Oct 28, 2015
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I know I say this every Halloween post, but I LOVE HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!!

 

I was back in “lifestyle expert” mode yesterday and shared some really fun and creepy Halloween ideas on Twin Cities Live, just in time for you to add some of my suggestions to your big Halloween rager this weekend.  Or, use these recipes as your pre-Trick or Treating meal, to fuel your begging-for-candy-from-the-neighbors adventure.

 

On the menu was the aforementioned Rats on a Stick, 3D Skull Cakes with buttercream glaze, Alien Punch with gummy eyeballs, and for the drinking crowd, my Spook 75, a twist on the French 75 with gin and creme de violette.  YUM.  Try one or make them all.  (Fun fact: my youngest would not even try the Rats on a Stick.  He thought they were made of rats since they really looked like rats.  Mom win!)

 

I put a lot of time into developing the recipes and making sure they were delicious, but also easy to whip up.  No fancy skills needed, just a love for creepy Halloween food.  If you watch the video, I also spent many hours crafting up spooky, evil decor.  Mini pumpkins painted with black metallic paint.  A foam Medusa head complete with 20 rubber snakes as hair.  Copper painted bugs sprinkled everywhere.  I found awesome black and white striped pillar candles and paired that with matching napkins, and polka dot plates.  And don’t get me started on the 5 varieties of Halloween paper straws I snagged.  Most of the finds were inexpensive, from the Dollar Store, or the bargain bin areas at Target and Michaels.  I found the Wilton skull cake pan in-store at JoAnn, had a coupon so I got it for 50% off.  Booya!

 

Here are the recipes I shared:

Rats on a Stick
(makes 8 “rats”)

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef

3 tbs minced garlic

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

1 tbs parsley

1 tbs basil

4 tbs grated parmesan reggiano cheese

3 slices of bread, torn into very small pieces

1 egg

Optional:
12 inch skewers
BBQ sauce
spaghetti sauce
peppercorns
dried rosemary
sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients in large bowl well.  The best way to combine is with clean, dry hands.  Make sure everything is fully incorporated.  Once the ingredients are mixed, divide the meat into 8 equal balls.  Roll the balls into ovals and start to pinch out a head/neck.  Try to keep the “body” in a more oval shape.  Bring the “head” to a point for the nose.  Lay out the 8 “rats” in a 13×9 inch pan, making sure they don’t touch each other.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  After the 15 minutes are up, you can add BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce with a brush.  Bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Add 12 inch skewer for the “tail”.  Use peppercorns for eyes & nose.  Use dried rosemary for whiskers.  Use sliced almonds for ears.  (Make sure that if you want to decorate the rats, do it before cooking.  Once they are cooked, they are not soft enough to add the eyes, nose and ears.)  Serve alone or with a side of spaghetti.

Skull Cakes

(makes 4 completed skull cakes)

Wilton 3D skull pan

any boxed cake batter (follow box directions)

non-stick spray

Buttercream Glaze

1 tbs butter, room temperature

1 tbs cream cheese, room temperature

1 tbs vanilla extract

3 tbs milk

1 cup powdered sugar

Bake skulls according to directions that came with the pan (about 30 minutes at 325 degrees).  Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.  Cool completely.  Cut domes off of back of cakes and piece together using frosting.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and milk on low speed for 1 minute in a large bowl.  Add powdered sugar to bowl, starting the mixer on low then, moving up to high once the sugar has combined.  Glaze should be thin.  If it’s too thick, add a few drops of milk.  If it’s too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar.  Add glaze to a zipper sandwich baggie, cut off 1 corner and use baggie as frosting bag.  Glaze skulls.

Spook 75

(makes 2 cocktails)

2 oz gin
1.5 oz creme de violette
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
champagne/sparkling wine
black sugar, for rim
ice

Rim 2 glasses with black sugar.  Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add gin, creme de violette, and lemon juice to shaker.  Shake and strain in 2 glasses.  Top off glasses with champagne/sparkling wine.

Alien Punch
Lime Sherbet
Grapefruit soda/similar to Squirt
Optional: gummy eyeballs
For single glasses, add a few scoops of lime sherbet to a glass and fill with soda.  For a large group, add 12-15 scoops of lime sherbet to a punch bowl and fill with soda.  Add gummy eyeballs to glasses or punch bowl to make your punch a little spookier!  I found these in the holiday baking section, they were marketed as a cupcake decoration.

Oct 26, 2015
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You know how I made a bunch of tasty LaCroix cocktail videos a few months ago?

 

They were short, funny and chock full of delicious cocktail goodness??  Well, LaCroix saw them and recently asked me to come up with a Halloween-themed mocktail for them.

 

Now, now, don’t get scared off by the term “mocktail”.

Not everyone loves the booze as much as you and I.  And my kids ask to try my new creations all of the time and I either have to say no, or make a mocktail-version for them.  (And if you want my secret alcohol recommendation for this little number, I would go with a really good vodka.  Shhhhhhhh.)

 

What really makes this video the best video I have ever created is the gorilla suit.  Cuz it’s Halloween, yo.  I couldn’t do a Halloween video without going for some sort of costume.  And, I may have gotten a little carried away with the fog machine.  But you will have to watch it to see what I am talking about.  On to the Black Magic Mixer video featuring Lemon LaCroix!!!  Kid-friendly!  Yummy!

 

 

 

Black Magic Mixer:

1/2 oz vanilla simple syrup

2 oz pineapple juice

10 blackberries

black sugar (optional)

Lemon LaCroix

 

Add vanilla simple syrup and 10 blackberries to a cocktail shaker.  Muddle the berries until they have released all of their juice.  Add the pineapple juice and fill the shaker with ice.  Shake.  Rim the top of a glass with black sugar.  Strain the shaker into the glass.  Top off glass with 4-6 oz of Lemon LaCroix.  Stir, enjoy and be filled with the spooky spirit of Halloween.

Oct 08, 2015
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My boys are OBSESSED with Halloween, thanks to my diligent guidance and mild obsession as well.  They have been planning Halloween costumes since June and begging me to bring out the spooky decorations as soon as school started.

 

And the drawings, oh, the drawings.  They have taped adorably creepy pictures of zombies, evil pumpkins, and witches all over my walls.  They write “HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!” at the top of every creation.  They are excited, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

The little guy loves all things art, so I made sure we had a special Halloween project that was easy enough for a 4 year old that we could work on together.  At the craft store, I picked up ghost foam shapes, pumpkin foam shapes, googly eyes, glitter glues, bloodshot eyeballs, ribbon, felt sheets, and pompoms.  Once I had collected all of the supplies, that was went I decided on a simple Halloween bunting.  He would do the decorating, I would do the bunting creation.  There was little mess to this project and it kept him interested until all of the foam shapes were decorated, double win for me!!

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I peeled of backings of eyeballs and got the glitter glue flowing and he expertly decorated pumpkins and ghosts, the way 4 year olds do…sweetly and with gusto.  While he was making 3 eyed ghosts, I was decorating my own little collection of ghosties and pumpkins with sparkly polka dots and stripes.

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Once all of the glue had dried, it was hole punchin’ time.  I punched a hole on each side of each foam creation with a standard paper punch.

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Then it was time to cut about 6 inch length of ribbon and get to tying each piece of foam together.  I did it 2 different ways, one way was to just tie knots at the end of each ribbon on the backside of each foam craft.

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The second way I attached the ribbon was I glued loops of ribbon together to make a ribbon “chain”.

FullSizeRender[4]Once everything was chained and knotted, the bunting was done.

 

I hung everything on the wall and surprised my darling boy with the finished project.  He was so jazzed to see his hard work as a fun Halloween craft.  Then he HAD to pose in front of his hard work as Darth Vader, because HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Oct 05, 2015
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It’s that time of year again, where I tell you that I lost.  Again!

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The Regional Emmy’s were this weekend at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America and it was a lovely party.  I met a bunch of new and cool people, wore a cute dress and lost in the Host category (again).  I’m cool with it, because like I have said before, I was up against a bunch of really talented and lovely people who are actual journalists, and getting nominated for the 2nd year in a row proves that I am on the right track and am doing a good job.  (But if I were to have won, I was gonna glue that gold sucker on the hood of my Volvo and have the pimpest hood ornament in town.)

 

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I went to the party with my photographer/friend Nick, who is an Emmy winner x a million.  I think he was part of projects that won 2 or 3 Emmy’s that night.  What a show off.  😉

Fun Fact! Wes Walz, the pro hockey player was at my table (he won an Emmy too).

 

But no worries, my friends.  There are more MIWS videos to be made and next year is totally my year.

 

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