Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from our family to yours!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Witch's Cauldrons

Last night I made our final Halloween dinner of the year:

Bubbling Witch's Cauldrons

Tonight is our church Halloween party & dinner is served, & for some reason, I always take my kids out to dinner on Halloween night.  I know, I'm totally backwards aren't I?  I make Halloween dinners all month long & then eat out Halloween night. . . yup, I'm crazy.  It's my way of getting a break after an entire month of brainstorming & making specialty dinners.  Plus it's fast & then we can go trick-or-treating.

So for witch's cauldrons, just buy or make nice big bread bowls & empty them out for your special brew.  You can fill it with your favorite soup or chili recipe or whatever you like really.  Last night I just used the left-overs from my chicken-pot-pie dinner a few weeks ago & added noodles so it was a creamy chicken noodle soup.  Quick & easy.


I'm off to get all 8 of us dressed in our Halloween costumes.  We're dressing up as Despicable Me this year & I promise I'll post pics Fridayish.

Halloween Crisps & Mini-Pumpkins

Here's another quick & easy Halloween dinner:


Simply melt some cheese between 2 tortillas & then cut them up into fun Halloween shapes using cookie cutters.  I also made a fun dip out of salsa & sour cream.

And don't forget those itty bitty oranges.  My kids love making these into "pumpkins."


Freaky Hand Sandwiches

I'm SO far behind on my blog!  All these Halloween parties are taking all my time that I'm forgetting the basics. . . or not having time for them at least.

Here's a quick easy dinner when you're on the run in October:


Basically, make a sandwich, cut it into fingers & add almonds as fingernails.  Easy stuff right there.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sloppy Joe Pizza Creatures & Frankenstein Fingers

Here is a family favorite:

This recipe is a twice a monther at our house.  We call it Sloppy Joe Pizza & we eat it ALL the time.   Here's how you make it:

1 loaf of French Bread
1 pound ground meat (I use beef, but you can use anything really)
BBQ Sauce
Green Onions, sliced
1 Can of Corn
Shredded Cheese

Slice your French bread into slices & put those slices on a cookie sheet.  In a saucepan, cook ground meat until done.  Drain off grease.  Add corn & onions & mix well.  Add enough BBQ sauce to your family's liking.  Spoon meat mixture on top of each french bread slice.  Top with shredded cheese.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. 

I added faces with olives & string cheese on these guys, but the recipe alone (without the creatures' faces) is divine.

And of course our Frankenstein fingers are simply celery with peanut butter & raisins.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mac & Cheese Graveyards & Boo Bananas (AGAIN)

I know, I know. . . the Boo Bananas are getting out of hand.  But they're SO GOOD.  
Last night we had a fun new Halloween dinner:


This one is super easy.  Make your favorite mac'n'cheese whether it be made from scratch, a box, or a freezer.  Put your favorite into bowls & top with Italian bread crumbs to make "dirt."  Then add club crackers with black frosting designs on them as gravestones.  My kids had a blast with these.  I let them design their own gravestones for their own dinners.  We had a lot of fun.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Boo-Ya Pizzas & Eyeballs

This was another newbie for me & it was FUN!

What you'll need:
1-2 cans of refrigerated biscuit dough
pizza sauce
SLICES of mozzarella cheese
a bunch of hungry little kids with clean hands

Have the kids pound out the biscuits until they're big & round & flat like little mini-pizzas.  Let them spoon a spoonful of sauce onto each pizza crust.  Bake at 350 for 13 minutes.  While they are baking, take your cheese slices & using a ghost cookie cutter, cut your cheese into ghostie shapes.  As soon as your pizzas come out of the oven, place the cheese slices on top so they melt into the pizzas in a ghostly shape.  Add olives for eyes.

The eyeballs are simply deviled eggs with olive slices on them.

Easy dinner & FUN FUN FUN for the kids to make themselves.

Candy Corn Quesadillas & Boo Bananas

This was a new spooky dinner for me:


So the Boo Bananas are a new favorite in our house & my kids are requesting them almost nightly.  My 6 year old even told me after Halloween she wanted me to make them, but instead of 2 chocolate chips for eyes, she wanted black polka dot bananas (aka TONS of chocolate chips).  I laughed at that. . . & then made myself a polka-dotted banana after the kids went to bed to check it out & WOW.  They really are THAT good.

For the candy corn quesadilla, I just put a tortilla in a large pan, sprinkled cheese on it, & added another tortilla on top.  I cooked it until the side on the pan was toasted & crunchy, then I flipped it over & did the same to the other side.  Take the "tortilla sandwich" out of the pan & place it on a cutting board.  Spread Queso cheese all over the top of the tortilla & sprinkle yellow cheese around outside of the tortilla like a big lifesaver.  Leave the circle in the middle alone.  Crush orange chips & sprinkle them on the center circle of the tortilla so they stick to the queso cheese.  Cut with a pizza cutter into triangles & add dollops of sour cream to the tips to make your candy corn complete.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Swamp Slugs & Pumpkin Biscuits

Tonight was a fun dinner to make:


For the slugs you can do all sorts of things.  I've made these 3 different ways.  All 3 ways require the yellow gravy sauce:

2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
Mix in a saucepan until warm & bubbly

#1:  Buy some chicken cordon bleu in the freezer section of your grocery store.  Bake for the time it says on the box & then top with the gravy, add a tomato slice for the mouth, & olives on toothpicks for the eyes.

#2: Make your own chicken cordon bleu.  Pound chicken breasts flat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until thin & LARGE.  Place a piece of deli ham & a slice of swiss cheese in the center of your chicken piece.  Roll it up tight & secure with a toothpick.  Dip your rolled chicken into an egg wash (eggs mixed with milk) & then into Italian bread crumbs.  Bake for 45 minutes at 375 & top with the gravy sauce.  Add olive eyes & tomato mouth.

#3: (And our favorite)  Mock Chicken
1 large can of canned chicken
1 package of Stove Top chicken flavor stuffing, crushed & in a bowl
8 oz cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Melted butter in a bowl
2 containers of refrigerated crescent rolls

In a bowl mix the chicken, cream cheese, salt, & pepper until smooth.  Spoon mixture into the center of each crescent roll & wrap the dough around the mix to make a rectangle shape enclosing the chicken mixture.  Dip the roll into melted butter & then roll into the crushed stuffing mix until coated.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Top with the gravy sauce.

And for the pumpkin biscuits. . . I just bought biscuit dough & used a pumpkin cookie cutter to shape it.  You could use ANY cookie cutter & make all sorts of fun shapes.


Worm Sandwiches & Vampire Teeth

Last night I made the one dinner I make every year that makes the kids queasy.


All it is is a bunch of hot dogs sliced up into long strips.  They look just like worms & it's disgusting.  I always add some ketchup, mustard, & relish to them & it makes them red & slimy.  Get it all hot, put in on a bun, & voila you have a worm sandwich.  My two year old was gagging as he was eating these this year.  He kept telling me "I doesn't like worms Mommy!"  And then my four year old would shake his head & say "No Craiger. . . it's not really worms. . . it's just hot dogs."  It was really funny.

The vampire teeth are just apple slices with peanut butter & marshmallows.  I make these all the time for lunches & the kids love them.


Jack O Lantern Pizza

Two nights ago we made another family favorite:
Jack-O-Lantern Pizzas

My older girls actually make this for me.  Just make a cheese pizza (or buy a frozen one) & let the kids decorate it with a pepperoni face.

This one is quick & easy.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Leather Face Pot Pie, Boo Juice, & Caramel Apple Cupcakes

We had 3 fun Halloween foods for dinner last night.  I had a free day to myself (with the kids of course, but no errands) so I made 3 things.

First I made dinner itself:

Sometimes I hate following recipes so I just piled a bunch of stuff together for this.  I bought refrigerated pie crusts from the store & started my pot pie with a pie crust in the bottom of the pie pan.  Then I raided the veggie drawer/shelf to put in my pie.  I found & chopped up onions, carrots, celery, peas, & potatoes.  I boiled them for 15 minutes, drained them, & then added a family size can of Cream of Chicken soup.  I filled the soup can half way milk & added that as well.  I mixed it up until it was nice & creamy & then added random amounts of salt, pepper, basil, oregano, celery salt, & garlic salt.  I cut the face out of the top pie shell & rolled that dough together to make the nose.  Then I cut slits all over the face & "stitched" it up with rosemary leaves.  I baked it at 375 for about an hour.  It was delicious.

Next I made:

1 cup orange juice
1 cup milk
2 bananas
2 cups orange sherbet

Add it all in a blender
  (it will be FULL so you can cut the recipe in half & do 2 batches if that works better for you.) 
& pour it into a cup.  Make a dollop of whipped cream for a ghost & add chocolate chips for the eyes.

For dessert I made:

I actually found a caramel apple cupcake mix at the grocery store the other, as well as caramel apple frosting.  They are AMAZING.  I just baked the cupcakes as directed on the box.  Once they cooled, I took off their wrappers & put them on a plate.  Next I heated up the frosting in the microwave for 30 seconds until it because melty & poured it directly onto the cupcakes like hot caramel.  Add sticks & voila, you have caramel apple cupcakes.


Jack-o-Lantern BBQ Pork Sandwiches & Frankenstein Fingers

Jack-o-Lantern BBQ Pork Sandwiches
& Frankenstein Fingers

Once I month I buy a 5-6 pound pork roast & slow cook it in a crock pot for 12+ hours.  Just throw in your roast, add some salt & pepper, & then top with 5 Tablespoons of liquid smoke.  Let it cook on low for 12 or more hours & what you'll have is a heavenly smelling house & a crock pot FULL of fabulous shredded pork.  You don't need to season it after that.  It's amazing on sandwiches & tacos, I use it in soups & stews, really the possibilities are endless.  We LOVE it on tacos.  It makes a ton, so I separate it into quart size bags & put the extras in the freezer.  Then I use them all month long for quick dinners.

So for this dinner, I pulled some of my precooked pork out, added some BBQ sauce & slapped it on a bun.  I had some colby cheese slices that I carved pumpkin faces into & voila.  You have a dinner that's HAPPY to see you.

For the Frankenstein fingers, you just spread some peanut butter on celery sticks & add a raisin for the fingernail.  My kids LOVE these.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pirate Flag Pancakes

Tonight we had a yummy swashbuckling dinner:


This one is easy easy easy.  Just make pancakes in the shape of a skull.  Add chocolate chips for eyes, nose, & mouth.  Then cook up some yummy bacon & use 2 bacon strips as bones for your skeleton head.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Monster Claws & Cheesy Ghosts

This is another meal my kids beg for during Halloween.


I like to make my own chicken nuggets.  I'm completely obsessed with chick-fil-a's nuggets.  I don't get them often, but they are a splurge of mine occasionally.  My dear friend got up the guts to ask them for their breading recipe & miraculously enough they gave it to her & I've been making these nuggets myself ever since.  We love these things.  Just be sure to make them long & fingerlike for this meal.

And the ghosts are simple.  Just get a sharpie & draw a ghost face on your plastic wrapper of string cheese.

Here's my recipe for the nuggets in case you want to try it on your own.  I double this recipe for my family of 8, but it should feed 4-6 people as is.  
(and for the record, I never said these were healthy, they're just yummy!)

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or tenderloins, cut into long fingerlike slices
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 1/2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
Frying Oil

Mix egg & milk.  Put chicken slices into milk mixture & let sit for at least 5 minutes.  Mix flour, sugar, salt, & pepper in another bowl.  Heat oil.  Dip the wet chicken slices into the dry ingredients & coat.  Dip BACK in to the milk/egg mixture & then AGAIN into the flour mixture.  Fry in hot oil until browned & cooked through.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Skeleton Brains & Banana Ghosts

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner in a fun Halloweeny way:


This one is super easy after a busy day of running around kids.  Simply make some toast & cut with with a skeleton head cookie cutter.  Add chocolate chips for eyes & a mouth.  Then scramble up some eggs with whatever you like inside scrambled eggs (cheese, bacon, spinach, etc.) & place it on top of the skeleton heads so it looks like brains.  You can add red food coloring to make it a pinkish color, but I did that last year & it kind of freaked my kids out so I kept the eggs "normal" this time around.

For the ghosts. . . just cut bananas in half & add chocolate chips as eyes.  These were AWESOMELY DELICIOUS.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Spooky Stew & Bread Bones

Tonight for dinner we had:

We're in the middle of a crazy tropical storm here on the East Coast right now so it's been a downpour all week.  The wind shakes the house & it's chilly all around.  So, what a perfect day for stew right?  For this dinner, just make your favorite stew recipe.  Tonight mine consisted of stew meat, celery, carrots, red potatoes, & onions in a crock pot with a stew seasoning packet on low for 10 hours.

When it's getting close to dinner time, boil some potatoes & mash them until they are nice & creamy (add lots of milk & butter).  I used a pastry bag to pipe out little ghosts with my mashed potatoes & added olive bits as eyes.

For the bones, I just got some refrigerated bread dough, rolled it out flat & sliced it into long rectangular pieces.  I tied knots in each end & then baked them for 15 minutes in the oven at 375.  They looked like little bones.  My kids LOVED them.

Another fun, but easy dinner at the Potter house.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Zombie Taco Salad

For tonight's dinner I made a Potter family favorite - even when it's NOT Halloween.


Here's another yummy, easy dinner that you can make really fun for your kids.  You can make yours any way you like it.  Here's how I do mine:

First I crunch up a handful of tortilla chips at the bottom.  My family especially loves the Tostitos Multi-Grain chips.  They are YUMMY.  Next top with meat & beans.  I make my ground beef with taco seasoning & then add a jumbo can of pork and beans to it.  I know that sounds disgusting, but for some reason that's how I've always made taco salad & we love it.  I don't know where I learned that, but my kids won't eat it any other way.  Spoon that mixture onto the chips.  Next, top that with fresh salsa.  Add lettuce for your zombie hair/brains, cheese for the falling off skin, a tomato for the hungry mouth, 2 spoonfuls of sour cream for eyes, & olives for the center of the eyes.

Easy & it will make the kids smile.

Here's my favorite salsa recipe in case you want to try something new.  I got this recipe from my friend Christina in California & we make it CONSTANTLY.  We love it.

Mix together in a medium sized bowl . . .
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 fresh tomato diced
1/2 large purple onion, diced
1 packed of dry ranch dressing mix
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 avocados, diced
2 Tablespoons cilantro


Pumpkin Hot Pockets & Vampire Teeth

So I totally forgot to post my dinner from last night.  What a slacker!

Last night I made:
(which looked more like hillbilly teeth, but whatever works right?)

For the Pumpkin Hot Pockets I just bought the refrigerated pie dough (or you can make your own).  Use a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut several pumpkins.  Make sure you have 2 cut outs for each pocket.  You can fill your pockets with anything you family likes.  Last night I did honey mustard with garlic chicken & provolone cheese.  Every year it seems to be something different.  After you fill one side of your pumpkin, put the 2nd piece on top & seal around the edge with a fork.  Next I get 2 tiny bowls & crack an egg white into each. . . egg WHITE. . . no yolk.  Add food coloring to the egg whites to make one orange bowl & one green bowl.  Brush the colored egg wash over your pumpkins to give them color & to make them bake into a nice flaky crispy crust.  Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

The Vampire Teeth are just apple slices with peanut butter & marshmallows.  Easy!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pirate Flags & Bloody Eyeball Soup

Tonight was a simple but fun Halloween dinner.


(aka, grilled cheese & tomato soup)

Use a cookie cutter to cut any shape out of one bread slice (per sandwich).  We did skulls with crossbones tonight.  We used white (provolone) cheese since the skull & crossbones are usually white on a pirate flag.  If you're making pumpkins use cheddar cheese; for ghosts white cheese, etc.

Then make your favorite tomato soup & cut small pieces of string cheese to float on top of your soup.  Easy & fun.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Snakes & Eyeballs

Tonight I made
Scary Snakes
& Slippery Eyeballs
for dinner for my family.

These are also an easy dinner that the whole family will love.  The eyeballs are just deviled eggs with olive slices in them (EASY).

For the snakes you can make your favorite burrito or taquito, add olive eyes, & a red pepper tongue.  In case you're looking for a new taquito recipe, here's mine:

6 oz. cream cheese
1 can of diced green chili
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 Tablespoons chopped red/green peppers
1/2 cup chopped spinach (I hide spinach in EVERYTHING.)
1 large can of canned chicken (I used Costco brand)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil & lightly coat with cooking spray.  Mix the cream cheese, lime juice, & seasonings in a medium sized bowl.  Add all the other ingredients & mix well.  Place 2-3 Tablespoons of mixture on each tortilla & roll up as tight as you can & place the taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet.  Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray & sprinkle with salt.  Bake 15-18 minutes.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Monster Sandwiches & Candy Corn Pudding

Tonight we had another Potter Halloween favorite:

The sandwiches are up to you.  I made my little ones simple ham & cheese sandwiches on hoagie buns with tomato/olive eyes.  Simple enough.  For my oldest 2 girls & for my husband & myself I made some hot grilled sandwiches. . . 
#1. They taste awesome & 
#2. They make it look like your sandwich monster is throwing up all sorts of things all over your plate.  YUM.

I love making hot grilled sandwiches & have several combinations I love to make.  For this one we did chicken & ham deli meat.  Add some salt & pepper for flavor & grill it in a frying pan with onions, peppers, & mushrooms.  Add some provolone cheese on top until it melts & then pile it in your bun.  They are FABULOUS.

For the candy corn pudding I just made 3 different bowls of pudding: 
Butterscotch (I love the Pumpkin Spice pudding in this if you can find it)
Banana Cream (or Lemon)
White Chocolate

Once the pudding has been in the fridge & set up properly, spoon it into layers in a see through cup or bowl for the candy corn effect.  We love this.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mummy Dogs & Mini Pumpkins

Here's another Hallowen Favorite from the Potter house:


This one is easy easy easy to make.  Get your favorite hot dog or sausage & wrap it with breadstick dough or crescent dough.  I like the taste of the crescent dough more.  I also like to buy the giant hot dogs either from Costo or ordered from Zaycon Foods (which are my absolute favorite).  Tonight I used our Zaycon hot dogs & they tasted amazing!  Bake them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or just until they are golden brown.  Add mustard dots for eyes & there you have it.

I always make a spiderweb ketchup/mustard dip for these guys as well.  Fill a bowl with ketchup, then swirl 3 circles of mustard on top.  Take a toothpick & pull outward from the center to get the spider web effect.

Then, serve it with some cute mini-pumpkins.  My kids LOVE cutie's (mini oranges).  Just peel them & add a green onion stem & you're set.

Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin Brains & Eyeball Potion

Happy October Everyone.
It's the most. . . wonderful time . . . of the year.

For our first dinner of the Halloween season, I made the family's favorite:
& added some
this year.

My kids LOVE these & it's a good way to get your kids to eat some veggies.  Simply "carve" some colored bell peppers like Jack-o-Lanterns & then add your favorite spaghetti recipe inside the "head."  I especially love tipping them over so their brains spill out all over your plate.

My dear friend who also share a love of all things Halloween sent me 8 amazing skull goblets for Halloween this year so I got creative & put some eyeball gummies into an ice cube tray, added water, & froze them to make eyeball ice cubes.  I added them to green kool-aid into our scary goblets & voila
Eyeball Potion.

I love October.