Monday, October 31, 2011

Fig and Blue Cheese Appetizer Tarts Recipe


 
Celebration Food: National Fig Week is always celebrated November 1 -7. During this week we are encouraged to celebrate the fig by enjoying great fig recipes. To help you do that, I've picked out a Betty Crocker recipe that's perfect for fig week and Thanksgiving too.

Fig and Blue Cheese Appetizer Tarts Recipe
Originally uploaded by Betty Crocker Recipes
INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel; from 8-oz package), softened
  • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (3 oz)
  • 1/4 cup Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 16 dried Mission figs, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 can (12 oz) Pillsbury Big & Flaky refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1/2 cup Fisher Chef’s Naturals Chopped Pecans

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In small bowl, mix cream cheese and blue cheese with fork until well blended; set aside.

2. In 1-quart saucepan, stir marmalade and vinegar over low heat until mixed; stir in figs. Cook over low heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until figs are softened. Remove from heat.

3. Remove crescent dough from package, but do not unroll. Cut roll of dough into 16 slices. On 2 ungreased cookie sheets, place slices 2 inches apart. Press center of each slice to make indentation, 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

4. Place 1 heaping teaspoon cheese mixture into each well. Top cheese with about 1 tablespoon fig mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoon pecans.

5. Bake 15 to 19 minutes or golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack; cool 10 minutes. Serve warm.


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Fun Facts
  • What fig recipe was made popular by a Christmas Carol?  Figgy Pudding!
  • Did you know: In the Old Testament the fig tree is the third tree to be mentioned by name. The first is the Tree of Life and the second is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve used the leaves of the fig tree to sew garments for themselves when they realized that they were naked.Genesis 3:7 Figs were one of the foods produced in the promised land Deuteronomy 8:8-10
  • More holidays: National Fig Newton Day is a food holiday that occurs annually on January 16.
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Halloween: I stuffed it

Hummm..... the last time I wore this costume I had to stuff it with 2 bed pillows. This time I only had to stuff it with 1!


I think I've been celebrating to many Food Holidays by eating the holiday observance foods. You know, like to many pumpkins for National Pumpkin Month. wink~

Happy
Halloween
Everyone!

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outdoor cooking in a cauldron

Photo pick: Outdoor cooking session

I do more outdoor cooking in a cauldron during the Autumn season than any other time of the year. Grant you fire side cooking that in tells of roasted weenies and fiery marshmallows on chocolate and peanutbutter take first place in the summer time but when the weather gets cold, out comes the cauldron. (smores)

Simmer slowly in a pot:
When it's cold outside I like to stew meals that will simmer slowly so I can watch the fall colors of the fire turning yellow, orange and red. I love to hear the sound of the ambers popping and cracking with the rythem of each little stewing bubble too. Sitting by the fire watching the food cook is so relaxing. The food smells good and the fire feels so warm. This is truly a favorite thing to do.

My very favorite meals to cauldron:
When it's cold outside my first choice is chili. It doesn't matter if it's red chili or white chili, I just love chili. I guess that's the first choice for most people isint it? I mean really, who doesn't like chili con carna? Hummm... my husband doesn't that's who. Yep I don't cook it very often because my hubby just doesn't care for beans. Disappointing for me but I still sneak it in when company is coming over. Other cauldron favorites are harvest stews and brunswich stew. And oh yes... for Halloween I have to make a stewing pot of my witches black brew stew. My stew is purple/ black in color and full of gross looking veggies like mushrooms, turnip greens and such. Cook up some corn bread on the fire to go with it and you have nothing more than a warming good meal.

Enjoy Life: Have some outdoor cooking in a cauldron. It's fun!
If you enjoy cauldron cooking let us know. We would love to hear your story.
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 In need of a cauldron? Amazon.com has them!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Puppy Treats Recipe



Celebration Food: Woof woof! This post is all about dogs and pumpkins. Did you know the month of October is National Adopt a dog month? And did you know October is also National Pumpkin month too? Well in honor of that, we picked a Betty Crocker recipe for dogs that has a whole can of pumpkin in it.  Give it a try and remember to make these special treats for other National Dog Holidays too. Last but not least, National Cook for your pet day is November 1st.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Puppy Treats Recipe
Originally uploaded by Betty Crocker Recipes
INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl stir all ingredients until soft dough forms.

2. Divide dough in half. Using brown-rice-floured rolling pin, roll each dough half to 1/2 inch thickness on brown-rice-floured surface. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutter. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cutouts about 1 inch apart.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until dry and golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4. Store in dog treat jar at room temperature up to 1 week. For longer storage keep in refrigerator or freezer.

Tip: To dress up your puppy treats, melt 1 cup yogurt chips (available at pet stores) and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in microwavable bowl uncovered on High about 1 minute or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over puppy treats.

Tip: Check with your vet to make sure that these puppy treats fit into your dog's diet. Be sure to check the recipe for any known foods or ingredients your pet may be allergic to.
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Candy Corn Cookies Recipe

Celebration Food: Now here's a recipe that's not just for National Cookie Day & National Cookie Month, but it's perfect for all Autumn celebrations like Halloween and Thanksgiving too. We also think this recipe is a must make for National Candy Corn Day which is celebrated every year on October 30th. So thanks to Betty Crocker you can have some candy corn cookie fun with your family.

Candy Corn Cookies Recipe
Originally uploaded by Betty
Crocker Recipes
DIRECTIONS:

  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg
  • Orange paste food color
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled

INGREDIENTS:

1. Line 8x4-inch loaf pan with waxed paper, extending paper over sides of pan. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.

2. On work surface, place 3/4 cup dough. Knead desired amount of food color into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.

3. Divide remaining dough in half. Gently press one half of remaining dough into pan on top of orange dough. On work surface, knead chocolate into remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over plain dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm.

4. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.

5. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.
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Recipe: Breadstick Bones

Celebration Food: Just as Pillsbury suggests, these bone shape breadsticks would be perfect for Halloween. We say they would be perfect for National Dog Holidays too. Plan a doggie play day and serve these breadstick bones to your friends. People friends that is. That's right, while the dog are running and playing; dog owners can be bread dipping at the park. This recipe by Pillsbury is just for humans so make sure you bring a special treat for your dogs too.

RECIPE: Breadstick BonesINGREDIENTS
1 can (7 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated breadsticks (6 breadsticks)
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce, heated

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough; separate at perforations into 6 breadsticks. Roll each until 12 inches long. Loosely tie knot in both ends of each breadstick; place on cookie sheet (do not twist).
2. Brush breadsticks with egg white. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.
3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm "bones" with warm pizza sauce for dipping.
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By Pillsbury.com

Joke: A Dying Man's Cookies

Today I'm going to lighten it up a bit and pass on a cookie joke in honor of National Cookie Month (celebrated the month of October) and Create A Great Funeral Day. (celebrated October 30)

Ok... here we go....
An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. 

Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? 

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth; seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand, shockingly made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table......................., when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife. 

'Stay out of those,' she said, 'they're for the funeral.'

photo: chocolate_chip_cookies_on_glass_plate.jpg
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Cookie Baking Store at Amazon.com

Blog Post Pick: Medusa Cheeseball by Jo and Sue

Celebration Food:  Perfect for Halloween & theme parties!

Blog Post Pick: Medusa Cheeseball
I love to read blogs and when I find something I like, I have to pass it on. Today I ran across this fantastic Medusa Cheeseball by Jo and Sue. Make sure to check out their blog because if your a foodie, you'll have fun here. Great job guys I love it!

Jo and Sue said: "We were inspired to create this Medusa cheeseball after we made the SPA MASK CHEESE BALL that we fell in love with from the Hungry Happenings site. Someone commented on our blog saying that their son was having a mythology birthday theme party (how cool is that by the way) and they were going to make the spa mask into Medusa. Genius! We immediately thought of Halloween. I started thinking of all the things that Sue and I could use for Medusa's snake hair. Weiners cut into strips, jello worms, spaghetti/pasta, bread.  We decided to go with bread because we had more control over how... more » 

Do you have a great cheeseball idea? We would love to hear about it.
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Meaty Spider Bites


Perfect for Halloween in October, Be kind to Spiders Week in April, great for a theme birthday party and a perfect "all eyes are on you" congratulations party.

Like most foodies, I like to play with my food and today was no different. I've been on this big spider kick this season so I wanted to keep it going by sharing my little southwestern spider bites that I like to make.

These cute little guys are nothing more than seasoned beef, veggies & cheese. Tostitos scoops make the perfect bowls for the spiders body. Pop a few black beans on and you have a lot of eyes looking at you.

I've made several versions of these creepy little guys but today I went with a southwestern flavor because I wanted to serve them over lettuce like a taco salad. They look just like there ready to crawl right into some body's mouth too. lol-

Dinner Party: In the past I've served them as appetizers. It was for a dinner party with a spider theme. I placed one meaty spider bite on individual saucers and served them while they were still hot.

The Meat: What can I say.... The meat filling is truly unlimited and there's nothing to it really. It can be taco flavor, sloppy joe flavor, Swedish white meatball sauce, red spaghetti sauce (Italian), white stroganoff flavor (which I've done over a bed of spaghetti) you name it. You can even cheat on homemade steps and use hamburger helper if you want. It all works.

The one thing you can't change on is the tostitos scoops. These little bowls are perfect to hold meat and they are thick enough to hold their shape without going soggy. Always cook all the moisture out of your meat before you scoop it in. Another thing that I find helpful is toasting the scoops in the oven with a bit of grated cheese in the bottom. Toasting flavors the chips for sure but it also seals the bottom of the scoops as the cheese melts and keeps any moisture left in the meat from collapsing your spider body.
 
It's No Fuss: Just brown your hamburger meat really small so it's easier to spoon in (sometimes I add a bit of ground spicy sausage). Drain the fat, drain the fat, drain the fat! did I say drain the fat? This is sooo important. Those chips will soap up every little bit if you don't and it will be yucky.

Now just dump it in: Yep that's all you have to do. Today I dumped in 1 can of southwest corn, 1 can of tomatoes and green chilis and a small block of velveeta cheese. Last but not least I added a fajita / taco season packet and simmered until all the moisture was gone.

I've made these a few times throughout the years. For a dinner party one time I served one spider on each plate as a meaty appetizer. Today I just set them on a bed of lettuce for a taco salad. When your ready to eat just rip-em apart & eat. giggle~

The Spider Legs: I use bell peppers for the spider legs not only because bell peppers go so well with hamburger meat (mince) but it has a natural curve that helps the legs of your spider to look arched.

Today I went with yellow bell peppers because I put yellow corn in the meat so I wanted my spiders to be yellow. If you want to go with red bell peppers use more tomatoes in the meat. For green legs I use more beans and green chilies. 

Orange Spiders for Halloween: 3 years ago I went with a orange spider which I loved! I used orange bell peppers for the legs and melted grated cheese on top of the body. I stuck the black bean eyes on while the cheese was still hot. This made the whole spider look orange and the eyes held on nicely too. Talk about good! I have a weakness for cheese anyway so maybe that's why it was so good but they did look better than the one's I did today.

For a tray of party favors: insert the legs up-side-down for a dead spider look!  This is really the only way you can pick them up with your fingers, legs and all that is. Another leg option is Chinese noodles. They just don't taste as good to me unless I've fixed the dessert spider bites I make. Hummm I'll save that for another post. :)

Enjoy life yall. Have some fun in the kitchen and share your photos. Now go to your kitchen and get leggy. Your blogging friend, Pam
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National Cat Day

Mrs. Kitty & Ittie Bitty her son
2 of our furry family members: Mother & Son
Celebrated: October 29th.

National Cat Day is a party affair at our house. I surprise my cat crew with one new cat toy every National Cat Day. Plus I drag out all the old cat toys and let our furry pets have a field day of play. I get in the floor with them and shake, rattle and roll roll roll. wink~

For a bit of "high on life time," 
I sprinkle cat nip on the floor so they can happily roll around in cat bliss. It's such a site to see when every one's crawling around on their bellies and rolling side to side. LOL! It's as much fun for me as it is for them. :)

Cat treats are on the menu for such a special day too. After all it's a celebration day so I treat my babes all throughout the day. A little bite here a little bite there. I usually buy a couple different ones and sometimes I even try my hand at making homemade. (this is just for treats and not a meal) I'll list a couple of recipes I found on the Internet at the bottom ok. This way you can make some too.

Official Website
Last but not least, I cook them up a sinful supper of boiled chicken and let them drink the chicken juice too. They love it! I put the vitamin drops in and stir it up. I line up a row of dinner bowls and ladle each cat a bowl of their own and serve them all at the same time. 

What is Cat Day about?
Pet lifestyle expert and animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige established National Cat Day in 2005. The day serves as a reminder to the public about the number of cats that need to be rescued. This holiday encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their life for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.

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2 of our furry family member
A nutrious treat for those special occasions.
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1 teaspoon catnip
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c cat's milk
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk
  • 1 Tablespoons unsulfurated molasses
  • 2 T butter, vegetable oil, or canola oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients together. Add molasses, egg, oil and milk. Roll out flat onto oiled cookie sheet and cut into small, cat bite-sized pieces. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and store in tightly sealed container.  

Tuna Cat Crackers
  • 6 oz. undrained tuna
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Measure all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into treat sized pieces. Place on a greased cookie sheet. bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.Let cool. Give to your cat and watch them gobble it up.
Recipes found at www.simplypets.com.
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Pumpkin Pancake and Pumpkin Butter Recipe


pumpkin pancakes.
Originally uploaded by msconnections
Remember this for: Pancake Day & National Pumpkin Month

Guys I really enjoy this meal & found a photo of exactly how I like to eat it too. For some reason I only eat this during the Fall season but I really should eat it more this winter. This photo by msconnections is showing it served with cottage cheese & pumpkin butter. I like it that way and I like it with whipped cream, pumpkin butter and pecans too.

Pumpkin Butter Recipe
  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. 2. Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
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Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
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Halloweegan Pumpkin Pancakes

Look-ah-here what I found :)
I enjoy finding great blog posts and passing them on to fellow bloggers. Here's a good one to share.

These pancakes are so cute and what could be better than eating a plate of these happy pumpkin faces for National Pancake Day (October 29), Cool foods for kids month, Eat better eat together month or for Halloween. All these holidays are celebrated in the month of October. 

Hey these could easily be adapted for National Smile Day too. That's not an October holiday, but one to remember for later.

Check out the blog who blogged it.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Chex Mix Recipe


Halloween Chex Mix Recipe
Originally uploaded by Pillsbury.com
This Halloween Chex Mix Recipe is in honor of National Candy Corn Day which is celebrated every October 30th & Halloween.

If your looking for a treat that's loaded with the traditional Halloween colors of brown, orange, yellow and white; then this recipe is for you. I've fixed this myself and I have to tell you it's absolutely beautiful in a bowl or bagged as a gift.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz white chocolate baking bars, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups Corn Chex or Rice Chex cereal
  • 2 cups bite-size pretzel twists
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1/4 cup orange and black candy decors

DIRECTIONS:

1. In large microwavable bowl, microwave chopped baking bars uncovered on High 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

2. Gently stir in cereal, pretzels and raisins until evenly coated. Stir in candy corn and decors.

3. Spread on waxed paper or foil until cool and chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Break into chunks. Store loosely covered.
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Old-Time Tuna Bake


Old-Time Tuna Bake
Originally uploaded by Pillsbury.com
October is National Pasta Month:
Tuna bake is one of my favorite pasta dishes so I wanted to be sure to post it in honor of National Pasta Month.  

There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognised names. Examples include spaghetti (thin strings), maccheroni (tubes or cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Gnocchi and spätzle are sometimes considered pasta; they are both traditional in parts of Italy.

Old-Time Tuna Bake

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles (8 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers frozen sweet peas
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk or 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 cans (5 oz each) tuna in water, drained, flaked
  • 1 can (2.8 oz) French-fried onions

DIRECTIONS
1 .Cook noodles as directed on package, adding peas during last minute of cooking time; drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 2-quart casserole, mix soup, milk, dried onion and seasoned salt.
3. Stir cooked noodles and tuna into soup mixture. Cover; bake 30 minutes.
4. Uncover; stir mixture well. Sprinkle with French-fried onions. Bake uncovered about 5 minutes longer or until onions are golden brown.
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Spooky Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Halloween: Celebration Food

Pillsbury says "Whip up some ghoulishly good fun with instant mashed 'ghost' potatoes that top a deliciously rich ground beef and vegetable casserole."

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups Progresso diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained (from 28-oz can)
  • 1 (12-oz.) jar home-style beef gravy
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups instant mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add ground beef and onion; cook until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.
2. Set aside 12 peas for garnish. Add remaining frozen vegetables, tomatoes and gravy; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring water, margarine and garlic powder to a boil. Remove from heat; add milk. Stir in potato flakes and cheese. Add egg; blend well.
4. Spoon ground beef mixture into ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) or oval (2 1/2-quart) glass baking dish. With large spoon, make 6 mounds of potato mixture on top of beef mixture to resemble ghosts. Place 2 reserved peas on each mound to resemble eyes.
5. Bake at 375°F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are set and mixture is thoroughly heated.
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Friendly Ghost Cupcakes Recipe

Halloween Celebration Food
Pillsbury does it best!


Ingredients:
  • 3 cups baking mix
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons miniature chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups.

2. In large bowl, beat Bisquick mix, granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, the pumpkin pie spice, milk, eggs and pumpkin with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter on low speed about 30 seconds or until well blended. Beat in vanilla and 2 cups of the powdered sugar on low speed about 30 seconds or just until mixed, then on high speed about 1 minute or until fluffy. Beat in remaining 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, on medium speed. If too soft to mound, add additional powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

5.Spoon frosting into large resealable plastic food-storage bag; press out air and seal bag. Cut 1/2-inch tip from lower corner of bag. Squeeze bag to pipe about 2 tablespoons frosting into ghost-shaped mound on each cupcake. Press 2 chocolate chips, flat sides out, into frosting for eyes.
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RECIPE: Big Smile Chalupas


RECIPE: Big Smile Chalupas
Originally uploaded by Pillsbury.com
October Celebration Food: Not only do we celebrate Halloween but we also celebrate "Cool Food for Kids Month" and "Eat Better Eat Together Month." Based on that, I think I've picked the perfect recipe to represent all of the above! Big Smile Chalupas by Pillsbury!

Pillsbury Description
"Silly chalupas are a great kid’s birthday party entrée and quick enough to bring smiles to a weeknight dinner."

Ingredients

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso taco seasoning mix
2/3 cup water
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle southern style biscuits
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup Old El Paso Thick 'n Chunky salsa
2cups shredded lettuce
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheese (8 oz), if desired
8 pimiento-stuffed olives, cut in half
8 grape tomatoes, quartered

DIRECTIONS

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Cook beef, taco seasoning and water as directed on taco seasoning packet.

2.Meanwhile, separate dough into 8 biscuits; press each into a 6-inch round. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.

3.Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pans halfway through bake time. In small bowl, mix ranch dressing and salsa.

4.To assemble each chalupa, layer lettuce, onion and cheese on warm biscuit round. Fold in half to form chalupa. Use toothpicks to secure filled chalupa, and attach olive halves on top to look like eyes. Use quartered tomatoes for teeth. Drizzle with ranch sauce mixture.
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Chocolate Halloween Pretzels Recipe

This easy recipe is in honor of Halloween and National Chocolate Day. National Chocolate Day is celebrated on October 28th each and every year.

Pretzels
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
Icing
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons shortening
  • Assorted Halloween candy sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat until well blended. Add almond extract and egg; blend well. Add flour and cocoa; mix well.

2. Shape dough into 6-inch-long roll. Cut roll into 6 slices; cut each slice into quarters. For each pretzel, shape 1 dough quarter into 10-inch-long rope. Shape rope into U-shape; cross ends and place over bottom of U to form pretzel. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake at 325°F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until set and firm to the touch. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool 10 minutes or until completely cooled.

4. In small microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir; continue microwaving, stirring every 10 seconds, until chocolate is melted and can be stirred smooth. Dip tops of pretzels in chocolate. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until chocolate is set before storing.
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Ideal Meal for Frankenstein Friday



Frankenstein Friday is the last Friday of October:
Do you need a few ideas for a Frankenstein Friday meal?

Many Holidays are are associated with the color green. Frankenstein, Witches and Goblins are all associated with the color green. Holidays like Frankenstein Friday will always have green food in honor of the day. We will give you a few ideas for green food.

Soups, Stews and Chili

  •  Goblin Stew: all you need is foods that are green in color to make the stew green. For example: string beans, green beans, peas, broccoli, zucchini, turnip greens, collards, green onions etc. Cubed chicken is the preferred meat because it is easily turned green with a few drops of green food coloring. Potatoes are also required in the stew and will also absorb the green color.
  • Lizard Stew
popular green stew. It's the very same idea as the Goblin Stew except you need to make sure you add long strips of chicken in the stew so it looks like cooked lizards.

1 1/2 lbs. beef, cut into chunks for stewing
2 to 3 tbsp. oil
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. comino
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Pinch of oregano
4 med. potatoes, peeled and cut up (can use more)
8 whole canned green chilies (2 small cans)
1 can tomatoes and green chilies
5 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. chopped jalapenos (optional)
Garnish: chopped cilantro, sour cream, or shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oil in a 3 quart saucepan, add meat and brown. Add onion and garlic and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, covered. Uncover pan, raise heat to medium and stir in comino and pepper. Stir 2 to 3 minutes until onions start to brown. Add oregano, green chilies (optional jalapenos) and chicken broth.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer slowly for two hours. Add potatoes and continue simmering for 40 minutes. Do not boil. Serve with garnishes.
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Read more at our website: Frankenstein Holidays

Thursday, October 27, 2011

RECIPE: Cheesy “Ham-witches” for Wicked Witch Day

 October 27: Wicked Witch Day
We only get to celebrate Wicked Witch Day once a year and that's on October 27th. If you need a great food idea for your Wicked Witch Party then this recipe is for you. Pillsbury.com has a cool idea for a witch sandwich.

RECIPE: Cheesy “Ham-witches”

Refrigerated biscuits, ham and cheese, and a little magic are all you'll need to create these Halloween sandwiches that are so clever, they're cute!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands! original or buttermilk biscuits
  • 6 square slices cooked ham (from 6-oz package)
  • 6 slices (1 oz each) American cheese (from 12-oz package)
  • 6 teaspoons yellow mustard, if desired
  • 3 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
  • 6 Bugles® corn snacks
  • 6 pimiento-stuffed olives

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Remove 2 biscuits from can; place remainder in refrigerator. To form hat brims, pat or roll each biscuit into 4-inch circle. Cut each circle into 3 equal pieces; set aside.
2. Cut 1 inch from 2 opposite corners of ham and cheese slices; set aside.
3. For each witch, pat or roll remaining biscuits into 6-inch circles; spread mustard to within 1 inch of each biscuit edge. Top mustard with 1 slice cheese and 1 slice ham; bring edges of biscuit together in center over ham and cheese, pressing to seal. Place seam side down on cookie sheet.
4. For hat brim, place 1 piece from a cut biscuit on top of each biscuit sandwich, 1 inch from a pointed end. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on biscuit below hat brim. Use small knife or toothpick to cut mouth shape into biscuit. Press corn snack into dough to make nose, and top with olive halves for eyes.
5. Bake 14 to 17 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
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Tips: Purple and green are common theme colors for Wicked Witch Parties.

Jack-o'-Lantern Sloppy Joe Pie Recipe

October 27:  Another Fantastic Food Idea for celebrating "Jack-o-lantern Day!'
----------------------------------------------------------
Jack-o'-Lantern Sloppy Joe Pie Recipe

pillsbury.com says "Try a Halloween pot pie made with tasty turkey sausage and topped with easy Pillsbury® pie crust."

INGREDIENTS
1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box
1 1/2 lb bulk turkey sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ Niblets® frozen corn
1 cup Old El Paso® Thick 'n Chunky salsa
1/2 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 450°F. Remove pie crust from pouch; onto ungreased cookie sheet, unroll crust.
2. With sharp knife, cut jack-o'-lantern face from crust. If desired, place cutouts on crust to decorate, securing each with small amount of water. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until crust is light golden brown.
3. Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink. Stir in remaining ingredients except cilantro. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until corn is cooked and sauce is desired consistency.
4. Stir cilantro into sausage mixture. Carefully place warm baked pie crust over turkey mixture in skillet.

Recipe: Jack-O'-Lantern Chicken Taco Cups

October 27: Jack-o-lantern Day!
How many of you remembered today was Jack-o-lantern Day? I almost forgot about it myself. I didn't have time to write a jack-o-lantern article for today so I had to see what I could find to celebrate and this is what I found. It's a great recipe from Pillsbury.com.

I think this is a great meal idea for those of you who have kids at home. Surprise them with this and there sure to get in the jack-o-lantern spirit.

Recipe: Jack-O'-Lantern Chicken Taco Cups

A bright Halloween smile tops a quick chicken stew in a biscuit bread bowl.

INGREDIENTS
8 slices (3/4 oz each) American cheese
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands! refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 container (20 oz) refrigerated taco sauce with seasoned shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers™ Niblets frozen corn
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso chopped green chiles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 medium tomato, cut into 8 thin slices
Shredded lettuce

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. With top edge of custard cup as a pattern, cut out round from each cheese slice. In each round, cut out small triangles for eyes and nose, and small shape for mouth to resemble jack-o'-lantern. Set aside. Spray outside bottom and sides of eight 6-ounce custard cups lightly with cooking spray.
2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Roll or pat each biscuit into 4 1/2-inch round. Place biscuit rounds over outside of sprayed cups; press to fit over bottom and part way down sides of cups. Place cups, upside down, in ungreased 15x10-inch pan with sides.
3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.
4. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, cook taco sauce with chicken, corn and chiles over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, just until thoroughly heated.
5. Remove pan from oven. Carefully remove biscuit cups from custard cups; place biscuit cups, right side up, in same baking pan. Spoon chicken mixture evenly into each biscuit cup. Top each with tomato slice and jack-o'-lantern cheese slice.
6. Return to oven; bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle tops of cheese with shredded lettuce to resemble hair.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft):
Cook chicken mixture over medium-low heat. When biscuit cups have been filled, return to oven; bake 4 to 6 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

By the way.... today is traditionally the day that's best to carve your jack-o-lanterns. It's because jack-o-lanterns hold up the best for about a week. Having said that, why not have a pumpkin carving party and serve these cute jack-o-lantern cups to your guests. Great idea too right! Pam

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guacamole Dip for Wicked Witch Day


Sol del guacamole
Originally uploaded by hale_popoki


Ingredients

* 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
* 1 lime, juiced
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
* 1/2 medium onion, diced
* 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
* 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
* 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.
Alton Brown / See more guacamole recipes

Wicked Witch Day is always celebrated on October 27.

Blue Chips and Guacamole Dip For Wicked Witch Day


guacamole
Originally uploaded by penguincakes
October 27 is Wicked Witch Day

The theme colors for a wicked witch party is usually green and purple. A great dish that matches those colors is without question, blue chips and green guacamole dip. Place the guacamole is a black salsa dish like the one pictured. It makes you think of a witches caldron doesn't it? Ohh yeah!

And remember... If you have a bewitching purple or green recipe that's perfect for Wicked Witch Day, leave us a link!


I hope you have a spell of a night! Pam

Photo: Fried fish with green chilli sator relish


Ikan goreng sambal hijau pete 
( Fried fish w/ green chilli sator relish )
Originally uploaded by Wannai
Are you ready to host a green goblin party? 
Oh Wow! Well take a look at this. Adult Goblins may like this but I just don't know about little goblins.

Halloween is all about gross-you-out recipes or foods in  certain colors. Well one of our readers found this photo that I think would be perfect for a "Green Goblin Halloween Party." Oh yeah this would work for green and gory for sure. Anything with heads on always works.

The reader asked...
if I knew what kind of relish was on the fish and if I had a recipe for it. Sadly I don't. I can see the title of the photo says it's "green chilli sator relish." Unfortunately I don't know what that is.

Can any bloggers out there give a link to recipes for what you think this dish is? Some great relish recipes that would work with fish would be fantastic. I love fish and I bet this dish tastes really good. ???

Happy Halloween!
Ikan goreng sambal hijau pete

A Toast To All Things Pumpkin!

Pumpkin Mug
October 
October is National Pumpkin Month, October 26 is National Pumpkin Day & since we're in the last week of the month, it's our last change to make a toast to all things pumpkin. So raise your cups everyone!

We are about to say goodbye 
to October and say hello to November. I for one wish it didn't have to go yet. I just love seeing all the jack-o-lanterns all lit up. Even though pumpkins are still part of the Thanksgiving season in November, it's the end of National Pumpkin Month for October. So this post is in honor of the pumpkin.

As I mentioned on my website... The pumpkin is very versitile. We enjoy growing them in our gardens, we paint and decorate them, we carve them and we enjoy their ornimental fashions in our yards. We cook pumpkin soup, we bake them in the over and eat along side other meat and veggies, we even make sweet pies and pastries with them. We treat ourselves with roasted pumpkin seeds too. We play games with pumpkins and we place pumpkin on our porches and in our window sills. Why we even drink pumpkin spice coffees and milkshakes too. What would the Fall Season be without it? So here's to you pumpkin. We toast you.
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Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 3 cups hot whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 ounces double-strength brewed coffee
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened whipped cream
  • 3 pinches pumpkin pie spice
Combine the hot milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender; blend until frothy. Pour the mixture into 3 coffee mugs to about 2/3 full. Pour 2 ounces coffee into each mug. Garnish each mug with whipped topping and pumpkin pie spice. 
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Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

  • 1/3 C pumpkin, canned 
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C milk
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/16 t cloves
  • 1/16 t nutmeg
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 C vanilla ice cream
  • 1-2 graham crackers

Mix everything all together and gradually add the milk to the thickness you want.
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Nite Nite everyone, Pam

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Time To Say Hey because today is Hey Day

Say Hey Day Wish..............!
October 25th -Time to reach out to all your friends & loved one's & say Hey! Come on, take a few minutes to give someone a call on the phone & say hey. Go knock on your neighbors door, give a smile & say hey. If emailing is more to your liking, then by all means reach out to someone by email and let them know you just wanted to say hi. You never know, making a connection today might make you a new best friend.


Saying Hey is an Act of being Friendly!
Have A Good Day......................
Friendly means acting in a non-threatening manner toward and/or showing kindness to someone, as a friend would behave. Thus friendly implies a mode of friendship as distinct from amiable or genial. Professional service is expected to be amiable or genial but not necessarily friendly. The opposite is unfriendly or even hostile.



Kindness is the act or the state of being kind
You are on my mind...................
i.e. marked by goodness and charitable behaviour, mild disposition, pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions .

 Here's a list of Hey Day ecards you can send for FREE.
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Visit our site for celebrations and holiday information.

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Halloween Party Cupcakes: A Must Try Recipe!

My Website link for : Wooly Spider Cupcakes
Bisquick Recipe from 1993:
Bisquick Classics and New Favorites

A couple of years ago I published an article about tips on making my wooly spider cupcakes. In the article I said to use the cupcake recipe of your choice. Well ever since then I get emails asking for the recipe I used. Well today someone emailed me once again so I decided this was the perfect time to post the recipe to my blog. Why now you ask?

Because I'm bringing this recipe to a Cookbook Party hosted by Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations. Louise is celebrating her Blogoversary by throwing a Cookbook Party, and October being the National Cookbook Month! There's a whole list of food celebrations just for the month of October! I'm submitting this recipe in honor of not just Halloween but National Dessert Month & Cool Food for Kids Month. This recipe is coming straight from "Betty Crockers Bisquick Classics and New Favorites." Published in November 1993.

Now with this recipe, you get the ingredients to make cupcake with bisquick and how you decorate it is up to you. In their cookbook they give suggestions but I decided to go with my own design (which was spiders) and use their recipe.

Bisquick is a pre-mixed baking product sold by  General Mills under their Betty Crocker brand, consisting of flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder (a leavening agent).

If your from an area that doesn't sale bisquick you can do this: One cup of Bisquick can be substituted by a mix of one cup of flour, 1½ teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of oil or melted butter.
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Their cookbook says "These kid-pleasing cupcakes are perfect for birthdays or school parties. Children will love to help with the decorating."  (page 79)

I stacked them on a cupcake stand
Halloween Party Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups Bisquick Original baking mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour medium muffin cups, 2 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches, or line with paper baking cups.

Beat all ingredients in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Fill muffin cups about one-third full.

Bake about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan; cool completely. Prepare your frosting mix as directed. Then frost and decorate cupcakes. 16 cupcakes!
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Visit our site for celebrations and holiday information.

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