Bloody Sangria

My friend had a Halloween party last night and I wanted something fun to drink. I was searching for Halloween cocktails while watching Semi-Homeade Cooking with Sandra Lee. She made Sassy Sangria and decided to make a blood-red sangria. I didn’t originally plan posting this, but it was so delicious I felt the need to share.

Sangria is a wine-based punch that originated in Spain and Portugal. It consists of mixture of wine, brandy, seltzer/ginger ale, and fruit pieces. Brandy is not something I normally drink so I added a bit of tequila instead. Also, Walmart did not have ginger ale for some reason, so I used Sprite instead. I normally don’t drink soda at all, but once in a while it’s okay to have a bit extra sugar.


Bloody Sangria
1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
4 oz tequila
1 orange, sliced
2 limes, sliced
1/2 liter of Sprite

Pour the wine into a large pitcher.

Add the tequila.

Drop in to the orange and lime slices.

Chill in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight if you have the time.

Before serving, add the Spite.

If you want it “bloodier,” you can add some grenadine and some fake spider.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween! Keep an eye on your keiki (Hawaiian for kid) and please don’t drink and drive. Also, please keep your pets indoors if possible. There are sick people who torment cats for fun or witchcraft.

I was one happy bunny. 

Jack-O-Latern and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday. Like I said in my Halloween Taco Rice Bowl post, I am named after Elizabeth Montgomery’s character Samantha from the TV show Bewitched, so this holiday is pretty much made for me. If I could get away with it, I’d still go trick-o-treating (and don’t pretend like majority you wouldn’t too!) As fun as dressing up and getting free candy was as a kid, my favorite part was actually carving pumpkins. It was good quality time I got to spend with my family while having fun and being creative. Those are some of my most cherished childhood memories. What kid doesn’t love to get messy and throw pumpkins guts at their brother? And, there was always the delicious toasted pumpkins seeds afterwards too. I haven’t carved a pumpkin in several years sadly. Now that I am not living in the dorms anymore, I decided it was time to carve and toast seeds again.  I also decided that I would spiced up my seeds this year, ya know be a little more adult. I divided my seeds in two in order to make some savory and some sweet.

You don’t have to carve your pumpkin like I did, you can just cut it in half length wise and scoop out the seeds. But what fun is that?

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
1 large, ripe pumpkin
Oil or cooking spray
Savory Seasoning
1 tsp curry
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt  powder
Sweet Seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger
1 tsp black strap molasses

Setting up to carve on my balcony. 

First thing, carve your pumpkin. Since this can be get messy, I decided to do this on my balcony. You will need two bowls, a big knife, a smaller pairing knife, a spoon or ice cream scoop, and a dish towel to wipe your hands.

Draw the desired design on your pumpkin while it’s still whole.

Cut a circle around the stem, clean off the gunk and set aside.

Ew, slimy.

Scoop out the membranes, but separate out the seeds. The little tiny ones can be discard though.

Carve the design. I am not the best artist, but I like mine cock-eyed and crooked-toothed. I named him Igor.

Meet Igor. 

Clean up the edges and put the stem back on.

Put your beautiful pumpkin on display for everyone to enjoy.

Now for the seeds….

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.

Rinse the seeds very well and get all the gunk off.

Dry them well too.

You can either oil or spray a baking sheet. Oil can give the seeds a bit more flavor but adds more calories. I just spray mine.
Spread the seeds into a single layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once they are lightly golden, they are done.

Combine all the savory seasonings a bowl and add the seeds while still hot. Toss together to coat.

Combine all the sweet seasonings in another bowl and add the seeds while still hot. Toss together to coat.

Now you have a lovely jack-o-latern and delicious pumpkin seeds.

But, there is more a simple pumpkin can yield. Those slimy, nasty membranes can be added to a compost pile to give nutrients to your garden (assuming you have one). The pieces you cut out can be roasted in the oven and make a tasty addition to your dinner.

Baked tofu, pesto smashed potatoes and a side of roast pumpkin

Halloween Taco Rice Bowl

Apparently today is National Taco day. And Halloween is just around the corner. So I thought I would combine the two. But, my normal grocery store did not have vegan tortillas and I didn’t feel like driving around town to find some, so I decided to make a rice bowl instead. All the same stuff as a taco, just over rice. For the Halloween  aspect, I used orange bell peppers, black-eyed peas (wooo, scary your food has eyes!) and topped it with a slimy-looking (but actual texture far from it) green kale pesto. I made the pesto the other day so I don’t have photos, but it’s so easy they aren’t needed. This recipe makes 2, but can easily be multiplied. Black beans would be good for the Halloween theme too.

Halloween Taco Rice Bowl

Kale Pesto:
1 large bunch of kale (sorry I didn’t measure it exactly)
Handful of basil
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
The Rest of the Stuff:

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup black-eyed peas (I used dried and cooked them myself but canned is fine too)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 orange bell peppers, sliced into strips
1/2 cup onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Jalapeños
Or any taco toppings you wish.

To make the kale pesto, first wash the kale and basil well. You can remove the stems if you like but I left them on. Peel the garlic too.

In a blender or food processor, add the kale, basil, garlic, and pine nuts. Pulse until ground up and combined.

Add the olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. I also added some red pepper flakes for a little kick.

The color might be reminiscent of slime, but it’s so good. And not to mention the wonderful health benefits of kale.

For the rest of the rice bowl….

Cook the rice according to the direction. I did mine in a rice cooker. Set aside.

I soaked my beans overnight and cooked them according to the package with just a bit of salt. If using canned, rinse them well and just heat them up. Set aside.

Slice the onions and peppers into strips. Chopped the garlic.

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook just until it softens.

Add the onions and bell peppers. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook until the bell peppers start to blacken a bit and onions start to caramelize.

Time to assemble. In a bowl, put a serving of rice.

Next put on some black-eyed peas.

Then the orange peppers and onions.

Now put some of that lovely green kale pesto.

Lastly, I topped mine with some cilantro and jalapeños. But sour cream, vegan cheese, olives, or any taco toppings would be wonderful too. I am trying to eat more holistic foods so I kept it simple.

The pesto is what totally makes the rice bowl. And the orange peppers are just fun.

There will be more Halloween posts to come. It’s my favorite holiday because I am named after Elizabeth Montgomery’s character Samantha on the TV show Bewithched.