Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I’m so excited for Halloween this year. I have my own apartment to decorate as I please AND I just adopted a new cat from the humane society. So, I have a new friend to watch me prep for the 31st. In honour of my new kitty (Molly), my boyfriend and I carved our Halloween pumpkin into a cute kitty pumpkin! This was good for several reasons, the most important being the amazing pumpkin seeds that we roasted.

I look forward to roasted pumpkin seeds every year, and am obsessed with the plain sea-salted variety. This year I scoped out Cookin’ Canuck‘s blog and tried her Cinnamon sugar seeds as well. It was a very good idea. To begin, scoop all of the innards out of a large pumpkin.

Thoroughly separate the seeds from the “guts” and place the seeds into a strainer. Rinse the seeds leaving a bit of pumpkin on them (I like them better this way).

Dry the seeds with a kitchen towel, and place them on a large baking sheet. Toss with oil. See recipes for salted pumpkin seeds and cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds below.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Two ways
Makes approximately 2 cups roasted pumpkin seeds

Ingredients:
Plain, salted seeds:
1/2 the seeds from 1 large pumpkin (about 1 cup)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sea salt

Cinnamon sugar seeds:
1/2 the seeds from 1 large pumpkin (about 1 cup)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with rack placed in the middle of the oven.
2. Scoop all of the innards out of a large pumpkin.
3. Separate the seeds from the “guts” and place the seeds in a strainer. Rinse (leaving a bit of pumpkin on the seeds) and drain.
4. Place all of the seeds on a kitchen towel, cover with another kitchen towel, and pat dry thoroughly.

For plain, salted seeds:
5a. Place half of the seeds on a baking sheet and toss with oil.
6a. Add sea-salt and spread in a single layer.

For cinnamon sugar seeds:
5b. Place the other half of the seeds on a baking sheet and toss with oil.
6b. In a small bowl, stir granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Toss the oil-coated seeds with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

7. Place baking sheet in the oven and cook until the seeds are golden brown and crunchy (test one, but be careful because it will be hot), about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool and serve.

These stay good in an air tight container for weeks!!

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Easy, Peanut Butter n’ Oat, Low-cal Cookies

Finally, a healthy, tasty, cookie. I’m happy.

Many of the low calorie cookie creations out there are just plain bad.They’re either too dry, or too hard, and can never stand up to their buttery friends. This cookie is different. I got the recipe from the Crazy Plates cookbook, and love it! It’s super easy too. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, cream together brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, and buttermilk.

Add dry ingredients ad stir to form a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll dough into 1-1/2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using a fork, flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, as cookies will dry out. Remove cookies from tray immediately and cool on wire rack….or don’t. They’re super good warm!!

Easy, Peanut Butter Oat, Low-cal Cookies
Recipe taken from Crazy Plates
Makes 30 cookies
Per cookie: 2 weight watchers points, 80 calories, 2.7g fat, 0.4g fiber1.6g protein

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups AP flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light margarine or butter
1/3 cup light peanut butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In another medium, cream together brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients ad stir to form a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Roll dough into 1-1/2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using a fork, flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, as cookies will dry out.
5. Remove cookies from tray immediately and cool on wire rack. Store covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.

The Best Pizza Dough

I can’t believe I used to buy frozen pizza dough. It was always alright tasting, and could still generate the “homemade” title, but it wasn’t the best…and I wanted the best.

Everyone has a favorite pizza dough recipe, and I’ve been hunting for it forever. I recently purchased The New Best Recipe cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen, and am proud to say the best pizza dough recipe is in it! FINALLY!

To me dough has to be easy to shape and stretch thin, and the crust has to be crisp and chewy when baked. I’m picky. So, make pizza tonight, and be happy. My actual pizza recipe is coming soon!

Pizza Dough
By America’s Test Kitchen
Makes enough for 4 medium pizzas

Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 envelope (2 1/2 tsp) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface and hands
1 1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil for oiling the bowl

Directions:
1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2. Combine the salt and half the flour in a deep bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour, stirring until a cohesive mass forms.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes, using a little dusting flour as possible while kneading.
4. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
5. Press the dough to deflate and add your sauce and toppings!