Skip to Content


Tag Archives: pumpkin


Settling in

How was your Halloween?

Ours turned out to be just the evening I was hoping for – a night of drinking beer and watching Jeff play video games while we each took turns answering the door.

We had heard from a neighbor that they had over 300 kids show up last year, so I dashed to the grocery yesterday afternoon to pick up some more candy. I think we ended up having about 75 to 100 kids, and only went through half the candy I bought. It was really hard to not just eat fun size Twix for lunch today. 😉

It was really nice to feel like part of a community. Jeff and I were talking about how much we feel at home here. Even though we’re renting, it really feels like this is “our house.”

And it’s coming along nicely. We’ve made huge progress in getting things put away where they belong and setting it all up to feel comfortable. We finished clearing out the second bedroom which is being used for an exercise room and place to do our art and electronics projects. It was so filled with stuff that you couldn’t walk around in it.

second bedroom cleared out

I got my office set up how I like it…

my office

All the knick-knacks are on the bookshelves, so until we get a full size dining table, the dining room is mostly done.

dining room done

And the basement, which was pretty dirty when we moved in, is getting much more usable as we clean it out. I’ve got a laundry area set up and we’ve moved a bunch of long-term storage downstairs as well.

laundry areabasement

And we’re getting a few projects done around the house to make it more comfortable. Jeff hung the curtains in our bedroom and I spent some time crafting a drawer organizer to make the silverware fit better in the narrow drawer.

silverware drawer

And the cats are loving it too. Liam has apparently just rediscovered sunbeams (our last place was in a basement so it was kind of dim.) I can be sure to find him in a different patch of light each day.

Liam sunbeam 1Liam sunbeam 2Liam sunbeam 3

Lucas gets too hot in all the direct sunlight and has to occasionally take a break by stretching himself out languidly to diffuse the heat.

Lucas lies languidly

Handsome devil.

Today I roasted the other batch of pumpkin seeds I had from carving the jack-o-lantern. I tried to do a Japanese flavor using toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, nori kome furikake, and togarashi spice.

Japanese pumpkin seeds

They’re alright, not good enough to share the recipe though. I think the toasted sesame oil is just overpowering the other flavors.

This year is just flying by, I can’t believe that Halloween has already gone by and we’re headed straight into the winter holidays. It’ll be 2012 before I can blink.



Pumpkin carving

Jeff and I have joked before that right now we’re living in our “lost years” for holiday enjoyment. We’re not kids any more, so much of the magic has been replaced by general grumpiness at all the money spent around holidays and the work it takes to make things go off without a hitch. There aren’t as many raucous parties with friends anymore either and we usually end up doing a whole bunch of nothing on holidays. I know it’ll all change when we have kids and we get the chance to create the magic for them that our parents made for us on those few special days a year, but until then we’re just stuck in this lackluster “in-between” state.

It sucks because Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and only in the last few years has it turned into a complete non-event for me. This year though, we at least have something to look forward to: Trick-or-treaters!

Overflowing Halloween candy

This is the first year that we live in a neighborhood with lots of young children and will surely be visited by droves of tiny ghosts and witches, superheroes and princesses. Maybe it’s a strange thing to be excited about, but it’s re-infusing this holiday that I love so much with the joy that it’s been lacking for years.

Yesterday, I carved a jack-o-lantern to put outside our door to let everyone know that YES, we do have candy!

After 2 hours of cleaning and carving, this:

pumpkin ready for carving

Became this:

carved pumpkin

I don’t know what I was going for, but I kind of think he looks like a frog. Liam, of course, needed to sniff our new housemate…

Liam sniffing pumpkin

Face. in. pumpkin.

I have named the pumpkin Robert; I have no idea why. Hopefully the trick-or-treaters will get as much enjoyment out of him (and the candy, of course) as we’ll get by being able to participate in the holidays again.

What was your favorite holiday as a child? Has your enjoyment of it changed as you’ve gotten older?


Toasted “kettle corn” pumpkin seeds

You know that smell. When you unexpectedly walk into a cloud of that sweet and salty aroma at festivals and faires, you know exactly what you’ve stumbled upon.

Kettle corn. You can smell the metallic tinge in the air from the fiery-hot cast iron kettle being super-heated, the charred smell of burning wood cracking and blistering open under the kettle belly, and the almost sun-kissed hay-like smell of the corn kernels bursting open as they explode from the intense heat.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds 1

And then there’s the flavor. Toasty and lightly coated with the thinest lacquer of sugar and a sprinkling of briny salt. I always loved it when there was barely any coating at all on the popcorn because it made me eat more and more of it in an effort to get enough of that elusive flavor onto my tongue.

I’ve tried to capture that same experience with these toasted “kettle corn” pumpkin seeds. Two favorite fall treats combine to form one irresistibly sweet and salty snack.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds 2

Here’s what you need: The seeds from one small pie pumpkin, melted butter, sugar, and salt. That’s it.

ingredients for kettle corn pumpkin seeds

You just pour the butter and sugar over the seeds and stir to combine, then pour them out onto a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle over a thin layer of salt.

seeds on baking sheet

Those get baked at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, just long enough for the butter and sugar to caramelize on the toasted seeds.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds close up 2

And they are heavenly! The subtle sweet and salty flavor of kettle corn is unmistakably recreated in these pumpkin seeds. They are a delicious and mostly healthy treat that is perfect for fall snacking.

Toasted "kettle corn" pumpkin seeds

Two favorite fall treats combine for a salty and sweet snack.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • the seeds from one small pie pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • sprinkle of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Remove seeds from pumpkin, rinse, and let dry on a kitchen towel.
  2. Combine seeds, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl and stir.
  3. Spread seeds out in one even layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.

kettle corn pumpkin seeds close up 1

Enjoy them on a crisp and cool fall day or anytime!