oven roasted pumpkin seeds

oven-roasted-pumpkin-seeds

Happy Halloween!

In autumn I almost look forward to roasting pumpkin seeds more than any other pumpkin-related goodies. Fresh out of the oven, they are salty and crunchy and the best part is that they come free with any pumpkin purchase! If you’re carving pumpkins, you will have to scoop out the inside anyway, so why not roast the seeds to make a perfect and healthy snack? It only takes a couple minutes.

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Recycled Halloween decorations

Handkerchief_Ghosts_PB_2013_8

Planning a Halloween party? Instead of forking out for cheap decorations you’re going to throw away afterwards, why not think about upcycling some tin cans, loo rolls and old books to make creative and pretty much free decorations?  To follow yesterday’s post on DIY Halloween costumes, here is a little peek at our favourite ideas for how to decorate your flat for a halloween party using recycled materials and things you might have lying around.

Click the photo above for a set-by-step guide to make those creepy fabric-scrap ghosts

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DIY halloween costume ideas

mean-girls-halloween

We’re all guilty of panic-buying ‘stuff’ for halloween costumes we only wear once and never use again. Unfortunately this tends not only to be a waste of money, but also contributes to mass amounts of landfill every November when people chuck their costumes in the bin. Another problem with buying ready-made costumes is that they’re usually made to be cheap and disposable, because who wants to go as the same thing every year for halloween? so the garments are often dubiously sourced.

But luckily, Kasia and I came up with a few golden rules for buying Halloween costumes…

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What does sustainability mean to me?

norway-husky

When working on posts for this blog, Anna and I often find ourselves questioning the true “sustainability” of a recipe, DIY or product we are posting about. We realise that many of our foods come wrapped in plastic, that making flowers made of cupcake liners requires using paper, and that cooking with chocolate, soy and dairy brings with it a whole assortment of ethical and environmental dilemmas. “Why are we posting about making paper flowers, when most people will have to go out to buy cupcake liners, tape and straws? Why is that sustainable?” Anna asks me.

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Roast pumpkin with red onion and goat’s cheese

roast-pumpkin

This is one of those recipes that is so simple, it barely deserves a set of instructions. Perfect for a mid-week dinner panic, all you need is some goat’s cheese, red onions and half a small pumpkin. Cheap, simple, healthy and delicious. If you’re really hungry, you could even serve this with some pearl barley or cous cous. I’m always excited when I find recipes that manage to make cheap and seasonal ingredients like onions and pumpkin into an enticing meal, so I hope you enjoy this one.

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Our favourite autumn chili

mexican 1

This is by far my favourite meal to make for friends. Kasia and I made it for a band who stayed with us last week, Sunshine Social, and they liked it so much we got a shout out from them during their set. Yes, it is that good.

The great thing about this recipe too is that most of the ingredients are tinned, meaning  you can usually find them lying around your pantry, and can make it any time of year. Vegetarian mince is the secret ingredient in this recipe, as it keeps the cost low and tastes just like mince with the right spices. You can make one giant pot for all your friends – non-veggies won’t know the difference (we’ve actually tried and tested this, it’s true)

So hold on to your sombreros, because I’m about to spill the mexican beans on how to make the most delicious, easiest, quickest and cheapest veggie chilli sin carne you will ever eat. Ha!

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Mexican spice mix

mexican-seasoning

 

At our house Mexican food is on the menu at least once a week. We love to buy those ready-made taco seasoning mixes, but quickly realised that we could just as easily make our own and store it in an empty spice-jar to save unnecessary packaging and money. There are also bound to be lots of unnatural flavourings and ingredients in ready-made spice mixes, which we would rather avoid.

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veg of the fortnight – pumpkin

photo credit to elana's pantry

photo credit to elana’s pantry

Pumpkin is a winter squash, and the UK squash season is from October-December. This makes it a great vegetable to eat all through autumn and into winter. Pumpkins are naturally sweet, high in fibre and vitamins and delicious in soups, stews, curries and even cakes and pies! In the US it seems to be quite common to cook with canned pumpkin puree, but over here we prefer to buy whole pumpkins so we can roast and eat the seeds. In the next two weeks we will be sharing our favourite pumpkin and squash recipes, but for now, here’s some inspiration for cheap and creative ways to prepare this yummy vegetable.

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