DIY pumpkin decorations
Decorate your dining table for fall using mini pumpkins and a few simple tools.
Dressing up your home seasonally for holidays is a great way to better appreciate what each season has to offer, as well as give your space a quick makeover. For Thanksgiving and Halloween, using mini pumpkins is the perfect choice: they are inexpensive, can be found at most markets and are a great way to bring a little bit of nature into your home decor. Whether with paint, ribbons or glitter, these decorations are easy to make and adapt for any room of your home. We've presented them as centrepieces for your dining table, but they also look beautiful atop a mantel or stacked in a large glass vase or bowl on a coffee table.
Keeping it simple
For a simple centrepiece, gather cream and orange mini pumpkins and arrange them in a bowl. Add a pumpkin at the center of each plate, alternating between both colours, for an easy festive tablesetting.
Plates, placemat and glass courtesy of Crate and Barrel.
Paint it black
For spooky yet elegant decor, paint mini pumpkins using black and silver matte paint. Add a first layer of multi-surface paint and wait until thoroughly dry. Add a second layer for a perfect finish.
Mixing it up
For a less monochromatic look, try alternating between black and silver paint. This combination of colours works beautifully for a chic fall table setting. Simply add silver placemats, black napkins and scatter the pumpkins at the centre of the table. When entertaining, give a pumpkin to each of your guests to take home at the end of the evening.
Add a little shimmer
For a whimsical look, try adding a little shimmer to your table. Using a flat brush, paint a layer of all-purpose glue on the pumpkin. Sprinkle with glitter and thoroughly shake off excess. You can leave the stem as it is or paint it a darker shade of green.
For this easy DIY project, you'll need an array of pretty ribbons and double-sided tape. Secure a circle of tape around the centre of each pumpkin. Cut a piece of ribbon and tighly place atop the tape. Press gently to make sure it stays in place. We've used some of our favourite ribbons here, including black velvet, stripes and polka-dots but the centrepiece will also look beautiful using one kind of ribbon only and different sized pumpkins.
2014 paint colour trends
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Serve Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine mouth-watering recipe for beer-braised pulled chicken from their new cookbook Plated.
1 Chop the chipotle pepper and set aside along with 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce (reserve the rest of the can for another use).
2 In a small bowl, stir together the paprika and cayenne; set aside.
3 In a large high-sided pan, set the canola oil over medium-high heat. Rub the chicken with the paprika mixture and season both sides with salt and pepper.
4 When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, flesh side down, in a single layer. Sear until the chicken is golden on the outside, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
5 Add the onion and oregano leaves to the pan over medium heat and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, tomatoes, beer, chopped chipotle and adobo sauce and stir to combine.
6 Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then return the chicken to the pan. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and braise until the chicken is pulling away from the bone, about 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
7 Simmer the braising liquid, uncovered, over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
8 Meanwhile, using two forks or tongs, shred the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding the bones.
9 Return the chicken to the reduced braising liquid and stir to combine. Allow the chicken to cool completely and store in the fridge for up to four days. Alternatively, transfer portions of the chicken to airtight containers and freeze for up to a month. To reheat, place the desired amount with sauce in a medium pot and warm, covered, over medium heat.
10 Serve the guacamole alongside the chicken.
Excerpted from Plated by Elana Karp & Suzanne Dumaine. Recipes Copyright © 2016 Elana Karp & Suzanne Dumaine, Photography copyright © 2016 Robert Bredvad. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter/Publishers. All rights reserved.