Instant HOMEMADE Mac ‘n Cheese – it can be done and it is yum!

I have a confession to make.  Despite my passion for homemade EVERYTHING, there is yet one stronghold to overcome in our family’s battle towards clean eating.  We have eaten Kraft Dinner (that’s Mac ‘n Cheese for those of you south … Continue reading

The Secret to Perfectly Roasted Pepitas

imageHave you ever had a recipe you really love the idea of, but in reality it has translated into disaster? It sounds so good in theory, on paper, but just doesn’t pan out the way you expect? I have always been like that with roasting pumpkin seeds. Fall would come, we would pick out the perfect pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, snapping cute shots of the girls playing in the sea of orange globes. There is just something so wholesome and family lovin’ about the whole process…memories in the making. Then on Halloween or the day before we would carve that pumpkin with a cute, happy face to be a glowing greeting to all our visitors.
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Being the “waste not” type of gal I am, I would always want to make those seeds into a tasty snack; but no matter how I roasted them, they would never crisp and crunch up like I imagined they should. What was I doing wrong?? It didn’t stop me from trying, but it’s so discouraging when you have romanticized about something just to be left with a soggy, tasteless, sticky mess. Is it appropriate to romanticize about roasting seeds? Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because now I know the secret…

Perhaps it’s no secret to you at all. Maybe I’ve just been left out of the loop of this game of gossip until now. Anyway, if you do struggle to roast your pumpkin seeds to perfection, might I encourage you to try boiling them in salted water first? Works LIKE.A.CHARM! I think I first read this recipe, or one like it, in a Rachael Ray magazine. Anyway, here it is:

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt

Put 1 cup of pumpkin seeds in saucepan with 4 cups water.
Bring to a boil and add 1 Tbsp salt.
Boil for 10 minutes.
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Drain seeds.
Pat dry between layers of paper towel.
Toss seeds with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a bit more salt if you like (although I find more salt at this stage isn’t necessary for my taste buds).

(all ready to roast)

(all ready to roast)

Scatter dry seeds on greased, foil lined baking sheet and roast at 375° for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and toss with desired flavourings.*

(See below for our favourite flavours.)

(See below for our favourite flavours.)

Roast another 5 minutes.

(crunchy as can be!)

(crunchy as can be!)

*Our favourite flavourings:
BBQ
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper

CINNAMON SUGAR
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
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