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

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Variegated Halloween Crinkle Cookies from Cake Mix

I wanted a colorful, yet easy, seasonal cookie, and every once in a while it's fun to try new things... There was a white cake mix in the cabinet so Orange and Green Variegated Halloween Crinkle Cookies sounded good. We all enjoyed these festive cookies at Sunday dinner and the leftovers eerily ~vanished~ at work the next day:@) I ended up with 24 large cookies at a cost of less than $1.50-not bad. Don't hesitate to use any flavor cake mix or extract and spices that sounds good, pumpkin spice anyone?

Tip: One comment I've read is that the powdered sugar doesn't always show up on the cookie after it's baked (and that's an important part of this cookies' appeal). Pillsbury suggests redipping the tops in powdered sugar after the cookies have cooled for two minutes. I coated my cookies well before baking and did not have this issue.

Another colorful idea, Halloween Snickerdoodles HERE. Instead of rolling in regular sugar and cinnamon, use orange and green colored sugar.

Crinkle Cookies from Cake Mix
18 oz white or yellow cake mix-my cake mix was 15 oz from Dollar Tree
2 eggs
1/3 C vegetable oil-I used 1/4 C oil
1 tsp vanilla extract-or flavor of your choice
orange and green food coloring-I used Americolor gel coloring
Powdered sugar for coating
  1. Thoroughly blend cake mix, eggs, oil and extract. 
  2. Split dough in half, color the halves orange and green. Chill if it's too sticky to handle.
  3. Use a little of each color, roll into 1" balls.
  4. Roll each ball in powdered sugar, coat really well.
  5. Place balls on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, 2" apart, 12 cookies per sheet maximum.
  6. Bake at 375 for 9-13 minutes, or until cookies are dry and golden on edges. My cookies did take an additional 3-5 minutes.
  7. Remove to cooling rack. Store in air tight container.
Have a sticky sweet happy day:@)

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!


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