a change in the weather

The time has come for colds and pumpkin pets.

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Recipe: Sugar and Spice Pumpkin seeds

pumpkinseedsThey’re done! And they taste fantastic! I wish I had more seeds to roast, but this was an incidental sort of experiment, so that’s it for this batch.

I reviewed a bunch of recipes and just combined what I liked from each of them to come up with this one.

Here is my take on this fall classic:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 to 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds (our pumpkin yielded about 3/4 of a cup.) Note: these should be washed and dried beforehand. I let them dry overnight after getting all the pumpkin goo off.
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted.
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • a dash of cinnamon (if you like it as much as I do 🙂 )

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, and spices until well-coated.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread seeds in a single layer.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring the seeds about halfway.

That’s it. Quick and easy.

autumn is here and so are the flavors

I love autumn. Even though autumn in South Florida doesn’t come with all the trappings of gold and russet leaves, I always look forward to the season.

Today I went out to find that the temperature has becoming wonderfully brisk and breezy, and though I know it will only last a few days at best, or until the next cold front slides on down from Canada, it makes for a nice change from the dreadful heat that we’ve had all summer long.

One of the things that I always associate with autumn is the smell of pumpkin spice and nutmeg. I love the taste of sweet spice. I’ve yet to give in to the allure of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice latte, but once the weather cools down and it gets cold in the library, I know I will succumb to the temptation (having a Starbuck’s in the library is quite a distraction, especially on those early Saturday mornings when it’s my turn to work the weekend).

oats_and_nutmegNutmeg and cinnamon are an essential part of my spice rack, so in a toast to the season, I’ve started playing with them. Yesterday, I had some very tasty steel cut oats with apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey. Very warming and filling 🙂 and just the right sort of apple pie flavor.

Of course, pumpkins are one of those foods that I can’t get enough of from October to December. I’ve been browsing sites and recipe books during the last few days in my eagerness.

IMG_8313My b-chan lives in an area that is very small-town-America, and every year the local Methodist church hosts a pumpkin patch. This is definitely not the sort of thing that you see in my area, so it’s quite a treat for me to see so many fanciful looking pumpkins, and all the delicious home-baked goods on sale (now that is some real temptation). There are hundreds of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, some that look very much like something out of Cinderella, and others that look a bit unorthodox.

IMG_8318I bought a loaf of fresh nut and raisin pumpkin bread that tastes deliciously spicy, and a smallish sort of pumpkin that will serve as decoration until I decide what to do with it. That’s the thing, pumpkins are so versatile, I can’t decide whether I want to make something sweet or savory, a bread or a cake, cheesecake or flan, or just something like a casserole. I do know what I’m going to do with the seeds, those are going to be roasted with some cinnamon sugar 😀 .

Meanwhile, I have one medium-sized pumpkin in my care. The b-chan wants to make a jack-o-lantern, and I get to harvest all the pulp and seeds.

Didy_pumpkinDidymus has a playmate until I figure out how I’m going to store that stuff until I have time to bake/cook something.  Now I have two pumpkin heads.