Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I've loved Roasted Pumpkin Seeds for as long as I can remember. When my brother and I were growing up, my mom roasted them every year and I just couldn't get enough. Year after year she would start cleaning the seeds while we carved and roasted them to perfection the next day after drying overnight.  

I started roasting my own seeds when I moved out, but I've never been able to duplicate the ones my mom roasted. In addition to trying to replicate my mom's recipe, I've tried different things like garlic and extra spice, but I think simplicity is best. This year - I decided to use olive oil instead of melted butter and I think I will be doing that from now on. The taste was pretty much the same, but the seeds were less greasy!

Now...a VERY quick look at the roasting process.

Dry seeds overnight - if not longer. 
In my opinion, the more dry the seeds are when they go into the oven, 
the better they roast and end up tasting.

When dry and ready to roast, pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
(Yes this is low, but it's a low long least an hour)

The dry seeds with nothing on them.

Now covered in olive oil, sea salt and a bit of cayenne pepper!

Roast seeds 30 minutes, shake pan/flip over with spatula and return to oven.

Continue to roast for 30 more minutes, check seeds and either take them out, 
or return them to the oven and roast until golden and crisp!

A little blurry - but the roasted seeds in an airtight container.

Happy Halloween 2011!

Halloween Parties, Trick-or-Treating, Haunted Hayrides - the list can go on and on and on.

Whatever you did (or didn't do) to celebrate, I hope you all had a very

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Carvings

Saturday was a busy day for me. Hanging out with friends, walking 2+ miles to the grocery store for fun, making yummy Halloween treats, SWIMMING on a late October day. Oh and you can't forget pumpkin carving!!! 

I love Fall, I love Halloween, I love pumpkins and...

I LOVE carving pumpkins, as well as, roasting their seeds. Check this out in a post to soon follow!

Start with two clean pumpkins.

And a bunch of pumpkin carvin' tools!

Cut a hole in the top of one...

And then do the same with the other.

Poke the holes if using a stinsel (I did!), 
or draw your jack-o-lantern face and start carving!

The end result of one...

And the end result of the other!

Both pumpkins outside my front door 
with other festive decorations!

Surprise Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats

I hadn't seen one of my best friends in almost a month and she came over Saturday to hang out. We decided ahead of time we were going to make something festive too and we ended up deciding on Surprise Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats.

You can see the recipe in the link above, but here's a quick photo step by step.

Everything you need to make the tasty treats!

Robin making green frosting!

Mini Snickers cut in half.

Melting the butter.

Add the marshmallows to melted butter.

Melting marshmallows.

Alllllll melted. 
Oh so ooey and gooey!

Turning the white marshmallow orange!

With the rice krispies mixed in.

Portioned out for Pumpkins!

Candy inside and formed into pumpkins. :)

Stems and tendrils added making the pumpkins complete!

Ready to dig in and enjoy!
Nomm Nom Nom
(Sorry it's blurry - I tried a coupled times, 
but gave up after a few so I could eat!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Night Dinner: Take 13!

It's been yet another busy week followed by a busy weekend (I know - I've said that a TON recently, but it's true!), so this is going to be my only post this week. I'm sorry. But I'll be back next week, and the week after that, and the week after that, and you get the point...

So without going on and on and on, I'll just show you the AMAZINGNESS I made for dinner tonight.

I eat chicken often - it's the main meat I consume, and I wanted to kick it up a notch tonight, so I decided I'd give stuffed chicken a shot!

After looking at a few recipes I decided I'd do my own thing and boy way I happy! It was SO simple and SO tasty!  I took chicken breasts, cut a pocket for the stuffing (almost butterflying the breast) and stuffed it with a layer of fresh cooked spinach, butter, feta cheese crumbles and another layer of spinach. I closed them up with toothpicks and let them chill in the fridge for about an hour. I then coated them in a mixture of egg and fresh lemon juice, followed by a mixture of breadcrumbs and blackened seasoning. I baked them for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

About halfway through baking the chicken, I started the ever so tasty Fluffy New Potatoes. This recipe is from my go-to-gal's website, The Pioneer Woman. I found it awhile ago, I've made it multiple times, and I make little changes or additions each time! Tonight had some bacon! 

The potatoes had bacon because I had extra from what I cooked for my green beans. After boiling the beans until just tender, I sauteed them in a HOT skillet with butter, olive oil and fresh ground pepper. After cooking a few minutes, add the crumbled bacon pieces and cook a few more minutes. Add red wine vinegar (or whatever cooking vinegar you have), cover and cook a minuter or two longer. Serve hot with all the bacon and juices.

All the above resulted in...


Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Look Back At...

The Basil Plant!

I've been meaning to do a post like this for awhile and thought about doing it on my basil recently - but after the tragic major cropping this weekend, I couldn't wait any longer!  

So without anymore jibber jabber from me... enjoy looking at the changes my basil has gone through over the last year. 

I've had a pretty successful crop the last two years I've grown basil, and I love what I can do with it so I will, without a doubt, be growing it again next Spring!