How To Roast A Pumpkin

For years pumpkin puree out of a can went into all of my Fall baked recipes. Until two years ago, when I finally roasted a pumpkin and made my own puree. Fresh roasted pumpkin made into puree has the best taste. I just prefer it. Plus baking it smells so delicious. That’s why I want to share this post with you on How to Roast a Pumpkin. It’s simple to do and makes more then enough for two recipes.

how to roast a pumpkin

Cut off the stem with a knife. The skin will be tough so be careful. Flip pumpkin back over to it’s bottom.

how to roast a pumpkin

Get a bowl ready. Cut the pumpkin in half. This will be a little easier then cutting off the stem.

how to roast a pumpkin

Get a spoon and bowl and scoop out all the seeds into the bowl. You can see how below. Make sure to get most of the strings out.

how to roast a pumpkin

Save the seeds for a great healthy snack. I love pumpkin seeds! Trying different spices when you baked them makes such a tasty difference. Grab a casserole dish and place the pumpkin halves face down in the dish. Do not use a baking sheet or you will have a mess in your oven.

how to roast a pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place pumpkins in oven and bake for about one hour to an hour and a half. The pumpkin insides will become soft and the skin will brown and lift off the pumpkin.

how to roast a pumpkin

Peel the skin off and move pumpkin to a food processor and blend or use a bowl and a hand blender. Puree and make sure to stir to get a smooth texture through out the puree.

pumpkin puree

The puree can be stored in the fridge in a ziplock bag. You may also freeze the pumpkin puree. If you plan to freeze it longer then a month you should use a food saver bag or can it. One small pumpkin usually makes enough as you see here for two to three recipes. I just pop it in the fridge and bake with the pumpkin puree within a week. This week I want to make Pumpkin Pound cake!

Snickers Pudding Jars for Tailgating #GameDayBites

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Today is my BIRTHDAY!

Anywho! That’s a sign to me that today it is time for tailgating season. NASCAR races in the beautiful fall weather. The smell of rubber and gas. Yes, I love that! Though, what I like better is the food. You must have yummy snacks to take to the races when tailgating. I enjoy my brisket sandwiches with dipping sauce, sunflower seeds, and plenty of water.

Snickers Pudding Jars #GameDayBites

Sometimes you just want something sweet that will fit right into a small carry cooler. A little plastic spoon to go with. Snickers pudding jars are perfect for Game day or Race day! Slice up some Snickers and toss them into a jar with layers of pudding and it’s the perfect on the go tailgating dessert.

Snickers Pudding Jars #GameDayBites

These jars are just so much fun! Simple for #GameDayBites which you can use this hashtag to find more tailgating recipes. Oh! Did I mention you can use the coupon below to save $2.00 on Snickers or Milky Way bites! Just click and print. Then you can make these awesome Snickers Pudding Jars for your tailgating event whether it be football or NASCAR. Notice my red and yellow cupcake liners for decoration. They fit my teams USC and/or Joey Logano my race car driver that I follow cars colors.

Game Day, Chocolate, Dessert, Recipe, Tailgating, Bites, Snickers, Milky Way

Don’t hesitate to share this coupon with your friends too! Sharing is caring and isn’t that what the tailgating experience is about. I know we love to mingle with others and see what they have while trading off recipes. Once we enjoyed some fajitas from another lovely NASCAR fan cooking them up while we rode on the tram to take us back to the car. Don’t you love when people are that generous? I know I do and love to share new recipes; of course :)

Snickers Pudding Jars for Tailgating #GameDayBites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 1

Snickers Pudding Jars for Tailgating #GameDayBites


1 package chocolate pudding
2 handfuls Snickers Bites; sliced
1 mason jar
1 cute cupcake liner for decoration


Make pudding according to package directions. Add some pudding to jar. Add half of the sliced Snickers bites to the jar. Add more pudding and then another layer of Snickers Bites. Place liner over jar and seal cap.

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies – Bake a Difference OXO

apple cider caramel cookies

Anytime that blogging can be used for a good cause, I’m definitely in!  September happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the folks at OXO are gearing up for their annual program Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. I’m helping with my Apple Cider Caramel cookies.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a wonderful program which makes it possible to easily get involved in fundraising to find a cure for pediatric cancer.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate.

apple cider caramel cookies

You see, OXO will donate $100.00 to the organization for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in September!  Also, be on the lookout for OXO products with the following sticker attached:



In 2013, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.

For every specially marked item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000* pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. (Look for specially marked OXO products at participating retailers.)

apple cider caramel cookies

For my cookie post, I chose a recipe meant for Fall.  These cookies put the F in Fall with their gooey caramel centers. Chunks of fresh granny apples and cider flavor make it the perfect cookie to serve up at your next pumpkin carving gathering.

apple cider caramel cookies

Learn how to host a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fundraiser HERE!

apple cider caramel cookies

So without further ado, here is the recipe!

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies

Yield: 1 dozen cookies

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 stick melted butter
1/3 cup apple cider
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 granny smith apple; diced
1 bag of caramels
parchment paper


Preheat oven to 325F.

In your stand mixer bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until fully combined; to aerate.

Melt butter completely in a microwave safe bowl.Add the brown sugar, white sugar, and melted butter. Mix in apple cider and eggs. Fold in the diced apple chunks.

Roll the cookies into 1/2 balls with half a caramel candy piece in the center and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. These cookies spread a lot. You want to make sure to make the cookie balls small. Place a 1/2 dozen to a sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are a light golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then remove with OXO cookie spatula to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

Berry Patriotic Ice Cream Cake & July 4th Round Up

It’s Independence eve and here are some awesome 4th of July Patriotic inspired recipes and DIY’s!  Along with a Berry Patriotic Ice Cream cake perfect for dessert in this uber hot weather! I had hoped to post a picture of the cake but it doesn’t look like that will be happening until tomorrow as the ice cream is still setting.

At least the recipe for the Berry Patriotic ice cream cake can be posted! Then again there is plenty of pictures below to some incredible patriotic inspired dishes. They are all so pretty I am not sure which one I would pick!

patriotic party july 4th

On another note, today is my Uncle and Dad’s birthday. They are twins! We used to celebrate every year on the 4th. Plenty of fireworks and food, guess that’s why I enjoy that day so much. It means family, food and fun! What are you doing this year? Are you cooking up a feast or anything patriotic? If so, please do post in the comments your link or story; I’d love to hear about it.

Berry Patriotic Ice Cream Cake

Total Time: 24 hours

Serving Size: 6 to 8


1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream (Bluebell is what I used)
1 package of fresh blueberries
1/2 package of fresh strawberries; tops removed and sliced in half
1 package of Oreo cookies; crushed for bottom


Line a cake pan or bread pan with plastic wrap. Set ice cream out briefly to soften. Once the ice cream is slightly soft layer in fruit and ice cream in layers. This will help disburse the fruit through out the cake.

Crush Oreo's in a bowl or plastic bag. Layer over top of ice cream and fruit mixture. The top of this will be come the bottom once the ice cream has set to the mold. Freeze ice cream for several hours or up to two days prior to serving. The longer is of course better!

Serve with fresh fruit on the side and/or caramel or hot fudge topping.

Please check out the links below and feel free to pin and comment!


Patriotic Preztel Smores by Chocolate Moosey

Red, White and Blueberry Parfaits by Cravings of a Lunatic

Independence Day Fruit Tart by Big Bear’s Wife

Star Spangled Berry Pizza on the grill by Bread in Five

Summer Berry Pizza by Magnolia Days

Salads, Salsas & Side Dishes:

Red, White and Bleu Mac ‘N Cheese by Juanita’s Cocina

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa by Two Peas & Their Pod

Patriotic Potato Salad by Chez Us


Red, White & Blue Popsicles by  The Little Kitchen


Red, White and Blue Vanilla Bean Spritzers by Pineapple and Coconut

Blackberry Lime Green Tea by My Invisible Crown


Patriotic Rose Cake Tutorial by I am Baker

DIY American Flag Jean Shorts by Tealou & Sweet Pea

4th of July Manicure by Fab Fatale

Raspberry Bublanina #BakeForWest

On April 17th, a small town named West in Texas was rocked by a fertilizer plant explosion. 15 people lost their lives with almost 200 injured. Many of those that fell were firefighters that were first to the scene. It’s such a tragic event to hit this little Czech/Texan community. With more then $100 million in damage, my fellow bloggers and I decided to #BakeForWest to show our support in hopes to raise awareness for those to donate to help this great Czech/Texan town West, TX.

I live about two hours from West, TX. My sweet V and his parents are Czech.  His parents came to Texas more then 25 years ago from the Czech Republic and they love it here. When I witnessed the tragedy on the news I knew I had to help somehow.

Raspberry Bublanina

In West, Texas is a quaint little shop called the  Czech Stop that are famous for their kolaches. It’s right off one of our main highways. The town is well known for its Czech culture and heritage  In fact, the Czech Republic is donating monies to help with this community. It may not be much but it is nice of them to put forward an effort to help.

Raspberry Bublanina

Today, I am using a recipe that V’s mom sent me a few years ago after she baked me this wonderful cake with fresh plums from the tree in her backyard. It is traditionally made with cherries or other fresh picked berries that grow wild in the Czech Republic. I looked everywhere for cherries but they are not in season here yet. I decided to settle on raspberries since they are a berry and one of V’s favorites. Here is my #BakeForWest recipe: Raspberry Bublanina (bubbly cake) in honor for those lost or injured in this horrible tragedy.

Raspberry Bublanina

Raspberry Bublanina


1 1/4 cups whole milk
5 eggs, separated, save whites
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of raspberries; or fruit you would like.
Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 9x11 pan and set aside. Toss raspberries in one to tablespoons flour and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Set bowl aside. Separate eggs yolks from whites into two small bowls. In a stand mixer beat the egg whites on a 10 for 2 to 3 minutes until they form stiff white peaks. You may also hand whisk the egg whites.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, and vegetable oil until the batter is smooth like silk. Slowly whisk in dry ingredients with the wet until the batter is smooth. Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites slowly and carefully. Do not over mix. The egg whites will create your bubbly top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a small butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature and shift powdered sugar over the top of the cake. Serve in small squares.

If you would like to donate to help those in West, TX you can donate here through the Pointwest bank.


Please take a moment and stop by to visit these other fantastic foodies for their wonderful Czech desserts for #BakeForWest

Mardi Gras Cupcakes

It’s carnival time again and I am counting the days till Fat Tuesday when I get to celebrate with fried gator tail and plenty of drinks. Until that time I plan on cooking everything Cajun in my book of secrets. Hence the Mardi Gras cupcake recipe.

Last year, I bought some doubloons from the dollar store to decorate my cupcakes with. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to use them. Though I am glad because I did not know my way around my new camera then. Now my abilities have grown and well I hope you can see that in the pictures below.

Mardi Gras Cupcake

One of the many questions I get asked is how do you swirl icing. It’s pretty simple! I just add a tad of each color to different spots in the pastry piping bag and then squeeze. I only add a little at a time of each or the colors tend to blend too much. You can see my bag below :)

Mardi Gras Icing

The tip I used is 1M by Wilton. I like this shape a lot for cupcakes as it gives a nice ice cream swirl effect. The Mardi Gras beads are a part of the collection of beads I have started to get ready for all the Fat Tuesday fun. I picked them up at the local Dollar Tree if you are interested in getting some of your own.

Now, I cannot take full credit on this recipe as my daughter, whom is 12, took the fun of baking these cupcakes. With a recipe from me she had fun with the colors and the endless licking of all the bowls. That is her favorite part of baking sweets. In fact, I generally have to continue to tell her the licking belongs at the end of baking not while we are trying to mix everything. She’s hilarious!

Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: About 16 cupcakes

Mardi Gras Cupcakes


For Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Malibu coconut rum
1/2 cup oil olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
Yellow gel food coloring
Purple gel food coloring
Green gel food coloring
For Frosting
2 cups unsalted butter , at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoon vanilla extract


For Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs, sugar, vanilla, rum, and oil; beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk; beat until combined.

Separate batter into bowls and color with gel food coloring in yellow, purple, and green. Pour a little of each batter into lined cupcake. Fill liners a little over half full. Bake cupcakes 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting

Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 2 minutes till butter is soft and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mix well. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. To color frosting just whip with purple, yellow, and green gel food coloring individually.

To swirl the frosting, simply put each color of frosting on each side of bag and pipe. I used a 1M tip from Wilton.

#SundaySupper White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Every year I make these cookies for my oldest son, Tommy. He loves them and I always change the recipe a bit and he does not mind. This year I wanted to add fresh cranberries and it turned out tasty!

When the teens were younger I would go through this whole ordeal of making cookies, watching Christmas movies, and having hot chocolate. We would then set out the cookies for Santa, not that I did not already have enough sweets, and then they would push off to bed.

Many things have changed now, such as we do our gifts on Christmas Eve. Though one tradition still remains and that is the white chocolate cranberry cookies. They just scream Christmas!

For a bit more spice you may add in some cinnamon and clove. It’s all up to you and your creative side :)

#SundaySupper White Chocolate Cranberry Santa Cookies

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

#SundaySupper White Chocolate Cranberry Santa Cookies


4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks melted butter
2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 bag white chocolate chips
parchment paper


Preheat oven to 325F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until fully combined; to aerate.

Melt butter completely in a microwave safe bowl. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the brown sugar, white sugar, and melted butter. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Continue beating until batter is light and creamy. In increments, add in flour mixture, mixing after each addition.

Add in white chocolate chips and cranberries; mix well.

Roll the cookies into 1/2 balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. These cookies spread . You want to make sure to make the cookie balls small. Place a dozen to a sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes until the edges are a light golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

- Eggs Benedict by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Holiday Cream Cheese Tea Ring by That Skinny Chick can Bake
- Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake by Small Wallet Big Appetite

Appetizers & Snacks
- Chicken Liver Pate by Tora’s Real Food
- Bindaetteok {Mung Bean Pancakes}by Kimchi Mom
- Crab and Asparagus Soup by The Urban Mrs.
- Roasted Chestnuts by Curious Cuisiniere

- Potato Salad {Schwaebischer Kartoffelsalat} byGalactopdx
- Italian Orange Salad by Shockingly Delicious
- Sweet Potato Casserole by Magnolia Days
- Lightened up Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes by Real Nutrition
- Carrots au gratin by Juanitas Cocina

Main Dishes
- Char Siu Bao – Chinese Roast Pork Buns by
The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Christmas Eve Pizza & Martinis by The Webicurian
- Savory Crepe Cake by Vintage Kitchen Notes
- West Indian Curried Goat by The ROXX Box
- Pot Cheese and Potato Cheese Pierogies by
Cupcakes and Kale chips
- Seafood Gumbo and Grilled Oysters: A Louisiana Christmas
Tradition by the Catholic Foodie
- Mom’s Paella by Yummy Smells
- Portuguese inspired Chorizo Crown Pork Roast by
The Family Foodie
- Dorie’s Chicken in a Pot by Gotta Get Baked
- New Year’s Eve Buckwheat Noodles with Mochi by The Ninja Baker
- Crab Cakes for Christmas Eve by Daddy Knows Less

- Pizzelles {Italian Wafer Cookies} by Chocolate Moosey
- Fudge by Dinner Dishes and Desserts
- Orange Refrigerator Rolls by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Crescent Cookies by Cookistry
- Christmas Stollen by Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
- #GlutenFree Cookies for Santa by The Cooing Underwriter
- Pfeffernusse by The Foodie Army Wife
- Creme De Menthe Cake by I Run for Wine
- Panettone Bread Pudding by the Country Girl in the Village
- Spiced Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake | A twist on a St. Louis
Favorite by Daily Dish Recipes
- Chocolate Gingerbread Layer Cake with Eggnog Cream Cheese by
Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends
- Jamaican Christmas Pudding by Lovely Pantry
- White Chocolate Cranberry Santa Cookies by Mooshu Jenne
- Christmas Tree Cookies by Damn Delicious
- Old Fashioned Lady Fingers {Creamhorns} by The Meltaways
- Rose Milk Almond Falooda {Indian Dessert Drink} by
Sue’s  Nutrition Buzz

- Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- Cinnamon Infused Hot Chocolate with Southern Comfort Whipped
Cream by Mama Mommy Mom
- Mint Chocolate Cocoa by Mama’s Blissful Bites

Finnish Piparkakku Pomegranate – #FBCookieSwap

Today I’m participating in the 2nd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen! I am featuring my Finnish Piparkakku cookies.


The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.

This year #FBCookieSwap is partnering with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

I was lucky to have three very creative bloggers send me some delicious cookies.

Main Line Feast sent Toblerone Cookies that were very scrumptious! My oldest son said these were his favorite with lots of flavor.

A Chronic Venture baked Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies that my middle son insists he needs the recipe for. He loves pistachios!

AnnaDishes set us two sets of cookies, one a super soft sugar cookie and White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut cookies. Anna, how did you know I like cranberries?! I also added the lovely Christmas card to our display :)

Here is my recipe that I sent out to my three bloggers which are listed below the recipe with the cookies they shared with their three bloggers.

First, here is a picture of how the batter should look when mixed so that you know what the consistency should look like.

Finnish Piparkakku batter

Cut the cookies out with any shape you would like. I think hearts show the love of the season. Lightly dust with water to remove flour if you feel the need to have them look perfect. See OXO’s adorable “Be a Good Cookie” spatula  and the monies help with kids’ cancer.

Finnish Piparkakku Cookies cutouts

Bake for 5 minutes and cool before you ice them.

Cooling Finnish Piparkakku Cookies

Ice those bad boys and decorate with pomegranate.

Finnish Piparkakku with Pomegranate

Then bag them with cute gingerbread bags!

Finnish Cookies

Finnish Piparkakku w/ Pomegranate

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: About 5 dozen cookies

Finnish Piparkakku w/ Pomegranate


For Cookies:
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoon clove
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups of flour
For Icing:
Half a bag of powder sugar (confectioners sugar)
3 to 7 tablespoons of rum, water, or vanilla (your choice)
For Decoration:


For Cookies:

Mix molasses, dark brown sugar, and spices in the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment. Add in the stick and a half of butter and mix for about 1 minute. Add in flour and baking soda and while mixing add one egg. Let the dough rest in fridge over night. This will help enhance the spices. Roll the dough on floured table top and use any kind of cookie cutter you prefer. Place cookies on baking tray and bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F. Let cool on rack before icing.

For Icing:

Mix half a bag of powdered sugar with three tablespoons of rum in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add more coconut rum as needed until mixture becomes like a paste or glaze. Dip cookies in glaze or paint cookies with glaze with a brush. Add pomegranate and let dry.

Please check out the recipes of bloggers that I sent cookies to!

Sweet Remedy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Valerie’s Kitchen Chocolate Pecan Truffle Cookies

NickStirs Pomegranate Butter Cookies

Thank you ladies it was a blast!

No Shave November – Mustache Cookies

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. For more information on Movember please check out the site. Below is a recipe for sugar cookies that I used on the No Shave November mustache cookies.

My teenage sons’ school, Media Arts Academy, all month have been raising awareness by not shaving. The girls at the school are wearing fake mo’s for $1 and raising money for the movement. To contribute to the fun I made over 150 mustache cookies and I thought I would share them will my readers.

no shave november, mustache cookies, media arts academy

Before they were iced.

no shave november, mustache cookies, media arts academy

After we iced them. After a few dozen we just started slapping icing on as it was getting pretty late and we were tired!

no shave november, mustache cookies, media arts academy

For the cookie recipe I used please visit Brown Eyed Baker and and for the icing please visit Bake 350.

I used Cookie Cutter Company’s mustache cookie cutter that can also be turned upside down and used to make a Mardi Gras mask. They are my go to place to order cookie cutters as I love metal cookie cutters. It is a pain to use plastic cookies cutters. They tend to stick to the dough making the cookie cutting process the worst ever. Currently, I have about eight of there cookie cutter with a growing collection. Before collecting the mother load of cutters it in my best interest to look for some type of cookie tackle box. Something to place the cutters and icing tips in to un-clutter my kitchen drawers. Do you have a sacred place that you store your cookie goodies in? If so, I would love to hear where you store them.

Halloween Countdown – Day Four

Last weekend we had our Halloween party and I though I would share with you guys and gals as my Halloween countdown. Not very many people came out though we still had tons of fun. We had sinister cider with voodoo heads, buttered corn (popcorn), eyeball punch, caramel apples, and petrified pizza. Maybe a few late night tacos from Jack in the Crack (ie: Jack in the Box) for the drinkers; at least we had the sober driver go and get them :)

Today, I want to share with you a DIY project on how to make wood grave stones and a recipe for the classic caramel apples with bacon or with nuts.  But first I want to scare the crap out of you ;)

Halloween Countdown Michael Myers Chase Windham

This would be my brother whom scared the piss out of the my teens and their friends at our Halloween party. He came through the house in the pitch dark while the movie was on and stood behind them. It’s was a class A scare!

This year I decided to go with a literary/science Halloween theme.The gravestones I crafted feature Poe, Tesla, and Shakespeare. What I seriously love about wood stones is they do NOT blow away in the wind. Just take a long piece of plywood and cut into three. Lowe’s will do this for you for free if you ask and don’t have a saw at home. Stencils are great for the lettering. I used spray paint in black, one to each slat, and acrylic white paint for the lettering.  Used wood fencing pieces and adhered them to the back with screws and a drill to insert the stones in the ground to stand upright. These stones are better on the environment as you can use them year to year and they don’t blow away in the wind like the Styrofoam stones you can buy at the store.


Halloween can’t be without a treat! These were requested by the other half.

We chopped up our own nuts and added bacon to a few. I used Fuji apples.


Halloween Countdown – Day Four

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 5 Caramel Apples

Halloween Countdown – Day Four


1 bag Kraft caramel candies
1 large bag peanuts; cracked and chopped
3 strips of bacon; cooked and chopped
Lollipop sticks
5 apples


In a medium pot, heat caramels with two tablespoons of water on low heat.

Meanwhile, push lollipop sticks through the apples. It's fine if they pop out the bottom a little just slide them back up through.

Once the caramel is melted dip the apples and set on parchment paper. Drizzle chopped peanuts or cooked chopped bacon on the apples. Freeze for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Tip: I keep the apples frozen and pull them about an hour before they want to eat them as they last longer in the freeze!

Four days until Halloween! What do you have planned?