Pumpkins – carving and seeds

Fall is upon us and that means the time for pumpkins! By now we might have already had our fill of pumpkin as it seems to start around mid-September when the pumpkin coffees, pumpkin blizzards, and pumpkin desserts pop up all over.

This past weekend we took the boys to a local pumpkin patch, where we can no longer just have a field of pumpkins but it must entail jumpy houses, petting zoos, launching vegetables at targets, and mini donuts. Don’t get me wrong I love jumpy houses and mini donuts, but that quick 20 min $15 trip to the pumpkin patch just turned into a whole afternoon and  at least $50. Its for the kids right?!?!

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The kids had a blast we jumped on a jumpy pillow, rode on an animal train, ate some mini-donuts, had faces painted, rode pedal cars, launched corn cobs from a cannon, and finally picked out pumpkins to carve.

Here are a few pics from our adventure.

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The following day the boys picked out their carving designs and we went at it. Of course mom ended up doing most of the work but it does seem that each year they are able to do more and more. This year they both did a great job of cleaning out the pumpkins.

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Speaking of cleaning out pumpkins, I can’t pass up roasting some pumpkin seeds. So while the boys were playing and Nohal was watching hours of football I picked thru pumpkin guts to separate all the seeds. Each year I like to try different recipes and this year I decided to do something spicy and then try a salt and vinegar. They both turned out really tasty!

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Sriracha sauce (or other hot pepper sauce)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with oil, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Combine the salt, paprika, cumin and cayenne; sprinkle over seeds and toss to coat.
  2. Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with foil; grease the foil. Spread pumpkin seeds in pan. Bake, uncovered, at 250° for 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned and dry, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Salt & Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 T Sea salt
3 T white vinegar
Olive oil
Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Put pumpkin seeds in a bowl and cover with water. Add vinegar, sea salt, and hot pepper. Leave on counter overnight. Drain seeds and put them in a dry bowl. Toss with olive oil and 1/4 t of flake salt to coat.
  2. Preheat oven to 325.
  3. Place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined greased aluminum foil. Cook for 8 minutes. Stir and sprinkle with a pinch of flake salt. Cook for 8 minutes and repeat. Cook for 8 minutes and stir. Cook 8 more minutes and remove from oven. If the seeds are not as dry or toasted as you would like, cook them longer, stirring and assessing every 5 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

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