Monday, October 29, 2012

Candy Corn Oreo Torte

Halloween is closing in on us, so I had to make sure to try out those Candy Corn Oreos! I made a delicious pudding torte with them. You have to try this!
Candy Corn Oreo Torte
Adapted from my Mom's Pudding Torte Recipe

1 pkg Candy Corn Oreos
2 Tbsp butter, melted
4 oz. Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Cool Whip, plus more for topping
1 pkg Butterscotch Pudding
2 cups Milk
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Candy Corn

Place all but 2 rows of Oreos in a plastic bag and crush with a mallet or rolling pin.  Pour into bowl, scraping out any bits of the cookie that may stick to the plastic bag.  Mix in melted butter and stir until mixture is wet.
Press cookie mix into the bottom of an 8x8 square pan or baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.  Using a spatula spread over cookie crust.
Take one more row of Oreos and chop into course chunks.  Set aside.
Mix pudding and milk per package directions. Stir in Pumpkin Pie Spice and Oreo chunks.
Pour into prepared pan.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Quarter the remaining Oreos.
Once set, cut torte into squares, top each square with Cool Whip, an Oreo chunk, and candy corn.
Enjoy the Halloween-goodness!

Friday, October 26, 2012

To Be A Doll Or An Egyptian Queen?

Have you decided on a Halloween costume yet? I posted about some simple Halloween looks that I tried out.  Well, I got a little more bored inspired so I tried a couple of other looks.  Perhaps you'll find some last minute inspiration!!

The Doll

The Egyptian Queen

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jack Skellington Nails

Halloween might not be until next week, but you know the parties begin this weekend! I was reminiscing about my Jack Skellington Pops the other day and came across this pin with nail art I had to try for myself! Check it out!

Since I'm right handed, there was no way I was recreating that look using my left hand (LOL!) so I did a more simplified Halloween nail art design....

Have you decided on your Halloween costume yet?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Fudge

Yep, I still have left over pumpkin from my CSA haul, that I talked about here. I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Fudge.  Fudge to me, always reminds me of my great grandmother.  Grandma Travis brought a tin of a fudge to the holiday gatherings every year.  My mom has actually carried on that tradition too. Fudge is an indulgent, decadent treat.  The kind of treat you can only have one or two pieces of or you may actually make your teeth fall out right there.  So obviously, I had to try out a pumpkin version and oh. my. gawd. Yum.

Pumpkin Fudge
Recipe from Recipe Girl

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup pumpkin (fresh or canned)
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1, 12 oz package white chocolate chips
1, 7 oz jar marshmallow cream
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 9 inch square pan with tin foil. Spray with non-stick spray.
Stir together the first 6 ingredients, in a sauce pan, on medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the temp on a candy thermometer registers 234 degrees (approximately 12 minutes)
Once mixture reaches 234 degrees, remove from heat and quickly stir in white chocolate, marshmallow cream, pecans and vanilla. Stir until well blended.
Pour into prepared pan. Allow to completely cool, and stand for about 2 hours. Cut into squares.
Yield: Approximately 3 pounds of fudge
**Note: I added a little orange gel food coloring to my batch.  I used fresh pumpkin and the orange color wasnt quite rich enough for me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Makeup Ideas

Halloween is quickly approaching....have you decided what you are going as yet? I have been scouring Pinterest for some good ideas. I  was inspired by some designs and had too much time on my hands so I decided to try some of the looks myself. Here are 2 easy looks for Halloween.

The Vamp
Inspired for a Vampire look (or a really devious night on the town!)
For this look, my skin is already really pale, so I didnt do much there.  I did dark shadow and dark eye liner, but the part for me that really made the look was the lips.  I used black gel eyeliner to darkened the corners of my lips, then cover in a reddish gloss. Great for a goth or vampire look.

The Black Widow
For this look, again I did dark shadow and liner, then using a fine brush I drew out spider webs and spiders. I filled in a little with liquid liner to get it really black. As with the vamp look, I filled in the corners of my lips with gel liner as well as the center, and then coated with gloss.

The Two Faced Zombie
Last weekend was the Zombie Pub Crawl here in the Twin Cities.  This event is HUGE. I went a couple of years ago and had a blast, so a group of us went this year.  We are all big fans of The Walking Dead so this event was right up our alley. I did my face entirely myself using gelatin and makeup I already had in my case.  I also mixed up a little blood using corn syrup and drops of red and black gel food coloring.  
And because I really like this pic, here is the instagram pic I took on the night of the crawl.

I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration!  So tell me, what are your Halloween costume ideas?!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grocery Shopping & Menu Planning: What Works For Me

Recently, I was bragging sharing with a friend of mine about a recent grocery store trip.  I don't know about you guys, but I just cant get into this hard core couponing thing. I tried, and failed, several times. I found myself buying lots of stuff we didn't normally use or didn't use fast enough because there were coupons.  I found that I was one of those people who fell into the traps of spending more because coupons gave you the illusion of saving.  Yeah. So couponing is  just a no go for me. Don't get me wrong, I check the local ads and if I come across something that's already on my grocery list then I'll cut it out and use it.  But thats it.
I dont really coupon but I have been able to better organize my grocery shopping so that we clean out our fridge before I go to the store again.  This has actually saved us money because we eat at home more and use all of our food before it spoils.
I was telling my friend about this and thought I'd share my process with you! Now, this is a fluid process, it has grown and changed over the last several months, but for now, this is what works for me.
I blog about food, so I am always on Pinterest and other favorite blogs checking out recipes. This is probably what helps me the most, because I already have an interest in food. Im always pinning recipes to try later.  But then when I go back and look at the pins, I get really overwhelmed combing through the ingredients of each recipe.
That is when I discovered Ziplist. Ziplist is a life saver!!!  Now, instead of pinning recipes, I just installed the Ziplist Recipe Clipper into my toolbar. I zip it, and it saves the recipe and ingredients for me.  Its also handy because you can add tags and search your recipe box later. I find this useful for recipes we really loved.  I tag them with "I loved" "David Loved" or "We Loved" and then later, I can find them quickly.
Every week (give or take a few days) when I am preparing to grocery shop, I sit down and look at Ziplist. I typically plan 5 dinners.  At my house its just David and I so this works well for us, I'm sure this strategy could translate into bigger households though too.
I plan 5 dinners, usually the recipes serve 4-6 people. I make a list of the 5 recipes I've chosen and post it on my fridge.  I find that instead of saying "On Monday we will have this for dinner" I just list the 5 recipes and as I make them, I cross them off the list.
This is helpful because:
  • I dont have to stare at the fridge and wonder what Im going to make tonight. 
  • I dont stare at my fridge and wonder why I bought 3 green peppers, or whatever other miscellaneous ingredients I forgot why I bought
  • If Im not in the mood for chicken, I can just pick a different recipe from my weekly menu, sometimes you just gotta make whatever you're craving that day
So now that I've chosen my 5 recipes, I use Ziplist to create my grocery list.  One by one, I add each recipe to my Shopping List and it asks me what ingredients I want to have added.  It even suggests why I might already have in the house.
Once all of my recipes are loaded onto my shopping list, I quickly add anything else we would normally need, like milk, eggs, etc.
I cruise the local ad for coupons and then head to the store.
Ziplist has an app for your phone, so there is no need for me to bring a list!  Whats great too is Ziplist stores your list by departments.  So I get everything in the produce section before I move on.  No more, being on the other end of the grocery store when you realized you missed carrots, which were further down your hand written list.
There you have it. I now have my menu complete, my grocery shopping complete, and what else is great is, I mentioned its just the 2 of us, and our recipes serve 4-6 people.  Well, I just made us lunches all week too.
So let me recap the benefits again....
  • Recipes are all stored in one place, with the ingredients needed
  • Menu planning is done in a snap (Mine usually takes about 15 minutes to do)
  • Grocery List is completed in minutes and arranged by grocery department
  • All the food I buy gets eaten
  • My menu is laid out for me with the flexibility I need
  • I save money because I only buy what I know Im going to cook
  • I take the guess work out of what's for lunch because as I prepare each dinner, Im also preparing the next day's lunch
I used to really hate grocery shopping, but now, I don't mind it as much because I'm so much more organized and quicker about it.  Same goes for dinner time, its not nearly as stressful to figure out "Whats for dinner" because I already have a game plan that can be flexible with our schedules.

So pop on over to Ziplist and check it out.  You can thank me later!

**Ziplist did not sponsor this post. They have no idea who I am.  I'm totally sharing this because it has really impacted my life and I hope it will be helpful to others. This is all based on my own preferences and personal experiences with menu planning, budgeting and of course using Ziplist. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

To round out this week of pumpkin recipes, I leave you with  Sweet and Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.  I was able to make all these recipes with 1 fresh pumpkin, and of course I couldn't waste the seeds!
Sweet and Spicy Toasted Pumpkin SeedsRecipe from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk together egg white, sugar, pepper, and salt. Add pumpkin seeds and toss to coat. Drain off excess egg whites with a strainer. 
Line a baking sheet with foil and pour coated seeds onto pan. Spread into a single layer.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with a little more sugar and pepper right when they come out of the oven.  Allow to cool and enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Continuing with Pumpkin-licious recipes this week, I tested out a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. They were a hit at the work party I brought them to. Delicious! Im tempted to make another pan all for myself!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

2 cups pumpkin (or one 15 oz can)
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp half and half (cream, or whole milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2, blocks of cream cheese, softened
Whipped cream (for topping---optional)

For the graham cracker crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix graham crackers, melted butter and sugar to create crust. Combine until moistened, and press into a 9x13 pan, pressing slightly up the sides of the pan.
Bake for 5 minutes, remove and reduce oven temp to 325.
Mix pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream and vanilla in a large bowl.
In your mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, then slowly add in pumpkin mixture.
Mix until combined and smooth.
Pour over prepared crust and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool completely.  Cut into squares. Pipe whipped cream on top of each square.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

There is nothing like waking up in the morning, pouring a cup of coffee and having a sweet, warm, and gooey cinnamon roll. Its even better when its pumpkin!! So start with your cup of Salted Caramel Pumpkin Coffee and whip up a batch of cinnamon rolls. I'll admit, there is a little effort involved in these. I was intimidated by them. But now that I've done it, its kind of fun and there is something satisfying about having all that deliciousness and knowing you made it yourself!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe from: The Girl Who Ate Everything
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pumpkin(fresh or canned)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
2 cups bread flour (you can use regular all purpose flour but bread flour makes them lighter)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

In a small sauce pan, heat milk and butter until warm.
In a large mixer bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add the milk mixture and beat until well combined.
Beat in eggs and yeast.
Add half of the flour to the mixture and beat on low, scraping the sides of the bowl until well combined.  Add remaining flour and combine.
Lightly grease a bowl and put the soft dough into the bowl, turn to cover with oil.
Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm place and allow to rise. This should take about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and turn over onto a floured surface.  Knead a few times to smooth out the dough.
Roll into a rectangle, approximately 12x10 inches.
In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle the sugar mix over the dough.
Starting at the long end of the dough, roll up jelly roll style.  Using a sharp knife cut into 1 inch slices (approximately 12 total)
Place rolls, cut side up into a pan (I used a 9x13).  Cover again and let rise for about 45 minutes.  The rolls should double in size.

Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool for a few minutes and top with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
Recipe From:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat until well combined. Spread over warm rolls.

Now go and enjoy your pumpkin deliciousness and bask in your cinnamon roll making accomplishment!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate

Yesterday I posted a recipe for a Salted Caramel Pumpkin Coffee.  Today I have a recipe for something you can drink in the evening! Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate!
Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate
Original Source: Rachael Ray
2 cups milk
1/2 cup hot chocolate mix
3 tbsp pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Whipped cream

Mix all ingredients except the whipped cream in a sauce pan.  Heat until it warm and steamy.  Do not boil. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream. Serves 2. 

I love the chocolate and pumpkin combination! Yum! Great for these chilly autumn nights!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Coffee

Last week in my CSA box there was a baking pumpkin. I had never actually baked a fresh pumpkin before. I was pretty shocked at how easy it was, not to mention all of the delicious possibilities!!! So to kick off my pumpkin experience, lets start with some good ol' caffeine!

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vanilla creamer
1 tbsp pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 Tbsp Caramel Sauce
Cool whip
Sea Salt (or regular salt if you don't have any sea salt!)

In a small sauce pan combine milk, creamer, pumpkin and spice.  Bring to a low boil. Remove from heat and pour into a blender. Pulse the blender a few times making it frothy (this step is optional, but I liked the frothiness) Pour frothy milk into your coffee mug and fill rest with coffee. Put a spoonful of cool whip on top an drizzle with caramel sauce. Sprinkle on sea salt and enjoy.

Stay tuned for more pumpkin goodness!


Related Posts with Thumbnails