Spooktacular Halloween

Happy Halloween!

No Halloween parties to report on this year.  Actually, it’s been several years since I’ve gone to any Halloween parties.  I’m not really big into celebrating the holiday by getting all dressed up.  Frankly, being frugal, I hate spending money on a costume that I’m only going to wear once (which is an issue I have with buying a wedding dress, but I’ll leave any updates on our wedding planning for another blog, hopefully this week).  I do like Halloween, but I like the fall festivities part of it more than I like the candy and the costumes.  So this past weekend was dedicated to a few of these much loved fall activities.

We kicked the weekend off with a 10K race on Saturday morning.  The name of the race was the Four Seasons Cool October 5K/10K and boy did the name fit the race.  It was a chilly morning, in the low 40’s. 

Nick took a picture of me before the race, goosebumps and all.

I was super nervous going into the race, as usual.  I know there is no reason for the anxiety, but I make a big deal about it in my head.  Really, I’m just competing against myself.  Anyway, I set my goal of having about a 10:30 pace, which is by no means fast, but that’s right around what I’ve been averaging for my long runs.  After every mile, my Nike+ GPS app announced my pace to me in my ear, and my new goal changed from having a 10:30 pace to finishing the race under 1 hour.  Well, I beat my first goal, averaging a 9:31 pace according to Nike+ GPS and my official race time was 1:00:11.  Although I barely missed the second goal of getting in under 1 hour, I’m still very please with myself. 

 I got a picture of Nick as he was about to cross the finish line

With the 10K completed, it was on to other Halloween festivities: Carving Pumpkins!

Freshly gutted pumpkins and our stinky running shoes.

I was able to clean out one of the pumpkins.  When I cut into the second one, it was all moldy inside, so I sent Nick to the store to get a new one.

The new, un-moldy pumpkin

One of my favorite things about pumpkin carving is roasting pumpkin seeds.  Once I got the pumpkins gutted, I brought the seeds inside and rinsed them of.

I then spread them out on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and stuck them in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes to dry them off.

Once they were good and dried out, I tossed them with a little bit of olive oil and an Italian herb blend that I had in my spice collection.  With that, I added a little bit of salt and pepper to help bring out the flavors of the Italian herb blends.

Then it was back into the oven for another 20 minutes.  Once they cooled off, they were ready to eat. 

Nick dug in once they were cool enough to eat

They made a great pre-dinner snack while we carved the pumpkins.  Initially, I had plans to carve a very pretty pumpkin with ginkgo leaves from a template that I got from martastewart.com– you can see the exact pattern that I chose here.  In the end, it was way too complicated and I couldn’t carve it nearly as nicely with my cheap $2 pumpkin carving knife from the grocery store.  So in the end, the pumpkin ended up being more “traditional”.

What can I say, I’m  not quite a pumpkin carving artist!  But I had a good time in the process, and really, that’s all that matters.  Happy Halloween everyone!

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