THINKING OUTSIDE THE MAC&CHEESE BOX

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!



Halloween is HERE! Everybody screeeeeaaaaam!!! I love a good Halloween with gouls, goblins and...
CANDY! This year I got pounds after poounds of candy. My top 3 favorite candies are Almond Joys, Butterfingers, and Reeses. Luckily, everyone was handing them out. It was my brother's Bday so it was extra fun. Our neighbor, who owns a shaved ice business, was making shaved ices for all the neighborhood trick-or-treaters! There were so many different flavors. It was hard to decide what to choose. But with such a wide variety like that, anyone would like to buy a snow cone from her.  Most of all, it was DELICIOUS!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mummy Dogs and Funeral Potatoes!!

Wazzzuuuppp Peeps?!!!!  Today, my little bro Nick had his 9th birthday party. He is turning 9 tomorrow on Halloween! I made an awesome snack for him and his friends to eat. Mummy Dowgs. The cousin of crunchy mummies. WE used breadstick dough and wrapped it arund the hot dog. Add little chopped olive eyes, baked 'em up, and
                                                                               Voila!

Before

After


Mom's Note:  To accompany our Mummy Dogs, we made Funeral Potatoes, to round out the creepy Halloween Birthday meal.  This is what Isabella's Auntie calls a "dump recipe".  You kind of dump all of the ingredients into a big casserole dish, stir them to combine, and bake until golden, cheesy and crunchy.  I understand that the reason for the name of this dish is that it's a good standby to bring to a funeral reception, as it is easy to make, feeds plenty of people, and easy to double, and yummy.  Enjoy!

Funeral Potatoes

2 lbs hash browns
1/2 cup butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese, firmly packed
2 cups crushed corn flakes
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Grease 9x13 baking dish and preheat oven to 350
In large bowl, combine soup, sour cream, cheese, and the 1/2 cup of melted butter.
Gently fold hash browns into mixture. Pour mixture into greased pan.  Combine crushed corn flakes and the 4 Tbs. of melted butter and sprinkle on top of potato mixture.  Bake uncovered 40-50 min.

Depending on your taste, you can also add 1 diced sauteed onion, diced ham, bacon, sausage.  Don't be afraid to get creative.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rice Krispy Halloween Treats



 Whoo hoo! That was some fun making them rice krispy treats! But these ones are special. They're pumpkin shaped. These rice krispes are simple, creative, and fun for the whole family. You can draw a cute little picture with icing like I did or just make a little orange pumpkin. You can make them as fancy or as simplistic as you desire. The best part (at least the best part for the moms) is that there is NO MESS!!! So cook, decorate, and...         ENJOY!

Pouring the marshmallows











IT'S MELTING!!


Completely smooth






Get krispy now!
 



BUTTER FINGERS!!!




Little balls of JOY.




All the ingredients to happiness :)


Me and my kitty! MEOW
Mom's Note  Today was a long day.  Kids had school, and I had 1001 things to do in preparation for this weekend, as it is Nick's Birthday, as well as Halloween this coming Sunday.  We have a party/field trip planned for tomorrow, and lots of fun for the next day, too.

The point is, in keeping our promise to post a new treat daily until Halloween, we needed something VERY simple.  Rice Krispy Treats to the rescue!  In all honesty, I had never in my life made them (hanging my head in shame now), mainly because I knew they would be extrememly messy.  Well, the joke's on me--they were NOT messy at all!.  You just have to make sure to use a nonstick pot to cook them in, and if you shape them with your hands like we did, butter your hands before working with them.  So, here is the amazingly simple recipe, and after I'm done, I will be enjoying a glass of a new wine that I found at Costco today called Red Velvet from Cupcake Vineyards. 

Rice Krispy Pumpkins
3 Tbs. butter
6 cups Rice Kripy-ish cereal
4 cups mini marshmallows
a few drops of orange food coloring gel
Tube of black gel cake icing
1/4 c. cake frosting
Rolos candies

Melt butter on stovetop in a large nonstick pot.  Once it is melted, add the mini marshmallows.  Add food coloring and stir until the marshmallows are melted and smooth, and orange.  Add the cereal, and at that point, we turned off the burner and just stirred the mixture until it was well combined.  Let it cool a few minutes, but not completely.  Butter your hands, and grab a handful, and shape it into a ball. When satisfied with the shape, place it on a parchment-lined tray, and let sit until cool and hard.   Once they are cool, you can decorate them with pumpkin faces and such, using the gel icing.  Using a bit of cake frosting as "glue" attach a Rolo candy to the top of the pumpkin, as a stem. 
Enjoy.



CHEERS!








Thursday, October 28, 2010

Crunchy Mummies


Where's my mummy?  Now... they're on my plate.  These mummies are a one of a kind though. They're wearing ham gauze and are filled with cream cheese.Topped off with 2 raisin eyes. But my favorite part is eating them. Crunch! Crunch!

 



Mom's Note:  This was a fun recipe we found in a Pillsbury Halloween cookbook from our bookshelf.  We thought they might make a good healthy-ish snack for the kids after school.

We took a bunch of celery stalks,  cut the stalks into 4" pieces, spread creem cheese down the middle, layered thinly sliced slices of ham, and topped them off with bits chopped raisins for eyes.

These are quick, easy, fun YUMMY MUMMIES!
And they will keep for about a day in the fridge, so you can make extra for tomorrow's snacks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Witch's Fingers



My brother says they're Ladyfingers. But these tasty snacks are more sinister than that. They're Witches Fingers! Theyre really simple, delectible, and seriously gross looking. Perfect for Halloween! We will be making a yummy Halloween treat every day until Halloween.  Enjoy!



Slicing the Almonds in half--be careful!


Painting pink/red food coloring on the almond "nails"
 

Just like doing my nails!
 


Crescent Roll Style Dough




Shaping the Fingers



Pressing on the Nails
 


Creepy Fingers!
 



Mom's Note   We love Halloween at our house!! Bella's brother even has a Halloween birthday!!We got the idea for these creepy digits from Martha Stewart's Halloween Handbook.
It's choc-full of ghoulish ideas.  We changed it up, using a crescent roll-style refrigerated dough, which made it super-simple.  This recipe made about 2 Dozen. 

Witch's Fingers
1 Can Crescent Roll Dough
12 Almonds, sliced in half
Red Food Coloring

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. 
Using a small paint brush, paint the almond halves
with the red food coloring.  While the almonds dry, shape the fingers.  Without handling the dough too much, rip or cut the dough into varying sizes and shape into various finger shapes, placing on a cookie sheet.  Place the almond halves on the fingertips, where the nails would naturally be. 
Bake in the oven for 6-10 minutes, making sure they don't overbrown.
Remove from oven and cool.

The kids had fun making and eating these ones!





Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Girl Scout Encampment Weekend

My next modeling profile picture!

This weekend, me and my mom went to a girl scouts camp of course only for girls. NO BOYS ALLOWED! We did tons of activities like rock climbing and archery. i got a bullseye! That minute, I was so proud of myself. The rock wall was 70 ft. tall! I almost made it to the top but my arms just got TOO tired. Sorry, no camp food pics. :(  I can tell you that i did love the meals such as fettucini alfredo because their food was cooked up in the kitchen hot and fresh!


Rock climbing, gettin' started


Ready for a bullseye!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Arizona State Fair 2010


Here today we're at the Arizona State Fair. YAY. Today we went on tons of fun rides. The thing I was really looking foward to was all the fried fair food. Our first snack was nachos with a big soda. The nachos were COVERED with gooey cheese sauce. yum.


 It's the statue of fair food! A stuffed dog and whats that? A TEXAS SIZED TURKEY LEG!? It was in fact so big that I had to share it with my Aunt Colleen. And we didn't even finish all of it! It was smoked on a BBQ and the final outcome was a VERY  JUICY  and  COLOSSAL  turkey leg. It was by far the best I've ever had.





 MMMM... Fried food. Onion rings are always delicious. These beer battered onion rings are fried and look different than the onion rings I usually eat though .



I have never had funnel cake before. I know... I'm 10 years old and have not eaten funnel cake yet. I was awestruck by how delicious it was. I was able to actually watch it as they cooked it. They just put batter into a pan full of boiling grease.So much. I wonder if there is a way to cook it in less grease. Either way, it was so DELICIOUS!!!






MOM'S NOTE:   Awesome day at the State Fair!  Unbelievably, it was my first State Fair visit EVER.  We all definitely ate too much fried  food, but hey, it's only once a year, right?  Next time, Bella plans to try the fried Oreos or Snickers (I cringe just thinking about it).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween time at Disneyland

HI!!! It's Fall Break and we were at Disneyland for a few days last week with some friends. Disney has specially themed the park for Halloween.  The Haunted Mansion is all dressed up using the Nightmare Before Christmas decor. They also have Halloween parties that were really fun, where we actually got to dress up in costume and go trick-or treating.  A lot of the characters were dressed up in Halloween costumes too. I had many interesting meals there. Some of them include chocolate cake to spicy ribs.




 In the picture below, I had a chocolate, coffin cake and a bowl of clam chowder. The chocolate cake has a middle that has something like mousse in it. The clam chowder was very interesting because it had a bowl completely made of sourdough bread. When you are done eating the soup, simply eat the bread. YUM!



It was also my 1st encounter with SOBA NOODLES. The definition of soba is a thin Japenese noodle that is made of buckwheat flour. In my case, it was served chilled with veggies and a spicy sauce that the baby back ribs were served in too. The baby back ribs were very spicy but luckily I LOVE spicy foods just like my dad did. I enjoyed both soba noodles and the ribs.









The night before we left, on our way out of the park, we rushed to the Disneyland Candy Store where our mom bought us some freshly made toffee. It was soo delicious. Covered with a layer of chocolate and sprinkled with peanuts, this toffee can't be beat.  What a great way to end a day of non-stop Roller Coaster Riding!
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