Pumpkin Patch and Carve Party

It’s Halloween this week! I’m going to dedicate all my posts this week to celebrate 10/31. As a kid, the best part was the candy. As a grown up, the best part is the creativity.

What I mean is that I try to DIY costumes, decor, and create some fun themed foods. Last year, I made Minion hats for the entire family. More impressively, look at our Halloween party from last year!

Every year my friends and I go to the pumpkin patch, and I’ll host a carving party (see last year’s post here). It’s fun that we get to start these traditions now and one day when we have kids, we can pass these types of celebrations down to them. The next couple of years will be interesting since our friends and even us, we’ll be starting families. When we have kids, these type of things will only better!

This year we went back to Pastorino Farm again (we always have such a great time there).

Pastorino's

Patch

Patch

This time around, we extended our patch outing to our fellowship group. The more the merrier! We started the Hayward Fellowship Group in January with about 6 people. We’ve grown to 15 people, which means more than double in size! God’s done some amazing things with our group, and I hope that He continues to teach us and surprise us.

Patch

Don’t laugh… the best part about this place – definitely the petting zoo! Perhaps my inner 5 year old kid comes out at the patch!

Look at this happy goat.

Goat

More importantly, look at this fricken adorable Llama! I wish I could take it home, but I’m afraid MG would kick me out of the house (tehehe).

Llama

We actually carved on a separate day because everyone else had plans after the patch. Nonetheless, an awesome carving party again!

Carvers

I bought a funky shaped pumpkin to carve this year. I bought it without an idea of what I wanted to carve, only that it spoke to me, “Take meee home!” So I followed its instructions and came up with this.

Pumpkin

And no pumpkin carving party is complete without roasting seeds. This is my special Garlic Butter Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe.

Wash and dry your seeds. Add two tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle garlic salt, mince 3 garlic cloves, and mix well. Then roast them for 60 minutes at 300°, turning the seeds over every 15 minutes for an even roast. So crunchy and delicious! And very addicting!

Seeds

Halloween gets me so happy and ready for the Fall. Once October is over, I feel like everyone starts to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas (only the best time of the year, if I do say so myself).

What are some of your Halloween traditions? Promise me you’ll come back to see my DIY costume, Halloween decor, and our Halloween party later this week.

Love,
Jay

  

Jay’s Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

If you could only choose one ice cream flavor for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mine… easy, vanilla. You can’t get sick of the flavor, and it can always be paired with something else (cookies, brownies, cake, pie, coffee).

Cookie sandwich
Even Chubaloo wanted something sweet!

I bought a Cuisinart ice cream maker this past summer and have been making my own ice cream since then. I’ve made an assortment of flavors including strawberry, avocado, coffee, and vanilla. Making your own ice cream is a little pricer than purchasing ice cream from the store since you’re using raw ingredients. Also, the ice cream cannot last you months in the freezer, like store bought. But homemade ice cream tastes so delicious and creamy. It’s also bit healthier too since there are no artificial additives or preservatives. Plus it’s fun to make up your own recipes!

I’ve been trying to perfect my vanilla recipe so that it’s not too sweet but extra vanilla-y. After batches of batches of vanilla ice cream (too much ice cream? darn. first world problem), I’ve finally accomplished it! Time to bust out that homemade vanilla extract again.

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream

Directions:

1. Beat eggs until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
2. Add sugar and mix well.
3. Combine vanilla and mix.
4. Add the whole milk, then add the heavy whipping cream. Mix it all together.
5. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker. Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions (I simply turn on the machine and leave it churning for 20 minutes, then put the ice cream in the freezer for a few hours).

So simple!

Vanilla

Do you have an ice cream machine at home? What kind of flavors do you make?

Pie a la mode

With pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and all kinds of other sweet treats, ice cream is a must!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Jay