Friday, October 30, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN - and I'm Stealing Recipe Inspirations Again!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN and I am inspired! Yesterday was a horrible day here in god's country (Kansas). Rained all day, and I just didn't want to grill out. So, what do I do, open a Hungry Man TV Dinner, and ponder the sad state of my holiday decorations. I am no Rainey from THE PROJECT TABLE, so I needed inspiration... So I started looking around some of my favorite blogs to see what other people did...

And oh yeah, I have received my fair share of awards, and I like the idea. Not so much the receiving, but I genuinely like pointing out terrific bloggers and what they do. I can think of no greater honor than seeing what someone else has done, and either duplicating that, or being inspired to add my own touches to create from their inspiration...

So.. (THA TA TATA), I present a brand new award...

Take a close look at the photo, we used that as a Christmas card once (my Mother was so embarrassed). My two cats (Chang and Eng) are watching a fish that we grew from about 2 inches to this Great White Whale of a fish (who eventually committed suicide, but I digress)... If this photo doesn't scream, I CAN COOK THAT, I don't know what does!

Here's the rules...

1) Take inspiration from or outright steal a recipe from a fellow blogger
2) Actually make the item, or make a close copy of the item
3) Blog about your efforts, giving proper credit and links to the inspiree
4)If you receive the award, be honored, as there is no greater feeling than having your efforts not just recognized, but duplicated! That is the only real rule, is to feel honored. BUT, feel free to post this in your side bar and to pass it on to one of your favorite bloggers which you have made one of their recipes.

So, the very first "I Can Cook That" award goes not to food, but to the first pumpkin I have carved in 20 years. And here is what I stole (was inspired by...)

Miranda from MY FOOD AND LIFE ENCOUNTERS (which you can find by clicking HERE) made this wonderful whimsical pumpkin. Now, I had been to the store just the night before, and noticed that they had put their punkins on sale, for $1.99 each. Well, I couldn't resist, and decided that I COULD COOK (carve) THAT!

But, a little difference had to be done...

Here's what I did...

Assemble your tools (same as cooking a recipe, when you are elbow deep into the goo, you don't want to go looking for a scraper). But, take a close look at my toothpicks, somehow we had this big bunch of colored fancy toothpicks... This could be fun...
Draw your image on the punkin first, it is very difficult to carve freehand.

This guy was gonna get sideburns (should have done Elvis nuttonchops, but next year is another opportunity...

Cut everything out, and start putting the toothpicks in...

It's an old punkin, so she was gonna get blue hair.

And yellow teeth

And red blood shot eyes

And green snot dripping from the nose

Your friends and neighbors will stare...

Here she is in all her glory...

All Dressed up and no where to go, but will shine tomorrow!


But wait... I was inspired again...

What the heck... Toasted Punkin Seeds! Thanks to BITE ME NEW ENGLAND, which you can find by clicking HERE, I decided to give toasted Pumpkin Seeds a shot... But with a twist...

Recently, the good folks at POM WONDERFUL sent me a batch of their product to try. I will be making some BBQ sauce, and will be using it for a turkey soon, but today, I wanted POMEGRANATE INFUSED PUMPNIN SEEDS for a snack...

Here's what I did...

Cleaned the goop off of the seeds, and then put them in a simmer pot with

3/4 of a cup of POM, and 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, brought to a gentle boil...

In about 15 minutes, the liquid had either boiled out, or been absorbed into the seeds (they plumped up nicely when I cooked em). There was no need to drain, as all the liquid was gone, just wet seeds...

I then spread them out over parchment paper, sprinkled on a bit of sea salt and baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes...

WHOO WHOO, were these ever good!

So, there you go. Two worthy websites with terrific inspirational posts (at least to me)! Take a second and drop by...

BITE ME NEW ENGLAND, which you can find by clicking HERE,


Miranda from MY FOOD AND LIFE ENCOUNTERS (which you can find by clicking HERE)

and thank them for having such a great blog that makes even me say... "I CAN COOK THAT"! Like I imagine most of you, I see dozens of sites a day. I have a data base of more than 100 recipes I want to make someday. Soooo many recipes, so little time. Eventually, I hope to get to them all (but by then, I will have 1,ooo recipes in my base... sigh


  1. Your pumpkin looks so scary all lit up! I love the "your friends and neighbors will stare" caption with your cat. I can't believe the Christmas card either! That fish is mammoth! Did it just jump out of the tank one day? Is that how the grisly thing happened? :) Thanks for making me smile!

  2. I love your pumpkin! Great idea with the little I can Cook That badge too!

  3. Those pumpkin seeds look awesome! Hm, I have some POM in the fridge...

  4. Love that picture and yes it does scream "I can cook that". We've been snowed in for two days and I'm just heading to the grocery store to pick up a few items to make a recipe I found on someone web site. Perfect timing. However, I won't be making it until tomorrow.
    I had to chuckle about your mom being embarrased over the Christmas card. I was scolded one year for sending out a Saturday Night Live "Mr. Bill" card. He was dressed as Santa, falling down the fireplace and into the blazing fire yelling "Ho..ho...NOOOOOOOOO"

    I loved that card.

  5. What a brilliant idea using POM on the pumpkin seeds! Genius, Dave!

  6. Love the pumpkin, but especially like the cat picture! It definitely screams feed me! You know you have given me a wonderful idea for a Christmas card this year, my hubby and daughter may kill me but it would be a perfect card! Thanks for the inspiration! Will post the picture soon!

  7. nice carve job! pumpkin seeds are my favorite 'bonus' when it comes to pumpkins.

  8. Oh! love the pumpkin! & what a great idea -stealing recipes and making them...Gumbo Writer does a lot of recipes - next time she has one, I'm stealing - um, recreating it and making it "my own" and then posting it - *smiling*

  9. What a cute pumpkin! I'm glad you had a great time in NOLA!!

  10. I am honored dude. I love your touch to the seeds! Thank you so much.

  11. Dave! Your Jack-0-Lantern looks awesome, especially lit up! Yer giving me a run for my money over here... I'm still droolin over those ribs you posted yesterday! I wanna make em so badly but its tradition that we have Chicken Tortilla Soup on halloween... Perhaps by Sunday I'll have that rack of baby backs in my freezer out and thawing for Sunday dinner!
    You and your lovely bride are welcome at our house anytime! When ever you feel the need for some Arizona Sunshine and a long week end let us know... I have two grills! We can have a Bobby Flay "Throwdown" Actually my brothers do that in the winter and I'm the judge... Since one lives in California and one in Colorado and me in the middle... I of course can't taste it so they have to photograph and describe it and their wives and friends comment... and I judge and choose next month's ingredient. Its really fun... OK now that I hijacked your comment section... I'll leave you with a:
    Wicked Happy Halloween!
    Yer Friend Rainey

  12. Love the card and pumpkins... seed recipe sounds good... but I can't eat seeds :( ... but loved your post!

  13. We have a ceramic Jack-O-Lantern from my late mother... With kids grown up, I miss carving them! Pumpkin seeds, toasted and salted was a tradition around here!

  14. Two great pumpkins! Miranda's reminds me of Hellraiser:))

  15. I am just busting with laughter. Gawd, you are too darned funny. Love the card; one of the best visual puns (wrong word but I can't think of the correct one) I've seen in ages. That pumpkin would IS scary. Good spin the seeds. I'll bet they were good.

  16. Oh I love the pumpkins.. they look fantastic!

  17. I'm diggin on your pumpkin. It's sweet! I've never made pumpkin seeds myself. I'll have to give it a shot. Again, I love your award and the story behind the pic. Cracks me up!

  18. Ok.....I didn't get a pumpkin this year cuz around here someone would no doubt take the pumpkin and smash it either on my property or someone elses....(bummer)...but now I want a pumpkin just so I can get the seeds and make these!!!