Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Autumn fun - pumpkins and holidays

I got a couple of small pumpkins on special offer a few weeks ago and here's how I used one. First I scrubbed the skin well with a nail brush and soap. I hacked it into pieces with a cleaver and scooped out the seeds. I put the pieces of flesh into my slow cooker and cooked until soft. 

My 4 year old loved swishing the seeds around in a big bowl of water and separating the pieces of orange fibres. Then we drained the seeds in a colander and dried them in a tea towel.

Not content with simply roasting and salting the seeds like I usually do, I found a recipe for cinnamon sugar seeds here and we ended up with a huge batch that did us for a couple of days. My boys loved them, and after extensive Googling I found out you can eat the seed shell too, no need to crack it open.

A few days later I made an impromptu cake using about a cupful of cooked pumpkin, some stewed apple I had in the fridge, 2 eggs, a little sugar, cinnamon, raw cacao powder,some olive oil and enough flour to make a batter. I added some dried mixed berries, and we ate it all that evening watching the Great British Bake Off.

I topped it with some white chocolate - YUM.

The weather is lovely and sunny but there's a real nip in the air, and the nights are frosty and cold. I love this time of year and can't wait for Halloween, such a no-fuss holiday where the smallest effort is enough to keep the kids happy. We didn't get a family holiday this year as our baby was born in July and my husband was working hard all summer, so we're delighted to have just arranged a staycation in the Clarion Hotel Limerick*. They have a fab deal on at the moment for the October mid-term break for families, see the details here. It's the perfect place for a family holiday; we've had a good few hotel breaks since we became parents and what I love about the Clarion is that the (glass-walled) playroom is right beside the bar/balcony, so you can have a grown-up chat and drink while keeping an eye on the kids. They also have a supervisor in the playroom who does activities and entertains the children. We're really looking forward to some adult conversation while the kids play. The kids are most excited about the swimming pool! Check out my previous review of the Clarion here

How is your autumn shaping up? 
Nee x

*We have been invited to return to the Clarion to check out their refurbishments and do a second review of it as part of my Travelling with Children series.

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