Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dinner in a Pumpkin...

Looking for something fun and festive to make for a delicious Halloween Dinner?  
We do this every year and my kids LOVE it! This is Olivia's favorite dinner, she has been 
requesting it for a while now and it was seriously so yummy!   
*throw in some orange drinks and it's super festive!  

happy haunting!

1 small-medium pumpkin (about the size of a volleyball)  
1½ lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 small can cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 cup  cooked rice ( I used 2)
1 can sliced water chestnuts (drained)
*Next time I make this I might try adding a little chopped green pepper, and/or celery, or substituting sausage for some of the ground beef.
  •  Wash the outer surface of the pumpkin thoroughly. Cut a circle off the top just like you would if you were making a jack-o-lantern. Remember to put your knife on slant when cutting the top. If you cut it straight up and down the lid will fall into the pumpkin while it is cooking. Clean out all of the seeds and stringy pulp. (I like to save the seeds and roast them later for a healthy snack.) Clean out the pumpkin and rinse it well. Set it aside.
  • Heat two tablespoons oil in sauce pan. Add ground beef and chopped onion. If you want to try adding a little green pepper or celery, put that in at this time as well. Once the meat is browned add the brown sugar, soy sauce, cream of chicken soup, mushrooms, cooked rice and water chestnuts. Mix well.
  • Place the cleaned pumpkin in a 9×13 baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Scoop mixture into the pumpkin and put the pumpkin’s top back on.  At this point you can draw a jack-o-lantern face on your pumpkin if you would like.  Place the stuffed pumpkin in a 350 degree oven and cook for 1-2 hours. Check after one hour. The cooking time will vary due to the size of your pumpkin. You will know it is done when the pumpkin is very tender and your casserole is bubbling all the way through.

Disneyland/San Diego/SYTYCD

My sister Jill and I packed up our kids and headed to California to watch 
Witney in the SYTYCD tour!  It was their opening show in San Diego.  We decided
to make a disneyland trip out of it as well since we have NEVER been 
during Halloween! 

It was SO MUCH FUN!!  
beware... tons of pictures in this post! 

Downtown disney has our favorite Lego store. So many huge displays set up all over. 
Hayes was loving every minute of it.

they also have a new place called "ride makerz" it's like build a bear for
girls but the boys make their own sweet remote control cars. My boys were digging
this! they picked out their own wheels and tires  for their corvettes 
along with all sorts of lights and specialties
to jazz it up a bit. 

the next morning we got an early admission because we were staying at a Disney Hotel.
First things first..."Cars Land!"
we've been dying to ride "Radiator Springs" we literally only waited 20 minutes
to get on....  I couldn't believe that my
 little ivy could go on! She's finally the right height for both parks! 
{oh happy dance}

i'm pretty sure she had no idea what she was in for with me as her momma! {wink}
she rode EVERYTHING!!  ok except Tower of Terror.  she wanted to, but the twins are 
freaked of that ride. so i said she can wait! 

Cars Land did NOT disappoint!  It was so fun, and seriously beautiful.  It's amazing
how they madeit look so gorgeous and real.  

California Adventure is quickly turning into my favorite park.  Especially as my kids get older, 
we could spend forever there.  {and we did}

the twins aren't quite the right height for Screamin so we waited in line for
 Jessie and Woody while we were waiting!  

 We are HUGE fans of the Animation Academy at the California Park.  Boston learned 
how to draw tons of characters last time we were here and so they all 
begged to do it again. they all drew Pluto this time.  During the Art lesson, 
Ivy said out loud that she wanted to draw minnie mouse, so the guy who
 drew "Wreck it Ralph" drew ivy her own picture of Minnie Mouse. 
 It was so sweet and she was so excited!  

Olivia entered her drawing into the Art contest at school.

Boston cracks me up with his cell phone during tower of terror.  It's hilarious how he likes to 
do lame stuff when they take a picture!  This is mine and Boston's all time favorite ride!!

around 2 we pretty much did ALL of California Adventure and head on over to Disneyland! 
It's SO awesome at Halloween time!  I can't believe we have never been until now.  
It's all decorated for Halloween.  Space Mountain was haunted {so scary} 
and the Haunted Mansion was all decorated to the nightmare before christmas! 

i must insert somewhere  how awesome Boston was on our trip!  He was such a great helper, and always looking our for the twins and Ivy. He didn't even complain about going on little kid rides,  
He even said a few times "mom should we get our picture here" that's like music to my ears!  
He Hates Pictures! haha!!  I love how much of a help he was to me!

these two look so much alike!

We pretty much closed down the park that day! like the last ones out! haha!

nobody was in 'toon town' so Ivy toured mickey and minnie's house
 all by herself! haha
she loves minnie and loved seeing where she lives.

they rode 'gadgets go coaster" 5X in a row... did you know it's the 3rd fastest ride in disneyland?
{we made friends with the ride worker}

total Goofballs!

the next morning we went to breakfast @ storytellers cafe with the characters.  
Ivy thought this was super cool, and loved hugging all of them.

We decided to head to San Diego early so we can play at the beach for a while before
 we got ready to see Witney on tour for "SYTYCD!"  
we ate lunch at this yummy mexican restaurant by 'Hotel Del' in Coronado.  
Then walked over to play at the beach.  It was beautiful weather all week so the kids of
 course loved every minute of it.

The Show was AMAZING!!!  It was the Opening show of the tour, and it was SOOO good!
  I want to go see it again so bad.  We got to 'meet and greet' all the dancers after the show.  
They were so darling to my kids and kept putting them on their shoulders and just playing so sweet 
with them.Boston was dying that he got to hang out with them, especially Cyrus!  
{he is seriously so cool too}i asked the kids who they wanted their pictures with before 
we met up with them, and  Boston said Cyrus, Hayes said Cyrus, Olivia said
 Witney and Chehon, and Ivy said Chehon.  haha

they are all so fun and darling, it was very cool to hang out with them until um midnight!! 
{ivy passed out before the meet and greet}
all pictures taken from my iphone.  they wouldn't let me bring in my big camera... lame

the next day the SYTYCD tour was driving back to LA.  And apparently they had the day off!!  we 
were so excited to hang out with witney at Disneyland for her one day off.  Little did we know that all the dancers wanted to go with her so we hung out with them that whole day at Disneyland!
It was SO MUCH FUN!!!  They were so cute with my kids and even went on 
the rides with them. haha!
of course they got stopped for pictures and stuff, but they were a blast!
My cute nephew Taylor came with us to the show and to disneyland too, we loved 
having our cousins to play with!

Ivy adores Ariel... 

just hanging out at Disneyland with the SYTYCD kids. no big deal!

 We came home to our First ever snow storm, and a clean house from our daddy! 
This trip was my birthday present and Cory told the kids to be sure to make it a good present.  
Every day Olivia would tell me "happy birthday mom" it was so sweet.  I have the best kids, 
always trying to make me feel special!  

I am one lucky and very happy momma! It was indeed a very magical trip.

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