Pumpkin Potluck

Pumpkins are not only useful for spooky jack-o-lanterns but can be useful in the kitchen as well. And we aren’t talking pumpkin pie. We are talking entrees and salads utilizing the seasonal fruit that will have dinner guests wishing it was fall all year long.

Start off a fall-themed dinner with a delicious appetizer that highlights the flavors of pumpkins. Combine fresh ingredients like avocados, chipotle adobo, cilantro and pumpkin seeds for an autumnal guacamole. For another light starter dish, use pumpkin bits to dress up a salad of greens, feta, dried cranberries, cinnamon and balsamic vinaigrette.

Moving on to the next course, entrees normally don’t get the pumpkin treatment, but these recipes are too good not to try. Who knew pumpkins and pasta went hand in hand? Try out this pumpkin lasagna with Parmesan, pumpkin puree, Swiss chard and sage for a filling dish. Another option is a pumpkin cannelloni with sage brown-butter sauce. This recipe replaces the usual stuffing of ricotta cheese with pumpkin feeling. For a spicy dish, try the curried pumpkin and peas.

Finish off the dinner with a sweet treat that goes beyond pie. Pumpkin fritters with vanilla ice cream and pumpkin coconut tart both make delicious use of the winter squash and will delight family and friends when you show up at Thanksgiving dinner with them.

Even our furry friends can get in on this pumpkin goodness. Pumpkin is a healthy and tasty treat for Fido. Whip up some dog biscuits, pumpkin balls or soup featuring the flavors of the fruit.

And the pumpkins don’t have to stay in the kitchen. Pumpkins have skin benefits such as smoothing fine lines, preventing signs of aging and balancing oily skin. Pamper yourself with this pumpkin facial mask recipe to keep your skin glowing through the harsh winter weather.