Tag Archives: festive

Halloween Round Up

18 Oct

Ever since I was little, Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays because I viewed it as the wonderful day of the year when you get to dress up and get free candy. Over the years, however, I have come to love Halloween in large part because it marks the beginning of the holiday season. Halloween is the first of many festive celebrations with exciting traditions,delicious food, and spirited decor. So here is the first of many holiday round ups to come in the next few months.

Costumes

Baby Frida Costume DIY

Raggedy Anne Costume DIY for kids and adults

Too Big Alice in Wonderland Costume

Children’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s costume on Etsy

Decorations

 

Swarm of Batts Pupkin..since you don’t need to carve it, feel free to decorate this pumpkin in advance, or even do this to a sugar pumpkin so that you can bake tasty treats from the pumpkin after Halloween

Googly-eyed monster cups to make any drink more exciting

Tea light squashes for a more elegant take on the classic Jack-O-Lantern

Festive pumpkin cooler

Adorable free Halloween Bunting Printable

Pumpkin Cat…too cute not to include, but please do not try this at home!

Savories

Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Bell Pepper

These Jack-O-Lantern tarts have a sweet filling, but with a spanikopita-style spinach filling they’d be absolutely divine!

Spiced Tofu Bruchetes….stick the skewers into a pumpkin for a festive update

Spiced Harvest Squash and Fennel

Mini Mummy Pizzas….so much cuter than the giant ones from the pizza parlor!

Candy Corn Crudite Platter with Pumpkin Dip for a healthy take the on the beloved candy

Baked Parmesan and Sage Truffle Fries

Curried Zucchini Roll Ups

Vegetarian Lasagna Bites

Innocent (or spooky) Owl Crackers

Sweets

Pumpkin Mouse Trifle (you don’t have to tall anyone that it’s healthy)

Candy Corn Butter Cookies

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting

Candy Corn Candy Apples

Jack-O-Lantern Pop Tarts

Monster Candy Apples

Pumpkin Meringue Pie

Momofuku Milk Bar Remix: Candy Corn Chocolate Chip Cornflake Cookies

In my family, what began as a simple pizza dinner with friends before trick-or-treating has evolved into a fanciful feast with creative, themed treats and appetizers. It’s a wonderful time to chat with friends and family in a more relaxed setting before the candy-crazed kids begin their neighborhood roam. What are your Halloween traditions?

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Festive Summer Fruit Basket

22 Jul

I always count down the days until my favorite summer fruits starts to flood the farmer’s market stands. Oranges and apples are nice, but nothing can beat the taste of a ripe mid-summer peach or a juicy pint of strawberries. They are delicious in compotes, pies, jams, or tarts but I think that they are best eaten plain.

So often people feel entitled (myself far too often included) to a sugar-packed treat after dinner or even after lunch. However, when fresh fruits are so sweet and delectable, there’s no need to turn to goodies with added sugar because fruit tastes even better. Fruit takes less time to prepare, is far healthier, tastes better, and can be even prettier than any baked treat.

The next time you’re entertaining and need a fun way to end the meal, give this fruity basket a try. Its cute presentation will thrill kids and adults alike!

Summer Fruit Watermelon Basket 

Adapted from the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Materials:

  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 pint of raspberries
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 1 large seedless watermelon
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen and paring knives
  • Nontoxic green dry erase marker
  • thin rope or ribbon
  • Large bowl and spoon
  • Melon baller
  • cookie cutters in hearts, stars, and other fun shapes

Directions:

  1. Rinse strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Cut the strawberries in half and set all berries aside.
  2. Wash watermelon and pat dry.
  3. Place the watermelon on its side and cut off the bottom  1/4 to 1/2 inch so it can stand up flat.  Make sure not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind so that the liquid doesn’t leak from bottom of the melon.
  4. Stand the watermelon on its cut end then use the dry erase marker to draw a line about 1/3 of the way down from the top, around the whole watermelon. Use the rope or ribbon to make sure that you make a smooth line going around the melon.
  5. Pick a point on the line and find the corresponding point on the exact opposite side of the watermelon. From those points measure 1 inch to the right and to the left. Connect those points by using the rope to draw two parallel lines across the top forming the handle.
  6. Use the paring knife to cut along the horizontal line and two vertical lines. Go very slowly with gentle force so as not to break or crack handle. For best results, hold paring knife like a pen, but only cut half way into rind. Once you complete that first cut all the way around, go back and cut the rest of the way through the rind. Doing the cut in two steps will ensure a cleaner line and smoother cuts.
  7. Make a cut around the inside perimeter and carefully remove the trimmed rind and flesh. Try to remove as much as possible in large portions that can later be sliced and used with the cookie cutters.
  8. Scoop out remaining flesh from base, trying to leave as much flesh intact. Remove it in larger pieces that can be used for making watermelon balls or bite-sized chunks.
  9. Using cookie cutters, cut shapes from watermelon. Se the shapes aside on a paper towel to drain.
  10. Use the melon baller to scoop out balls of watermelon.
  11. Then use a large spoon to remove any unsalvageable watermelon and puree it and mix it with lemonade or freeze it to make popsicles.
  12. Start filling the carved out melon with a mixture of watermelon and berries from the first step. Make sure to save the fruit cut outs for the top of the melon.
  13. Arrange any remaining fruit around the perimeter of the melon.
  14. Optional: Use a shovel or cake mix sand to create a beachy vibe.