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Archive for the 'Halloween' Category

EIGHT DAYS Till Halloween…

Staff PhotojournalistIs the table or front porch looking a little bleak? Does it need a Halloween pick-me-up? I’ve always been BIG in the decorate-for-Christmas department. Not so much for Halloween. Considering I’m throwing a Halloween party this year, I decided it was time to bust out the orange and black. But of course, with the economy being tight, I needed to do it on a budget.

That brought me to the discount stores. With just a few bucks and lots of imagination, it’s possible to whip out a porch or table centerpiece in just about an hour. I wanted one that would work both indoors and out. Even better, the pumpkin tree uses indoor and outdoor elements, cost less than $20 to make, lights up with battery-operated votive candles and was simple enough that my 11-year-old stepdaughter could help put it together. (One note: Branches are fragile, a lesson I learned the hard way when I accidentally tipped the centerpiece over and snapped one side of it. The good news, however — branches are free, so it was easy to fix.) Want to make a pumpkin tree of your own, just follow these instructions (and for more affordable Halloween decoration ideas, check out the Home & Garden section Saturday):
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Posted on Friday, October 24th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

ON the 9th Day of Halloween

Sludge Fudge and Eerie Eyeballs (Mark DuFrene, Contra Costa Times)Forget the nine ladies dancing and the partridge atop a pear tree. On the ninth day of Halloween, my true spook gave to me … SLUDGE FUDGE. Oozing peanut butter and marshmallow creme, with a crinkled toffee surface, this one’s a Halloween party winner. The recipe’s adapted from Kraft’s classic Fantasy Fudge, but it gets its sludgy appearance from added ingredients and less-than-thorough mixing.

Mix 3 cups sugar, ¾ cup butter and 1 small can evaporated milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring it to a full boil and let it boil at medium heat for a good five minutes, stirring all the while.
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Posted on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
Under: Cuisine, Halloween | No Comments »

ON the 10th Day Before Halloween…

Candy Bucket Trick-or-treating is big fun, but for those of us on door duty – or kids who prefer something a bit more interesting than a pillowcase treat bag – Martha Stewart has some fun candy bucket options and other Halloween crafts on her web site. Among them, this tin paint bucket, decoupaged with candy wrappers. We used Mod Podge, a matte medium/gluey substance to slather goo all over the metal bucket, smoothed on wrappers and coated the outside with more podge. The gluing was fast and easy. It was the candy unwrapping that took forever! Martha must have assigned an assistant to unwrap all her old-fashioned candy and trim the wrappers to perfection. If you’re doing this project with a young child, you may want to prep the wrappers ahead of time.

Posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

11 DAYS Till Halloween…

Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin BreadOur kitchen has turned into pumpkin central as we pack care packages for our college kids and keep the rest of the family happy too. Among our faves, the Hogwarts-inspired pumpkin pasties Britta Peterson invented for her Harry Potter party last year, pumpkin bread of any sort, and most especially … pumpkin bread laced with chocolate chips. If you’ve already got a favorite pumpkin bread recipe, use that and stir in half a cup of semisweet chocolate chips. Or try this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Bread.

Posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Under: Cuisine, Halloween | No Comments »

ON the 12th Day of Halloween…

Hand soap
Hand soap anyone? This one was also inspired by “A Ghostly Good Time: The Family Halloween Handbook,” our new fave from Women’s Day Magazine publications, but we tried it with eyeballs, spiders and other embellishments too. Still, who can resist hand soap that contains… a hand?
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Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

13 DAYS of Halloween

Frankenstein Fingers The countdown to that trickiest, treatiest holiday – Halloween – has begun and we’re definitely getting in the mood. For the next 13 days, we’ll be bringing you tricks, treats, crafts and recipes, starting with these ghoulish little snacks. Care for a Frankenstein finger? Or a mummy digit? These are from one of our favorite new books, “A Ghostly Good Time: The Family Halloween Handbook” from Women’s Day Magazine publications. The book – and these hilarious little “fingers” made from candy-coated pretzels – is featured in the Times and Trib’s food sections on Oct. 29, but we’re giving you a sneak peek now. And believe us when we say, these fingers are just one of about 50 recipes and ideas we fell in love with in the book. The book is fab – super creative, super easy and everything comes out looking exactly like it does in the book, which is no small feat. Have we mentioned how much we hate, abhor and loathe cookbooks whose results bear no resemblance to what the pictures promise? So let’s segue direct to the Frankie fingers…
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Posted on Sunday, October 19th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Cuisine, Halloween | No Comments »

Post-Halloween Sugar Buzz

Post-Halloween sugar buzzKids feeling a tad sluggish today? Nutrition expert Connie Bennett, author of “Sugar Shock!,” has some suggestions for post-Halloween sugar daze, er, days. “Give your children ample protein, as well as quality carbs and fats,” she says, “especially for breakfast and in the three days that follow. Make sure they drink extra water to help flush out the sugar.”

And seriously consider reducing your household candy supply in these post-Halloween days by rationing sweets or swapping a non-sugary treat for that loaded pillowcase. Antioch mom Trine Gallegos has her daughter make a “donation” to the “Halloween witch,” a magical creature who leaves a gift in exchange. What do you do with your leftover candy?
Jackie Burrell

Posted on Thursday, November 1st, 2007
Under: Halloween, Health & Safety | No Comments »