Although we celebrated Halloween around these parts last night, I’m still in a festive, creepy, freaky kind of mood.
K, that sounded weird.
Actually, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. First of all, hello – free candy. Second of all, it’s just plain fun. Third of all, did I mention the free candy??
(Ah yes, bangs a la 1991.)
Growing up, my master seamstress of a mother would hand-sew my costumes every year, morphing me into everything from a fairy princess, to a cuddly bunny, plump pumpkin, Minnie Mouse and/or pretty much anything that wouldn’t look crazy with a zillion warm layers stuffed underneath.
After my brothers and I bundled up against the October chill, my Dad would take our neighbor friends and us around the ‘hood, scampering from house to house to collect our booty.
Finally we’d run home to sort, trade and grumble over the rolls of pennies someone inevitably gave out in lieu of actual candy (as if we needed ANY more!)
Now that I’m all grown up, and trick-or-treating at 28 is generally frowned upon, I’m bringing the creepy, crawly fun to me. In the kitchen, no less. Tonight I whipped up Sautéed Grubs over Roasted Rat Tails and Mouse Brains for dinner – MUWAHAHAHAHA!
Fine. It’s Pumpkin Gnocchi with Roasted Asparagus & Brussels Sprouts. But come on, which one’s more fun considering it’s Halloween??
This festive dinner was pretty much all made yesterday, so all I had to do tonight was heat and eat. Pretty awesome for a busy Monday night.
First I pre-made my Pumpkin Gnocchi/grubs (I’m committing to the theme.) These were a cinch, really!
I made my orange-tinted gnocchi dough by combining pumpkin puree with egg yolk, salt and flour until it formed a barely sticky dough.
PS I’ve started boiling a pot of water while making gnocchi dough so I can do a quick test to see if it falls apart while cooking – meaning I need to add more flour to the dough – or if it holds up well to a 2-3 minute boil before rolling the whole batch out.
If the dough passes the test, I continue rolling, cutting and flicking it over fork tines to create gnocchi (see complete, step-by-step instructions here.)
Next I stuck them in the freezer on a sheet pan, then into a freezer bag when they were hard.
All I had to do tonight was bring a steaming cauldron of water to a boil and plop those babies in straight from the freezer.
A few minutes later they were floating at the top and cooked through.
Finally I plucked the pumpkin gnocchi from the water and let them sizzle in browned, organic butter and fresh sage for a few minutes, until they had a yummy crust on ‘em.
Grubs = done! (Gross!)
While the gnocchi were doing their thang, I roasted pans of mouse brains and rat tails, aka brussels sprouts and asparagus in EVOO, salt, pepper and garlic powder, then plated everything up.
All together now!
Ok, I probably should have thought about the whole grub/mouse brains/rat tail concept after I ate because, while the flavors were incredible, I actually got a wee bit squeamish eating this! It’s all fun and games ’til someone loses their appetite! #HalloweenFail
Ben, though, thoroughly enjoyed. What a boy.
Pumpkin Gnocchi in Brown Butter and Sage Sauce (I didn’t use the lemon)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts (asparagus seasoned the same way and added to the oven in the last 8 minutes.)
Now onto the truly fun part of the evening – Ben and I are off to do some grown up trick-or-treating…at Best Buy! They are having some redonk sales on really nice televisions that we are going to take advantage of. I have my joke all ready to tell if need be. No I don’t.
What’s your favorite holiday of the year?
I think I like Thanksgiving the best – it’s such a fun time with family – but I HEART the Christmas season. Merry, bright and so festive!