There was only one thing left to do to prepare for Halloween, and we had purposely saved it until last -pumpkin carving!
One year we made the mistake of doing this too early and it resulted in moldy, decomposing jack o'lanterns by the time Halloween rolled around. Which might be the look you're going for, but it's not for us. So we save it for the weekend before.
Trash bags taped to the floor, Nightmare Before Christmas on television, we were ready to go.
Thatkid has never been a fan of the scooping out of the pumpkins, but my Oppo-baby couldn't wait to get in there and clean his out.
Both kids got a little carving help from us, but they were the creative directors and project managers. Thatkid wanted a Frankenstein monster.
Thatbaby wanted a "pumpkin patch" face with a grumpy mouth. And he added his own special touch by coloring it after.
Thatboy and I waited until the kids went to bed to carve ours.
But there's more! We had such a good time at the pumpkin carving contest last year that we did it again this year.
Once again we let the kids control the design and Thatkid wanted something related to Dia de los Muertos. He decided on a skeleton horse.
This year we convinced our friends to join us, and they also put the kid in charge of design. Their finished spider!
Last year there were very few entries and we made it into the top 6. This year? There were a lot more pumpkins.
Our little horse, all lit up.
I was pretty surprised when we made it into the top 3. And when they announced the winners, I was sure we came in third, but nope. We won first prize!
It was a great start to our Halloween-ing. And it made me so happy. I love pumpkins so much. Even now that Halloween is over, we've got pumpkins on our stoops. And I have a mini pumpkin farm as our table centerpiece. But it's really not just pumpkins, I have a thing for squash. I may not use all varieties for decorating, but I'm always happy to consume them. This week's meal plan alone includes pumpkin french toast, butternut squash salad, and parmesean crusted zucchini fries. It's one of those foods that's filling, tasty, and feels healthy. Even when you coat it in cheese and bake it until it's crisp!
Parmesan Crusted Zucchini Fries (from Cooking Light)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup panko
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 small zucchini
1/2 cup tomato basil sauce
- Preheat oven to 450. Combine Cheese, panko, garlic powder, basil, and cayenne in a shallow bowl.
- Place egg in a separate shallow bowl.
- Trim ends from zucchini and cut in half crosswise. Quarter each zucchini in half lengthwise to make 24 zucchini sticks.
- Dip zucchini in egg, dredge in panko mixture, pressing to coat.
- Place zucchini on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat tops of zucchini with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with pasta sauce.