Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Halloween Porch and Garden Decorations

I am sure you know by now....i love Halloween, it is my BEST time of the year....

Although here in the UK Halloween is catching on slowly, I wish we would embrace it like and friends in the USA.

There are so many amazing ideas out there I could turn this blog into a devoted Halloween blog...Don't worry I wont.

So I have had a REALLY hard time sorting my favourites out, there are so many to choose from, so here goes:

Totally Reinvented

From this to this.............


Kimn at Reinvented designed and created this stunning decoration for her porch. How fabulous is the contrast between the pumpkin colours and the black and white polka dots?  What a fresh new look to traditional orange/black Halloween colours.

Door Decor

Poundland Pumpkins - Cut them in half, spray and paint....Simples.....

Scarily Refreshing

Drink Cooler

The old watering hole provides plenty of drinks served up in pretty and practical pumpkin coolers. TIP: Line the pumpkin with heavy plastic or a bowl to keep melting ice from soaking through the pumpkin. 

Chicken??? Wire

outdoor halloween decoration dress silhoutte

How about placing some ghostly figures like these in your garden, made from chicken wire.

Mod Podge Boo-ed

There are a number of these mod-podge wooden letters scattered around the internet and on Pinterest.  But Amy from then she made  had made a fantastic tutorial.  Why not pop over and see how she made it?

Ribbon Topiary

Don't you just love the colours....this is so simple to do.  This is a simple take on the pink and black and zebra print ribbon wreath I made in January, instead of using insulation pipe, use a polystyrene large ball and stick.

Well, as we are going away tomorrow, I think I should go and pack.... So the final thought........

Time for a brew

I cant remember where I found this picture,  But I loved it so much I had to feature it.  If this fabulous creation is your, let me know and i will credit you.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Easy DIY Bubbling Cauldrons

Easy Bubbling Cauldrons

What you will need:

Plastic cauldrons: one large and one medium
Flowerpot saucer the same diameter as the large cauldron opening
Aluminum foil
2 cans of spray-foam insulation for large cracks (We used Great Stuff.)
Assorted rubber critters such as toads, lizards, rats, and bats
Plastic eyeballs
Crafts knife
Lime-green acrylic crafts paint and paintbrush

How to Make It:

For the large cauldron, line the saucer with aluminum foil.

Spray foam insulation into the tray until it is just a little more than full.

Let the wet foam set up for about 10 minutes to form the "bubbling brew," and then insert rubber critters and plastic eyes as desired.

On a separate sheet of aluminum foil, spray small blobs of the foam insulation. Use these blobs as decorative "drips" to glue on around the edge of the large cauldron.

For the medium cauldron, cut a hole large enough for the cauldron to lie flat on its side.

Protect a flat working surface with aluminum foil and lay the cauldron on its side.

Spray foam insulation into the container, letting the foam extend beyond the opening to create a "spill." Let all foam insulation dry for 36 hours to cure.

After the foam in the saucer has completely set, remove the foam from the saucer and peel off the foil.

Set the "bubbling brew" into the opening of the large cauldron.

Trim to fit using a crafts knife.

Peel the foil from the underside of the medium cauldron's "spill."

Paint all areas of the "bubbling brew" with a wash of lime-green paint and water.

Avoid painting the critters.

Add more critters on the surface of the brew if desired.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies


1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated peanut butter cookies
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup orange decorator sugar crystals
14 twisted butter-flavor pretzel sticks, broken in half


Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir cookie dough, egg yolk and flour until well mixed.

Pour sugar crystals into small bowl. Shape dough into 28 (1-inch) balls; roll in sugar crystals. Insert 1 pretzel piece into each ball for pumpkin stem. Using toothpick or tip of teaspoon, make lines around sides for pumpkin ridges. Place balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or just until set in center when touched with fingertip. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.

Makes 28 cookies

Recipe from pillsbury

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wicked Witch Cupcakes

***Wicked Witch Cupcakes***


24 brown mini M&Ms, plus more for filling (optional)
Hershey's Chocolate Cupcakes
Dirty Green Simple Buttercream
12 chocolate sugar cones
1 pound(s) black licorice laces, cut into 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, and 2-inch lengths
12 candy corns


Using a melon baller, scoop out the center of each cupcake, and fill with mini M&Ms, if desired.

Cover the tops of each cupcake with a generous mound (about 1/3 cup) of buttercream. Insert one candy corn into each cupcake to form a nose. Using brown mini M&Ms, insert two into each cupcake to form eyes.

Place two short lengths of licorice above the eyes to form eyebrows for the witch. Place the shorter licorice lengths above the eyebrows to form bangs. Place an inverted cone on top of bangs, pressing gently into buttercream to adhere. Place the longer licorice lengths under the cone hat to form the hair.

Hershey's Chocolate Cupcakes:


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons Hershey's Cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water


Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 12 paper liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cocoa, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, milk, egg, and vanilla. Using a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat for two minutes. Add boiling water and beat to combine (batter will be thin). Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dirty Green Simple Buttercream:


1 1/2 pounds (6 sticks) butter, softened
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Red and green food coloring


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Begin beating on low speed, increasing to high for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Using food coloring, tint the icing dirty green.

Recipe from Martha

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Tombstone Brownies

***Tombstone Brownies***

Bake brownies in a 13"x9" pan and let cool. Cut into rectangles, and frost with chocolate icing.

Use a tombstone cookie cutter to cut shapes into refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Bake as directed on package. If you can't find a tombstone cookie cutter, you can just use rectangular cookie cutters and shape with a knife. Let cool, and decorate as desired.

Use a dollop of frosting to adhere the cookies to the brownies. Pipe green frosting "grass" and top with a candy pumpkin.

Recipe found at halloween.holidayscentral

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Ghoulish Petits Fours

***Ghoulish Petits Fours***

For witch hats, make petits fours through step two. Then create a brim using a dab of icing: Affix each petit four to a 2-to-2 1/2-inch chocolate wafer cookie. Proceed to step three, coating with Chocolate Glaze instead of Butter Glaze. In lieu of step four, wrap one or two pieces of licorice lace around the base of the hat immediately after glazing.


Makes about 40
White Sheet Cake
Confectioners' Sugar Icing
Butter Glaze
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, for eyes and mouth

Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out circles from cake. Brush off any crumbs with a pastry brush.

Fit a pastry bag with a plastic coupler, and top cake rounds with icing in a ghost or hat shape,about 1 inch high.

Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Set an iced cake round on a fork; hold over bowl of glaze. Using a large spoon, drizzle glaze evenly over cake and icing until completely covered. Transfer to wire rack. Repeat with remaining rounds. Let set, about 5 minutes.

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted. Transfer to a disposable pastry bag or resealable plastic bag; snip off tip with scissors. Pipe eyes and a mouth onto ghosts.

Chocolate Glaze: Ingredients

Makes 1 1/2 cups:
6 ounces best-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

Chop the chocolate into small pieces, and place in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat until just simmering, and pour it over the chocolate. Let mixture stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before using.

Butter Glaze: Ingredients

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons milk

Place sugar in a medium bowl, and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Immediately pour the melted butter into the bowl with the sugar. Add the milk, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cover bowl, and store at room temperature until ready to use.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Night Owl Halloween Cookies

***Night Owl Halloween Cookies***


1 roll (18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
20 whole cashews
¼ cup vanilla frosting
¼ cup chocolate frosting
½ cup M&M’S® Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies
2 cookie sheet pans
Plastic wrap paper
Resealable plastic bag


1. Divide the sugar cookie dough in three pieces. Knead the flour into one piece of cookie dough until smooth, set aside. Combine the remaining two pieces of cookie dough and knead in the cocoa powder until smooth, set aside.

2. Roll the lighter colored cookie dough into a 1-inch round log about 10 inches long, and move it off to the side. Roll out the chocolate cookie dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10 x 4-inch rectangle. Place the light colored log of cookie dough on top of the chocolate rectangle. Wrap the chocolate cookie dough completely around the lighter colored log. Pinch edges to seal and roll the log smooth. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the cookie log into 1/4-inch slices. Place 2 slices, side by side, on sheet pans. Press a cashew into cookie at the point the slices touch. Repeat with remaining cookie slices. Bake for approximately 8-11 minutes, or until cookies are just beginning to golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4. Spoon the chocolate frosting into a resealable bag and snip a small corner from bag. Using the photograph as guide, pipe eyelashes. Spoon the vanilla frosting into a separate resealable bag and snip a small corner from bag. Using the photograph as a guide, pipe dot to secure candies. Add the M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies for eyes.

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Recipe at halloween.holidayscentral.com/

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Yummy Mummy Spinach Dip

***Yummy Mummy Spinach Dip***

What You Need:

1pkg. (16 oz.) frozen pizza dough, thawed
1 egg, beaten
2sticks KRAFT or POLLY-O Mozzarella String Cheese
2 black olive slices
1cup BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream
1/4 cup KRAFT Lite Ranch Dressing
1pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 green onion, sliced
1/2cup finely chopped red peppers
1/4cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4tsp. ground black pepper
WHEAT THINS Original Snacks

Make It:

PAT dough into 12x6-inch oval on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Indent dough, about 3 inches from one end of oval, for the mummy's head. Let rise in warm place 20 min. or until doubled in volume.

HEAT oven to 375ºF. Brush dough with egg. Bake 18 to 20 min. or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Pull apart string cheese to make about 16 strips; arrange on bread for the mummy's wrappings. Bake 1 to 2 min. or just until cheese is melted; cool slightly. Press olive slices into bread for the mummy's eyes; cool completely.

MEANWHILE, mix sour cream and dressing in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Refrigerate 30 min. or until ready to serve.

USE sharp knife to remove bread from top of mummy's body; scoop out bread from center, leaving thin shell on bottom and side. (Reserve bread top. Discard removed bread or reserve for another use.) Fill bread with spinach dip just before serving; cover with top of bread. Serve with WHEAT THINS. (Nutrition information is for dip and WHEAT THINS only.)

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Recipe from www.kraftrecipes.com

Friday, 12 October 2012

Scary Skillet Shepherd's Pie

***Scary Skillet Shepherd's Pie***

What You Need:
1pkg. (16 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans, peas)
1lb. ground beef
1cup beef gravy
4oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1cup milk, divided
1cup water
2cups instant potato flakes
1/4cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

Make It:

COOK vegetables as directed on package. Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in gravy; simmer 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

MICROWAVE cream cheese and 1/4 cup milk in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 30 sec.; beat with whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in remaining milk and water. Microwave 2-1/2 min. or until hot, stirring after each minute. Stir in potato flakes and Parmesan until blended. Spoon into resealable plastic bag; cut one corner off bottom of bag.

REMOVE 12 peas from mixed vegetables; stir remaining vegetables into meat mixture in skillet. Squeeze potato mixture into 6 mounds on meat mixture to resemble ghosts. Add 2 of the reserved peas to each for the eyes.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Scary Spider Cookies (Gluten-Free Recipe*)

If you like the idea of spider treats, don't miss the Scary chocolate halloween spiders recipe, so continuing on the 8 legged recipe treats I hope you like these cookies.

***Scary Spider Cookies (Gluten-Free Recipe*)***


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black decorator sugar


Gluten-free red or black licorice laces (string),cut into 192 (1 1/2 to 2 inch) pieces, if desired
Decorator gel or frosting
Decorator candies (candy eyes, red cinnamon candies, mini chocolate-covered candy pieces, candy sprinkles, etc.), if desired


Heat oven to 375°F. Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour blend, baking powder and salt. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in black sugar to coat entire ball. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until set.

Immediately insert 4 licorice pieces into each cookie to form legs. Move cookies to cooling rack. Cool completely.

To add eyes, place a tiny dab of decorator gel or frosting onto cookie; gently press on candy.

Store between sheets of waxed paper in containers with tight-fitting lid.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid. Stir before using.

- If necessary, poke toothpick or skewer into cookies so licorice pieces can easily be inserted for legs.

- Place black decorator sugar in a clean, dry, glass bowl. This prevents sugar from getting too greasy and allows it to stick to the dough. You may need to occasionally start with fresh sugar if sugar isn’t sticking. Do not let the sugar get wet or it will dissolve.

- Use any color decorator sugar to roll the dough balls to create a variety of bugs.

- Cute candy eyes can be found at cake decorating stores. They are inexpensive, easy to use and add the perfect touch to these cookies.

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Recipe from landolakes

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Scary Chocolate Halloween Spiders

I love Halloween, in fact i love it so much that my husband and I married on Halloween.

We spend every Halloween either going to Whitby, in Yorkshire (where it is believed that Dracula landed - and inspired the story by Bram Stoker, or partying our little dressing up socks off.

If you are having a party, or even if you just want something to amaze the kids, you need to check out these fantastic Halloween snack ideas.

***Scary Chocolate Halloween Spiders***

For 24 Extremely Scary Spiders:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chow mein noodles
48 red cinnamon candies


Measure the chocolate chips and butter in a large microwaveable container.

Microwave 2 minutes.

Remove from the microwave and stir until melted. If the chocolate isn't totally melted, place it back in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir.

Add the chow mein noodles and stir until well-coated.

Drop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, place two red cinnamon candies on top for eyes, and pull a few noodles out a little to resemble legs.

Let the spiders set in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

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