Spider Cupcakes

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Happy Halloween! I love Halloween because it’s my favorite time of the year. This year, I waited too long to get a decent pumpkin. Normally, I would carve 2 or 3 of them, but by the time I got to the grocery store to pick some out they were all picked over. Decorating cupcakes is a lot more fun than carving pumpkins right? ;) That, and you can eat the cupcakes. Pumpkins just end up rotting on your door step anyway. :) Tonight I’m celebrating a little early by watching The Conjuring and eating some Spider cupcakes. That should keep me up all night long. Halloween night we hand out candy and I plan on getting caught up on American Horror Story.

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I don’t really like spiders but these guys are kind of cute.

To make these cupcakes you will need

Black Licorice Rope
Chocolate Sprinkles
Frosting
Eyeball candy

For the cupcakes, I just used a regular box of moist cake mix. Frost the cupcakes and dip them in the sprinkles. Frost the back of the eyeball and place it on the front of the cupcake. Then poke the licorice ropes through the cupcake to make the legs.

Candycorn M&M Blondies

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With all the sweet things I’ve been baking lately, I should probably be doing twice as many lunges and squats. I started taking a new gym class called Body Pump and let me tell you one thing. I really HATE lunges. My legs haven’t been the same ever since and on days that my legs aren’t sore, I’m pretty happy. I know it’s good for me though and one day I will have sexy arms. :)

Have you ever had the candy corn M&Ms? They’re so good. I’m a sucker for pretty much anything Fall related. Not really a fan of the Fall flavored coffee drinks, but if there’s any type of Fall flavored treat involved in something sweet I’m game. Candy Corn oreos, Pumpkin spice M&M’s… etc… Jello has a pumpkin spice flavored pudding that I plan on buying lots of soon. These Candy Corn M&M’s are at Target and I’ve seen them at Wal-mart too. The next time you’re at one of those stores, pick up a bag of these Candy Corn M8M’s and try them in these blondies! Make sure to pick up an extra bag of them too, because you know you’ll want some more!

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Recipe from Cook, Eat, Share

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, I used Kerrygold unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup M&M white chocolate candy corn candies, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Take an 8-inch square pan and cover in foil and spray with baking spray.
Using an electric mixer, cream brown sugar and egg until it’s light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and melted butter, mix well with electric mixer.
In a separate bowl, mix together with a rubber spatula the flour, baking soda and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in batches and incorporate with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to over mix your batter.
Stir in pecans and M&Ms, using rubber spatula. Again, do not over mix.
Add batter to the square pan. Spray an angled spatula with baking spray and use it to smooth over the top.
Bake for about 25-28 minutes. The top will be dry and flaky and a toothpick test should come out clean with a few crumbs attached.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. Hold using foil sides and remove from square pan. Makes 16-20 blondie squares.

Spiderweb Cupcakes

Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween before? It’s my favorite Holiday. I love it so much, I made my own grim reaper,

that I found on pinterest.

I made my own tombstones out of Styrofoam and used wooden dowels to keep them in the ground.

I took some old jeans that were no longer being worn, stuffed them with plastic bags and put a shoe on it.That’s fake blood, I found at the Halloween store.

We love to carve pumpkins the night before. Ben likes the easy face pumpkins, and I like to try and carve the hard ones.

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I also like to to make sweet Halloween treats, like cupcakes stuffed with Reese’s Peanut Buttercups and decorated with a spiderweb on top. I couldn’t get the right black, and it turned out a dark grey color. They’re so easy to make you pipe some circles on top of the cupcake and use a tooth pick to create the spider web.

C’mon people, it’s Halloween indulge a bit! I also like it simple.

Ingredients

1 box of chocolate cake mix.

1 container of white frosting

black food coloring

12 reese’s peanut butter cups

tooth picks

Directions:

Fill the cupcake half way with batter. Add a Reese’s peanut butter cup in the middle and add the rest of the batter in the cupcake mold. Bake according to directions on the back of the box.

Frost the cupcakes first, with white frosting. Use the black food coloring and color the frosting black. Fill in a pastry bag with the tiniest tip open you can find. Pipe different sized circles on top of the cupcakes. Use your tooth picks to create the spider webs like the picture shows above.

Notes: If you’re watching you’re waste line, make the chocolate cake with a can of soda. Leave out the Reese’s peanut butter cup. For the frosting use fat free or light cool whip. :)

H A P P Y    H A L L O W E E N !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paula Deen’s Monster Mash

I said in a previous post that I’ve been in a Halloween food rut recently. There’s just nothing really cool I want to make for Halloween this year. I was watching Paula Deen on her show and her son Jamie was on there for a Halloween episode. That show should be called Paula Deen and Son’s, because every other episode, one of her two sons is on there. If it wasn’t for Paula, her sons wouldn’t be popular… just saying. I don’t have anything against that family. I love Paula Deen. She has great recipes… like this one.

Monster Mash is a bean dip made with cheese, rotel tomatoes, taco seasoning and of course beans. Beans are super filling to me and this could be eaten as a meal, which is what I did tonight. It was cheesy delicious and there’s still plenty of left over to have later on this week. For dessert, we had candy corn m & m’s.

I was at Wal-Mart and discovered that Oretega now has a less sodium taco seasoning and that made me really happy to see that! I wish other companies would get on with that too. Anyways.. I also got a bag of these Candy Corn M & M’s that I’ve seen people raving about on the Internet lately.They’re so delicious and way better than candy corns.

Ingredients from Paula Deen

Butter, for baking dish
2 (20.5-ounce) cans refried black beans
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese blend, plus 2 cups for topping
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degree F. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

Halloween Pretzel Rods

I’ve been looking for ideas for treats to make for Halloween this year. It seems like for every Holiday you can get a container of decorative sprinkles that Wilton puts out. I always pick up some for each Holiday. You can get them at craft stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. They also have different Holiday colored Candy Melts too. I’ve seen these things at Wal-Mart too.

These are another simple treat that you can make. I melted some chocolate in a tall microwave save glass so that the chocolate covered most of the pretzel rod. Take some sprinkles and decorate the chocolate. Once the chocolate has cooled, you can melt some other crazy color of chocolate like the green color I got, and drizzle the chocolate over the sprinkles.

Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta

Ingredients

Salt
1 pound whole-wheat penne
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated
2 cups chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 pinches ground cinnamon
Salt and black pepper
7 to 8 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced plus more, for garnish
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Heat water for pasta, salt it and cook penne to al dente.

Heat the oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to the pan, saute 3 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and combine with pumpkin, stir in cream then season sauce with hot sauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 to 6 minutes more to thicken. Stir in sage, toss with pasta with grated cheese, to taste.

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I think I have to give up on making any of Rachel Ray’s recipes. They take way longer than 30 minutes to make or they just don’t taste good. Like this one. I thought this would have been good because we’ve tried pumpkin soup before and that was fine. Heavy cream with pumpkin and pasta sounded good to me, but this just didn’t do anything for me. Maybe it needed more hot sauce or something….. who knows.  I’ve been wanting to try making meals with pumpkin because all I’ve seemed to make with pumpkin is baked goods. Are there any savory pumpkin meals out there that taste good? Please let me know.

Here’s some pumpkins that we carved for outside. Enjoy!

Swamp Punch

Looking for a scary or fun punch to add to your Halloween party? Make this swamp punch. All you need is a 1 liter bottle of lime soda, 1 limemade, green sherbert, and green food coloring. For a spooky effect you can get some dry ice like Ben did. It looked pretty cool sitting on our table. I was disappointed in the gummy worms I purchased from Wal-mart because they were big enough to hang on the side of the punch bowl. I didn’t have any punch bowls so I used my trifle bowl instead. Is it funny that I haven’t even used my trifle bowl to make a trifle yet? Nah…. it is good for some other uses as well.

Dry ice is also fun to put in something like this….

It was fun listening to the bubbling sound it made. One of the pieces of ice made it out of the cauldron and flew across the dining room and almost hit someone. You have to be careful with it though.

Here is everyone eating dinner in our decorated dining room area.

We had steak, broccoli, and mashed potatoes with cajun shrimp. Everything was really good even though I wished after shocking the broccoli I had put it in the microwave to heat it up a bit. Eating cold broccoli is weird.

Bloodshot Peanut Butter Eyeballs

For Cupcakes:

1 (18.25-ounce) box dark chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 cups chocolate milk
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs

For Filling:

1 (3.4-ounce) box instant butterscotch pudding
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 (12-ounce) container ready-to-spread dark chocolate frosting (recommended: Betty Crocker Creamy Deluxe)
Red gel frosting
Plastic eyeballs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-capacity) muffin pans with cupcake papers; set aside.

In a large bowl, use a hand held electric mixer to beat together cake mix, chocolate milk, oil, and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 minute more on medium speed.

Use a ladle to fill each lined cupcake cup 2/3 full. Use oven mitts to place cupcakes in preheated oven and bake for 21 to 26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with no wet batter.

Use oven mitts to remove from oven and let cool completely before filling and frosting, about 30 minutes.

For filling combine pudding mix, milk, and peanut butter in a bowl. Whisk for 2 minutes until smooth and thickened. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip. Fill cupcakes by inserting tip into tops of cupcakes and squeezing a couple of tablespoons of filling into each. Spread 2 tablespoons frosting on each cupcake top.

Using red gel frosting, draw squiggly lines on the frosted cupcakes so that they look like veins. Place a plastic eyeball in the center of each cupcake.

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Happy Halloween! I know.. there’s still 2 more days left to go…. but it’s my favorite Holiday. Aren’t these cute cupcakes? I saw Sandra Lee make them on her show and they looked so cool. I found some edible gummy eyeballs at Michael’s along with my red gel to make the eyes look blood shot. Today at Target I picked up a spider web cupcake holder that was really cute as well. I have so many Halloween decorations. I think I have more Halloween decorations than Christmas.These cupcakes are fun to eat and the peanut butter filling adds a nice surprise.

Tonight, we have some friends coming over for dinner. I love dinner parties! We’re having steak, garlic mashed potatoes (to keep the vampires away), broccoli, these cupcakes, and a swamp punch. We’re also going to carve some pumpkins after dinner and watch the Shining. My friend has never seen  that movie (someone correct me if I’m wrong) I believe, but she’s been to the Stanley Hotel. Crazy! I’d love to go there and tour that hotel someday.