Friday, October 30, 2009

Foodie Friday!: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We’re getting in the Halloween spirit here at Red Monkey and we’re offering an extra treat for this week’s Foodie Friday – three recipes in one!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are a great party snack and they're super simple to make in large or small batches. We’ve included a few variations on the seasoning blends but all start with the insides of a pumpkin. After harvesting my seeds from the clutches of the pumpkin stuff (see tips below), I yielded about 1 ¼ cup of seeds.

Classic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 teaspoon Red Monkey Sea Salt Grinder (or more to taste)

1 teaspoon Red Monkey Pepper Medley Grinder

Tropic Heat Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

4 teaspoons Red Monkey Mango Habanera Rub

½ teaspoon Red Monkey Raspberry Chipotle Rub

Red Black and White Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 teaspoons Red Monkey Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Red Monkey Sea Salt Grinder

1 teaspoon Red Monkey Crushed Red Pepper

½ teaspoon Red Monkey Pepper Medley Grinder

½ teaspoon Red Monkey Southwest Mesquite Rub

Remove the seeds and extra stuff from the inside the pumpkin and place in a large bowl or stock pot. Set the pumpkin aside for carving later.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Separate the seeds from the “stuff.” I like to fill the bowl/stock pot with water and gently stir the mix. The seeds will naturally float to the top and be very easy to scoop off. I’ve heard of people using their sinks; however, I find that’s not fun to clean. This way the mix is ready to be drained and tossed into your compost pile.

After separating the seeds from the stuff, rinse, and pat the seeds dry with a paper towel or tea towel.

The seeds are now ready for seasoning and heat! Spread the pumpkin seeds on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Combine the seasonings into a bowl and sprinkle over the seeds.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until the seeds are crispy and look slightly toasted.

We encourage you to experiment with the seasoning blend – we’ve had them in sweet, savory, spicy, and plain. Mix it up and have some fun! Oh, and don’t forget to carve that pumpkin.

These seeds can be stored in an air tight container for one week. It is very easy to multiply this recipe for a crowd or to do many small batches.

Party Idea: Have a pumpkin carving party and ask everyone to bring their own pumpkin. Let everyone be in charge of removing their seeds and seasoning them. Keep some zip top bags handy so if there are any left your guests can take them home with them. It makes a great interactive party where people can show off their creativity – especially if it’s warm and you can keep the mess outside!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Add These Monster Cookies To Your Halloween Menu


Saturday will certainly be a busy day for many households as they dress up their little goblins and head out for some ghostly fun. For those of us who will be at home awaiting the arrival of these scary little creatures here is a recipe that is sure to please even the scariest of ghoulish guests.

3 Eggs
1 1/4 C Packed Brown Sugar
1 C Sugar
1/4 TSP Red Monkey Cinnamon
1/2 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract
1 Jar (12 oz) Peanut Butter
1 Stick of Softened Butter
1/2 C Multi-Colored Chocolate Candies
1/2 C Chocolate Chips
1/4 C Raisins (optional)
2 TSP Baking Soda
4 1/2 C Quick Cooking Oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugars, mix well. Then add salt, vanilla, peanut butter and butter. Mix. Stir in chocolates, raisins, baking soda, cinnamon and oatmeal.
Drop with tablespoons about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake for 8-10 minutes and let stand for 3 minutes before moving to cooling racks. Store in resealable bags or a storage container.
Makes 3 dozen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Look Into: Professional Pumpkin Carvings and Local Haunts

The most important symbol of Halloween is of course the jack-o-latern and as the time grows nearer both young and old will be in search for the perfect pumpkin to carve. Front porches and sidewalks across the nation will proudly display their creativity. I love looking at them, and can’t help but be surprised at the unique artistry and creativity that has gone into some of them.


Mine on the other hand, look the same today as when I was a child…terrible.

Every year since I can remember the jagged teeth that I try so carefully to create end up with my pumpkin being toothless, eyes too far apart and a top that doesn’t sit right. For years I have found comfort in telling myself that I just need more practice. That however…was forty plus jack-o-lanterns ago. So, I am left with the realization that I have been living in denial. I simply can’t carve pumpkins; there-I finally said it.

But all is not lost since my children seem to have a least some talent in that area. As they proudly display their creations on the front porch I simply turn mine to face the front door so that only the immediate family is reminded that I cannot carve a pumpkin. But, that’s ok, I have finally come to terms;).

So now that I have come to terms, I have a deeper appreciation for those with real carving abilities. I thought everyone might enjoy checking out some serious pumpkin carvers. Using very large pumpkins Steve’s Pumpkin Art is truly amazing.

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Ray Villafane is another great pumpkin sculptor. This picture is just one of his many magnificently detailed pumpkins.


This house was decorated with over 3,000 carved jack-o-lanterns!

Halloween Pumpkins Galore has some very unique pictures of pumpkins that were carved by various artists.


Since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, there will be plenty of time to get out and visit some of the local hauntings. Below I have listed a few here in Missouri. But, no matter where you live I wish you all a very safe and frightfully fun weekend!

Fright Fest: Six Flags, St. Louis, MO

Maullers Frightmare: Joplin, MO

Faulkners Pumpkin Farm: Kansas City, MO

Halloween @ Dickerson Park Zoo: Springfield, MO

Verona Corn Maze: Verona, MO

These guys have all kinds of things to do!

23298 Lawrence 1150, Verona, MO 65769. Phone: 417-498-6191. Directions: From highway 60: Six miles West of Aurora, take the Verona turn off (Business 60) and go one mile. Take the first right (Farm Road 1150) for 1 mile. Get lost in The MAiZE! From I-44: Take Exit 46 in Mt. Vernon (Hwy. 39 & 265) going South for 5 miles. Turn right (West) on highway P and follow it for 5 miles to Verona. Turn right (West) on Business 60 for 1 mile. Turn left on Farm Road 1150 for 1 mile.

“Happy Halloween”!