Friday, October 21, 2011

Steph's Virtual Bridal Shower - Dinner in a Pumpkin


When Kita sent me the invitation to help support Steph (a fellow blogger) with her upcoming wedding by being a part of a virtual Bridal Shower I was ALL IN! As much as I love dressing up in a dry-clean only gown in order to spend an evening keeping four kids, also clad in dry-clean only attire, away from the chocolate fountain bubbling in the corner, a virtual bridal shower sounded more than ideal.

The theme for the bridal shower is “Date Night” and in order to come up with a suitable idea I had to go back 14 years and remember what we did for date night when we were newlyweds…well besides spending our Saturday’s pretending to be interested in furniture just so we could get free hot dogs and soda at the local furniture store, we also liked to watch the TV’s shows we had recorded throughout the week on our VHS recorder or grab a bite to eat at the local hospital cafeteria after our Friday night volunteer shift was over. Yeah! We were pretty wild and crazy back then.

Surely we did other stuff too?  I consulted the photo album. Ahhhh yes, our first Halloween together. We hosted a murder mystery night with all of our friends from school. Look how cute we were! (and no we were not dressed up as ghosts, we just had no idea how to use a flash properly.)


It was great looking back at our first Halloween together and I realized that a tradition began that year….Pumpkin Hunting.

Since we have been married, we have always enjoyed searching for the perfect Jack-o-lantern pumpkin together. It’s the perfect date regardless of the variation you choose. We would either go to a local farm stand to pick up our pumpkin and then take some time browsing the stand and gift shop. We’d grab a bag of hot sugared pumpkin donuts and a class of cold apple cider to enjoy while we sat at a picnic table and talked about whatever crossed our minds.  Once the sun had set and I was sufficiently frozen we’d drive home. Sometimes we’d carve the pumpkin right away but usually we would save that for another date night. For carving night, we take the time to carve the pumpkin and then we’d eat roasted seeds while watching a rented movie (not a scary one…remember? I don’t do scary well).

As the years have gone by our tradition has stuck and now we enjoy doing this with our kids. Today our pumpkin patch haul includes 6 carving pumpkins  (1 for every member of the family) and about 3 or 4 sugar/pie pumpkins to be used for whatever baking treat needed baked.  And that brings us to the food….Date Night wouldn’t complete without something to eat right? I present to you... 

Dinner in a pumpkin! 


I got this recipe from my good friend Camille who we met while we lived in Michigan (when/if you have kids Steph, you’ll defiantly want to check out her blog, A Curious Thing, filled with reviews on children’s lit). Although the recipe is enough to feed 6-8 adults, you can easily stash away half of the filling in the freezer and use it on another night (You know me, I’m a fan of make-a-head meals).

Good luck Steph. I wish you the very best on your wedding day and everyday after. Your marriage will be worth every effort you put into it and I hope you and Lucas are able to start traditions that you will look forward to participating in year after year after year.

Congratulations!!

Dinner in a Pumpkin

serves: 8
Ingredients:
4 small pie pumpkins, prepared with top cut and strings and seeds removed.
1 lb. sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2 large celery rib, finely diced
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 tablespons brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 can (8oz) sliced water chestnuts, chopped

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet brown the sausage and beef with the chopped onion and celery.  When done, drain and return to the skillet. Add rice, cream of chicken soup, brown sugar, soy sauce and water chestnuts then stir and heat together. Simmer for about 10 minutes on medium low heat.
  3. Spoon the filling into each cleaned pumpkin shell until stuffed. Place tops onto each pumpkin, place pumpkins on a cookie sheet and back for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  4. Dinner is done when the inside of the pumpkin easily peals away from the skin with a fork. Excellent served with a bit of cheese sprinkled on top.

Gwenevere

18 comments:

Tina said...

This is a nice one dish, or should I say one pumpkin meal. It looks very hearty and has some really tasty ingredients! Nice of you to contribute to Stephs virtual bridal shower. Well done.

Andrea said...

We must have dinner in a pumpkin in the next week. Yum. And I loved the vintage Gwen/Boy pics.

Erin said...

Love the idea of serving this in a pumpkin! My mom made something similar when I was growing up, but it was NOT served in a pumpkin!! Great look back over the years!

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie said...

How fun is this!?

RavieNomNoms said...

What a great meal this is!! How creative to have it served that way :-)

Fresh and Foodie said...

Cute pictures of you and your hubs, and I love that you tied everything back to pumpkin hunting. Really cute, and I love the idea of serving food in a pumpkin! Very fun.

Kate@Diethood said...

Stuffed pumpkin...I love this!

Mary said...

I love that you served this in the pumpkin. That is so fun. I bet my kids would love that. Super cute pics too. :)

Cassie//Bake Your Day said...

Fun presentation...perfect for date night! This sounds like a great combination too. So glad we could do this together!

In Katrina's Kitchen said...

Yumy! And love seeing the old pics :)

Steph said...

Thank you so much for this sweet surprise! It means so much to me! And dinner in a pumpkin?! Heck yes! I have got to make this!

kita said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for putting such wonderful memories into this one for our virtual bridal shower. I loved reading about your pumpkin hunting. Handsome and I technically had our first date on Halloween and reading this just makes me smile.

I cant imagine carving 6 pumpkins now! That's a ton of slimy pumpkin insides to scoop out, but your dinner in a pumpkin is a total winner!

Kim Bee said...

This is such a sweet post. Wonderful recipe Gwenevere. Love the pics.

Jeff Rasmussen said...

Who wouldn't love dinner in a pumpkin? Great recipe! Do you still carve so many pumpkins around Halloween? Or was that just something you did back in the day?

Camille said...

Oh how I miss the dinner swap . . . we are making dinner in a pumpkin tonight! I saw another pumpkin recipe that looked good: http://www.doriegreenspan.com/dorie_greenspan/2008/09/pumpkin-packed-with-bread-and-cheese-a-recipe-in-progress.html

Thanks for the link to my blog too - I made your homemade tortilla recipe the other day and loved it.

Mikaela Cowles said...

What an incredibly sweet story. It sounds like revisiting the past was well worth it and avoiding a dry cleaning bill (particularly one that involves small children and chocolate fountains) is always ideal. Virtual Bridal Shower! I might need to steal this idea.

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

Wow this is soooo amazing. I love that you baked everything inside of a pumpkin! I can't get over how incredibly cool this is. :)

stevenjared0853 said...

Pretty helpful information on arranging a bridal shower and hope this will help me in arranging my sister-in-law’s bridal shower party. Searched online for excellent Chicago wedding venues and wish to find affordable venue soon.

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