Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Halloween is just a few days away.
Professional Nannies are often responsible for dinner and Dinner in a Pumpkin is the perfect dinner for Halloween Night or any other Fall evening.
It's healthy and fun!
I made this with my first nanny family. It's very fun and festive. You might use toothpicks to stick a face on the pumpkin before you serve it.
 I don't recommend drawing one on but you could use black olives, or pickles, for eyes and broccolli, or pretzels for the hair. You could also let the children paint a face on with  foodcoloring.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

• 1 small to medium pumpkin (the size of a regular soccer ball)
• 1 to 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 cup finely chopped button mushrooms (may include stems)
• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
• 1 10 3/4-ounce can low-fat cream of mushroom soup (may substitute cream of chicken soup), such as Campbell's
• 1 8-ounce can water chestnut slices, drained and diced
• 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut off the top of the pumpkin (as you would if you were carving a jack-o'-lantern), to be used later as a lid, and set aside. Discard the pumpkin pulp and seeds, making a clean, hollow space inside. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for several minutes, stirring to break up any clumps of beef, until no pink remains. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and soup, stirring to combine. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the water chestnuts and cooked rice. Transfer the mixture to the pumpkin; cover the top with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the mixture inside has heated through and the pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.
 Transfer to a serving platter;
You can also decorate the outside of the pumpkin with a jack-o'-lantern face and serve warm.
Makes 6 servings

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is February 2!

Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada. The story goes that  if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If  it is sunny, the groundhog will see his shadow and retreat back into his burrow for 6 more weeks.
The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
So in celebration of Groundhog Day I wanted to share with you this fun idea that Nanny Gael Ann sent me from Gourmetmomonthego
Ground Hog Day Extravaganza

If you look around her blog you will also see a link to some other fun activities for Groundhog Day.
If you decide to do one of the projects we would love to see it!