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It's pumpkin carving time!
Pumpkin carving is one of my most favorite things to do this time of year. I love the whole process. Deciding on your pumpkin design, the excitement of first lifting the lid off of your pumpkin, the smell, the yummy seeds just begging to be roasted, and yes, I even love the slimy feel of the pumpkin guts while I'm scooping that sucker out. I can't help it, I'm a hopeless Halloween weirdo.
My girls are just as bad as me. They love the whole process too, even the slimy, gooey part. We giggle as we play in the guts.
Daddy is on a little bit of a different level. Now he's goofy like the rest of us but when it comes to carving pumpkins, he gets his game face on. He takes great effort in picking the perfect design... and it's usually a design that is so beyond expert that my hands cramp up just looking at the pattern. And last night, for the 15th year running, he did not disappoint.
Both of the girls decided to go old school and make traditional Jack-o-lanterns without using patterns and I picked a simple pattern of a skeleton pirate.
But Daddy, oh, he picked a pattern that would've given me arthritis. His pattern had two big bats that were flying over an intricate castle which was next to an even more intricate scary tree that had around 500 branches. Okay, whatever show off.
I couldn't help but chuckle a few times when I caught him rotating his wrist and massaging his hand a bit. That's right, that's what you get for being Mr. Awesome At Everything. Did I mention he finished before any of us? How? No idea. I'm telling you, he's a pumpkin carving freak. It's extremely impressive... and annoying. He is the best at everything. It doesn't matter what we are talking about.
You know that kid in gym class that you wanted to bitchslap because he made you and the rest of your class look like wimpy losers? Yup, that was my husband.
When the whole class had to run a mile and everyone was crawling and limping still so far away from the finish line, he was the one who blew past you like the road runner, knees to chest with a smile on his face...while reading a book.
And even though he's like the manliest man you'll ever meet (power tool king, thinks he's an NFL player, deep voice, loves all things 'guy'), he's also good at everything else. In school he won first place for best penmanship and won first place in the spelling bee. I mean COME ON! Seriously people, I married a robot. The most amazingly lovable, funniest, sweetest, and the most awesome robot ever... but still a robot. He can do no wrong. Normally, I deal pretty well with it, in fact it's one of the things I love most about him. I know that no matter what, he can fix whatever it is that's broken...whether it be my phone, a dining room chair, or even my heart.
I mean, the man made my Halloween costume this year for God's sake!
Okay, little side-bar... bear with me, we will eventually get to the damn pumpkin seeds.
Every year we have a gigantic Halloween Scavenger Hunt Bash and we were really trying to come up with some funny costumes for this year because last year's theme was the zombie apocalypse. So since we were scary last year, we were shooting for being funny this year. We both have a deep disdain for the Elf on the Shelf. I want to throat-punch the person who came up with that damn idea. I can't tell you how many mornings my hubs or I have had to do a mad dash or army crawl because we forgot about that demonic-looking little shit. It's like the tooth fairy every friggin' night. Anyway, he found an Elf on the Shelf Costume for him. Totally hysterical. It was too small, which made it even more perfect. He reminded me of Will Ferrell in "Elf". Omg there are no words. Well he wanted me to be the girl Elf on the Shelf but there is no such costume to buy... so he made it for me! Seriously, this guy is the best. Hands off, ladies! ;)
It probably wouldn't have been so annoying if my pumpkin came out even somewhat recognizable.
Normally I'm not horrible at carving but this year it looks like I was blindfolded... and I was forced to carve with my feet.
My pattern was super cool. It was a skeleton pirate. It looked totally rad and I was really excited... Until I saw my finished product. In the light I still couldn't tell it was bad. I mean you really can't tell what they truly look like until you light them up and turn the lights off. The girls' pumpkins came out super cute.
And Jay's pumpkin, well duh... Mr. Gold Medal had a work of art sitting there glowing like a giant pumpkin prize.
Behold Mr. Wonderful's masterpiece...
A damn monkey.
Not. Even. Joking.
Nobody could even deny it to try to make me feel better.
Everybody agreed I carved a friggin' monkey.
Wanna see it? I know you do. It's okay to laugh.
Oh well, you win some and you lose some. We all ended up laughing hysterically at it. I mean really, how could you not? On the bright side maybe my monkey can climb Jay's 10 foot tall award winning tree... Next to his kingdom castle.... with the flying bats.
But despite my slight monkey pumpkin fail (I'm being kind to myself), my most favorite part of carving pumpkins did end up a HUGE success!
And my most favorite part is always roasting up all the yummy seeds!
Omg I just love smelling them roast while we are all sitting at the table carving our masterpieces (or our primates). I did something a little different this year with our pumpkin seeds and they came out PERFECT!!!
I'm so sorry it took me so long to get to this! I'm a rambler and an off-track-kind-of-person but today it's especially bad. But at least you got to see a 6'2" Elf on the Shelf, right? ... and a monkey pumpkin. That's gotta be worth something.
Pumpkins seeds are so healthy for you! Don't ever throw away all that healthy goodness away with the slime. Roast those babies up!
- Natural Anti-inflammatory
- Prevent Osteoporosis: Due to the high zinc levels.
- Improve Bladder Function
- High in Magnesium: Just 1/2 cup contains 92% of daily value.
- Prevents Kidney Stones
- High in Protein
- Reduces LDL Cholesterol Levels
- Promotes Sleep
- Helps Depression: Due to high levels of L-tryptophan.
- Promotes a Healthy Prostrate
- Is the Only Seed That Is Alkaline-Forming
- Alleviates Menopausal Symptoms: Contains natural phytoestrogens.
- Rich in Omega 3s
- Helps Lower Blood Pressure
- Helps Body Expel Parasites
- Promotes Strong Bones
- Packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, Vitamin K, and B Vitamins
But I encourage you to experiment with any spices and seasonings that your little pumpkin roastin' heart desires.
Here's how I made them this year. This year, I did one thing different, I thoroughly cleaned the seeds before I roasted them. I've never done that before. It made a big difference. I didn't think they could taste any better than they ever did... but they did.
Even Mr. Skeleton agreed ;)
*Pre-Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Step 1: Scoop out the insides of your pumpkins and put in a large bowl.
Step 2: Pick out all of the bigger chunks of the pumpkin pulp and guts.
Step 3: Put your seeds in a colander and rinse them very thoroughly. Get your hands in there and pick out the pieces of pulp that aren't rinsing out. Once done, no need to dry seeds. Just simply shake the colander as best you can. The seeds will still be wet, it's okay.
Step 4: Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. You can oil or spray the sheets as well but parchment paper is like a miracle. It works the best. Absolutely no clean up afterwards. Mama likes that.
Step 5: Spread out the seeds in a single layer on sheets and bake for 30 minutes. Do NOT season at this point. This step is to dry out the seeds only.
Step 6: Carefully take sheets out of oven and dump seeds into large bowl. Add your preferred oil and preferred spices and seasonings and stir well.
*You can use just about anything: Curry, garlic powder, garlic salt, Old Bay, Parmesan Cheese, barbecue seasonings, chili powder, cinnamon and stevia, pumpkin pie spices, cajun seasonings, or just anything you can dream up!
HERE'S WHAT I USED:
2 Teaspoons OLIVE OIL
HIMALAYAN PINK SALT (You could also use sea salt or table salt)
Other than the olive oil, I didn't measure exact amounts of the seasonings.
After the seeds baked for the initial 30 minutes, I simply sprinkled my seasonings over the seeds, mixed them up with the oil, and then would keep taste-testing the seeds. I would keep adding various amounts of my different seasonings until I got the taste just right.
Everybody's preferences are so different, I would suggest doing the same. Just keep adding things until it's just perfect for you. Or even make a couple different batches with different flavors.
*Also, the amounts of oil and seasonings/spices are going to depend on how many seeds you have. I had seeds from four large pumpkins.
Step 7: Once you have your seasonings and oil just right and mixed well, spread the seeds out again in single layers on your baking sheets (no need to use new parchment paper, just reuse what you already had). Bake for another 20 minutes. This really bakes the seasonings into the seeds.
Step 8: Eat up!! They are so good for you and they are delicious! Just try not to fight over them.