Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Yumminess

by Tawny

I know, I know, Halloween is really more Jeanne's province. But we're
building our haunted mansion this week (cardboard, scrapbook paper, glitter and flocked bats - oh my!) and it got me thinking about the upcoming holiday and all the ensuing fun.

It also got me thinking that, despite my best intentions, every year I'm scrambling the last week to get organized and prepared. We're hitting the grocery store the week before the holiday, grabbing whatever Halloween=ish ingredients we can. I recall one year, I was up until 1am making witch hats for the annual party while trying to get that stupid iced-up rubber glove for the punch bowl to quit leaking in my freezer. It's similar to the pre-Thanksgiving craziness of making individual mini pumpkin place settings, or the pre-Christmas 'have to have a gingerbread house' race on the 23rd. Or the list of wonderful friends I want to send those handmade cards I never get made.

In other words, I'm an overachieving procrastinator. I'm incapable of letting the holiday's go with just a celebratory nod, but never quite get my act together early enough to do justice to all my plans.

But this year!!! Oh yeah, this year I'm gonna rock. I'm even taking a workshop that combines crafting and scrapbooking with organizing. I have lists, I have plans, I have many options for distracting myself on the way to achieving those lists and plans. I've even bought my first Christmas gift (jammies for my girls).

But before I jump forward that far, I have Halloween to attack... I mean, enjoy. In addition to completing our holiday mansion in a timely manner, we're creating a costume. I wear my witches garb every year, and my oldest doesn't dress up any longer (pout) but my youngest is going on safari, complete with a whole host of stuff wild animals :-) And I'm definitely making my very favorite fall treats - caramel apples!

So how about you? Are you holiday organized or joining my procrastinators club? Do you dress up for Halloween yourself? And whats your favorite Halloween treat?

69 comments:

Daz said...

Oh, I love Halloween. It's my favorite time of the year.

barb said...

yours again Daz

Daz said...

Oh wow! I get to spend another day with the GR. Woo hoo!!!

As to holidays, I have to admit that I'm more the sort for a quiet celebration and not for the "go all out huge party" celebrations. I leave that to my parents.

Also, living in Australia, most of the holidays that we would celebrate - Chinese New Year, Thanksgiving, Halloween only tend to get a passing nod. Easter and Christmas are pretty big over here though but I'm not keen on the over-commercialization of Christmas. With Easter, I'm just grateful for a long weekend to rest and relax.

barb said...

Daz GR will forget what the other side of the world looks like soon LOL he has been down under for almost a week now

Like Daz says we don't really celebrate halloween here.... we only do Easter and Christmas ..... They have all the Christmas decorations and trees in the shops already. We have other cultures that celebrate their holidays

Jane said...

I love shopping for Halloween candy and decorations, but I don't usually get around to putting them up until the week before. I only dress up if I'm attending a Halloween party. Right now my favorite treat are the Halloween Oreos with the orange centers.

Tawny said...

Hey there, Daz :-) YAY on the Rooster babysitting again today. What are your wild plans?

Like you, I'm not really into the big parties, although we've done our share. But even when the celebration is mellow and just family, I still love the fun of a decorated holiday house. I have serious Martha Stewart envy.

So if you do a quiet celebration and Halloween isn't a big deal over in Australia, I'm guessing you probably don't dress up *g*? Do you have a favorite costume from childhood, then?

Tawny said...

Nooooooooooooooo.

Say it ain't so, Barb.

Christmas decorations already? Now that's just wrong. I might be looking ahead and making my shopping and decorating lists, but to decorate already? That just feels like the rest of the year would be over in the blink of an eye.

Yikes.

Tawny said...

Hi Jane :-) Ooooh, I've seen those Oreos but haven't ever had any. Do they taste different?

Are you attending a party this year? If so, what are you wearing? If not, do you have a favorite costume you've worn in the past?

Sheree said...

There's a block party Halloween night in my neighborhood so pretty much everyone goes there for trick-or-treating, including kids from other neighborhoods (all those minivans!). This is good for those of us who don't have to get candy or do anything to entertain the children.

Helen said...

Well done Daz he likes it at your place have fun with him

Tawny

I loved those pictures they look like fun to make my grandson Jayden thought they were the best and asked me if I could make some LOL.

We don't really celebrate Halloween here in Australia although I was at the shops today and they have lots of halloween decorations for sale and spooky lollies I am guessing that in a few years time Halloween my be a big event.

I always try so hard to be organized for Christmas that is the biggest holiday that our family celebrates and I must admit that I will next week start buying the mixed fruit to start baking the 7 Christmas Cakes I make each year and then of course I have 5 grandchildren to buy for and 2 of them have birthdays the week before Chrissy so I have a lot to do and I am also helping to organize the next Aust Romance Readers Convention to be held here in Sydney next year I really need more time LOL

Have Fun
Helen

barb said...

Yes Tawny they are in the shops here already as we have no more holidays til Christmas .... and as soon as Christmas is finished it is the New Year sales and they start putting the Easter Eggs in the shops. At least the Santa's haven't arrived yet in the Shopping Centres

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I don't decorate anymore but it used to be a huge event in my house. My mother would plan out how she wanted everything to look then when I got home from work I would put it into action. I had two picture windows in my living room so both of those would be decorated and the porch which had an open front. Halloween was my favorite and Christmas was mother's fav to decorate for.

Dianna Love said...

Congrats Daz for day two with GR!

Tawny - I never decorate for stuff like this probably because I don't have kids. But - I had a client once that I painted huge vinyl sections we hung around a two-story house once to create a haunted mansion look. They had one of those neighborhoods where everyone decorated for the major holidays so people cruised the neighborhood and everyone was a bit competitive. I thought it was a hoot.

I'm so loving your Halloween party food - that bowl with the hand is the best!

Anna Sugden said...

Love the pics in your post, Tawny!

Halloween isn't that big over here either. We do get the odd trick or treaters, but generally people don't decorate.

The fun celebration for us at this time of year is Nov 5th - Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night - where we go to the local bonfire and firework display.

And, of course, with no Thanksgiving, our biggie is Christmas. I do go to town for Christmas and decorate up. Love the lights and things. Each year I try to add to my decorations with something new and different. It takes me most of one day to put everything up and is my fun tradition.

Plus, food at Christmas is a biggie with lots of traditional favourites.

PJ said...

Halloween is a big deal at my house. I decorate and dress in costume to greet the trick-or-treaters. It's a tradition my late dh and I began the first year we were married. My current neighborhood is very popular for Halloween (several of us dress up). We usually get anywhere from 75 to 100 kids. I have teenagers and college students who have been coming to my door for the past 14 years. They still come, not to get candy, but to see what I'm dressed as each year. I love it!

Those Oreos with the orange center make great candy. Break the cookies into pieces, gently stir into melted white chocolate then thinly spread on wax paper lined cookie sheets. Freeze and break into pieces. Voila! Orange and white swirled bark! Very yummy!

Gannon Carr said...

I love Halloween! My house is all decked out---yay! Unfortunately, where we live the houses are far too spread out for trick-or-treating. Several of the towns around here organize activities (trick-or-treating, haunted houses, etc) for the kids---in the park, downtown...wherever it works.

Everywhere else we lived, I dressed up to take my kids trick-or-treating and to hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. Fun times!

Gillian Layne said...

I love the look of that punch!

My mom makes the eyeballs out of doughnut holes with red frosting and brown M&M's. They are simple and gone quickly!

I'm only big on Halloween cause of the kiddos; mostly I love fall, so I decorate for that and it works for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I do love to make jack-o-lantern's, though. They are so fun! And I wondering if I should suck it up and go to a spook house. I'm such a coward, I've never gone--but life is short...

Deb said...

Organized? Bwhahahaha! Nope. I procrastinate big time. Example: Shary is 10 years old and I am 9 years behind in scrapbooking (I don't have a love for it like others do).

I like LOTS of yummy Halloween/autumn treats. My faves are pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting; a mix of candy corn, M&Ms, and peanuts; and Maple Nutty Bars.

Sometimes the teachers will dress up on party day. One year we had a major problem with boxelder bugs, so we all made wings from black oaktag, glued strips of red paper on them, and tied the wings on with red yarn. :)

Christie Kelley said...

I don't do all that much for Halloween. I'm even considering a fake jack-o-lantern this year. I only have one boy who will still go out trick or treating this year and he's pushing it at 13.

But I'm already thinking about trying some new Christmas cookie recipes this year. That's my baking holiday!

Beth said...

LOL, well you already know I'm not organzied at anything ;-) Unfortunately, the holidays are no different. I still haven't put up any fall/Halloween decorations yet but I'm hoping to by the end of the week.

I don't dress up for Halloween but every year I buy candy and keep all the outside lights on for Trick-or-Treaters...and every year no one shows up *g* We live at the end of a dead end street so there's not much traffic and not many kids who live on the road.

As for my favorite treat, that's easy. 100 grand bars! The only time I get to eat them is when one of my kids gets them from trick-or-treating. I could just buy one but that would make it less special ;-)

For a cute, easy treat, I once made 'ghosts' by dipping Nutter Butter cookies in melted white chocolate, added eyes and a round mouth. Yum!

Louisa Cornell said...

Speaking of scary! Daz got him again!

As I live too far out in the boonies for anyone to see them I don't generally decorate for Halloween anymore. My brother and his wife, however, are legends in their community. They decorate their 100 year old farmhouse and their yard and wait on the porch in full costume to scare the kids.

I do decorate for Christmas as I have collected Christmas ornaments on my travels and I love to see them and remember where I got them at Christmastime. The dogs are always intrigued by the Christmas lights.

However, our tradition is not to decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving Day and it all comes down after Epiphany.

flchen1 said...

SO not organized, Tawny! Oy! Is it that time of year already??? Favorite treat? Spiced cider :)

Janga said...

We do decorate for Halloween with ghostly presences in the yard and in the rocking chairs on the porch, but the big deal is the costumes for the grands. The oldest is going to be Cleopatra this year, a sign she's growing up I guess. I miss the days when she was a princess--but one with superpowers so she could keep up with her boy cousins, all superheroes. :)

Anna Sugden said...

Hey Deb - you're one of our outstanding winners from Eloisa's visit. Can you email me at anna@annasugden.com, so I can get your snail mail details to Eloisa?

Donna MacMeans said...

Tawny - Oh, I do love Halloween and am noticing that more people are decorating the outsides of their houses these days. I've already seen Halloween lights up (orange lights wrapped around bushes and outlining roof lines). I still decorate inside - but not as much as I used to. My kids are adults now and more content with handing out candy then trick-or-treating themselves. I have a special sweater vest I always wear on Halloween. It's black but has big flowing ghosts on it created by sequins that glow in the dark. I charge it up during the day, dress in black so it just looks like ghosts handing out candy.

Favorite Halloween treat? Well I always buy "the good stuff" candy so I can scarf up the leftovers (assuming the bags of candy make it to Halloween). I love iced pumpkin cookies this time of year...or any cookie decorated to look "seasonal."

MsHellion said...

I love Halloween. I'm working on my costume. I want to be Robin Hood this year...mostly I like to dress up with things that come with good weapons. Most of the time I'm things that require SWORDS, but I'd like to branch out into the bow and arrow warfare.

Favorite treat? I love me some caramel apples. *LOL* But I also have a real fondness of anything with chocolate and peanut butter...

Since Harry Potter's new movie is coming out in a month, I would like to make some Harry Potter themed foods. I know he likes Treacle Tart and I've never made that. I'd like to try to.

Donna MacMeans said...

Thought I'd mention I dropped into a store yesterday that was playing Christmas carols - bet those store clerks will be stir crazy in a few weeks. All the stores have their Christmas stock out, but also lots for Halloween...and a little for Thanksgiving. That's not a big decorating holiday apparently.

Deb said...

@Anna S.--I am so sorry---I totally missed seeing that I had won. Thank you! I sent you my info.

Pat Cochran said...

Bare minimum on decorating, cos-
tuming this year! We had less than
a dozen trick or treaters visiting
last year. We're an aging area
with fewer children and it just
doesn't seem worth all the effort.
Makes me sadder & sadder!

Pat Cochran

Lee A. Lopez said...

I'm pretty organized with the holidays. I have to be with 9 grandkids, and large extended family.
Halloween though by far is my favorite. It's just so much more fun, less stress, and no gift exchange....

Anna Sugden said...

No need to apologise, Deb - just didn't want you to miss out!

Nancy said...

Daz, congrats on the bird!

Tawny, you're so organized. Me, I instruct the dh to pick up chocolate at the store on December 30, we dump it in a big mixing bowl, and set the mixing bowl by the door. That's it.

When the boy was little, he got into decorating the porch, and we went trick-or-treating. Now, though, his interest has waned, and neither of his parents had much anyway.

People like you and Jeanne add a lot to the holiday.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Okay, I adore those little bite size candybars...Butterfingers being the worst, but thank god candycorns are ONLY once a year. One bag, that's it...or I'd make myself sick!

Then there's always a candy apple!

Speaking of apples, made an apple pie on Monday. Realized last night I had 10 more apples in the bin, some going bad, so made homemade applesauce last night! Yummo!

Tawny said...

Sheree, before we moved, we did a block party as well. Not on Halloween, but a few days before because the pumpkin carving contest was always a big part of the fun. I think group trick or treating is always a much better time than going single file, too.

Tawny said...

Hi Helen :-D

Aren't they fun pictures? They are pretty easy to make, too. I'm having to force myself to wait on the caramel apples since I don't need to eat an entire batch early then make them again for the kids we know LOL.

That's so interesting that Halloween is making its way around the world. Sadly, the commercialism of it is probably driving the movement, too :-(

Christmas is our fave all-out celebration, too. I love to drag it out for at least a month. I love hearing about your cakes, too - they sound so deliciously decadent :-)

catslady said...

We started a pumpkin carving get together when my kids were small. They are grown now and one is married but we still continue - even my 88 yr. old mom participates. I can taste those roasted seeds now lol.

Tawny said...

Ack, Barb. No, not Santa yet! I'm so not ready to see him.

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Tawny! I'm so glad you posted about Halloween. I was just at Jo Ann Fabrics today picking up brooms & sparkly pitchforks (of course) and saw these chocolate molds for witch finger pretzel sticks. There were disgusting, knobby fingers with nails & warts & everything. Completely gross.

And my heart yearned for them.

I did not buy them but oh how I wanted to.

Enjoy your halloween! Hope it's everything your organized, ambitious soul could want!

PJ said...

Susan said; I was just at Jo Ann Fabrics today picking up brooms & sparkly pitchforks

Sure wish we had a JoAnn's around here. I long for any kind of fabric shop. Unfortunately, the closest one to me is about 60 miles away. Even the local K-Mart and Wal-Mart did away with their fabric departments! :(

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Daz, AGAIN!!! You must have shown him a good time yesterday. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! ;-) Wow, and Barb was coming up on your heels fast too!

Tawny, good luck with all the organization. By the way, I loved the pics!

Actually it's not a terrifically pressured time here (unless you're hyper organized and getting ready for Christmas already - oy, don't even want to think about it yet!). We don't really celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving is an American holiday. The big get-together for families here is Christmas. Generally people take the week off between Christmas and New Year and do the family thing. That's when we eat turkey too!

Tawny said...

Dianna -- WOW on the painted vinyl haunted house - that sounds so spooky fun. You are SO talented!!

We have a few houses that do the all-out decorating. I can usually get hubby on board for Christmas decorating, but rarely for Halloween. If I'm lucky, he'll plug in the giant zombie crystal ball with flying bats to put on the front lawn. All of our fun tends to be indoors.

Tawny said...

Dianna (hardwkd mom :-)) that's so cool that you decorate for your mom. I love decorated porches, even if nothing else is fancied up. Fall colors are just gorgeous, too.

But that said, decorating for Christmas does tend to be a much bigger deal, doesn't it?

Tawny said...

Anna, do you miss Halloween now that you're home again?

I'm with you on the love of adding new Christmas pretties each year. I try to create a new something - wreath or photo collage or decoration- each year to celebrate and get me in the holiday mood.

I would so love to attend a bonfire event.I'll bet they are gorgeous and so empowering.

Tawny said...

Oh wow, PJ. What a fabulous tradition. I want to trick or treat at your house!!! What are you going as this year?

And that bark sounds yummy :-) Thats the kind of thing my youngest daughter would have so much fun making. I might run to the store and stock up on supplies so she can do that and take some as holiday gifts to her friends and teachers :-D

Tawny said...

Gannon, I bow with envy to your early decorating skills :-) We're still in the talking/nagging stages (can you please get the decorations down? yeah, I'll do it tomorrow? You said that yesterday, if you don't do it, I'll do it myself. No, you'll drop something on my car, I'll get them. When? Tomorrow? sigh)

I love it when towns do fun events like promoting Halloween and provide a lot of things for the kids to do. Community fun is just as important as that plastic pumpkin filled with sweet treats *g*

I'm usually the one who stays home to hand out candy while the hubster takes TorT duty.

Tawny said...

Gillian, thanks - isn't the punch fun :-D It is a great accompaniment to goodies like eyeballs (peeled grapes and brains (boiled cauliflower) and guts (spaghetti anyone?)

GREAT eyeball recipe. I never thought of donut holes. I wonder if you get the ones that are covered in powdered sugar if that'd save on the step of frosting them?

Like you, I adore the fall colors and think that's one of the prettiest seasons to decorate for. My plan is similar -to do a fall wreath and mums, with lots of pumpkins, then just add in the holiday goodies here and there :-)

And YES!!! You should do a haunted house. As long as someone is there to hold your hand, though. I can only do it with handholding LOL

Tawny said...

LOL Deb, I have to admit, I love scrapbooking but I still have hundreds of pix of my kids as babies that aren't scrapped yet. Its just so hard to get to them, isn't it?

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese. Ooooooh man that sounds so delish!! Care to share a recipe? :-) I'm a fan of anything pumpkin.

LOL on the bug costumes *g* I'll bet that was cute.

Tawny said...

I adore making Christmas cookies, Christie. Its so fun and yummy.

A fake jack-o-lantern is okay, too :-) I have a few that I use early in the season, but I do have to add the real ones closer to the end of the month, too. I just love the scent of candle-lit pumpkins!!

Tawny said...

Beth, you are organized :-) Just really busy *g*

But I have to ask. If you buy candy but don't get trick or treaters, do you eat the candy you don't give out?

and OMG so cute!! I love the ghosts :-) I wanna make some this year!!

Tawny said...

Louisa, your brother's neighborhood sounds like one we used to visit. I'm always in awe of people who go all out with the decorations and creating such fabulous scary/fun worlds.

Like you, we hold off our Christmas decorating until the weekend after Thanksgiving. I'll bet your tree is gorgeous with all of the collected decorations - you'll have to share a picture of it!

Tawny said...

Fedora, it IS that time. Of course, it's also still hot out (unlike the entire summer, what is UP with that?) so it's hard to believe.

Yummmmy on the spiced cider. Such a good treat!

jo robertson said...

Great topic, Tawny Depp. It's really that time of year, isn't it? Although you wouldn't know it because of the 90 degree weather we're having today in northern California.

Are the temp gods crazy or what?

We don't celebrate Halloween so much any more, but we love to watch our grandkids go trick or treating. They're so darling in their costumes.

jo robertson said...

Wow, Daz, you must be doing something magical to get the rooster again. Maybe you'll get to take his trick or treating this year LOL.

Tawny said...

Awww, Janga :-) What a darling costume. I'll bet she'll be a wonderful Cleopatra. And hey, maybe she'll still have superpowers?

Tawny said...

The ghost of Donna :-) I'll bet your vest is really cute!

There really are more and more decorations out, aren't there. Commercialism is everywhere. I've seen those really cool lights that are like nets that are strung over bushes that give such a fun effect.

Pumpkin cookies, huh? Now I want to add that to my yum list. Maybe some cream cheese icing? Oh, man, I'm getting hungry!

Tawny said...

Ms Hellion, I want to spend Halloween with you!! What fabulous ideas. I don't know which was cooler -the Harry Potter themed food or the bow and arrow to go with your Robin Hood costume.

Tawny said...

Oh man. While I have to say that I'm trying to get focused on the holidays and prepared--especially with the projects I plan to make and need time to get done-- I hate the idea of Christmas music already. Its like this big wagging finger reminding me how NOT ready I am.

Tawny said...

Awww, Pat. I'd be sad too :-( I love the zest and energy of seeing the young trick or treaters.

Tawny said...

Lee, hi :-) Its so cool to see you here.

I hadn't thought about the non-gift part of Halloween, but you are SO right. Thats just one more awesome benefit to it all - and one more thing to NOT stress over :-)

Tawny said...

Nancy, don't the first few trick or treaters take the entire bowlful of candy? We tried that one year so we could all go out together and once we'd visited the houses in our court, I ran in to get a flashlight for the rest of the journey and all the candy was gone.

Tawny said...

OOOOhhhhh, Suz :-) Homemade apple pie sounds so delish -and so autumn wonderful! So does the applesauce :-)

Tawny said...

catslady, a pumpkin carving get-together sounds so fun. Especially one that brings the entire family together :-)

Tawny said...

Susan said: Hope it's everything your organized, ambitious soul could want! LOL -thank you, Susan :-D I hope the same for everyone here!

LOL on the witch finger molds. I'll bet you could make those without molds - just use melting chocolate and big pretzel sticks.

Tawny said...

Hi Anna :-D I'm sure as I get into the hyper-organized over-ambitious segment of the season, I'll be envying your mellow non-holidays big time. I think taking the entire week of Christmas off sounds so wonderful, though. I wish more people could do that and really embrace the season.

Tawny said...

Jo, the temp gods are really playing tricks on us this year, aren't they? I hope that means we're in for treats soon (groan).

Little ones in costume are so precious, aren't they. And you're so lucky you have so many little ones to enjoy :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Tawny, Christmas and New Year coincide with summer holidays here. It's definitely a sybaritic time of year! Hmm, not often a girl gets the chance to use the word 'sybaritic'. Clearly I should seek out other opportunities! Perhaps I can go and do some sybaritic weeding. No, that's right, I'm meant to be writing a sybaritic short story. Snork!

Tawny said...

Fo said: Hmm, not often a girl gets the chance to use the word 'sybaritic'. Clearly I should seek out other opportunities!

Yes. Yes, you should. You should seek out many -both to use the word and to experience it!!! Talk about decadent :-D

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, that's right, I forgot who I was talking to there for a moment! ;-)

Tawny said...

heeheehee