Halloween

Halloween is sweet over at The Food Network

What is sweeter than Halloween? And some of our favorite shows are on The Food Network, where I often find inspiration, and they have special Halloween themed recipes…of course they do! Check out these sweet and savory treats. The Food Network has two great October shows that offer more great Halloween recipes and ideas – Halloween Baking Championship (Mondays @9:00pm) and Halloween Wars (Sundays @9:00pm).

You know I’m all about the sweets, and there are some great treats like Wicked Cupcakes 

and

Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Pecan-Caramel Spiders
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces thin black licorice strands, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
Chocolate curls or jimmies, optional

Directions

Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Mound 30 small clusters of pecans, about 3 or 4 pecans each, spaced a couple inches apart on the pan.

Make caramel: Warm the cream over low heat and keep warm while you cook the sugar.

Put the sugar and corn syrup and in a deep, heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, raise heat to medium-high, and simmer until the sugar reaches the hard crack stage, or 305 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.

Whisk the butter and salt into the sugar mixture. Gradually pour in the cream and vanilla taking care since the mixture will bubble up. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar reaches soft ball stage, 240 degrees F on the thermometer, about 5 minutes more. Immediately remove from the heat and cool for a minute.

Ladle a couple tablespoons of warm caramel over some of the nut clusters, to make the spider bodies. Then press 6 pieces of licorice into the warm caramel to make the legs. Repeat with the remaining caramel and licorice. (It’s helpful to have an extra hand here, since the caramel can set quickly. If caramel hardens, warm over very low heat. ) Let spiders cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1-inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, 2 to 3 minutes more.)

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each spider. Sprinkle with jimmies or chocolate curls, if desired. Let cool until firm.

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

From Food Network Kitchens
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© 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pecan-caramel-spiders-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I also love tomato soup with a nice grilled cheese and this recipe is too adorable not to share! Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster Sammies to fuel us your little trick or treaters before they get all sugared up from Halloween. Plus it’s a rookie move to order a pizza on Halloween night because everyone does and the wait is endless.

For more Halloween recipes and ideas, tune in to Food Network or visit Foodnetwork.com

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

What to do this weekend? Fun Family Activities

What to do this weekend? Fun Family Activities

Family Fun Activities Boston capabilitymom.com

Family fun activities abound this weekend! I read, well, sort of all the time, so in my travels I might find stuff to share. First check with Boston Central – it’s a great resource for families. Then I read my inbox (some of it) and status updates – here’s what I found so far.
Head of the Charles Regatta 50th Anniversary – Cambridge
The Head Of The Charles Regatta® will mark a momentous milestone this October, celebrating its 50th occurrence with a gala celebration to cap off the historic two-day race event along Boston´s iconic Charles River.
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 – Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Boston Museum of Science
8th Annual Archaeology Fair – Boston
Explore the exciting world of archaeology through a variety of interactive activities and games like Underwater archaeology, Roman legionaries, flintknapping, glass blowing, simulated digs, ancient languages, & more.
Friday, Oct 17, 2014 – Saturday, Oct 18, 2014
MIT Science on Saturday: How Computers Think – Cambridge
Demos on stage by MIT students, followed by activity booths with hands-on experiments. Open to all elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as their parents and teachers.
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014
Parent Talk Used Toy, Clothing, and Equipment Sale – Needham
ParentTalk’s annual Fall Sale is coming up Join us to shop for gently used strollers, pack’n’plays, high chairs, baby equipment, nursing equipment, linens, baby and kids’ clothing (including upscale brands) for ages 0-8, and toys
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014
Charles River School Family Fair and Craft Show – Dover
The Charles River School Fair and Craft Show in Dover, MA offers twice the fun Over 50 juried artists will display handcrafted treasures. Families can enjoy rides, games, photo booth, pony rides and more
Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

King Richard’s Faire Come and escape YOUR reality at King Richard’s Faire! Entertainment, exciting rides and skilled games abound on the Faire’s enchanting 80 acre wooded site. You’ll be dazzled by acrobats, aerialists, and jugglers! Captivated with our minstrels, dancers and puppeteers and instantly enthralled by fire eaters, exotic tigers, and the majestic white lion. Hundreds of talented performers perform non-stop for you throughout the day when visiting any one of our eight vibrant stages.

  • Weekends August 30th thru October 19th 2014
  • Gates open at 10:30am and close at 6:00pm

The Six Flags Food Truck & Beer Festival

Come enjoy some of New England’s best gourmet food trucks at Six Flags New England on October 18th from 12pm – 11pm! This festival will be combining roller coasters, haunted attractions, beer and wine, and over 20 food trucks!

Tickets to the theme park and the Food Truck & Beer Festival will be $49.99, which will include parking, theme park admission and access to the Food Truck & Beer Festival. Tickets can be purchased here!

Spooky Hayrides – Lexington

Wilson Farm hosts it annual Spooky Hayrides, no charge and fun for the whole family. Ride one of our farm tractors through our fields filled with spooky displays.
Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun from Oct 6, 2014 – Oct 31, 2014

Salem Haunted Happenings 2014 – Salem
You’re invited to Salem’s annual Halloween Festival. It happens every year during October in the bewitching seaport of Salem, Massachusetts. Nobody celebrates Halloween quite like Salem, Massachusetts. Here’s a list of top favorites from The Thrillist. You can drive, take the commuter rail but check out the fast ferry from Boston Harbor Cruises.
Now thru Friday, Oct 31, 2014

FIND A LOT FOR LESS AT FORT POINT OPEN STUDIOS (source – Bargain Bin – Ami Albernaz – Boston Globe)

369 Congress St. will be a spot for bargains at this weekend’s Fort Point Open Studios. Artist-designers on the second floor will have prints, ceramics, knitwear, and more at 15-75 percent off retail prices. Find lamps, bowls, vases, and trays from Jill Rosenwald; funky earthenware lamps from Lawrence McRae Ceramics; colorful prints, maps, and iPhone cases from JHill Design; and hand-knit hats, mittens, and scarves from The Third Piece. The sale happens Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 369 Congress St., second floor, Boston.

And from OurNewton.org:

Halloween and more in Newton!

Harvest Fair, October 18 and 19

This weekend! Kiddie amusement rides, face painting, international craft vendors, ethnic food, live entertainment and MORE! For details read more. . .

>GREEN SOLUTIONS EXPOSunday October 19, 10 am – 5 pm
Newton Harvest Fair

Newton Centre Green
This year’s Newton/Needham Chamber of Commerce EXPO showcases solutions you can use to reduce your carbon footprint and over 50 exhibitors in one area. Come enjoy the Newton Harvest Fair which also features continuous entertainment, food and games for the kids. Get tips on how to live a “green” life style. See exhibitors with green products, services and ideas. See how far electric cars can take you before you have to switch to gasoline. See the advanced Tesla electric car. Find out how you can convert to solar electricity and reduce your electric bills without spending thousands. Have a green lawn all summer without watering and only cut once a month. This year’s EXPO will include games and activities for kids.

Boston Artists Ensemble, October 19

Intimate concert led by Boston Symphony cellist Jonathan Miller. . .Read more

From Conflict to Peace, October 21

A night of critical reflection moderated by NPR’s On Point host Tom Ashbrook. Read more

 Newton North High School Teen Gallery Opening,  October 29

The Newton Free Library will host the opening for posters and ceramics from Newton North High School; artwork will be on view through early spring 2014. Read more

Great Gatsby Movie & Costume Party, October 23

Wear 1920’s garb munch goodies and watch the classic film. Open to ages 13 and up

. . .Read more

Halloween on the Farm, October 31

Spooky stories, apple bobbing and more! Read more

Run by volunteers, OurNewton.org is “one-stop shopping” for Newton community news. OurNewton.org lists not-for-profit events around Newton: concerts, plays, festivals, sports clinics, lectures, workshops, classes, volunteer opportunities, walks, bike rides, and more.

OurNewton.org strives for accuracy, but errors may occur. Times, dates, and places may change, and some events require pre-registration. Please check with the hosts.

Halloween Preparedness

Halloween is tomorrow and I am putting up decorations a bit late this year…as in today (maybe this had something to do with Hurricane Sandy, maybe I just didn’t get to it). I like this time of year, carving pumpkins, apple picking, trick or treating – although I’m not into the scary movies and I love that there are people who are trying to present healthy alternatives to this sugar laden holiday. Check out my finds!

From a recent study conducted by the ADA and Popcap games:

Approximately 94% of all American children participate in trick-or-treating, but the survey results signify parents of kids that age want more and better options where treats are concerned. Among the top findings, the average child receives just over 90 pieces of candy on Halloween and 70% of parents agree it would be good if their children received less candy and more non-candy treats.

Yikes. Most people would agree that this is entirely too much candy. Even I think this is excessive and I like my candy. What to do? It is a holiday tradition, true, but there good ways to change it up and not get your house egged. None of them involve bringing the candy to me but, as always, my children’s candy remains in my care, custody and control. I mean, of course I wouldn’t eat any of their candy while they are at school.

1. The PopCap and ADA “Stop Zombie Mouth” campaign (which I am proud to be a part of) and includes the giveaway of millions of coupons redeemable for free copies of the family-friendly hit PopCap® game Plants vs. Zombies®.
Use the code from your trading cards or coupon to download Plants vs. Zombies free for PC or Mac. (offer expires Nov. 11). The free codes can be redeemed at http://stopzombiemouth.com starting Oct. 30, but no later than Nov. 10 for PC or Mac version of the super-popular game, which usually retails for $19.95. Take the fun ADA Stop Zombie Mouth quiz here and download some coloring pages here. Get cards at your dentist’s office or go to http://stopzombiemouth.com.
2. From one of my favorite stores, here’s another way to say goodbye to some of the candy in your house, do good, and get a toy instead.
Magic Beans is proud to announce its annual Candy Buy-Back program – a fun way for kids to trade in candy for something more wholesome – high quality toys! From November 1-5, 2012, families can bring in at least one pound of Halloween candy to any Magic Beans store and receive 20% off a toy.
Great idea! The fun part is collecting and counting (and maybe organizing by color or type) and trading the candy anyway. Click on the image above for a link to their great blog – there is a post with local Halloween activities for kids.
3. Give a snack (hermetically sealed is always best) Try giving individual bags of popchips as a healthier option. popchips arpopchips trick or treat candy alternative capability mome never fried (unhealthy), never baked (undelicious), just popped and only 100 calories per single-serve bag and they contain no preservatives, trans fats, fake colors or flavors. You can buy them in a multi-pack at most grocery stores. I am a fan of the original but the other flavors have their merits, too. Yes, I taste tested them for you. The sweet potato is mild, the salt and pepper are pretty peppery and the nacho flavored are frankly addiciive.

4. Operation Shoebox – Support our troops by making a donation. Click on the link to see what they need. Candy works (not melt able) and stationary, toiletries and books – See the list here. Priority Boxes from the Post Office are free. Fill one up today.

From the website:
If you would like to show your support… you can send them through us and include a card or note to the troop. We will make sure it gets to someone that needs it and out mailing address is:

Operation Shoebox
PO Box 1465
Belleview, FL 34421-1465

The post office will accept any size box for us.

Here are the links:

StopZombieMouth

Magic Beans Candy Buy Back Program

Popchips
Full Disclosure: I was given some cards and posters and popchips for promotional purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are, as always, my own.
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