Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stormtroopers and Pumpkin Seeds

Hello Sweets,

Happy Monday! I know what you're thinking "happy Monday? not quite!" lol  Well I had a good day today (not health wise but I made the best of it), and I did some activities today that made me reminisce back to when I was little.

Now I know I always seem to be talking about what a great man Nathan is, but he really is different from any guy I've ever met, and I hope all the ladies out there find a man that treats you exactly like you should be treated....like a queen!  But really, he does anything to make me smile, especially if I am having a bad health day like today.  Of course he knows I love Halloween, and I had been telling him all about how I love carving pumpkins, and how white ones are my absolute favorite!  So today he surprised me with a trip out to Hall's Pumpkin Farm in Grapevine, where we picked up the VERY LAST carvable white pumpkin!!!
Isn't she beautiful? :p 

Needless to say, I was one very happy girl, smiling from ear to ear just like I have every year since I can remember. :D  Now I was in complete and utter shock when Nathan told me had NEVER carved a pumpkin.  I honestly thought that was a right of passage as a child.  So of course I decided to carve a pumpkin that he could be as excited about as I always am lol, and Nathan being the Star Wars fan that he is, I decided on an Imperial Stormtrooper.
Not an easy stencil

Since my shoulders always hurt as it is, and Nathan has never carved a pumpkin before, he helped me with all the difficult carving (le sigh :( ).  So I got him to cut the top open, then I cleaned out all the pumpkin gunk (he had absolutely NO desire to touch the stuff), stenciled it for him, and started the operation!
Be careful when cutting as the pumpkins are thick, and kids always use parental help :)

Now the more detailed the stencil, the more careful you have to be with your cuts as to not leave any weak spots in the structure, or you'll end up with a sad droopy pumpkin, and no one wants that!  After a couple of hours of strategic cuts, and a few more shaves to allow light, our master piece was complete, and might I say "out of this world" lol!
Isn't it great!!

Now as I am sure you are all aware, I do not like to waste anything when baking/cooking, and pumpkin carving is no different!  You can make a deliciously healthy snack from the pumpkin seeds themselves, and it is all very simple and easy.  Actually the hardest part is digging through the squishy innards of the pumpkin.

Healthy Flavorful Pumpkin Seeds
 Fresh pumpkin seeds, from your freshly carved pumpkin
Seasonings of your choice, I opted for;
Sea salt
Garlic and pepper seasoning
Seasoning salt
Crushed red peppers

1)  Preheat your oven to 275F.  Wash the pumpkin seeds free of all pumpkin goop, and towel dry as best you can, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.

2)  Add your seasonings on top before placing into the oven, so the flavors absorb during the baking process (I had an after thought when they were baking in the oven that you could season them in a bowl to ensure they are completely covered).

3)  Bake in the oven for at least 20 minutes.  Periodically shuffle them around with a spatula to ensure all the liquid is evaporating ,and they will all be crunchy.  Enjoy this tasty health snack on the go, or instead of popcorn, munch on these!

So we were a little late in getting up this morning.  Well, just me, since I had a really bad sleep :(, and I had promised Nathan I would make him pumpkin pancakes.  What do you do when you miss the best meal of the day?  Have breakfast for dinner!  I always love making him breakfast, and since discovering pumpkin pancakes, which he happens to now love, that's what we were going to have.  Now I had leftover batter from the last breakfast I had made(Pumpkin Pancakes), which keeps very well in the fridge.  All it took was a couple of stirs, and it was ready to go!  Now the original plan was to serve maple bacon with the pancakes, but Nathan had some maple breakfast sausage so our side dish changed.  This was my first time cooking the round breakfast sausage, so I had Nathan take the reigns on this venture.

Maple Breakfast Sausage 
1 package of round breakfast sausage
5Tbs of maple syrup

1)  Cut up the sausage into 1/2" slices, place onto a cold skillet, top with a dollop of maple syrup and cook over medium heat.
Nathan was surprised when he turned around and saw my addition, but liked the final product ;)

2)  Flip continually to brown evenly on each side, cook for about 20 minutes or until there is no pink in the center and the center is 160F.

Serve in addition to some of your delicious pumpkin pancakes with butter and syrup, and you've just made yourself the best breakfast supper around lol :)
I crowded the frying pan just a little lol.  Still turned out great!

Needless to say I think Nathan and I had a wonderful Monday, low key, but full of smiles and laughs.  Do you like carving pumpkins?  What is your favorite/hardest stencil you've created?  Better yet, have any of you NOT carved a pumpkin before?  Do you eat the seeds?  If so what seasonings did you use?  Until next time.......

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

No comments:

Post a Comment