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

  

Tried & True Roasted Veggies

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been keeping myself busy with a current DIY project that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon! Details to come…

I’m going to keep this Friday’s post short and simple! This is my tried and true roasted veggies recipe. I make it frequently for guests. I also make it on the weekends so that I can keep roasted veggies in the fridge to snack on. It’s perfect for all kinds of veggies – cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, brussels sprouts, peppers, seriously every vegetable.

For this specific post, I used broccolini and carrots. Roasted carrots are so sweet, and I’m sure even picky eaters will enjoy these.

baking

Tried & True Roasted Veggies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cut up vegetables into bite size pieces. Drizzle olive oil on the vegetables. Use a tablespoon of olive oil for every 2 cups of vegetables. Sprinkle garlic salt and italian seasoning. Toss everything together until the vegetables are evenly coated with oil and seasoning.
3. Put vegetables on a baking pan and stick it in the oven for 30 minutes, until edges of veggies are crispy.

Seasoning
So easy!

Done
Baby broccoli (also called broccolini) has a stem ^^^

Veggies
^^^ Broccoli florets above do not have the stem. I also used baby carrots in this picture above

As the vegetables are roasting, the house smells so good! I put leftovers in Pyrex and keep it in the fridge. I’ll sneak veggies into my mouth throughout the day.  I don’t even have to sneak around while eating these since it’s a healthy snack.

What are your favorite vegetable recipes? Please share because I need some good veggie recipes!

Have a great weekend!
Jay

P.S. Can’t wait to share my DIY project next week! Come back!!!

  

Roasted Chicken Recipe

Did you know that Costco sells two Whole Organic Chickens for around $20? Such a great deal!

Usually I make one for dinner, and I’ll freeze the second one until I need it.

Roasting

MG and I make a whole chicken on Sunday night, eat leftover chicken breast with pasta on Monday for dinner, and finish the leftover meat on a Tuesday with a chicken salad during lunch. One $10 chicken for three meals – can’t get any better than that right?

I also love to make a roasted chicken for a dinner party of 4 with some roasted veggies. Spending $15 for a dinner party – can’t complain about that!

Ingredients (only 4):

  • Whole chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Thyme

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
2. Using paper towels, dry the chicken really well inside and out. As dry as you can get.
3. Salt and pepper the outside and inside – be generous and coat evenly.
4. Now truss the chicken (Trussing is important. It keeps the tips from burning and the thighs keep the chicken from drying out).
5. Put the bird in a roasting pan. If you have extra bread, you can line the bottom of the pan with bread. This helps dry the heat even more for an extra crispy chicken. However, bread is totally optional.
6. Roast the chicken for 60 minutes, then broil for 5-10 for a crispy skin.
7. Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle thyme.
8. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
9. Remove the twine and cut the chicken. Cutting the chicken is such an art form that I’m still learning. First you break off the middle wing pieces. Then you remove the legs and thighs, and the next cut I make is the middle of the breast captivity. I haven’t mastered cutting the oysters out from the backbone. One day I will…
10. Serve and eat!

This chicken is so juicy. The skin is crispy. And it’s such a cheap meal. Yum!

Salting and pepperTrussed and salted 

ReadyReady for the oven

In the Oven
Done roasting!

RestingRemember to let it sit and rest for 15 minutes before cutting into it

DoneThe end product doesn’t look beautiful, but it tastes heavenly! 

Chicken is such a universal meat – you can make casseroles, pair it with salads, cook it in pasta, add it to stir frys, or simply eat it plain. What are some of your favorite chicken dishes? Also what are some ways you make chicken? Please share your recipe!

Who’s hungry?
Jay