Thursday, October 31, 2013
If you are carving pumpkins this holiday season, hold on to those pumpkin seeds and make a batch of these tasty Sugar & Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. I was able to make a double batch from two medium sized pumpkins. While the prep work does take some time, get the family together to lend a hand to make the process faster.
I adapted two recipes I found online to come up with this method. As a rule I detest recipes that have you hovering by the stove constantly checking on whatever is baking. So to cut down on that, these pumpkin seeds are boiled for 10 minutes and then having a short baking time compared to other recipes, which would have you sitting and stirring for an hour. I appreciate the time saver and the flavor of these seeds was wonderful.
This is the chocolate cake recipe we have made for probably decades. It is made for birthdays, holidays, or just because someone has a craving. For the frosting, we have tried different recipes here and there, but the one we are using now from Tasty Kitchen is by far the best.
I went with an orange sherbet punch for Halloween with only 3 ingredients. It was delicious and the punch bowl was empty at the end of the night, so I would call it a success. I think subbing out the orange juice concentrate for pineapple juice would also be delicious.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
What the kids dressed up as: Finn and Fionna from Adventure Time.
Jack - Finn with a Jake plushie.
Violet - Fionna with a cake plushie.
We spray painted Violet's sword pink and bought black shoes with a strap from Children's Place. The plushies and other details were from Amazon. The other kids attending were a jedi and a storm trooper.
- Pepperoni Puff Pastry Mummy Braids
- BBQ & Cheese Jack-o-lantern Biscuit Puffs
- Italian Deli Pasta Salad
- Broccoli Grape Bacon Salad (skipped the almonds)
- Wings (BBQ and Salt & Vinegar)
- Orange Sherbet Punch
- Moist Chocolate Skeleton Cake / Cupcakes with cooked flour vanilla frosting
- Goodie bags filled with Halloween Oreo Popcorn + regular candy goodie bags
Violet updated her play garden to have a spooky Halloween theme.
I didn't get any great pictures of the table setting but it was very cute. It is hard to see but we used a gauzy black table cloth. We did a quick craft for sucker ghosts, shown above on the green platter.
I love this cute little mummy braid. You can use crescent dough if you like but I greatly prefer puff pastry for both taste and texture. I have learned that I detest reheated crescent dough as well, so puff pastry is the way I go if I plan on having any leftovers. Check below to see how I cut the dough.
We've been having a lot of Halloween treats courtesy of the recipes at Plain Chicken the past few weeks. Many, many thanks to Stephanie for these wonderful ideas. We are serving the pepperoni mummy braids and these halloweenie pockets at our party today and they look great.
My pockets turned out quite goofy looking but the kids still love them. If I made these again, I would go with using puff pastry as I find it is much easier to work with and I prefer the taste. If you chill the puff pastry well before cutting the face shapes, it should work worlds easier than the biscuit dough.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
For a last minute treat for Halloween pick up a bag of mandarin oranges (any variety will work, clementine, mandarin, etc.) and draw on some sweet spooky faces. Many thanks to a darling blog, The Princess and the Frog for this cute idea.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Mummy Dogs are a favorite at our house, having two small children who like Halloween but aren't really into stuff that actually scares them. We go for a spooky cute theme, and these Mummy Hot Dogs fit in perfectly. You can substitute any already cooked sausage or hot dog you would like. For a few of ours I used jalapeno cheddar brats for the adults.
One thing to note is that I realize now that my crescent mummy strips didn't go high enough on the face to quite look like just the eyes were peeking through, so if you make them go up higher than I did. Luckily little kids don't care about little stuff like that. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Before I start with my notes, I wanted to say that this burger is delicious! One of the best burgers I have ever made. It has a mix of hamburger beef, sausage and ranch mix which makes for a wonderful texture and taste combo. This recipe comes from the great food blog, Plain Chicken. Thank you for another great recipe Stephanie!
Things I learned while making this burger. Thinly sliced cheese is the way to go. My thick hunk of cheddar that I cut off the block was just too thick. The cheese is gonna sweat just like a normal burger, which makes the face look a little icky but it is a scary pumpkin face, we're just gonna go with it.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Up today is a sweet chex mix courtesy of Plain Chicken, which just happens to be one of my favorite food blogs. Previously I have made Chicken Cordon Bleu from her site, which was delicious. Tomorrow I will be posting the other recipe I have made from her site recently, which is a tasty dinner. Go check out her blog and enjoy!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
I have to admit, I have enjoyed all the cookie recipes that have been posted the past year or two that use a cake mix or instant pudding. Don't get me wrong, I am all for making cookies from scratch, but it is also quite nice to cut down on the ingredient list.
These Pumpkin & White Chocolate Chip Cookies were found over at Kitchen Meets Girl. After having made several different cake mix cookie recipes, I think a key thing to note is not to over bake the cookies. This keeps them soft and chewy. Many thanks to Kitchen Meets Girl for this recipe.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
I was recently looking for recipes to use up a large jug of apple cider in our fridge, and I came across this Apple Cider French Onion Soup from The Naptime Chef. I am a big fan of traditional French onion soup, and this takes a slightly sweet twist on a classic.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The weather is getting a bit chilly where we live and at this time of year it can be nice to turn the oven on to heat up the kitchen. Baked Acorn Squash is a simple dish that requires no fancy ingredients and comes together very quickly, besides the cooking time. There is a nice balance between the savory vegetable and the buttery, sweet sauce that is served over it.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I had reservations about how the texture and taste of this Peach & Pear Pie would end up, but one bite took away any worries. It is a simple and delicious pie, which if you so wanted you could easily make with only peaches. We used fresh, ripe pears for this pie, as canned pears leave a bit to be desired.
Friday, October 11, 2013
This recipe was slightly adapted from the original over at Diva di Cucina. For our filling we went with sauteed mushrooms and onions. The spiciness level was also adjusted down for us, so if you like things extra hot you can add extra jalapenos or chipotle. It is a bit of a time invested with a lot of dishes dirtied along the way, but the end result is delicious.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The recipe today comes from a wonderful blog, The Recipe Critic. I cut my dip in half, which I thought was plenty for my family. If you are serving this for a party I would say double the ingredients, but for just enjoying at home, you can see that even the halved recipe made a big bowl.
I served this dip alongside Stacy's Vanilla Pound Cake Bakery Crisps, which I found at Walmart if you haven't seen them around. This would also be great served with apple slices, graham crackers, or cinnamon & sugar pita chips. Thanks to The Recipe Critic for this recipe. Enjoy!