BOO... Click my 'Halloween Food' label for fun party ideas :@)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Tree 2017

My idea for the Halloween Tree this year was to place the 30" white fiber optic tree inside the huge jack-o-lantern I got at Walmart a few years ago. It turned out more whimsical, and less devilish, but I like it and a different look every once in a while is a good thing:@) Ma gifted me the large beaded spider she made, it's perfect hanging on the pumpkin!

But that's ok, Snazzy Jack was all too willing to take the place of honor:@)

And what amused me the most is, this Dollar Tree glitter pumpkin lights up and changes colors,
it matches the fiber optic tree!

My garland was a white ribbon with black border and iridescent spiders... 
It didn't show up well in the pics but was cute in person.
I did end up adding an orange and black garland after these pics were taken.
Previous trees: 20162015201420132010.

One last full pic...
Keep smiling and have a happy day:@)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Grilled Cauliflower Florets with Montreal Steak Seasoning

I was planning to fire up the grill and needed a veggie so I wouldn't lose my Mom card... One of the boys has always refused to eat this vegetable, ~until~ we tried Grilled Cauliflower with Montreal Steak Seasoning. It took some time but turns out, Mom knows best after all:@) I kept it simple and cut the florets small, about 1", gave it a healthy drizzle of olive oil, added a nice sear, and this made a very tasty side dish. Don't hesitate to toss a cool weather veggie onto the grill folks, it's good stuff!
How much Montreal Steak Seasoning? Once you think it's enough, go ahead, add another shake or two:@)

Grilled Cauliflower Florets with Montreal Steak Seasoning
Cauliflower cut into 1" florets
Hearty drizzle of olive oil
Very generous sprinkling of Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Heat grill pan over hot heat. Pour veggies into pan, let sit for a couple minutes, until they begin to char. Give a stir and let sit again. Cook until veggies are crisp tender, about 10 minutes.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Halloweeny Peepers... Er, I mean Halloween Jalapeno Poppers

This isn't a new idea folks, I've seen it on Pinterest and in Rachel Ray Magazine, but I thought it would be fun to try. My spin is using the extra large bloodshot candy eyes. Timing was perfect because my planter is still loaded with jalapenos and I had some leftover cream cheese and cheddar cheeseballs... So these Halloweeny Peepers turned into a fun game day treat! Oh, and the Eagles win, well, that was just icing on 'peno:@)
Make them with any mixture you like for Poppers, you can find some stuffed jalapeno ideas HERE.
I've added the bacon label because ~of course, everything's better with bacon:@)

Halloweeny Peepers
Jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed (optional)
Cream cheese type mixture-anything you like for Poppers
Crescent rolls
Eyes: candy, sliced olives, etc
  1. Stuff the peppers with mixture.
  2. Slice rolls into strips (a pizza cutter works well) and wrap them around the pepper like a mummy. Leave a wide enough opening for eyes.
  3. Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
  4. While still warm, insert eyes and serve.
Let's cook up a seasonal treat and have a happy day:@)

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Maple Syrup and Bacon Fat Roasted Butternut Squash

I always, ~always~ save bacon fat. It adds great flavor to things like this Maple Syrup and Bacon Fat Roasted Butternut Squash. While squash is a fairly wet veggie, roasting it helps maintain some body and bite. The maple syrup caramelizes and bacon fat gives it a tiny bit of smoky flavor. This is a great side dish that would work well any time, easy enough for a week night dinner and fancy enough for a Thanksgiving side dish.
I made the neck of a smaller squash for myself and half of this recipe, the measurements below are very forgiving and easily scaled up for more people. I made mine in a 10" cast iron skillet, use a baking sheet for bigger crowds.

Tip: Store bacon fat in a mason jar in the fridge, fat can even be (carefully) poured into the jar while hot. And if you don't have one of the plastic lids specifically sold for mason jars... I save the lids from 16 oz peanut butter jars, they work well too.

Maple Syrup and Bacon Fat Roasted Butternut Squash
medium size butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes
1 Tblsp bacon fat
1 Tblsp pure maple syrup
S&P to taste
  1. Melt bacon fat on baking sheet in 400 degree oven.
  2. Add squash and maple syrup to baking sheet, carefully mix well.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, stir.
  4. Bake for another 15 minutes or until squash is tender. 
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Eeek... Halloween Mice Cheese Balls

These Individual Mice Cheese Balls looked like a fun Halloween treat and they were very easy to put together! You can keep them simple like I did or add eyes and maybe some chive whiskers. This would be a good project for kids to get involved in, messy hands are always fun:@)

 Cute-cute-cute! Well... As long as they're on a plate and not scurrying across your floor... 
 The tails crack me up! 
I used thin slices of celery, they suggest julienne carrot. Another option might be using chives or even a little piece of string licorice. 
Leftovers? Cheese balls with a cream cheese base are always good schmeared on a bagel:@)

Mice Cheese Balls-from Pillsbury -makes approximately 16
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 C (8 oz) pepper jack cheese, softened-or use whatever cheese you like
1 1/4 C finely chopped smoked almonds
julienne carrots for tails
32 sliced almonds, toasted, for ears
hot pepper jelly for serving, if desired
crackers for serving
  1. Mix the two cheeses. 
  2. For each mouse: Shape 2 Tblsp into a mouse-ish body. 
  3. Roll in chopped nuts.
  4. Add tail and ears.
  5. Cover and chill at least two hours.
  6. Serve with crackers and hot pepper jelly.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Halloween Fun with Food Dye

Here's a quick little round up of some fun ideas for Orange and Green Halloween Treats using Food Dye
The more colorful... the more BOO-ti-ful:@)

Remember, it's ok to play (a little) with your food... especially at Halloween!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Honey Spritz Cookies for Halloween (or Any Day)-and a bloggy blooper

I pulled the page for these Honey Spritz Cookies out of the December 2012 edition of Food Network Magazine. It took a while, but I knew I'd get around to trying the recipe! Buttery with a hint of honey, they stuck nicely to the cookie sheet, and as you'll see below they did really hold their shape well for pressed cookies. This is a nice little recipe to tuck away for a cool fall baking day:@)

I found the spider sprinkles leftover and marked down after Halloween at Walmart last year. So for pennies I have a cute little ~easily decorated~ cookie for Halloween:@) And of course this recipe would be great any time of year using a different disc. Ya gotta love spritz folks!!!

My Bloggy Blooper: Now, I may be the only person in the world that didn't know this but, these little candy sprinkles can't be baked... Nope, they can't. I added the spiders to all of my cookies that had the most detail and really showed the spider web design well... And the spiders ~a la Wicked Witch of the West~ melted-huh??? So they are best sprinkled on cupcakes or you can stick them onto the cookies after baking with a dab of icing or melted chocolate.

The spider web is part of Oxo's Fall Cookie Discs, love all of the cute shapes... 
Look at that turkey:@)

Other Fall and Halloween Options can be found at Impress Bakeware, lovin' the cat!
And ghost... and jack-o-lantern... Too fun!

Honey Spritz Cookies-from Food Network Magazine, Dec 2012
2 C A/P flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/3 C sugar
1 large egg
1/4 C honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Anything you'd like to decorate them with
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy.
  3. Add egg, honey and vanilla, mix until combined.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  5. Fill press, press cookies onto cool, ungreased baking sheets. Decorate as desired.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees 12-15 minutes, or until just golden. Turning baking sheet half way through.
  7. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, transfer to racks until completely cool.
Scare up a fun little treat and have a happy day:@)

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