1 A couple of weeks ago on Today, I had a variety of fun and fast jack-o-lantern designs and projects ready to go.
2 Some last minute preparations before Matt Lauer and Ann Curry joined me on set
4 I showed Matt how to use a template for carving. You download and print the image and tape it to the surface of your pumpkin.
5 Templates are great because you just follow the design using a pin to prick the pumpkin skin below. Then, you remove the template and carve the design following the pin pricks.
6 This other pumpkin is actually an artificial Funkin, which can be carved like a real pumpkin and can be used year after year.
7 This Funkin is filled with candy corn, making for a festive candy dish.
8 I showed Matt how to embellish a basic jack-o-lantern using a few accessories, like plastic bloodshot eye balls and fake teeth, found in craft stores.
9 Matt helped me with a set of vampire fangs.
10 Odd shaped pumpkins can be transformed into mummies by wrapping them with white crepe paper. Little ball-shaped push pins make great eyes!
11 I used a power drill fitted with a wood boring bit to make holes in the pumpkin for our really fun Mouse Hotel.
12 Ann Curry was startled by the speed and power of the drill and by all the flying pumpkin flesh.
13 Once the desired holes are bored into the pumpkin, place little craft store mice in the holes.
14 If you don't have a drill, you can achieve the same effect by using a circular piercing tool or carefully hand-carve the holes with a knife.
15 Kids love this design!
16 Ann liked the no carving option of my pumpkin transfer decals. They're from the Martha Stewart Crafts line, available at Michael's.
17 These intricately detailed designs are very easy to transfer onto most surfaces.
18 The black pumpkin was painted with enamel paint. The decals look especially great on light-skinned cheese pumpkins.
19 The Today Show anchors - Al Roker, Ann Curry, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, and Jenna Wolfe
20 On my most recent visit to the Today Show, I demonstrated how to make really fun Halloween candy desserts with recipes found in the October issue of Everyday Food and Martha Stewart Living.
21 These broken glass cupcakes are the perfect Halloween treat for those who suffer from Hyelophobia, or the fear of glass.
22 The cream-cheese frosting is decorated with shards of broken 'glass', which is actually a sheet of pale caramel, which has been shattered and then drizzled with cherry preserves to resemble spilled blood.
23 These peanut butter cupcakes are baked with a pressed in chocolate-covered peanut-butter cup and then immediately topped with a piece of Halloween candy.
24 Candy corn is great for this, but you can use any small decorative Halloween candies, such as little pumpkins, spiders, or creepy skulls, like these.
25 These scaredy-cat brownies are baked with peppermint patties in the batter. When the baked brownies have cooled a bit, more peppermint patties are placed on the top.
26 The peppermint patties are then decorated with candy eyes, chocolate chip ears, and piped icing. By the way, the fear of cats is called ailurophobia.
27 And chocolate phobia is xocolatophobia!
28 Obviously, Matt doesn't suffer from xocolatophobia.
29 These decadent things are chocolate-candy icebox bars made with chocolate wafers and peanut butter into which, mini Snickers and Kit Kat candies are folded in.
30 They're topped with melted chocolate crunch bars and refrigerated until set for cutting into bars.
31 Necrophobia is the fear of death and these little treat boxes are shaped like coffins.
32 Fear of bees is apiphobia and this swarming cheese plate is decorated with millinery bees from a crafts store.
33 This is a bird's nest candy dish made with a grapevine wreath filled with Spanish moss. The rotten-looking eggshells have been tea-dyed and are filled with birdseed-like sesame candy.
34 The birds themselves are faux pheasants with their heads painted an ominous black.
35 I also showed how to make frozen hands to float in your Halloween punch. You just fill a latex glove with food dye colored water. Knot the glove and freeze.
36 When the hand is completely frozen, you simply peel of the latex and float the hand in your punch.
37 This punch is made with apple cider and ginger beer and garnished with floating cranberries and the frozen hands, of course!
38 The ice hands are the perfect touch!
39 Chirophobia is the fear of hands and it's fun to garnish this haunted punch with gummy worms.
40 Posing with Ann Curry and Matt Lauer