Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

  Happy Halloween!

    Halloween festivities started early at our house. 

    The boys gave their costumes a trial run by wearing them to Friday Night's UGA soccer game. 

    Last night the kids carved their pumpkins.

    Can you guess whose is whose?

    While the kids were busy carving, I was gathering up all the seeds out of the kids pumpkins for roasting.

    First I rinsed them all really well.

    Then I separated the seeds into 3 different bathes.  

    I made little trays out of aluminum foil to separate them on one baking sheet so I could bake them all at once.

    I baked them for 20 minutes at 300.

     Chili Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

     Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

    Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

    They were all really good but cinnamon sugar was by far my favorite.

    I don't know what it is like on Halloween night at your house but I can assure that it gets chaotic at my house about 2 hours before the trick or treating begins.  When the kids were younger, I always planned to feed my family a healthy dinner before they headed out to the streets to collect candy.  Unfortunately, even though I had the best of intentions, the healthy dinner often took a back seat to last minute preparations.  As the kids got older, I took on the primary role of Halloween organizer.  I found myself preoccupied with costume alterations, searching for accessories or locating appropriate footwear in the hours leading up to trick or treating.  I finally realized that sitting down to a big family dinner on Halloween night is just not feasible, but I wasn't willing to sacrifice my healthy meal.  

    Last Friday, I was scurrying around the kitchen working on a cake and watching The Chew on TV.  Chef Michael Smith was making a goulash that looked like something that my family would love and he did it in 5 minutes!  (They actually timed him or I wouldn't have believed it.)   I thought I would give it a try and even though it took me 10 minutes to make - it was still a really fast dinner.  This would be a great meal to serve your family before they head out for trick or treating tonight.  

    This meal is so simple - it only has 6 ingredients.  

    Ground Turkey (or Ground Beef)
    1 can Diced Tomatoes
    1/2 pound elbow macaroni
    1 onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic crushed
    Parmesan cheese

    Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.


    Brown turkey in skillet.


    Chop onions and garlic.


    Add onions and garlic to turkey.

    Add tomatoes to turkey mixture. Bring mixture to a boil and and allow to simmer 2 minutes.

    Add pasta to mixture. You can add reserved pasta water to thin sauce if it becomes too thick.

    Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

    My family really like this ghoul-ash.  (pun intended)  My daughter ate 2 huge helpings and my son and my husband both loved it too. This super quick meal hit the spot on a chilly night. Give it a try and stay warm out there tonight.

    Bon Appetit!

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