The Ultimate Fall Bucket List

October may be coming to a close this week, but fall technically isn’t over until late December. That leaves plenty of time for anyone and everyone to mark off everything from their fall bucket list.

Here are a few ideas for what to do before the season ends.

Corn Maze

There is nothing like getting dizzy with a group of your friends while surrounded by miles of corn. Some options close to Knoxville are Oakes Farm, Deep Well Farm and Kyker Farms Corn Maze. All are relatively low-cost, and feature other activities such as a pumpkin patch, hay rides and petting zoos. Be sure to check this activity off of your bucket list soon, since most of these farms close their fall events at the end of the month.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

My grandmother always said to eat ice cream when it gets colder so that it takes longer to melt. Which is a great ideology, in my opinion. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Cruze Farm’s new permanent location, you now have a great reason to go. Cruze Farm is offering a pumpkin spice flavored ice cream in celebration of fall. It pairs nicely when swirled with the cake batter ice cream the restaurant also offers. All of the ice creams at Cruze Farm are made fresh daily, so check their website to see what flavors they are offering that day. You can also take a pint of your favorite flavor back to your dorm to help get you through late night studying.

Carve a Pumpkin

Pumpkin carving should not be an activity reserved strictly for Halloween. Why not Thanksgiving pumpkins? Find a cute pattern like this one or this one.  Fall is also a popular season for elections, so remind your roommates to vote with this pumpkin pattern. There is honestly so much artistic and creative freedom with pumpkin carving, so feel free to run wild with the idea.

Relax with a Show

On campus, there is almost always a production running at the Clarence Brown Theatre. Currently, The Blue Window is showing at the Lab Theatre until Nov. 12. Beginning Nov. 22, the annual production of A Christmas Carol will begin at the Clarence Brown. Students can see shows for $5 or free on Preview Days (the first Wednesday and Thursday of a show’s run).

Want something to remind you of your childhood? Disney On Ice is coming to the Knoxville Civic Coliseum with their Reach for the Stars show beginning Nov. 1. If you go on the opening night, you can score tickets for just $14!

Go to a U-Pick Patch

Knoxville is full of different agricultural joys. One of the many is U-Pick patches where you can pick your own fruits and veggies. Some popular choices of the season are apples, apricots, brussel sprouts and carrots. You can spend an afternoon picking your own produce, and then spend the evening making apple pies and warm soups. Learn more about picking your own produce on Pick Your Own’s website.

Take a Hike

Right in UT’s backyard are the Smoky Mountains, and fall is one of the best times to visit. The 816-mile state park has plenty to offer to any outdoors enthusiast. Try the Andrews Bald Trail, a 3.5 mile hike in the Clingmans Dome area with a marvelous view of what nature has to offer. Cades Cove is also fun to drive though to see different types of wildlife. If you’re feeling up for it, try biking Cades Cove’s 13 mile loop. You will have a better chance at spotting any bears at close distances (and you’ll be able to brag to your friends about biking 13 miles for fun).

Root for the Vols

Nov. 4 is UT’s homecoming football game against Southern Mississippi. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. in Neyland Stadium. Get a group of friends together and cheer on the Vols. It is also a perfect wrap up to homecoming week, which began on Oct. 29.

 

Hopefully this list of fall activities has something for everyone. Fall is one of the most magical times of the year, so why should we stop celebrating at the end of October?

 

 

Featured image by Randall Billings, courtesy of Creative Commons

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Celebrating Halloween after trick-or-treating

It’s hard to believe that October is nearly over––considering it’s just now becoming cooler outside. As the end of the month nears, the spookiest day of the year is upon us.

Halloween is the one night a year where all the ghouls, ghosts and zombies come out to play…well, people dressed as them.

Being an adult during halloween may not involve trick or treating, but that should not stop someone from celebrating their once favorite holiday. Here is a guide to have a fun Halloween as a college student.

 

Attend/Throw a party!

Head to your local dollar store to get some cheap decorations to hang up around your apartment or house to create a spooky atmosphere. You may even want to go as far as creating a haunted house for your party.

After you’ve decorated your place for the celebration––depending on how much work you want to do––you can make some Halloween themed foods and drinks. Delish has over 40 different Halloween themed items to make for a party.

To make your party even more fun, make it a costume party! Ask all your friends to dress up and everyone can vote on their favorite!

 

Go to a pumpkin patch, a haunted house, a corn maze or take a hayride

Knoxville has a website that lists all the local places to go during October for Halloween festivities. There are a handful that are still open through the 31.

Get a group of friends together and plan an evening out together. Make the night even more fun by dressing up as a group––bring back your childhood and be the Mystery Inc. crew.

 

Watch a scary movie

Maybe going out isn’t your thing or doesn’t fit your schedule. You can always stay in and watch scary movies. Whether it be with your significant other, best friends, family or by yourself, scary movies are always a good go-to for Halloween. Netflix and Hulu both have a fairly extensive list of classic Halloween movies that are available to stream. Just curl up on your couch in your pajamas and favorite candy and enjoy your night in.

 

Halloween isn’t just for kids; it can be for adults too. It may not be the same as trick-or-treating, but there is still plenty of fun to be had.

 

Featured image by lobo235

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

3 Simple and Cute Treats for Halloween

As Halloween is only two days away, it’s that time to Google late-minute costume ideas, run to the grocery store for candy and most importantly, look for some fun treats to make for your festivities.

But, who really has the time to sit on Pinterest for hours looking for the best sweets the internet has to offer? I have gathered three simple and festive treats for you that will charm your guests and get them in the spooky spirit!

recipe3Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a delicious dessert that feeds into all of our inner pumpkin spice dreams! You can either put it in plastic cups and serve it as a dessert cocktail, or put it in a pan and serve it for a nice dinner.

Estimated Time: 20 minutes to make and 2 hours to chill in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:
Jello No-Bake Cheesecake and Crust Mix
Pumpkin Puree (15 oz. can)
1 teaspoon of all spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of milk
3 teaspoons of sugar (Or a sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon of butter
Cool Whip (optional)
Plastic cups (optional)

Steps:
1. To begin, mix the crust mixture with the two tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar. You can add more butter if you like. The Jello box suggests 5 tablespoons, but for this recipe, you don’t have to have the crust moist if you don’t prefer. (I enjoyed the consistency of the dry graham cracker mix with the texture of the pumpkin cheesecake.)

2. Mix the cup of milk with the cheesecake mix. After you have thoroughly mixed those two ingredients, add the pumpkin puree.

3. Add the 1 teaspoon of all spice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the cheesecake mixture.

4. Lastly, gather the plastic cups or whatever you would like to put the cheesecake in, and layer the crust at the bottom and cheesecake mixture on top. For reference, I put two tablespoons of crust on the bottom and then two tablespoons of cheesecake mixture on top; but, if you like a less even ratio to crust-cheesecake, then add more or less of the crust and cheesecake! Then place it into the fridge for a couple hours to let it chill.

 

Pumpkin Patch Dirt-Cakerecipe1

Reminiscent of my elementary school years, this is a must-have for my friends and I at all of our Halloween parties. This is the quickest and cheapest of the three recipes, but the taste is still as heavenly. Good for Halloween parties for five-year-olds and college students, this recipe is a win-win all around.

Estimated Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Oreos
Chocolate Pudding (You can either make your own or buy pudding that is already made.)
Pumpkin Candy Corn
Green Sour Patch Straws (optional)
Plastic Cups

Steps:
1. If you decided to make your own pudding, then you would just need to prepare it first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator or freezer.

2. Crush the Oreos. If you can find pre-crushed oreos at the grocery store, this will save you a lot of time as this is the most time-consuming step. What I initally did was put the oreos in a ziplock bag and used the end of a screwdriver to crush them, but I found if I put the Oreos in the plastic cups and used the end of a utensil to crush them that it was quicker. There are other methods on the internet to crushing oreos if neither of these work for you!

3. Layer the oreos and pudding in an order and ratio that you like. I layered the oreos first, at the bottom, and then the pudding with a ratio of 2:1 oreos and had two layers of each. Lastly, after layering your oreos and pudding, just place your pumpkin candy corn on top and add the green sour patch straws!

 

recipe22Halloween White-Chocolate Bark

I vote this one as the most fun and frustrating to make. The decorating part is very gratifying, however, the waiting for the chocolate to melt part is quite the opposite. If you are trying to challenge yourself and work on your patience, this is perfect as that is exactly what you will need for when you are melting the chocolate. If you also just want a cute treat to sit on your counter at your party, this is perfect, as well. Easy to make look good and simply delicious, this is definitely one of the best Halloween treats out there!

Estimated Time: 30 minutes to make and 20 minutes to chill in freezer.

Ingredients:
White Chocolate Chip Morsels
Orange Food Coloring
Candy Corn
Assorted Chocolate Candies (I used Snickers, M&M’s and Kit-Kats)
Sprinkles

Steps:
1.  Heat the white chocolate. This is a tedious step and you will have to keep a watchful eye. Take a glass bowl and place it on top the pot on the stove. This creates a double barrier for the chocolate to warm and making it less likely to burn. Set the stove on medium heat and put the chocolate in the glass bowl. Stir the chocolate throughout the entire process, like I said, you will need to keep a careful eye on the chocolate as it can burn very easily. It will take 15-20 minutes for the chocolate to fully melt. You can add a dash of milk to help the chocolate to melt, but add the tiniest bit because adding too much will make the chocolate difficult to freeze.

2. Add the orange food coloring to the chocolate while it is still on the stove. It is important that you do not remove the chocolate from the stove before you are prepared to do the future steps, as the chocolate will harden very quickly. Add as much food coloring as you wish, the more food coloring the darker the orange of the bark will be.

3. Once the chocolate is melted and the food coloring is added, prepare what you will lay the chocolate on. I put wax paper down on a plate, but you can also use Pam to spray a plate or baking sheet.

4. Take the glass bowl off of the stove and pour the chocolate onto your platter. Smooth the chocolate out into any shape you would like, but I will warn you that the bark does not cut off clean so your shape may not remain.

5. Lastly, the fun part! Decorate your bark any way you like, just try and do it as quickly as you can! I added chocolate sprinkles, Kit-Kats, Snickers, M&M’s and candy corn to mine! Make sure to press your decor down hard into the chocolate so it will not fall off later, and then place your bark into the freezer for twenty-thirty minutes!

Images by Kayla Marcum

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Mess or Success: ‘Harry Potter’ edition

“Anything off the trolley, dears?”

If you’re a complete and total Harry Potter nerd like me, every time you’ve heard those words spoken on the Hogwarts Express and watched your faves grab all kinds of wizard treats, you’ve wished you could join in the fun.

Well, now you can! With a simple online search you can find hundreds of Harry Potter duplicate recipes for most of your favorite snacks, and you can make them right in your own home.

This week on Mess or Success, we’re diving right into the wizarding world and treating ourselves to a snack of Pumpkin Pasties and the ever so popular Butterbeer.

Will they be as tasty as J.K. Rowling imagined? Let’s find out.

For Pumpkin Pasties, everything you need to have and the steps you are supposed to follow are listed here.

These were actually pretty simple, which is not what I expected. For the dough, you just have to mix your dry ingredients and then throw in your butter and cream cheese. After you mold it up and chill it for a few minutes, it’s quite easy to work with!

Heat your ingredients on the stove. //Photo by Alley Loope
Heat your pumpkin puree and spices on the stove. //Photo by Alley Loope

After heating your pumpkin puree and spices in a saucepan then mixing in the rest of the ingredients, you’re left with a pumpkin pie-esque filling.

Once the pasties are baked, they’re actually quite tasty. I had a bit too much dough to filling ratio, so they were unfortunately a little bland. I tried rolling them in some cinnamon and powdered sugar, and then they became pumpkin-y treats that would earn even Harry Potter’s seal of approval.

Next up is perhaps the most sought after wizarding delicacy of all: Butterbeer. Despite the name, it doesn’t actually contain any alcohol, but I’m sure there are some different options on Pinterest if that’s something you wanted to add in yours.

For such a great tasting drink, the recipe for Butterbeer is actually so simple that it’s almost like magic (hey, maybe it actually is).

//Photo by Alley Loope
You will need heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, sugar, cream soda and imitation butter flavor to make Butterbeer. //Photo by Alley Loope

After making the creamy foam according to the steps in this recipe here, you just pour some imitation butter flavoring and cream soda into a glass, top it off and viola! You’re sitting in a little corner booth at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade village enjoying an ice-cold glass of Butterbeer served by Madam Rosmerta. If you would like it even colder, there are also recipes online for frozen Butterbeer as well, however the ingredients may differ from recipe to recipe.

So, do these two magical snacks live up to the hype and bring a dash of wizarding wonder to the muggle world? I say yes! These treats are definitely a success!

So, call up your pals, pop in the Sorcerer’s Stone on DVD, don your Hogwarts robes and have yourselves a “Harry Potter” themed party complete with the perfect drink and snacks.

Both of these recipes, and recipes for past Pinterest ventures can be found on my Mess or Success pin board.

That’s all for now ladies and gents (or should I say witches and wizards). Tune in next week to see what other Pinterest-y fun we can get ourselves into.

Oh, and one more thing…

Mischief managed.

Photos by Alley Loope

Edited by Taylor Owens

How to: ‘Easy’ DIY chevron painted pumpkins

Halloween is this Saturday, and it is a long-time tradition to decorate a pumpkin. I have been carving pumpkins with my family for as long as I can remember. However, this year I wanted to try something a bit different. There has been an increasing trend with painting pumpkins instead. I decided to give it a try, but it didn’t turn out to be as easy as I thought it would be.

One of the most popular ideas on Pinterest is chevron pumpkins. At first, it didn’t seem too hard.

The instructions are as follows:

  1. Using scotch or painter’s tape to create a zigzag pattern on your pumpkin. You can create as many rows of zigzags as you like.
  2. You could use white paint to create a UT theme since the pumpkin is already orange or you can go with whatever color you choose.
  3. Once the paint has dried, peel the tape off. The result is an orange and white chevron pumpkin.

It seems simple enough. However, making the chevron pattern is much harder than expected. Since I am working a rounded, uneven surface, it becomes difficult to keep the zigzag lines level. Also, if the tape is not completely stuck to the pumpkin, the paint will bleed through, creating uneven lines. It is pretty hard to fix once it happens.

After getting over my frustration with this pumpkin, I decided to go back to the basics and carve. This fared well compared to the painted pumpkin. To create a UT inspired pumpkin, you can find several pictures and logos on the internet to serve as stencils. Here, I used the UT monogram.

Once finding a stencil, do the following:

  1. Before carving, the pumpkin must be gutted. Take the seeds out and thin the wall of the pumpkin. This makes it easier to carve.
  2. Print out the stencil. Be sure it is easy to see.
  3. Tape the stencil to your pumpkin.
  4. Use pumpkin tools, typically found at any local Walmart, to stencil and carve the pumpkin.
  5. After carving, use an electric light to light up the pumpkin. An electric candle is safe and lasts much longer than an actual candle.

Whether you are creative or not, feel free to try either idea this week. You may mess up, but it’s all about trial and error as long as you have fun.

Happy Halloween!

Edited by Jessica Carr