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The Ghoulish Green Haze

October 29th, 2015

greenhaze

A great blast from the past!  We featured this drink in St. Louis Entertains Magazine a few years back and it has always been a Halloween favorite! This drink is delicious and a perfect addition to any Halloween bar menu or even as a signature drink!

Ingredients

  • 1 shot Gin
  • 1 shot Creme de Menthe
  • Splash Pineapple Juice
  • Splash Ginger Ale

Preparation

Pour the two shots into a martini shaker with ice and shake well. Pour into martini glass and top with pineapple juice and Ginger Ale

Artichoke and Prosciutto Salad

October 29th, 2015

prosciutto-01

Delicious and unique! This salad is a great treat for brunch, lunch, or dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 can/jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • 4 small tomatoes (yellow, red, or both)
  • 2 oz Prosciutto
  • 1 large handful of basil leaves
  • 1-2 cups Mixed greens
  • Dressing
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/2 tsp mild mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Thoroughly drain and cut the artichoke hearts into quarters and place in a serving bowl. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and cut prosciutto into thin strips. Place a bed of greens in a bowl and add the tomatoes, artichokes and prosciutto. Keeping a few basil springs whole for garnishing, tear the remainder of the leaves into small pieces and add to the bowl containing the other salad ingredients.To make dressing, place all the ingredients in a screw top jar and shake vigorously until they are well blended. Pour over salad, garnish with basil and enjoy with crusty bread!

prosciutto-02

SUPER EASY SUGAR COOKIES

October 26th, 2015

cookies

The month of October was a busy one for me!  While doing research for my upcoming book, I decided to try-out some fun Halloween recipes I found on Pinterest, magazines, books, and various other sources.  The goal was for me to see if some of the most popular recipes were as good as their inventors claimed they were.  So, over the past four weeks, I’ve had four taste test kitchens and invited children who’s ages range from 8 to 13.

The main goal was to have these kids try some fun recipes and tell me what they REALLY thought.  And that is exactly what I got!

I had various kinds of feedback… too sweet, too salty, not enough sugar, too dry… but predominantly they were all thumbs up.  The sugared cookies, pictured above were by far, the most popular items.  Super easy and a few ingredients, who could ask for anything more?

INGREDIENTS

1 package of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
1/4 cup of flour
1 Package Betty Crocker Cookie Icing – Black
Candied Googly Eyes available at most craft stores in the baking section

PREPARATION

Remove the Pillsbury dough from package and put in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of flour and knead with your hands until the dough forms. Flour your cutting board and place the dough on top. Flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch. Remember to keep flouring your rolling pin a little bit with every roll. This dough tends to be sticky.

Get your bat cookie cutters and cut out your cookies. Repeat the step to roll out the dough with any leftovers.

Place the bat cookies in the oven and cook according to dough package direction.  Keep an eye on them, the thinner the dough, the faster they tend to burn.

Once cookies are done, let them cool and harden.

Once the cookies are cooled, begin decorating them. Just snip off the tip above the second ring, massage the bag a little bit and make your outline. Then, flood the bat and add the googly eyes. Let dry 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

Smoked Chicken and Cranberry Arugula Salad

October 26th, 2015
salad-smokedchickencranberry
This salad is perfect for anytime. It is bursting with flavor and a treat for anyone who likes a salad bidding to be a meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium smoked chicken (available at any grocery store)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 bag arugula
  • To Make Dressing
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh mixed herbs (a mixture of fresh herbs such as parsley, lemon thyme, mint, etc.)
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation

Divide and carve the chicken cutting to make bite sized pieces for the salad. Cover the divided and cut chicken and store in refrigerator.Put the cranberries in a bowl of water and let stand, covered, for 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, blanche the frozen peas and refresh them under cold water.

Slice or cube the avocados and squeeze lemon juice on them to prevent discoloration.

Combine the lettuce and arugula and toss with avocados and peas. Add the chicken.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and shake well. Add salt and pepper to taste and shake well again until all the ingredients are well blended and taste the way you want.

Drain the cranberries and mix them with the dressing, then pour over salad and serve immediately.

PUMPKIN PATCH HUMMUS DIP

October 24th, 2015

pumpkinpatchhummusdip

Seriously, how can you not fall in love with this great idea for an appetizer? It’s easy to put together and fun for guests to nibble on. All you need are carrots, parsley, green onion, toothpicks, and hummus.

A few years ago I posted this recipe (on the bottom left) but then realized that you can use pre-cut and bagged carrots (main image) instead of cutting them yourself.  Best part? The pre-cut and bagged carrots have ridges and are different shapes, a lot like pumpkins. Still yummy but now you can save a step and not have cut the carrots!!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Hummus
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • toothpicks

Preparation

Just slice the carrots, take some parsley leaves and attach them to the carrot with a toothpick. Slide a piece of green onion over the toothpick to have a look of a stem and arrange on a bed of hummus. Told ya it was simple! Thanks to the folks at Disney magazine for inspiring me with this recipe.

HALLOWEEN BLOODSHOT EYES!

October 22nd, 2015

bloodshoteyes

Here’s a fun Halloween recipe which will take you five to ten minutes to prepare!  This was fun to make and fun to eat!  My kids loved it and the kids at my Halloween Taste Test Kitchen gobbled these little cuties up within minutes.  What do I like most about it.  Portion size!  Since you are working with snack-sized chocolates, you immediately have your portion sizes figured out for you!  Trust me, you’ll love that!!

INGREDIENTS

1 bag of Snack sized Three Musketeers chocolates
1 bag of marshmallows
1 package of candy googly eyes
1 bottle or bag of ready-made red icing

PREPARATION

Arrange the Three Musketeers chocolates on a plate or platter.  Take a marshmallow and start slicing it to create the large portion of the eye.  Take the slices of marshmallows and adhere them to the candy.  Adhere the googly eye to the marshmallow.  Finally, pipe the red icing on to the marshmallow to make it look like a bloodshot eye. The first and the lasts slices of the Marshmallow will not be sticky on one side. If you will be using these pieces, adhere them with the red icing.

HALLOWEEN VEGGIE PLATE

October 20th, 2015

halloweenveggieplate

Who says you can’t eat healthy during Halloween?  This super easy veggie platter was a hit at my taste test kitchen.  Kids loved the selection of veggies and you can even customize the platter to incorporate the vegetables your kids prefer… sugar snap peas instead of broccoli, white asparagus instead of cauliflower, I can go on and on!

HALLOWEEN SNAKE NEST CUPCAKES

October 19th, 2015

snakeeggcupcakes

These “snake nest” cupcakes were a hit at my recent Halloween taste test kitchen.  Moms loved the recipe because you can prepare the cupcakes  in a matter of minutes!

All you need are ready-made iced cupcakes, yogurt covered raisins, and gummy worms.  Place two or three yogurt covered raisins (“eggs”) on top of each iced cupcake and place a gummy worm (“snake”) around the eggs.  Place a small printed sign saying “BEWARE: Snake Nest Cupcakes” and watch them disappear!

Goblin Mimosas

October 18th, 2015

goblinmimosas

If you want a smiles from your guests this Halloween, make sure to surprise them with these adorable yet spooky Googly Goblin Cocktails at your next party!.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 shot Black Vodka
  • Black Olives
  • Cream Cheese

Preparation

Pour orange juice into a glass about half way. Pour black vodka carefully over the orange juice. A great tip is to pour the vodka over the back of a spoon so the vodka runs down the side of the glass. For “eyes” use pitted black olives stuffed with cream cheese. Cut up one olive into tiny little pieces, and use those pieces for eyeballs. Pierce the eyes over wooden toothpicks and place on the rim of the glass…. enjoy!

HALLOWEEN SPOOKY BATS

October 7th, 2015

Spookybats

Super easy and super fun!  These Halloween Spooky Bats can be created in minutes and kids LOVE them.  Just a few ingredients will bring a huge impact!! They are a perfect addition to your next Halloween dessert buffet.  All you need are some Oreo’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Googly eyes.  I have also seen this idea with small Reese’s Peanut Butter cups as well.  You can add both sizes to your presentation to make it look like there are large and small bats.

1 package of Oreo Cookies (I used the reduced fat ones)
1 package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 package of Googley Candy Eyes (you can purchase these at Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s in the baking section)
Cake icing or melted chocolate

Simply unwrap the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and place on tray or plate.  Take out an Oreo cookie and cut it in half.  Some of the cookies may not cut in half perfectly, so be ready for some scraps you can snack on! Take the half of Oreo cookie apart and add a bit of cake icing or melted chocolate so the “wings” so that they can adhere well. Then, place the two halves on top of the Reese’s.  The straight side should face the bottom.

Place a bit of cake icing or melted chocolate on the back of the Googley eyes and place on the wings, so that half the eye is on top of the wing and the other half is resting on the Reese’s.   Let dry for a few minutes and enjoy!