Monday, November 9, 2009

Festive Fall

I always get festive with the fall cooking the week of Halloween. Here were my adventures this year.



Dinner in a Pumpkin
2 lb. lean hamburger
1 (8-12") diameter fresh pumpkin

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 med. onion, chopped
12 sm. mushrooms, sliced
1 med. bell pepper
1 1/4 c. uncooked rice
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 tbsp. butter
1 #303 can stewed tomatoes
2 c. beef broth
1/4 c. grated Cheddar or Longhorn cheese
Parsley sprigs
8 to 12 cherry tomatoes
Wash the pumpkin and cut the top stem out to create a lid. Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers. Melt the butter but only 2 tablespoons and take a plastic sandwich bag to dip into the melted butter to oil the inside of the pumpkin. Turn the pumpkin on its side and remove to sprinkle inside with 1/2 teaspoon salt.Saute onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and garlic in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the 2 pounds lean hamburger, brown, and drain. Then add the rice and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add the remaining salt and pepper, the stewed tomatoes, and the beef broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then fill the pumpkin with this mixture. Replace the pumpkin lid and place the pumpkin in a shallow greased baking pan. Bake approximately 1 to 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Pumpkin is ready when tender and should remain firm enough to hold the filling without danger of collapsing. If necessary, more beef broth can be added as needed. When baked, remove from the oven, lift lid and sprinkle inside with the 1/4 cup cheese. Return pumpkin to oven, lift lid and sprinkle inside with the 1/4 cup cheese. Return pumpkin to oven without lid until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, replace lid and garnish around the bottom of the pumpkin with fresh parsley and cherry tomatoes. Serve from the pumpkin, scraping some of the pulp into each serving. Serve with green salad and French bread. Serves 12.


Maryland Pumpkin Seeds
4 cups pumpkin seeds, raw, rinsed and dried on papertowels
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
a good drizzle of olive oil

Drizzle the oil over the seeds. Sprinkle with the Old Bay and toss well to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.


And lastly here are the "kitty kat" cookies me & my 3 year old son put together...

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