Shenanigans below but wait for it…wait for it.

Almost every Halloween I carve the pumpkin. It’s not because my darlin’ can’t wield a knife or has a phobia of squash or anything. It just happens to fall into what he calls the “Artsy” category. The way he thinks is Red + art(crafts)2 x cooking= Artsy Category. I’m cool with that, I have control issues so it works out well. Not to mention I have a tendency to go over the top. I adore the painted and carved lantern pumpkins that I found on Country Living’s website. I had planned on making a couple of those this year but I love the pumpkins that my guys carved even better. Also the memory of an afternoon full of laughter is one that I will carry with me always.

This year my surfer took over and since he can’t draw he put the boys to work stretching their creative wings. I’m digging the sudo Elvis sideways growl and the mustache above the nose.

Where I would have been flinging pumpkin from the cabinets to the top of the ceiling carving a pumpkin in the kitchen he, being the manly construction worker/coach that he is, set up a completely organized work station outside. Okay, but you’re missing all the fun of stepping in pulp darlin’.

Isn’t it simply amazing when you take a gander at the insides of a pumpkin? I have always marveled at how it must grow in order to get all of those strings of pulp.

My little man loves pumpkins the most. He names them, he pats them on the ummm… head? And he loves to feel the different textures.

Then in the blink of an eye he turns all Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on me. Arrgh…I’ve got his brain pan Bwhahahaha!”

Look at my baby up to his elbows digging around in the mushy entrails of a pumpkin. In his own mush filled paradise. Of course his macabre enthusiasm sucked in his big brother who enjoys a good lobotomy as much as the next guy but won’t get as down and dirty as his little brother.

“Whatcha got there M2?”

“Look I’ve nabbed his liver!!”

“Let me see that! Wait, if I go in from the front I can pull out his nasal cavity. No more sinus problems for this guy.”

“Aww man…I wanted to do that. Oh cool intestines!! I’m going for the kidneys next, move over.”

Uh oh! I know that look Mr. blue eyes. You’re not fooling anyone here so what are you scheming bub? Watch out M2 he’s up to no good.

SPLAT! Yep knew it. It only takes once to get things going with my guys. First it’s a big ole’ glob of pulp flung on an arm.

Then it’s a shoulder all smeared and splattered.

Next some little toes take a hit and try to curl back in on themselves…ew, ew, ew!

Then…it’s war.

Bwhahahaha…Oh yeah! That’s gotta feel slimy sliding down your neck little man {shiver…yuck!}.

Hey M2 your hair’s looking good today. It’s all silky and shiny, what are you using Aussie products or something new?

Oh my word! Go ahead and laugh it up fuzzball because you’re doing the laundry tonight M1. Remember those pumpkin seeds I needed for Pam’s delicious salad? Now you all know what happened to them.

You know what y’all, I’ll take my guys homemade shenanigans filled afternoon of carving pumpkins over my perfectly carved coiffed jack-o-laterns any ole’ day of the week. I do believe that we now have a new family tradition. I’m trying to decide if we should call it the Pulp Bowl or Gut’s & Gorey. I’m already scheming up ideas of how I am going to nail DS and the monkeys. There might be a pulp & seed launcher in the works…sssshhh, don’t say anything.

Just curious, what is your families jack-o-lantern tradition? Who does the pumpkin carving in your house and is it safe around them when they do?

Love ya,

Tickled Red

Welcome to my little corner of bliss. Most people adore a good donut, myself included but there is something about a beignet that brings out my hidden smile. You know what I mean. One of those sly devils hidden just so in the corner of your mouth, waiting for that perfect something to set it free. Beignets are my little something special. This Sunday I took it up a notch and made them with pumpkin. It is fall and even though it’s still 80 degrees here I’ve had pumpkin on the brain. I may never recover from the swoon y’all. If you wish to join me on the porch, fan in hand with a platter of beignets keep reading. I warn you, they are prone to induce giddiness.

Pumpkin Beignets Adapted from Chef Jamie Shannon’s recipe for Beignets

Serves 4-6

Beignet Batter

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Chicago Spiced Sugar mix (or substitute with the following spices)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon all spice

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1 cup milk

1 medium egg, beaten

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup powdered sugar

caramel sauce

Combine and sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices in a large bowl.

Combine the milk, egg, pumpkin and vanilla in a small bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.


Combine thoroughly. Is it just me or does mixing batter make you hum as well?

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot (you don’t need a deep fryer) over medium high heat until approx. 325 degrees. Use a thermometer to gauge the temperature, or if you don’t have one sprinkle a tiny bit of flour into the oil. If it sizzles instantaneously you’re pretty much ready.

You will need two teaspoons. One to lift a spoonful of batter, the other to push the batter into the hot oil. Part of the reason I love beignets is because they are so easy to make. They don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical and I adore the diversity that takes shape when those little beauties hit the oil.

Try not to fry more than 8 or 10 beignets at a time. Crowding them will lower the temperature of the oil and cause your beignets to be soggy. Make sure to adjust the heat of the oil while you cook to keep the temperature at 325 degrees, or at a constant slow rolling boil when you add in each batch.

Fry each batch for no more than 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides and cooked all the way through. Pull the first couple of beignets apart to see if they are cooked all the way through. This will give you a better feel of the golden color that you are looking for and the amount of time you need to leave them in the oil. Drain on a rack or paper towels.

Serve them fresh, hot and liberally dusted with powdered sugar. A little word of advice though. Make sure that you have set the table before you put the platter down, otherwise you can forget about getting a chance afterwards. These little lovelies will be gone before the napkins finds their way to the table never mind onto a lap.

I wish I could tell you that this look of glee came solely from the rapture of devouring a pumpkin beignet but that’s not the case here.

It’s actually a combination of astonishment and an Ah-Ha moment. Check out what’s happening to the left. Yep, that would be my love drowning his beignet in not only caramel sauce but pancake syrup as well.

Can you say gargantuan sweet tooth and lets not forget an instigator on all levels. Who am I kidding, go for it guys.

Would you just look at those little golden nuggets of breakfast delight. Dusted and drizzled to perfection. They almost look to good to eat.

Almost my friends. Ask me if there are any left.

What brings out your hidden smile?

You so have to make these and let me know what you think. Have fun playing in the kitchen this week.

Love ya,

Tickled Red