But when it comes to carving jack-o-lanterns I really have to question the value proposition. Fun for sure, but OMG all the messy pumpkin guts and let’s be honest, a carved pumpkin set outdoors is really just a buffet for the squirrels. Is it worth the effort?
How, you ask?
By adding a nice big zap of spice and heat to the cleaned, soaked, and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Ah, NOW I get it. If this jack-o-lantern is going to provide spooky Halloween décor AND make me a tasty snack? He’s alright and welcome in my home.
We wanted a drink refreshing enough to keep us going through the World Series and Halloween parties and still evoke the spookiness of the season. Pomegranate juice on the ingredient list could pass for Dracula’s blood if you want to gross out the kiddos.
Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe only slightly adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 cup unsalted pumpkin seed kernels – soaked in salt water for 8-24 hours in advance, and then dried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or canola oil)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (any kind will do)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Soak the pumpkin seeds first to clean off the gunk. Then soak them in a fresh bowl of salt water for 8-24 hours before proceeding with the recipe. This step helps to make the pumpkin seeds easier to digest. Dry the seeds on a towel.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Put the pumpkin seeds in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until toasted, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when done.
- Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add seeds, tossing to coat.
- Spread coated pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir, and bake for another 7 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to a plate to continue cooling.
- Store sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds in an airtight container; they should keep for about a week.
Recipe: Ilise Goldberg
Ilise says: This is a simple tasty drink that’s great to drink while watching a Cubs game, waiting for trick-or-treaters, or taking it on the road in a “go cup” while you’re walking your little ghosts, goblins and super heroes around the neighborhood.
- 1.5 ounces London Dry Gin such as Tanqueray (can easily substitute vodka if you really don’t like gin)
- 4 ounces Pomegranate Juice (if you don’t have pomegranate juice you can substitute Cranberry)
- Stiegl Radler or similar Grapefruit Radler
- Lemon Wedge
- In a pint glass combine gin and pomegranate juice – stir.
- Pour in beer until about an inch from the top.
- Squeeze in a wedge of lemon and mix. Also tasty without the lemon if you don’t have any handy. As you can see this is a simple and flexible drink.