Halloween Food Goof-Ups

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The problem with having a food blog is that everyone  thinks that everything I make turns out as beautifully as it does in the pictures.  Truth is that only the successful recipes make it here on the blog and I regularly have less than stellar kitchen experiences.  I burn dinner sometimes, I make dud-recipes that just don't turn out, and  sometimes I just plain mess up.    Today, Jen and I thought that just for fun,  we would share a few of our Halloween duds!   Do you have any grand Halloween debacles of your own?   We'd love to hear about yours! 

Click here to see a post featuring some of our more successful Halloween treats! 

Skeleton rolls

I think I handled to dough too much making all my different shapes for the skeleton because they didn't rise that much for the second rise, thus making them rather hard. Still, I like the idea.

Mummy Pizza
In theory this worked in my head. Even when I was making it and laying down the mozzarella cheese like wrapping up a mummy. I did forget, however, to take into account that the cheese would melt, therefore ruining all my specifically placed strips of cheese. I used two olives for the eyes peeking out of the wrappings. It sill tasted good, just didn't have that effect that I wanted.

Vampire fang jello
I guess this looked OK, but didn't have the "Wow!" effect I was imagining. I just made plain jello in ramekins and cut up apples to be the teeth. I left some of the red apple peel on the points of the apple slices to be like fangs sinking into someone. The kids liked it though.

Ice Cream Witch Faces
They looked so cute in the magazine photo, but in real life I thought they looked a little too much like  creepy clown faces.  Despite their melty, clown-like appearance, the kids did enjoy eating these! 

Candy Corn Cookies
I saw these all over Pinterest and couldn't wait to try them myself, but apparently the sugar cookie recipe I used was too moist, because they did not hold their shape at all.   Once again, my family had no problem gobbling these all up! 

Ugly Caramel Apples

I was bound and determined to make cute caramel apples this year, but alas they were as ugly as ever.  All the decorations (large and small) slid to the bottom and pooled on the sheet.  They still tasted awesome, but back to the drawing board for next year! 

Witch Cake Balls
The idea behind this was cool, and the kids had fun decorating the witches with different faces.  Maybe I just don't know how to make a good cake ball.  But I think the biggest problem was the amount of cake ball there was.  I rolled the cake balls into the size of a baseball so that the ice cream cone hats would fit.  Then I didn't dip the cake balls into any candy or chocolate coating.  The kids ate it, but every one of the adults took one bite and pushed it away.  I felt so bad, because I had company over as well.  Maybe next year we'll just try witch cupcakes



Spiderweb Rice Krispy Treats

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I love experimenting with Rice Krispy treats.  So when I volunteered to provide a treat for my son's Halloween party, I came up with these.  Plus it helped that I recently came to own Wilton's Spider Mix sprinkles.  They were a huge hit in the classroom.
Click here for printable recipe.

Post by: Jen
 1/4 c butter/margarine
2/3-3/4 box rice krispies (or actually measure what it indicated on the box)
1 bag mini marshmallows
4 oz white chocolate (or white candy coating or almond bark)
spider sprinkles (OR if you don't have any, just melt down dark chocolate and pipe some out.  When the chocolate hardens, then you have your own chocolate spiders!)

Melt butter in large nonstick saucepan.  Add the bag of marshmallows and slowly melt with the butter.  Stir them around to evenly distribute the heat.
 Add the cereal and fold it into the marshmallows until all the cereal is coated.

 Line a jelly roll pan (or 9x13 pan for thicker ones) with parchment paper.  Spray it first with nonstick spray. Press the marshmallow mixture into the pan.
 Cut into circles, OR squares and then round off the edges of the squares.

IF you have the Wilton's Spider sprinkle mixture, separate out the spiders.  You will need to work quickly before the chocolate hardens. So have your spiders prepped.
 Cut up your chocolate into small pieces.  Place into a baggie and melt in microwave at 20 second intervals.  Make sure to squeeze the bag all over to evenly melt the chocolate.  If you have one unmelted piece of chocolate it will cause your baggie to get clogged and thus bursting.
 When all the chocolate is melted, then snip a TINY hole in corner of it.  This will be your little piping bag for the spider webs.
 Start in the middle and pipe a spiral around the treat.  Don't forget to twist the baggie closed at the top.  You don't want chocolate oozing out the top.
Use a toothpick and start at the middle, drag the toothpick from the center moving outward.  This will make a spider web effect. 
Add a spider to a part that has a lot of chocolate in order for it to stick.  Add extra sprinkles if desired.

 Make sure you only pipe out about 5-6 at a time.  You want to make sure that the chocolate is still wet in order for the sprinkles to stick.  So I piped 5 spirals, then dragged the toothpick, then sprinkled.  Then I moved on to five more at a time.


Stormy Week Menu 10/28 - 11/5

Sunday, October 28, 2012

With Hurricane Sandy slated to pummel our area over the next couple of days, we picked this week's menu with the expectation that we will be spending at least a few days without power.  Today everything is still normal, so we were trying to use up some fresh things in our fridge and do some prep work that will hopefully make the rest of the week go more smoothly.  For the next few days' we will eat meals that do not require electricity, figuring it will be easier if I plan it in advance and if in the unlikely event that we don't lose power, we'll just be pleasantly surprised and bake some cookies to bide the time while my kids are out of school!

Don't worry that the storm will keep us from posting our last couple of  Halloween posts....I've already got them scheduled and ready to go!

If you're interested to hear how we weather the storm, be sure to check out our Facebook page  where I will update when the storm is gone and the power is back on!

Potato Soup with added chicken Italian sausage and chopped spinach--we added them just to use up a couple more items in our fridge, but ended up loving the new taste!

enough homemade bread to last the week--I froze what we're not using today or tomorrow

blueberry spinach smoothie-- my family LOVES this healthy smoothie!

Halloween treats made in advance for later this week:
see here to see all of our Halloween recipes in one place

Halloween Pretzel Bites--we are addicted to these yummy salty-sweet treats!

Monday-- (likely won't have power)

Chicken Pasta Salad  (cooked the noodles today, so all I have to do tomorrow is chop the veggies and make the dressing)--this is one of our favorite meals, which is a good thing, since I think my kids will need all the comfort food they can get tomorrow!

Tuesday-- (likely won't have power)
Grilled honey-lime chicken sandwiches--I hope it won't be too stormy still to grill.  My family loves these sandwiches!

Apple-Pear Salad--  Even with the power out, I'm assuming my cheese will still be good.  If not, I'll just leave it out.    I plan on using store-bought dressing just to use it up. 

Wednesday--  (possibly won't have power)
Best Grilled Chicken Fajitas Ever--I've got the chicken in the freezer, so it should still be fine on Wednesday as long as we don't open it too often. 

"Bloody" Raspberry-Grape Punch--if the sorbet is soft, it won't matter!

Thursday-- (really, really hoping we'll have power by Thursday...otherwise we'll just grill hot dogs and hamburgers we've got in the freezer)

Hearty quinoa and corn chowder (new recipe)

pizza casserole-- a fun variation on our normal Friday night pizza

Meatball Stroganoff in a Crockpot--  we need a crockpot meal for this busy day

Honey-Lime Enchiladas (made with pork instead of chicken)--one of our very favorite meals ever, I love throwing the pork in the crockpot before church then throwing it all together quickly afterward!  Yum!

Jack-o-lantern pumpkin cheesecake-- a little late, but I'll bake this as a belated treat for my daughter's birthday on Halloween. 

Go check Organizing Junkie for lots more Menu Plans!


Woopie Pie Spiders

Friday, October 26, 2012

Whoopie pies seem to be pretty popular over the past year, so when I wanted to come up with something for a Halloween party, I thought of making these tasty treats into something fun.  While these little cream filled sandwich cakes are super cute,   I thought that it would be yummy and easy to stick licorice in between the two halves and then put eyeballs on top.  Thus the Whoopie Spider was born.  The kids loved it (as well as the adults).  And I have to admit that I had fun making them. 

Don't forget to check out this post for a compilation of all of our favorite fun Halloween ideas in one place!

Click here for printable recipe.

Posted by Jen.


1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 c oil
1/2 c water (if free forming your little cakes)  3/4 c water if you have a little Whoopie mold pan)
3 eggs
Container of frosting
shoestring licorice
red hots/M&M's, Skittles, etc for eyes
other decorative sprinkles
Corn Syrup (optional, but to help stick on the eyes)

Add all the cake mix ingredients into a bowl and mix together well.
Use a spoon to blob cake dough onto a baking sheet (use parchment paper!).  Try to make the shapes as equal as possible.

OR, if you have a Whoopie pan mold (like the one from Williams Sonoma) , then scoop 1 heaping Tbsp of batter into the pan.  
Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool completely.
See how the free form ones worked perfectly fine?  No need for a special pan.  

Turn half of them upside down and spread some frosting on the half.
Lay your licorice legs across the frosting.  Use 4 strings of licorice.  Remember that spiders have 8 legs.  I actually used Pull-n-Peel and then cut each licorice in 1/2 (or even smaller) to make it so the legs weren't too long.
Place the other half of the cakes on the top to make a sandwich.
"Glue" the eyes on with either corn syrup or frosting.  I also spread a tiny bit of corn syrup across the backs to help other sprinkles stay on.  But the sugar sprinkles seem to stay on without extra help. (hey, I never said this was healthy!)
I experimented with other colors as well.  These were a lot of fun to make and I know the kids really enjoyed eating them.  Get your kids involved to help make them as well.  I think I'll have to create these little Whoopie cakes more often!


Centipede Hotdogs

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The idea behind this is pretty cool.  The first time I saw it on the internet I wondered how they did it.  Then I discovered that it is the easiest thing ever to feed your kids.  My boys thought it was pretty weird (but a cool weird).  While it is a fun idea, personally I didn't think it tasted that great, but kids like it.    (Plus I absolutely HATE centipedes which made it even more cool for my boys.) 

Don't forget to check out this post for a compilation of all of our favorite fun Halloween ideas in one place!
Click here for printable recipe.

Post by: Jen

Uncooked spaghetti noodles
Spaghetti sauce

For a centipede, break your spaghetti noodles in half and then thread as many as you can through the middle of the hotdog. You can easily let your kids help with this!

 For a little octopus, cut the hotdogs into bite size piece, and then thread 3-4 noodles through the middle.

 Meanwhile, boil some water.  Drop the hotdogs into the boiling water and boil until the spaghetti is cooked.
 For the octopus, you could even dye the water green or blue.  It might color the spaghetti.  I didn't think about it at the time.
 But I did mix some with a Pesto sauce to make it kind of green. (And make it taste better for me.)

Cook some other spaghetti and then add spaghetti sauce and serve your centipedes to your children.  
The whole idea kind of grossed me out, but the kids liked it.


About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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