It is that time of year in New England when cold temperatures move us inside to warm fires and delectable scents from the kitchen. Halloween is done, and you might ask what is to be done with those pumpkins you used for decorating. We never got around to carving our pumpkins, so they were still intact when I decided to use the seeds. Of course, you can cook the meat of the pumpkin, but that is not what I did today. Instead, I took off the top, and scooped out the seeds to roast and use in cooking and baking.
Other combinations I have done is olive oil, smoked paprika and garlic powder. I have also just used olive oil and salt. You can create any combination of herbs you like. I am still trying to perfect a nice honey mustard pumpkin seed but haven't succeeded in getting the nice hot flavor of mustard yet. Here is one recipe I found from Food.com, just to get you familiar with roasting your seeds.
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons melted butter (olive oil or vegetable oil work well) or 2 teaspoons melted oil (olive oil or vegetable oil work well)
- garlic powder (optional)
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- seasoning salt (optional)
- cajun seasoning (optional)
- 1Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- 2While it's OK to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds (it adds flavor) clean off any major chunks.
- 3Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings of your choice.
- 4Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
- 5Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
My next recipe uses the roasted sweet pumpkin seeds. This time around I did not roast the seeds first. They were used as a topping for a breakfast scone I made this morning. The seeds came out a little tough because I did not pre-roast them, but they added a nice crunch and flavor to this scone recipe. It is a labor intensive scone recipe, so give yourself a good 1 1/2 hours to make it. Of course, I had to scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin this morning, which made the time spent on the scones even more lengthy.Pumpkin Ginger SconesIngredients:1/2 cup sugar, divided2 cups all purpose flour2 tsp. baking powder1 tsp. cinnamon1/2 tsp. baking soda1/2 tsp. salt1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter,cut into pieces1 egg1/2 cup solid-pack pumpkin1/4 cup sour cream1/2 tsp grated fresh gingeror2 tblsp. finely choppedcrystallized ginger1 tblsp. butter melted.1 tblsp. maple sugarPumpkin seeds for topping1. Preheat oven to 425* F.2. Reserve 1 tblsp. sugar. Here is where I made an adjustment. I did take away 1 tblsp white sugar, but put it back in the sugar bowl. Instead, I used 1 tblsp. maple sugar, and set it aside for later.3.) Combine remaining sugar, flour,baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and saltin large bowl.blender or two knivesuntil mixtureresembles coarse crumbs.3.) Beat egg in medium bowl. Add pumpkin, sour cream and ginger; beat until well blended.4.) Add to flour mixture; stir until mixture forms soft dough that leaves side of bowl. Do not loose heart. It takes time to get it about the consistency of cookie dough. I had to press the spoon into the mixture to get it to finally mix.5.) Turn out dough onto well floured surface. Knead ten times. Roll out dough into a 9" x 6" rectangle with floured rolling pin.I used Smart Balance instead of butter, so my dough was sticky. I dusted quite a bit on top of the dough before rolling out. I also used parchment paper as my surface. It is cleaner and easier to move your dough around as you roll it.Place 2 inches apart on parchment linedbaking sheet.7.) Press about 6-8 pumpkin seeds into each triangle. Brush tops with melted butter. I dripped Smart Balance on the tops so I wouldn't remove the pumpkin seeds. After you have buttered the scones, sprinkle reserved 1 tblsp. maple sugar on top.8.) Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Serve warm.
To finish out my busy day of cooking, I decided to make a pot roast using the crock pot. Crock pots are an ideal way to give your family a hearty meal after their day of school, work or play on a cold day. It is also relatively simple to place your vegetables and meats into the pot before you go to work.The many recipes you can find for slow cooking is mind-boggling. There are many savory dishes that use ingredients like beer, wine, broths, and ready made soups. The recipe I decided on today is similar to Yankee Pot Roast, with a few changes.Easy Pot Roast and VeggiesIngredients:3 to 4 lb. chuck roast4 medium potatoes4 medium carrots, sliced, or 1 lb. baby carrots.2 celery ribs, thinly sliced (optional)or1/2 cup celery leaves with thin stems from celery top.1 - oz. envelope dry onion soup mix2 cups water1/4 cup Merlot cooking wine
1.) Place roast in crock pot. Sprinkle the dry onion soup mix all over the roast and press in to the meat.
2.) Place potatoes, carrots and celery in slow cooker.
3.) Add water and wine.4.) Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.5.) To add more flavor to the gravy after meat is cooked, add a packet of G.Washington Beef Gravy and Seasoning.We topped off todays meal with a pumpkin pie made from One Pie Pumpkin. I used a Pillsbury ready made pie crust. Here is the recipe from the back of the can.
One-Pie New England Pumpkin Pie Recipe Ingredients
- 1 can ONE-PIE Pumpkin
- 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. Ginger
- 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. Salt (Scant)
- 1/2 tbsp. Butter (Melted)
- 1 1/2 cups Milk or 1-12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/8 cup Moasses
- 2 Eggs (beaten)
Sift Sugar, Cornstarch, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, & Nutmeg together. Mix this with contents of one can ONE-PIE Pumpkin. Add Eggs, beaten, Melted Butter, Molasses, & Milk. Add a dash of Lemon Juice (if desired). Line a 9-inch pie plate, pour in contents. Preheat oven & bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Then reduce temp. to 350 & continue to bake for 50 minutes.*For best results use fresh ingredients.Whew, that was a busy day of cooking. Well I am ready to settle down into a nice warm bath, relax, and get ready for my work day tomorrow. Enjoy this cold weather that is settling in by making your inner home warm and inviting.