UTMB celebrated Halloween and the beginning of fall with the Fifth Annual Children's Halloween Carnival, decorated pumpkins for pediatrics and a yummy pumpkin cookoff. 

The results of the cookoff are:

All Contestants
Holly Jolin, Institutional Compliance
Judy Jones, Grants and Contracts Accounting
Christina Nelson, ARC
Karen Wenzlaff, IS-OPS
Jill Bryant, Quality and Patient Safety
DeShawn Thomas, ARC
David Perez, ARC
Susan Ramsey, Research Services
Emily Blomberg and Candy Galan, Hospital Administration
Cynthia Snider, Polar Medical Operations
Pep Valdes, Hospital Administration
Amy McVety, Nurse Manager
Sharon Hensey, Nurse Manager
John Riley, Chaplain
Jeff Inman, Executive Chef
Alice Fang, Registered Dietitian
Master of Ceremonies
Faith Robin, EAP Human Resources
Patrice Houston, Employee Health Promotions
Main Dish or Side Dish Category
1st Place Holly Jolin, Pumpkin Pork Chili
2nd Place Cynthia Snider, Pumpkin Cheese Dip
3rd Place Judy Jones, Savory Pumpkin Tarts
Baked Goods or Dessert Category
1st Place DeShawn Thomas, Pumpkin Buttermilk Cake
2nd Place Karen Wenzlaff, Pumpkin Roll
3rd Place Christina Nelson, Chocolate Cake with Pumpkin Spice
1st Place Holly Jolin, Pumpkin Pork Chili
2nd Place Pumpkin Bars, Susan Ramsey
3rd Place Jill Bryant, Pumpkin Cheesecake Delight

Pumpkin pointers

  • Select firm, bright colored pumpkins, free from blemishes.  Large pumpkins may be decorative and fun to carve but smaller pumpkins are more tender and juicy.
  • You can store whole, fresh pumpkins in a cool, dry place for up to one month or refrigerate for up to three months.
  • To prepare pumpkin, wash, cut into sections and remove seeds.  Cook in boiling water, in a pressure cooker, in the oven or in the microwave until soft.  When cool remove the pulp from the rind. 
  • Small pumpkins can be pierced and baked whole on a tray in an oven or microwave oven until soft. Once cooled remove pulp from the rind and remove seeds. 
  • Pumpkin may be frozen. Place cooked pumpkin in a freezer container, leaving headspace, seal and freeze. It may appear separated when thawed but this will not affect the quality of the pumpkin for cooking. Pumpkin can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
  • 1-1/2 pounds yields 1 pint
  • To enjoy pumpkin seeds, wipe clean with a damp kitchen towel. Spread evenly to dry overnight. Toss in olive oil, butter, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, or your choice of seasonings. Toss to coat.
  • Place seeds on a cookie sheet and roast at 250 degrees for 1 hour tossing every 15-20 minutes.   Cool pumpkin seeds before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months.
 Pumpkin nutrition facts
  • Pumpkin is a very good source of beta carotene or vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Current research indicates that a diet rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease.
  • Pumpkin is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium.
  • When fresh pumpkins are not available or convenient, canned pumpkin can be a great alternative.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of as magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, which are important in brain health and development. Pumpkin seeds are also good sources of iron, copper, zinc and protein.