Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Week - Day 1: Pumpkins and Pasta

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Halloween is my all time favorite holiday.  The weather is fantastic in October, crisp and bright.  There's costumes and candy, and pumpkins galore!  So I'm dedicating all the posts this week to Halloween!

Remember those pumpkins we picked out at the pumpkin patch a couple weekends ago?  It was time to turn them into jack-o-lanterns.  Thatboy and I wanted to continue our annual pumpkin carving tradition, but knew it might be a little difficult with Thatbaby.  His knife skills are sorely lacking.

So we decided we'd help him decorate his pumpkin first, using foam stickers, so he could actively participate.

 Active participation included picking out what shapes he wanted to put on, 

And placing them on the pumpkin.

Or mommy.

Thatboy and I waited till Thatbaby had gone to sleep before we carved ours while watching our Halloween movie pick.  And then Thatboy brought them all outside.

This space is  where a normal person would include a pumpkin recipe, or a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.  Good thing we all know I'm not normal!  In addition to showcasing Halloween activities, I thought I would share some of the crockpot recipes that I've been relying on.  Because I noticed that I'm using my crockpot a lot these days.  Especially since it's getting darker lately, and I want to get my runs in before dinner.  The crockpot allows us to have a fully cooked meal ready when we get home.

Marinara is perfect for the crockpot.  My mom's best friend since they were teenagers comes from a stereotypical Italian by way of New York family.  She taught my mom to make the best red sauce, and that where I learned it.  Cooked for hours with sausage, meatballs, spices, and tomato it's an all day affair.  The crockpot allows for all day simmering without leaving the oven on.

Crockpot Marinara 
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 Tbsp sugar
3 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a knife.
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried marjoram 
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch red pepper flakes 
1/4 cup zinfandel
6-oz tomato paste 
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes (you know I use the fire-roasted muir glen)

1.  Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onions and sugar and cook until the onions start to caramelize (about 30 minutes).

2. Add garlic, oregano, salt, basil, marjoram, thyme, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
3. Stir in the wine and cook for a minute.
4. Pour the onion mixture, tomatoes, and tomato paste in the crockpot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

1 comment:

  1. Aww what a fun idea! I also love the sound of this marinara sauce...big on flavor and comfort food feel.