Top Holiday Ideas of 2013

White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
As you ring in the New Year, look back on the best of the holidays. These recipes, crafts, and videos were your favorites and could inspire your celebrations in 2014. Make sure to pin them for next year!

Top Halloween Recipe: Pretzel Owl

This kid-friendly Halloween treat flew into many users' hearts this holiday. To make an owl, dip large soft pretzels in melted white candy coating. Layer sandwich cookies, white candies, and chocolate chips for wide-open eyes. Use leftover candy coating to attach black licorice for eyebrows. Dust with black sugar, add a black jelly bean nose, and use black licorice candies to make feet.

Top Pumpkin Stencil: Flame-Design Pumpkins

How to Make It:

  1. Enlarge our stencil to suit the sizes of your pumpkins.
  2. Gut and carve pumpkins, leaving the stems in place.
  3. Create a log surround. Stack the largest carved pumpkins on the bottom.
  4. Light votive candles to create the flicker of flames.

Top Halloween Costume: Smarty Pants

This Halloween, you loved the simplicity of a star-student costume idea.

To make this costume, print the worksheet and report card patterns, below, onto adhesive label sheets.  Draw stars and an A+ design on the backs of duct tape sheets. Adhere all pieces onto jeans, using this photo for reference.

Get your pumpkin ready to carve with a quick clean-out. We've got the secret to carving (Hint: work from the bottom up).

Top Halloween Video: How to Clean Out a Pumpkin

People looking for less mess and our top carving tip (hint: it involves which end you start from) came to our new pumpkin-carving video in record numbers.

Top Sweet Fall Recipe: Apple Crisp

Who doesn't love apples? This delicious apple crisp enticed a lot of Pinterest love in the fall.

Top Savory Fall Recipe: Soft Baked Pretzels

Pretzels are having a moment. These made-at-home soft versions feature basic ingredients and great instructions so you can master the trend in your own home.

Top Outdoor Fall Idea: Container Gardens

Gorgeous outdoor containers inspired your fall decorating. Here's a guide to a favorite mix:

A. Blue fescue (Festuca glauca): one

B. Chrysanthemum 'Cecilia': two

C. Strawflower (Bracteantha 'Sundaze Golden Yellow'): one

D. Purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum 'Burgundy Giant'): one

Top Thanksgiving Recipe: Anything Sweet Potato!

Sweet potatoes were the side of the season! Whether baked or mashed, in a pie or in a casserole, the sweet spud graced many of your Thanksgiving buffets in 2013.

One slice of pie is all it takes to fall in love. This pumpkin pie recipe is anything but basic -- think a chocolate cookie crust and a dark chocolate glaze. Don't even try to resist.

Top Thanksgiving Video: Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

See one of our top recipes come to life -- a chocolate-cookie-crusted pumpkin pie topped with a chocolate glaze -- in this video that many Thanksgiving chefs watched before the holiday.

Top Christmas Craft: Pyramid Candy Holder

Whether treat holders or party favors, these cute Christmas crafts were a seasonal standout. Our free download includes a pattern and instructions.

Top Christmas Decorating Idea: Rustic Living Room

A clean, simple living room decorated with natural elements, including grain-sack stockings, olive leaf wreaths, and oversize jars filled with colorful candy, was a most-inspiring space this Christmas.

Top Sweet Winter Recipe: Peppermint Dream Cake

Make-ahead instructions and two layers of incredible flavor made this delightful winter cake a holiday season favorite.

Top Savory Winter Recipe: Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

An incredibly popular casserole on Pinterest, this is a go-to dish for a lot of Better Homes and Gardens users. It appeared in our 100 Days of Holidays e-newsletter in late fall.

Top Christmas Cookie: White Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread

Announcing the winner of our Ultimate Holiday Baking Vote-Off! Dunk a cherry-loaded shortbread cookie in white chocolate and sprinkle with red-and-white nonpareils for an adorable (and popular!) Christmas cookie.

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