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
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.
Four days until Halloween! What do you have planned?
Today, I visited our local world market and I fond two of the cutest Chinese bowls with a place to hold the chopsticks. They are white with a black design. I can not wait to use them for a upcoming recipe! I scored them for only $2 a piece. Trying to decide if I should go back and pick up the plates that match.What do you think?
The lovely people over at Chobani sent me a case of yogurt to try out. I love the blood orange flavor and the pomegranate. Though, the honey goes perfect with so many desserts and savory dishes that I had a hard time deciding what recipe to make. My inspiration came to me when I was at the local organic store and I could smell the cantaloupe from across the way. Some might say yellow curry is spicy, but I feel it is actually flavorful. If your not a curry fan you can replace the curry in the recipe with apple pie spice. My son said apple pie spice would be wonderful with it. He’s not the hugest fan of curry. On the other hand I love curry spice especially with yogurt or apples!
My recipe for curry cantaloupe parfait.
Chobani Greek yogurt is currently sponsoring Team USA! And I am giving away a case of Chobani to one lucky winner! First the recipe for this simple parfait then you can fill out the rafflecopter below for the giveaway.
*Disclosure: I was given a case of Chobani to review. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own.
The lovely team at OXO sent me a Cherry Pitter to test out. I am already bias to OXO tools since everything I have tested is wonderful! The cherry pitter is simple to use even for my left handed daughter who is 12. She was excited to use the new tool and insists that I buy all OXO tools for her to use in the kitchen because it is difficult for her with most kitchen gadgets. As you can see below it pops out the seed and has a splatter proof shield.
Here she is using the cherry pitter to pit the rainier cherries for this rainier cherry ricotta cobbler recipe.
In addition to the cherry pitter, OXO is running a recipe contest which will be judged by creativity, taste, and presentation. Below is my recipe for Rainier Cherry Ricotta Cobbler in which I am entering into the OXO Cherry Recipe Contest. The ricotta acts as an ice cream in this dish and it is topped with a crumble crust regularly featured on cobblers with a fresh topping of Rainier cherries that have been tossed lightly in honey added to the top with more honey drizzled over the entire dish.
I hope you all enjoy this refreshing dessert in this relentless heat.
My son always challenges me for his birthday to create a new cupcake with a liquor flavor and no alcohol in it. I have a feeling this will change on his 21st. Until then I get to be creative. This year he asked for a Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcake with a cream cheese icing.
Here you can see his birthday blow out and display of my cool chalkboard wall and the strawberry daiquiri cupcakes.
And here is a picture of the cupcakes with out the top ice cream cake.
Strawberry cupcake recipe adapted from Bakingdom’s Strawberry Cake recipe.
To be brutally honest, I am a peanut butter snob, so when Jen at Juanita’s Cocina mentioned PB Crave my interest sparked. Who’s interest would not when someone mentions cookie dough peanut butter or Razzle Dazzle with white chocolate and raspberries. Luckily, the nice group over at PB Crave sent me out four jars to try. Initially we tried it on crackers and bread to get the basic taste of each of these fantastic renditions on the typical peanut butter. Not only did I think the PB Crave pack was wonderful but it was completely approved by all three teenagers. Best of all it’s all natural!
After wondering what to make with these delicious peanut butters I realized my son’s birthday was up and coming. Why not a beautiful ice cream cake. My first task was to decide which icing I was going to use. After a bit of surfing on the net I found that whipping cream was generally used for ice cream cakes. I’ve never before made my own whipped topping. Task two was to make whipped topping for frosting the cake but also infusing PB Crave’s Choco Choco Peanut Butter into the frosting. Turns out it was simple, heavy cream, kitchenaid, powdered sugar, and choco choco peanut butter. The rest is a no fail process and I hope all of you will try it especially in these super hot Summer days.
PB Crave’s is giving me the chance to allow one of you to win a Choco Choco Variety Pack! (pictured below)
To enter to win please follow the steps in the Rafflecopter below but first the recipe.
Now for the giveaway! Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: I was given one four pack of PB Crave’s Peanut Butter to review. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own. Prize can only be shipped within the United States.*
As many of you may know this last week was Teacher Appreciation week. Now, I normally don’t buy into the teacher appreciation idea but with the new school my boys are going to I appreciate that there is some really great teachers at that school. To share the goodies with everyone I made some Blackberry Lime cupcakes.
After hours of looking online for inspiration and being picky about wanting something that would fit the seasonal bill I had an epiphany. Why not combine the two? At first, a Strawberry Lemon cupcake cake was on my list but it is so traditional and I just wanted to get away from the usual. Sorry for the frozen pictures but these photos were snapped on the way out the door at 8AM after the cupcakes had been the freeze all night.
Blackberry Lime cupcakes with a bit of frost.
On another subject, I have a question for my readers. My grandmother loves bingo but with her not being able to move around quite as well as she use to, it is impossible to take her to the bingo hall. I have been searching online at sites where you can add a little money in and play bingo and win prizes. Something like Cheeky Bingo. Does anyone have any suggestions about these sites? Do you play? I am thinking about setting her up on one and putting money in for her to play. Might be a great Christmas present. Your feedback is welcome!
This week is not only Spring Break but my daughter’s 12th birthday. I have had the lack of time to do a any posts as I have been making tons of cupcakes as you see here.
Luckily, I have some great blogger friends that have the ability to do a post this week!
I love to make cupcakes; it’s an obsession! With that being said, I used to just play with the “bang your head on the wall” icing out of a plastic container also known as store bought. This last Christmas I received a KitchenAid and the icing I make comes out so wonderful now, I would never let go of my KitchenAid. Any who, I decided I need to work on technique and such before my daughter’s birthday and who could resist using the new Nikon D5100 for some food shots. The camera, kitchen, and myself have become one. It’s scary!
Oh! And did I mention that Blood Oranges are in season and we finally got them here. I bought two huge bags and this week and went back for more. Blood oranges are perfect for a garnish. Ha! Ha! Be my Bloody Valentine!
Peel the blood orange and roll your orange slices in sugar and set aside.
Don’t brown the cupcakes or they become crunchy on top. The lightly brown/golden color is perfect!
Before the orange slices (above) and with orange slices (below).
After New Year’s, I had a quarter bottle of Irish cream left over and I just wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now that I received a new KitchenAid as a gift for Christmas, I thought it should be a bit simpler to make icing and why not try it out. My V does not care much for alcohol mixed with food. On the other hand my 16 year old loves it. You know how teenagers are! I have to consistently explain it really is just for flavor and it’s not going to get you drunk. Oh well, as long as they eat it I’m happy!
These cupcakes would be fantastic for St. Patrick’s Day and you can always spruce them up with some clover sprinkles.