PUMPKIN CARVING + TOASTED SEEDS
Halloween is less than a week away! In elementary school, I used to get so excited to go trick-or-treating and would groan when the sun would seemingly never set on Halloween day. Things have changed since I’ve grown up. Now, I go back and forth each year with being excited about handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. This year, it’s a go.
My boyfriend bought us two pumpkins yesterday (along with a pumpkin carving kit), so together, we carved a fun little face in one and a “welcome” sign in the other. Stella (our dog) isn’t too sure about the whole Halloween thing though. Maybe next year we’ll dress her up!
The first thing you want to do when you buy your pumpkin is to wash it in the sink. Pat it dry. Draw a circle around the stem to guide your knife as you cut off the lid. Scoop out the inner flesh and seeds with a large spoon and place the seeds in a separate bowl if you want to toast them in the oven later. Make sure you slice the lid on the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle so the lid has flesh to rest on (pictured below). If you cut straight down with the knife, the lid will fall through and that would be tragic.
Pictured below is the stencil I used that came with the pumpkin carving kit. I had no idea it was going to take an eternity to ultimately carve this stupid thing. After I taped the drawing to my pumpkin, using a small plastic poker, I had to puncture little holes into the stencil so it would transfer to the pumpkin to guide my mini saw.
When you peel off the paper containing the stencil, you are left to connect the dots with the tiny hand saw. These are the tools we used.
Now for the seeds.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil for every cup of seeds you’re toasting
few dashes garlic powder
few dashes cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 325˚F. In a medium bowl, mix in all ingredients to taste. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool. Check to see if you need to sprinkle more seasonings as the flavors get absorbed by the seeds during cooking and may not be as robust. Enjoy this very festive and low calorie snack!