1. My husband cutting the top off of the smaller pumpkin. 2. My son scooping out pumpkin seeds. 3. What my son thinks about carving pumpkins. 4. Our final creations. The pumpkin on the left was created using the free stencils I received in the mail from Fiora. My husband let our son pick and choose which eyes, nose, and mouth he wanted. The stencil for creating a Mickey Mouse face can be found here.
Once we were done carving the pumpkins, we roasted the seeds in the oven. I found a pumpkin spice recipe on Pinterest over at Mike’s Baking that turned out to be very delicious.
NOTE: I had pictures of the steps I took in preparing the seeds but I accidentally erased them from my camera. GRR! I’ll try to make some more and add photos later.
2 cups of raw pumpkin seeds, dried.
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp of pumpkin spice
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
2. Toss all ingredients together until all seeds are thoroughly coated
3. Lay them out in an even layer on a baking sheet
4. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning them every 15 minutes.
They are done roasting when the seeds are dried and they have a nice golden glow to them. Don’t be afraid to taste test them. Just don’t eat them all before they come out of the oven. 🙂
**Note that Mike is from the UK and works with Celsius so if you go by his recipe, you need to convert the oven temperature to Fahrenheit. I speak from experience. 😛 He also uses several spices that when used together create pumpkin spice. I just so happened to have it on hand so I just used one spice. You can pick up pumpkin spice for under $2.00 a bottle at your local Aldi grocery store during the Thanksgiving holiday season.
I also cut the recipe in half because my 2 pumpkins only yielded a little under 1 cup of seeds. Darn, I wish I had more to roast!
I discovered a butternut squash recipe in Woman’s Day magazine a few years ago. Here is a direct link to the original. I’ve changed it a little bit as you will see below. The picture was so mouth watering, I had to try it even though I had never purchased a squash before and wasn’t even sure how it would taste. You can buy butternut squash at your local Aldi store. They typically run anywhere between $0.59 and $0.99 each which is such a bargain because most other grocery stores sell them by the pound!
The first couple times I prepared this recipe, I struggled with cutting the squash. It was such a pain but through trial and error, I’ve conquered the squash and don’t dread slicing into one. Also, I have changed the recipe slightly because I do not add thyme to the squash and I used minced garlic instead of cloves.
1. Wash and dry your squash.
2. Use a peeler. I use my potato peeler, to cut away the outer peel just like you would a potato.
3. Take a knife, like a santoku, and cut off each end and discard.
4. Use the knife again to cut across the middle and then cut each half in middle.
5. The fatter end of the squash houses the seeds so once they are revealed, you need to scoop them out with a spoon.
6. Continue cutting down each piece until you have small cubes, easy for cooking.
The following recipe requires half a squash so you’ll have enough to make this twice!
1/2 Butternut Squash
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 tsp of Minced Garlic
Heat olive oil in frying pan.
On medium heat, place squash in pan and then add pepper and kosher salt.
Mix and place lid on pan, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes or until squash becomes softened.
Remove lid and add garlic. Stir occasionally until squash achieves crisp, brown edges.
Eat as a side or place on top of noodles. Butternut squash is so versatile, the possibilities are endless.
Cooler nights and falling leaves is a reminder to me that fall is in the air, here in Ohio. My mom, sister, son and I love to go to the apple orchard in mid-September to pick our own apples. It is a great way to save money because at $0.70 a pound, you can not beat it. We are not only supporting local farmers but spending quality time together as well.
Here is a link to a comprehensive list of pick-your-own farms categorized by state.
I’d also like to share my favorite apple crisp recipe. So yummy over vanilla ice cream!
NOTE: My sister reduced the sugar content by adding less than 1/2 cup of white sugar and eliminating the brown sugar altogether. It still tastes great and allows the sweetness of the apples to take center stage. 🙂
10 cups of apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I use approximately 8 apples of various sizes.)
1 cup of white sugar
1 Tb all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan.
Mix the white sugar, 1 Tb flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples, Pour water over all.
Combine oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and melted butter together. Crumble over the apple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Adapted from All Recipes.
4th of July parade
I just got done making a batch of the popcorn balls sprinkled with red and blue crystals. Easy ingredients that you most likely have laying around in your cupboards and perfect for a Labor Day picnic with family and friends. Check out the recipe here when I first blogged about it. I saw it originally in a Ladies Home Journal magazine and it was submitted to them by a reader. But ugh, I forgot to note which issue.
Happy Labor Day Everyone
I was flipping though one of my free magazines and I came across a recipe for popcorn balls so I decided to make them. Just add sprinkles of your color choice and you’e got yourself a festive dessert for any occasion!
14 cups of plain popcorn or approximately 1 cup of popcorn kernels
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 10.5 oz of marshmallows
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup of chopped peanuts (optional)
red and blue sprinkles (optional)
1. Remove any unpopped kernels from the popped popcorn. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and add popcorn; set aside.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and cook, stirring, until marshmallows have melted and mixture is smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn, along with peanuts and sprinkles, if desired. Mix with 2 lightly greased rubber spatuals until popcorn is evenly coated. Using greased hands, form mixture into 2 1/2- inch balls. Eat immediately or wrap balls individually in plastic and keep for up to 3 days.