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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dark Delight for Halloween Night

Dark Delight!

Even though my nest is empty, I continue to enjoy the child-like pleasures associated with Halloween.  When my boys were young we carved a pumpkin each year.  They weren't too crazy about the stringy pumpkin "guts," but toasted pumpkin seeds were a tasty treat!  Thinking it was time for a version that was better suited to adult palates, I decided to give this recipe a test.  The coating of dark cocoa, a little salt and a bit of sugar turns the ho-hum-kin seed into a yum-kin seed! 

Dark Side Pumpkin Seeds

Fresh pumpkin seeds (1-2 cups) from one 3 lb. pie pumpkin cleaned of strings but NOT rinsed
3 T granulated sugar
2 T brown sugar
1 T cocoa powder (I prefer Hershey's Special Dark)
2 t kosher or sea salt

Combine sugars, cocoa powder and salt in mixing bowl.

Add seeds and toss until coated.  The "sticky" on the unrinsed seeds will allow the coating to cling.  Spray a rimmed baking sheet lightly with Pam.  Bake in 350 degree oven about 20 minutes or until you hear the seeds begin to pop.  Remove from oven and loosen pumpkin seeds with spatula.  Allow to cool on baking sheet, as this will crisp the seeds.  

 Relax and enjoy your dark delight on Halloween night!  

Cats Rule! Jack-O-Lantern and Dark Side Treats

Monday, October 24, 2011

Perfect Pop of Pumpkin

de Calabaza Paleta

A friend, one of my darling formers, posted on Facebook that this is a "boots-in-the-morning, flip-flops-in-the-afternoon kind of day."  She described it perfectly!  Here in Texas, it feels like fall in the morning, but we're thinking summer by 3 p.m.  This treat, the pumpkin paleta, preserves the spice of autumn in a cool pop when the temp warms up.

Pumpkin Spice Paleta
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3 scant T sugar
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 t pumpkin pie spice, or more to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended.  Pour mixture into molds.  Freeze 4-6 hours.  Substituting whole milk for skim will add a creamier texture.  Skim milk keeps the calorie count down.  Delicious any way you mix it!