Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love fall. I love the crisp cool air, the rustling of the leaves and all the all actitivies; like going to the pumpkin patch. Last weekend we went and picked out pumpkins. One of the best things about fresh pumpkins is the seeds. Each year I try a few different varieties of spices. Usually one sweet and one salty. And this year we had plenty to roast. 

Before you add any flavors to your seeds, you want to dry them out. You can either set them out for about 24 hours on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or roast them in the oven for about 350 degrees for an hour. 


After they are dried out, then you can add the different spices. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1tsp cinnamon 

1/2tsp nutmeg

1/2tsp ground cloves 

2 Tbsp olive oil 

Directions:

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with partchment paper. Mix spices and brown sugar in a small bowl. Toss pumpkin seeds in oil. Add sugar mixture to the seeds. Stir. Add seeds to cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Store in an airtight container. 


Traditional Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1tsp garlic salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Toss seeds with olive oil. Add garlic salt, dash of salt, and pepper to taste. With this recipe you can add as much as you want depending on your preferences. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through. Store in an airtight container. 
Happy Halloween! 🍁🎃👻🍂

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Garlic Parmesan Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes

Going to the Farmers Market is one of my favorite Saturday morning activities. I strive to shop local as much as I can, especially when I’m cooking for my family.


Feeding a family of five can get expensive, and when there are three growing kids and one hungry man, pasta goes a long way. I love a good pasta dish, but try to cut back on the heavy sauces. For this recipe I used Wishbone’s Garlic Parmesan Salad dressing as my base for the pasta. 


Sam’s has some amazing chicken sausage flavors. I used the Gouda and Pear Chicken Sausage, which added the right amount of sweet. 

Fresh tomatoes from the Farmers Market and some mozzarella cheese and dinner was complete. 


Ingredients:

Pasta shells (I use bow tie pasta but it’s just a matter of preference.)

One package of Chicken Sausage; cut into bite sized pieces

One large tomato; diced

Salad dressing (add to taste)

 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
Directions:

Boil pasta as directed on box. I cook the whole box for our family of 5. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet. Sauté Chicken in skillet until brown. Add tomatoes during the last few minutes, cook enough to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Drain pasta and mix with salad dressing. Top with chicken mixture and mozzarella cheese. And dinner is done! 

Filling enough but light on the calories. Enjoy!

Thanks Hurricane Nate

It has been a busy hurricane season this year. Nearly every part of Florida has had some effects from either Hurricane Irma, Maria, or Nate. While the panhandle has been spared the majority of the damage, it sure has made our beaches a little more creepy and have caused some environmental damages as well.


I have not taken the time yet to explore all the areas around Panama City that have been affected by Nate, but we did visit one beach along the Gulf Coast to survey the changes. I can say that based off of other reports, St. Andrew’s State Park has some eroding and sadly, some sea turtle nests were destroyed by the wave surges.

We walked over an hour down Tyndall AFB’s beach. Less hectic than Panama City Beach, still affected by Hurricane Nate passing through. The rain from the outer bands of the hurricane brought a rise in our humidity and it settled quite nicely over the beach. We walked much closer to the dunes and the grass that lined the upper part of the beach due to the water still rushing onto the shore.


My kids found empty shark egg sacks, Sea Cucumbers caught in the seaweed and branches that were pulled in from the grassy areas. Jelly fish and crabs were scattered along the beach, as well as trash that was caught in the undertow. It was very sad to see plastic bags and fishing line tangled in the seaweed.


We have been very lucky so far in the panhandle. We have mostly seen rain and some slight wind damage, nothing like those in the Keys and Puerto Rico.

It was a good reminder of how quickly Mother Nature can turn and attack. We are never 100% certain of where a hurricane will go until close to the last minute on some occasions and we never really understand the power Mother Nature has until we are personally effected by it.

Between winter storms in Colorado, fires in California, hurricanes and earthquakes, the Earth is angry. It would be wise of us to listen.

Be kind to the Earth and kind to each other. We are all fighting a battle, and in the times of natural disasters, we need to show compassion, kindness, and lend a helping hand any way we can.

Hug a tree and hug a friend. Smile at strangers and love our tribe just a little more today.