Saturday, December 31, 2011

Snapper with Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Garlic, and Basil

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
4 (6-ounce) snapper fillets, with skin
Freshly ground black pepper
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, pepper flakes, and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the tomatoes get juicy, about 15 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl and toss with the basil.

Dry the fish very well all over. To keep the fish from curling in the pan, lightly slash a cross-hatch pattern into the skin of the fish with a sharp knife. Brush the rounded flesh side of the fish with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the fish, seasoned side down, in the oil, and cook undisturbed over high heat, until the fish turns both opaque along the edges and golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Lightly salt the skin side of the fish. Flip the snapper and turn off the heat and let the fish cook in the residual heat of the pan until the fillets are firm but still juicy, about 1 minute more.

Garlic Basil Shrimp

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through.

Per Serving:
Calories 260; Total Fat 10 g; (Sat Fat 1.5 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 2 g); Protein 30 g; Carb 6 g; Fiber 1 g; Cholesterol 215 mg; Sodium 215 mg

Excellent source of: Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Copper, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium

Good source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Spinach

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups mixed wild mushrooms (any combination of shiitake, porcini, chanterelle, oyster, portobello, and cremini)
3 tablespoons dry sherry wine
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Add spinach (add spinach in batches if necessary), and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach wilts, turning frequently.

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (16-ounce) container strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
Put the ricotta cheese, honey and vanilla extract into the small bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the basil and the balsamic syrup.

Divide the cream among 4 cocktail glasses, top with the berry mixture and serve.

Per Serving:
(serving size: about 1/3 cup cream and 1/2 cup berries)

Calories 180; Total Fat 5 g; (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 1.5 g, Poly Fat 0 g) ; Protein 8 g; Carb 27 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 80 mg

Excellent source of: Vitamin C, Manganese

Good source of: Protein, Vitamin K, Calcium, Phosphorus, Selenium

Salmon Cakes with Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce

6 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
2 (15-ounce) cans salmon, drained, skin and bones removed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 scallions
1/2 cup finely chopped canned water chestnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce, recipe follows
Remove crusts from the bread, break into pieces, and process in a food processor until you get a fine bread crumb. In a large bowl, flake apart the salmon with a fork. Add the egg and mix well. Finely chop 4 of the scallions and add to the bowl. Add the water chestnuts, cilantro, pepper, and the bread crumbs and mix well. Shape the mixture into 12 patties.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add 6 patties and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to the pan, and cook the rest of the salmon cakes, 5 minutes on each side.

Chop the remaining 1 scallion. Serve salmon cakes with the sauce and garnish with scallion.

Serves: 6; Calories: 414; Total Fat: 19 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 40 grams; Total carbohydrates: 17 grams; Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 135 milligrams; Sodium: 741 milligrams

Creamy Ginger-Sesame Sauce:
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt, or 6 tablespoons nonfat Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
If using regular yogurt place the yogurt in a strainer lined with a paper towel. Put the strainer over a bowl and place in the refrigerator to drain and thicken for 30 minutes.

Place drained yogurt or Greek-style yogurt into a small bowl. Add mayonnaise, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Whisk until smooth.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
8 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked
Click here to see how she does it.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

Place the couscous in a serving bowl. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

Baked Potatoes with Creamy Herb Topping

4 small russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pound total)
1/2 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt or 2/3 cup regular, plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Poke each potato with a fork a few times. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until they are easily pierced with a knife. Wrap them loosely in the foil for 5 minutes or until ready to serve.

If using regular yogurt, place it in a strainer lined with paper towel and set the strainer over a bowl. Let the yogurt drain and thicken for 20 minutes.

Combine the Greek-style yogurt or regular thickened yogurt, the oil, parsley and chives of the in a small bowl.

Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and dollop a tablespoon of the creamy herb topping on each half.

Per Serving

Calories 180; Total Fat 3.5 g; (Sat Fat 0.5 g, Mono Fat 2.5 g, Poly Fat 0.5 g) ; Protein 6 g; Carb 33 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 50 mg

Excellent source of: Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium

Good source of: Protein, Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese

Roasted Beet, Onion, and Orange Salad

1 pound beets, preferably very small ones
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
20 large pearl onions, about 1/2 pound
2 oranges, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves (also known as cilantro) plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
1-ounce pecorino, optional, grated on medium-sized holes of box grater
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the stems and tails off the beets. Do not peel. Line the bottom of a baking pan with foil. Place the beets in the pan and toss them with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.

Trim both ends off the pearl onions. Then toss them with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Add pearl onions to the beets and roast an additional 15 minutes, until beets and onions are tender.

Peel and remove the membranes from the oranges with a sharp paring knife. Cut the oranges in half lengthwise and then crosswise into thin slices. Seed the slices, if necessary.

Peel and quarter the beets. Lay the beets on a large platter. Top the beets with the orange pieces. Scatter the roasted onions around the beats.

In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnut oil, coriander, and orange juice. Whisk until well combined and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing on top and sprinkle with coriander, toasted hazelnuts and grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta and Mint

1 red bell pepper cored and cut into 4 pieces
1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut across into 1/4-inch rounds
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
Olive oil cooking spray
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a tray or work surface. Lightly spray both sides with olive oil cooking spray. Preheat a grill or grill pan over a medium-high heat. Grill the vegetables in batches until both sides are nicely charred and the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes for the pepper, about 8 minutes for the eggplant and onion, and about 6 minutes for the zucchini. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and oregano. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the tomatoes and mint. Divide the salad between 4 plates and sprinkle with the feta.

Per Serving:

Calories 275; Total Fat 22 g; (Sat Fat 5 g, Mono Fat 13 g, Poly Fat 2 g) ; Protein 6 g; Carb 18 g; Fiber 7.5 g; Cholesterol 17 mg; Sodium 230 mg

Excellent source of: Fiber, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Folate, Manganese, Potassium

Good source of: Protein, Thiamin, Vitamin K, Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Broccolini and Feta

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolini (about 10 ounces), stems cut into 2-inch stems, and florets
1 medium bunch radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
12 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni
1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Put the shallots in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes; drain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Fill a medium bowl with ice water and salt it as well. Add the broccolini to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the radish slices, and cook 30 seconds, more. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to scoop out the vegetables and plunge them immediately into the ice water. Drain the vegetables, pat them very dry.

Add the pasta to the same pot of boiling water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Whisk the sherry vinegar, orange zest, the 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste, in a large serving bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a dressing.

Toss the rigatoni, broccolini, radish and shallot with the dressing. Add the feta cheese and toss lightly. Serve warm or room temperature.

Roasted Cauliflower

1/2 medium cauliflower (about 1/2 pound), leaves removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the cauliflower through the core into 6 wedges.

Lay cauliflower wedges on a baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides of the wedges with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until the sides that touch the pan and the edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve 3 wedges per person.

Salmon Kebobs with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad

1 medium grapefruit
8 thin slices fresh ginger
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oilgin
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 small serrano or jalapeno chile, minced (with seeds for maximum heat)
2 scallions (both white and green parts), minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pound skinless, center-cut salmon, cut into 2-inch cubes
Wooden skewers, soaked
Strip the peel from the grapefruit with a vegetable peeler, taking care not to include the bitter white pith. Warm the grapefruit peel, ginger, and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the oil starts to bubble, after about 2 minutes, remove from heat. Set the oil aside to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve the oil.

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa in a bowl and drain. Put the quinoa in a small saucepan with the water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Set aside off the heat, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Cool.

Segment the grapefruit over a bowl, reserving the segments and juice separately. Whisk 3 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with the vinegar, honey, and salt to taste in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of the reserved grapefruit oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a stream to make a slightly thick dressing. Season with pepper to taste.

Toss quinoa with the dressing, chiles, scallions, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Preheat a stovetop or outdoor grill to high heat. Thread the salmon cubes onto the skewers. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon grapefruit oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the skewers, turning as each side browns but the salmon is still moist, about 3 minutes.

Toss the grapefruit segment into the salad, divide among 4 plates, and top with the salmon kebobs. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Spicy Filet Mignon Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chili paste with garlic
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 (12-ounce) filet mignons
Freshly ground pepper
Whisk soy sauce, lime juice, chile paste, and peanut oil together in a small baking dish. Add the steaks, turn to coat, cover, and let marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling.

Heat grill to high. Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season both sides with pepper and grill for 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred and cooked to medium-rare doneness. Remove from the grill, let rest 5 minutes, and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 cups mizuna leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chiffonade Thai basil or regular basil, optional
1/2 English cucumber, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 carrots, julienned
5 radishes, thinly sliced
8 each yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
Ginger Lime Dressing, recipe follows
Salt and ground black pepper
While steak is resting, combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with half of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter, top with the steak, and drizzle the remaining dressing over the top.

Ginger-Lime Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit 10 minutes before using.

Wheat Berry Salad

1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and let cool. Toast the walnuts in a medium dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, walnuts, celery, dried cherries, scallions, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Calories 360; Total Fat 17 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 6 g, Poly Fat 8 g) ; Protein 9 g; Carb 46 g; Fiber 8 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 15 mg

Excellent source of: Fiber, Vitamin K, Manganese

Good source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Copper, Iron

Pasta Primavera

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, cleaned, seeded and cut into strips (6 ounces)
1/2 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup sliced button mushrooms (4 ounces)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 (6 ounces)
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large carrot (6 ounces) peeled and sliced into strips with a peeler (about 2 cups carrot ribbons)
3/4 pound whole-wheat linguine
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1/4 cup shredded basil leaves
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic until soft, about 1 minute. Add peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes and cook until softened, an additional 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, milk, salt and pepper and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrot strips.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with vegetables and sauce. Add pasta water, if necessary, to loosen mixture. Serve garnished with Parmesan, parsley and basil.

Per Serving

Serving Size, 2 cups pasta plus 2 tablespoons cheese, plus parsley and basil

Calories 480; Total Fat 11 g; (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 3 g, Poly Fat 0.5 g) ; Protein 22 g; Carb 76 g; Fiber 10 g; Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 610 mg

Excellent source of: Protein, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Potassium

Good source of: Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Iron, Manganese, Phosphorus, Selenium

Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten to mix
1 egg white
3/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Cooking spray
1/4 cup "fruit only" apricot preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, egg and egg white until well combined. Stir in the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the dried cherries and walnuts.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out

clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 by1 1/2 inches each.

Per Serving

Calories 230; Total Fat 9 g; (Sat Fat 1 g, Mono Fat 3 g, Poly Fat 4 g) ; Protein 4 g; Carb 34 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 60 mg

Excellent source of: Manganese

Good source of: Thiamin

Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise
Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

Angel Food Cake

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon orange extract, or extract of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.

In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.

Serves: 10; Calories: 208; Total Fat: 0 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Total carbohydrates: 47 grams; Sugar: 36 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 115 milligrams

Monday, September 19, 2011

Halloween Treats - Halloween Deadmans Punch

•12 gummy spiders
•1 vinyl glove
•1 gallon tropical fruit punch, chilled
•2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
•1 quart raspberry sherbet

•Pour water into an ice cube tray; add a gummy spider to each of 12 compartments. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Fill glove with water; tie or seal and freeze for at least 4 hours.
•In a 7-qt. punch bowl, combine punch and soda. Add sherbet and ice cubes. Remove glove from hand-shaped ice; add to punch. Serve immediately. Yield: 32 servings (6 quarts).

Halloween Treats - Vampire Bites

•1 ½ cups flour
•¾ teaspoon baking soda
•½ teaspoon cinnamon
•½ cup butter, softened
•½ cup packed brown sugar
•1 egg
•Red food coloring
•¼ cup red decorator’s sugar
•24 pieces MILKY WAY® Minis
•1 tube vanilla frosting
•Plastic wrap
•Electric mixer
•Large bowl
•Medium bowl
•2 cookie sheet pans

•1. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
•2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg; beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture into the dough until blended. Add enough food coloring to tint the dough a bright red. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
•3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the cookie sheet pans with the parchment paper.
•4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 24 lip shapes. Otherwise, you can form the dough into 24 balls and flatten each slightly to create free-form shaped lips using your hands to pinch and shape the dough. Transfer these to the prepared cookie sheets. Re-roll the scraps if necessary.
•5. Sprinkle the cookies with red sugar. Bake 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and immediately press a MILKY WAY® Minis into the center of each cookie. Cool completely. Use vanilla frosting to pipe fangs over the candy.

Halloween Treats - Red Velvet Brains Cupcakes

•2 eggs
•1 1/2 cups canola oil
•1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
•1 teaspoon white wine or cider vinegar
•1 teaspoon red food coloring (recommended: Select natural food coloring)
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
•2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
•2 teaspoons natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1 stick unsalted butter, softened
•4 cups confectioners' sugar
•1/3 cup whole milk
•Red and black food coloring
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners (preferably silver).

For the cupcakes: Crack the eggs into your mixer. Add the canola oil, buttermilk and vinegar. Drop in the food coloring and vanilla. Let it stir up until well mixed.

Put the sugar, flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together until well mixed. Then sift this right onto a big piece of waxed paper, it makes it easy to transport to the mixer. Make sure there are no clumps.

Turn your mixture on low and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients as it's mixing. Turn the mixer up just a bit and combine well. Stop and scrape down the bowl.

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly dish the batter out into the cupcake liners, about 3/4 full.

Pop the cupcakes in the oven until a cake tester comes out nice and clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: Add the softened butter and confectioners' sugar and cream together in a mixer. Add the milk. Stop and scrape down the bowl, getting all the confectioners' sugar incorporated. Add a couple drops of black food coloring and then some red food coloring. Mix in the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

Fill a pastry bag or snip the corner of a zip top bag. Fill with the frosting. (To fill the bag easily, wrap the bag around a cup and wrap the edges of the bag around the top to keep the bag open while filling with frosting.)

Frost the cupcakes, making a little squiggly line down the middle, and then filling in little swirls to look like the brain. Repeat on the other side and for the rest of the cupcakes.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Drink

mothervixenTzimisce Elder on Sep. 11, 2011 at 10:58 PM Vampire Drink Recipe


1 part Liqueur, raspberry
1 part Vodka
1 part Cranberry Juice
1 part Lime Juice

Mixing Instructions

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Glass to Use
Cocktail glass

Halloween Treats - Bloody Severed Fingers

“Finger” Ingredients (yields 50-60 reasonably sized fingers):

•1 cup butter, softened
•1 cup powdered sugar
•1 egg
•1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/2 cup sliced almonds
•1/2 tablespoon of red jam (I used Trader Joe’s raspberry)
•Blood” Ingredients:

•1 cup white chocolate – I used white chocolate chips because the small morsels melt faster
•1/4 cup milk
•1 teaspoon red food dye, or more if your chocolate looks too pink

1.In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. A whisk will suffice, but if you’re one of those lucky people who have a hand mixer, that’s going to come in handy.
2.Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and mix well. Keep whisking.
3.Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat until completely mixed. See, this is where it gets tough to get by with just the whisk because the dough is too thick.
At this point, grab a spatula and remove any dough that is stuck to the whisk. Fold and smash and mix with the spatula if you want, but I just washed up and kneaded the dough with my hands. It’s fun. Like edible Play-Doh, except you can’t actually eat it or you won’t have anything left to bake with.

1.Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I let it refrigerate for about 24 hours because I had somewhere to be, and it turned out fine – you’ll just need to break off the dough with a butter knife and work the dough in your hands a bit more when rolling the fingers.
2.When you’re ready to start rolling the fingers, preheat the oven to 325°F.
3.Line ungreased baking sheets with wax paper. This will make your life easier when you dip the fingers in chocolate after baking.
4.With your hands, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape for each cookie. I like the knuckles to be a little swollen, so I smush the dough together a little where the knuckle should be. I think it makes them creepier. If the dough gets sticky and hard to work with, put it back in the refrigerator for a little while.
5.Dip an almond slice in the jam and stick it onto the skinny end of the finger to create a nail. Don’t worry if the jam oozes out from under the nail. It’ll look great after it’s baked.
6.Use a butter knife to make knuckle marks on the finger cookies, and scratch up the severed end of the finger.
7.Place fingers on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart, and repeat steps 6 to 9 until you’ve used up all the dough.
8.1.Place the baking sheets with the fingers on them in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to prevent spreading upon baking. No one wants flattened, fat fingers. They’re scarier when they look real.
2.Bake 20-25 minutes, until fingers are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the bloody chocolate.
3.In a small saucepan, heat milk on medium low until steaming, but not boiling. Add white chocolate and stir until it reaches a smooth consistency. If it’s egregiously thick, you may add more milk, but why ruin a good thing? It’s chocolate; it doesn’t need any help being delicious! Add red food dye until desired color is reached.
4.Once fingers are cool, dip the severed ends into the chocolate and let it drip upwards towards the nail. Place fingers back onto the wax paper-lined baking sheet to cool.
5.Once chocolate is cooled and fingers are easily removed from the wax paper, feel free to serve!

Halloween Treats - Marshmallow Witches

•1/2 cup vanilla frosting, divided
•36 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
•12 large marshmallows
•1 drop each green, red and yellow food coloring, optional
•1/4 cup flaked coconut
•12 chocolate wafers
•12 miniature peanut butter cups
•12 milk chocolate kisses

•For the face of each witch, place a dab of frosting on the bottom of three chocolate chips; press two for eyes and one for nose onto each marshmallow.
•For hair, combine green food coloring and a drop of water in a small resealable plastic bag; add coconut and shake well. Spread a small amount of frosting on sides of marshmallows; press coconut hair into frosting. Place 3 tablespoons of frosting in a small heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; tint orange with red and yellow food coloring. Set aside.
•For hats, spread some of the remaining frosting in the center of chocolate wafers; press peanut butter cups upside down into frosting. Lightly spread bottoms of chocolate kisses with frosting; place on peanut butter cups. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert a small star tip. Fill the bag with frosting and pipe stars around the base of each peanut butter cup. Secure a hat to each witch with a dab of frosting. Yield: 1 dozen.

Halloween Treats - Worm Dirt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
12 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
1 package Oreo cookies, crushed

Cream together the cream cheese, margarine and sugar. Mix together pudding, milk and Cool Whip. Combine chocolate mixture with creamed mixture. Stir well.

In a clean flowerpot, layer mixture with crushed Oreo cookies, ending with cookies on top. Add silk flowers and plastic shovel for serving.

Halloween Treats - Gruesome Meathead

1 full-sized plastic human skull
1.5 lbs. thin sliced deli meat, your choice
Cream cheese, BBQ sauce, or cranberry sauce (see below)
2 hard boiled egg yolks, round mini-mozzarella pieces, or cocktail onions
2 slices of pimento-stuffed green olive

Instructions: 1. Buy a plastic skull. Wash the skull with soap and water and allow to dry.

2. Spread a "base" over the skull. BBQ sauce and jellied cranberry sauce give the skull a bloody, gory look as your guests lift away the lunch meat. Cream cheese is not as fun, but probably tastes better with most meats. This is entirely your choice.

3. Evenly distribute your lunch meat over the prepared skull, leaving openings at the eyes and mouth. Smallish pieces of meat work better than larger ones, as they're easier to manipulate and form. You may need to use toothpicks to get some of the meat to stay in place.

4. For eyes, place one hard boiled egg yolk or small mozzarella cheese ball in each eye socket. Top with a slice of pimento-stuffed green olive.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to devour

Halloween Treats - Bloody Brain Shot

0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
0.5 oz Baileys Irish Cream
1 tsp Grenadine
Pour half a shot of Peach Schnapps.
Then half a shot of Irish Cream.
Finally, slowly drop a little grenadine into the glass over the back of a warm spoon. The finished shot will be a gruesome floating bloody brain.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Test Tube Shooters


•1 package of (3-ounce) orange-colored gelatin powder, such as orange, peach or apricot
•1 cup boiling water
•1 can (15-ounce) peaches, apricots or pears in juice or extra-light syrup, not drained
•2 1/4 cups sparkling wine
•1/4 cup hot-chocolate mix
1.Mix gelatin powder and boiling water until the powder completely dissolves, about 2 minutes.
2.Purée the canned fruit in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
3.Mix with gelatin and divide between 18, 2-ounce test tubes; you should fill each test tube about half way.
4.Refrigerate until firm. Heat the grape juice in a sauce pan until simmering. Stir in the hot-chocolate mix until it dissolves; refrigerate.
5.To serve: Fill the test tubes with the sparkling wine. Poke a skewer down the sides of the test tube into the gelatin so that the sparkling wineflows down creating dark stripes through the orange gelatin.
Note: For non-alcoholic version; in place of the sparkling wine replace with a grape-juice mixture.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Bats Mashed Potatoes

•4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
•neon purple liquid food coloring
•8 kernels frozen corn
•2 pimiento pieces
1.Prepare mashed potatoes using your favorite recipe!
2.In a medium mixing bowl, add the food coloring to the potatoes a few drops at a time, stirring to combine. Add more coloring to achieve the desired shade of purple.
3.Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the potatoes onto the center of each of 4 microwave-safe plates. With clean, damp fingers, shape each scoop of potatoes into a vertical rectangle about 1 1/2 X 3 1/2-inches, forming the bodies of the bats. Spoon remaining potatoes into a plastic, zip-top sandwich bag; press out the air and zip it closed. Snip one-half inch off of one corner at the bottom of the bag. By squeezing the potatoes out of the hole in the bag, pipe a 5-inch wide, shallow, inverted "V" on each side of the rectangle bat body to form the top of the bat's wings. Then pipe a wide "W" to form the underside of the wings. Squeeze some potatoes in the center of the wing and spread with a small spatula to fill them in.
4.To finish, create ears on the top of the body with two corn kernels; use a small piece of red pimiento for the bat's mouth. Repeat with the remaining potatoes on three additional plates to make a total of four bats.
5.Reheat the bats in the microwave and serve

Halloween Treats - Ghastly Pear Ghosts

•9 medium ripe Bosc pears
•9 Popsicle sticks
•2 packages (14 ounces each) caramels
•1/4 cup water
•2 pounds white candy coating disks
•2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons shortening, divided
•1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
•1/2 cup orange candy coating disks

•Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside. Wash and thoroughly dry pears; insert a Popsicle stick into the top of each.
•In a microwave, melt caramels and water; stir until smooth. Dip each pear into caramel mixture; turn to coat. Place on prepared pan; let stand until set.
•In the same microwave, melt white candy coating and 2 tablespoons shortening at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Dip pears into coating; allow excess to drip off. Return to pan; let stand until set.
•In the same microwave, melt chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening; stir until smooth. Repeat with orange candy coating and 1 teaspoon shortening. Decorate ghost faces; let stand until set. Yield: 9 servings.

Halloween Treats - Black Widow’s Cran-Raspberry Cosmo

2 oz. Blavod vodka

1 oz. Raspberry-infused vodka

5 oz. Cran-Raspberry Ocean Spray Juice (adjust this amount to the tastes of your guest ~ some may like less, others more)

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, pour, and enjoy! Garnish with plastic ring spiders, gummi spiders, or fresh raspberries.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Bites

What you need:
Red Apples (the darker the skin the better) or you could go super stylish and have different shades of vampire lipstick...
Peanut Butter
Marshmallows (small and large)
Slice apples into thin wedges cutting out the core, spread some peanut butter on the insides of two slices. line the curved side with some small marshmallows for teeth. Cut the large mallow (you can use scissors) into pointy teeth and add two of these for fangs. Voila. Simple and fantastic.

Halloween Treats - Dark and Spooky Cocktail

•Black decorating sugar, for the glass
•Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime wedge
•1/4 cup dark rum
•1/4 cup ginger beer or all-natural ginger ale
•1 black gummy spider
Spread out the black sugar on a small plate. Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass; dip the glass in the black sugar, then fill with ice.

Combine the rum and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Carefully strain into the glass, minding the sugar on the rim. Top the drink with ginger beer and add the gummy spider

Halloween Treats - Fried Bolts

•16 medium fresh mushrooms
•2 small zucchini
•2 eggs
•2 tablespoons water
•1/2 cup all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon chili powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/4 teaspoon sugar
•1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
•1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
•1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
•Oil for frying
•Sweet-and-sour sauce, optional

•Remove stems from mushrooms. Cut a thin layer from the top of mushroom caps; cut mushroom edges, forming a hexagon shape. Cut zucchini lengthwise into quarters, then into 2-in. pieces. Trim one end to fit into mushroom caps.
•Insert a toothpick through the top of the mushroom into the zucchini, leaving about 1 in. of toothpick to use as a handle for dipping.
•In a small shallow bowl, beat the eggs and water. In another bowl, combine the flour, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic powder, cayenne and cumin. Dip zucchini-mushroom bolts in egg mixture, then coat with flour mixture.
•In an electric skillet, heat 1 in. of oil to 375°. Fry bolts in batches for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with sweet-and-sour sauce if desired. Yield: 16 appetizers.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Cocktail

•1 scoop vanilla ice cream
•1 oz. triple sec
•1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
•Drizzle of grenadine
Blend all ingredients except grenadine until smooth, pour into a stemmed cocktail glass. Drizzle grenadine over top

Halloween Treats - Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster Sammies

•3 tablespoons olive oil
•1/2 fennel bulb, chopped, about 2 1/2 cups
•1/2 large onion, chopped, about 1 cup
•4 cloves garlic, smashed
•1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
•1 teaspoon fennel seed
•1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
•1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
•2 cups homemade vegetable broth or low-sodium canned
•2 cups tomato juice
•6 basil leaves, torn
•1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
•Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
•Muenster Sammies, recipe follows
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, fennel seed and crushed pepper, if using, and cook until vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve juice from the tomatoes, then crush tomatoes gently with your hands. Add the tomatoes, increase heat to high, and cook until they begin to brown slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add the reserved tomato juice, vegetable broth, tomato juice, and basil leaves. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until vegetables are cooked through and soup reduces and thickens, about 30 minutes.

Remove pot from stove and puree the soup in batches, with an immersion, regular blender, or food processor. Stir in lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. Serve.

Copyright (c) 2008 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

Muenster Sammies with Apple Jelly:
•16 (3 1/2-inch square) slices Westphalian Pumpernickel, or other thin black bread
•1/2 cup apple jelly
•8 slices muenster cheese, about 3 ounces
•8 slices yellow cheddar cheese, about 3 ounces
Optional garnishes:
•Dill pickle rounds
•Fennel fronds
•Spanish olives with pimentos
Special equipment: Cookie cutters (pumpkins, ghosts, black cat, bats and witches), optional

Toast bread in toaster or toaster oven until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes (or less if using a toaster.) Spread one side of each slice of bread with apple jelly. Layer the cheese over the apple jelly, top with remaining slice of bread. Cut out as desired. Garnish as desired.

Yield: 8 sandwiches

Halloween Treats - Scary Spider Cookies

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black decorator sugar
Red or black licorice laces (string),cut into 192 (1 1/2 to 2 inch) pieces, if desired
Decorator gel or frosting
Decorator candies (candy eyes, red cinnamon candies, mini chocolate-covered candy pieces, candy sprinkles, etc.), if desired
Heat oven to 375°F. Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour blend, baking powder and salt. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in black sugar to coat entire ball. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until set.

Immediately insert 4 licorice pieces into each cookie to form legs. Move cookies to cooling rack. Cool completely.

To add eyes, place a tiny dab of decorator gel or frosting onto cookie; gently press on candy.

Store between sheets of waxed paper in containers with tight-fitting lid.

*This recipe was developed using alternative flours and other products labeled as "gluten-free". To date, the FDA and USDA have not defined the term "gluten-free." Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, the ingredients in our Process Cheese (example: American Process Cheese) and our natural dairy products (examples: natural cheese and butter) do not contain gluten.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid. Stir before using.

Recipe Tips
- If necessary, poke toothpick or skewer into cookies so licorice pieces can easily be inserted for legs.
- Place black decorator sugar in a clean, dry, glass bowl. This prevents sugar from getting too greasy and allows it to stick to the dough. You may need to occasionally start with fresh sugar if sugar isn’t sticking. Do not let the sugar get wet or it will dissolve.

- Use any color decorator sugar to roll the dough balls to create a variety of bugs.

- Cute candy eyes can be found at cake decorating stores. They are inexpensive, easy to use and add the perfect touch to these cookies.

Halloween treats - Wicked Witch Stuffed Potatoes

•2 large baking potatoes
•3 ounces Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese, shredded, divided
•1/4 cup milk
•2 tablespoons butter
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•4 grape tomatoes, halved
•8 slices ripe olives
•4 small serrano peppers, stems removed
•4 green pepper strips
•4 blue corn chips

•Scrub and pierce potatoes. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until tender.
•When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. In a small bowl, mash the pulp. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese, milk, butter and salt. Spoon into potato shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
•Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
•Using the tomato halves, olive slices, serrano peppers and pepper strips, create a face on each potato half. Add corn chip hats. Yield: 4 servings.

Halloween Treats - Chili-Filled Coffin

•2 packages (8-1/2 ounces each) corn bread/muffin mix
•2/3 cup milk
•2 eggs
•1/4 teaspoon black paste food coloring
•1 medium sweet red pepper, sliced
•1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
•1/3 cup chopped onion
•1 tablespoon canola oil
•2 cans (15 ounces each) fat-free vegetarian chili
•1 tablespoon process cheese sauce
•1 tablespoon ketchup

•In a large bowl, combine the corn bread mix, milk, eggs and food coloring just until moistened. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
•Cut top fourth off loaf of bread; carefully hollow out bottom, leaving a 1-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use).
•In a large skillet, saute peppers and onion in oil until tender. Set aside 1/4 cup pepper mixture. Stir chili into remaining pepper mixture; heat through. Spoon 2-1/2 to 3 cups chili mixture into bread coffin; arrange reserved pepper mixture over chili. Replace bread top. Transfer remaining chili to a serving bowl.
•Place cheese sauce in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag. Write "RIP" with cheese sauce, then repeat with ketchup. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

Halloween Treats - Bloody Baklava

1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 good amount of mixed chopped nuts
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
red and black gel food coloring
lime curd - for puss optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C)

Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon in a bowl then set aside.

Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off heat then set aside and let cool.

Melt 2 sticks of butter. Once melted completely, butter the bottoms and sides of a 8x8 inch pan.

Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack to fit the size of the pan. I just set the pan on top of the dough and cut around it to get the shape. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work - per the manufactured directions. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered in the bottom of the pan - this will be the base for the baklava.

Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. I had about 4 layers before I got to the last layer.

The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep. Using a sharp knife cut into the skin either in a diamond or square shape all the way to the bottom of the pan. I cut the baklava into 5 long rows then turned the pan and cut again for a rectangle shape.

Using the same sharp knife - in each section make deep cuts or slashes on the tops of the baklava.

Your oven should be ready now to put your skin in. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. Watch it about every 15 mins so you do not burn the dish.

Once you have removed the baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool before you add your blood.

Here I just some lime curd in a plastic bag with the end cut off very small - my cheap version of a pastry deco bag. This can be the puss is you desire.

With a plastic knife and the gel food coloring, add some blood along the cut lines. I used black in the very center of the cut for a more dramatic look.

Lastly I made the basic blood recipe out of karo syrup and red food coloring for the blood splatter on the plate. I placed the plate on the ground and stood on a chair letting gravity take over. With a spoon I just let the blood fall on the plate and splatter - super easy.

Once you have finished adding the bloody touch to all of your baked skin - put them on your bloody plate then serve to your vampire guest!!!!!!

Halloween Treats - Screaming Spice Cookies

•2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out dough
•1/4 teaspoons baking soda
•1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
•1/2 teaspoon fine salt
•3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
•1/3 cup granulated sugar
•1/3 cup light brown sugar
•1 large egg
•2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
•Hard candies, try yellow, red, black, (Jolly Ranchers preferred)
•1/4 cup water
•3 tablespoons egg white powder
•3/4 teaspoon orange extract
•1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar
•1 empty metal tuna fish can, (about 6 ounces) for cutting cookies (See Cooks Note)
•Lollipop sticks, available in craft or bakers' supply stores
For the cookies: Whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter in a large bowl with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugars, and continue beating until light, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients while mixing slowly to make a smooth dough. Divide dough in half and press each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Transfer 1 disk of dough to a floured work surface and roll about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into cookies with a pinched tuna can (see below). Transfer cookies with an offset spatula to a nonstick or silicon lined baking sheet.

Cut out eyes and a mouth with a pastry tip, fat straw, or a knife. Press the lollipop sticks into the narrow end of each cookie, if using. Repeat with remaining dough. Press excess dough together, roll and cut into cookies. Refrigerate cookies for at least 30 minutes.

Evenly space the racks in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Put the candies in a small plastic bag and hit with a rolling pin to break into little pieces.

Bake the cookies just until they are set, about 20 minutes. Remove baking sheets from the oven and carefully sprinkle the broken candies into the eyes and mouth of the cookies. Continue to cook until the candy liquefies, about 3 minutes more. Cool cookies on pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool cookies on a rack.

For the icing: Whisk the water, egg white powder and orange extract in a medium bowl until foamy but smooth. Gradually whisk in the confectioners' sugar to make a smooth icing. Spread a layer of icing over the entire surface of the cookies with the back of a teaspoon. Let rest until the icing sets, about 30 minutes. Serve or store in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Halloween Treats - Wormy Sandwiches

•1 package (16 ounces) hot dogs
•1 tablespoon canola oil
•1/2 cup ketchup
•1 tablespoon brown sugar
•2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
•1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
•Dash Liquid Smoke, optional
•6 hamburger buns, split

•Cut each hot dog into eight strips. In a large skillet, saute hot dogs in oil until golden brown.
•Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and Liquid Smoke if desired; heat through. Serve on buns. Yield: 6 servings.

Halloween Treats - Mummies on a Stick

•1 tube (11 ounces) refrigerated breadsticks
•10 Popsicle sticks
•10 hot dogs
•Prepared mustard

•Separate dough; roll 10 pieces into 24-in. ropes. Insert a Popsicle stick into each hot dog. Starting at the stick end, wrap one dough rope around each hot dog, leaving 2 in. of the hot dog uncovered at the top for the mummy head.
•Place mummies 1 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Place remaining breadsticks on another baking sheet.
•Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Add dots of mustard for eyes. Save leftover breadsticks for another use. Yield: 10 servings.

Halloween Treats - Spiderweb Eggs


Baking Directions:

1. Hard boil eggs with blueberries. The eggs will turn a light shade of grey so you can prep them for web creations.
2. Remove the eggs and whack them gently with the handle of a whisk to create a nice 'crack'.
3. Place the cracked eggs into a bowl and pour the blueberry cooking liquid over the top.
4. Place the bowl in the fridge to give the tinted liquid a chance to do its magic and let the eggs cool completely.
5. Gently peel the cooled eggs to reveal the spidery web that has been created under the shell. The web will be a dark gray color and the egg will NOT taste of blueberries in any way.

Halloween Treats - Witch's Crispy Hat

•8 cups miniature marshmallows
•1/2 cup butter, cubed
•12 cups crisp rice cereal
•3-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
•1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
•8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
•4 teaspoons vanilla extract
•3/4 cup butter, softened
•1 ice cream sugar cone
•4 sour apple Laffy Taffy candies
•4 grape Laffy Taffy candies

•In a Dutch oven, combine marshmallows and butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted and blended. Remove from the heat; stir in cereal. Press 4 cups into a greased 9-in. round pan and remaining mixture into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. pan; cool.
•In a large saucepan, combine confectioners' sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla. Cool until mixture is thickened, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
•In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture until blended. Cover and refrigerate up to 30 minutes.
•To assemble hat, cut six circles out of cereal mixture in the 15-in. x 1-in. pan using 5-1/2-in., 5-in., 4-1/2-in., 4-in., 3-in. and 2-in. round cookie cutters (save remaining mixture for another use). Remove cereal mixture from 9-in. pan and place onto a serving platter. Top with remaining circles, stacking from large to small. Top with sugar cone. Spread with frosting.
•Unwrap and microwave apple candies on high for 10-20 seconds or until softened. Roll out to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 3-in. moon- and a 1-1/2-in. star-shaped cookie cutter. Repeat with grape candies. Press moons and stars onto hat. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 witch's hat (30 servings).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Halloween Treats - Dracula Cookies

6 hazelnut truffles
5 ounces white candy coating, chopped
1 green or red Fruit Roll-Up
6 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
1 can (6.4 ounces) black decorating icing
6 slivered almonds, cut in half
Place truffles on a waxed paper-lined pan. Freeze for 10 minutes or until chilled. Meanwhile, in a microwave bowl, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip truffles in coating to cover completely; allow excess to drip of. Return to prepared pan. Refrigerate until hardened.
Cut Fruit Roll-Up into 2-1/2-in. x 1-1/2-in. strips. Reheat candy coating if necessary. Dip truffles in candy coating again; allow excess to drip off. Place one on each cookie. Wrap a fruit strip around base of truffle for cape. Let stand until set.
Using decorating icing and a round tip, pipe hair, eyes and mouth on each. Insert almonds for fangs. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 6 cookies.

Halloween Treats - Frankenstein Cupcakes

1 to 2 cans (16 ounces each) chocolate frosting
Cupcakes of your choice
Large marshmallows
Corn syrup
Green and black sprinkles
M&M's miniature baking bits
Candy coated licorice
Spread frosting over cupcakes. Lightly coat marshmallows with corn syrup. Roll sides of marshmallows in green sprinkles; dip tops in black. Carefully place a marshmallow in the center of each cupcake.
For eyes, attach baking bits to the face of each marshmallow with a small amount of frosting; pipe pupils using frosting. Attach licorice candies to sides of head for bolts. Pipe frosting onto faces for mouths and stitches as desired. Yield: Varied.

Halloween Treat - Ogre Eyes Hot Cocoa

8 cups milk, divided
1 cup mint chocolate chips
1 cup instant hot cocoa mix
16 large marshmallows
16 Crows candies
16 lollipop sticks
In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup milk, chocolate chips and cocoa mix. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Stir in remaining milk; heat through.
Meanwhile, cut a slit in top of each marshmallow; insert a candy. Carefully insert a lollipop stick through the bottom of each marshmallow and into each candy.
Pour hot cocoa into mugs or cups; place two prepared marshmallows in each cup. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

Halloween Treats - Boneyard Cookies

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
16 to 18 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and cornstarch. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture and mix well.
Shape dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. bone-shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
On the bottoms of half the cookies, spread 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon jam down the center; top with remaining cookies.
In a microwave, melt white chocolate at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Dip each cookie in chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. Yield: 34 sandwich cookies

Halloween Treats - Spooky Spider Cake


1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1-1/2 cups water
2 eggs

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix
1-1/3 cups water
2 eggs

2 cups shortening
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
Purple and black paste food coloring
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup

2 wooden dowels (2 inches x 1/4 inch)
1 cardboard cake circle (6 inches)
16 wooden toothpicks
8 black twist licorice ropes
20 pieces candy corn
In a large bowl, beat the chocolate cake mix, water and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into the two halves of a greased and floured sports ball baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat the white cake mix, water and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool all cakes for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, using a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the shortening, 1/4 cup water and vanilla. Combine confectioners' sugar and meringue powder; beat into shortening mixture.
For base cake: Tint 2-1/4 cups frosting purple. Using a serrated knife, level tops of white cakes if necessary. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining tinted frosting over top and sides of cake.
Combine 3 cups frosting, cocoa and remaining water until smooth; tint black. Combine 1/4 cup black frosting and corn syrup. Using round tip #2 and black frosting with corn syrup, pipe webs and spiders around sides of cake.
With 3/4 cup white frosting and shell tip #18, pipe border along bottom edge of cake. Insert dowels into center of cake. Cut cardboard circle to measure 3-1/4 in.; place over cake.
For spider cake: Using a serrated knife, level the rounded side of one chocolate cake; attach to cake circle with a small amount of black frosting. Spread top with 1/3 cup black frosting; top with remaining chocolate cake.
Using grass tip #233 and black frosting, pipe hair over cake. With white frosting and round tip # 12, pipe eyes and teeth. Pipe pupils with round tip #2 and black frosting.
For legs, insert a toothpick into the ends of each licorice rope. Insert one end into side of spider; insert other end into top of purple cake. Garnish with candy corn. Yield: 18-20 servings.

Halloween Treats - Ghost Cookies

1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped
1 package (1 pound) Nutter Butter peanut butter cookies
Miniature semisweet chocolate chips
In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip cookies into coating, covering completely; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper.
Brush ends with a pastry brush dipped in coating where fingers touched cookies. While coating is still warm, place two chips on each cookie for eyes. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Halloween Treats - Bat Cupcakes

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
24 fudge-striped cookies
24 milk chocolate kisses
Red decorating icing
Prepare and bake cake batter according to package directions for cupcakes; cool completely.
Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate frosting. Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting. For bat wings, cut cookies in half and add scalloped edges if desired. Insert two cookie halves into each cupcake. Gently press chocolate kisses into frosting for heads. Pipe ears with reserved frosting; add eyes with decorating icing. Yield: 2 dozen.

Halloween Treats - Strawberry Ghosts

30 fresh strawberries
8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon shortening
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth. Stir in extract.
Dip each strawberry in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts' tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for 5 minutes.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each face. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Halloween Treats - Frankin Cheesenstein

2 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese (softened or cubed), softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cartons (4 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Whipped Cream Cheese Spread
Moss-green paste food coloring
1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives, drained
2 pepperoncinis
3 colossal ripe olives
2 slices peeled parsnip
Black decorating gel
1 pretzel rod
1 small cucumber
Assorted fresh vegetables
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese, bacon and onions. Shape into a 5-in. x 4-in. x 3-in. rectangle; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled.
Unwrap rectangle; place on a serving platter with a 3-in. side on top. Tint whipped cream cheese green; spread over top and sides of rectangle.
Add chopped ripe olives for hair and pepperoncinis for ears. Cut one colossal olive in half; add parsnip slices and olive halves for eyes. With black decorating gel, pipe the brow, mouth and stitches.
Break pretzel rod in half; add a colossal olive to each end. Press into sides of head for bolts. Cut a small piece from end of cucumber for a nose (save remaining cucumber for another use). Serve with vegetables. Yield: 3 cups.

Halloween Treats - Marshmallow Witches

1/2 cup vanilla frosting, divided
36 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
12 large marshmallows
1 drop each green, red and yellow food coloring, optional
1/4 cup flaked coconut
12 chocolate wafers
12 miniature peanut butter cups
12 milk chocolate kisses
For the face of each witch, place a dab of frosting on the bottom of three chocolate chips; press two for eyes and one for nose onto each marshmallow.
For hair, combine green food coloring and a drop of water in a small resealable plastic bag; add coconut and shake well. Spread a small amount of frosting on sides of marshmallows; press coconut hair into frosting. Place 3 tablespoons of frosting in a small heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; tint orange with red and yellow food coloring. Set aside.
For hats, spread some of the remaining frosting in the center of chocolate wafers; press peanut butter cups upside down into frosting. Lightly spread bottoms of chocolate kisses with frosting; place on peanut butter cups. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert a small star tip. Fill the bag with frosting and pipe stars around the base of each peanut butter cup. Secure a hat to each witch with a dab of frosting. Yield: 1 dozen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Halloween Treats - Vampire Pancakes

You start with a fairly standard pancake batter with a little bit of vanilla extract thrown in and pour some onto a preheated griddle. Next, you add a dollop of raspberry (or other red-colored) jam to the center of the pancake as it cooks. It’s a good idea to try and spread out the jam as you place it on the pancake, even putting several little dollops. At this stage, the pancake batter is too delicate to stand up to being spread with jam, and it’s really nice if the jam fills up as much of the pancake as possible. Top the jam with some more batter to cover it completely and cook as you would a regular pancake.

When the pancakes were fresh off the griddle and the jam was still warm, they were moist and tender, with a nice ooze to the filling. You can taste the vanilla and buttermilk in the pancakes alongside the jam. These pancakes were sweet enough that they didn’t need any additional syrup or toppings before serving, but whipped cream might be a nice touch if you want to serve a little on the side.

I used the same technique that I’ve used on my Vampire Cupcakes and Vampire Cookies to add bite marks to these pancakes before serving. I’m sure that any vampires out there would approve, even if they might prefer a different flavor of filling for their portion.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large egg whites
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins (you will need 18 cups total) with paper liners and set aside.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and blend, using the paddle attachment (You can use a hand mixer, too).
Cut butter into 4 or 5 chunks and drop into the bowl with the flour mixture.Blend on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.
In a large measuring cup, combine eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With the mixer on low, pour 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the bowl. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the buttermilk mixture. Continue to beat at low speed for an additional 30 seconds, until liquid is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds, if necessary.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin tins, filling 18 cups as equally as possible.
Bake for 16-20 minutes, until cupcakes are light golden and a toothpick inserted into their centers comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 18 cupcakes.

1 can cherry pie filling

Puree cherry pie filling – a syrupy mix of sugar and cherries, usually – in a food processor until fairly smooth. Very small pieces of cherries are ok.
(A photo how-to of the assembly method can be found here.) Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.
Take the cherry filling and spoon about tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling it almost to the top with filling. Top off with the flat circle of cake you just removed to seal the hole and hold the “blood” filling in place.

Marshmallow Frosting
(previously used on Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup water
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, egg whites, 1/3 cup water, light corn syrup, and cream of tartar in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch simmering water). Using handheld electric mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture resembles soft marshmallow fluff, about 5-7 minutes.
Increase mixer speed to high and beat until mixture is very smooth and thick, about 3 minutes longer. Remove bowl from over simmering water. Add vanilla extract and continue beating until marshmallow frosting is completely cool, about 5-7 minutes longer.

Using a butter knife or a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with a layer of the cooled marshmallow frosting by placing a dollop of icing in the center of the cupcake (on top of the cut out circle of cake) and spreading from the center to the sides of the cupcake.
Dip a wooden toothpick or skewer into some leftover cherry pie filling and poke two fang-holes, about 3/4 inch apart, in the frosting on one side of the cupcake. Dribble a little extra filling from the holes for effect.
Repeat until all cupcakes are frosted and decorated. You will probably have frosting leftover for another batch if you are baking more.

Makes 18 vampire cupcakes.

Halloween Treats - Forked Eyeballs


2 (11-ounce) bags white chocolate chips
12 doughnut holes
Semisweet chocolate chips

Tube of red decorator frosting
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


To coat a dozen doughnut holes, melt the white chocolate chips with the oil over low heat (and keep the chocolate warm while you work). With a fork, spear each doughnut hole and submerge it in the melted chocolate to coat it, then gently tap off any excess.

Stick a semisweet chocolate chip with its point cut off onto each doughnut hole, cut end first. Place the forks (handle side down) in a mug and allow the chocolate coating to harden.

Use a tube of red decorator frosting to add squiggly veins radiating out from the pupils.

Halloween Treats - Bloody Bellas

Alcohol Optional
1 (46-ounce) can red punch (recommended: Hawaiian Punch)
1 (46-ounce) can apple juice
1 (48-ounce) bottle cranberry juice
1 (2-liter) bottle ginger ale
Ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl. Add ice and stir.

Berry vodka, optional
Orange liqueur, optional

For grown up version, add 4 cups berry vodka and 1/2 cup orange liqueur.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
approx 1/2 cup red jam (raspberry/strawberry)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and extracts.
Add flour and salt to the bowl and mix them into the butter-sugar mixture at low speed until dough is just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325F.
Divide dough in half and keep the portion you are not using in the refrigerator.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 2-inch rounds.
Place rounds on a baking sheet, put a teaspoon of jam on each of them and cover with another round of dough. Press edges down lightly, pinching the edges onto the cookie sheet. Use a toothpick and poke two small holes (like a vampire bite) in the top of each cookie.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set.
Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dip a toothpick in some extra red jam and re-insert in the “bite” holes you made before baking to emphasize them, if not already red. Draw a blood trick down from one of the bites with the jam, if desired.
Cookies are best the day they are made.

Makes 2 dozen.

Halloween Treats - Vampire Venom Recipe

2 (3 oz) packages red Jello
2 cups boiling water
½ cup cold water
2 cups Cinnamon Schnapps

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Dissolve the Jello in boiling water, stirring at least 2 minutes until gelatin is dissolved. Add cold water and Cinnamon Schnapps. Add a drop of red food coloring, if you like. Pour the mixture into shot glasses or paper cups. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Halloween Treats - Batty Bloody Mary

Pickle Salami Bats


•Miniature circle cookie cutter
•Wooden skewers
•Red food coloring


At the deli counter, ask the personnel to cut 1/4-inch-thick slices of salami. Cut the salami slice in half. You will be able to cut two wings from each slice.

Using a metal miniature circle cookie cutter (or the head portion of a small gingerbread-man cookie cutter), press half circles along the curved edge of the salami.

Use a tiny gherkin for the bat body.

Press the stems of wholes cloves into the wide end of the gherkin for eyes. Push the wings and then the body onto a wooden skewer.

If desired, tint the top of the skewer with red food coloring and let it flow onto the gherkin.

Bloody Mary

•1 jigger (1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons) vodka (nutritional analysis uses 80 proof)
•6 oz tomato juice (or see note)
•1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh preferred)
•1/8 teaspoon celery salt
•2 to 3 drops hot sauce such as Tobasco
•2 to 3 drops Worcestershire sauce
•dash pepper (fresh ground preferred)
•dash horseradish (optional)

In a tallish glass, mix vodka, tomato juice, and lemon juice. Mix in the flavorings, adjusting to taste. Add ice cubes, and garnish with a celery stalk and/or lemon wedge (additional half a gram of carb each).

Halloween Treats - Vampire Fangs in Blood

•8 large Red Delicious apples
•1/4 cup lemon juice
•1 tbsp. sugar
•1 10-oz. jar of strawberry or cherry sauce
1.Wash, peel and core the apples. Then cut each apple into 8 pieces.

2.Dip the cut apples into the lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

3.To prepare the fangs, cut the apple slices into long narrow triangles, making pointy toothlike shapes. Redip them in the lemon juice, and then lightly sprinkle them with sugar.

4.Arrange the fangs on a serving platter with the strawberry dipping sauce in the middle. Make sure you splatter some of the "blood" over the fangs. Makes 10 servings.

Halloween treats - Bleeding Truffles

•9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
•2/3 cup cream
•1 tsp vanilla extract
•1/3 cup red jam, like strawberry or raspberry
•1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl.

2. Place the cream in a small saucepan and scald it until bubbles being to appear around the sides of the pan, but do not allow it to boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to soften and melt the chocolate for 30 seconds.

3. Using a whisk, gently stir to incorporate the cream and chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until well-combined, but do not stir too vigorously or you will incorporate air bubbles. This is your "ganache."

4. Cover the truffle mixture with cling wrap and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate until it is firm enough to mold, about 2-3 hours.

5. Here comes the messy part! Coat your hands with cocoa powder, and have extra powder nearby in a shallow plate or pie pan. Using a teaspoon or cookie dough scoop, scoop out a small ball of ganache. Flatten it between your palms until it is a thin round. It should be easy to work with, and not too soft or sticky. If you're already having problems flattening your truffle, your ganache is too soft, and it should be chilled further until easier to work with.

6. Place a tiny spoonful of jam in the center, and fold the truffle over the jam to cover it completely. This step is messy, and can be difficult at first, but remember that candy making is supposed to be fun, and it's okay to have a few misshapen truffles! Roll the truffle between your palms to get a round shape, rolling it in more cocoa powder if necessary to prevent sticking and to give it a matte finish. Put the completed truffle on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining ganache and jam.

7. Once all of the Bleeding Truffles are formed, place the truffle tray back in the refrigerator to firm up the truffles for about 1 hour. Store Bleeding Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Allow them to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving for best taste and texture. If they will be sitting at room temperature for extended periods, they will become soft, so I recommend serving them in small candy cups so they're easier and less messy to handle.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Breaded Jalapeno Poppers

10 jalapeno peppers
6 ounces cream cheese
6 ounces pepper jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cajun seasonings
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs

Slice the jalapeno peppers in half, lengthwise. Remove the innards and seeds.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and cajun seasonings. Mix well.
Divide the mixture among the jalapeno pepper halves, spooning it into the peppers.
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg.
Dip the filled jalapeno peppers into the egg, then coat with bread crumbs.
Place breaded jalapeno peppers on a coated baking sheet, filled side up. You can use tinfoil as well.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until peppers are heated through and turning golden brown.

Jalapeno Poppers

4 sl Bacon; chopped up
1/4 c Onion; chopped small (or powder)
1/2 c Mushrooms; chopped
8 oz Cream cheese
1/2 c Monterey jack
1/2 c Mozzarella
And however many peppers you can fill.
Fry the bacon, onion, and mushroom together until bacon is crisp; drain well and let cool.Mix bacon, onion, mushroom, and cheeses. Slice peppers in half and stuff with the mixture. Bake at 350 F. for about 15 minutes. (You can also freeze the peppers to soften them before baking.)

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Stuffed with Parmesan Garlic Cheese


12 jalapeno peppers

8-10 ounces cream cheese

2 ounces Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons minced garlic
12 slices bacon
Cooking Directions

Core each pepper to make room for the filling
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and garlic and mix well
Stuff each pepper with about 1 ounce of your cheese mixture or as much as you can fit
Wrap each pepper with 1 slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick
Set each pepper into the pepper griller
Preheat grill to medium heat
Set pepper griller onto grill and grill 30-40 minutes depending on your heat level or until bacon is thoroughly cooked
Remove from heat
Let cool and serve

Crispy Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers


10 jalapeno peppers
10 ounces Chihuahua cheese
8 ounces cooked hot Mexican chorizo
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying
Cooking Directions

Remove stems from the jalapeno peppers and remove innards through the top with a pepper corer. If you do not have a corer, use a knife or very thin spoon.
Stuff each jalapeno with layers of chorizo and Chihuahua cheese.
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg.
Dip the stuffed jalapeno peppers into the egg, then coat with bread crumbs.
In a deep frying pan, add about 1 inch of oil and heat thoroughly.
Fry each breaded jalapeno popper about 3-5 minutes each side, or until golden brown.
Top with your favorite salsa and serve!

Cheeseburger Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers

A lot of Jalapeño Peppers
1 pound ground beef
2 cups shredded American cheese
1 small white onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Cooking Instructions

Cut jalapeno pepers lengthwise in half. Soak in cold water.
In a large pan, brown the ground beef. Stir in diced onion and garlic.
Stir in American cheese and mix until cheese is melted.
Stuff jalapeno halves with the cheeseburger mixture, and close up with another jalapeno pepper half.
NOTE: You can also bake or grill the stuffed jalapenos before serving to give the jalapenos a different flavor. Just wrap them in tinfoil and grill about 10 minutes, or until the skin begins to blacken, or bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes or so. We love stuffed jalapeno peppers this way, too!

Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers - On the Grill


2 jalapeno peppers
2 ounces mixed Mexican cheese
Cooking Directions

Cut off the stems from the jalapenos and core them - basically, remove the seeds and innards. If you have trouble, check out our video on this.
Stuff each jalapeno with about 1 ounce of cheese mixture. NOTE: jalapeno peppers will vary in size, so just stuff in as much cheese as you can fit.
Wrap each stuffed jalapeno pepper in tinfoil.
Heat grill to medium and add stuffed jalapenos.
Grill over medium about 20 minutes. You can leave them on longer if needed to time with other food that you're grilling.
Remove from heat, unwrap, and serve!

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers Recipe


2 large jalapeno peppers
1-2 ounces cream cheese
1-2 ounces cooked chicken
1/4 cup of your favorite Buffalo Sauce
1 egg
Seasoned bread crumbs
Oil for deep frying
Cooking Directions

Cut the tops off of the jalapeno peppers and core them using a knife or pepper corer.
In a mixing bowl, combine cooked chicken and Buffalo sauce. Heat in a small pan or you can even nuke it a minute or two.
Stuff each jalapeno pepper with layers of cream cheese and Buffalo chicken, until full. The amount will vary by the size of the jalapeno.
Coat stuffed jalapeno peppers with egg and then dip into bread crumbs. Coat thoroughly.
In a deep pan, add enough oil to deep fry the peppers. Add the jalapenos to heated oil and cook 3-5 minutes. Flip peppers over and cook another 3-5 minutes.

Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers


10-12 jalapeno peppers
1 cup cooked white rice
8 ounces black beans
2 tablespoons spicy jalapeno and wine mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Chili pepper oil
Cooking Directions

Remove the stem and core the jalapenos.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine cooked rice, black beans, mustard and garlic. Mix well.
Spoon rice and bean mixture into jalapeno peppers.
Drizzle peppers with chili pepper oil.
Set peppers onto a lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Baked Jalapeno Poppers


10 jalapeno peppers
2-3 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
3 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces Monterey jack cheese
3 ounces mozzarella cheese
Cooking Directions

Remove stems from the jalapeno peppers and remove innards through the top with a pepper corer. If you do not have a corer, use a knife or very thin spoon.
In a large pan, fry bacon, onion, and mushroom until bacon is crisp. Drain and cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine bacon, onion, mushroom, and cheeses.
Stuff each pepper with the bacon cheese mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees about 20-30 minutes.

Apple-Cajun Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers


10-20 jalapeno peppers (amount will vary depending on the size of the peppers)
1 apple, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons Cajun seasonings
1 teaspoon dried chipotle flakes
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Water as needed
Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Set aside.
Heat a frying pan to medium and add butter.
When butter is melted, stir in bread crumbs and mix well.
Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Use water in very small amounts to thin as needed, but the mixture should be slightly thick and chunky.
Fill each jalapeno half with a heaping mound of your stuffing mixture.
Bake stuffed jalapenos on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 30 minutes.

Home Canning - Pickled Jalapeño Rings

3 pounds jalapeño peppers
1½ cups pickling lime
1½ gallons water
7½ cups cider vinegar (5%)
1¾ cups water
2½ tablespoons canning salt
3 tablespoons celery seed
6 tablespoons mustard seed

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Wash peppers well and slice into ¼" thick slices (a mandolin slicer works well). Discard stem end. Mix 1½ cups pickling lime with 1½ gallons water in a stainless steel, glass or food grade plastic container. Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution. Soak pepper slices in the lime water, in refrigerator, for 18 hours, stirring occasionally (12 to 24 hours may be used).

Drain lime solution from soaked pepper rings. Rinse peppers gently but thoroughly with water. Cover pepper rings with fresh cold water and soak, in refrigerator, 1 hour. Drain water from peppers.

Repeat the rinsing, soaking and draining steps two more times. Drain thoroughly at the end.

Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

Place 1 tablespoon mustard seed and 1½ teaspoons celery seed in the bottom of each clean, hot pint jar. Pack drained pepper rings into the jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.

Bring cider vinegar, 1¾ cups water and canning salt to a boil over high heat. Ladle boiling hot brine solution over pepper rings in jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Make sure pepper rings are covered with brine.

Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.

Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homemade Fly Spray

old spray bottle
cider vinegar
10 drops tea tree oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
20 drops vegetable glycerin

Fill the bottle 2/3rds full with vinegar, fill the rest of the way with water. Add the essential oils and glycerin. The glycerin helps the oil mix with the vinegar and water.

Shake well before using.

Be careful not to get this in their eyes or other sensitive spots.

This recipe works well on Humans, Dogs and Horses. horses.

Homemade Oven Cleaner

3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup Borax
32 oz. Baking Soda

Mix all dry ingredients together and store in a glass jar. When ready to use pour out a small amount into a bowl and add small amount of water to make a paste. Spread it on the oven and let sit one half hour. Wipe off with a clean cloth and vinegar.

Homemade Anti-bacterial/Anti-fungal multipurpose Cleaner

4 Tbl. Lemon juice
1 Tbl. Tea Tree oil
equal parts white vinegar and distilled water.
Mixed together in a spray bottle. Shake before using.

Homemade Window Wash

Also good for the stove and counter tops

1/2 part white vinegar
1/2 part Water
a splash or two of rubbing alcohol
Mixed together in a spray bottle. Shake before using.

Homemade Carpet Fresh

1 old jar
Baking soda (1lb.)
20 drops essential oil

mix together in glass jar. Sprinkle on carpet and let sit overnight, vacuum the next day.

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
20 drops orange or lemon essential oil

Mix together and store in an old soap bottle.

Homemade Foaming Hand Wash

1 C. warm distilled water
4 Tbl. liquid castile soap
1 tsp. pure vegetable glycerin
1 tsp. almond oil
16 drops grapefruit essential oil
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Put all ingredients in a large jar with a lid. Shake to mix. Pour into a soap foamer. This will add some moisturizing to the soap and it smells nice too. You can try other essential oils and come up with your own combinations.

Homemade Disinfectant Spray Cleaner

2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. borax
4 Tbsp. vinegar
4 cups hot water

Simply add the baking soda, borax, and vinegar in a spray bottle. You can either reuse an old spray bottle when through with it (making sure to clean thoroughly) or buy a cheap one at the dollar store for a buck. Slowly add 4 cups of hot water to dissolve all the ingredients. Put the spray nozzle on, and shake to mix ingredients.
I have used this recipe in the bathroom, outdoors, on glass, and in the kitchen, everywhere I would use our old spray cleaners, and have had fantastic results.

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

2 bars solid or 2 cups liquid castile soap
Large non-metallic bowl
Sharp knife
1/2 cup lemon juice or white vinegar
Essential oils
Empty bottles

Finely chop the bars of castile soap. Place the soap in a large bowl and cover with 2 cups of hot water.

Allow the soap and water to sit for several hours or overnight. When the soap is soft, stir the mixture until it is smooth.

Add 2 cups of warm water to the soap mixture or to your liquid castile soap. Stir completely but gently; do not create suds. Add more water as necessary until the mixture reaches the consistency of conventional dish detergent.

Stir in 1/4 cup of lemon juice or white vinegar. These acidic ingredients cut grease, adding power to your dish cleanser.

For a pleasant scent, add your favorite essential oil to your dish soap, a few drops at a time. Essential oils are strong, and a little bit goes a long way. Some oils, such as tea tree oil, also possess antibacterial properties. Other popular essential oils include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and pine.

Pour your homemade dish soap into bottles. Recycle old dish detergent bottles or choose something decorative. Look around the house for possibilities. You can even use an empty wine bottle with an appropriate stopper.