Bread Crumb & Parmesan Crusted Pumpkin Wedges (Using Up All of that Amazing Fall Squash)

Crusted Bread Crumb + Parmesan Pumpkin Wedge Appetizer | Pepper DesignBlog.com

How was your Thanksgiving? We ended up having incredibly warm weather (for November!) here in San Diego and relocated outside to eat. Butcher block paper was a more natural fit for the giant wooden table and by the time our meal was done the table was covered in crayon drawings by everyone (amazing how coloring at the table can be so addictive and inviting). Here’s a shot of the family:

Thanksgiving! | PepperDesignBlog.com

Thanksgiving! | PepperDesignBlog.com

Liv’s hand-drawn place setting :).

Since pumpkin season is officially over (and we are making room for Christmas by putting away fall decorations this weekend!), it’s time to use up those pretty pumpkins we have lying around the house. We have been gathering sugar pumpkins in our CSA box and using them as decorations, same for a lot of varieties of squash – butternut, acorn, kabocha, traditional pumpkin – that have been filling baskets and lining the tops of tables because they’re so pretty.

This recipe today is great because it calls for a few simple ingredients, is SO delicious and is perfect for keeping good fall veggies from going to waste. My favorite is when it’s used with butternut squash, but we’ve tried it with most of our leftover whole pumpkins/squashes and it’s an all around yummy appetizer or side dish.

Baked Bread Crumb + Parmesan Pumpkin Slice Appetizer | Pepper DesignBlog.com

Kevin first discovered this recipe in one of our favorite cookbooks, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Over time we’ve modified and simplified it so that it has become a quick go-to for parties or meals. I’ve partnered with the Grains Food Foundation to share this quick & easy recipe because bread crumbs are one of the key ingredients and because grains are a big part of our natural daily diet.

Baked Bread Crumb + Parmesan Pumpkin Slice Appetizer | Pepper DesignBlog.com

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Our Family Christmas Cards

Family Christmas Cards | Pear Tree | PepperDesignBlog.com

Are you guys ready for Thanksgiving? I’m feeling ahead of the curve right now in the Thanksgiving department and (amazingly), our Christmas cards as well. We’ve partnered with Pear Tree for our family holiday cards this year and I’m so happy with how they’ve turned out. We used two photos from our house shoot with Katie Beverley and while you can’t see the giant 8 month pregnant belly, you do get snapshots of the cutest little girls grinning and laughing :).

Family Christmas Cards | Pear Tree | PepperDesignBlog.com

Here’s how I adjusted our pictures a bit in photoshop to get a slightly hazy/seventies look (ps if you don’t have photoshop, Pixlr is a pretty great free online editing tool to play with):

Christmas Card Editing | PepperDesignBlog.com

The above is the original from Katie with the ‘curves’ setting bumped up just a bit.

Below is with ‘Norma’ applied from the A Beautiful Mess photoshop mini collection (essentially an adjustment in exposure, curves, shadows, a tinge of red… I love this collection):

Christmas Card Editing | PepperDesignBlog.com

And finally a bumping in the ‘offset’ (you can find that under: adjustments/exposures/offset) for that slightly faded effect.

Christmas Card Editing | PepperDesignBlog.com

Pear Tree is offering 30% off site wide with code BFRIDAY14 as part of their Black Friday special (though it looks like you can order now through 11/30).

Family Christmas Cards | Pear Tree | PepperDesignBlog.com

As a special little addition for some of our immediate family, I cut up Liv artwork (both from school, home and new watercolors that she loves to make at our kitchen table while I cook) to use as envelope liners. I think it adds a sweet extra layer of personalization.

Family Christmas Cards | Pear Tree | PepperDesignBlog.com

Enjoy these next few days with family and friends!! Sending lots of love to your family from ours.

Family holiday cards from: 20092010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (most with their own roundup of editing tips!)

DIY Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks & Our Thanksgiving Table

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

I spotted this brown plaid at the fabric store in the men’s wear department (or was it the flannel aisle?) and fell in love.

We are expecting family today and tomorrow and things will become cra-zy around here very soon, so while I had a few moments I set out my ideas for our Thanksgiving table.

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

A day later and I’ve already decided to spare the plaid to turkey drippings and butter for another project (one of my handmade Christmas gifts – stay tuned) and plan to reset with something else on Thursday – ha! – but I love it because it looks so pretty with our white dishware, gold leaves, a few eucalyptus branches and the new wooden candlesticks (made from bedposts!).

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

I also used several of the marbled pumpkins that we had made around Halloween and spray painted them gold + glitter gold (I ended up trying a couple of glitter spray paints and liked Krylon best). PS if you skip the gold base you’ll see the orange/white/marbled paint through the glitter.

I also have plans to add the colorful little milk art place cards that Liv made once we figure out who’s sitting where and who else we’re adding to the final table.

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

All you thrifters and garage salers out there, THIS is a really fun project and one with so many possibilities. Believe it or not, these chunks of wood used to be a bedpost (and how many awesomely shaped bedposts can be found at garage sales?).

Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks | Thanksgiving | PepperDesignBlog.com

To turn them into candlesticks:

1. Cut bedpost into cubes and prep for drilling candle holes.

Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks | Thanksgiving | PepperDesignBlog.com

2. With a ruler or measuring tape, find the center of the wooden blocks by drawing an ‘X’ (in hindsight these Xs should be smaller because we’ll be erasing them a little further down…

Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks | Thanksgiving | PepperDesignBlog.com

3. Measure the diameter of your candlesticks (mine are from Ikea that I shortened by a few inches with a knife) and using a paddle drill bit, carefully sink a 1-1.5″ hole into the block.

DIY Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks | Thanksgiving | PepperDesignBlog.com

4. Sand away any of the penciled X that’s still visible.

Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks | Thanksgiving | PepperDesignBlog.com

DIY Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks | Thanksgiving | PepperDesignBlog.com

I love, love how they turned out.

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

I’ve been using these odd bedpost blocks as risers for various outdoor parties during the summer and think that they would be great for so many different handmade projects (kid’s building blocks, topped with a cool stone for bookends…). After figuring this project out, I’m beginning to look at scrap pieces of wood, or already milled wood like the cool legs on an old coffee table, in a whole new way.

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

And then there are the gold pumpkins. I can’t get enough of the vegetable this year. At least my little collection has been playing some serious double duty around the house over the last two months :).

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

These would make great place cards with a little tag and twine for the stem.

Isn’t that plaid great? It’s the perfect base for a cozy table.

Plaid Thanksgiving Table | Wooden Bedpost Candlesticks, Glitter Gold Pumpkins, Brown, Black, Tan Plaid Tablescape | PepperDesignBlog.com

Fabric shops make for the best places to score inexpensive yardage for long table runners and even cloth napkins. I’m off to save this plaid but I have a few backups in mind…. I’m especially looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving in our home this year!

More Thanksgiving ideas including this prep tip (for family and friends!) and these downloadable place cards and ‘grateful for’ notes.

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