Thursday, October 30, 2014

Taste of the Orient Pumpkin Seed Recipe



There's the inspiration pumpkin for this recipe. Now for the backstory.

The book series Undead Bar Association was inspired by some fun, silly conversations with classmates in the law school student lounge, many years ago. We would chat about how to craft wills for the undead while slurping down noodles in a cup. The Undead and Ramen - what a combination!

In tribute to those early days, the Undead Bar Association today offers this recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds ... Taste of the Orient.


Equipment:

Oven
Cookie Sheet
Parchment Paper
Paper Towels
Small bowl


Ingredients:

Pumpkin seeds, about 1/2 cup dry
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chinese Five Spice or Ramen Seasoning Pack (the little foil seasoning pack from Ramen noodles)
Soy Sauce (optional)
 
 

Directions:

1. Gut pumpkin. Separate seeds from the stringy bits. Rinse in water. Place seeds, single layer, on paper towels to dry overnight. By letting the seeds dry overnight, you insure a great crunch when you roast them.
 
2. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
 
3. Place sheet of parchment paper on cookie sheet.
 
4. Place dry pumpkin seeds in bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil; use just enough for the seeds to appear glossy but not so much they're wading or swimming.
 
If you're using Chinese Five Spice - add some soy sauce now.
If you're using Ramen Seasoning Pack - don't add soy sauce unless sodium overload is your grand Halloween ambition.
 
5. Spread pumpkin seeds, single layer, on cookie sheet.
 
6. Top with seasoning of your choice - Chinese Five Spice or Ramen Seasoning Pack.
 
7. Roast pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes then check them. Bake in 2 minute increments until seeds just begin to turn golden brown.
 
If you're using Chinese Five Spice - do a taste test. You may want to add more soy sauce now.
If you're using Ramen Seasoning Pack - put the soy sauce down and back away from it. I mean it. You do NOT want to know the salty consequences if you soy now. You soy don't want to know.
 
 
There it is! I hope you enjoy this Taste of the Orient Pumpkin Seed Recipe.
Want to know more about law school and the undead? Check out Matriculated Death, book 1 of the book series Undead Bar Association.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Seeds Recipe Good and Evil

 
Here's a creepy character! Out of all the pumpkins I carved this year, this one's my favorite. It's traditional - eyes, nose, mouth - but with an unexpected, sinister quality, like certain evil characters in Matriculated Death, #1 from the book series Undead Bar Association.
 
The seeds from this pumpkin needed a suitable twist to their baking, and they get it with a great peanut butter recipe. There's a twist, too: you decide if the finished seeds will be good or evil.
 
 
First, the base recipe:

Equipment:

Oven
Cookie Sheet
Parchment Paper
Paper Towels
Small bowl
Sealable plastic bags


Ingredients:

Pumpkin seeds, about 1/2 cup dry
1/4 cup peanut butter
 

Good Version:

Powdered Sugar

Evil Version:

Ground Cumin
Paprika

Directions:

 
1. Gut pumpkin. Separate seeds from the stringy bits. Rinse in water. Place seeds, single layer, on paper towels to dry overnight. By letting the seeds dry overnight, you insure a great crunch when you roast them.
 
2. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
 
3. Place sheet of parchment paper on cookie sheet.
 
4. Place dry pumpkin seeds in bowl. Spoon in peanut butter and coat seeds. Tip: wash your hands then use your fingers to mix the peanut butter and seeds. It's a lot faster than mixing with a spoon. Get kids to help with this stage; it feels gross and they think it's hilarious.
 
5. Spread pumpkin seeds, single layer, on cookie sheet.
 
6. Roast pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes then check them. Bake in 2 minute increments until peanut butter starts to look a little dry and brittle.
 
7. Allow pumpkin seeds to cool, about 30 min.
 
8. Divide pumpkin seeds between 2 - 3 plastic bags.

 

Good Version:

 
Toss some powdered sugar in bag with peanut butter pumpkin seeds. Seal bag. Shake to coat seeds. If seeds are not coating, you may need to add more powered sugar. The finished product should look like this:

 

Evil Version:

Toss some cumin and paprika in bag with peanut butter pumpkin seeds. Go easy on the paprika. Trust me; a little goes a long way. The finished product here will NOT be an evenly coated finger-food like the Good Version. Instead, you're going to get a savory and crunchy spread to use on crackers. Want a really fun taste sensation? Spread this yummy evil on apple slices.

Good or Evil, there's smiles in store when you add peanut butter to those pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Wondering what to do with the guts from your Halloween pumpkin? This guy's got an idea:
Copyright 2014 Maryanne M. Wells
 
He's got a pumpkin seed recipe inspired by gleaming white bones.
 
First, let's talk general pumpkin seed recipes.
 

Equipment:

Oven
Cookie Sheet
Parchment Paper
Paper Towels
Small bowl

 
 

Ingredients:

Pumpkin seeds, about 1/2 cup dry
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spices and fixins (varies by recipe)
 
 

Directions:

1. Gut pumpkin. Separate seeds from the stringy bits. Rinse in water. Place seeds, single layer, on paper towels to dry overnight. By letting the seeds dry overnight, you insure a great crunch when you roast them.
 
2. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
 
3. Place sheet of parchment paper on cookie sheet.
 
4. Place dry pumpkin seeds in bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil; use just enough for the seeds to appear glossy but not so much they're wading or swimming.
 
5. Spread pumpkin seeds, single layer, on cookie sheet.
 
6. Top with seasoning of your choice.
7. Roast pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes then check them. Bake in 2 minute increments until seeds just begin to turn golden brown.
 

For White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds:

Sprinkle Pumpkin Seeds with dry white cheddar powder. You get a crunchy snack that smells and tastes like popcorn.


 
Stay tuned to the website and www.maryannewells.com for more pumpkin ideas during Halloween week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Coming soon to a bookshelf near you, following this Rewrite

My editor delivered the first 200 pages of Deadhand Control (book 4 of the Undead Bar Association) with her notes. You know what that means ... Rewrite!!!!

Rewrites can be grand, if you plan for them. Block out time for them, and try to schedule it for when you can be excited about doing it. DONT schedule it when you have other pressing deadlines. Do schedule it for when you miss the characters dearly.

Oh, I've missed these characters! It's been months since I've seen them. I had so many great ideas while they were away. Really, we must talk.

So I'm putting on a fresh pot of coffee then diving into Deadhand Control! Look out, sorcerers. Be on guard, cavalry. And get ready, my dear sweet heroine, because Editor and I decided you are not quite as corrupt as you should be. Bwahaha!

Rewrite! It's time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ebola Zombies

If you use Ebola fear to sell something, is that ethical?
 
Is it legal?
 
Is it in good taste?
 
I posed these questions to my students yesterday. As you may know, I shed my pen name for a few hours each weekday to teach business and law at a community college. I recently asked my students what they want to glean from their current capstone course, and one of them said she wanted to study more ethics. Great, I replied. I'll scour the headlines and see what's popping.
 
Here's what I found Monday: Ebola zombies.
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
That's not a photo of an Ebola zombie. THERE ARE NO EBOLA ZOMBIES. Yes, I know there are headlines claiming existence of an Ebola zombie, but the man was not an undead creature. He was alive and mistakenly assumed dead.
 
But dang, it's so catchy, the internet says: "Ebola zombie."
 
Our culture is obsessed with the undead. I'm certainly not immune to the fascination; two books in my Undead Bar Association fiction series, Matriculated Death and Binding Deceit, feature zombies. We're a society primed for undead panic, in a country now facing the realities of a dangerous and highly contagious disease.
 
Does that make it okay for people to make money off other people's fear? I asked my students that question. Think about it, I said. It's just a matter of time before someone starts to market cheap "Ebola preparedness kits" and "Ebola zombie safety kits". Is that ethical? What about companies that make legitimate products like Ebola resistant suits, who now see increased demand for their products ... should they respond to fear-driven demand by increasing production?
 
Most of the class said no, but one student had no problem with that marketing idea. This particular student feels that if there are people foolish enough to buy such products, then such products can ethically be sold. Sounds like a derivation of the old adage, "There's a sucker born every minute and two to take 'im."
 
On other issues, the class was in total agreement. Connecting the season premiere of Walking Dead to the first reported US Ebola case was recognized as funny but not in good taste. I wonder what the class will say tomorrow when I show them this article about Ebola themed Halloween costumes.
 
What do you think about Ebola zombie marketing?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Music and Writing: Matriculated Death

The music on my iPod is a cornucopia that defies organization into neat playlists or genre. The best I can manage is to make play lists based on rhythms.

If I didn't care about logical listening, there is another way I could organize some of the songs. I could make one playlist of Unofficial MMW Book Theme Songs.

Today, I reveal what would be song one on that list.

For Matriculated Death, the song is ...

Thnks fr The Mmrs by Fall Out Boy.

There are four reasons I associate that song with book 1 of the Undead Bar Association Series.

1) The song's popularity peaked while I was in law school, and my experiences in that particular institution inspired some of the colorful incidents in Matriculated Death. That's not to say the Dean of my law school was a vampire, of course.

But I'm not saying he wasn't.

2) The beat and rhythm in the song are fantastic. Perfect for slipping out of the law school, facing a horde of zombies, and running through a ghost town to destroy an infected book.

3) One section of lyrics perfectly summarizes my feelings towards law school:
Thanks for the memories even though they weren't so great.

4) Monkeys. Originally, Matriculated Death included monkeys of the hypothetical and flying variety. My editor insisted they be cut, and they were. But for this song's music video, the monkeys are running the show.






Stay tuned here to learn about music and writing for other books in the Undead Bar Association series.