APPLES APPLES APPLES

Posted on November 8, 2011. Filed under: Apples, Autumn, Chocolate, Dairy, Desserts, Family, Fun, Halloween Recipes, Halloween Snacks, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Nuts, Pies, Pineapple, Quotes, Recipes, Rochester, Salad, Side Dish, Snacks, Tried and True Recipe, U.S. Politics, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


I got up EARLY this morning and decided to stay up so that I could blog today.   It’s been a hectic week and last week was the same.  I’ve never had so many doctor appointments at one time!   So, while I’m up, I will do what I love and that is the blog.

I‘ve been thinking about apples all week and decided that I would write about them, especially the candied apples that I used to love to eat and the caramel apples that my sister and I would make with my mom.  I always loved doing that.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

Years ago my friend, Susie, asked me to find her a recipe for the candied apples.   Thanks to Prodigy and my first computer, I was able to find a recipe for her.  I miss the old days of Prodigy and their Food Boards.  And, a few years ago, I attended the wedding of a computer friend of mine and they made candied (or bought) and caramel apples as favors.  I thought that that was ingenious since it was an October wedding!

The wonderful bounty of Fall.

Apples form a part of a healthy food plan.  Remember the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?”  I don’t know if that is true of not but “Apples have properties that no other fruits have and its benefits have been proven overtime. You will be able to get the benefits of these properties individually with other fruits, but an apple combines everything and makes it simpler,” according to an article posted at Succeed With This.”  According to this article there are 9 reasons why an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Here are the reasons:

  1. Apple contains Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps greatly your immune system.
  2. Prevent Heart Diseases. The reason it can prevent both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease is because apples are rich in flavonoid. Flavonoids are also known for their antioxidant effects.
  3. Low in calories.
  4. Prevent Cancers. Notice the plural. We all know that cancer comes in several forms and in different places. Apples target multiple cancers such as colon cancerprostate cancer and breast cancer in women.
  5. Apples contain phenols, which have a double effect on cholesterol. It reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
  6. Prevents tooth decay.
  7. Protects your brain from brain disease.
  8. Healthier Lungs. A research at the University of Nottingham Research shows that people who eat 5 apples or more per week has lower respiratory problems, including asthma.
  9. They taste great!

Apple's are G-d's work of art.

All of the above are good reasons and I’m going to eat an apple right after I finish blogging!  My favorite apple is the Ambrosia which is difficult to find.  I first tasted them last year as Sam’s Club sold them.  I ate apples and couldn’t get enough.  I even took them to Myrtle Beach last year so I could eat them there.  So far this year, I haven’t found them.  My next favorite is the Empire.  Living in Rochester, we can find a good variety of apples as there are many apple orchards around our area of the world.  I used to love to go apple picking with my step-son, his wife and his two children, my grandchildren!  The kids would help their “old” Softa pick the apples and Scott would carry the filled bushel for me and he would help me on and off the cart.  Now, I can’t get on and off the cart very easily so they don’t call me to go apple picking with them.  I miss that a lot.

I use a recipe software program to store my recipes.  It is called “Home Cookin” and it is from Mountain Software.  When I set up the chapters, I dedicated one to Apple Recipes.  No other single ingredient has its own chapter.

So, today’s recipes are all include apples and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

What's not to love about an apple?

 

Apple Bliss Bars

================

Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine

2 1/2 cups chopped apples

1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:

3 eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Mix together flour, sugar and margarine until crumbly and press into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan.

Sprinkle chopped apples over crust. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over apples. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and pour topping over apples. Return to oven and bake about 20 minutes more.

Topping:

3 eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Mix all together and pour over partially-baked apples and crust.

Why not upset the apple cart? If you don't, the apples will rot anyway. ~Frank Howard Clark

Baked Beans ‘n Apples

===============================

6 slices Bacon, diced*

1/2 cup Chopped Onion (1 medium onion)

2 cans Brick Oven Baked Bean**

1/4 cup Firmly packed Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Ginger

2 tablespoons Molasses

2 Apples; each cut into 16 thin wedges

*NOTE: For those of you who keep Kosher, as I do, I use Beef Frye when making this recipe.

**Ingredient List should read: 2 (16-ounce) cans brick oven baked beans. Again, for those of you who keep Kosher, I use Heinz Vegetarian Baked Beans.

In large skillet, fry bacon until partially cooked. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover. Simmer until thoroughly heated and apple is tender. At this point, I usually put everything into a GREASED, COVERED casserole and bake at 350° Fahrenheit for maybe a half an hour, checking to make sure it doesn’t dry out.

Makes 8 (1/2-cup) servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  1/2 cup = 1 serving

Calories 210

Protein 8g

Carbohydrates 39g

Fat 3g

Sodium 425mg

Potassium 395mg

TIP:  To bake in oven, heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Reserve apple slices for topping.  Pour beans into a GREASED 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole and top with sliced apples.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-45 minutes OR until bubbly and THOROUGHLY heated.

I make this for BBQ Brings A Dish To Pass party.  Everyone raves about it, especially my husband and my father.  I have been making this recipe for years, but have never tasted it myself as I don’t like baked beans!  My Mom now uses this recipe, but makes hers without any meat.

Those who have tasted it with the meat like it better with the beef frye (or bacon).  I add molasses at the request of my husband and he tells me it’s better with the molasses. I use maybe 2 tablespoons of the molasses.  I first made this recipe for our Nosheri Too group, a singles group I started before Paul and I got married.

This recipe originally came from one of my Pillsbury cookbooks.

~Softa123 aka Marilyn

Apple Strudel is a heavenly delight.

DISCLAIMER:  This photo of a delicious looking slice of strudel is not the photo for the following strudel recipe.  I found this photo on the Internet. ~Softa123

Rachael’s And Softa’s Apple Walnut Strudel

========================================

2 Apples

1/3 cup Walnuts; chopped

1/4 teaspoon Lemon Juice; (NOTE: I used more so apples wouldn’t turn brown)

1/4 cup Margarine

1/8 cup Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/3 pound Phyllo Leaves (6 leaves)

Bread Crumbs

Egg Wash (Beaten Egg and Water)

Cinnamon-Sugar

Peel, core and chop apples. Combine apples, walnuts, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a mixing bowl; fold to mix.

Melt margarine.

Place 1 phyllo dough leaf on a lightly dampened, lightly bread-crumbed cloth. Brush leaf lightly with melted margarine. Place a second leaf on top of first leaf. Brush lightly with melted margarine. Repeat with a third leaf.

Place half of apple filling 2″ in from long edges. Fold long edges in over the filling. Fold over the ends. Roll up dough jelly-roll fashion.

Score top of roll into 10 pieces with a sharp knife or scissors and place on GREASED cookie sheet. Repeat with next 3 leaves. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 mins. OR until lightly browned.

Makes 18-20 pieces of strudel.

Note: A package of phyllo dough will make approximately 4-5 rolls. I made this recipe up for Rosh Hashanah 2002. It is based upon a recipe I found on the internet, but I greatly changed it. It is easy, fast, and delicious. Rachael did the first two rolls and mixed up the first batch just about by herself at age 6 1/2. We were both very proud of her! I hope this will be a new tradition for us! ~Marilyn aka Softa123

Servings: 18

Every so often we need to turn everything upside down so we can see a new perspective of our life and our world. ~Marilyn Sultar

DISCLAIMER:  This photo of Topsy Turvy Apple Pecan Pie  is not the photo for the following strudel recipe.  I found this photo on the Internet. ~Softa123

Topsy Turvy Apple Pecan Pie

===========================

1/4 cup Softened Butter or Margarine

1/2 cup Pecan Halves

2/3 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar

Pastry for 2-Crust Pie

6 cups Sliced Tart Apples (about 2 1/2 lbs.).

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 tablespoon Flour

1/2 cup Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Salt

Spread softened butter evenly on bottom and sides of 9″ pie pan. Press pecan halves, rounded side down, into butter. Pat brown sugar evenly over pecans. Roll out enough pastry for 1 crust; place in pie pan over sugar; trim, leaving 1/2″ overhang. Combine remaining ingredients; pour into pie pan, keeping top level. Top with remaining pastry; trim even with bottom crust; fold edges together, flush with rim; flute.

Prick top of pie with fork. Bake in hot oven, 450 degrees, 10 mins.; reduce heat to moderate, 350 degrees; bake 30-45 minutes or longer, or until apples are tender. Remove from oven. When syrup in pan stops bubbling, place serving plate over pie; invert. Carefully remove pie pan.  SERVE HOT.

I have not made this recipe yet. It sounds great for Thanksgiving. It came from one of the Rochester newspapers, years ago when we had two newspapers.

~Softa123 aka Marilyn

If you want apples, you have to shake the trees.

Caramel Apple Salad

===================

4 apples, cored and diced

16 ounces crushed pineapple with juice

1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts

1 package butterscotch instant pudding, fat free, sugar free

1 tub fat free Cool Whip

Combine all ingredients.

Servings: 12

Some like it hot, some do not.

Fire Red Candy Apples Recipe

============================

Submitted by RecipeTips.com

“These bright red apples would surely catch the eye of all the kids at your next Halloween party. Serve theses yummy treats and be the first to welcome in the Fall season.”

Ingredients

8 medium apples, green or red

2-3/4 cups sugar

1-1/4 cups light corn syrup

1-1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla

15 drops red food coloring

Serving Description: 1 apple

Servings: 8

Equipment: medium heavy sauce pan

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Directions

Wash and dry apples, remove stems and insert a wooden stick into the bottom (not stem end) of the apples; approximately 2/3 of the way into the apple. Set apples aside. In saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat slowly on low heat, stirring constantly. Once mixture starts to boil, stop stirring and leave boiling until candy mixture reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer, or until a small amount of mixture dropped into cold water separates into breakable threads.

Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Wait until mixture stops bubbling, then add vanilla, mix well.

Dip each apple into the mixture while mixture is still hot, swirl to cover apple evenly. You will need to work fast to get all the apples dipped before mixture becomes too hard.

Place dipped apple on greased cookie sheet or greased wax paper.

Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at supper time...

Halloween Candy Apples 2

========================

By Chef Dee

Added October 01, 2004 | Recipe #101064

Categories: Candy Dessert Apples More

Photo by brian48195

Total Time: 1 hrs 34 mins

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 1 hrs 24 mins

Chef Dee’s Note: We make these every Halloween.

Ingredients:

8 apples, firm and medium sized

8 wooden sticks

3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

Directions:

1 Wash, dry and polish apples.

2 Remove stem.

3 Insert wooden stick in stem end.

4 Remove blossoms.  (SOFTA123’S NOTE:  I really am unsure what this means, but my guess is that if there are blossoms or leaves on the apples, take them off before you begin making this recipe.)

5 Set aside.

6 Put sugar, syrup and water into saucepan.

7 Heat and stir to dissolve.

8 Boil without stirring until it reaches 300 degrees on candy thermometer.

9 A bit of syrup dropped into cold water will separate into brittle threads.

10 Remove from heat.

11 Stir in cinnamon and food coloring.

12 Dip apple to cover.

13 Hold above saucepan to drain.

14 Place on greased pan or tray stick side up.

15 Quickly dip remaining apples.

16 Return syrup to heat long enough to liquefy if it firms too much.

17 Let stand at least 1 hour before serving.

By Michelle_My_Belle on October 29, 2010

Very easy to make, and using the leftovers to make hard candy was a great idea! I added some extra cinnamon with the food coloring at the end to brighten up the flavor after cooking so long.

By brian48195 on November 08, 2009

These were easy to make. It takes longer for the temperature to reach 300 because you have to wait for the water to boil off. So, don’t worry that it isn’t going as fast as you think. Also, use a small pot so the liquid is deeper. I also did what another reviewer suggested and sprinkled a cookie sheet with sugar to set the apples on. I also took the left over candy and poured it into little tart pans and made candy discs. I will make this recipe again. Thanks for sharing.

By KennKonn on October 23, 2009

This is very very close to my mom’s recipe that she has been making every Halloween for 40 years. She sprinkles white sugar on the cookie sheets then sets the candied apples on that. They don’t stick to the pans and they have a sugary bottom that hardens and makes it easier to wrap in plastic wrap. I prefer the candy to the candy apples anymore.  There isn’t many kids left at home anymore but on Halloween all the past kids come knocking on the door. It wouldn’t be Halloween without her candy apples.

Nutritional Facts for Halloween Candy Apples

Serving Size: 1 (309 g)

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Amount Per Serving% Daily ValueCalories 422.5 Calories from Fat

296%Total Fat 0.2 g0%Saturated Fat 0.0 g0%Cholesterol 0.0 mg0%Sodium

15.2 mg0%Total Carbohydrate 110.4 g36%Dietary Fiber 3.3 g13%Sugars 94.9

g379%Protein 0.3 g0%

From Recipe.com™ http://www.Recipe.com

It's yummy, yummy in my tummy and it feels oh so good...

Candy Bar Caramel Apple

=======================

These apples are dipped in fudgy caramel and then into your favorite chopped candy bar. What a treat!

20 min. Prep time

2 :20 Total time

8 caramel apples

8 wooden craft sticks

8 large apples, washed, dried

1 cup chopped your favorite chocolate-covered candy bars

1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter

1/4 cup milk

1 (11-ounce) bag caramel bits*

1 cup milk chocolate & caramel swirled baking chips**

2 (1-ounce) squares white baking chocolate, melted

Insert 1 wooden stick into stem end of each apple; set aside. Line baking sheet with waxed paper; spray with no-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Place chopped candy into medium bowl; set aside.

Combine butter, milk and caramel bits in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel is melted and smooth (5 to 7 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in baking chips until smooth.

Place pan over low heat; dip apples into melted caramel mixture until evenly coated, spooning mixture over apples as needed. Shake gently to allow all excess caramel mixture to drip off. Roll bottoms of apples into chopped candy. Place onto prepared baking sheet.

Drizzle each apple with melted white chocolate. If necessary, lift each apple from waxed paper and press caramel and chopped candy back onto bottom of apples. Place back onto waxed paper.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Wrap each apple in waxed paper; store refrigerated. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

*Substitute 45 caramels, unwrapped.

**Substitute 1 cup milk chocolate chips.

– Make sure to allow all excess caramel mixture to drip off into pan.

– Wrap 2 colors of festive ribbon around wooden sticks for a special touch. Tie at ends to secure.

– Wooden craft sticks are available in craft stores or you can check in the produce section for caramel apple sticks.

– Leftover caramel sauce can be re-heated and served over ice cream.

Calories: 520

Fat: 23g

Cholesterol: 25mg

Sodium: 220mg

Carbohydrates: 77g

Dietary Fiber: 4g

Protein: 6g

This recipe was reprinted from landolakes.com.

http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/1641

PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO VOTE TODAY!

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Halloween Fun #12

Posted on October 29, 2011. Filed under: Brownies, Cakes, Cheese, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Cupcakes, Dairy, Desserts, Halloween, Halloween Krispie Treats, Halloween Munchies, Halloween Pizza, Halloween Recipes, Halloween Snacks, Kids, Kosher Recipe, Marshmallows, My Ramblings, Oranges, Peanut Butter, Pears, Recipes, Snacks, Special Occasion Cake | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


We can find a reference to a stepmother as an evil witch as far back as 1500 BCE in an Egyptian folktale in which a wicked stepmother persecutes her blameless stepson. In the nineteenth century, 345 variations of “Cinderella” were identified in cultures as diverse as China, India, Japan, and France. And the wicked stepmother persists today.[1]

The notion of the word stepmother being descriptive of an intrinsically unkind parent is suggested by peculiar wording in John Gamble’s “An Irish Wake” (1826). He writes of a woman soon to die, who instructs her successor to “be kind to my children.” Gamble writes that the injunction was forgotten and that she “proved a very step-mother.”[2]

The stepmother may be identified with other evils the characters meet. For instance, both the stepmother and the witch in Hansel and Gretel are deeply concerned with food, the stepmother to avoid hunger, the witch with her house built of food and her desire to eat the children, and when the children kill the witch and return home, their stepmother has mysteriously died.[3]

This hostility from the stepmother and tenderness from the true mother has been interpreted in varying ways. A psychological interpretation, by Bruno Bettelheim, describes it as “splitting” the actual mother in an ideal mother and a false mother that contains what the child dislikes in the actual mother. However, historically, many women died in childbirth, their husbands remarried, and the new stepmothers competed with the children of the first marriage for resources; the tales can be interpreted as factual conflicts from history. In some fairy tales, such as The Juniper Tree, the stepmother’s hostility is overtly the desire to secure the inheritance of her children.[4]

In these articles it is acknowledge that in a very few instances in literature throughout the ages do we find good stepmothers.  As a stepmother myself, I have told my stepchildren that I’m the wicked stepmother.  I’m sure at times they believe this to be true.  I think it’s just easier to get mad at a stepmother than with a natural mother.  Even the terms “stepmother” and “natural mother” seem definitive.  Wouldn’t it be kinder to call us stepmothers “second mothers?”  Perhaps it’s time to change our image!  Stepmothers of the world unite!!!

Anyhow, to show my sweet side, here are some recipes for more sweet treats.

Black Magic Pie

===============

Ingredients

* 42 Oreo cookies

* 2 tablespoons margarine; melted

* 1 quart chocolate ice cream

* 1 pint vanilla ice cream; melted

* 1/2 cup whipped topping

* chocolate fudge sauce

Method

Finely crush 22 cookies. Mix 1-1/4 cup crumbs and margarine; set aside remaining crumbs. Press onto bottom of 9″ pie plate. Stand 14 cookies around edge of plate, pressing lightly into crust. Scoop chocolate ice cream into balls; arrange in prepared crust. Coarsely chop remaining 6 cookies; sprinkle over ice cream scoops. Spread softened vanilla ice cream evenly over cookie layer; freeze 15 minutes. Top with a layer of reserved cookie crumbs, pressing gently into ice cream. Freeze several hours or overnight. To serve, garnish with whipped topping and chocolate sauce.

Brownie Bites With Magic Frosting

=================================

3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2/3 cups (10-ounce package) REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips OR 1 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Premier White Chips, divided use 36 pecan halves (optional garnish)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place about 40 foil baking cups (2-inches in diameter) on cookie sheets.

2. Stir together cocoa and oil in large bowl until smooth; stir in sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla; stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Stir in 1 cup peanut butter chips, reserving remaining 2/3 cup for frosting. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into baking cups.

4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or just until set and small cracks appear on surface. Remove from oven; immediately place about 6 reserved peanut butter chips on center of each brownie.

Let stand several minutes to soften; swirl melted chips with knife or spatula.

5. Garnish with pecan half, if desired.

Makes about 3 dozen brownies.

Pear Witch Project Recipe

=================================

A Halloween edible craft from Family Fun. However, we might do this on a snow day now.

By seesko

15 min | 15 min prep

SERVES 1

* 1 fresh green pear (makes 2 heads and noses)

* 2 raisins (eyes)

* chocolate chips (1 for wart)

* red apple (mouth)

* canned chocolate frosting

* ice cream, cone (hat)

* soft chocolate cookies, we used an Archway Dutch Cocoa Cookie (hat)

* carrot, and grater (hair)

1. Cut the pear in half lengthwise and remove the core (a parent’s job). Place one pear half on a plate as shown.

2. Slice a piece off the top of the pear, cutting away from the forehead at an angle. Shape that piece into a nose; carve a notch into the witch’s face to hold it, and set it in place.

3. Attach the eyes and wart by carving small circles in the face to hold them.

4. Cut a grin from the red apple.  Carve out an area on the face to hold the grin, and put it in place.

5. To make the hat, use frosting to glue the cone to the cookie. Let the frosting harden a bit, then place the hat on the head.

6. Grate lengths of carrot hair and tuck them underneath the hat.

7. Tip: If your child is too young to handle a knife, cut the nose and mouth and have him assemble the face with frosting.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 (317g)

Recipe makes 1 servings

Calories 99

Calories from Fat 1          (1%)

Amount Per Serving       %DV

Total Fat 0.2g     0%

Saturated Fat 0.0g           0%

Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g

Trans Fat 0.0g

Cholesterol 0mg               0%

Sodium 1mg       0%

Potassium 205mg             5%

Total Carbohydrate 26.5g             8%

Dietary Fiber 5.2g             20%

Sugars 16.9g

Protein 0.7g        1%

Vitamin A 38mcg              0%

Vitamin B6 0.0mg             2%

Vitamin B12 0.0mcg         0%

Vitamin C 6mg   11%

Vitamin E 0mcg                 2%

Calcium 15mg    1%

Iron 0mg              1%

Witches’ Hats Treats

====================

3 tablespoons Margarine; or butter

40 large Marshmallows; 10 ounce or 280 g

1/2 cup Peanut butter; 125 ml

6 cups Rice Krispies?; 1.5 liter

1-1/2 cups Semisweet chocolate chips; 375 ml

White decorator icing

Assorted candies

Melt margarine in large micro-wave safe bowl on high for 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat with margarine. Cook on high 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth when stirred, stirring after 45 seconds. Stir in peanut butter. Immediately add cereal; mix lightly until well coated. Press into greased 9×13″pan. Cook chips in small micro-wave safe bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until smooth when stirred, stirring every minute. Spread melted chips on marshmallow and rice cereal mixture. Cool. Cut into tall triangles so that the treats look like witches’ hats. (You may want to leave a thin base along the bottom of the triangle to resemble the brim of a witch’s hat.)

Decorate with decorator icing and candies, if desired.

NOTES : In the picture for these hats they have outlined the hat and brim with white icing and then across the middle draw 2 lines with a little orange square to look like a buckle above the brim.

Recipe by:  The Daily Gleaner – October 97

Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #858 by “Linda G.” on Oct 21,

Servings: 24

Wicked Cupcakes

===============

From Food Network Kitchens

Recipe categories: Dairy, Buttermilk, Fruit, Coconut, Lemon,

Photo: Wicked Cupcakes Recipe

Rated 4 stars out of 5

Total Time: 2 hr 10 min

Prep 45 min

Inactive 1 hr 0 min

Cook 25 min

Yield: 12 cupcakes, 2 cups frosting

Level: Intermediate

Cupcakes:

1-1/2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup prune juice

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 drop food coloring (green), optional

Chocolate wafer cookies

Licorice strips

Toasted coconut

Small candies

Special equipment: 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners

Directions

For the cupcakes:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees F.

Set liners in muffin cups.

Put the chocolate and prune juice in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on low power, stirring occasionally, until completely melted.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and yolk with an electric hand mixer at high speed until slightly thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Slowly add buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until thoroughly combined.

Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter among muffin tins, filling them 1/2 of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed gently, about 25 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.

For the frosting: Beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and milk mixing until the frosting is smooth.

Add food coloring as desired. Refrigerate the frosting until firm.

To decorate the cakes:

For the witches hat, score a circle in the middle of a cupcake. Cut a deep cone-like shape with a knife held at an angle. Rotate the cupcake to complete the circle and remove the center. Repeat with all the cupcakes. Generously scoop or pipe enough frosting into the center of each cupcake to fill the hole and to come over the cake to make a face.

Top with a chocolate wafer cookie. Put a dot of frosting in the middle of the wafer cookie and invert the cone shaped piece of cake on top to make a witches hat. Use skinny licorice, toasted coconut or cereal flakes for hair and candies for eyes and/or nose. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes before serving.

Witch’s Hat Chocolate Cupcakes

==============================

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3 cups water

ORANGE CREAM FILLING (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2 1/2-inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl on high speed of mixer 3 minutes.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add alternately with water to butter mixture, beating just until blended.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

Prepare ORANGE CREAM FILLING.

Cut 1 1/2-inch cone-shaped piece from center of each cupcake; reserve. Fill each cavity with scant tablespoon filling. Place reserved cake pieces on filling, pointed side up. Refrigerate before serving.

Makes 2  1/2 dozen cupcakes.

ORANGE CREAM FILLING:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup marshmallow creme

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice

Red and yellow food color (optional)

Beat butter in small bowl; gradually beat in marshmallow creme. Add powdered sugar, orange peel and vanilla, beating until blended.

Gradually add orange juice and food color, if desired, beating to desired

consistency. Makes about 1 1/3 cups filling.

Witch Hat Cake

==============

Five layers of round cakes support a pointed ice cream cone to make this Towering witch hat.

Witch Hat Cake

1 (18.25-ounce) package 2-layer white cake mix

Green or orange food coloring (optional)

8 inch wooden skewer

1 rolled sugar ice cream cone

2 (16-ounce) cans chocolate fudge frosting

Halloween candies and/or large yellow and white gumdrops

Grease and flour one 9 x 1 1/2-inch round baking pan and one 9 x 9 x 2-inch square baking pan.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions adding green or orange food coloring to batter, if desired. Bake according to package directions. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Trim tops of cakes as necessary to make even thickness. Cut a 5-inch circle,    3 1/2-inch circle, 2 1/2-inch circle, 2-inch circle from the square cake layer. Stuff some of the cake scraps into the ice cream cone to fill. Place a small amount of frosting in the middle of a cake plate.

Place the 9-inch round cake layer on frosting and press gently to secure (this helps hold cake in place while frosting). Place about 1/3 cup of the frosting in the center of cake layer and spread to a 5-inch circle. Place the 5-inch round of cake on top. Spread about 1/4 cup frosting in the center of this cake layer and top with the 3 1/2-inch round of cake. Spread more frosting and add the 2 1/2- and 2-inch cake rounds. Insert an 8-inch wooden skewer down through cake layers for added support. Attach the ice cream cone on top with additional frosting. Frost cake and ice cream cone with remaining frosting (see tip). Decorate as desired with Halloween candies and/or gumdrop moons and stars.

Makes 1 cake (12 servings).

Gumdrop Moons and Stars: Use a rolling pin to roll out gumdrops on sugar-coated waxed paper. Cut out moon and star shapes with hors d-oeurvre cutters. Dip cutters in sugar to prevent sticking.

To spread frosting more easily onto sides of cake: Fill a small resealable plastic bag with about 1 cup frosting. Snip off one corner and pipe frosting onto cake sides. Spread evenly.

ABRACADABRA Hats!

=================

They are super simple to make; just a can of Crescent rolls, some pizza sauce, a dash of herbs, a few  pepperoni and YUM!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Halloween Fun #9

Posted on October 25, 2011. Filed under: Autumn, Candy, Cheese, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Comfort Foods, Dairy, Desserts, Halloween, Halloween Candy, Halloween Recipes, Kosher Recipe, MINT, Party Ideas, Rainy Day Foods, Recipes, Recipes with Pumpkin, Snacks, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Today I have to go to the doctor, so my time is very limited.  I am sorry to say this article may have to be posted in two parts, but the end result will be lots of fun recipes for candy making.  I love to make candy and Halloween is the best time to make it.  It is interesting the number of holidays that must have candy to help celebrate it…Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Chanukah, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…and to think we complain about our holidays being manipulated by Hallmark Cards!  LOL

When I make candy, I like to make the molded chocolates, but I am not going to explain how-to’s for those in this article.  Instead, we will look at fun Halloween specific candy recipes and Copykat recipes for our favorite candy bars.  So hang on tight while we begin our journey through “The Candy Shoppe!”

Step Right Up For The Best Candy Anywhere!

Today we will begin with Halloween specific candy bars with such goodies as Candy Ghosts to keep with our ghost theme, pumpkin mints, and marshmallow witches to name a few.  Scroll down and drool!

Aren't I Just The Cutest?

Candy Ghosts

============

4 tablespoons of evaporated milk

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Black or red string licorice

Measure the milk into the bowl then add the sugar slowly using a fork to mix it in until all the sugar has been added. It will be thick and you will be able to knead it with your hands. Knead it until the mixture is very smooth and easy to work with, like play dough.

Tear off bits of the mixture and shape into little ghost shapes. Cut bits of the licorice to use as eyes and mouths. Chill.

Makes about 10 ghosts depending upon how big you make them. This can also be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters.

Why Are You Afraid of Me?

Marshmallow Witches

===================

1/2 cup vanilla frosting, divided

36 miniature semisweet chocolate chips

12 large marshmallows

1 drop each green, red and yellow food coloring, optional

1/4 cup flaked coconut

12 chocolate wafers

12 miniature peanut butter cups

12 milk chocolate kisses

For the face of each witch, place a dab of frosting on the bottom of three chocolate chips; press two for eyes and one for nose onto each  marshmallow.

For hair, combine green food coloring and a drop of water in a small resealable plastic bag; add coconut and shake well. Spread a small amount of frosting on sides of marshmallows; press coconut hair into frosting. Place 3 tablespoons of frosting in a small heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; tint orange with red and yellow food coloring.   Set aside.

For hats, spread some of the remaining frosting in the center of chocolate wafers; press peanut butter cups upside down into frosting. Lightly spread bottoms of chocolate kisses with frosting; place on peanut butter cups.

Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert a small star tip. Fill the bag with frosting and pipe stars around the base of each peanut butter cup. Secure a hat to each witch with a dab of frosting.

Makes 1 dozen.

Marzipan Pumpkins

=================

By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide

“Marzipan pumpkins are easy to make and look beautiful on top of pastries, or as part of a fall display. You can modify the recipe and vary the size of the pumpkins to suit your needs.

You can make your own marzipan, or purchase it from most large grocery stores. Marzipan most commonly comes in 7-ounce tubes (the quantity called for here) but you can use more or less depending on what you have available.”

Ingredients:

7 ounces (1 roll) marzipan

Red and yellow food coloring

Dark-colored jimmies (optional)

Preparation:

Coat your hands with powdered sugar, or wear plastic gloves.  Knead the marzipan until it has softened slightly. Flatten the marzipan into a disc, and add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring to the middle, using a ration of 1 drop red to 2 drops yellow. Fold the marzipan into a ball and begin to knead the color throughout the dough,adding more food coloring if desired, working until the marzipan is one uniform color.

Roll the dough into small balls about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten the balls slightly so that they have a pumpkin shape. Place a toothpick vertically against the side of a marzipan ball, and press the side of the toothpick into the candy, creating an indentation extending vertically from top to bottom. Repeat at regular intervals along the ball, to create the familiar pumpkin creases. Repeat with remaining pumpkins.

If desired, poke small holes in the top of the pumpkins, and push in a dark-colored candy jimmy to form the “stem.” Edible sprigs of herbs can also be used.

Store marzipan pumpkins in an airtight Tupperware container for up to two weeks, or freeze well-wrapped marzipan pumpkins for up to three months.

How realistic can you get?

Mummy Truffles

==============

By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide

“Making Halloween candy is a wrap with these Mummy Truffles! Chewy, soft coconut balls are wrapped in fondant “bandages” to form adorable mini mummy candies.

Don’t miss the video showing how to make mummy  truffles!  Click on the word “video” to view the video.”

Yield: about 24 1-inch candies

Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup shredded coconut

1/8 teaspoon salt

8 ounces white fondant

2 tablespoons chocolate chips

Preparation:

Place the cream cheese,vanilla, and coconut extract in the bowl of a large electric mixer. Mix them on medium speed until the cream cheese is smooth and entirely soft.

Stop the mixer, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, and mix on low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the remaining powdered sugar and mix just until combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the coconut and salt. Turn the mixer to low and mix until the candy is homogeneous and well-mixed. Check the texture of the candy: you want it to be firm enough to easily be shaped into a ball, but not too dry and stiff. If necessary, add more powdered sugar to get the right texture.

Using a spoon, scoop up a small amount of candy and roll it between your hands until it is round. Place the ball on a foil-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining candy. Chill until the balls are firm, about 2 hours.

Once the balls are firm, roll the fondant out on a powdered sugar-dusted workstation until it is a thin rectangle about a foot long. Roll the fondant as thin as possible, because you don’t want the fondant layer to overwhelm the candy. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut very thin strips of fondant, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. At this point, you can use a rolling pin to roll the individual strip of fondant even thinner to get a paper-thin strip.

Take one thin strip and wrap it around one of the coconut balls, criss-crossing it in the front to make the mummy’s bandages. If it breaks, just start wrapping again–it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can use a little water or corn syrup to get it to stick to the coconut ball if it has trouble sticking. Wrap it around 3-4 times total–it is okay if some of the coconut is showing through. Repeat with remaining fondant and coconut balls, re-rolling the fondant scraps as necessary until all of the balls are covered with mummy bandages.

Melt the chocolate chips and use a toothpick to dot the chocolate onto the mummies to form eyes. Alternately, you can stick on mini chocolate chips or M&Ms for the eyes.

Store Mummy Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Pumpkin Mints

=============

1/4 cup milk

4 tsp. butter

3-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 drops oil of peppermint

Yellow food coloring

Green food coloring

Red food coloring

Heat milk and butter and stir till butter has melted.  Add confectioner’s sugar. Mix thoroughly and add the oil of peppermint.

Knead with hands until fondant is smooth. Take out about 1/6 and color it green. Knead to mix color evenly. Cover with damp cheesecloth to prevent drying. Add enough yellow and red coloring to the rest of the fondant to make it a nice orange pumpkin color. Cover with damp cheesecloth.

Work with small amounts of the orange-colored fondant at a time and roll into small balls in the palms of your hands.

Break a toothpick in 2 and make grooves in the fondant like those in a pumpkin, using the broken end of the toothpick.

Roll a bit of the green fondant in thin cylinders and cut in short stem like pieces. Press on top of the pumpkins.

YIELD: 40 mints

These are a must try!

Pumpkin Spice Truffles

======================

By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide

“Pumpkin Spice Truffles are pumpkin-shaped truffles that are bursting with flavor from pumpkin puree, cream cheese, cinnamon graham crackers, and plenty of spices. The cream cheese flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it does give these Pumpkin truffles a bit of a pumpkin cheesecake flavor–which is a definite plus in my book! If you want to stay more traditional you can dip these in regular chocolate instead of making them look like miniature pumpkins.

Yield: 24-30 truffles

Ingredients:

6 ounces white chocolate, chopped (or uses chips)

2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup powdered dry milk

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I recommend using cinnamon grahams)

1 pound orange colored candy coating

3 ounces green colored candy coating

Preparation:

In a small bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in short bursts until it is melted and entirely smooth. Set aside for now. Combine the softened cream cheese and the pumpkin puree in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth and combined. Scrape the bowl and beat again to make sure there are no lumps in the cream cheese.

Add the powdered milk, the powdered sugar, and the pumpkin pie spice. Beat on low until incorporated, then scrape down the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until very smooth.

Add the melted white chocolate and mix until incorporated. Finally, stir in the graham cracker crumbs.

The mixture will be fairly soft at this point. Press cling wrap on the top and refrigerate it until firm enough to roll, about 2 hours.

When the candy is firm, use a candy scoop or a teaspoon to scoop up small balls. Dust your hands with powdered sugar and roll the truffles between your palms to make them round.

Melt the orange candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl until melted and fluid.

Dip the truffles in the coating, one by one, using dipping tools or a fork. Set them on a foil-lined baking sheet when finished.

To make them look more like pumpkins, add a bit of melted chocolate tothe remaining orange coating to turn it a darker shade of brownish-orange. Put it in a small plastic bag and snip off a tiny corner. Pipe intersecting lines across the top of the truffles.

Finish them off with green leaves: melt the green candy coating and put it in a plastic bag as well. Draw a small swirl on to of each pumpkin truffle to simulate vines or leaves.

Refrigerate the truffles to set the coating, for about 10 minutes, before serving.

Store Pumpkin Spice Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and bring them to room temperature before serving.

Pumpkin Chocolate Bark

======================

By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide

“Pumpkin Chocolate Bark has a gorgeous swirl of orange pumpkin-flavored chocolate running through rich semi-sweet chocolate. This beautiful treat makes a perfect Halloween candy, and it couldn’t be easier to make.

You will need orange oil-based candy coloring and oil-based candy pumpkin flavoring for this recipe–water-based colorings and flavorings will not mix well with the chocolate. The flavoring can be found in many specialty cake or candy stores, or purchased online by searching for “pumpkin flavoring.”

Ingredients:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips

1 teaspoon pumpkin-flavored candy oil

1-1/2 cups white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips

Orange candy coloring

Preparation:

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or waxed paper.

If you would like to store this candy at room temperature, you should temper the chocolate by following these instructions. (Note that you cannot temper chocolate chips). If you are fine with storing the candy in the refrigerator, it can simply be melted as described in the following instructions. Place the semi-sweet chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, stir in ½ tsp of the pumpkin flavoring and stir until smooth. Scrape the melted chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a thin layer, about ¼ inch thick, with a knife or offset spatula. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the white chocolate.

Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Once melted, add the remaining ½ tsp of pumpkin flavoring, and a few drops of orange candy oil. Stir until well-mixed, and add more coloring if necessary to achieve the shade of orange you’d like.

Take a large spoon and drop spoonfuls of the orange all over the chocolate on the baking sheet. Use a toothpick or the tip of a knife to swirl the orange and chocolate together. Try not to swirl too much, or the color will become muddy and the swirls indistinct.

Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, about 15 minutes. Once set, break the bark into small irregular pieces with your hands. If the chocolate has been tempered, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature, but if not, you should keep Pumpkin Chocolate Bark in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent it from becoming too soft.

Vampire Blood Fudge

===================

1-1/2 C. granulated sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 T. butter or margarine

1/2 C. evaporated milk

1 small box cherry-flavored gelatin

2 to 3 T. raspberry jam

2 C. semisweet mini chocolate chips

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Butter an 8-inch square pan.

Mix sugar, salt, butter or margarine and milk in a saucepan. Place the mixture on the stove, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir carefully and continuously for exactly 5 minutes. If you stop stirring, the mixture will rise in the pan and burn. If the mixture is too near the top of the pot, the heat is too high and should be lowered.

Prepare gelatin according to package directions, using only 1 cup water. While gelatin is still liquid, add it and raspberry jam to fudge mixture. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove the saucepan from heat. Turn off the heat. Add chocolate chips immediately, and stir until they are all dissolved. Add vanilla extract and stir. Pour fudge into the prepared pan. Refrigerate overnight.

When fudge is hard, turn the pan over and run hot water over the bottom so you can remove the fudge easily. Cut into 16 squares.

So you vant to eat me, huh!

Werewolf Truffles

=================

By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide

Werewolf Truffles may be the best Halloween candy you’re too scared to eat! A delicious chocolate-peanut butter mixture is dipped in chocolate and decorated to look like spooky werewolves. This recipe yields 16-18 werewolf truffles.

Don’t miss the video showing how to make werewolf truffles!  Just click the word “video” to go to see this wonderful video.

Ingredients:

1.5-2 cups powdered sugar

3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) chocolate chips, melted

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon hot water

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 pound chocolate candy coating

1 graham cracker

2 tablespoons red hots candy

2 tablespoons miniature chocolate chips

Cooling rack with small grid pattern

Preparation:

Place the melted chocolate chips, cream cheese, vanilla, hot water, peanut butter, salt, and 1 cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of a large electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients until the candy is well-mixed and homogeneous.

Stop the mixer and add an additional 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Mix the candy on low, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, until it is entirely mixed and smooth. Check the texture of the candy: you want it to be firm enough to easily be shaped into a ball, but not too dry and stiff. If necessary, add more powdered sugar to get the right texture.

Using a spoon, scoop up a small amount of candy and roll it between your hands until it is round. Now pinch a bit of it in front to elongate it about ½ inch–this is the werewolf’s “snout.” Repeat with remaining candy until you have 16-18 werewolf heads on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Melt the candy coating in a large microwave-safe bowl, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until the coating is melted and smooth.

While you are melting the coating, cut the graham cracker into small triangles between 1/4-1/2 inch tall. These will be your werewolf ears.

Once the coating is melted, dip the bottom of a graham triangle in the coating and press it into the top of the werewolf’s head. Repeat with a second triangle to form a pair of ears, and continue until every werewolf has two ears sticking from the top of its head. Refrigerate the werewolves to set the coating, about 5 minutes.

Once the coating holding the ears in place is set, remove the tray from the refrigerator. Using forks or dipping tools, dip a werewolf head in the melted candy coating, submerging it completely. Remove it from the coating and tap the fork against the side of the bowl to remove excess coating. Place the head back on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining candies and coating.

To create the texture of the werewolf’s fur, the candy coating needs to set just a little bit–you want it to be tacky to the touch but not liquidy. So either let the tray of dipped candies sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, or place it in the refrigerator for 15-30 seconds. Once the werewolves are tacky to the touch, place several of them on a cooling rack with a small grid pattern. Use a fork to roll them around the rack. Some of the candy coating will come off and stick to the rack, and the rest will start to get textured and look “furry.”

Repeat with remaining truffles. If you don’t have a cooling rack that works, you can try using fork tines to create a waved or hair-like pattern on the truffles.

To finish your werewolves, press a miniature chocolate chip into the top of the snout to be the wolf’s nose. Cut a red hot in half, and press the two halves into the head to be the eyes. Refrigerate the truffles to set the coating completely.

Store Werewolf Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and allow them to come to room temperature before serving for best taste and texture.

I will post part two of this article tomorrow.  I hope you and I both get a chance to try our hand at some of these great recipes.  I especially love the werewolves, don’t you!  Let me know what you think!

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

HALLOWEEN FUN #5

Posted on October 20, 2011. Filed under: Dinner/Supper, Fun, Halloween, Halloween Games, Halloween Recipes, Meat, Party Ideas, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , |


I can’t believe I did it!  I didn’t save today’s article which I had almost finished last night.  So, now, back to square one, but never fear I’ll get this article done!

The theme today is Halloween games.  I suggest we begin our party with an ice breaker.  Then pick two or three games to play.  Don’t over-do it.  You need to give people time to chat, eat and relax also.

Prizes can be anything from a candy bar to Halloween decorations for the winners to add to their Halloween collections.  Try to make the prizes unisex.  Hunt the dollar stores and craft supply shops for the best deals on prizes.

Monster Mash!

MONSTER MATCH-UP (ICEBREAKER AND TEAM-MAKER)

From  Ghoul Friday

Most of us have played a version of this game at one point or another, at some team-building seminar or drama class. Personally, I have never used it at my party (my friends would get mad at me if I made them play this) but I could see how other people might enjoy it. It would be effective to mix up your groups and get people talking to guests they don’t know.

You will need slips of paper and a pen to prepare the slips before your guests arrive.

Game Play

  1. Make a list of Halloween categories or themes for your team names (for example, Dracula, Werewolf, the Mummy, etc). Let your guests know the names of the teams.
  2. Write down a list of words associated with each theme (for Werewolf, it might have the words silver bullet, full moon, howling, and fur. For Dracula you might have Bat, blood, fangs, Transylvania). The amount of guests you have, and the size of your teams, will affect how many pieces of paper you need.
  3. Write each of the words on separate pieces of paper and place them in a container.
  4. Have guests pick one piece of paper each. Their job is to find people with words that match their theme. They are then in the same group. This can be the aim of the game, or you can now lead them into a second game using the teams you have created.

Say "Boo!"

HALLOWEEN CAMERA SCAVENGER HUNT

Supplies: Digital camera, list of items to record (Note from Softa123:  You may want to call a few of your guests to ask them to bring their digital cameras with them, or put a note on the invitation to bring digital cameras!  You could, if your budget allows it, purchase enough disposable digital cameras so each team has one, but then you can’t download the pictures to play through the night.)

Team people up in groups of 8 -10 people and send them out in their Halloween costumes with a list of things them must get photos of. These items are in different order so that the teams are not doing the same thing at the same time.

Each team dressed in Halloween costumes races around town to get photos at landmarks, with police officers, bouncers, next to funny signs, at a restaurant, etc… Once they get everything completed they return to the house with the photos. First team to return with everything completed (photos taken) is the winner.

As the teams return download the photos and create a slide show and let it run on my computer throughout the evening. Everyone loves it and they all share and tell stories about their adventure.

If you want to make things more difficult, make the list clues as to where they need to go to take the photo rather than just saying go to this place to take a photo. Adapt for your crew and have fun.

HALLOWEEN TRIVIA

You can play this wonderful version of Halloween Trivia by GhoulFriday by downloading the game by clicking the link below.  You will need pens or pencils for each guest and paper for them to write their answers on and you will need to print out the download which is the questions and answers for the game.

http://www.4shared.com/document/9laWkc6v/Halloween_Trivia_Ghoulfriday.html

Now Playing At Your Local Movie Theater

HAVE YOU LEARNED ANYTHING FROM HORROR MOVIES?

Another great sounding team game from GhoulFriday is called “Have You Learned Anything From Horror Movies?”   You can download by the link below for a list of questions, but here are the general rules of the game:

Break the party guests into equal groups. Explain that you will be offering standard examples of horror movie situations. Each team should nominate one person to be their speaker. They can change this speaker at any time, but note that only one person can answer the question.

Once the question is asked to the entire group, each team will work together with their members to come up with an original and resourceful response to the question. They must explain why they chose this answer (sometimes it is the explanation that can make or break a winning answer).

They have 30 seconds to brainstorm with their team (you can adjust this time limit for certain questions if needed, but 30 seconds generally is enough time). You may wish to give each team a pen and paper to take notes. When time is up, there is no more talking or writing (especially if the other teams have started giving their answer). Any team caught talking or writing after time is up is disqualified from that round.

Each team representative answers the question. Rotate which team gets to answer first. The most creative, horror-movie-knowledge-based answer wins the point.

http://www.4shared.com/document/ws67b8SZ/Have_You_Learned_Anything_From.html

 

For more wonderful Halloween games and ideas you can follow this link to Ghoulfriday’s website:  http://www.ghoulfriday.com.  Her website is awesome!!!!!

Instead of Saying "Bingo," Say "Boo!"


HALLOWEEN FUN BINGO

I created this Halloween Fun Bingo game just for you!  You will need to print out one bingo card per person.  Print and cut out the word list from your copy of the board (make sure no one else has the list!) and put the words in a bag or plastic pumpkin or a witch’s cauldron, folded up so you can pick them at random.  Use candy corn or pennies as markers.  If you want, you can have the players just cross-off the words on their cards that have been called.

Softa123’s Note:  If you want the children’s version of bingo, click the graphic of the bingo card and it will take you to the site to download that version of bingo.

http://www.4shared.com/document/KPozOtuT/bingo-cards.html



HALLOWEEN WORD SCRAMBLE

This is for those of us who love word scrambles!  Just download the file by clicking on the link below.  Make sure you have a copy of the scrambles for each player and a pen or pencil for everyone.

http://www.4shared.com/file/xGHp2ZXW/Halloween_Word_Scramble.html

The recipe of the day is:  (drum roll)

YUMMY!

Hand-Burger Dripping In Blood

=============================

“This ‘hand-burger’ is made from a mixture of crumbled bread, milk, garlic, ketchup and ground sirloin.”

SOFTA123’s NOTE:  To make this kosher, substitute water for the milk.

Ingredients:

1 slice white bread, crust removed

1-1/2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 pound ground sirloin

Non-stick cooking spray

6 small dinner rolls, sliced in half

Ketchup

Special Equipment Needed:

Hand shaped cookie cutter

Indoor grill pan or skillet

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Set a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

Break bread into small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl. Pour milk over bread and mash with a fork until it forms a paste. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic, and ketchup. Add ground sirloin and stir, just to combine.

Spray a hand shaped cookie cutter with non-stick cooking spray. Press 1/6th of the mixture into the cookie cutter, being careful to press the meat into the finger area. Remove the cutter and use a spatula to transfer the Hand-Burger to the prepared rack. Repeat for remaining burgers.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Spray an indoor grill pan (or skillet) with non-stick cooking spray.

Heat over high heat. Remove Hand-Burgers from oven and place them onto grill pan. Sear on both sides. Cook to medium (140-145 degrees) or medium well (150-155 degrees).

Serve on dinner rolls with ketchup.

Number of Servings: 6

Source :  This recipe is excerpted from Hungry Halloween.

Hungry Halloween’s Notes:

Using ground sirloin will ensure that your Hand-Burgers remain in the shape of a hand when cooked. Fattier meats will lose their shape.

Baking the burgers before grilling them allows for even cooking of the fingers. You can cook the burgers to order at your party, or cook them ahead of time and keep them in a chafing dish. They will stay moist and delicious for hours in a covered chafing dish. Fill your chafing dish with a small amount of liquid (water or beef broth) before adding the Hand-Burgers. The steam will keep them from sticking and will help keep them moist.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

HALLOWEEN FUN #2

Posted on October 15, 2011. Filed under: Balloon Crafts, Balloons, Fun, General Crafts, Halloween, Halloween Costumes, Party Ideas | Tags: , , , , |


Now that you have your invitations filled out and mailed, it’s time to think about your costume(s).  After reading this article for ideas, go to Martha Stewart’s website for more ideas.  There are 19 no-sew costumes there for you to check out.

Ideas that I have used in the past:

Jelly-Beans-Bag of Balloons

SOFTA123’S NOTE:  The sign on this precious young lady’s reads “Jelly Beans,” mine said “Bag of Balloons.”

Bag of Balloons: 

Materials:

Large see-through trash bag

1 large package of small colorful balloons

Curling ribbon and/or heavy string

1 Piece of Cardboard

1 Black Marking Pen

Hole Puncher

Instructions:

Blow up the balloons and tie a knot in them as normal.

Make Sign:  In black marker write “BAG OF BALLOONS.”  Let it dry.  Punch a hole in each of the top corners of the sign.  String ribbon through so that you can wear it around your neck.

Step into the bag, making holes for the legs and arms out the side. Fill the bag with different color balloons and curling ribbon or heavy string to tie around the top of the bag.   Put on your sign and you are good to go!

This hobo is a clown!

SOFTA123’S NOTE:  Hobos DID NOT wear makeup!!!!

Hobo:

This idea is as old as Methuselah!  But it is cheap and easy and I haven’t seen anyone dressed as a hobo in years.  I’m not sure if this costume is politically correct, but to me there is a big difference between the hobos of yesterday and the homeless of today.

Materials:

1-2 Corks

Bandana

Old Battered Flannel Shirt

Old Battered Jeans

1 fairly long Stick

Instructions:

Lay the bandana flat on a table.  Fill the middle with old stockings, fiber fill, candy, whatever you wish to put in it.  Don’t over-fill it though!!!  Bring up the bandana on all sides and make  a knot in it.  Then tie bandana onto the stick.  Lay aside.

Get dressed in your battered jeans and battered flannel shirt.

Take your cork and strike a match to burn a bit of the bottom of the cork and then when warm to the touch, rub over your face.  Repeat as often as necessary or as often as you would like so that the overall effect is a face that is dirty.

Give me all your Fritos!

Frito’s Bandito


Materials:

1 Mexican hat preferably with a strap

1 Poncho preferably Mexican

Instructions:

Enough Snack-Size Bags of Frito’s Corn Chips to fairly well cover the poncho at least on the front

Large Safety Pins (one for each bag of corn chips)

Fake Mustache OR Black Eyebrow Pencil

Instructions:

Pin Fritos onto Poncho.  Get Dressed and then put on your mustache or draw one on with the black eyebrow Pencil.

The Living Dead

SOFTA’S NOTE:  This is the closest picture to what I looked like although I didn’t put on any makeup.  Also, a friend of ours made a coffin for me.  It was for a teen Halloween party that I was in charge of for our community.  The kids loved it!

Mummy

Materials:

1 set of WHITE Thermal Long Johns (Long Underwear)

5 yard roll of 3” Gauze

60 yard roll of 1 ½” Masking Tape

1 Brown or Black Eyebrow Pencil

White Clown Face Makeup

Instructions:

Take a 5 yard role of 3 inch gauze and dip it in weak tea the day before and hang it out to dry. This will be your head wrapping. You will need a 60 yard roll of 1 1/2 inch wide masking tape for your body wrapping. Start with your ankles and work up. Overlap the tape slightly and stop at the knee. Continue right above the knee and go to the top of your thigh. Do both legs. Then start in the middle of your stomach and run it down between your legs, crisscrossing over your hips and between your legs in a diaper fashion. Break off the tape. Just below your hipbones wrap around your body until you get to your underarms. Crisscross over your shoulders to cover your upper chest and back. Start at your shoulder and move down your arm. Stop at the elbow and start again on the other side of your elbow. Do both arms. Now switch to gauze for your head. Tape down the end of the gauze under your collarbone and move upwards to do your neck and your head. Make sure it’s not too tight around your neck! Keep your eyes and mouth free. Tape down when you’re finished. Rub some dirt on the tape so that you look sufficiently old and moldy. With a black or brown eye pencil circle each eye and smudge outfor that hollowed out eye look. Whiten the rest of your face so that it matches your wrappings. This is a very visible costume!


Portrait of an Artist

SOFTA123’S NOTE:  In this take on the Artist Costume, they must have used white poster board to make their pallet out of.  I think I like the looks of this pallet more than I would a cardboard pallet.  I like how they took an inexpensive plastic paint brush and glued it to the board!  The young lady’s long hair makes it perfect…but of course, that is real!  Isn’t she cute!

Artist – Painter Costume

By Sherri Osborn, About.com Guide

Materials Needed:

  • Dark Colored Pants
  • Over-Sized White Shirt
  • Paint
  • Cardboard
  • Paint Brush

Instructions:

Wear any pants you want and an over-sized white shirt or smock, splattered with paint. You can also smudge some paint on your face, hands, etc.

Using a piece of cardboard cut out a paint palette shape. Use paint to make 4 or 5 circles of paint on the palette. Glue an old paintbrush to the palette. Let dry.

For a finishing touch, use eyeliner to draw a small mustache and goatee, and don’t forget a beret!

For more wonderful costume ideas, make-up hints and advice go to http://www.familymanagement.com/holidays/halloween/costumes.html

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOL AND CREATIVITY?

Posted on September 4, 2011. Filed under: Dr. Robert E. Ford, Freida Shulz, Fun, Jack Watkins, Lunch, Menu, Monroe High School, My Ramblings, PLAY, Rainy Day Foods, Recipes, Rena Krichbaum, Rochester | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |



While looking up a word on The Free Dictionary, I came across this quote by Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of  The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1902:

“Thank goodness…I was never sent to school…it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”

~Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)

I disagree this Ms. Potter.  I think school opens up the mind to creativity and new ideas.  School can inspire greatness in the fields music and art.  The catch here is it all depends upon the teachers.  Some, like my high school art teacher and creative writing teacher, can kill creativity by discouraging students who don’t show immediate talent as defined by the teacher.  Others, like my high school drama teacher and my social studies teacher, inspire all students, even those with no talent.  My history teacher especially inspired me not to settle for mediocrity and to aspire for being better than average.  These teachers who taught me in the ‘60s, had a great affect on me.  Jack Watkins, my drama teacher at Monroe High School, is the teacher who had the most positive affect on me.  He taught me to keep my head up high no matter what and he taught me to try.  Jack Watkins also taught me to go out of my comfort zone.  He also tried to teach me self-respect, a lesson I need to re-learn.  Mr. Richard Matteson, my social studies teacher at Monroe High, taught me that being average was not good enough.  So, throughout my life I aspired not to be average and to be a unique individual.  Rena Krichbaum was another teacher who influenced me to be creative by teaching me never to give up. My thanks go out to them for being such great teachers.

Freida Schulz, my sixth grade teacher gave me the love of learning.  She was an amazing lady and I thank her from the bottom of my heart!  Dr. Robert E. Ford my penology professor in college taught me that I wasn’t as dumb as I thought I was and that a person can learn easier through laughter.  He missed his true calling.  He should have been a comic.  But he was without doubt one of the best teachers I ever had.  Thank you, Dr. Ford!

In my search for information on this topic, I found that most people say that schools do stifle creativity.

In an article I read on the Net at Teachingexpertise, the author whose name is sadly not included in the article, states, “So is creativity possible in schools?  The first right answer is YES; the second right answer is NO.

It is theoretically possible, and it is even possible in practice, but only under certain conditions. In the present climate, in the system within which teachers operate, and with the kind of education teachers receive, it is most unlikely that true creativity will be seen at schools except as a concept referred to in government documents gathering dust on shelves and in (often meaningless) mission statements.”

The rest of the articles I read were totally pessimistic.  So, I guess I was wrong in thinking that schools are able to help develop creativity.   But, just think…if teachers were taught to be creative and were allowed the freedom to be creative, how far ahead our children would be!  But now I’m depressed, so I’m going to cut this article short and just post a back to school recipe that you can create along with daily messages of inspiration and encouragement to go along with food for the body in your child’s lunch bag.

Sandwich Art

This Looks LIke Fun!

Total Time Needed:

1 Hour

“Add a twist to the term “starving artist” by creating masterpieces with food coloring paint on a crusty canvas.”

Materials

  • Paper cups
  • Milk
  • Food coloring
  • New paintbrushes
  • White bread
  • Toaster

Instructions

  1. Fill each paper cup with two tbsp. of milk. Add a few drops of food coloring to each cup.
  2. Paint pictures and designs on the bread using the colored milk and new paintbrushes.
  3. Toast lightly and use the slices to make crazy sandwiches.

The above recipe was found at Disney’s Family Fun website.  I see no idea why your child can’t do the artwork himself/herself.

Add some colorful fresh veggies and a dip, a favorite snack and a piece of fruit to round out the lunch.  Always add some candy kisses so that your child will know that you love him/her.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

FOR THE LOVE OF BALLOONS

Posted on September 3, 2011. Filed under: Balloon Crafts, Balloons, Candy, Chocolate, Dean Jones, Desserts, Fun, General Crafts, Jane Fonda, Jason Robards, Kids, Movies, Party Ideas, PLAY, Recipes, Uncategorized, Winnie the Pooh | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


 I must have always loved balloons, but I never realized how much until I saw the movie “Any Wednesday,” starring Jane Fonda (who I love as an actress and was devastated by her politics) and Jason Robards.  One review I saw described the movie as:

“Broadway hit about a married millionaire’s mistress befriended by his unsuspecting wife and cooed over by a loyal associate. Lots of slamming doors, comical deception, hissy fits and balloons…” (By moonspinner55 found at http://www.imdb.com).

"ANY WEDNESDAY"

 Unlike moonspinner55, I loved the movie.  And the scene where Jane walks into her apartment and finds it filled with balloons has always stuck with me.  It is a dream of mine to one day come home and find that someone I love has filled a room with balloons for me.

Thinking about balloons, I thought, why not write a post about them, so that’s what you are going to read about here today.

Winnie the Pooh says, “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”  I think that Winnie is 100 percent correct.  We like to decorate our parties and events with balloons.  We take balloons when we visit someone who is ill to try to cheer them up a bit.  Many times someone will bring a balloon(s) to a friend or relative who is celebrating a birthday or an anniversary.  People give loved ones balloons on Valentine’s Day.  They are also appropriate for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  When someone in your workplace gets promoted, balloons are an inexpensive, thoughtful way to say, “Congratulations.”  And don’t forget to give a balloon(s) to a brand new Mom, Dad or Baby!  Balloons are really a go-to gift for most occasions!  I remember giving each of my grandchildren a bunch of colorful balloons for their first birthdays.  I began doing that with my eldest grandson, Marc.  He loved the balloons so much that I made it a tradition that continued with my granddaughter, Rachael, and my youngest grandson, Joshua.

Up, Up and Away

Another dream of mine is to go up in a hot air balloon.  I think they are so gorgeous and I think it would be an exciting and relaxing way to see a special place such as Letchworth State Park in Castile, New York or go over the Ocean in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  I’d make sure to take my husband, a picnic lunch and champagne with me!  Would I be scared?  Yeah, a little bit.  But I would still like to go in one.

You can do easy craft projects using balloons and other inexpensive supplies like home-made paste, string, newspaper strips, comic strips or tissue paper.

String Ball Craft

Difficulty:  Easy and a Great Craft To Do With Kids

Supplies:

String, yarn or thread

Round balloons

Flour

Instructions:

  1. Make a wheat paste by mixing  3 parts water with 2 parts flour in a pot. Heat to a boil, whisking occasionally to remove lumps. After the paste boils, allow it to cool.
  1. Blow up a balloon of the appropriate size for each ball you want to make.
  1. Dip string or yarn in the cooled paste and then wrap it around the balloons. Go around many times, in different directions, until you have covered the basic shape of the balloon, but be sure to leave gaps if you want to make a see-through string ball.
  1. Allow the string to dry thoroughly; approximately 24 hours.
  1.  Pop the balloons if you want to get them out right away, or wait for them to shrink gradually on their own. When the balloons are gone, you should be left with a see-through string ball.

Hints:

  1. For more exciting string balls, interweave different colors or types of yarn or string. You can also add paint or glitter to the paste mixture, decorate the finished balls more or put small items inside the balloons before you blow them up, which will end up trapped in the balls (as long as the holes in the string layer are small enough).
  1. These string balls are not water-resistant, so they’re probably more of an indoor toy. The paste is nontoxic but will definitely dissolve if wet.

Make small and medium balls of different colors and hang your finished ball(s) from the ceiling with different lengths of string, yarn or curling ribbon to use as party decorations.

Make small balls using gold and red and/or gold and green colors to decorate your Christmas tree, or to use in a table centerpiece.

Make small balls using dark or royal blue and silver string, yarn or thread to hang from the ceiling as above, or to use as part of a table centerpiece for Chanukah.

For Easter, make the balls in pastel colors, for Valentine’s Day make pink and/or red balls to decorate and perhaps put a special note inside for your beloved.

If you like glitter, add glitter!  Use more than one color for a rainbow effect.  There are countless ways to use this craft.  Let your imagination soar!

Another craft that is similar to the string balls is making Piñatas.

I found this great Piñata project at Make Pinatas.com.  This is a good resource for children’s party ideas.

How to Make a Hot Air Balloon Piñata 
This hot-air balloon piñata is great for first time makers and it makes for a nice big target for little kids.

 

Materials:

Papier-Mâché Paste*
• 14-inch balloon, inflated

• 10-inch bowl
• One batch papier-mâché paste
• 1 two-page spread each of regular newspaper and the comic pages
• 32-oz. plastic yogurt container, cut in half horizontally
• String
• Hole punch
• Glue stick
• 5 sheets of tissue paper in bright colors, cut
• into 3 1/2-inch squares
• 4 lbs. of individually wrapped candies

*To make Papié-Maché Paste, combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl.

Add this mixture to a saucepan of 2 cups boiling water and bring it to a boil again.  Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool; it will thicken as it cools. Once it does, it’s ready to use.

Directions:

 Step 1:  For stability while working, place the balloon in a 10-inch bowl. Fold the spread of newspaper in half and then in half again. Tear (don’t cut) 1 1/2-inch-wide strips so they have a slightly rough edge (tearing along a straight edge works well). The rough edges help make a smooth overall surface. Drag a strip of newspaper through the papier-mâché paste, wipe off any excess with your fingers, and place it at an angle on the balloon. Place the second strip so that it slightly overlaps the first. Continue until the balloon has been covered with one layer of paper strips–except for a 2-inch square at the top, through which the candy will go. Give the papier-mâché up to 24 hours to dry. Cover your leftover paste with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out (if it does, add warm water).
Step 2:   For the piñata’s hanger, wrap the midpoint of a length of string (doubled up, if necessary) around the bottom of the balloon, pulling the ends up to the top; tape it to the balloon in a few places. Knot together the ends of the string 6 inches above the top. Tape the top half of the yogurt container to the bottom of the balloon. This will become the neck of the hot air balloon.

Step 3:   Cover the balloon (including the string), the neck and the bottom half of the yogurt container (which will become the hot air balloon basket) with a layer of strips of comics, placing them at a different angle from the first layer. (Using different colored strips lets you distinguish one layer from the next, ensuring a uniform overall thickness.) Allow the second layer to dry.

Step 4:  Cover the balloon, neck and basket with strips of plain newsprint going in a third direction. Smooth over any rough edges as you work. Allow the balloon to dry thoroughly.

Step 5:  Punch four holes into the neck of the hot air balloon and four into the basket. Attach string to the neck about 3 1/2 inches from the base of the balloon to later suspend the basket.

Step 6:  
Dot the corners of a tissue square with a glue stick and place it just to the side of the 2-inch square on the top of the balloon. Follow with other squares in the same color, working your way diagonally down around the balloon. When you get to the bottom, start at the top again in another color, fitting the squares into a hound’s-tooth pattern. If you want to add streamers, cut 2- by 30-inch lengths of tissue paper and glue them onto matching colored squares about halfway down.

Step 7:  Cover the basket with squares of tissue in different colors. Attach the basket to the balloon. Puncture the uncovered part of the balloon at the top of the piñata and remove all of the balloon fragments. Make sure the inside of the piñata is completely dry before you fill it, so the candy won’t stick to the sides. Fill it about halfway with the candy. Cover the opening with some tissue squares, and your piñata is ready to hang.

My very favorite balloon craft involves chocolate…. wouldn’t you know it!   I’ve known about this craft for years and it’s on my must try list.  I just think that this is so classy that your company, young or old, will be talking about these for years to come, making you one savvy host/hostess.    The directions for this project was found at Chocolay.

Chocolate Bowls

Chocolate Bowls Recipe

 “This is a fun & easy project, although it can be messy! The chocolate bowls can hold all kinds of goodies including ice cream, mousse, fruit, pretzel sticks, chocolate candy, or any other treat you have in mind. You can get as creative as you want with using white chocolate that has been colored (with specially formulated coloring oils) and coordinate the theme of your party or event. We recommend making more balloons than you’ll need because chances are good that when you deflate some of the chocolate covered balloons the chocolate might fall apart for one reason or another! You can always reuse the chocolate…don’t worry!”

 

Before you begin, make sure to wash and thoroughly dry the balloons.

Ingredients:

 

 You’ll also Need:

  • Balloons (please note: some people are severely allergic to latex. Make sure that if you use latex balloons anybody eating your bowls know you used balloons to make it)
  • Bowls
  • Heavy Weight Dipping Sheets or Waxed Paper

 Tips: 

 Don’t use water balloons! They will pop. Also, water is the one thing that can really mess up chocolate!!!

  • The thicker the balloon the better.
  • Keep in mind that some people are alergic to latex.
  • If you put the chocolate balloons on waxed paper be careful about the corners of the paper curling and touching the chocolate.
  • When dipping the balloons, the longer you leave the balloon in the warm chocolate the more likely it will pop (which is a mess!!!), so dip fast & do multiple layers if you need to.

 

How To Make Chocolate Bowls:

 

1. Blow up balloons and place them in a bowl to hold them upright. Don’t blow them to be bigger than 6-8 inches tall. A lot of people like small bowls that are about the size of a coffee cup. It’s up to you. Whatever size you blow up the balloon to be will be the size of your chocolate bowl. You might want to make the balloons slightly different sizes for variety.
2. Spray each balloon (the area you’ll be putting the chocolate on) with non-stick cooking spray such as Crisco spray so that the chocolate will release easier.
3. Melt the chocolate using instructions that came with your chocolate. Ideally, use a double boiler (or a double boiler insert). Do not let the water touch the bottom of the double boiler. Only let the water simmer. Do not allow it to boil or you may burn the chocolate. If you must use a microwave, melt on medium heat for short periods being very careful not to overheat thechocolate. (Softa’s advice:  Use the microwave!!!!)
4. Let the chocolate cool for 5-10 minutes in a bowl that is sized so that you can dip your balloon into the bowl. The chocolate can’t be so hot that it will pop the balloon.

If you want to add a marbleized effect to the chocolate bowl: Pour the base color/flavor of chocolate in the bowl first. Then add a smaller quantity of a second color/flavor of chocolate on top. Swirl lightly with a knife. When you dip the balloons the bowl will look marbleized.5.There a couple of ways to make your chocolate bowls – or you can combine the methods for added flare. Either way, hold the balloon by the knot.

a. For a solid bowl that looks like flower petals: Holding the knot at a slight angle, dip the ballon in chocolate, then using the opposite angle, dip the balloon again. You may be able to do this 2-4 times. Slowly swirl the balloon around to make an even coat. Then lift the balloon slowly and let some of the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Sometimes the balloons will need to be dipped twice to make sure the chocolate is solid enough.

 

b. For a not solid bowl: Holding the knot, use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the bottom of the balloon going back and forth in one direction and then in the opposite direction. When drizzling, cover about half of the exposed balloon. Then dip the very bottom of the balloon a couple of inches into the chocolate so you have a nice, solid chocolate bottom. When doing this, you can use more than one chocolate flavor (or colored white chocolate) for added design.6.After each balloon is dipped, place on a Heavy Weight Dipping Sheet or waxed paper lined tray. The chocolate will start to settle making a flat bottom for the chocolate bowl.7.After your balloons are finished, move them to a cool area to set up (harden). Hopefully they will fit in your fridge! If so, they will set up in about 10 minutes.8.After the chocolate is completely set up, it’s time to deflate the balloons. Gently remove the chocolate covered balloon from the dipping sheet. If using waxed paper, you might need to slide a knife around the bottom edge to loosen the bottom of the chocolate bowl. Once you remove the balloon, you can use a hat pin to deflate it or cut a small hole in the top of it to deflate it. Make the hole near the area where the balloon is tied.9.As the balloon deflates it will still be attached to the inside of the chocolate. Very slowly peel the balloon away from the chocolate.10.You can add additional decorative touches by gently handling the bowl and adding more drizzled chocolate.Keep the chocolate bowls cool until you plan to use them!


Play around with these crafts and have some fun!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Importance of Being Peter Pan

Posted on August 28, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Cookies, Fun, PLAY, Rainy Day Foods, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , |


I have always believed that the way to good mental health is by play and escapism.  I believe that the mind needs a break everyday from reality.  This is true for adults as well as for children.  Because of this, I have always said that I am Peter Pan.  I play in my own way every day and when I lay down at night, I go into a fantasy world of my choosing to relax myself to sleep.  I strongly believe that when a child of any age gets home from school that they should be allowed to play until dinner time and then they can do their homework.  A child needs to play so when they grow up they know how to relax and rest their minds.  My step-daughter has fine tuned adult Peter Panism and I am so very proud of her for doing it.  Some of her antics don’t mesh with my ideas, but that’s not important.  What’s important is that she’s having fun and teaching my eldest step-grandson to do the same.  For her sake, I am only sorry she waited until 40 to discover fun.

According to an article found in Kranzcents, ”children should be  taught to play games at an early age and adult should never stop playing them.   Games teach children patience, social interaction, negotiation, strategy, how to win and lose gracefully, mental stimulation, mental and physical confidence that keep us healthy.  No matter how old you are, playing games are important.  It is mentally stimulating, keeps you engaged and keeps you psychologically fit.  This is particularly important as we become older to stave off aging diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

By nature, humans are born to play. Playing is instinctive and fundamental to our existence. Playing helps us survive and thrive by connecting us to other human beings and to sources of energy and excitement within ourselves. Play is simultaneously a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playfulness helps us be more inventive, smart, happy, flexible, and resilient. A sure (and fun) way to develop your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and mental health is to play with your romantic partner, officemates, children, grandchildren, and friends.”

Furthermore, according to helpguide.org, “play is often described as a time when we feel most alive, yet we often take it for granted and may completely forget about it. But play isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. Play is as important to our physical and mental health as getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. Play teaches us how to manage and transform our “negative” emotions and experiences. It supercharges learning, helps us relieve stress, and connects us to others and the world around us. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.

Despite the power of play, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us stop playing. We exchange play for work and responsibilities. When we do have some leisure time, we’re more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than to engage in creative, brain-stimulating play. By giving ourselves permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, we can continue to reap its benefits throughout life.”

I disagree with the helpguide.org article on one point. I believe that computer play should be included in positive play as there are many online games where you do interact with others socially, play as part of a team/group and that make you think.  I also think that crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, etc. that are found online help keep the mind active. As many of you know, I have been playing online role playing games such as Asheron’s Call, Dark Ages of Camelot and currently World of Warcraft for about 20 years now.  I have run an online guild called MRA (Mystical Realm of Asgard for most of that time.  We have had real life gatherings to meet our guild mates and go in costume to the local Renaissance Faires.  We role play a family and do help one another out online and in real life. So, you see, you can get some good benefits of playing on the computer too!

Plato (Greek philosopher 427-347 BC) says, “Life must be lived as play.”  I learned this lesson too late in life, unfortunately, although I always liked to play, I never applied it to life.  I wonder if I had applied it if I would have been more successful in my life.  But, I did learn it in time to apply it to teaching senior citizens how to use their new computers.  I told them to just think of the computer as a big, expensive toy and to remember they were in charge, not the computer.  I truly believe that this approach helped many computer phobic seniors learn and enjoy their computers.  I also tried to let them know that there were many fun aspects to computing such as games and computer generated crafts.

Brian Sutton-Smith (Contemporary American folklorist) believes, “the opposite of play is not work. It’s depression.”  I totally agree!!!

Ok, for today’s post I am giving you two recipes for fun food.  These goodies do not have to be made for a child.  Make them for yourself or for you and your significant other, or a friend.  Make them just for a laugh!  And yes, this can be a type of playing too!

Super Epic Rainbow Cake

Super Epic Rainbow Cake

Photo:  Whisk Kid

Recipe for this cake can be found at Whisk Kid.com

 

PLAY DOUGH COOKIES

By: Terri

“Swirls of color, similar looking to Play Doh.”

Original Recipe Yield 2 dozen

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 ounces cream cheese

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Assorted colors of paste food coloring

24 lollipop sticks

Directions

In a bowl cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir till soft dough forms. Divide dough into fourths. Tint each with a different food color. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hoursP Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Working with half of each color, shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and for each cookie place 1 pink, 1 green, 1 blue and 1 orange ball together to make 1 large ball. Shape into a 12 inch long roll (like a snake), starting at one end, coil roll to make a 2 3/4 inch round cookie. Place cookies 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into bottoms of cookies. Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information Play Dough Cookies

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving Calories: 302 Total Fat: 14.7g Cholesterol: 56mg

Sodium: 198mg Total Carbs: 38.9g Dietary Fiber: 0.8g Protein: 4.1g

I have not tried this recipe yet, but it is on my list of to-dos!  I found it at AllRecipes.com.

NOTE:  Tonight or tomorrow, in a separate post, I will post links for my favorite fun sites.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 17,186 hits
  • September 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Dec    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • Pages

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...