This weekend officially kicked-off the Halloween season for my family. It all began on Friday afternoon when we visited Stanley’s Fruits and Vegetables (1558 N. Elston Ave. | Chicago). If you haven’t stumbled across this gem, you’re missing out. As the name denotes, Stanley’s presents an array of wonderful seasonal fruits and vegetables, but what you may not know is that it's all extraordinarily affordable, including pumpkins!
At $.25 per pound, their mid-sized pumpkins are an absolute steal. We picked out two and paid a mere $5. I was so shocked I literally asked the cashier if that was correctly. It was. Win!
So Friday night, we set out to clean and carve our perfectly priced pumpkins. The kids had fun designing various “looks” – one happy and one scary. They also liked scooping the “junk” out of the pumpkins. At five years old and three years old, neither of them really remembered doing this in the past, so it was all new and exciting.
The hubs and I were really excited about cooking up the pumpkin seeds. The kids weren’t as thrilled about that prospect; their hesitation prompted a thorough discussion on how eating the seeds would not result in pumpkins growing in our stomachs. Apparently, a very real fear!
Once that issue was resolved, we set off on a hunt for the BEST pumpkin seed recipe. We found two: one included boiling the seeds in salt water before roasting them, and the other included slathering them in olive oil before seasoning them. Every year we’d gotten so close to delicious seeds, but something was always missing.
Steve and I are big fans of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and if you’ve ever been, then you know that one of the best parts of the meal is when your steak coming out on a hot plate, and the melted butter it’s been cooked in still popping and crackling around it. Delicious! The sound alone makes my mouth water…
Drawing from that delectable delight, Steve came up with a brilliant idea. Two actually: (1) instead of choosing one pumpkin seed recipe over the other, he suggested blending the two, especially since we like various aspects of each and (2) replacing the olive oil with melted butter.
Did I already mention how brilliant this was?
So, without further ado, I give you the BEST pumpkin seed recipe ever!
Step 1: Fill a sauce pan with tap water and add a generous amount of kosher salt (we like the coarse salt, but whatever you like will work the same), add the cleaned seeds, bring to a boil, and then continue to boil for an additional 10 minutes.
Step 2: While boiling, set oven to 400 degrees.
Step 3: Drain seeds and add them to a generous bowl of melted butter. Stir until evenly coated.
Step 4: Liberally sprinkle onto the seeds garlic powder, garlic salt, ground black pepper and celery salt and continue to toss.
Step 4: Spread them on a tin foil lined cookie sheet, making sure they are in a single layer.
Step 5: Cook for 20 minutes, or until browned and crispy. If needed, add additional seasoning to taste (we added a little extra pepper).
And there you have it. Easy breezy.
This creates the the most scrumptious pumpkin seeds that we've ever eaten. If there was a contest, hands-down, they’d win. So, I’ll just go ahead and say it now, “You’re welcome!” You’re sure to thank me for this in the very near future.
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