Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012



Why is it, for most of us, that Halloween is such a fun day?  I guess it is because when we were little it was a day of parties, costumes and candy.  As adults, we are given permission to dress out of character and act out - a little. 

I grew up outside of town - "in the country".  We didn't get many trick-or-treaters.  The road was a little too "lonesome" and dark.  My parents would put me in the Chevy and go in town to my aunt and uncle's house to join my cousins for trick-or-treating.  It was always so exciting!    

Of course there was the ringing of doorbells and the anticipation of what kind of treat would be behind the door.  We would keep going until our bags were bulging and my dad was ready to call it a night.  He was great.  He didn't mind staying out a while.  He always found someone he knew to talk to and I think a few car deals were made on Halloween night!  Being a Chevy salesman it was a bonus for him!

The other part, that I look back on fondly, were the special things that my Aunt Letha created just for that night.  She always made luminaries out of brown lunch sacks and had them lite around the perimeter of their yard and driveway.  The effect was magical and stunning! 

Then - there were her homemade popcorn balls!  She couldn't make them fast enough.  I think everyone came to their house because they knew there would be those fabulous sweet, buttery popcorn balls.  YUM!  She rocked it!

Hope you all have a fun Halloween and get out there and make some memories of your own.  BOO! M.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Treats



We subscribe to the local newspaper and the Portland newspaper.  One to keep up with work-related activities and events.  The other for the sports page and the crossword puzzle.  It is our little - now, not-so-secret indulgence.

Once in a while a recipe catches my eye.  This one was entitled "A smaller, but sweet, take on caramel apples" by J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press.  I love caramel apples, but I can never eat the entire thing and certainly don't need the calories.  However, this seemed like a good compromise.  AND IT IS !!!  Wooo Hooo! 

You use/make dried apple slices and drizzle them with melted caramel, white and dark chocolate.  Whats not to like - right?  It is so easy and the result is decadent.  You can be calorie conscience and only have one - they are rich.  One lets you enjoy the fall flavors without totally wrecking your diet.  If diet is not a concern (wish I could remember what that was like), then you can consume the entire plateful - the equivalent of two large apples.  Apples!  Wasn't there something about an apple a day keeping the doctor away?  Probably not in this case, but I thought I would try to find some justification for splurging!  Maybe I should share these with my doctor?

The recipe is below with a couple of changes.  I found that I needed to dry the slices longer in the oven than the recipe directed.  I dried my slices for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 250 degrees instead of 45 minutes.  I also found that the amounts for the "drizzles" covered 4 sliced apples instead of just one.  Bonus! 

Ingredients

1-4 large apples, cored
1 Teaspoon cinnamon

Half of a 14 ounce package of caramel candies, unwrapped
1 Tablespoon of water

3-4 "squares" of vanilla almond bark (recipe listed 1/2 cup white chocolate bits)
1/2 Cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels (recipe listed 1/2 cup dark chocolate candy melts)
1 Teaspoon vegetable oil

Wash and core your apples.  Then slice them in 1/8 inch rings.  Place them on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment paper in a single layer, without touching.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Place in a 250 degree oven and dry for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  I check them once or twice and turn them over once during the drying process.  The smell is de-vine!  When slices are dry and slightly crisp (not crunchy) - still a little pliable - remove from the oven.  Cool by sliding the apples with the paper onto cooking racks.

When the are cool.  Begin melting the caramel candies with the water, on the stove over medium heat.  Stay with it and stir as needed.  Don't let it get too hot and begin to burn to the bottom - not so nice.  Once the caramel is melted, stir with a fork.  Take the pot of melted caramel to the apples.  Using the fork, drizzle the hot caramel back and forth over the apple slices.  Let cool and set.

After caramel sets, melt the almond bark according to directions on package in microwave.  Using a fork, drizzle it over the apples slices like with the caramel.  Let cool and set.

After almond bark sets, melt the chocolate morsels with the vegetable oil in the microwave as directed on the back of the package.  Using a fork, drizzle the melted chocolate over the apple slices.



Wait until these are cool - if you can - and dive in!   Truly a fall treat!  Applie, cinnamony, gooey, chocolaty goodness.   I think you could purchase already dried apple slices and add the drizzles to speed up the process.  However, I didn't mind the oven drying and the house smelled fabulous!

Give them a try and hope you enjoy them as much as we are.  Happy Autumn! M

Thursday, October 11, 2012

WOW !

 
 
 

Yes, WOW about the only word I can use describe my Halloween Bootique!  Your response was phenomenal.  It always stuns me to see the images in my head come to life.  And ... it more than stuns me to see everyone enjoy it as much as I do.  I appreciate the fact that you like what I love to create.  Your validation means the world to me.  Thank you all.
 
So here are a few pictures taken on Friday night. A big THANK YOU to Sarah of Roost Reimagined for grabbing my camera and getting some last minute pictures.  I was so shocked by the line of people waiting to come in that I forgot everything and stood there like a deer in headlights!  Believe me I wasn't being aloof.  I was in SHOCK!
 
 
"Mr. Ed" greeted everyone at the door.  He proved that you can glitter just about anything.

 
These gals "dropped in" and made the show.  Once I saw this idea on Pintrest, I knew I had to make them for the tall ceiling of the Carriage House.  They certainly got every one's attention!
 




 
Skelly and his Mrs.

 
Pumpkins and more pumpkins ... all sizes and shapes.





 
 I know that all the many hours of hard work were worth it, but those of you that do this type of event all know that it takes a village to make it happen.
 
I want to thank everyone who helped make this not-so-little soiree possible.
 
 
Elf Patty, aka Sparkle...
 
 
our little, sweet Mama-to-be, Sarah...
 

my junkin' buddy, Diane...
 
 
 
my sis, Ellen, who is always here when I need her ...
 
and all the others I didn't get pics of :  Marilyn, Deborah, Betty, Terri,
and last, but certainly not least, my sweet hubby Mark.  Couldn't have done this without him.
He jumped in with both feet this year.  Not only that, he "hung" the witches for me!  My hero.
 
Now that this is behind me, I am starting on Christmas and preparing for the
Holiday Treasures 2012 Show
co-hosted by me and Diane of Molly Mo's!  See the details below
and check back for sneak peeks!  Happy Halloween!  M.