Two Tricks for Making Treats

Happy Halloween!

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The first trick is a to-go style of lunch. This one is great for a busy errand day. I made this sandwich set for the movers who packed up my things earlier this week. The guys had a long day and no lunch plans, so I helped them out. Since it was raining, I also heated the sandwich up like a grilled cheese, an optional upgrade, because it’s delicious cold too.

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The second trick (and such a great treat!) is a pumpkin roast. I’ll be able to use the pumpkin meat for smoothies and soup over the Halloween weekend. The seeds will also make a nice snack.

The Movers’ To-Go Lunch:

  • Hot-or-Cold Cheddar Sandwich with Fixings
  • Apple

The Containers:

  • 1 Ziploc bag
  • ½ of a paper towel
  • 1 square of parchment paper
  • 1 piece of string or tape

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Hot-or-Cold Cheddar Sandwich with Fixings:

  • 2 slices of hearty, sturdy bread
  • 1 tsp. of Majestic Garlic® spread (optional)
  • 1 tbs. of sun dried tomato hummus (or your favorite flavor)
  • 3 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 handful of very thinly sliced bell pepper
  • 2 sprigs of cilantro, leaves pulled and chopped
  • 1”x1” chunk of jalapeño, diced finely
  • 1 pinch of paprika
  • 1 tbs. of butter (if making the sandwich hot)

Directions:

  1. Lay the two slices of bread on the cutting board. Spread the Majestic Garlic® on one slice, working the spread into the bread with the knife.
  2. Spread the hummus onto each slice of bread. Spread it thickly, and aim for a rough, ridged surface. Sprinkle the paprika on top.
  3. Choose one slice of hummus’d bread to work on. Lay the cheese slices on top of the hummus. They should stick to the spread nicely, like paper and glue.
  4. Carefully arrange the bell pepper slices on the cheese. I recommend laying them vertically next to each other like fence posts. A neat pepper arrangement, coupled with the thinness of the slices, is the key to creating good sandwich architecture.
  5. Sprinkle the cilantro and jalapeño on top of the cheese and bell pepper slices.
  6. Cold Option. If you are making this sandwich cold, take the other slice of hummus’d bread and place it on top. The sticky hummus layer will adhere to the cheese and peppers, giving you a stable, to-go sandwich. Skip to the last step of this receipe to find out about packing.

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  1. Hot Option. If you are making the sandwich hot, put a skillet on the stove and begin heating it up on low heat. After a couple of minutes, put half the butter in the pan. Using the handle, tip the pan until the melted butter coats the surface. Place the hummus-only slice of bread in the hot butter and move it around so that it soaks up most of it. Take the bread out of the pan, and set it on the cutting board.
  2. Put the rest of the butter in the pan. Using the handle, tip the pan until the melted butter coats the surface. Place the slice of bread with the cheese and the fixings in the pan. Carefully move it around in the pan until it  soaks up the butter.  Return it to the center of the pan.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium or medium-low. Place the pre-buttered, hummus-only slice of bread on top of the one in the pan, pressing it a little so that the hummus sticks to the cheese and peppers.
  4. Put a lid on the skillet, if you have one. This will make a mini oven, and it will help the cheese melt faster. After 3-4 minutes, carefully flip the sandwich with a spatula. Put the lid back on the pan if the cheese has not begun melting.
  5. After 2-3 minutes, check the underside of the sandwich. If it has browned, remove the sandwich from the pan, and set it on a cooling rack.

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  1. Packing. Once the sandwich has cooled, or if you are packing it cold, place the sandwich in the middle of the parchment paper. Wrap it like a present, but leave one end open (see  and picture). Use string or tape to secure the paper.

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Leaving an end open like this will help you eat neatly when you are out and ready to enjoy lunch. You’ll be able to peel back paper to take a bite, and you won’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty. Conversely, you  won’t have to worry about your hands getting your sandwich germy, if you can’t find a place to wash them. The paper will also catch any stray peppers, melted cheese globs, or hummus. Hooray for no stained shirts!

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Pumpkin Roast:

  • 1 pumpkin

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half with a knife. Scoop out the seeds and pulp with your hand and a spoon. Use the spoon to scrape the inside of the pumpkin to remove any lingering pulp.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pumpkin halves face down on the sheet. Place the the baking sheet in the oven.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes. The pumpkin should be really tender and leaking juices.
  5. Allow the pumpkin to cool for about a half hour. When it is comfortable to touch, use a spoon to remove the meat. Put the meat in a glass storage dish and keep in the refrigerator.
  6. Uses: Try the pumpkin meant in smoothies with almond milk or yogurt, cinnamon, and honey. Another great thing to try is a pumpkin soup recipe.

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Seed Roast: 

  1. The seeds are simple to roast too. Separate them from the pulp as best as you can, and place them in a pot covered with water. Boil them for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Strain the seeds. Pick off any extra pulp.
  3. Scatter the seeds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the seeds with spices. I used cayenne, cinnamon, and salt. Lay another sheet of parchment paper over the seeds. This step is important because some of the seeds will pop in the heat, jumping off the pan.
  4. Bake the seeds at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Really pay attention to them. When you hear them popping, give them just a minute longer, and they’ll be ready.
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