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The Sweetest (& Most Savory) DIY Pumpkin Seeds

I love this season even though we don’t really get Autumn down here in South Florida. Because of that we have to bring the Fall season to us! This full-family activity involves so many parts, but I highly recommend.  Just be organized and prepared for: setting up, drawing the pumpkin, carving, gathering the seeds, cleaning the inside and then my favorite….. Roasted pumpkin seeds!

Lets be honest here. Your entire family is not going to be involved in every step. I have a 4 and 7 year old now, but the first time I did this they were 2 and 5.  While the 5 year hung around for most of it, the 2 year old lost interest after about 1 minute of each “new” step. I tricked her at point and stuck her hand in the pumpkin to feel all the “gooey” (come on it’s Halloween!) when we were gathering the seeds and she screeched “ICKY!”

If you haven’t already carved, but have a pumpkin at home, please try this! Rather than throwing out your seeds after carving a jack-o-lantern, make a delicious afternoon snack with the leftovers.

Here is a basic recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds, but I urge you to dress these up a bit with spices.  Savory flavors using cayenne pepper and chipotle seasoning work very well, but if you have a sweet tooth, make up a sweet batch!  See tips and options for ideas.

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The Sweetest (& Most Savory) DIY Pumpkin Seeds
Homemade, DIY roasted pumpkin seeds straight from the pumpkin!
flavored DIY roasted pumpkin seeds
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Course Snack
Prep Time 20
Cook Time 20
Servings
Ingredients
Course Snack
Prep Time 20
Cook Time 20
Servings
Ingredients
flavored DIY roasted pumpkin seeds
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove as much of the stringy fibers of pumpkin as you can.
  3. Add salt to 4 cups of water and bring to boil. Add pumpkin seeds and boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain and pat seeds dry with a paper towel.
  5. Toss seeds in a medium size bowl with oil and spread them evenly on a large cookie sheet.
  6. Roast seeds in oven for 20 minutes stirring half way through until crisp and lightly golden brown.
Recipe Notes

TIPS/OPTIONS:

  • For each cup of seeds, use about ½ – 1 ½ tsp of seasoning  TOTAL.  Otherwise the flavor will be too overwhelming.
  • Many recipes call for butter rather than oil.  Oil seems to work best, but unsalted

 

Flavors: Mix in these seasonings in medium bowl with oil before spreading on baking sheet:

  • BBQ: Use 1 tsp barbecue seasoning
  • Spicy: ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp chipotle powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Sweet & Spicy: ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp white sugar
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Jaime Windrow No Comments

Grilled Cherry Tomato & Basil On A Stick

The best part of skewer meals is that there are no rules!  Any protein, fruit or vegetable can be “cooked on a stick”, and whether it’s an appetizer, meal or dessert, you can please all family members with their favorite foods!  You can use stainless steel or bamboo skewers for best results, just be sure to soak the bamboo ones in water for about 10-15 minutes first.

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Grilled Cherry Tomato & Basil On A Stick
The best part of skewer meals is that there are no rules! Any protein, fruit or vegetable can be “cooked on a stick”, and whether it’s an appetizer, meal or dessert, you can please all family members with their favorite foods! You can use stainless steel or bamboo skewers for best results, just be sure to soak the bamboo ones in water for about 10-15 minutes first.
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Cuisine Italian
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Cuisine Italian
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Instructions
  1. Preheat gas grill to medium-high or about 350 degrees. Light only one half of the grill in order to create a “cool zone” on one side.
  2. Prepare skewers by threading 5 cherry tomatoes with a folded fresh basil leaf between each one. Brush each skewer with olive oil.
  3. Lightly oil the grate on the grill or use grilling spray oil. This will ensure the skewers won’t stick!
  4. Place skewers directly over heat for 30 seconds on each side. You should see grill marks on the tomatoes.
  5. Remove from direct heat and place skewers in the “cool zone” for additional 1 to 2 minutes until hot.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

This same dish can be done in the oven without skewers.  Place cherry tomatoes brushed with olive oil in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped fresh or dried basil.  Cook on middle rack at 350 until tomatoes are hot but skin is not blistered or broken.

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Eggplants

I love when something new pops up in my CSA farm share, and these mini’s did not disappoint! I wanted to do something different with these, rather than my slice and grill with “normal” size eggplants.   There wasn’t too many options out there, but I did come across a picture of a stuffed one on pinterest. Unless it’s a special occasion, I like to create dishes with the ingredients I already have in my kitchen. And since there were 7 baby eggplants in my basket, that’s what I based the recipe on. Perfect for dinner parties!

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Eggplants
I love when something new pops up in my CSA farm share, and these mini’s did not disappoint! I wanted to do something different with these, rather than my slice and grill with “normal” size eggplants. There wasn’t too many options out there, but I did come across a picture of a stuffed one on pinterest. Unless it’s a special occasion, I like to create dishes with the ingredients I already have in my kitchen. And since there were 7 baby eggplants in my basket, that's what I based the recipe on. Perfect for dinner parties
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Keep the stems on the eggplants. They look pretty and will come to good use later when you dive into these bad boys.
  3. Cut a wedge out of each eggplant, rather than making a single slice. This will allow a space for the filling to sit well.
  4. Brush the eggplants lightly with olive oil (or use a spray).
  5. Spread them out on a foiled lined cookie sheet and roast or bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Switch the setting to broil for an additional 5-6 minutes until the skin looks wrinkly.
  7. Take out of the oven and let sit for a few minutes until they are cool enough to touch.
  8. Make Filling: Mix 2-3 ounces of goat cheese with 1 Tbsp of sliced almonds and 1 tsp of jarred garlic. Jarred garlic works better than fresh garlic because the oil helps to make the goat cheese creamier.
  9. Spoon the goat cheese mixture into each “wedge” of the eggplant.
  10. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and honey and sprinkle with any fresh or dried green herb. I used cilantro from my garden!
  11. Enjoy! You can literally pick up by the stem and eat!
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