Halloween is 5 days away! Hard to believe and the ladies at Gigi Connection hope this year, for many of you, will be different than last years. A lot of us this year will be able to spend Halloween with our grandchildren - having them over a couple of days before for some treats, maybe going to a school fall function or maybe you’re enjoying trick-or-treating with them. Whatever you are able to do, here are some fun suggestions that you might want to try with your little ghosts, goblins and princesses!
Easy Homemade Caramel Corn
Stuffed Into Spooky Hands
10 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup salted butter (sweet cream)
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
Make and salt popcorn. Set aside. Melt 1 cup of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of brown sugar and still until thoroughly mixed. Stirring continuously, bring the butter and sugar mixture up to a boil on medium heat. When it reaches a boil, allow it to cook for 5 minutes without stirring on medium heat. Add the 2 tsp of vanilla at the 4 minute mark and stir to mix. Continue to boil for one additional minute and then add the 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Drizzle the caramel mixture over the popcorn. Use a spoon to gently fold the popcorn with the mixture until the kernels are all covered. Pour the popcorn out onto a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. Let the popcorn cool.
Last year, I made for my grandchildren, as well as my 33 year old daughter and her friends these Halloween hands topped with a spooky ring. Everyone loved them! I got this idea from Mimi Jackie's Thanksgiving post last year.
The Halloween Costumes my grandchildren want to be this year are: an Apricot Tree, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse and the youngest grandchild: the cutest little pumpkin you've ever seen!
Halloween Dirt Cups
Growing up, my kids were obsessed with these adorable little dirt cups and the tradition continues with the grand kids, who love them just as much! They’re so simple to make that the grandkids will have fun helping you in the kitchen.
1 large box of instant chocolate pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 package Oreo cookies
Edible black marker (found here on Amazon)
Gummy worms and pumpkin candies
9oz clear plastic cups (found here on Amazon)
Mix your pudding box with milk and set in the fridge to set.
Put your Oreos in a ziplock plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or a mallet. The grandkids will LOVE helping with this step!
Set out cups and put a scoop of Oreo crumbs on the bottom of each cup. Then add a layer of pudding and then more Oreo crumbs on top.
Write names and dates on your tombstone cookies and stick them in cups.
Garnish cups with gummy worms and candy corn pumpkins. ENJOY! (serves 8)
I hope your sweet grandkids love these as much as mine do!
No tricks, just treats!
Yummy Mummy Treats
You can use this decorating idea on cookies, cupcakes, etc. It is fun and also something easy for all age groups to master. The messier the better. I have yet to create a beautifully decorated cookie but it's a start. I decided to make Halloween treats for my granddaughter's Halloween gathering. I used Oreo cookies that had been dipped in chocolate.
They turned out cute ( don't judge) but everyone's favorite seemed to be the Mummy. All it takes is white icing and some cute little eyes. I found the eyes at Michaels but they can be found at most stores that carry food decorating items. Completely ice your cookie or cupcake and press the eyes onto the wet icing. Put more white icing in a baggie. Cut a very small corner in the bag and start creating your Mummy costume. Like I said, the messier, the better!
Another Mummy inspired idea for the younger kids to help with is Mummy Garlic Bread. We always serve Halloween Pasta and this is a perfect addition.
Buy the thinner loaves of bread and cut in half. Top with your favorite garlic/butter mixture and add olive slices or something they might actually eat for eyes. Pull apart string cheese and lay across the bread in uneven patterns. Bake until cheese is melted.
This can also be done on bread sticks but use smaller strips of cheese.
I hope you have a very fun and safe Halloween!
Quick Caramel Apples
One of the best things about fall is the abundance of apples, apple scented candles, and apple desserts. My favorite Halloween dessert when I was a kid was caramel apples. Back then, they weren’t that easy to make since microwaves weren’t around (I know, I’m dating myself). That’s why I like this Quick Caramel Apples recipe from Real Mom Kitchen using caramel candies and your microwave. The grandkids can decorate the dipped apples with yummy toppings and there’s not a lot of Grandma labor in preparing the caramel.
Quick Caramel Apples
4 med granny smith apples
4 wooden sticks (the pointy ones are easier to stick in)
1 14oz bag of Kraft caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons of cream
Optional toppings like chopped orange Reese's Pieces or confectioners orange, black and yellow sprinkles
To make the caramel stick to the apple—Scrub the waxy coating off of the apples with a kitchen scrubber and running water and dry completely, then refrigerate at least 30 minutes for best results. Once the apples are cold, remove the stems, put the sticks in, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Place caramels and cream in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until caramel is melted and smooth. This should take no longer than 3 minutes, depending on your microwave.
Hold apple by the stick over the bowl and spoon caramel over the apple, then scrape the bottom to remove excess. If adding topping, roll immediately in topping, then place back on parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
Either way you pronounce it, “CARE-a-mel” or “KARM-el”, it’s delicious with apples.
This dish is so easy to make, and it looks frighteningly good to eat.
2 lbs of ground beef
2 30 oz cans of whole tomatoes
1 8 oz block of cheddar cheese (shredded)
One bag of large macaroni noodles (16 oz)
One onion diced
6 to 8 orange bell peppers
Three cloves fresh garlic minced
Put a large pan of water on the stove, bring to a boil and cook the macaroni noodles according to directions. Set aside.
In a dutch oven heat, two tbls of oil and sautee diced onion and garlic until translucent. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper and cook until browned.
Add two cans of whole tomatoes to the ground beef mixture and cook on medium heat for 45 minutes.
Cut the top off of the peppers and clean out the seeds. Carve a jack-o-lantern face on the peppers and fill with the noodle mixture, top with cheddar cheese. Place in a 350-degree oven and bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween.” - Unknown
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