Halloween preparations on Megan’s Island {2015}

2013-10-31-Halloween1

Man, this baby vacation is flying by and I’m not doing nearly the amount of fun festive crafting and blogging that I had hoped I would be! I had grand plans of decking the house (and the kid) out for Halloween, but I’m nowhere close. Alas, he’s worth it — and I followed through on decking him out!

Michael & Beary Goldberg: best friends!

Michael & Beary Goldberg: best friends!

BOO! It's Michael!

BOO! It’s Michael!

First things first, I found a bottle of wine for Halloween: the 2013 Dearly Beloved Forever Red. There are many bottles out there and this one matches Michael’s skeleton costume the best, so I had to have it. Plus the price was right at under $10.

Skeleton baby & skeleton head wine!

Skeleton baby & skeleton head wine!

I’ve seen lots of Halloween-y wines at QFC and Trader Joe’s, and here are some wine-specific candy pairing ideas I found this year. If wine isn’t your thing, VinePair had some great Halloween Candy/alcohol pairings last year. Read my post here.

For a festive dinner, I’ve been scouring Pinterest during middle-of-the-night feedings and have settled on a “scary” lasagna. I opted for this “Cheesy Brussels sprout lasagna” with a scary face topping. I’m hoping it looks like this, but without the red sauce:

Scary lasagna!

Scary lasagna!

Last year we made a zombie meatloaf (this is awesome, delicious, gluten-free, and quick and easy, if you need an idea!).

Turkey meatloaf zombie

In 2013, we made squid ink pasta with “brain” sauce.

Spooky Halloween Pasta | Megan's Island Blog

For more Halloween ideas, check out my Pinterest “Halloween Inspirations” board. So many great ideas that you could even do on short notice for this year!

Basil-mint pesto

Oh, look! A new post! Sorry about the blogging hiatus, my day job has been occupying all of my blogging time and energy.

Anyway, over the weekend Brandon and I made a delicious dinner, that was also extremely photogenic. It was also very popular with my Instagram followers, including a recipe request. So, here it is:

A few months ago we planted a “basil-mint” plant with our fig tree, in hopes that planting them together would be mutually beneficial. Our experiment has been somewhat successful, although I don’t know if it’s my master gardening skills or the combination of sun and rain the garden has been getting.

Our basil-mint bush

Our basil-mint bush

We definitely won’t have figs this year (although the tree has doubled in size since last year!) and we have more than enough basil mint. This stuff is great. It tastes like basil and is hearty like mint. It also spreads like crazy. We cut off a whole stalk of basil and used Brandon’s Dad’s not-so-secret recipe to make the pesto (see below).

Basil-mint pesto

Basil-mint pesto

We took the extra time to make pasta from scratch for this dinner, and it was well worth it. We used our pasta maker with the rigatoni attachment. The pasta was perfect.

Homemade rigatoni

Homemade rigatoni

While we let the pasta dough rest, we sauteed Italian sausage ground turkey LINK and peas. Once the noodles were cooked, we added them to the meat and peas, added a touch of pesto and some parmesan. Voila! Dinner!

Delicious! Our basil-mint pesto final product

Delicious! Our basil-mint pesto final product

Brandon’s Dad’s Pesto Recipe 

(Yield: 1 3/4 cups, 4 servings)

  • 2 c. fresh basil
  • 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts (Or any nut, really. We used pine nuts this with this pesto)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2/3 c. olive oil

Put all ingredients in the blender until preferred consistency is reached. You can add a squeeze of lemon to help hold the color, but don’t add too much or it will flavor the pesto. Use immediately or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate pesto up to one week or freeze up to six months.