A Bowl of Mummy’s Bandages…Perhaps?

I love Halloween! I think I may have said that here before…many times, lol but I do. And having fun with dinner is part of it. Serve your loved ones a bowl of mummy’s bandages to disgust them and delight them at the same time…Isn’t that what Halloween is all about? Add in a faux spider for a little added disgust/delight factor. (Only for diners that can handle it and maybe give them a warning…in a deep voice as you emerge from the stove with your bowl in hand, you could say, with a blank stare…”I added something a little exxxxtra (long pause) special for you…”) That should do the trick! ;)

Sigh, it’s been a long day and I may need to dig into that trick-or-treat candy! Enjoy!

On a more serious, non-Halloween note, this is a not-so-quick but easy with lots of flavor type of ragu sauce. I call this my “Leave-It-Alone sauce.” After the initial start, you can leave it alone, with a stir here and there. And it is just heavenly. And you can start this one night, continue it the second night and serve it the third night. (Or if you are impatient like me, you can do it all in one day and enjoy it that same night.)

  • 2 pounds country style ribs
  • 1 28oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups good chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • a drizzle olive oil

Into a large Dutch oven, drizzle the olive oil and heat until sizzling, on low heat. Add in the ribs, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, garlic and black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat and then lower and allow to simmer for up to 2 hours or longer. (Once it comes to a simmer, you can allow to cool and stick the pot into the fridge and cook the next day. And repeat, until ready to serve.) Remove the ribs and allow to cool enough to handle, so you can remove the meat off of the bones and shred. I use a fork to get the job done quickly. Add salt if needed and adjust the seasoning. Return the meat into the pot and simmer until heated through. Discard the bay leaves and serve over fettuccine. Serves 4-6. Great as leftovers.

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Frightening Bowl of…Soup

This is the most perfect soup to make on the weekend before Halloween. Let it simmer away on the stove, while you put the finishing touches on your decorating or while carving away at that Jack O’ Lantern. Serve your loved ones a bowl of the most frightening soup…filled with bugs and floating mysterious mushrooms in a dark and murky broth…Enjoy…

  • 2 turkey wings, cut at joints. If you are uncomfortable doing it yourself, ask the butcher to do it for you.
  • water
  • 1-2 porcini bouillion cubes, start with one and you can always add the other one if needed, after adding the soy sauce
  • about 5 allspice berries
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into desired length
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms
  • mushroom soy sauce
  • cooked brown or white rice
  • ground black pepper

Place your turkey wings into a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover with enough water so that the turkey wings are submersed. (I wish I measured but I just eye-balled it. I used a 5 1/2 qt. Dutch oven and left about an inch and a half from the top.) On high heat, bring to a boil. Skim the soup scum from the top and discard. Add in the allspice berries, mushrooms and bouillion cubes and simmer on low heat for about and hour and a half to two hours. (The wings should be fork tender.) Toss in the scallions and cook until they are tender about 15 minutes. Season and color with the mushroom soy sauce.( A little goes a long way, about a tablespoon or so.) Plate on a white shallow bowl. Place the rice on one side and the turkey wing section on the other and top with the broth. Serves 4.

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The Creepy Hand…

I love Halloween. I love the pumpkins, the ghosts, ghouls and goblins and I love to give myself a little bit of a fright and it happens every morning when I get up and especially late at night when I see this hand creeping towards these poisonous mushrooms…

DSC04913You can find creepy hands almost everywhere this time of year. Simply tie with a black satin ribbon and pin or nail to the back of any mirror.

DSC04904Drape “creepy cloth” along the mantle or table and top with the “poisonous mushrooms.” Add in candles, always using caution.

DSC04903Top the mushrooms with faux spiders and bugs and be ready to be frightened…

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Dead & Dusty Bouquet

A few weeks ago, my hubby surprised me with red roses and they made me so happy! I sat them into a fishbowl vase and admired them daily. And as the calender turned to October, they began to wilt and add to the Halloween vibe in the air. I hadn’t started decorating yet and they were my start, a sad one at that, but a start nevertheless. (And an easy one too, lol.) Enjoy and have a happy weekend!

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Lol, this is making me laugh for sure, but… allow your roses to wilt away. A good, solid 2-3 weeks is best, (just in time for Halloween.) (I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I just let them wither away in their vase. But yes, back to the Halloween vibe that our house was lacking and the dying roses did the trick…yes…that’s the reason…) You can also tie them into a bunch and hang them upside down, to dry them. Once dried, combine with Dusty Millers. Many plant nurseries are having end of season sales and if you are in luck, you will find them at a reduced cost. Tie your dead & dusty bouquet with twine and place abandoned anywhere to add to the chill in the air…

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Drill Hole Pumpkin

So I have to admit, I haven’t been in the Halloween spirit. I even bought a autumn wreath and I just can’t wait to put it up tomorrow. Does that ever happen to you? But the magic of Halloween took over today and I was inspired to make a drill hole pumpkin, perfect to sit on the front steps aglow tonight and to greet the first few nights of November. Enjoy!

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Using a serrated knife, carefully cut through so you have an opening at the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out all of the seeds and set aside for roasting, Using a pencil,  draw about three wavy lines to guide you along as to where to drill. Pick three drill bits in various sizes and have fun! Happy Halloween!

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Witches’ Brew

When I see that sign at Dairy Queen, that says “Just 4 days left,” a mild panic sets in. It’s a combination of it being, a sure sign that winter is eventually going to be here. (Winter is my least favorite season. If I could live in a beach shack somewhere for a few months, I would.) And, where am I suppose to get pumpkin ice cream if they are closed? That’s the real concern, lol. But I have a few days left before the CLOSED sign at Dairy Queen, stays that way. (Until late February 2013, the 22nd to be exact, but who’s counting and who circled it on her mental calendar, not me, lol) So it’s time to enjoy the pumpkin ice cream while we can! If you aren’t a fan of pumpkin, you can use vanilla or chocolate ice cream, dulce de leche would be nice also. And you can use cream soda instead of cola also. This is such a fun drink and looks like a little bit of a witches’ brew! To delight your inner witch, wrap a piece of “creepy cloth” around your glass and cackle away, my pretty!

  • 2 scoops pumpkin ice cream
  • 4 oz. chocolate liqueur, like Godiva
  • 8 oz. cola
  • milk chocolate for garnish *optional

Fill your glass with a scoop of ice cream. Top with the liqueur and the cola, skimming the foam to add more if necessary. Grate the chocolate on top. Serves 2. Enjoy!

Creepy Cheese Platter

Start your Halloween party, off on the right foot, with a creepy cheese platter! Blue cheese always gave me a little bit of a fright for some reason, lol. But I’ve grown to love it. So taking a little bit of a spin off that fright, combining the mysteriously deeply blue veined cheese with dark purple grapes, walnut halves, dark seeded crackers and pumpkin puree makes this a cheese platter, one to remember. And pumpkin doesn’t have to be limited to just pies, adding it to your cheese platter gives it an unexpected twist. Add faux bugs and a mini cleaver to slice the cheese for a little bit of Halloween fun and fright.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons fig marmalade
  • pinch of pumpkin pie spice

In a small pan, melt the butter and add the pumpkin puree, fig marmalade and pumpkin pie spice. Heat on low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until heated through. If you want your pumpkin spread sweeter, add in honey. Surround with Concord grapes, Gorgonzola cheese, black sesame brown rice crisps (You can usually find them down the health food aisle, if not a brown rice cracker fan, Dr. Kracker crackers would be great instead) and walnut halves. Enjoy!

Witches’ Roses

Even the sunshine can’t help this Halloween scene become less scary…At night, add candle votives and be prepared to have the sudden urge to jump on a broomstick and fly towards the moon. ;)

Combine orange roses into a rusted pot. I found this great cast iron pot (or is an authentic old witches cauldron? I’m kind of hoping so, lol) at a garage sale and I thought, “Halloween!” But if you don’t have one, any vintage sugar canister or apothecary jar, would work great also. Trim the roses down to size to fit the pot. Tie the end of the stems with a rubber band, to make it a tight little bunch. Add in twigs and water. Complete the scene by adding skulls, bugs, mini pumpkins and ripped up, tattered cloth. A black cat and a broom always helps. ;)