Friday, October 29, 2010

Setting The Scene For Halloween

Thank God, pasta has a long shelf life! I finally thought of an interesting seasonal idea for the fettuccine I got from the very kind Rachel at "bloggers can cook night" in September see Back In Blackmarket  and Blackmarket Magic

My friend, Chef Debbi, was kind to give me this huge butternut squash Saturday when my mom and I came to see her demo on Fall Gardens. Not to change the subject, but "The Plant Stand" in Costa Mesa hosts these great free classes, Chef Debbi is a regular, anyway, you have to get by and see this place it is cool!

So with my pasta, and my squash I made...

Cabernet Fettuccine with Curried Butternut Squash and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

12 oz Cabernet fettuccine
1 clove fresh garlic minced fine
2 tablespoons olive oil

sauce
8oz butternut squash (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)
2oz Spanish onion (about 1/4 cup)
1tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup chicken broth (low sodium/ home stock)
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4 small (softball size) pumpkins for serving

serves 4

sauce
Peel and cube squash, chop onion. In a medium saucepan soften onion 3-4 minutes in oil, add squash, curry powder and basil stir over heat another minute. Next add broth bring to a simmer and cook until squash is soft 20-30 minutes, add brown sugar and salt (or to taste) process or blend squash mixture until smooth. Return to pan add cream and keep warm for serving over pasta.
Pasta
Cook Fettuccine in salted water, drain and dress in 2 tablespoons olive oil fresh garlic (salt and fresh ground pepper optional)  If using Cabernet Pasta, only cook to 6 minutes.

Pumpkin Seeds
Cut away top, clean and empty small pumpkins. Separate the seeds, wash, pat nearly dry sprinkle with  a few pinches of salt, sugar and dash of cinnamon. Roast in a 375 degree oven 5-10 minutes until crisp.


You really want to know what's scary? Decorating for the season with two teenage boys and my nephew. They show no interest unless there's blood, preferring skateboard stunts to my plastic pumpkins. Obviously we have two different ideas of decorating, mine is "fall splendor" theirs is "Halloween mayhem"(according to them fall leaves are dead leaves) apparently all sorts of gore, fangs and severed body parts is where it's at.

When it comes to Autumn, best to decorate in layers. That way as the "scene" changes from fall leaves to goblins, it makes for a easy transition. If you lay down your fall leaves, seed pods, dry corn, acorns and pumpkins the first of October, you can bring Halloween decor to add to it by the end of the month. If you put the Halloween garnishes away by the first of November, you can add Thanksgiving decor in it's place.

Every year I hold the family and friends for the annual "trick or treat night" We have lot's of fun snacking on haunted treats and have begun making some of our own creative Halloween decor. I have learned a few things on Halloween entertaining;

Provide sturdy paper sacks or boxes with each guests name so they can put their costume pieces inside.

Food should be easy to eat, as many guests in costume.

Best to avoid food that require knife and fork action.

Make sure all candles are in covered containers and not in main traffic areas. 

Allow me to sample your chocolate first.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

6 comments:

~ Chef Louise said...

you are creepin me out with that picture! augh... love the idea of the pasta, i can taste the sauce in my mind- delicious...scary good

Kim said...

Renee,

This is beautiful!!!

[K]

Genna Harris said...

Hey Renee! Good to see you updating the blog! Your events look amazing, and you a much more organized and more patient person than I am! I would get too overwhelmed in the details of catering!

I just wanted to let you know that Next Iron Chef contestant and Macy's Culinary Council chef Ming Tsai will be at Macy's South Coast Plaza on 11/12 for a free East Meets West cooking demo. As an accomplished chef yourself, I thought you'd be interested in hearing more about it. Please feel free to email me at genna@beeverywhere.tv if you'd like more information.

Thanks Renee! Enjoy your day!

Sincerely,
Genna Harris
Digital Coordinator - EVERYWHERE
genna@beeverywhere.tv
www.beeverywhere.tv

She's Cookin' said...

Super cool presentation! And, that sauce sounds delicious, too! You changed your blog name, right? I like it!

Zayne said...

mmmm sounds delicious! i like the halloween decorations. Very fun. I dont think the zombie picture works right in that frame tho :D

Ravenous Rowie said...

Love this stuff! Looks like you had so much fun. You've got some talent!