Tag Archives: pumpkins

3 Spooktacular Halloween recipes

Halloween recipes

Carving a pumpkin for Halloween?

Then you’ll love these two recipes, which use pumpkin flesh and seeds, so nothing goes to waste.

You will find fun pumpkin carving tips below plus discover the origins of Halloween. Enjoy.

Halloween recipes Frittata and Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin, Chorizo & Sage Frittata

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds


These creepy brownie bars are the perfect offering for Trick or Treaters who may come calling on Thursday.

Chocolate Brownie Graveyard Bars


Buy 2020 Dairy DiaryAll three recipes are from the Dairy Diary.

The iconic Dairy Diary 2020 is an A5, week-to-view diary featuring weekly inspirational recipes. Practical and pretty, it’s the perfect 2020 diary for planning your busy life.

For more recipes and/or to order your copy for just £8.75 click here.


Pumpkin carving fun with your children

Halloween carved pumpkinChoose your pumpkin – a large, ripe pumpkin that has smooth, even surfaces and sits comfortably without danger of rolling over is best.

Sketch your pattern on paper to suit the size and shape of your pumpkin. If you’re not artistic, use a stencil or template.

Make the lid by drawing a 125mm (5″) circle on the top. Cut out the lid with the saw/blade at an angle – leaning slightly to the outside – this will stop the lid dropping inside. Remove the lid and clean its base.

For a carving tool, we recommend a pumpkin saw. If you’re using a knife (small and sharp) carve gently and steadily, making a few gentle strokes for each cut.

The kids can remove the inside – they love this slimy job and can easily remove all the seeds and mushy stuff. Then you can takeover scraping with a spoon or ice-cream scoop. Thin walls make carving easier, but don’t make them too thin or the pumpkin will collapse. Make the base inside flat to accommodate a candle.

Apply your pattern by copying freehand onto the clean, dry pumpkin with a marker/pen/pencil or tape your paper pattern to the pumpkin and mark the design by poking holes through the pattern.

Let’s carve – adults only if you’re using a knife! Carefully begin at the centre of your pattern and work outward – small shapes first. The kids can push out the shapes as you go. Lastly ensure the pumpkin sits stably without danger of rolling.

Light up – place a tea-light in the base. Ensure the candle is level and carefully light it. Always extinguish the candle when leaving the room.


The origins of Halloween

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.*

Until 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived across the lands we now know as Britain, Ireland and northern France. Essentially a farming and agricultural people, the Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter. The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may also be at large.

The night or evening of Samhain became known as All-hallows-even then Hallow Eve, still later Hallowe’en and then of course Halloween.

A special time of the year when many believe that the spirit world can make contact with the physical world, a night when magic is at its most potent.

Throughout Britain, Halloween has traditionally been celebrated by children’s games such as bobbing for apples in containers full of water, telling ghost stories and the carving of faces into hollowed-out vegetables such as swedes and turnips. These faces would usually be illuminated from within by a candle, the lanterns displayed on window sills to ward off any evil spirits. The current use of pumpkins is a relatively modern innovation imported from the United States.

*Halloween by Ben Johnson





THE must-do recipe for Halloween

Halloween Pumpkin Muffins

Halloween Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Halloween is looming and my quest to find inexpensive costumes and then the inevitable sweet rationing will soon begin.

Whilst I’m not a big fan of the whole event, I do have three children so I need to enter into the spirit.

I love face painting and in
our house anything goes;
it doesn’t need to be scary.

In fact last year one of my little ones randomly chose ‘blue otter’, which baffled the neighbours!

I do love pumpkin carving. Choosing a few random sized pumpkins and carving something wacky is great fun and you can’t beat the glow of candlelight for atmosphere. (Just be careful folks, those Halloween costumes can be VERY flammable.)

And what to do with the leftover pumpkin?

Dairy Diary has the perfect recipe – it tastes SO good and it easy enough to make with the children.



Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

  • Servings: makes 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 288 per portion
Fat 12g (7.1g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Butter 150g (5oz)
  • Plain flour 300g (11oz)
  • Baking powder 2 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Eggs 2 large, beaten
  • Milk 200ml (7fl oz)
  • Pumpkin 275g (10oz), peeled, deseeded and grated
  • Raisins 75g (3oz)
  • Self-raising flour 50g (2oz)
  • Demerara sugar 50g (2oz)


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/170°fan/Gas 5 and place 12 muffin cases in a muffin tin. Melt 110g (4oz) butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon, then stir in caster sugar. Make a well in centre and pour in eggs, milk and melted butter. Stir until just combined, then fold in pumpkin and raisins. Spoon into muffin cases.
  3. In a separate bowl rub remaining butter into self-raising flour then stir in demerara sugar. Sprinkle over batter in cases then bake for 30-40 minutes until risen and golden.
  4. Leave in muffin tin for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.


Dairy Diary 2017For lots more gorgeous recipes like this why not treat yourself to the 2017 Dairy Diary.

Only £7.99!! Click here to find out more.








Happy Halloween Recipes

Happy Halloween


Recipes for a Happy Halloween

Stroll around any supermarket and you will be literally attacked by Halloween merchandise – it’s everywhere!

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the whole Halloween thing – especially encouraging our children to dress up in hellish costumers and knock on strangers’ doors begging for sweets. However, it can be a great excuse to get crafting.

Halloween pumpkin carving

The most obvious thing to do, of course, is pumpkin carving.  A beautifully carved pumpkin can be really quite lovely.  I don’t know if we have the talent to produce something like this but we will certainly attempt a simple version.

And in the 2014 Dairy Diary, there’s a fab Pumpkin & Ginger Risotto recipe for using up leftover pumpkin flesh. Ideal for a romantic meal for two after the children are safely tucked up in bed!

And for the little ones to make? How about this fabulous recipe for Halloween Cake Pops? They are simple to make and look so pretty (although our talented food stylist Sara, may be a little more artistic than my children!)

Halloween recipes

There are many more super seasonal recipes in the 2014 Dairy Diary and it’s only a click away!

Dairy Diary SetWhy not treat yourself
to the Dairy Diary Set?

For just £9.25 you get:

  • Dairy Diary
  • Pocket diary
  • Coordinated pen
  • Notepad
  • Sticky notes.
  • Coloured page markers

Go on….you deserve it!

Buy it now.

Win Heston Blumenthal Digital ScalesDon’t forget to
enter to win
Heston Blumenthal
Orb Digital Scales

You can enter on the
Dairy Diary website  or
Dairy Diary Facebook page

Enter on both to double your chances!


<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: