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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween Recipes and Crafts

Halloween is right around the corner! Not sure what to bring to the party? Still looking the perfect craft for the family? Look no further! Below is a list of Halloween themed recipes, edible crafts, and crafts that I tried and loved! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole Serving

Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole Serving

Jalapeno Popper Mummies

Jalapeno Popper Mummies

Edible Tree Centerpiece

Edible Tree Centerpiece

Halloween Window Silhouette

Halloween Tree Window Silhouette

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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Holidays!

 

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Giant Bloody Finger Sandwich

I think the name says it all. This is one GIANT finger sandwich. Literally, a FINGER sandwich. This dish is a party favorite. It’s gone in no time. The outside is buttery and flaky and the inside is filled with meat and melted cheese. What’s not to love? It’s kind of like a giant homemade hot pocket! Halloween recipe #5: Giant Bloody Finger Sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz thin deli sliced ham
  • 10 oz thin deli sliced turkey
  • 10 oz thin deli sliced pastrami
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • Ketchup
Giant Bloody Finger Sandwich

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Step 2: Lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Remove the crescent dough from the can and roll out into a rectangle. Pinch the seams rightly shut.

Step 3: Spread the Dijon mustard over the crescent dough, leaving a 1 inch border.

Step 4: Divide the ham, turkey, pastrami, and cheese into three piles. You’re going to make 3 layers. Lay down a layer of ham, again leaving a 1 inch border, followed by a layer of turkey and pastrami. Top the meats with a layer of shredded cheese. Repeat for the remaining 2 layers.

Step 5: Starting with one of the long edges, gently pull the dough over the meat and cheese. Repeat with the other long edge. Where the edges overlap, use a pastry brush to brush some of the egg yolk onto the bottom layer and press together the edges together. The yolk acts as glue. Brush the short ends of the dough with yolk and fold over sandwich, sealing the ends.

Step 6: Gently pick up the sandwich and move to the lined cookie sheet. Turn the sandwich over so the seams are on the bottom. Using the flat side of a dinner knife, gently indent lines into the dough for the knuckles and fingernail. Using a pastry brush, brush the ketchup along the bottom end of the sandwich to represent a severed finger, along the knuckle lines, and along the fingernail bed.

Step 7: Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked throughout.

Giant Bloody Finger Sandwich

Recipe created by Me! : D
 
 

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Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip

Who doesn’t love a good layered dip? They’re so versatile and easy to make. They’re crowd pleasers, and this dip will be the hit of the party! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an artist to pull this off. It’s actually quite simple. Halloween edible craft #5: Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip.

Warning: This dip is addictive!

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 t lime juice
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3-4 tortillas (I used small fajita sized whole wheat tortillas)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Using a sharp paring or utility knife, cut various graveyard shapes out of the tortilla. I made several tombstones of various sizes and shapes, 2 hands (for the zombie), a tree, and a fence.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Pieces

The tombstones are very easy — just draw a square or half of an oval. They don’t have to be perfect. If you want to get fancy, you can carve a cross, bat, crow, etc., on top of the tombstone. The tombstones should be 3-4 inches tall.

Speaking of being fancy, the fence was pretty fancy. I used an entire tortilla for it. I first outlined the whole thing, then began removing pieces — the slats between the fence posts and the area above the gate.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Fence

 

The tree was also pretty easy. Starting at the bottom of the tortilla, outline the trunk. Continue from the trunk line into the bottom of the first limb. Continue to carve out random branch shapes. Just make sure the branches attach to the trunk. The tree has to be one piece.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Tree

And if you want to make it a zombie graveyard, don’t forget the zombie hands! It would also be cool to carve out a skull. Or use red decorating gel to pain blood on the zombie hands.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Zombie Hands

Step 3: Once you’ve cut out all your graveyard pieces, place them on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm and lightly brown, but not burnt.

Step 4: Open the can of refied beans and spoon into the bottom of a glass 13 x 9 or 11 x 7 casserole dish. Gently spread the refried beans over the bottom of the dish.

Step 5: In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the taco seasoning. Stir until mixed throughout. Spreadthe sour cream mixture over the refried beans.

Step 6: Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the sour cream.

Step 7: Spread the salsa over the cheddar cheese.

Step 8: Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocados until smooth. Stir in the lime juice. Spoon the avocado into the middle of the dish. Using the back of the spoon, gently spread the avocado over the salsa. It’s okay if there are holes in the avocado layer and the salsa peaks through or mixes with the avocado — it actually gives a cool effect.

Step 9: Starting with the tree, arrange the graveyard pieces throughout the dish. I put the tree in the back, the fence in the front, and arranged the tombstones in the middle. I also placed the pair of hands in front of one of the tombstones to resemble a zombie rising from the dead!

Step 10: Sprinkle the green onions around the graveyard pieces to resemble grass.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip

The dip can be chilled for an hour before serving or served immediately, with your favorite tortillas chips.

Tip: If you choose to chill the dip before serving, don’t perform steps 9 or 10 until you’re ready to serve. The graveyard pieces can get soggy in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Based off of the recipe found on Chickabug.
 
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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Appetizer, Dip, Holidays!

 

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Halloween Tree Window Silhouette

I’ve always wanted to learn how to make these window silhouettes and I managed to find a tutorial this year! They’re so adorable that I wish I had tried them sooner. Next year, I’m going to make an entire graveyard silhouette for the big window at the front of the house. Halloween craft #5: Halloween Window Silhouette!

My cat once again decided to be “helpful” while I was putting the template together. When paper is within 100 yards of her, she feels it is her duty to sit or lay on it. This makes crafts tricky.

Helpful cat

Supplies

  • 13 sheets white printer paper
  • 12 sheets black card stock
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Silhouette Template
  • 6 sheets of orange tissue paper
  • Measuring stick/tape

Note: The window I used had two 29″ x 25″ window panes, so the template I used and the supplies listed here are for a silhouette of those dimensions.

Step 1: Print the Silhouette Template onto the white printer paper.

Step 2: Cut out the template. Note that the pieces you want to keep are numbered. You do not need to cut out the first page of the template, that page is to guide you when you start assembling the template.

Step 3: Place the template pieces on top of the black card stock and trace around them. Cut out the pieces. Keep your template pieces in case you need to identify where the silhouette pieces belong.

Step 4: Starting with piece number 1, arrange the silhouette pieces in order on a flat surface. Use the first page of the template to guide you if you aren’t sure where a piece goes.

Note: The pieces will overlap slightly. This is a good thing.

Step 5: Use the glue stick to attach the pieces where they overlap. The silhouette is now assembled!

Halloween Window Silhouette Step 5

Step 6: Use the measuring stick/tape to measure the height of your window. Once you have the measurement, locate that spot on the silhouette. Draw a straight line across the silhouette and cut along that line.

Note: If the line is in a bad place (like in the middle of the owl or through a tree branch), you can add an extension to the bottom of the silhouette which will push the rest of the tree up, above the split in the window panes.

Step 7: Use the tape to secure the silhouette to the window pane and frame. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to see the tape on the window pane from outside.

Step 8: Tape the orange tissue paper to the window frame, over the silhouette. Try not to overlap the pieces of tissue paper because the overlap will be evident from outside.

Halloween Window Silhouette

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Holidays!

 

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Skeleton Chair Cover

I saw a similar chair cover for sell online a few weeks ago and decided to try to recreate the chair cover, though my design is prettier (in my totally biased opinion). Halloween craft #4: Skeleton Chair Cover.

Supplies

  • 1 large black cotton t-shirt ($3.99 at Michael’s)
  • Ribbon, any Halloween color
  • Needle and thread, any Halloween color
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • 1 can silver Simply Spray Soft Fabric Spray ($5.99 at Michael’s)
  • Skeleton Template
  • 1 sheet white card stock
  • X-ACTO knife
  • Cardboard (at least 8 1/2 x 11)
  • 6-8 sheet of paper (I used ones in the recycling bin)
  • Scotch tape
  • Paper towels
Skeleton Chair Cover

Note: If you plan on covering a chair that has a straight back, you can skip steps 3-6 and omit the ribbon from your supplies list. Step 3-6 are only necessary if you’re covering a chair that has a neck, like an office chair, which is what I did.

Step 1: Turn the t-shirt inside out. Lay the t-shirt open on a flat surface. Cut a straight line from one armpit to the other.

Skeleton Chair Cover Step 1

Step 2: Use the straight pins to pin a straight line 1/4 inch from the edge you just cut. Make sure the pins go through both layers of fabric. Using the needle and thread, sew along the straight pin line. The t-shirt will now have 3 sewn sides and 1 open side. The open side will be the bottom of the chair cover. The side you just sewed will be the top of the cover.

Skeleton Chair Cover Step 2

Step 3: Measure enough ribbon to run around the bottom of the shirt plus 10 inches. Starting at one seam, lay down the ribbon in a straight line along the bottom of the shirt. Pull the bottom of the shirt over the ribbon to form a pocket. Use the straight pins to pin the pocket shut. Leave about 1/2 inch wide pocket for the ribbon and 1/4 inch on the other side of the pin. Pull 5 inches of the ribbon out of the pocket. Leave this part of the ribbon out of the pocket.

Skeleton Chair Cover Step 3a

Make sure you’re only pinning the one side of the shirt, you don’t want to seal the shirt shut, that would be bad. Continue creating the pocket for the ribbon and pinning the pocket shut until you’re back at where you started. You should have 5 inches of extra ribbon on each side of the seam. Check the position of your pins and make sure the ribbon isn’t exposed, like the image below. If you see exposed ribbon, remove the pins, push the ribbon into the pocket and pin the pocket shut.

Skeleton Chair Cover Step 3b

Step 4: Turn the shirt right-side out. Find the seam that that you started with in step 3, where the extra ribbon is. Remove the pins on either side of the seam. Carefully cut a small slit in the steam, along the bottom on the shirt, wide enough for the ribbon to slide through. Thread the ribbon through the hole. Replace the pins.

Skeleton Chair Cover Step 4

Step 5: Turn the shirt inside out. Use the needle and thread to sew the ribbon pocket shut. Sew on the side of the pins that you left 1/4 of fabric, not on the side of the pin that the ribbon lays on.

Step 6: Gently tug on the exposed ends of the ribbon. If you feel any resistance, the ribbon was sewed to the fabric somewhere. Check the seam to locate the ribbon. Once located, rip the seam out, push the ribbon into the pocket, and stitch the hole shut.  The sewing (read: hard part) is now complete. Yay!

Step 7: Print the Skeleton Template on the sheet of white card stock.

Step 8: Use the X-ACTO knife to cut out the bones in the template. Discard all of the bones except the 2 two hip sockets.

Step 9:  Find a well ventilated area (I’d suggest outside, on the driveway). Lay the template on the shirt, find the middle, and use the scotch tape to secure the template to the shirt. Don’t forget to tape the hip sockets down! I rolled the tape into balls and stuck them between the shirt and card stock. Liberal use of the tape means less chance for the spray paint to get under the edges of the template, which can cause a huge mess. Place the cardboard inside the shirt and position it behind the template. This will stop the paint from bleeding through to the other side of the shirt.

Skeleton Chair Cover Step 9

Step 10: Lay the sheets of scrap paper around the template to protect the rest of the shirt from the spray paint. Tape the sheets together. If it’s windy outside (it was when I did this) use rocks or other solid objects to weigh down the scrap paper. Skeleton Chair Cover Step 10

Step 11: Shake the spray paint can for a few minutes. Starting at the top-left of the template, squeeze the trigger and paint a slow, solid line to the right side of the template. Continue the same motion until you’ve painted the entire template. Leave the template on and examine the paint. Check to see if there are areas that need more paint. If so, lightly spray those areas.

Step 12: Do not remove the template yet. Paint will probably have pooled in certain areas of the template. Use the paper towels to remove the excess paint. Gently blot at the paint, do not scrub or swipe. Once the excess paint has been removed from the template, you can then remove the template to reveal the skeleton.

Skeleton Chair Cover Step 12

Step 13: Lay the shirt on a flat surface and let the paint dry for 3-4 hours, or until it is dry to the touch and the glitter does not come off.

Note: You’ll notice in the picture above that the paint leaked under the template and caused undesirable spots. To get rid of those spots, use a black Sharpie or marker to blot out the spots. It takes some time and patience, but you can eventually blot them out.

The chair cover is now complete! Pick your chair, put the cover of the back of it, pull the drawstrings close, tie off the drawstrings, and you’re done!

Skeleton Chair Cover

Created by Me! : D
 
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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Holidays!

 

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Cauldron Cake Pops

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at cake pops, but never had the right materials or inspiration. Until now. Joann’s sells a cake pop mold for $5 that molds 5 cake pops at a time. Sure, it takes longer to assemble the cake pops than a larger cake pop maker, but for $5, it’s a winner. It actually works pretty well. Halloween edible craft #4: Cauldron Cake Pops!

Makes approximately 40 cake pops.

Since I hadn’t worked with Wilton candy melts before, this was a new experience for me. I struggled with finding the right methods for melting the candy melts. Here’s what I found:

  • Microwaving on 50% power for 1 minute, stirring, then microwaving in 30 second bursts until completely melted only works if your melting a small amount of the candy melts, not the entire bag.
  • Stirring the candy melts in a sauce pan over low-medium heat until completely melted did work, but the melted candy was thick and a little lumpy.
  • Using a metal or glass double boiler worked best. The mixture is still thick, but it’s smooth.
  • Don’t overheat the candy melts.

Cauldron Cake Pop Step 11

Ingredients

  • Cake pop mold ($5 at Joann’s, or you can shape the balls with your hands, but the balls will be less uniform)
  • Lollipop sticks (50 for $1.50 at Michael’s or Walmart)
  • 1 bag each of Wilton candy melts in black, green, and yellow ($2 at Walmart, Joann’s, and Michael’s)
  • Orange Wilton decorating gel ($1.79 at Walmart)
  • 2 containers chocolate frosting (any kind you want)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate cocoa
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t vinegar
  • 1 1/2 t butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
  • Wax paper
  • Food processor
  • Black of Styrofoam
  • Sandwich size Ziploc bag
  • Toothpicks

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. PAM a 13 x 9 cake pan.

Step 2: Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, and baking soda together into a medium mixing bowl.

Step 3: Add the melted butter, vanilla, and vinegar to the water and stir. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. Pour the cake batter into the PAM’ed cake pan and use a spatula to even out the batter. Bake for 20-25 or until the cake pulls away from the edges of the cake pan. Allow the cake to cool.

Step 4: Cut the cake into 16 pieces. Starting with 3 or 4 pieces, use a food processor to pulse until a fine crumble mixture is formed. Repeat with the remaining cake pieces.

Step 5: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 containers of chocolate frosting and the cake crumbs. You want a smooth consistency that is malleable yet firm. If the mixture is too crumbly, add more frosting.

Step 6: Scoop about 1/3 cup of the cake mixture into your palm and roll into a ball slightly larger than the mold. Gently press the cake ball into the mold. Close the mold and firmly press the down. Open the mold and remove any excess cake mixture.

Step 7: Microwave the chocolate chips until melted, about 30 seconds. Stir. Dip one end of the lollipop stick into the melted chocolate. Gently press the chocolate covered end into the candy pop. The chocolate acts as glue. Allow the chocolate to cool, the remove the cake pops from the mold. Repeat with remaining cake pops.

Step 8: Melt the black candy melts with your preferred method. Dip the cake pops one at a time into the black candy melts. If the pan/bowl you used isn’t deep, use a spoon to spoon the melted candy melts over the cake pop. Place the black cake pops upside down on a sheet of wax paper. You want the black candy melts to pool underneath the cake pop. This pool will form the top of the cauldron. Let the cake pops sit until the black coating is completely set, about 30 minutes.

Step 9: Melt the green candy melts with your preferred method. Pick up the cooled cake pop and hold it right-side up. Spoon about 1 tsp of green candy melts on flat top of the cake pop, gently spread around the top of the cake pop. If you want to get artistic, you can spill a little of the green candy melts strategically over the side of the cake pop to look like the cauldron is overflowing. Stick the cake pops into the Styrofoam.

Cauldron Cake Pop Step 9

Step 10: Melt the yellow candy melts with your preferred method. Spoon the melted yellow candy melts into the Ziploc bag. Cut 1/4 inch off of one corner of the bag. Pick up a cake pop and tilt at a 45 degree angle. Pipe the yellow candy melts onto the base of the cake pop and up 1/2 an inch to form flames. Return to the Styrofoam.

Cauldron Cake Pop Step 10

Step 11: Pick up a cake pop and tilt at a 45 degree angle. Dip the tip of a toothpick into the orange decorating gel and gently brush the gel over the yellow flames. This will give dimensions to the flame.

Cauldron Cake Pop Step 11

Note: To add extra flare to the cauldron, you could top with candy bones.

Based off of the recipe found on Pint Sized Baked
 
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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Holidays!, Sweets

 

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Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole

This is a great casserole to take to a themed office or dinner party. It tastes amazing, looks great, and reheats perfectly. Halloween recipe #4: Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole.

Note: You can also adjust the cooking time to allow for your preference of cooked eggs, such as decreasing the time for eggs over easy.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (20-30 oz) frozen shredded hash browns, thawed (or substitute southern style)
  • 1 can condensed cream of potato soup
  • 8 oz sour cream (I used light)
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 slices Canadian bacon
  • 10 eggs*
  • Ketchup
  • Small Ziploc bag
Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole Serving

* Note: If you use large eggs, they will spill over the Canadian bacon cups. Use small eggs to avoid over flow.

Step 1: Heat oven to 350. PAM a 13 x 9 glass casserole dish.

Step 2: Quarter the onion then slice into thin 1/8 inch wide slivers.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, combine the hash browns, onions, cream of potato soup, sour cream, cheese, and salt. Pour into the casserole dish and spread evenly.

Step 4: Place the Canadian bacon over the top of the potato mixture, do not overlap if possible. Gently press the Canadian bacon into the potato mixture, forming cups. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole Step 4

 

Step 5: Carefully crack 1 egg into each Canadian bacon cup. Bake 20 minutes or until eggs are set.

Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole Step 5

Step 6: Pour 1/4 cup of ketchup into a small plastic Ziploc bag. Cut 1/8 inch off of one of the corners. Pipe the ketchup onto the eggs to resemble veins.

Baked Eyeball Breakfast Casserole

Based off of the recipe found on BettyCrocker.com
 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Breakfast, Holidays!

 

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