So now that we’re past Halloween, without question the most pumpkin-heavy holiday on the calendar, you think you’re done with these bright orange gourd. Think again. The humble pumpkin is not just a smiling home for a candle during trick or treating. This is an incredibly versatile squash.  You can boil, bake, steam, puree, mash or cube and roast the flesh.  They’re savory or sweet and you could even use them as a vase or serving “dish.” Plus pumpkins are a great source of vitamin A, and only about 100 calories per cup.

This chili is up … and it’s good!
The tech of tailgating has elevated the art of outdoor pre-gaming from its humble roots of charred franks slowly shriveling on charcoal to a nearly gourmet experience.

The ingredients in these iconic Lowcountry dishes may seem familiar, but the recipes are decidedly not. With these coastal-inspired ideas you can turn shrimp and grits into a shrimp and cornmeal spoonbread soufflé, or roast your Lowcountry boil on the BBQ.

Looking for some fresh ideas for appetizers at your holiday get-togethers? Try these yummy recipes from local caterers.

CARAMELIZED ONION DIPCARAMELIZED ONION DIP

Recipe and Photo
Courtesy of Christine’s Catering

1 tbl. vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt and black pepper

FruitcakePoor fruitcake. Long the butt of jokes about its density and impressive shelf life (some people make them a year ahead and “feed” the cake with liquor to preserve it and enhance its flavor), it’s possibly the most maligned of desserts. Originating in Roman times, fruitcake was outlawed in Europe in the early 18th century because it was considered too “sinfully rich.” Now, thanks in part to Johnny Carson’s claim that there is, in fact, only one fruit cake in all the world, being passed along from one grossed-out person to another, urban legends abound of some sweet old grandma/aunt/neighbor giving a fruit cake gift that’s then pitched out, re-gifted, or stored away and forgotten, holiday after holiday, too terrible to die.

But fruitcake can be delicious. Try these variations on traditional fruitcake from two accomplished Southern bakers, and you may find yourself eating it year-round — and even giving a gift that will shatter the recipients’ prejudices forever!

With hunting season underway, venison, dove and small game are on tables around the Lowcountry. Here's some recipes courtesy of wildgamerecipes.com:

Venison mushroom pot roast

4 pounds venison
3 tablespoons olive or cooking oil
3 carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 box mushrooms
1 pint light cream
1 quart meat stock
Salt
Pepper

Whacky Batty Cupcakes

Whacky Batty CupcakesScaring up delicious Halloween treats doesn’t have to be tricky. Transform ordinary recipes into spooktacular ones with some of your favorite candies and a little creativity – it will bewitch all your guests and leave them screaming for more. For more Halloween recipes, party ideas, activities and printable templates, visit BrightIdeas.com

Makes 24 cupcakes; prep time: 10 minutes; baking time: 22 minutes; decoration time: 25 minutes, degree of difficulty: easy Ingredients:

Vampire Bites

Vampire Bites

Scaring up delicious Halloween treats doesn’t have to be tricky. Transform ordinary recipes into spooktacular ones with some of your favorite candies and a little creativity – it will bewitch all your guests and leave them screaming for more. For more Halloween recipes, party ideas, activities and printable templates, visit BrightIdeas.com.

Makes 24 bites; prep time: 20 minutes; baking time: 7 to 10 minutes; decoration time: 15 minutes; degree of difficulty: easy.