Now I’m in my late twenties, I celebrate Halloween a little different to what you used to. As I’ve got older what makes me happy now isn’t the same as what made me happy when I was 20. I still LOVE dressing up, partying (sober) with my friends, and carving pumpkins, but I’ve 100% waved goodbye to mid-week tequila sessions, freezing my t*ts off in an overly-revealing outfit at the university bar or in the middle of a crowded club.
I’ve been travelling the last two years in a row over Halloween so we haven’t properly celebrated in a little while. This year I wanted to go all out – I wanted to visit the pumpkin patch, bake autumnal treats and watch horror movies with my husband. Some of my friends and family said it sounds like we had a lovely evening in so I figured I’d pop some of the recipes in a blog post, along with our little set-up.
Roast pumpkin seed
Confession: For years, I threw away the seeds after carving pumpkins. Then a few years ago, after learning more about food waste and vowing to make the most of every ingredient, I decided not to toss the seeds.
Did you know 15 million pumpkins are thrown away every day? I just seemed like madness, especially when I’ve been trying to up my seed intake. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein and fibre, and they’re a good source of minerals like zinc and iron. What’s not to love? They’re super easy to make, too:
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds, or whatever you scoop from one pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted, or an equal amount of the cooking oil of your choice
- 1 teaspoon salt and/or other seasonings 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional
Preheat the oven to 250°, meanwhile scoop out the seeds from the pumpkin (if you haven’t already!). Separate the gunk from the pumpkin seeds by using your fingertips to pull the seeds free. Leave the large pieces of pumpkin pulp in the bowl as you transfer the seeds to a colander. Rinse the seeds in the colander under cold running water. The water will loosen the strands and make it easier to pull them off.
Once you’ve worked through the bowl, pat the seeds dry with a towel. Season the pumpkin seeds by stirring seasonings into the seeds with a spatula in a glass bowl. We went for salt, paprika and basically anything you’d find on spicy nacho – but you can use any spices you wish. There are lots of recipes online to give you inspiration. Whichever flavours you choose, combine the seasonings with the butter or oil in a small bowl.
Finally, bake for 45 minutes, making sure to stir and toss the seeds occasionally.
Horror movie marathon
We stocked the house up with sweets for the trick or treaters, and whilst we were in the confectionary aisle, I couldn’t resist picking up some for myself. We ordered some food and cuddled up in bed together to watch Halloween themed movies and eat until we felt sick. I did a bit of research a couple of days before and remembered how many bangers there are, so here’s some inspiration if you’re thinking of doing the same:
- Hocus Pocus
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Trick ‘r’ Treat
- The Addams Family
Milano Bedding Collection in Natural c/o Dusk.
We’ve just bought new sofas but we wanted to have a cosy evening in bed because we’d just received the most luxurious bedcovers in the world. Dusk sent us the Milano bedding collection as part of their Halloween campaign where they uncovered some facts, like how the South-West has the highest number of single beds in the whole of the UK 😩 Considering you spend so much of your time in bed, this just shouldn’t be allowed!
I don’t usually write reviews or recommend products on here because I hate to seem spammy or sales-y but this bedding is amazingly soft. My husband even said we need to chuck out our old bedding and just buy from Dusk from now on. They have some lovely designs, too which is so important when choosing bedding!
Bake meringue ghosts
Everyone will love these ghostly meringues – crispy on the outside and deliciously gooey on the inside. I saw these little guys on Pinterest and I couldn’t resist making them. My nan used to make meringues growing up, too so I’ve always wanted to give them a whirl myself. It was surprisingly easy!
- 4 large egg whites
- 225g (7 1/2oz) caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- Chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper. Put the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and with an electric whisk, whisk to stiff peaks. Add 1 tbsp of the sugar and whisk back up to stiff peaks. Continue adding the sugar in this way until it’s all added and the meringue is silky and firm.
Finally, fold in the cornflour and vinegar. Use a little of the meringue mixture to stick the baking paper to the baking sheets, a dot in each corner. Carefully spoon the rest into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm round nozzle, and twist the end of the bag. Holding the piping bag upright squeeze with even pressure pulling the bag upwards slowly as you do so. You want a meringue of around 9cm high with a pointy peak on the top. Repeat, leaving at least 3cm between each one. I skipped the pipping step because A) I’m lazy and B) I liked the imperfect result – they look more ghostly and taste better, too.
Gently press 2 chocolate chips into each meringue to create eyes. Bake the mini meringues for 1 hr, until they are crisp to touch and easily peel off the paper. Turn off the oven and leave inside to cool completely, ideally overnight. Melt the remaining chocolate buttons in the microwave. Then use the end of a paintbrush or teaspoon to paint a ghostly mouth onto each meringue. Leave to cool.