Pumpkin Tea Set

A few years ago, my hubby carved a very impressive Yoda themed pumpkin about a week before Halloween. We set it outside on our porch, and two days later the pumpkin had become a festering mess, aged from the heat and warmth of California sunshine. I know better than to carve my pumpkins too early now, so I carved my bright orange beauties on the brink of Halloween this year. I collected 1 small pie pumpkin and 2 Wee Bee pumpkins from my random visits to the market over the last few weeks, and now it was time for them to meet their fate.

What did I carve from my pumpkins? Well, I carved them into a tea set for two of course! The tea set is complete with a regular sized teapot and 2 sturdy teacups, just in time for a mid-autumn Pumpkin Chai Latte break!

Although you could serve any fall tea in this cheery pumpkin teapot, a Pumpkin Chai Latte is definitely the way to go. I must say, I’m in love with my Pumpkin Chai Latte recipe…it’s smooth, creamy, and has just the perfect spicy kick to it. My secret ingredient is freshly and finely ground black pepper, which makes it over-the-top delicious.

The best part about using a pie pumpkin to make a pumpkin teapot is that you can later use the teapot to make pie! Using a smaller variety of pumpkin will also allow for easy pouring when tea time comes along. In fact, don’t use a larger pumpkin for this project. The perfect teapot pumpkin has an even base, doesn’t have any soft spots, and doesn’t weigh more than 2 1/2 pounds. And with that I’d like you wish you a very Happy Halloween this year! If you are too busy passing out candy and don’t have time for the tea set, do yourself a favor and at least make the Pumpkin Chai Latte. Nothing could taste better on a crisp fall day!

I’ve decided to take my Pumpkin Tea Set and Chai Lattes over to celebrate Fiesta Friday this week..meet me there!

Pumpkin Chai Latte

Serves 2 with refills. 

Ingredients:

2 cups strongly brewed chai, preferably loose leaf ( I used a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 Tbsp chai)

2 cups vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

1/4 cup honey or to taste

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground ginger

pinch salt

Directions:

1.)  Combine all the ingredients in a pot, bring to just under a boil, and serve!

Pumpkin Tea Set

What You’ll Need:

1 pie pumpkin, just under 2 1/2 pounds

2 Wee Bee pumpkins

wine pourer

12 gauge black aluminum wire (you can find this in the jewelry section of the craft store)

decorative beads, enough to cover the length of handle (make sure the wire will fit through them)

tea strainer

pumpkin carver or serrated knife

pliers

wrench

spoon

pen

ruler

scissors

Step-by-Step:

1.)  Gather the goods.

2.)  Use a pen to outline the diameter of the mesh strainer on the top, center of each pumpkin

3.)  Cut the caps off of the teacups/Wee Bee pumpkins and the large pumpkin.

4.)  Dig out the seeds and string.

5.)  Spoon all the seeds and string out of the teapot and teacups before proceeding with making the teapot.

6.)  Make the teapot by marking a dot 1″ from the inner cut edge on the pumpkin. Repeat this again on the other opposite side of the cut opening. Measure out a 2-foot piece of the wire and cut it with scissors.

7.)  Use the screwdriver to make a hole where the ink dots are marked.

8.)  Wrap one end of the wire in the hole once…

9.)  Then wrap the wire over a second time…

10.)  This is the time to loop all the beads through (not pictured). When you’ve looped the wire with beads to a reasonable length of your liking, it’s time to seal off the handle and cut off any excess wire. Again, mark a hole on the opposite side of the teapot opening, use the screwdriver to penetrate through the marked hole, then make a double wire loop to create a finished teapot handle.

10.  Make the spout by creating a hole to fit the narrow end of the wine pourer. Angle the spout at a 60 degree angle from the base (i.e. the tip of the pourer points upwards). Make the hole slightly narrow so that the wine pourer will fit in snugly and not leak.

11.)  Push the narrow end of the wine pourer into the hole until it fits in very snug…the teapot is complete!

 

Pumpkin Chai Energy Balls

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that it’s pumpkin season again! Even though you can technically eat pumpkin anytime of the year, there’s something about eating it in the fall that makes it taste that much more satisfying and delicious.

The only thing better than eating pumpkin is eating pumpkin with a spicy chai tea. My recipe for Pumpkin Chai Energy Balls combine these autumn inspired ingredients together with a host of other nutritious add-ins including old-fashioned oatmeal, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and of course…pumpkin purée!

These energy balls are completely flour-free, and don’t require any cooking. To give them bulk without making them too gritty, I use both pulverized oatmeal and almond meal. I reserve some of the oats to be left whole so that you still get a bit of chew and texture in each nibble.

When it comes to the chocolate chip addition, I like to add the darkest chocolate chips I can find. Good quality, slightly bitter-tasting chocolate chips make the bold chai flavors stand out and also help to balance out the mild sweetness of the maple syrup. These moist, flavorful bites are perfect as a mid-day pick me up or as a reasonable swap out when you are looking to get a cookie fix. Pumpkin Chai Energy Balls also make an ideal snack before hitting the gym and are convenient to-go treats as they are easy to pack and hold their shape well. If you please, even try enjoying a few for breakfast. You just might have to come back to this ingredient list to remind yourself that you aren’t actually eating dessert!

Pumpkin Chai Energy Balls

Makes 30 balls.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, ground to a meal in food processor

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, left whole

2 Tbsp ground flax seeds

2 Tbsp chia seeds

6 Tbsp chai tea mix (I used Trader Joe’s Spicy Chai Tea Latte)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup pumpkin purée (just from a can)

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

Equipment:

large mixing bowl

mixing spoon

cookie scoop with 1 3/4″ diameter (2 Tbsp)

Directions:

1.)  Place all dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, then lightly toss together. Add the wet ingredients, then mix everything together with the spoon.

2.)  Use the ice cream scoop to scoop out a 2 Tbsp portion of the mixture, then roll it into a smooth ball. Repeat this process to form 30 energy balls. Store the energy balls in a sealed box or bag in the fridge.