Friday, October 30, 2009


Remember these? Well, here they are all packaged up and ready to be delivered. I love the way they look in groups of three. Each little marshmallow personality shines right through when presented this way.

Don't you think?

Now if I could somehow successfully photograph cellophane packaging, that would really be a trick! 

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Hey everyone, today is my birthday! And as you may have heard, I had a fabulous birthday cake. Have you guessed who made it yet?

Here it is, the most fantastically beautiful and delicious birthday cake I have ever had. (actually, it's a three-way tie between this, the carousel cake my aunt and I shared when I was four and the mickey mouse cake my mother stayed up all night decorating). But this is hands-down the most exciting cake of my adult life!

That's right folks! It was made by none other than the Cake Boss! Buddy and his family at Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, NJ are the most gracious and wonderful family and their cakes - to die for! The best birthday gift ever.

Congratulations dayzero (who commented here) and Amy (who commented on Facebook), you correctly guessed who made my cake. Please email me to claim your prize!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Remember these Monster Mouths from BHG made with peanut butter and candy corn? Well, Peanut and I made a peanut-free version for her preschool class today. Peanut-free means not only no peanut butter, but no candy corn as well. To replace the peanut butter, I mixed two packages of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. The brown sugar added the perfect amount of sweetness to the cream cheese.

For the teeth, I scoured the candy aisle, first selecting starburst to cut into teeth, the starburst were replaced by licorice, the licorice were replaced by Halloween good n' plenty. 

Until I found....gummy teeth!

Here is the finished product, with the teeth carefully placed by Peanut herself! (and I didn't even rearrange and "perfect" the placement - I think there is real growth happening here.) They turned out a little creepier than the originals. I didn't realized how realistic those gummy teeth are. Hope we don't scare the preschool set! But the big kids think they're really cool, so Peanut is thrilled with her creations.


So tomorrow's my birthday. Exciting, I know! But even more exciting than my birthday is my birthday cake. And you'll never guess who made it. I mean it. Go ahead and try to guess. I'll give you a hint: None of my children made it. No family members either. But it is AWESOME! I don't mean to brag, but the person is kind of famous.

OK, here's where the prize comes in. The first person to guess who made my birthday cake will win a set of custom cupcake picks in the design of your choosing. The cake (and creator) will be revealed tomorrow; you know, for my birthday.

And here we go: ready, set, guess!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Don't forget about our free Halloween downloads for those last minute Halloween details! Cupcake Picks, Halloween Note Sheets and Favor Bag Stickers all available for download here.

P.S. That cupcake looks incredibly good, doesn't it? Guess what, it is! We travel far and wide to get only the best for our product shots here at Pumpkin Petunia. Sarah Jessica has nothing on us! ; )

Downloads for personal use only.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I've been stalking the  Faces Photo Challenges for some time now and today I decided to throw caution to the wind and enter a photo. Now I guess I consider myself a beginner photographer, but when I took this photo last Halloween, I did not do anything but point and click, in the dark and on the run. But still, it's cute right? I like to call it "Fifi looks for candy."

Friday, October 23, 2009


These adorable ghouls from BHG are created with just marshmallows and fondant! An adorable, quick treat to whip up for your little ghouls (and goblins, of course). But I'm not sure about taste; fondant and marshmallows - yuck! I think I'll make two layers of a round cake and use a biscuit cutters to cut the cake into cylinders. Covering cake with fondant sounds much better, don't you think?

And speaking of fondant, I had a fondant-related celebrity encounter this weekend. More about that on Thursday. Why Thursday? Well, that happens to be my birthday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I was going to title this post: Download at Your Own Risk, but I thought that may be a little too scary! On a whim of procrastination, I whipped up some halloween downloads just for you. With children ranging in age from almost 11 to just-turned 3, I need to walk a very fine line between creepy enough for the big brother, but cute and fun enough for the baby. I think this set does just that.

Eat at Your Own Risk

First up are cupcake picks! Print on cardstock and cut with a 2 1/4" circle punch. Attach lollipop sticks or coffee stirrers and you're done! I was going to bake cupcakes and take pictures for this post, but realized that Halloween is just nine days away. You don't have time to wait for such nonsense. You need these now! (my waistline thanks you for that). Download the Halloween Cupcake Picks here.

Read at Your Own Risk

Next up are cute Halloween Note Sheets. Just print, cut down the middle (at 5 1/2 inches) and start jotting down all those Halloween reminders. Print up a set of 6 or 10 and attach a pencil for a sweet little Halloween treat. (maybe in your Boo bag? - just a thought!) Download your Halloween Note Sheets here.

Open at Your Own Risk

Finally, bag up all your Halloween treats in a lunch bag embellished with this scary/sweet sticker. Simply print out the sticker on a label sheet, cut around the circle and stick to the bag. Download your Halloween sticker here.

I really enjoy sharing these Halloween treats with you, but please remember that they are for personal use only.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Love these Paper Bag Candy Bowls from Alpha Mom. Classic papier mâché project made from items you already have on hand. Love that!

Monday, October 19, 2009


My apologies for not photographing the entire cake. This cake tends to disappear before you have time to check the batteries in your camera.

When I was a little girl, apple picking always meant that it was time for my mother to make Apple Chip Cake and I looooove Apple Chip Cake. This recipe was missing for several years until this past spring when I was helping my sister plan my niece and nephew's graduation party. I was looking through my sister's recipes for a recipe I needed for the cookie bar we were planning and there it was: the recipe for apple chip cake. After berating my sister for purposely hiding the recipe from me, I promptly took possession of it so that it would be forever safe in my home. (OK, I made a copy)

So here it is folks, the Apple Chip Cake of my youth. And yes, it is just as good as I remember. Did I mention, the "chip" in Apple Chip Cake is chocolate!

Apple Chip Cake

3 cups flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
4 cups diced apples
3/4 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate chips (to taste)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix flour, cinnamon and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, then add chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
Add flour mixture and mix well.
Fold in apples. The batter will be very thick, only slightly looser than cookie dough consistency. For best results, mix with a sturdy wooden spoon.
Transfer batter to well greased bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes to one hour until an inserted knife comes out clean.

After I made this yesterday, my mother informed me that she always mixed the apples up with some sugar and cinnamon before adding to the cake. I did not do this and the cake is delicious, but next time I'm sure I'll try it. I'll leave it up to you whether you want to sweeten the apples before adding to the batter. Either way, the combination of apples and chocolate in this moist, dense cake is absolute heaven!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Check out this Hot Halloween printable from Amy at Living Locurto (love her!). Stickers and coffee cup sleeves that make a devilish statement. Perfect for a party or just to surprise the hottie in your life. So clever! Download here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


There are sooooo many clever Halloween treat ideas out there and I am sure to feature more before the big spooky day arrives. But these treats caught my eye as things I could whip up unexpectedly and on a whim.

These marshmallow goblins found via bedifferentactnormal are brilliant in their simplicity. Put a marshmallow on a stick and use an edible marker to paint on a scary, funny, creepy face. For all it's simplicity, I know my kids would LOVE these!

When I first saw these Monster Mouths from BHG, I wanted to make them immediately. Sadly, we had no candy corn, but I did have an apple with peanut butter for lunch. Irresistible! They do contain the three main food groups, after all: apples, peanut butter and candy corn! If those three things were the only food left on the planet, I could survive quite happily thank you very much. Since my littlest cannot have peanut butter, I'm going to try them with cream cheese colored with red food coloring. More realistic anyway, right? I'll report back on taste.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Looking for cute halloween costumes that won't break the bank? Who isn't? I feel like a bride shopping for bridesmaids dresses when I think about Halloween costumes: something different that can be worn again; cute and fun, but not cumbersome; fab AND affordable. Luckily, I am not a bride (who needs that stress!), but I am a mom and I'm finding that it's easier than ever to find something great for my kids to wear on Halloween.

These glorious tutu and headband sets from Jojosweetpea  are the perfect example. First off, they are CUTE! The super full skirts and clever headbands really fit the bill for a fabulous costume that is easy to wear. Better yet, at just $30, the price is right. Just add a leotard and leggings and your little goblin is good to go and you know they will wear this again and again! I can't decide which is my favorite, the spider or the ladybug.

Another wonderful trend in costumes this year is the DIY kit. Want to say you made it yourself without all the pesky prep work and patterns? Yeah, me too! Well now you can. DIYcostumes on Etsy has done all the legwork for you. This lion kit, for example, comes with everything you need to pull together this adorable costume in a flash, including needle and thread and an iron on "Handmade by ______." tag! Better yet, 10% of the profits from the sale of this costume go to the World Wildlife Fund. 

When it comes to dressing infants for Halloween, I'm always tempted to go all out. They are just so darn adorable. Couple the cuteness with the fact that they can't voice they're opinion and veto your ideas and the temptation to go for the huge elephant head and parade them around like Barnum & Bailey is hard to resist. (I'm not judging, believe me, I've done it! My son is still having nightmares about his Thumper costume ten years later.) But this may be a time to keep it simple; they are so small and so cute already that it doesn't take much to up the cuteness factor for Halloween. This Wild Things crocheted hat is a great example. It's subtle, looks comfortable and definitely makes a statement. Just add a cozy brown jumper and you've got yourself a costume and a timely/trendy one at that!

And then I'm reminded, that sometimes fabulous is just too fabulous to resist.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I love these owl invitations from Martha Stewart. There's something about the graphic, modern but vintage, that strikes the perfect chord. Since my birthday is near Halloween, birthdays and Halloween tend to be synonymous in my mind. These invites would be perfect for a Halloween themed milestone birthday; a tongue-in-cheek Wise Old Owl theme. Fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


(I kept the red-eye in the photo to enhance the cat effect!)

Starting to think about Halloween costumes yet? I'm sure many of you have them all set to go. Once upon a time, I had our costumes ready and waiting before school started. But as my children get older, I have started to leave it to them to at least play a part in figuring it all out. After spending, well, much more than I should have when the big kids were toddlers, I now put more of a priority on being resourceful when putting together a costume. High priority is using items we already have and purchasing items that can be used again, preferably for other purposes throughout the year.

This cat costume that Petunia wore a couple of years ago is the perfect illustration of resourceful costume planning. I purchased an adorable, black sweater dress from Marshall's for about $10. It was cozy and warm and while I wouldn't normally have chosen a black dress for my 5 year old, it was super cute and able to be worn throughout the rest of the fall and winter. The striped tights Petunia already had in her wardrobe and the cat ears headband was purchased very inexpensively from The Children's Place. All three of these items were extremely inexpensive and all of them were worn again and again after Halloween. (yes, even the cat ears!)

This simple costume is not going to win awards or rock anyone's world, to be sure. But add a little bit of makeup, a splash of 5 year old attitude and you have yourself a sweet little black cat for Halloween. The true test is that this still stands as one of Petunia's absolute favorites.