Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween decor - more treat than trick

(BPT) - While displaying ghosts and goblins is great for the kids and the standard for Halloween decor, how about getting into the spirit but with a bit more sophistication this year? If you are throwing a Halloween party for those adults who are kids at heart, a spooky holiday theme can still be part of the festivities, but with a touch of panache.

There are many directions you can go with a decoration theme. Certainly there are the colors of black and orange that can be integrated into the decor and the use of pumpkins or candles, which still scream Halloween but can be displayed elegantly.

Crystal d'Arques Glasses Set French Vintage Serving 4pcs
French Vintage
Crystal d'Arques Glasses Set
Gary LaVasser, academic director in Set & Exhibit Design at The Art Institute of California - Hollywood, a campus of Argosy University, says that while everyone thinks of orange and black consider the combination of dark red and black. At Halloween, any time black is used it represents scariness and the dark red can be symbolic of blood. “For a more sophisticated look, combine dark red arrangements of roses, cover them in black hat veiling so that you see the roses through the veil and tie them together with black satin ribbon,” he suggests. “If you want to go a little further, place the arrangement on an inexpensive black placemat and drip dark red nail polish from a few rose petals onto the placemat. It will look like the roses are bleeding.”

LaVasser also has these tips for alternative but sophisticated Halloween decor:

halloween noisemakers vintage tin litho us metal toy co TREASURY PICK
vintage tin halloween noisemakers
* Use vintage Halloween toys from the 1930s, 40s or 50s as part of the design. If they are worn they have more character. Combine them with garlands of silk fall leaves available at most craft stores, tree branches or wheat and place on mantels or dining tables.

Pinned Image

* Paint objects black that normally are not this color. For example, jack-o-lanterns are orange so spray them black for a twist on a familiar item. Also consider painting real flowers black. To make objects more interesting, select different black textures such as using matte, glitter, satin, gloss or metallic paints.

* The colors of fall are rich earth tones and these colors also associate with Halloween. Add a little “punch” by using a deep purple color. It can be an interesting contrast to oranges and gold tones. Also consider using metallic gold, copper and pewter colors. You can paint leaves or pumpkins with these shades as well.

Vintage Dia De Los Muertos Hand Painted Mexican Folk Art Calavera Mask
Vintage Dia De Los Muertos Hand
 Painted Mexican Folk Art Calavera Mask

LaVasser adds that one can look for inspiration among different cultures and how they celebrate certain holidays or Halloween. A Latino tradition is Day of the Dead, observed on November 1st and 2nd, which celebrates family and friends who have passed. “Day of the Dead decor includes folk art, candles, colorful flowers and bright ribbons together with skeletons,” says LaVasser. “This theme offers great options for Halloween.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Recipes

October Recipes

Baked Eyeball Eggs

  • 1 bag (30 oz) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of potato soup
  • 1 container (8 oz) sour cream (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 slices Canadian bacon (about 6 oz)
  • 10 eggs
  • ketchup


Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix potatoes, soup, sour cream, cheese, onion, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spreading evenly.
Arrange bacon slices in pairs over top of potato mixture to resemble eyes. Press bacon into mixture to form deep cups (for eggs). Bake 40 minutes.
Remove baking dish from oven. If necessary, press bacon into mixture to reshape cups. Carefully break 1 egg into each bacon cup.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or just until eggs are set. Decorate eggs with ketchup "veins" to resemble bloodshot eyeballs.

 Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars


Cookie Base
  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) oatmeal cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup cold butter or margarine

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 eggs

  • 1/3 cup chocolate topping
  • 1/3 cup caramel topping


Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, crushed cookies and pecans. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining filling ingredients; beat until well blended. Pour over warm cookie base. Sprinkle with reserved topping.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
Before serving, drizzle with chocolate and caramel toppings. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator

Orange Jack-o'-Lanterns with Sorbet

4 navel oranges
2 pints mango, passion-fruit, or orange sorbet, softened


Slice off the top quarter of each orange, and reserve for lid. Using a grapefruit spoon or paring knife, scoop or cut out interior of oranges. Reserve flesh for another use, such as fresh orange juice.

draw a jack-o'-lantern face freehand. Tape paper to hollowed orange, and cut out features with a craft knife or other small, sharp knife.

Pack each orange with sorbet, and top it with a "lid." Bend floral wire, and poke it in -- not through -- top of orange for tendrils. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Candied Orange Date Bars

  • 1 package (7 ounces) orange candy slices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 pound chopped dates
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Confectioners' sugar


 Cut orange slices horizontally in half, then into 1/4-in. pieces; set aside. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Stir in water until smooth. Add dates. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool.
 In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the baking soda, salt and remaining flour; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.
 Spread half of the batter into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Spread date mixture over batter; sprinkle with reserved orange pieces. Spread remaining batter over the top.
 Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
Yield: about 3 dozen.
 *To make cutting orange slices easier, use a kitchen shears dipped in water. Or first toss them in 1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar; use a mesh strainer or colander to shake off excess sugar.

Candy Corn Cheesecake

Ingredients :

Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Red or orange food coloring
  •  8" or 9" springform pan
  •  Two other plastic or aluminum containers that can be made into smaller circle insets
  •  or
  •  checkerboard pan

The idea is to create three separate rings to pour your filling into. If you can find containers or cans that are the right size.

Before making the crust, put your mixing bowl for the filling in the freezer. This is going to make whipping up the cream even better!
Line your springform pan with parchment. This is pretty optional, as the amount of butter in the crust makes it pretty easy to remove.

Grind up your graham crackers finely.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon and mash together.
Pour in melted butter and mix thoroughly.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom of your pan, and chill.

Take your mixing bowl out of the freezer!
Add whipping cream to the bowl and start whipping! Slowly add sugar while whipping to firm peaks.
In another bowl, cream together softened cream cheese and lemon juice.
Add whipped cream to cream cheese mixture and blend well

Grease the rings with cooking spray to make it easier to remove them.
Place the smallest circle in the middle of the pan and fill to about 2".
Color the rest of the filling yellow.
Place the middle ring and fill with yellow mixture.
Color the rest of the filling orange and fill the outer ring.
 Use a spoon to plop in the mixture, a plastic bag to pipe it in, and an offset spatula to both scoop it in and level it out. A combination of the last two worked best for me.
Remove the rings carefully and smooth out your lines.
Freeze to firm up. Then enjoy !


October Crafts

October  Crafts

 Halloween Printables

Orange Candy Wrapper           Red Candy Wrapper           
Trick or Treat Tags                Multi - Orange Blank Tags             Black Cat Faces

Coloring Pages

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