To Carve Pumpkins Safely, You Only Need These Two Tools — The Great Pumpkin

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

While those inexpensive pumpkin carving kits you see at the grocery store may seem appealing (they promise everything you need — and when is the last time a plastic saw ever hurt anyone?), they're actually not your best bet.

"I don't use them," says expert pumpkin carver Hugh McMahon, who heads a team that makes 300 jack-o'-lanterns a season (including portraits of Michael Jackson and Albert Einstein!). Not only do those chintzy orange knives break too easily, but they'll also never give you very detailed results. They're not always the sharpest, and you know what they about using dull knives (they're more dangerous than sharp ones!).

Instead, McMahon says there are only two tools you need to carve a pumpkin safely.

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Watch This Kid Catch Apples Like I Catch Cheese Puffs — Pop Culture

When viral videos circle the web, often they're for super-human acts. (For instance, toddlers that can do anything an average adult can't usually manage to accomplish.) This video follows the same vibe, but leaves us wondering how one learns they can catch apples when hurled at their face?

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10 Little Magic Tricks from Ina Garten — Kitchen Heroes

Ina Garten is basically a fairy godmother. She flies through the world, sprinkling bits of wisdom and fleur de sel everywhere she goes. From date-night tips to dinner party advice, Ina is always there to help. And from chocolate cake to lasagna, her recipes are simple and straightforward yet yield the most impressive results. How does she do it? Pure magic.

But that magic can be yours too. Like every generous godmother, she has shared her magic in the form of tips and tricks. Here are 10 to make your life easier, better, and more magical.

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How My Recovering Friend Changed the Way I Entertain — A New Way to Gather

My friend Lauren, who asked me not to use her real name, has been sober for more than two years. She was a good friend — someone I texted almost daily with news and commentary, wardrobe emergencies, and, of course, plans to have our ritual pre-dinner glass of wine. It didn't happen every afternoon. But three or four days a week, Lauren would come over around 5 p.m., after I'd had a long enough day with a toddler to think a smidge of wine sounded like a great idea, but before either of our husbands came home.

As it turned out, that was usually her third or fourth drink of the day.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

A slice of classic cheesecake is one of those desserts that takes nicely to added flavors and tinkering. If you love both pumpkin pie and cheesecake, these creamy bars are the perfect hybrid. There's a sturdy graham cracker crust on the bottom, then a layer of classic white cheesecake, and finally a delicate pumpkin cheesecake layer fragrant with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices. One pan makes a lot of bars that you can take to your next party or potluck; I promise the pan will come home empty.

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The Secret to Brewing Good Coffee Outside — Travel Intelligence

I love having my daily cup of coffee — for the caffeine, but also for the ritual involved. That's why, when I set off on a two-week bike trip at the end of summer, I brought along a pretty serious coffee setup. Taking a normal ritual and doing it somewhere entirely different is special, which is why I'm such an advocate of making coffee outside.

So what do you need to make good coffee outside? Well, there's one secret you should definitely know — plus a few more tips and tricks of the trade.

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