Monday, October 31, 2011

Creative Crafty Halloween Fun

I have been trying to get a bit crafty and creative to have some 'pre-Halloween' fun.  Meaning the week or month before Halloween and not just the one night of trick-or-treating.

Last week the kids and I carved mini-pumpkins.  I got the idea from a picture on Facebook a friend posted.  Her picture looked great.  It looks like it was from an online magazine or other website since it was a professional picture with great lighting and invisible background.  The pumpkins we carved were a far cry from what I saw on her picture, but the kids were happy with them so I will let it be.

They were simple to make and we had fun doing it.  We carved a rectangle in the pumpkin.  Inserted 'Dracula fangs' and used round thumb tacks for eyes.  Daeton also carved a scar on the side of his.  I had bought a pack of the fangs for the goodie-bags for Daeton's birthday (24 fangs for $1) and had some left over so the only cost of this project was the pumpkins that were $2 each at the store.

So, we did those last week but I had to throw them away because they were getting too moldy.  So, today our friend, Staci, dropped by with 2 of her 3 kids and we all hung out for the day.

I was on Facebook when she dropped by and showed her a cool recipe that I saw someone else post.  
 Meal IN A Pumpkin  I was telling Staci that I could not visualize the end results by reading the recipe (I'm starting to be able to do that the more and more I cook).  She thought it would be a soup but I wasn't sure with so much meat and rice.  We decided to make it.  Staci said she LOVES pumpkin and squash foods and loved this time of year for the pumpkin pie.  

Long story- and three stores later (we got Halloween costumes for two of them too) we had all the ingredients.  I started browning the meat while Staci took three of the kids and ran to find pumpkins that we couldn't find.  She ended up going to two stores to get them.

By the time she was back, the seasoned meat/rice mixture was ready to go in the pumpkins.  I cut the top off, as if I was carving a pumpkin, scooped the guts and seeds out and then we scooped the meat/rice mixture inside.  She couldn't find a big enough pumpkin ( I told her we needed one to old over 50 ozs of liquid plus the meat and rice) so we used two pumpkins.

While we were doing this the kids carved their pumpkins that Staci also bought at the store.

 Our meat mixture on the stove before the extra liquid was added.
 Staci scooping it into the pumpkins.
 In the middle of all this we had to run out again.  We were expected at my dad's for dinner at 6pm.  Staci and her kids came.  This pic was the sunset outside of his house. I love the sunsets from his house.  He is up, on the top of a hill and they are always amazing.
 Pumpkins are 'stuffed' and ready to go in the oven.  Recipe said 1 hour.
 I couldn't fit two cookie sheets inside my oven so I had to fit both on one sheet. It was HEAVY to lift in/out of the oven.
 This is one of the other pumpkins.  A kid-carved one, while we were prepping the others for the oven.
 JJ and his pumpkin.  'His finger is stuck inside its eye.'  (((What a ham))).
 I pulled them out to check them.  The top of them were done but at the bottom, on the inside, the pumpkin was only warm and not hot.  The pumpkin was suppose to be so soft on the inside that it could be scooped out and eaten, with the mix.  This was after checking 2 other times.  In the end it got late, they had to go home and I had to put them back in the oven.  I cooked them 2 1/2 hours to get them where I think they should be, with the whole pumpkin being squishy and not stringy on the inside.
It wasn't done until after my kids were already asleep.  Staci is dropping by tomorrow, with her kids, so we all can have this for dinner before trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.

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