We usually roll our eyes over press releases with healthy Halloween suggestions – handing out raisins doesn’t exactly encourage neighborhood jollity, after all. But these tips from the “Got Milk?” folks are actually kinda useful. And the notion that a jack-o’lantern bucket of candy holds 9,000 calories is downright terrifying. So here you go:
We all know the part about serving a healthy pre-trick-or-treat dinner, but the milk people suggest families add a few extra laps to the neighborhood trick-or-treat trek too, not so you can hit more houses but so there’s at least a little extra exercise involved in the activity. Back home, serve up some hot cocoa, chocolate milk or other somewhat healthy, fill-up-the-belly beverage, before the candy consumption begins. Then set limits on how much candy they can consume, help them pick out the pieces they want, and get rid of the rest.
Halloween is just around the corner, and the hunt is on for the perfect costume. We hear Lady Gaga costumes are flying out the door – for grown-ups, we hope, not tots. In the kid costume arena, the top sellers, we’re told, are Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Hannah Montana, the ever-popular vampire, Iron Man, Jack Sparrow and anyone Jedi-related. Really?
Eye see you! This great little Halloween craft from Family Fun magazine uses nothing more than ping-pong balls, sharpie pens and battery-powered tea lights to create a little spooky magic. Click over here for the how-tos.
Meringue ghosts? Check. Jack o’lanterns? Check. Chocolate spiders? Oh wait, here they come – straight from the pages of Sharon Bowers’ fun new cookbook, “Ghoulish Goodies.”
CHOCOLATE SPIDER CLUSTERS
Makes about 24 Ingredients:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chow mein noodles
¼ cup red hots or red mini M&Ms
1. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper or parchment. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven on high power 60 seconds; stir well. If not quite smooth, continue to heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst.
2. Stir chow mein noodles into melted chocolate and drop mixture by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Press 2 red candies onto one edge of each cluster to make eyes and lift a few chow mein legs up to give a spidery impression. Refrigerate about 20 minutes to cool and harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. — Sharon Bowers, “Ghoulish Goodies”
We’ve been giggling madly over Sharon Bowers’ clever new cookbook, “Ghoulish Goodies” (Storey Publishing, $14.95), and its scary-fun recipes for peanut butter monsters, Cheddar eyeballs and pretzel rod toes. We’ll share her darling recipe for chocolate spiders tomorrow, but first, here’s a handful of Bowers’ quickie party ideas, in case you still need inspiration for those classroom parties tomorrow:
Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats: Make your usual krispie treats, but after you melt the marshmallows with butter, remove a small portion and tint it green. Tint the rest orange, then add Rice Krispies separately to orange and green mixtures. (Don’t try to tint after adding the cereal as the mixtures won’t dye properly, cautions Bowers.) With buttered hands, mold orange pumpkins and add green stems.
Screaming Red Punch: Rinse a new surgical rubber glove thoroughly. Fill it with cold water and tie the wrist with a twist tie. Freeze solid. In a large punch bowl, mix up a batch of red punch. Just before serving, cut off the glove with scissors and drop in the frozen hand. Read the rest of this entry »
Out of all the tempting things in Julia Usher’s yummy new book, “Cookie Swap,” these meringue ghosts may be the most adorable — and the easiest. They’re filled with date nut balls but you can skip that step (actually steps #2 and 3) entirely and just pipe the meringue directly onto a baking sheet
Five ideas for weekend family fun: Dia de los Muertos: Once the trick-or-treating’s done, head over to the city for a dash of Mexican music and culture at the San Francisco Symphony’s Dia de los Muertos Family Concert on Sunday. The matinee includes family activities, colorful displays, refreshments and, of course, music. Lobby festivities begin at 1 p.m., concert downbeat is at 2 p.m. $15-$65, children younger than 17 get in for half price. Read the rest of this entry »