Sunday, October 18, 2009

Toddler Friendly Halloween Recipes

Now that you have a little one...are you ready for Halloween?

Halloween is a fantastic time to have fun with food! So, we each shared our favorite Halloween recipe in preparation of this fun filled holiday. Below you will find a collection of kid friendly treats and then some ghoulish adult treats.

Ghastly Toddler Treats:

Bugs in the Mud
12 small plastic cups
2 pkgs instant Chocolate pudding
3 1/2 c milk
1/2 pkg Oreos
12 Gummi Worms
12 plastic bugs ( I use the bug/spider rings)

1. Combine pudding mix and milk. Mix. Fill each cup with approximately the same amount of pudding.
2. Put the Oreos in the food processor and disperse between the cups. Add a plastic bug and gummi worm to each cup.

Edible Eyeballs
1 tub of Vanilla Yogurt (Greek yogurt is super yummy)
1 small pkg gummi lifesavers
24  raisins
2 styrofoam egg carton (cleaned)

1. Stuff each gummi savers with a raisin and place at the bottom of each egg hole in the egg carton. Then, fill with yogurt and freeze. Serve cold!
**Variations: Instead of yogurt, you can use jello or pudding.

Kitty Litter Cake
1 spice or German-chocolate cake mix

1 white cake mix
2 large packages instant vanilla pudding
1 large package of vanilla or lemon sandwich cookies
Green food coloring (optional - blue food coloring)
1 dozen small Tootsie Rolls®
1 new kitty litter pan
1 new kitty litter scoop 

1. Prepare the cake mixes, using any size or shape of pan, according to package directions and allow to cool to room temperature. Then, Prepare pudding mix according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble the cake.

2. Crush the sandwich cookies in small batches into a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup of cookie crumbs, add a few drops of green food coloring.

3. When the cake is cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Add 1/2 of the uncolored cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. IMPORTANT: mix in just enough pudding to moisten and hold the mixture together. Too much pudding will render the finished cake too soggy. Gently fold to combine.

4. Spoon the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box and smooth the top. Heat three Tootsie Rolls® in the microwave until soft and pliable. Shape the ends so they're no longer blunt, but rounded and slightly curved. You know the effect you're trying to achieve! Repeat with three more Tootsie Rolls® . Stick these six Tootsie Rolls® in the cake/pudding/cookie mixture.

5. Sprinkle the remaining uncolored cookie crumbs over the top of the cake/pudding/cookie mixture. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly over the top - the idea is to make it resemble the colored chlorophyll / deodorizer particles found in kitty litter.

6. Heat five Tootsie Rolls® in the microwave until almost melted, then scrape them onto the top of the cake and drag through and/or sprinkle with some of the cookie crumbs. Heat the last Tootsie Roll® in the microwave until pliable, then stick it over the side of the litter box and sprinkle lightly with the cookie crumbs.

7. Place a sheet of newspaper on your serving table, place the kitty litter box in the center and sprinkle with some of the cookie crumbs on the newspaper. Place the kitty litter scoop on or next to the little box.

Mummy Dogs
1 pkg crescent rolls
1 pkg hot dogs

Hot dogs wrapped in Pillsbury crescent dough. Wrap dogs to look like mummies covered in bandages then dot two eyes out of mustard. The look and taste fantastic!

Mud Pie
16 Oreo Cookies or Chocolate Graham Crackers
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 pint icecream
5-10 gummy worms
1 cup fudge
Whipping cream, optional

1. Crush cookies in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Empty into a bowl and combine with melted butter. Press the mixture into a 9" pie pan to form shell. Freeze for 20 minutes.
2. Remove icecream from the freezer and allow to soften.  Drop a few gummi worms into the icecream and spoon into pie shell. Top with a thick layer of fudge sauce and freeze for atleast 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with a few left overgummi worms. Serve with whipping cream.

Witches Hats

10 Chocolate Chocolate chip cookies or Keebler Fudge stripped cookies
1 bag of Hershey Kisses
1 tube of orange icing

Use the icing to to cement the Kiss to the cookie (if using Keebler striped cookies, place striped side down). Then put a decorative ring around the hat where the kiss and the cookie connect.

Ghoulish Adult Treats

Halloween Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

8 whole Oreos, finely ground in food processor

1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
3 Caramel Sauce (I used just a jar of carmel topping)
12 Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ground Oreos and melted butter into a bowl until well combined. Spoon into 12 mini cheesecake cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Press into the bottom of each cup so the crust is flat. Partially bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.

2. In a stand or electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Pour evenly into the 12 cups filling about 3/4 way full. Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel into the tops of each filled cup and swirl with a toothpick gently. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked through. Let cool completely.
3. Remove cheesecakes from pan and top each with a spoonful of remaining caramel and a Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sweet Popcorn Balls

12 cups popped popcorn (or 3 bags of microwave popcorn)

3 cups mixed dried fruit such as golden raisins, cherries, and chopped apricots and figs
2 cups sunflower seeds
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cups corn syrup
1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne

1.Toss popcorn and dried fruit together in a large, lightly oiled, heatproof bowl. Oil 2 waxed paper-lined baking pans and a long metal fork. Set aside.

2.Bring sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Reduce heat to medium and cook until mixture reaches 260 degrees F.
3.Carefully pour the syrup over the popcorn mixture. Stir with the fork to distribute. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
4.With well-oiled hands, form 3-inch balls, place on pans, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Pumpkin Bread

1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups of flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ c chopped walnuts

Blend together first nine ingredients. Add water, pumpkin and walnuts. Bake in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Favorite Family Recipes

Well our first Domestic Diva's meetup was a complete success! The kids had a great time playing with all the toys and even had a bit of pudding to cap off their adventure today. Thank you ladies...I can't wait until next month!

So, What is your secret family recipe? We decided to dust off ye ole family cookbook and share our favorite family recipes.

Quick Greek Pasta Salad with Steak

8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 (1 pound) beef rib eye steak
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp basil
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbsp sunflower kernels

1. Cook pasta according to package, then toss with olive oil, and keep warm. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the rib-eye on both sides until rosy-pink in the center, 7 to 10 minutes depending on thickness. Remove steak from skillet and cut into bite-size pieces.
2. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet, and stir in the garlic and shallots. Cook 5 to 10 seconds until fragrant, then return the steak to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or to desired doneness. Stir in the soy sauce, and cook a few seconds longer, allowing it to evaporate.
3. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sun-dried tomato pesto, olives, spinach, basil, parsley, feta cheese and sunflower kernels. Toss with the pasta in a large bowl and serve.

Allie's Homemade Spinach Garlic White Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles (may need a second box)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach
1 large container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 and ½ c grated parmesan cheese
1 and ½ c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp minced garlic (or fresh chopped garlic cloves)
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 jar roasted garlic alfredo sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil. Add olive oil. Add lasagna noodles and cook until soft. (Oil keeps noodles from sticking together).
2. Cook frozen chopped spinach according to package directions. Strain.
3. Combine ricotta cheese, ½ c parmesan cheese, ½ c mozzarella cheese, spinach, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, oregano and Italian seasoning in a large bowl and stir well.
4. Spread one layer of cooked lasagna noodles on the bottom of a 9x13” pyrex serving dish. Spoon ricotta spinach mixture over lasagna noodles and using a spatula, spread evenly over noodles.Repeat layers of noodles and ricotta spinach mixture until 9x13” dish is filled to the top.
5. Pour entire jar of alfredo sauce over the top of the lasagna. Spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheeses evenly over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Perfect Pesto

3 large garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup pine nuts
2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
3 cups loosely packed, chopped fresh basil
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients in blender and finely blend.Toss with penne or your favorite type of pasta.

Makes about 1 and 1/3 cups.

**can add additional olive oil to thin mixture if needed
Croatian Chicken Stew

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 whole (3ish lb.) chicken, cut into pieces and skinned ( I use leg quarters)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into sixths
1/2 pound green beans, prepared
2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then add to the hot oil, in batches if necessary, to brown. Remove.

2. Add more oil to the pot if necessary, and then add the onions, sauté until tender. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste until the garlic is fragrant. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape up the browned bits. Cook until the wine and tomato paste are well-incorporated.

3. Add the water, parsley, bay, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices back into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Season to taste. Add the vegetables and cook until fork-tender (If you don’t think you’ll have enough liquid, add more water. )

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp (without tails) , Butter, a little olive oil, garlic, roasted red peppers diced, sometimes onions, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh Basil and oregano, (simmer on skillet). Serve with noodles..... ummm ummm EASY goooooooooood

Confetti Chicken

1 1/2 cup Jasmine Rice (or any type you prefer)
2 1/4 cups water
1lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tsp Olive oil
1 10oz can RoTel Mexican Lime and Cilantro Tomatoes
1 15oz can Black Beans
1 15 oz can Corn, drained
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Fajita Seasoning
Shredded Cheddar
Sour cream (optional)

1. In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add rice and simmer on low for 12 minutes.
2. Season the diced chicken with garlic powder, onion powder and fajita seasoning.
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over meduim heat. Saute chicken for about 10 minutes. Then, remove chicken and set aside. In the same pan, combine tomatoes, beans and corn, warm thoroughly.
4. To serve, place rice on the bottom, then a layer bean mix and top with chicken. Garnish with cheddar cheese and a dolup of sour cream.

Mac and Cheese

1 8oz package Elbow Macaroni
1 8oz package sharp cheddar cheese
1 12oz container of small curd cottage cheese
1 8 oz container of Sour cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package. Drain.
2. In a baking dish, combine all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes.