Tag Archives: Halloween

Wishing You A Very Happy Halloween!

Carved pumpkins at NanaBread's house are even better after dark!

The Complete Package, Ziggy and I wish you a safe & happy Halloween with no tricks, all treats, no mosquitos, great weather and all the chocolate you can eat!

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My Annual Halloween Dilemma: Should I eat it or should I give it away?

We all do it. We buy the candy we love to give out at Halloween and we end up eating as much or more than we give away. I’m not going to lie. There are always a few Almond Joy wrappers buried deep in my kitchen trash each October. So I ask myself – did I really need to buy 4 bags of miniature Snickers? No. Will 4 bags make it to the door Sunday night? No. I’m just being honest. Chances are good some of this stuff is going to “disappear” before the sun goes down on Sunday. Each year, I promise myself that next fall I’ll buy black licorice (yuck!) and white chocolate (so not a chocolate it’s not even accurate) so I’m not tempted, but do I? No. This year I vowed to buy healthier alternatives for the candy bowl. Things like raisins and pretzels and snack mix and sugar-free gum and dental floss. To which, The Complete Package said “Great! Now our house is SURE to be toilet-papered!” and “Honey, no one wants to be the house that gives out scag candy.” It’s the dilemma that haunts my every Halloween – will I be fat and popular, or less fat and toilet-papered? And you thought peer pressure was just for high-schoolers. So I have to ask…what’s in your candy bowl this year?

Snickers and Skittles and Crunch Bars....Oh, My!

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Quick Crafts: A Halloween Centerpiece

A quick and easy Halloween centerpiece for under $30. Love it!

There’s an awesome store near my house called Home Goods. It’s the TJMaxx of home decor and accessories. When I need anything for the house, it’s my “go to” store. Thanks to Home Goods and a quick run to Hobby Lobby, I was able to pull together this cute, colorful holiday centerpiece for under $30. I love it when I can be creative and cheap at the same time. It’s like all the crafting stars align. It’s what Martha would call a “good thing.”

I love this Pumpkin Man

I started with an orange and black polka-dot plate, a colorful pumpkin man statue (love him!) and a Halloween Yankee Candle from Home Goods. I anchored each element to the plate using that ticky-tack sticky stuff so things wouldn’t slide around. It worked really well. You can pick up the plate and carry it around the house, and nothing moves or falls off. Next, I pulled out my Hobby Lobby shopping bag and added a sting of battery-powered lights, a black feather boa, a cup full of candy corn, and some cute foam spiders in black, orange and purple that matched the colors of my pumpkin man. I printed a quick “Happy Halloween” label on the color printer, folded it for stability, and stuck it down in front. That’s it! Only twenty minutes to assemble and it’s done!

The best of Halloween - colorful candy corn, spiders & candles

I love that it’s fun, colorful and cute so it brightens any table or corner, and it won’t scare the grandkids. The key is to start with one interesting piece (in this case, the pumpkin man) and then add colorful elements that coordinate and enhance the fun. Pick things in various sizes and heights to keep it interesting, and don’t be afraid to try different combinations. I set the plate down in Home Goods and tried several different candles and decorations before I settled on a combination that worked. I also moved everything around on the plate several times before I was satisfied with the arrangement. Just jump in and do it, and don’t be afraid to experiment! The result is a centerpiece that was quick and easy to assemble at a great price that will bring some funky fun to any party. I just love Halloween. Now get out there and scare up your own centerpiece!

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Just in time for Halloween: Eeeeeeeeek! Brownie Spiders!

If you’re looking for something clever but deceptively easy for Halloween this year, try brownie spiders. Yes, I know…it’s a little early for Halloween, but I want to give you plenty of time to think about making these. Brownie spiders are fun to make, even more fun to serve and eat, and they’re sure to be a hit with both adults and children. For parties, everyone can make and decorate their own fudgy friend. They’ll be the best spiders you’ve ever eaten!

Brownie Spiders - Creepy, Crawly Fun!

To make 10 spiders, you will need:
Two boxes of brownie mix (and all ingredients for the mix)
1 small package of regular M&M candies
1 tube of black Wilton Black Sparkle decorating gel
Ice cream & toppings, for serving

To Make the Spiders:
Mix up the brownies according to package directions. Pour into a lightly greased 13”x9” baking pan lined with waxed paper. Bake as directed, until the brownies are completely set. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Using the waxed paper liner, remove the brownies from the pan and move them to a large cutting board. Use a biscuit cutter or an empty metal can to cut out circular brownies for the spider bodies. Using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop and shape spider heads by rolling smaller brownies into balls using your hands. Press two M&Ms into each spider head to make the eyes. Using the sparkle gel, draw one quick dot onto each eye to make pupils. You can have some fun here – make some looking down, some looking up, some cross-eyed.

To Decorate the Plates:
Using the Wilton black sparkle gel, draw concentric circles on each plate, then go back and draw straight lines across the plate from side to side and diagonal lines across each corner (see photo). It works best to work slowly and hold the gel tube just above the plate so it doesn’t touch. Once the webs are complete, place a spider in the middle of the plate.

To Serve:
Using an ice cream scoop, place a rounded scoop of ice cream (any flavor you like) onto each spider’s back. If you’re feeling really creative, try the following for topping themes:

The Plain Garden Spider – ice cream with no toppings
The Brown Recluse – ice cream with hot fudge sauce on top
The Black Widow – ice cream with blackberry sauce on top
The Tarantula – ice cream with everything under the sun on top
The Itsy Bitsy Tipsy Spider – ice cream with a shot of Kahlua (for adults only!)

The best kind of spider - chocolate!

I know, I know….I have too much time on my hands. But they’re cute, don’t you think? And the sparkle gel really looks great when it catches the light. And they taste great. My personal favorite is the Black Widow with blackberry sauce. So good! Would you rather have homemade Booberry sauce? Hee, hee…sorry. Enjoy, everyone. And happy early Halloween!

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