Punkin Night–One Superb Seasonal Potluck!

The same awesome people I wrote about in this post got together this weekend for a perfect party plentiful with pumpkin. That’s right, we know how to celebrate this spooky spicy season…

–We ate pumpkin…

pies by Jason, dip by Mollie

…pie of course! But so much more. That’s a sweet pumpkin dip in that cute little punkin, served with tart apples and cinnamon grahams!

And sweet pumpkin wontons by me–recipe coming soon!

soup by Bethany

A thyme-infused Pumpkin Soup!

muffins by Megan

…and these Pumpkin Muffins were fantastic! (When I acquire the recipe, I’ll share.)

My Pumpkin Peanut Curry was a hit! Go on, make it–recipe here!

And these little guys are Pumpkin Donut Holes in costume.
…I later found out that some had Jack o’ Lantern faces!

Pumpkin Donut Holes by Trey

We also drank pumpkin…

in the form of hot spiked cider served right out of a giant pumpkin!

cider by Jason

And those festive cups are full of Matt’s “Jack o’ Lantern Milk,” a delectable concoction of chai milk tea, pumpkin liqueur, and spiced rum (you know that’s good)!!

And after all that eating and drinking and pumpkin-spiced deliciousness…

..these punkins…

…became a striking porch display of personalities!

So this little soirée was obviously awesome…I suggest you gather your people and have your own! Find some pumpkin recipes. Drink something spiced with cinnamon. Carve some funky pumpkins by a fire.

‘Tis the scary season…

But Clyde's not too scary. And his name's not really Clyde.

Happy Happy Halloween times!

Pumpkin Peanut Curry

So I’ve been making lots of wontons lately, and in honor of Fall leaves and gorgeous orange gourds, I wanted to make some wontons filled with a pumpkin mixture. Last Fall I made a Thai-inspired Pumpkin Peanut Pasta with the insides of the jack o’lantern I finally carved. It turned out surprisingly delicious, so that was my inspiration for the wonton filling I set out to create.

Inspiring little pumpkin friend

Yesterday I made a tasty pumpkin mixture with Thai curry paste, coconut milk, peanuts, chili and garlic adding to the tangy bittersweet pumpkin. But while assembling the wontons, I realized this filling just wasn’t quite the right texture to hold up inside the wonton. Too runny.

Mom and I fried up a few, grease popping everywhere and even once right under my eye (I’m ok!) as the filling leaked out of the wonton crust into the hot oil. The flavor of the finished product was great, but the texture just wasn’t up to par. So I set that bowl of filling in the fridge, and I slept on my pumpkin wonton dreams.

Upon waking, I realized that mixture was destined to become a pot of curry. So I did just that. I added in more coconut milk and tweaked the spice a bit, then I added chicken, carrots, bamboo shoots, and yellow squash. A fantastic curry! Pumpkin complements Thai flavors beautifully–who knew? The peanut’s also perfect. No joke, this is excellent–canned pumpkin gets along quite well with friends other than pie crust and cinnamon!

'Make new friends, but keep the old'

Pumpkin Peanut Curry
serves 4

1 (13 oz.) can coconut milk
2 1/2 tsp (or more) Thai red curry paste
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup ground roasted peanuts
½ cup chopped green onions (I used 5 small onions, white and green parts)
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons fresh chili paste, like Sriracha or Sambal Oelek (to taste, it’s quite spicy)
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used Madras Curry Powder)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
a few drops of soy sauce
½ teaspoon lime juice

veggies and/or meat, such as:
carrots, sautéed
yellow or zucchini squash, sautéed
chicken, pounded thin and sautéed
bamboo shoots

In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk over low heat and add the curry paste. Stir until paste is incorporated into the milk. Stir in the next 11 ingredients and simmer 5 minutes or so. Taste the mixture at this point and adjust seasoning and spiciness to your liking. Stir in meat, seafood, or poultry and cooked vegetables of your choice. Let it all simmer together for 10 minutes or so. At this point you’ll need to taste your sauce again and adjust the sweet/salty/spiciness to your liking. Remember to add only a little at a time, and keep tasting till you love what you taste! Serve over rice.

*And for those Pumpkin Wontons, stay tuned–that idea’s not dead at all (it’s just morphing)!