11/1/10

A Fun Little Halloween Nite Dinner

 This is an older post from early November 2010, but our outdoor cooking & entertaining does not happen in the AZ desert in the summertime, it happens in the fall/winter.  Just wanted you to know why we are all about "pumpkins" in this post.  After you read this, head on over to this wonderful party for tons of ideas & fun!


Wow, November is here so let the panic & chaos begin!  The following is the post I planned to finish & send last night, but our little party went on until 9:00 PM.  Then I was too tired & it was too late to do my photos & finish the tale.


Happy Halloween to all my blog-sisters & their families.  As I've shared before, we live in a townhouse in a neighborhood with very few children.  Sadly, most of the neighbors are either retired or Yuppies, & have always been gone or pretend to be gone on Halloween.  That isn't very encouraging for any potential trick-or-treaters, when they can go to the more heavily populated areas of town (or to a trunk-or-treat) & get tons more stuff.  I think in the 16 years we've lived here, we've had a total of 15 Halloween visitors.  I always looked forward to it, would buy all kinds of stuff, make treat bags, & hope we would have a few more.  Well, that hasn't happened.  The last 2 years we had no door-bell ringers. which meant I sent all the goodies with my DH to work for the Marines to munch away.   Sooo, this year I decided we would join the ranks of our neighbors & kind of ignore the whole trick-or-treat thing.  Please don't "Boo" me, I have a little something stashed just in case!  I still want to celebrate, so I am making a fun little dinner & inviting our 85 years young, very dear friend from next door to join us.  I am moving all of our Halloweeny tealight holders & larger jack-o-lanterns to the back patio to make it super festive.  Please join me as I set the stage & prepare our fun little Halloween evening.

This is how the patio looks pre-party.


The simple dinner is getting started.  The menu is: Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin, French Bread, & Mint Brownies.  This is a new version of the pumpkin dish, but I used to make this for our family when our children were little.  They loved it!  This recipe is from PolymerPig
The cast of characters are:


The starring role goes to this guy who will get scooped & cleaned & ready to be filled.  He is rather small, so additional filling will be cooked in a casserole along side in the oven.



Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin Recipe My Way (or link to above to get original version & an easy to-print recipe)


1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
1 med. onion, chopped
3/4 c. chopped celery
3/4 c. chopped carrots
1 orange pepper (any color you like), chopped
1/2 c. whole corn (frozen & thawed is fine)
2 c. cooked rice (I prefer brown rice)
4 oz. can chopped mushrooms
1 can cr. of mushroom soup
1/4 c. Soy Sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 - 2 med. size whole pumpkins, cut open & seeds removed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Brown meat, onions, celery, peppers & carrots until meat is browned & vegetable are soft.  Combine with rest of ingredients & stuff (lightly) into pumpkin.  Cook any leftover meat mixture in a casserole dish.  Place filled pumpkin on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Cook for 1 hour or until pumpkin is fork tender.
This is super hearty almost like a goulash.

Time to set the table.



The patio is aglow.  Well, it would be glowing if it was dark enough.  But, alas, the dark red stuff in the stemware may or may not have made me forget to take any more pictures.  Just take my word for it, there was a lot of glowing from candles & the firepit.  Please don't judge!

Served tea with  Mint Brownies for a yummy dessert.

Dinner was very good & the company was wonderful.  We had a truly lovely evening and think this just may be a new Halloween tradition.


To serve the meal, I ladled some of the filling & a peeled wedge of the pumpkin on each warmed plate & served it along with hot from-the-oven French Bread with good butter.  It was so delicious.


I hope all of you had a great Halloween however you celebrated.  We certainly did. Oh, lest I forget, we had 2 trick-or-treaters!


I'm linking to:
Sew Darn Crafty
 Vanessa's Annual Soup Exchange
The Tablescaper
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