Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Cooking

The drastic change in weather from high 80s to 50/60s has inspired me to cook lots of yummy Fall things! I went crazy this weekend and cooked so many meals. Usually I cook 3 times in a week and make enough for left overs, but this Fall weather helped me jump into gear. I made a GF/DF/SF Maple Apple Raisin Crisp that 4 of the 5 of us loved! Kai actually started to gag and salivate and spit it all out. Little bugger!
Here's my list of things I made:
Baked fish
Brown Sugared Acorn Squash
Cranberry rice
Apple Sauce
Apple Crisp
Pancakes and bacon
Raisin bread French toast
Pumpkin Chili
Corn Bread
loaf of regular bread
cleaned and dried squash seeds for roasting.

My family will all be shocked that I cooked that much voluntarily!! I know Chad was!

As for the squash seeds, I did an experiment. I was thinking that they could be roasted like pumpkin seeds even though I have never heard of anyone doing that with squash seeds. So today, after they were dry, I coated them with oil, sugar, cinnamon and a little salt and spread the on a cookie sheet. I couldn't remember the temp I roasted my pumpkin seeds last year and didn't feel like searching online for a recipe. So I just figured that 'roasting' is usually a high temp and set the oven to 400 and the timer for 10 mins. I remembered that the pumpkin seeds took a super long time last year and figured that I'd have to come and stir them multiple times over the next hour. I hoped that they wouldn't turn out gross (is there a reason why nobody ever does squash seeds?).
I left the kitchen and went upstairs with the boys and came downstairs when the timer read 6 mins left and it sounded like popcorn was exploding in my oven...Ping! pang! ding!!!! I then remembered that I TOASTED pumpkin seeds last year and did not ROAST them. Very different!!
I was scared to open the oven door due to flying shrapnel, but I squinted my eyes (always a good substitute for safety goggles), ducked low and peeked in. Sure enough my seeds were popping and zig zagging all through the oven. I shut the oven off and waited. Nope, they were still popping. I knew I had to get them out or all my seeds would explode and I'd never get to taste if they are better or worse than pumpkin seeds.
By now the kids are all chattering questions a mile a minute and pushing their way in toward the stove...oh wait, it was just Zeze chattering at a safe distance away (What are you doing? What's that sound? What are you cooking? Can I have some? I WANT SOME mama!! Why do I have to get out? Why do I have to stop talking? Why are you yelling at me? Why are you pushing Noah away with your foot? etc. etc.) while Noah squealed and did everything in his power to get to the stove.
Once the coast was clear I squinted my eyes, grabbed a dish towel shield and yanked the pan out of the oven while being ready to throw the towel on on top of them in case some stray poppers let loose!

In the end my oven has lots of seed shrapnel all over it and the seeds that were left on the pan tasted AMAZING! They actually were really good! Kai didn't like them, of course, but Zeze and Noah did! I had to force myself to stop eating them so I can save some for Chad.
Now I'm trying to decide when I do this again, if I should TOAST them at a low temp for a long long time while stirring every 10 minutes, or should I ROAST them at 400 for 5 minutes and just put an inverted cookie sheet on top to stop the seeds from flying about? :)
I think I like the fast and furious way best! :) :)


ShirleyNewLife said...

All the cooking you did -- so yummy. Will you send me your recipe for the chili and the cranberry rice?

What a riot with the squash seeds pinging all over your oven. My squash tonight didn't have enough seeds to bother cooking. So I'll give them to the chickens :-)

And thanks to you, I increased the calcium I'm dumping into the chicken's food. We'll get thicker shells on those eggs.

Lovesgarlic said...

I love the comment about squinting your eyes when you don't have safety glasses. I ALWAYS think that same thing... that squinting is about the same thing as wearing the glasses. LOL!

That is until I was sanding the ceiling this summer (over in the apartment) and got joint compound dust in my eyes. Then I went to Home Depot and bought five pairs of glasses. Slight over reaction but man, that dust really stung!

Lovesgarlic said...

I also love the description of Zeze "peppering" you with questions while you pushed Noah away with your foot. I can totally picture that whole scene. Why do kids always want to cluster around when danger is present??