Can you Cook a Halloween Pumpkin (Jack-o-lantern)?

I’ve been asked if you can cook a Halloween pumpkin many times. The short answer is yes. However pumpkins that we purchase for carving (in America) are not grown to be cooked and don’t taste great in traditional pumpkin recipes. (Think pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, etc)

pumpkin baking

“Jack-o-latern” pumpkins are typically large, flat bottomed, and filled with less flesh to make them easier to carve. Their seeds, however are plentiful and great for roasting.

If you want to use fresh pumpkin in a recipe purchase a “pie pumpkin” from the grocery store. They are sold during the fall months and are grown specifically for baking. They are darker in color and are very dense which makes them perfect for baking.

I do not recommend cooking a pumpkin that has already been carved and left outside for an evening or two. Leave the big pumpkins for carving and use the smaller pie pumpkins in your baking.

If you love pumpkin I highly recommend cooking a pie pumpkin. Canned pumpkin isn’t pure pumpkin it is a mixture of squash and pumpkin and isn’t as sweet as the flesh straight of of a pumpkin. Your friends and family will be raving about your pumpkin baked goods when you use fresh, super sweet pie pumpkin in the recipe.

Find step by step instructions on how to cook a pie pumpkin and several delicious recipes here.

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Getting Ahead in Your Real Food Kitchen: Discount Code

Did you know that Americans spend an average of 4.5% of their income eating out?

I’m not against eating out, if you can afford it and as long as you aren’t doing it every day because it is healthier to eat at home.

But many people are still looking for ways to cut their food budget and my advice is to first start tracking how much you spend on eating out each month.

real food make ahead

Our family eats out for two reasons, entertainment (we usually got out after church) and poor planning.  I’m fine with going out for our Sunday dinner, but I’m not fine ordering pizza or driving through on a regular basis because things are just so crazy I can’t get dinner on the table.

The key to getting dinner or breakfast or lunch on the table in my busy house- is planning ahead. Many people think make ahead meals are unhealthy or are filled with cream of something or processed foods. They can be, but if you are looking for a real food alternative you need to check out my friend Laura’s, Let’s Do This! Getting Ahead in Your Real Food Kitchen eCourse and {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook.

Here’s why I recommend it:

Laura is a busy mom of four boys. She doesn’t have hours and hours to spend on a meal. She’s a real mom, not some chef in a test kitchen who has never had to argue with a four year old over eating one more bite of anything.

She’s a real food enthusiast. I’ve known Laura for almost six years and she really gets the real food thing. She feeds her family healthy, from scratch meals and I’ve tried her recipes. They are delicious. She also uses food you have heard of, not items you will have to order on Amazon that cost $32 a pound.

The techniques she shares in this course can be done by anyone. You don’t have to be a seasoned cook, or even a cook at all to implement her strategies for getting ahead in the kitchen. She also goes step by step, so for those who are overwhelmed with even getting started, her course will help you.

It will save you money. Having meals prepared and ready to put on the table when life gets crazy saves you time and money. Not only that, it will help your family eat healthier, which is something I think all of us want for our families.

make ahead meals ebook

From now until February 28th you can save an extra $1 on this eBook AND ecourse bundle when you use the code HAPPYHOUSE at checkout, making it only $7 for both! (They are already discounted when bundled, so you can save even more with our unique coupon code!)  However, if you just want to purchase one, you can do that as well.  They are $5 each.

Purchase your the ecourse and/or ebook today!


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Traditional Recipes Bundle Sale: Real Food for Real Families

I’m working on converting all my recipes to a digital copy as I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to search for a paper copy of a recipe (usually handwritten on an index card) only to not be able to find it. That’s why I am loving these eBook bundles that are full of recipes, since I’m digitizing my kitchen anyway!

In our days of fast food drive-thrus and prepackaged dinners, I am purposely seeking out real food recipes to feed my family.  I want my children to know how to prepare their own meals made with real ingredients and not have to depend on fast food or takeout.  This particular recipe eBook bundle has 17 eBooks for $14.97 or only 88¢ each!  With more than 800 recipes that’s less than 2¢ per recipe!! Enough math…onto the recipes…


Are you new to real food and wish you had more healthy recipes…including snacks and money-saving ideas?

When someone asks, “What’s for dinner?” do you have an answer? Is it “the same old?”

The Traditional Recipes Collection is here to help.

With 17 books, over 800 recipes and ideas, worth over $150 for just $14.97, this collection is an amazing deal. It’s available through 11:59 PM ET on Saturday, Sept. 21. There will be no late sales. Please see the fine print at the bottom for all sale details.

With one simple purchase, you can get access to 17 different books from prominent and up-and-coming real food bloggers. There are books to teach you how to include more healthy ingredients, how to save time, how to save money, how to create food that goes with you, how to make desserts and holiday dishes, and so much more.

View the FAQ.



kitchen help

Kitchen Help

main dishes

Main Dishes


Snacks and Sides

Desserts, Baking and Special Occasions


Bonus Offers

IsYourSaltRealBooklet-100x100 15% off Real Salt orders. Get healthy, unrefined sea salt delivered to your kitchen.
Wise choice logo 5% off Wise Choice Market orders over $50. Pick up mineral-rich stock, soaked nut butters and cereals, or even potato chips made with coconut oil.
Simple natural health Simple Natural Health by Nina Nelson of Shalom Mama. Keep your family healthy this winter not only with food, but with homemade remedies.
tradishen-on-green One month FREE premium membership to Tradishen. Your premier 100% real food recipe and meal planning site.
dietician cassie $25 off Dietician Cassie one year package — Get some help with personal nutrition and health coaching!




In addition to the already awesome package we have here, one lucky reader is going to get the chance to win a Healthy Surprise box! If your family struggles with snacks, this company offers packages of healthy snacks that are delivered to your door once a month. There are three box sizes with different amounts of snacks in them. These snacks are all allergy-free (top 8), grain-free, vegan, and mostly organic. They’re appropriate for almost any family!

No purchase necessary to enter.

box-healthy-600x554 $75 value “Healthy” Healthy Surprise snack box

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


View the FAQ.

Offer Details

  • Sale runs 9 AM EST Sept. 17 through 11:59 PM EST Sept. 21
  • No late sales
  • Buyers may be from anywhere in the world; but books are only in English
  • There are no physical/shipped products; the bundle offer is digital only.
  • Download links are good for 5 attempts or through 10/31/13, whichever comes first.
  • Bundle may not be downloaded and links cannot be re-activated after 10/31/13
  • Bundle files may not be shared. Each book may be on only one computer/one residence at once
  • Buyers are permitted to share books if they send files they do not want to one other person and delete the files themselves, so only copy of each is in use
  • If buyers split the bundle, they only get one set of bonus offers and must share
  • Bonus offers must be claimed by 9/30/13
  • Bonus offers may not be available in non-U.S. areas
  • Bonus offers are made through a third party and we do not have any control over them. Items may be unavailable or sales may end without warning
  • By purchasing, you are certifying that you have read and agree to these terms and conditions


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Real Food eBook Bundle of the Week

This week’s Real Food eBook Bundle is packed full of real food resources to help you thrive on a real, whole foods diet., 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Grab all 5 eBooks for only $7.40 (more than 85% savings!) and treat yourself to some great go-to resources with tips, reference guides, step-by-step instructions and plenty of recipes for your kitchen!

Real Food Basics by Kate Tietje

  • In Real Food Basics, Kate shows you not only how to cook real, recognizable foods — things like pizza, ice cream and french fries — with healthy ingredients in your own kitchen, but also why you need to make changes, what changes to make, and how to re-stock your kitchen to reflect a real food lifestyle.

Real Food Ingredient Guide by Kelly the Kitchen Kop

  • The Real Food Ingredient Guide has everything you need to make real food happen at your house. Included is a 7-page quick-reference guide with “buy this instead of that” details as well as in-depth chapters with facts on the different food groups and ingredients. With bonus tips for overcoming common obstacles when bringing your family from junk food to real food, Kelly has put together the ultimate ingredient guide to help you figure out what’s what!

Nourished Cooking by Sarah Smith

  • Nourished Cooking is a comprehensive cookbook that contains over 60 nutrient-dense, gluten-free recipes. This cookbook is perfect for those who eat traditional, real foods, as well as people on grain-free diets such as Primal, GAPS, and SCD. The recipes in this book are sure to please the whole family, and even people who don’t follow a traditional foods diet will rave over these foods.

Real Food Party Menus by KerryAnn Foster

  • Picking recipes to please a crowd can be difficult and time consuming, especially when you’re trying to stick to real foods! KerryAnn has taken the stress out of party planning with three gluten-free and dairy-optional party menus, ranging from casual to more formal meals, that are only made with ingredients that non-foodies will recognize. Whether you’re planning a casual party with finger foods, a hearty but casual sit-down meal or a more formal affair, you’ll find a complete menu with schedules and shopping lists to make your party planning easy.

You Can Do This eCourse from Laura Coppinger

  • Are you overwhelmed by the idea of moving to a real food diet? In this ecourse, Laura walks you step-by-step through the first five steps to a real food kitchen with the promise that you can do this! Learn how to make healthy eating a reality for your family, one step at a time – on your time table, within your budget, and working around your taste preferences.

Purchase all of these Real Food eBooks bundled together here.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.