Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dinner in a Pumpkin

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Looking for something special to serve at your Halloween Party?  This is one of my favorite festive meals.  I got this recipe from my friend Bonnie, but I’m sure there are lots of different versions out there.

Ingredients:

1 medium pumpkin (make sure it will fit in your oven)

1- 1.5 lbs sausage

1 small chopped green and/or red pepper

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 large can mushrooms

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup water

1 cup sliced olives

1/2 cup slivered almonds or water chestnuts

1 garlic clove (chopped)

2 cups cooked rice

1 tsp oregano (and/or other spices of your choice)

pepper

Directions:

cut top off of pumpkin (make sure to do it at an angle so the top can be replaced to cook)

scoop out the insides- make sure it’s nice and clean!

rub salt on the inside of the pumpkin

saute the sausage, onion, pepper, and celery until sausage is completely cooked; drain fat

add the remaining ingredients, mix, and put mixture in pumpkin

replace top; put pumpkin on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2- 2 hours
The best thing about this recipe is that it is very forgiving.  If you’re missing one or two ingredients, no problem! Just substitute something else, or leave them out altogether.  And it’s not even necessary to actually measure out all the ingredients.  Just throw them together and bake!  And season it however you want- be creative!

Happy Halloween!

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Airplane Birthday Party

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Our oldest turned three a few weeks ago.  Crazy!  Here are a few pics from the party.

We found these Styrofoam planes at the dollar store for the kids to put together, decorate, and fly in the backyard.

My mom made yummy cupcakes!

The kids also made planes using pushup pops as the body and sticks of gum for the wings.  I don’t have a picture of one, though.

The three-year-old got a lot of fun things- including this scooter,  a pilot hat made from upcycled t-shirts, and a jacket that I embellished. I got the hat pattern from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

The jacket is a jeans jacket we found at the thrift store that I embellished with iron-ons from a craft store.

A few days after the party we went to an Air Force Museum near where we live.  The three year old loved it.

Next festivity- Halloween!  Anybody got any great costume or party ideas?

Pesto Presto!

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Here’s another garden favorite- hopefully you’re all still harvesting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book and can also be found on their website here.  It is super yummy and although I haven’t figured out exactly how much it costs, I’m sure it’s cheaper than buying pesto, especially if you grow your own basil.  Here’s the recipe with my own comments in parenthesis.

Homemade Pesto

1/4 cup olive oil or cooking oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/or pine nuts

2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (or you could leave the cheese out like I did.  Still yummy.)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

1/4 teaspoon salt

Black pepper

In a food processor bowl or blender container combine oil, nuts, basil, cheese, garlic, and salt. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary.  Add pepper to taste.  If you’re not serving the pesto immediately, divide it into 3 portions. Place each portion in a small airtight container and chill for 1 to 2 days or freeze for up to three months.

Super yummy and super fast! Pesto is great on pasta, bread with cheese and tomato slices, baked potatoes, or stirred into mayonnaise for a stellar chicken or pasta salad.  I love that it can be frozen so I can enjoy that basil taste any time of year!

Homemade pesto on baguette slices topped with mozzarella cheese and garden tomatoes