Mummy Enchiladas

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Today was the first day of Dia de Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday in honor of one’s ancestors. Travis dove into his Frightful Fiesta-themed recipes from Raddish Kids in honor of the holiday, and first up were these impressive enchilada mummies!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can black beans
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded vegan pepper jack cheese
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 5 slices vegan cheese
  • 16 slices black olive
  1. To prepare the enchilada sauce, whisk together the tomato sauce, broth, water, tomato paste, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour 1 cup sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables, along with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 12 minutes, until tender.
  3. Add the beans, remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to the skillet. Cook for a final 2 minutes.
  4. To assemble each “mummy”, spoon 1/4 cup cheese and 1/3 cup bean mixture onto each tortilla. Wrap up and place, seam side down, in the baking dish.Mummy Enchiladas (3)
  5. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Cut the vegan cheese slices into strips and arrange on top of the enchiladas like mummy wraps. Add 2 olive slices to each tortilla for eyes.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 22 minutes.

To round out this fearsome feast, the recipe card featured a few facts about Dia de los Muertos, as well as a breakdown of other ways (taquitos! burritos!) that tortillas can be prepared in Mexican dishes.

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Exploring Pumpkin Guts

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Pumpkin carving is an obvious Halloween activity, but don’t neglect what a fantastic sensory experience the whole process is, even before you get to that spooky carved face. And that goes not just for toddlers, but for big kids, too!

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First, I set out our biggest pumpkins, along with newspaper underneath, a tray to catch all those insides, and a few zip-top bags. The kids had eagerly awaited this moment, as we’ve decorated smaller pumpkins here and there in anticipation. I invited them to explore the giant pumpkin first: the texture, the color, the smell, etc.

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Then we cut off the top (grown-up step!). Now, the lid is like a puzzle piece that kids could take off and fit on over and over again.

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Time to scoop! Pumpkins are fascinating inside, starting with those stringy guts and slippery seeds, and then scraping down to the firmer flesh. I spooned some of the insides onto a tray for Veronika to explore with bare hands.

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She also wanted to smell it!

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I also sealed some in a zip-top bag in case the goop made her squeamish, but she actually preferred the stuff on the tray!

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She also loved stirring through the mixture with our pumpkin scoop, which we could also tap against the pumpkin to play it like a drum!

Exploring Pumpkin Guts (9)At last it was time to carve. We shifted a bit from sensory mode to learning mode, because as I popped out the first eye, Veronika said, “A triangle! I want a square.”

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So now I was on the spot to carve a square nose!

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The final sense to explore in a pumpkin is taste of course. We rinsed the seeds (which easily separate from the stringy stuff). Pat dry, then toss with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Note: We had one cup seeds, so use more or less oil and salt depending how many seeds your pumpkin yields).

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Roast at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes, then enjoy!

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A Sweet and Safe Halloween

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Halloween is here! After the anticipation of a month-long countdown, I had to make sure our safely socially distanced trick-or-treating didn’t disappoint. To wit, there were three ways the kids got candy tonight.

First up, instead of knocking on neighbors’ doors, consider every door in your house as a new spot for candy. Bathrooms and closet doorways count! The kids knocked on each one and a bag of candy was waiting inside.

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Bonus points if you can rig up a way to make each door eerily open on its own. I’m going to ponder that for next year…

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Second, hide treats in the backyard. So that kids can spot them in the dark, add a glow stick to each one. The glow sticks were arguably more exciting than the candy!

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Finally, our neighborhood held a costume parade, which was a great way to let kids see each other’s get-ups but stay six feet apart.

Halloween (8)My little trick-or-treaters came home with quite the haul. So it’s safe to say, Halloween did not disappoint.

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