Over the Top

No ta-tas or midriffs hanging out here. Just a bowl full of Kit Kat bars, a pup in her pink bandana, and a couple of glowing jack-o-lanterns. Oh, and some Sylvester Stallone as a truck driving, arm wrestling dad.

A Halloween to remember. Though, not unlike last year, I am blindsided by how fast Halloween arrives. Bam. One minute you’re sweating your socks off, and the next you’re scooping pulp out of a pumpkin. Or, pacing the aisles of Target the day before Halloween looking for something other than a bag of Mounds or Almond Joy. Can’t say I ever enjoyed those as a kid, and while I may be too old for trick or treating these days, I’m confident that shredded coconut and almonds don’t fly with today’s youth either.

The line to get in.

This year I managed to carve a couple of pumpkins. One was inspired by a recent trip to Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C. as well as an affinity for baking. The other bears a mustache, a nod to facial hair. Kind of inspired by my boyfriend on that one (and maybe a certain San Francisco Giants pitcher – go Giants!), who, by the way, puts away an entire snack-sized bag of M&Ms at once. I, on the other hand, like to savor my M&Ms one by one. An interesting contrast of candy consumption behavior which I am sure studies examining this exist.

The DC cupcakes.

I am sure I am not alone though when it comes to roasting pumpkin seeds after gutting your gourd. As a kid, my mom would sprinkle some salt over them. They were ok. I could  live without them but would always eat them anyways – ’tis the season I suppose. But, there’s no reason to toss the seeds when you’ve got some butter and other seasonings around. This year, I tried a recipe from Relish magazine for sweet and salty roasted pumpkin seeds. What are otherwise bland, chewy kernels become an addictive snack with a little sugar and salt. These seasoned seeds will have you hulling more stringy, sticky goop just for another batch. These guys manage to disappear in mere seconds.

Still, I have to save some room for a tray of Red Vines. But, at least now there will be a balance of protein and high fructose corn syrup – tricks and treats for the waistline.

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds 

From Relish, October 2010

Dried pumpkin seeds from 1-2 pumpkins

2 tbsp. melted butter

3 tbsp. brown sugar (dark or light)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium to large container with a lid, mix seeds with other seasonings and butter. Secure lid and shake container to coat seeds evenly. Spread seeds across baking sheet and roast for 15 – 25 minutes. Test seeds after 15 minutes for crispness. Return seeds to the oven if desired.


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