Calling us to have some fun!
We’re getting ready to have Halloween poetry judging party! Best of luck to all who have sent in their entries; the winner will be posted on November 1st.
I thought I’d share some of our party recipes with you. We’ll be snacking on crunchy, yummy, roasted pumpkin seeds and delicious Pumpkin Bisque soup. For cocktails we’ll have Bloody Mary and all her siblings (variations) or Apple Butter Cocktails.
First…a short video to get you in the mood!
Time to conjure up some treats!
Crunchy, Yummy, Pumpkin Seeds
Scoop out the seeds and rinse them in a strainer. They will feel a bit slimy and have little bits of pulp left on them but that’s okay, we’re going to soak them…
Fill a bowl with clean water and add enough salt to make it taste a bit like the ocean. Kosher salt is best. Soak your seeds for a couple of hours.
Place seeds back into the strainer, rinse, and set to dry on a clean towel.
Once seeds feel dry to the touch it is time to have fun—just toss with your choice of flavors and bake.
Here are some ideas but don’t stop here, get creative!
In a bowl, stir seeds with a little olive oil to help the seasonings stick. Sprinkle in one of these combinations:
Smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and a bit more salt
Salt and pepper (maybe add a dash of your favorite hot sauce or a little chili powder)
Instead of olive oil you can substitute peanut oil and sprinkle in crushed seaweed and a bit of ground ginger (maybe add a bit of Szechuan seasoning or some Chinese five spices which is cinnamon, anise, fennel, cloves, ginger, licorice, peppercorn and white pepper)
Substitute butter for the olive oil and sprinkle in salt or your favorite popcorn seasoning (maybe add some crushed garlic)
Toss with butter (or honey), cinnamon and sugar
Spread your mixture on a baking sheet and bake at 300-325 until golden (about 15 minutes). Toss them a few times while cooking so they brown on both sides. They will be soft when they first come out and get crunchy as they cool. Try serving with a sprinkle of grated parmesan or a squeeze of lime!
I came across this recipe in the Mother Earth News magazine- Oct 2011 I haven’t tried it yet but it looks pretty tasty for those who like sweet drinks.
Apple Butter Cocktail
1 tsp cinnamon
Simple syrup (simmer equal parts water and sugar until dissolved- in this case you will want the syrup to be chilled)
1 ounce hard cider
1 ounce butterscotch schnapps
½ to 1 ounce cinnamon schnapps
1 cinnamon stick for swizzling (optional)
Chill a martini glass
While waiting, mix the cinnamon and sugar together and pour into a saucer
Pour a little bit of simple syrup into another saucer (for coating the rim of the glass)
Pour the cider and schnapps into a shaker filled with ice. Do your bartending dance.
Coat the rim of your chilled glass with the simple syrup and the cinnamon/sugar, strain your cold cocktail into the glass and add the cinnamon stick.
Bloody Mary and her Siblings
You just can’t have a Halloween party without inviting Bloody Mary.
Here’s the classic Bloody Mary recipe. Serves 1
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 fresh lemon- squeezed
a dash of Worcestershire
Tabasco to taste
Choice of garnish (traditionally a celery stick)
Salt & Pepper
Combine the vodka, the tomato juice, the lemon juice, the Worcestershire sauce, the Tabasco, salt, and pepper.
Pour into a shaker with ice and do your bartending dance.
Strain into a tall glass filled with ice cubes.
Garnish with a celery stick, thin carrot sticks, or a lemon wedge.
If you wish to make a pitcher full start with 4 cups of tomato juice and adjust ingredients accordingly.
Bloody Mary comes from a BIG family—the combinations you can come up with are almost limitless. Here are some ideas:
To the traditional, try adding:
Prepared horseradish, garlic, or both!
A dash of your favorite hot sauce
Some juice from your favorite pickled peppers
Some juice from your jar of olives
Lime juice for the lemon juice
V8 or Clamato for straight tomato juice
Flavored vodka for plain
I even heard that some people substitute beer for the vodka…
Just about anything—pickled veggies, jalapeños, peppercini, cherry tomato, etc…
Finally, here is a pumpkin soup recipe I came across today on Mélange: A Medley of Life. I’m copying it here but to get the full effect you should visit the website and view the pictures!
6 – 8 cups Fresh pumpkin, cooked
2 Large leeks
1 cup Yellow onion, diced
3 – 4 Garlic cloves
Fresh ginger, 1-inch piece ground
1 cup Fresh carrots
1 pint Half-n-half or cream
Low-sodium chicken stock
1 ½ sticks Unsalted butter
3 – 4 Bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste (at the very end)
1 teaspoon Nutmeg (or more)
Dash cayenne pepper or chili powder
½ to 1 cup Cooking sherry
1/8 to ¼ cup Flour (used to make a roux)
Crème fresh or low-fat sour cream
Scrape inside of pumpkin and peel. Cut pumpkin into cubes no more than 1 inch in size.
Chop carrots in ½ inch cubes.
Chop onions and leeks, making sure to thoroughly clean the leeks.
Melt butter. Sauté leeks and onions on high heat (about 2 min.)
Add sautéed onions to heated large soup pot.
Add carrots and toss 1 minute.
Add flour mixed as a roux. (Stephen didn’t tell me how he did this, but any cookbook should tell you)
Toss in pumpkin.
Add chopped garlic
Add cooking sherry: pour over mixture in pot.
Add chicken stock just until it covers pumpkin.
Bring the mixture to just barely a boil and then turn heat down to simmer.
Add bay leaves and cook uncovered about 35 minutes.
At the end of 35 minutes, take out the bay leaves. Puree the mixture in a blender. This will have to be done in small batches, probably three or four. Return to pot and on low heat add the cream slowly while stirring.
Grate the ginger and add to the mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a dollop of crème fresh or low-fat sour cream.
Garnish with parsley.
Share your secret potions…
Have a favorite Halloween Party recipe? Share in the comments box!