berry (3) birthdays (3) bread (2) breakfast (1) cake (6) Caramel (1) cheese (2) chocolate (5) cookies (1) cupcake (3) dessert (4) dr. seuss (1) drink (6) egg (1) Freezer Meals (2) fruit (2) giveaway (19) Holidays (18) kids (4) no bake (1) party food (1) Peanut Butter (1) potato (2) Salad (3) sauce (4) snacks (2) Star Wars (4) Strawberry (1) vegetables (2)

December 15, 2009

C is for...

We ate Chili with Cornbread muffins and Cocoa for dinner and a Carrot Cake for dessert. My boys LOVED all the "C" food this day! What other foods could we all enjoy that start with "C"? I'm interested to hear! Don't worry there's more!

B is for...

For the letter "B" Dinner we ate:

Beef Stew
Banana Pudding
Blueberry Sparkling Cider

What a feast! What foods do you like that start with B? More to come!

December 5, 2009

A is for...

Our Family's "A" dinner was Alfredo Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta. We also had Acorn Squash, Apple Cider, and Apple Pie.
My kids enjoyed everything except the Acorn Squash. I LOVE Acorn Squash! It is my favorite squash. I really had hoped they would like it. I baked it with one tablespoon butter, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1tsp. cinnamon- in each half. I thought it was YUMMY!!! Anyway... other "A" ideas are:
Apple Juice
Angel Food Cake
What would you serve? I would LOVE to hear!

December 1, 2009

ABC Dinners

One night I made Pizza, Pear Salad, and Pie. My 2nd grade dude pointed out that all our food started with "P". This sparked conversation and fun at our dinner table. Which of course led to a GREAT idea. We decided that for the next 26 weeks we will have a dinner themed with the letter of the alphabet. This may vary from simple names to becoming very creative with our food. We have been doing this for a few weeks now, so I will have to catch up on our A B and C dinner. So if you have a fun idea that will inspire a letter dinner, please share!

November 3, 2009

Halloween Dinner

We actually had a few Halloween Dinners. And Breakfast, lunch, and snacks! I have been storing up the recipes and pictures for this one last Halloween Post.

We had Cheese Pizza. I used my Pampered Chef Creative Cutters to cut out pumpkin and leaf shapes. We ate Deviled Eggs and Vampire fangs with Werewolf blood.

For dessert I decorated Halloween Cupcakes. We ate the monster ones. And gave away the jack-o-lantern and bug ones to our neighbors.The night BEFORE Halloween we had Bat Wings, Monster Toes, Jack-o-lantern salad (these were easy, fun, and yummy. I will do it again!), and graveyard pizza.


Navel orange
Canned or fresh fruit salad

1. To make one lantern, use a small knife to slice the top off a navel orange and cut around its interior to hollow it out. Scoop out the orange segments, chop them, and mix them with canned or fresh fruit salad.
2. Carve small facial features in one side of the orange, then cut a slit in the lid to accommodate the handle of a green plastic spoon. Fill the lantern with fruit salad. Insert the spoon and set the lid in place.
( I didn't cut a slit and put in a green spoon. I didn't think ahead to go buy green utensils.)

Baked Chicken Wings ("Bat Wings")

Prep Time: 30 min

Total Time: 1 hour 15 min

Makes: 24 wings

2 pounds chicken drummettes (24)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup ranch dressing

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 inch, with aluminum foil. Remove skin from chicken. ( I used my Rectangle Baker- There was no sticking to my stoneware, and they baked GREAT!)
2. Mix honey, ketchup, pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce in resealable plastic bag. Add chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 15 minutes but no longer than 24 hours.
3. Place chicken in pan; sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crisp and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Serve with dressing. (we called it Swamp Dip)

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving: Calories 70 (Calories from Fat 36 ); Total Fat 4 g (Saturated Fat 1 g); Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 90 mg; Total Carbohydrate 3 g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 5 g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 2 %; Iron 2 % Exchanges: 1 Medium-Fat Meat *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Long and Short Monster Fingers Recipe
Yield 24 long; 36 short

Nutrition Facts
· Amount Per Serving · Calories 192 · Total Fat 7g · Saturated Fat 1g · Cholesterol NA · Sodium 391mg · Total Carbohydrates 26g · Dietary Fiber 2g · Protein 6g

Active Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 1 hour


2 cans (11 oz each) refrigerated bread stick dough (I used one, and cut the bread sticks in half for skinny fingers)
Orange, yellow & green food color sprays (I didn't use this)
White from 1 large egg, lightly beaten
60 whole natural almonds (I used slivered almonds since I was going skinny)
Poppy seeds

1. Heat oven to 375°F. You'll need 2 large baking sheets lined with nonstick foil. Unroll 1 can bread stick dough and separate along perforated lines into 12 strips. For long fingers, halve strips crosswise into 24 pieces. Roll pieces into 10- to 12-in.-long ropes. Transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing ropes 2 in. apart. Shape ropes into fun curves.

2. Lightly tint the dough ropes in blotchy tones using the spray colors with short, quick spurts (use all three colors on each finger).

3. Lightly brush with egg white and press an almond onto each for a fingernail. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

4. Bake 13 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned on bottom edges. Cool on sheet on wire rack. Wipe foil on baking sheets clean.

5. Unroll remaining bread stick dough and separate into strips. For short fingers, cut each dough strip crosswise into thirds for 36 pieces. Roll dough pieces into 5- to 6-in.-long ropes and make fingers following the same procedure as for long fingers above. Bake as directed.

Plan Ahead: You can make 1 day ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in oven about 5 minutes before serving.Note: Color Mist food color sprays are available from and at most crafts stores.

Haunted Pizza

1 18 oz. roll refrigerated sugar-cookie dough
4 3 1/2 oz. containers vanilla pudding
2 C. chocolate cookie crumbs or 20 chocolate sandwich cookies with white filling, finely crushed
Assorted whole vanilla wafers or graham crackers or chocolate-filled oval shortbread cookies
Black, green, red, and white decorator gel icing
Assorted candies, such as fruit-flavored jelly worms, candy-coated chocolate-covered peanuts, and gumdrops
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan or 3 baking sheets. With lightly floured hands, pat the cookie dough into prepared pizza pan. If using baking sheets, divide dough into thirds and pat each third into a 7-inch circle onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes for pizza pan or 8-10 minutes for smaller circles of dough, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
Spread vanilla pudding over baked cookie. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Cover and chill. Meanwhile, decorate cookie tombstones. Press cookies into pudding layer of pizza. If necessary, support back of cookies with some of the candies. Decorate "graveyard" with candies. Create peering eyes with candy-coated chocolate peanuts make shoes, feet, and hands with gumdrops; and arrange jelly worms. Cover and chill up to 4 hours before serving.
Yield: 16-20 servings

Halloween Breakfast was Pancakes (colored orange- I know, I needed more orange) with decorated faces. And Cinnamon Roll Eyeballs. I used M&Ms for the center and red decorating icing for the bloodshot effect.

Lunch was Hot Dog Mummies and Creepy Jello. For a Snack I made Crispy Ghosts.

Hot Dog Mummies
Feast your eyes, if you dare, on these Hot Dog Mummies. They're the perfect energy food before an evening of collecting candy.

1 11-ounce can of refrigerator bread sticks
1 12-pack of hot dogs
Yellow mustard
1. For each mummy, separate one bread stick from the roll and use kitchen shears or a knife to slice it in half lengthwise to create two thinner strips.
2. Wrap one strip at a time snugly around the hot dog. Depending on the size of the hot dog, you may not need all of both strips. Leave about 1/2 inch of hot dog exposed for the face area and continue wrapping the top of the hot dog.
3. Bake the mummies on a cookie sheet at 350º for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bread stick wrapping is golden brown.
4. Remove the mummies from the oven and cool them for 5 minutes. Add yellow mustard eyes just before serving.

Makes 12 mummies.

Halloween Crispy Marshmallow Ghosts
1/3 C. butter
6 C. miniature marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
8 C. crispy rice cereal
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Pallor Icing:
1 C. granulated sugar
3 Tbs. water
1 egg white
Pinch cream of tartar
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in marshmallows until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Scrape into large bowl; stir in cereal until coated. Set bowl over saucepan of boiling water. Using rubber gloves, shape cereal mixture into 4-inch long ghost shapes. Let stand for about 30 minutes or until firm.
To make icing, in top of double boiler over boiling water, combine sugar, water, egg white, cream of tartar and salt. With electric mixer, beat at high speed for 7 minutes or until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold in vanilla.

Halloween Night is VERY busy for us. Getting into costumes. Going to parties, trunk-or-treats, trick-or-treating, going to see Grandma. This night we didn't do as much for dinner. I put chili in the crock-pot, baked Bread stick Bones, and had another crock-pot of Hot Cider. No dessert. We had so much left over from the previous nights, and they were going out to get candy!

The Bread stick Bones are refrigerated bread stick dough, separated at the perforation. I cut a slit in the ends and spread them apart. I baked as directed, and coated butter on them, just as they came out of the oven. I also read that you can tie a knot in the ends of the dough and spread egg white on them. Bake as directed. Another recipe said to sprinkle Parmesan cheese over them.

I hope you have enjoyed the Halloween Food ideas! I have some more posts planned for Left Over Halloween Candy Recipes. And Holiday entertaining ideas. And there will be more GIVEAWAYS, of course! Check back soon.

November 2, 2009

Old El Paso Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Old El Paso Taco Night Game is #6-

JC said... button addd.
October 28, 2009 11:16 PM

Thank You JC for stopping by! I have sent you a message and you have 48 hours to respond, before I pick a new winner.

I had some entries after closing, sorry you missed this giveaway- check back for the next one! I am REALLY excited for another giveaway, and more Holiday fun!

October 30, 2009

Halloween Parties and Treats

This post is coming late because I spent my day at my children's elementary school doing their classroom parties. These are the crafts and snacks we had...

Ghost Prints

Ghosts and bats magically materialize upon paper with this simple paint craft.

Black construction paper
Orange construction paper
White tempera paint
Black tempera paint

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour

1. Fold a piece of black construction paper in half.
2. Dribble the white paint into the crease and briefly press the paper back together.
3. Open the paper up -- a ghost will appear!
4. Try the same technique with black paint on orange paper to make creepy bats and bugs.

String of Jack-O'-Lanterns or Ghosts

Make a string of jack-o'-lanterns or ghosts to hang around a room. These simple-to-make strings make a great Halloween decoration. You can drape the strings across rooms, over windows and from the chandeliers.

Supplies needed:
Construction paper (orange and black for pumpkins, white and black for ghosts)
Crayons or markers
Glue, tape, or staples
A long piece of green or black yarn or string

Draw a jack-o'-lantern's face on a piece of orange paper, or a ghost on white paper. Make sure to draw a long stem on the top (your pumpkin or ghost will hang from this stem, which will be folded over).

Cut out the pumpkin or ghost. Make eyes, a nose, and a mouth from black paper (or use a black crayon or marker).
Fold the pumpkin's stem in half. Fold the ghost's "stem" completely behind the ghost.

Attach the pumpkin or ghost to a long string. Use green yarn for the pumpkins, black string for the ghosts. Attach them using tape, glue, or staples.

Hang your string of jack-o'-lanterns or ghosts across the room for a wonderful Halloween decoration.

Haunted Forest Centerpiece

Black licorice, threaded with wire and shaped to make a forest of spindly trees, makes this creative Halloween table topper. Snip off the ends of six pieces of black licorice and push heavy-gauge wire through the holes of each piece. Holding the pieces together in the middle, bend the ends to form a tree trunk. Bend the opposite ends to form gnarled tree branches and wrap black wire around the center of the pieces to hold it all together. Repeat for each tree. Place each tree atop a chocolate-frosted graham cracker, add a candy-corn fence, and arrange mini artificial pumpkins under the trees to complete the landscape.
We used Chocolate Licorice and the pumkin candies. The kids had to take them home to show their families. We reminded them to take the wire out, before eating!

October 29, 2009

Witches and Worms

Witches' Brew

2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped and peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 chilled bottle (25.4 ounces) sparkling cider (about 3 1/4 cups)
1 quart chilled cranberry juice cocktail
1 liter chilled club soda or seltzer

In small saucepan, bring cinnamon, cloves, ginger, water and sugar to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Cool syrup. (Syrup may be made ahead up to 1 week and chilled, covered).

In punch bowl, combine remaining ingredients and strain syrup through fine sieve into punch. Stir punch and add ice blocks.

Makes about 13 cups.

Wormy Apples

6 large golden delicious apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 gummy worms
Heavy cream for accompaniment

1. Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C).
2. Core apples from blossom ends, leaving stem ends intact.
3. Mix raisins and walnuts and stuff into cavities of cored apples. Set apples, stems up in a 7x12-inch baking pan .
4. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Pour hot syrup around apples.
5. Bake, uncovered, basting occasionally with syrup, until apples are tender when pierced and skin begins to crack, about 30 to 35 minutes.
6. Remove apples from oven; cool in pan for 10 minutes or cool to room temperature.
7. Place each apple in a small serving bowl and spoon syrup around fruit. In the top of each apple, cut a hole large enough for one of the candy worms and tuck one end into each apple, leaving most of the worm dangling. Offer cream to pour over apples.

Serves 6.

October 28, 2009

Ghoul Brains and Spider Hats

Ghostly Green Brew

1/2 gallon lime sherbet
1 (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime soda, chilled

1. Allow sherbet to soften for about 1 hour in bottom of punch bowl.

2. Pour ginger ale over and stir until all sherbet is dissolved.

Makes 16 1/2-cup servings.
Note: I actually did one scoop of sherbet in each glass, and poored the lemon-lime soda over the top. Careful not to overflow! I also found some brain gummies at our local WINCO and dropped one into each glass. But they just sank to the bottom. So it didn't have the visual effect I was hoping for. But the boys enjoyed finding them after the drink was gone!

This party hat is so fun---you really can't get the idea of the bouncing legs until you put him on!!!
Materials needed:
Black and orange construction paper
glue or tape
Cut eight strips of black paper 1-1/2" by 9" (these will be the legs). Cut two strips 2" by 11" (these you will need to glue together to make the 2" by 22" hat band). Cut two 2" black circles, two 1-1/2" orange circles, two 1" black circles (these are the eyes).OR you can print and cut out the colored eyes pattern.
Follow the sketch for the placement of eyes. Fit the 2" wide strips, that were glued together, around the person's head-- overlap and glue ends together. Glue the eyes to the hat band with the eyes touching as shown. Fold the leg strips in half, then fold one end of each leg strip back 1" for the foot. Glue the straight end to the inside edge of the hat band. Fold and glue remaining legs. You will have four legs on each side of your hat as shown.
Put it on and have fun bouncing up and down!!!!
Here's another link for REALLY detailed instructions

October 27, 2009

Halloween, tacos, games, and GIVEAWAY!!

It's FINALLY time! The giveaway I have been SO excited about! And some Halloween recipes and ideas to go with it! Let's start with the recipes, then I'll give you the details of the giveaway!

We had Tarantula Tacos for dinner and Witch's Hats for dessert!

I got the taco recipe from Betty Crocker

1 box (4.7 oz) Old El Paso® Stand 'n Stuff® taco shells
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
2/3 cup water
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup sour cream
20 extra-large pitted ripe olives
1. Heat oven to 325°F. Heat taco shells in oven as directed on box.
2. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Reduce heat to medium; cook uncovered about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until water has evaporated. Remove from heat.
3. Spoon beef mixture into heated taco shells. Top with cheese, lettuce and tomato.
4. Spoon sour cream into small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Seal bag; cut tiny hole in corner of bag. Pipe sour cream over top of each taco to resemble spiderweb.
5. For each spider, top taco with 1 olive, pitted end down. Cut second olive lengthwise into 8 pieces; place around whole olive for legs. For eyes, squeeze 2 dots of sour cream onto top of olive.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving (2 tacos each): Calories 440 (Calories from Fat 250); Total Fat 28g (Saturated Fat 12g, Trans Fat 1g); Cholesterol 90mg; Sodium 1150mg; Total Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g); Protein 24g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 15%; Vitamin C 6%; Calcium 20%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Medium-Fat Meat; 3 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

I bought all the ingredients the day of (with my promo package coupons!). When I opened the sour cream, it had a chunk of green mold. So... that's going back today! And we didn't get to have the spider webs or eyes. That was a bummer, 'cause I think it completes it!

The Tacos tasted great! Everyone had seconds. Then, for dessert...
Teeny Weeny Witch's Hats
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1 oz. squares semisweet chocolate, melted
36 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine butter and powdered sugar in large bowl; beat until well blended. Add egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in melted chocolate until blended. Gradually stir in flour mixture until well blended.
Shape dough into 36 balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Flatten each ball to 1/4-inch thickness; press chocolate candy into center. Bake 6-7 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: 3 dozen
I thought I had semi-sweet chocolate morsels, but they were actually milk chocolate. So the cookies didn't end up as dark as they probably should have. We ate the cookies, and enjoyed them, but the right chocolate probably would have made them better.
Now... the moment I have been waiting for... THE GIVEAWAY!!!

As if Taco Night wasn’t the best night of the week already, Old El Paso is giving it a whole new flare. El Tacodor™, the world’s only Family Taco Night Game, is a fun and easy way to keep your family laughing at the dinner table. Challenge family members to quick fire trivia, wordplay and pantomime, and share a laughter filled night at home.

Some examples of the challenges include:
* Crunch Time: Name at least 10 animated movies within 1 minute
* Meat-N-Greet: Name 5 things that you’d bring home from your favorite vacation place and let the table guess where you traveled
* Lettuce Play: Act out different animals – no noises! Your partner must guess 3
* Lime Light: Cheer, “We love tacos, yes we do! We love tacos, how ‘bout you?”
* Say Cheese: Pronounce the name of everyone at the table backwards!

We played the game, and had some laughs. Some of the challenges were hard for the kids. But they said it was still fun. The Hubby, who has a hard time being goofy, even did a couple challenges, before excusing himself.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough – you can also enter the Old El Paso El Tacodor Sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000 just for having fun with your family. Other prizes include monthly giveaways of $300 cash cards, and weekly giveaways of gift certificates for Old El Paso products for the next five months. When you visit El Tacodor you will also find a link to coupons, a calendar to schedule your next taco night, topping choice chart and more!

You can download the game and go buy all your taco ingredients and have a Family Taco Night and Game Night or... You can win it all!!!

If you win, you will receive information and a link to the El Tacodor game, as well as (2) two coupons to purchase Old El Paso dinner kits and a $10 gift card to purchase any additional meal needs (i.e. meat, cheese, lettuce, etc).

Here's HOW you can win:

Entry #1: MANDATORY ENTRY. Tell us what your favorite part of Taco Night is with your family.

Entry #2: Blog about this giveaway. Leave a link to your blog.

Entry #3: Become CHEF LIKES friend on Facebook. Then come back and leave a comment with your Facebook name.

Entry #4: Post this giveaway on Mr. Linky or other sites that promote giveaways. Leave the link.

Entry #5: Subscribe to my feed or PUBLICLY Follow this blog. Be sure to confirm it, if I don't see your name, this comment won't count!

Entry #6: Grab my button, post it on your site, and leave me the link!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. And make sure I have a way to contact you, when you win! I will accept entries until Oct. 31- Halloween night at 12 midnight (MDT). I will post the winner either Sunday night or Monday morning.


Old El Paso provided me with free product, information, and a prize pack through MyBlogSpark™. Thanks for participating!

October 26, 2009

Halloween Countdown

I meant to post this earlier. Sorry... I am hoping that each day this week, I can inspire you to have a little Halloween Fun in your kitchens and with your families! I have come across A LOT of FUN recipes and activities. I have so many ideas, I can't try them all. So here are some ideas that I like, but won't be using, this year. Maybe you can share how it turns out, if you use them.

Spooktacular fun and scrumptious eating are coming your way! Gather your goblins to share lots of baking tricks and treats.

Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 3 hours 10 min
Makes: 24 brownies

1 box Betty Crocker® Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for in brownie mix directions

1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting
Neon green, pink and blue food colors
24 large marshmallows
Miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits
Betty Crocker® black decorating gel (from 0.68-oz tube)
1 roll Betty Crocker® Fruit Roll-Ups® chewy fruit snack (any red variety)
Gummy worms candies

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Make and bake brownies in 13x9-inch pan as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows, making 24 brownies.

2. Divide frosting among 3 small microwavable bowls. Heat frosting as needed: microwave 1 bowl uncovered on High about 10 to 15 seconds until frosting can be stirred smooth. If frosting becomes too firm while decorating, microwave on High an additional 5 seconds; stir.

3. Decorate as directed below, using 8 brownies for each bowl of frosting.
Franken-Brownies Add 5 drops green food color to frosting in 1 bowl; mix well. Top each of 8 brownies with 1 large marshmallow. Spoon 1 tablespoon green frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Decorate with green baking bits for eyes and ears. Use black gel for mouths and centers of eyes. Cut fruit snack to use for hair.
Boo-Brownies Top each of 8 brownies with 1 large marshmallow. Spoon 1 tablespoon white frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Use black gel for eyes and mouths.
Spider Brownies Add 5 drops pink food color and 3 drops blue food color to frosting in 1 bowl; mix well. Top each of 8 brownies with 1 large marshmallow. Tuck gummy worms candies under each marshmallow for legs. Spoon 1 tablespoon purple frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Use orange baking bits for eyes. Use black gel for mouths, centers of eyes and eyebrows.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Follow High Altitude brownie mix directions.

Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens How-To
Line the baking pan with foil for easier cutting and quick cleanup.

Look for neon food colors next to the standard food colors in your supermarket.

Nutrition Information: 1 Brownie: Calories 250 (Calories from Fat 80); Total Fat 9g (Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 2g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 150mg; Total Carbohydrate 40g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 31g); Protein 2g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 2%; Iron 6% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2 1/2 *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Spiced Hot Apple Cider
1 gallon apple cider
1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
3 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

1. Combine all ingredients in 6-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until heated through and flavors are blended (15 to 30 minutes).

Makes 21 (6-ounce) servings.

Cook's Tip: To keep cider warm, hold in slow cooker on Low Heat setting.

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 1 hr 10 min
Makes: About 22 servings, 2 haystacks each

What You Need!
1 cup BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
1 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups chow mein noodles
2 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
1/2 cup PLANTERS Salted Peanuts

Make It!
MICROWAVE chocolate chunks and butterscotch chips in medium microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes or until almost melted, stirring after 1-1/2 minutes. Stir until completely melted.
ADD remaining ingredients; stir until evenly coated.
DROP teaspoonfuls of the chocolate mixture onto large sheet of wax paper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
Looking for something sweet? One serving of this crunchy treat will hit the spot when served with a cold glass of low-fat or fat-free milk.
Variation - Chocolate Critters
Prepare as directed. Insert additional chow mein noodles into the haystacks for the critters' "antennae" and "legs". Press small colored candies onto the heads for the "eyes".
Nutrition Information
Calories 160 Total fat 8 g Saturated fat 4.5 g Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 50 mg Carbohydrate 21 g Dietary fiber 1 g Sugars 16 g Protein 2 g Vitamin A 0 %DV Vitamin C 0 %DV Calcium 0 %DV Iron 4 %DV

Monster Mash Party Mix
10 cups popped popcorn
1 (16-ounce) bag plain M&M's
1 (14-ounce) jar dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup Reese's Pieces

1. Mix altogether in a large serving bowl and enjoy the party!
Makes 15 cups.
Ghost Wind Socks
These spectral porch decorations flutter and float upon the breeze.
White construction paper
Black permanent marker
White crepe paper
Total Time Needed: 1 Hour
1. For each wind sock, decorate a 6-by-18-inch piece of white construction paper with ghostly eyes and a horrific mouth.
2. Roll the paper to form a tube shape and staple the ends together.
3. Cut eight 8-foot-long strips of crepe paper and drape them over the top edge with both ends hanging down to create "tails." Secure with tape.
4. For a handle, cut a 30-inch piece of string and staple the ends to opposite sides of the top of the decoration.
As an interior decoration, have a fan blowing lightly in the room for the same effect as a breeze.

October 25, 2009

Darth Taters

For our Star Wars dinner this past week we had Darth Taters- Thanks Amber, for your WINNING suggestion!

Our menu was:

Bossk Broccoli
Chewbacca Cheddar
Sugi Cream
Aurra Apples
and Embo Salad

This has been fun for our boys! We are taking a week off from the Star Wars fun. There won't be another new episode until Nov. 6. And... I am planning some fun Halloween and Spooky dinners and treats. So... stay tuned... I'm hoping to post a new Halloween idea every day. We'll see... Thanks again to Amber and our other Star Wars contributors.

October 23, 2009


Okay... time to announce the winners of our Star Wars Food Ideas and Giveaway. I am a little disappointed in my readers. I was expecting a bigger response. I need to increase my reader base. So tell all your friends about this site. I will have to add some extra entries for telling your friends about my next giveaway. So... this giveaway... the winners are:

The boys voted for their favorite food and name and:

Amber- ID said...
I'm sure you have heard this one, living in Idaho and all. I've seen it on t-shirts. But since I haven't seen it yet... Darth Tater.

Tonight we are going to have a Darth Tater Bar. I will post details of the toppings in my next post! picked #8

Half A Dozen said... Chewbacca Noodle Soup (I came up with this one on my own)

And #10:

Jenna-UT said...
OK- here's one you probably all ready heard, since it's in a Star Wars Cook Book. Hon- Burgers. I thought that was clever!

Congrats! Now, it's first come, first serve. Again you can pick from-

* A set of Star Wars crayons and mini Star Wars notepad.

* 10% off your total Pampered Chef order coupon (redeemable only through me).

* A Pampered Chef kids gift set (put together by me- My Safe Cutter; Cut-N-Seal; Stoneware Heart Mold; and a reusable Pampered Chef Shopping Bag) valued at about $20.

Thanks for participating! Stay tuned for the next giveaway. I received my package today from My Blog Spark. This is going to be SO COOL!!! And tell your friends to come check me out too!

October 22, 2009

Pears... Pears... Pears...

Wow!! There are so many different kinds of pears. I never realized... I know silly. I learned from USA Pears, that we grow Green Anjou, Red Anjou, Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle, Seckel, and Starkrimson in the US. I have also learned that there are about 30 species of pear around the world. More include Asian Pears, Callery Pear, Plymouth Pear, Algerian Pear, Snow Pear, Willow-leafed Pear, and many more.

All this learnin' got started because our local grocery store was having a sale on pears. They were offering four different kinds, Red, Bosc, D' Anjou, and Bartlett. Now, I know what Bartlett Pears taste like. These are the most common pears in our area to buy and eat. But what about these other "flavors"? I wasn't sure which to buy. So... I bought one of each!

Our family did a taste test to see what the different pears taste like, and which ones we like best. Here's the line up with their results:

This was described as Sweet and Juicy by the boys. But my hubby and I didn't think had much flavor at all.

The boys described the Bartlett as Juicy and Good. The Hubby said, "it tastes like a pear, it's familiar". The little dude said this was his favorite.
The store listed this as "Red". So I don't know if it's Red Bartlett, or Red Anjou, or what exactly. But, we thought it was Juicy, soft, and the taste was a little sharp. It would be GREAT with cheese! We had one vote for the Red Pear as the best.

Last, but not least, the Bosc Pear. I REALLY liked this one! The boys said tart and juicy. The hubby and I said Crisp and Sweet (like candy). It was really good. I would declare this as the winner. But... we had four taste testers, one couldn't decide, and as you saw, we had one vote for two other pears.
Now I am wishing I had done this taste test earlier, so that I could go back and buy more at such a GREAT price! But it is the prime harvesting season, so I'm hoping to find more good deals on pears. Keep an eye open and taste test for yourself. Find that pear your family loves and savor it!

Some of these results could be skewed because of my lack in knowledge for picking the "perfect" pear. So I did some research on that too. Here's what I found (and where I found it).

Produce Oasis had great tips for individual types of pears.
How to Pick Ripe Pears: Most pears in the supermarket are not yet ripe, so choose those that are firm (but not extremely hard) and free from dark soft spots (brown speckles, though, are OK and may signify a better flavor). Once you get the pears home, leave them on the counter to ripen for a few days (or put them in a paper bag to speed things up).

October 16, 2009

Utah Fans- Haunted Heber Creeper Giveaway!

Hey Utah Fam and Fans- check out this giveaway at Fahrenheit 350- They are giving away 4 tickets to ride the Haunted Heber Creeper! I wish I lived in Utah to go! So... I'm letting you know, and entering my sis and her kids in to win! I hope they get it! Her boys would have so much fun! I know it's not food related. But I have to pass on fun stuff from home.