top with ice cream. Drink with a straw as drinking directly from a pumpkin is challenging.

Pumpkin Ale Float

Don’t forget to hop over to Cook It, Click It, Eat It and check out what Jen’s doing pumpkin-wise (and her spiffy new blog layout). Happy (almost) Halloween!

DIY fall centerpiece

Fall placecards and centerpiece

Remember last week when I suggested you whip up a few extra fabric leaves? Well, if you did, honey, you’re so close to having this easy centerpiece completed and a totally coordinated fall table! Yippee!

Fall placecards and centerpiece

 Materials:

Fabric leaves in fall colors (see tutorial here)

Apples

Ribbon

Tall glass vases wide enough to fit an apple (I got mine from the dollar store and they were the perfect size for Macintosh apples)

Water

Fill vases with water and then float an apple in each. Use the ribbon to tie on a fabric leaf or two to each vase. Extra leaves also look adorable as apple ‘stems.’ Group together the vases and apples with stems in the middle of the table (or on a mantel would be a-dor-able, too). Throw in some votive candles if you’re so inclined and admire your mad skills at creating a charming fall table!

Fall placecards and centerpiece

DIY fabric leaves place card

Fall placecards and centerpiece

I was laughing with my sister this weekend about how it was just Halloween last week and now there are Santas and snowmen everywhere you look! The time between Halloween and Thanksgiving sometimes feels like a long pause leading up to the Christmas rush. I think fall, and Thanksgiving especially, deserves to be honored and not just swept over while waiting for Santa. So, here’s an easy DIY to dress up any fall supper. This would be great to pretty up a Thanksgiving table if you are hosting guests this year (or a thoughtful offer to bring if you are NOT the host). Even better, these can be made from scraps just hanging around, so they are thrifty AND easy. (Please tell me I’m not the only one with a huge scrap stash!)

Fall placecards and centerpiece

Materials: fabric scraps in fall colors, pinking shears, green or brown pipe cleaners, scraps of card stock and ribbon, scissors, hot glue gun, nice pen

Fall placecards and centerpiece

Fold over a scrap piece of fabric and use the pinking shears to  freehand cut a pointed oval leaf shape. You will end up with 2 pieces the same size and shape per cut, these will be the front and back of each leaf.

Fall placecards and centerpiece

Fire up the old glue gun. Carefully run a line of hot glue down the middle of one of the fabric leaves and press the pipe cleaner into the glue.

Fall placecards and centerpiece

Repeat with the other fabric scrap leaf and carefully press together,

Fall placecards and centerpiece

After making a few (three really is a magic number), stack them together and tie with a little ribbon and piece of card stock with the guest’s name.

Fall placecards and centerpiece

Ta dah! A lovely fall place card full of fun texture and details for NO money (assuming you’re a stash hoarder like me).

While you’re at it, make a couple more of the fun fabric leaves and next week I’ll show you how to make a super easy but totally chic centerpiece to coordinate with these place cards! Viva la Fall!

Halloween Party Recap

Halloween 2011

Did I forget to mention I was throwing a Halloween party with some friends? The first week at the new job left me rather discombobulated, so I haven’t been focusing on much else, let alone doing a good job planning for a party. However, we threw a Halloween party at this friend’s house a few years ago and he saved ALL the decorations we used before. How great is that? I had picked up a few more things pre-job switch (when I still have full usage over my brain) and we were able to pull together a pretty rocking party with just a few hours prep. Yay, teamwork!

The costumes were particularly great this year, but I won’t be posting any of those pictures in order to protect the not-so-innocent. I will tell you my favorite costume was my friend dressed as Richard Simmons, curly wig and all. HILARIOUS! Runner up, a honey badger!

Halloween 2011

These are my infamous eyeballs. They’re just Oreo truffles decorated with icing, but they’re always a big hit!

Halloween 2011

This is a watermelon that showed up at a party several weeks ago and has just been hanging around ever since. We decorated it with the spiders to add to the Halloween ambiance.

Halloween 2011

My friend Erin put together some candy coffins, isn’t it too cute??

Halloween 2011

What’s Halloween without Jello shots? All lime all the time.

Halloween 2011

The prize cauldron for best costume included some delicious pumpkin beer homebrew, a glitter rat, spider rings, plastic skeletons, some funny glasses, and of course CANDY!

Halloween 2011

And yes, this is a picture of a wooden giraffe drinking a 40 of Tecate next to the deviled eggs. It was that kind of party. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of spooky celebrations, too!