Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Snippets and a Silly Purchase

Let's start off with the silly purchase, I love this crazy solar turkey from Dollar Tree! His head goes up and down and wings flap, he's sitting on the window sill in the kitchen and will bring smiles through Thanksgiving.

As a life long fan of lollipop trees, I had to share this great idea from I Gotta Create using a Dollar Store skull. It's just too fun and looks like you (or the Hubby:@) could whip one up in no time with a drill. To make it even gorier add some of those real thin snakes sticking up between some of the lollipops!

For my PIGskin Challenge this week I found some fun football/Christmas inflatables at Walmart.
Now if only they were green they'd be perfect here in Eagles territory... just sayin'.

And I'll leave you with... Well, honestly I don't know what to say about this folks... 
But I'll bet he wins the award for Tastiest Costume:@)

Have a happy day!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Tree 2014

I had a blast setting up the 6' tree this year! Love it and will continue decorating a big Halloween Tree. Here it is from back when I first set it up and the lighting was better for pics, my livingroom is dark and I have added to the tree since then. The colored C7 bulbs are blinkers so some times I catch them, sometimes I don't... Warning: picture overload-Proceed with caution:@)

Some folks have said they'd like to have a Halloween tree but don't know where to get ornaments. The easiest way to start gathering them is while Christmas ornaments are out, just imagine what would work for Halloween. The solid black balls, owls and blue stars are all from clearance last year.
I love the costume award buttons, they are a great size and the ribbon detail is cool. 
Was hoping Walmart would have more this year, but no-bummer.
An inexpensive pack of plastic treat pumpkins goes a long way in helping to fill out a tree.
I tucked larger wooden cut-outs and scarecrow picks deeper inside the branches. 
The orange cat cookie cutter in the pic below is a great example of filler... I grabbed a pack of 6 plastic Halloween cookie cutters at Big Lots on clearance for 25¢ last November. They may eventually get make-overs, but I enjoyed them as is this year.
The black bat above (some are orange, there are 6) is a spinner the boys gave me, 
the heat from the bulbs makes the fins in the middle turn.
I simply added orange bead dots from Michaels to a couple plain black balls, love the way they look!
The caution tape did turn out to be a fun, colorful garland for the tree.
The fiber optic witch tree topper that I shared earlier HERE.
So that's my tree this year folks-
You don't have to decorate a big one, I used a 28" feather tree for years, I just... um, outgrew it.

I hope you're having a fun Halloween too:@)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin, Beef and Black Bean Chili

I loved the idea of trying this savory recipe for Pumpkin Palooza this year, but what really caught my eye was they said you could sub butternut squash for pumpkin if you wanted to... I'm very fond of butternut squash folks, so that's what I used this time. The colors in this Pumpkin, Beef and Black Bean Chili are beautiful! I really felt like I was eating something very healthy. And it would have been even more colorful if I remembered to add the fresh cilantro at the end-ugh...
I like my chili sauce to have a little viscosity to it so I did add extra black beans and mashed some.
This was a nice change from our usual Sunday dinner chili.

Pumpkin (or Butternut Squash), Beef and Black Bean Chili-Country Living Magazine Oct 2014
1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tblsp chili powder
2 Tblsp oregano-that's a lot of oregano folks... I used 1 tsp
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 C cubes pumpkin or butternut squash-I aimed for about 1/2" pieces
14.5oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
14.5oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice-I used a can of Rotel and shake of smoked paprika
14oz can of beef broth
S&P to taste
1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro
sliced fresh jalapenos-may I suggest pickled ones:@)
chipotle sour cream
These directions seemed rather involved to me... I just browned up the hamburger, then added the onion for about 5 minutes, then added everything except the beans. I added the beans to heat trough when the squash got soft.
  1. Cook beef in dutch oven until no longer pink. Remove with slotted spoon. 
  2. Cook onion and next 2 ingredients in drippings for 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in chili powder and next 2 ingredients, cook 1 minute and stir in pumpkin and next 5 ingredients.
  4. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until pumpkin is tender (I'm guessing they want you to add the beef back at this point...).
  5. Stir in cilantro (I forgot this) and season to taste with S&P. Serve with jalapenos and Chipotle Sour Cream.
Chipotle Sour Cream
Stir together 8oz sour cream, 1 Tblsp minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, 2 tsp lime zest and 1 Tblsp lime juice. Season to taste with S&P.

Eat well and have a happy day:@)

I'm Joining:
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October Daylily

I snapped this picture on Sunday, which was a breezy, cool and brisk day. Even though we then had a hard frost that night, I was still greeted by this beautiful color after work yesterday-big smiles! 
Fall is here, it is true,
Skies are gray, rarely blue.
Though there are but a few,
Enjoy the blooms that are just for you.

Have a great week:@)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Yummy Mummy Apple Pie

I had this idea to make a Mummy Pie years ago and when I nosed around the 'net saw that folks had already done it. Well, this year I decided I was going to make mine anyway and my spin would be the crazy bulging marshmallow and candy eyes. I cut a marshmallow in half and added it after the pie cooled off. I'm looking forward to hearing what the boys have to say about it:@)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Snippets-Went Junkin'

This was one of those Saturdays that life is really good! It was sunny and breezy, the leaves were blowing around and there were a couple flea markets set up in church parking lots. A gentleman had a bunch of Christmas items and this box of ornaments caught my eye immediately... I held it up ~held my breath~ and asked "how much?"-He said 25¢. I almost ripped the bottom of my pocket out getting my quarter!!! 
The original price tag:

Then I dug through a couple boxes, found a few more and these plastic bells I remember from when I was a kid-love them! All six cost me another 50¢.
 The most expensive part of my trip was the hot dog and sauerkraut, but then, that is required eating at such an event:@) 
 I hope you had a fun Saturday too!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hot Sauced Kentucky Beer Cheese

This Hot Sauced Kentucky Beer Cheese was the first thing I made from the Cooking With Frank's RedHot Cookbook. It's a highly flavored dip that Rachel and I couldn't get enough of! Lots of punch from the hot sauce and the zip from fresh garlic was very nice. Note: I chose to use pre-shredded cheddar and no matter how many times I scraped down the food processor, my dip wasn't going to get velvety smooth. So don't do what I did, please do as the recipe suggests and shred your own cheese. I'm thinking room temperature cheese might be helpful too. Serve with celery, pretzels (pumpkin and bat shapes optional:@) and potato or tortilla chips. If your crowd likes zingy dips, don't hesitate to add this one to your list folks!
I had a little leftover and spread it on a roll with some ham, it made a fantastic sandwich!

Funny side note from the 'it's a small world' chapter of life: 
The author of this cookbook is a lady that has the blog Coconut & Lime. Back in 2010 when I started Pig In Mud I contacted her to ask if it would be ok to use one of her photos on my blog and she graciously said yes. What did I see that I couldn't wait to share with you?

I still love it today!!!

Hot Sauced Kentucky Beer Cheese-from Cooking with Frank's RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 pound brick of extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, quartered
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 C amber ale
1/4 C Frank's RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
Serve with: pretzels, celery, potato chips, tortilla chips, Fritos
  1. Place cheese, garlic, shallot, Worcestershire and spices into a food processor fitted with the blade.
  2. Cover and begin to process. With processor running slowly stream in the beer and hot sauce. Process until smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture to bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)