Happy Halloween (a day late) everyone! Man, we had a great trick-or-treat night in our neighborhood. Lots of kids came through our house with some pretty ingenious costumes! My favorite was these 2 teenage girls who were “Siamese twins” – they each were a pant leg and wore a very large dress. They were walking around the neighborhood like that the ENTIRE night! It looked so hard to walk with your legs bound by a pant leg, and only having one dress sleeve to stick your arms through. They got extra candy from me just for the costume originality!
Anywho, Sunday was also my daughter’s first go at trick-or-treating. Last year she was just over 3 months, so although we dressed her up, she didn’t quite participate in any of the festivities. This year she actually went trick-or-treating to a few houses, and even got to hand out candy (when she wasn’t keeping the bright-colored candy to herself).
Another also, since today is my father-in-law’s birthday, we invited them over for dinner yesterday and celebrated his birthday a day early. When I asked his girlfriend what his favorite dessert is, without hesitating she said “German Chocolate Cake”. I jumped at the opportunity to turn this yummy dessert into a cupcake. I will post the cupcake recipe separately here, so I can focus on the dinner recipe.
So actually focus on the dinner: Stuffed pumpkin. This is as “autumn-like” as you can get in a meal! The stuffing was very similar to a Thanksgiving dressing. Truthfully, you can add anything you think would sound good in your stuffing. Since my guests were vegetarian, I stayed away from any meats, but adding ground sausage would be really yummy. My husband even suggested apple sausage (and I said “awesome!”). If you like the sweet and salty combination, green apples would go really well too (which I plan on adding next time). Aside from these extra yummies for the stuffing, I will also be adding more chicken broth to the pumpkin to make the stuffing moister. I think it would also help cook the pumpkin more tender.
NOTE: since I didn’t get a picture of the stuffed pumpkin itself, here are pictures of my daughter, one from last Halloween, and one from yesterday:
1 (5-6lb) pumpkin (I used pie pumpkin)
3 Tbsp of canola oil, plus more for brushing on pumpkin
6 celery stalks, diced
1 medium leek, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mushroom, cubed
2 cups cooked rice (I used white)
1 package dried bread (for stuffing), or 6 cups of cubed bread
1 cup dried cranberries or currants
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp dried sage
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
2-3 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Remove top from pumpkin, jack-o-lantern style. Scoop out seeds and strings, leaving hollowed shell to stuff. Brush canola oil lightly on pumpkin skin if you like, and set aside.
Heat 3 Tbsp of canola oil in large skillet and sauté celery and leek until starting to be translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking. Next add the mushrooms and sauté until done, about 5 minutes. Add white rice, cranberries or currants, and stir to mix. Add coarsely chopped walnuts to the mixture.
Add seasonings, butter, and eggs. Mix everything together, preferably with your hands (don’t be shy to get your hands dirty!). Add more chicken stock or eggs if you like a moister stuffing; skip the eggs or use less stock if you like a drier one. Stuff into pumpkin and bake at 350F degrees for about 1.5 hours, until stuffing is heated through to the center and pumpkin is fork tender.
Recipe adapted from Foodista.com