Pumpkin Granola


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It’s October and to me that means Halloween, falling leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes, and the smell of crisp fall weather.  I thought it was time for another yummy recipe so I chose pumpkin granola and, let me tell you, it turned out DELICIOUSLY!  The recipe is very easy to make and contains the following ingredients:

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dried cranberries, to taste
  • almonds, to taste

As you can see, this recipe contains A LOT of sugar.  But there is nutritional value in some of the ingredients.

  • Oats – high in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system regular; iron, which aids in oxygen being transported around your body; and magnesium, key for nerve conduction and cell membrane health as well as muscle repair.
  • Almonds – high in fiber, protein, and vitamin E.

Cranberries can be yummy but dried cranberries contain too much sugar for the nutrients to counter-balance.  A healthier addition would be raisins, which also aid in digestion and help to lower blood pressure and are high in iron and copper.

So how do you make this?  It’s EASY and can be done in about 45 minutes.  A major perk, it makes your home smell wonderful so it’d be great to make before you host a get-together.  Check out the steps below then enjoy your delicious granola on its own or with yogurt and fruit or just milk.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a bowl, combine oats with spices and salt and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix until smoothe.
  4. Pour the wet ingredient mixture over the oats and mix to coat the oats evenly.
  5. Spread the mixture over the baking sheet evenly then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the granola and stir, then place in the oven again for 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries, raisins, nuts, or even pumpkin seeds.  Let completly cool then store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

 

 

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“Ghostbusters” Slime Popcorn … And 6 More Halloween Recipes Inspired by Scary Movies


Movies and food are a classic combo, so what better way to enjoy some of the seasons scariest films than with a spooky Halloween snack to match? We’ve paired some of the most iconic Halloween films in history with delicious Babble recipes; from bloody-knife cookies from the Shining, to witches brew soup from Hocus Pocus, we’ve got you covered. So pick your favorite movie, invite some friends over, and whip up a scary Halloween meal that will be both a trick and a treat!

Ghostbusters | Slime Popcorn When you get a craving for spooky snacks, who you gonna call? This Ghostbusters-inspired green slime popcorn offers a scary-good twist on the beloved salty snack. Rumor has it if you eat a whole bowl in front of the mirror in a dark room, Bill Murray will appear. Worth a shot!

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When I was a little kid, I loved/hated Ghostbusters. We rented it on VHS. (Remember those?) It was such a fun movie, but it completely scared me. I was only about 4 or 5 at the time and I had a vivid imagination. It was a long time before I could walk down a deserted library aisle without thinking I would find a ghost at the next turn. And don’t get me started on those frightening gargoyles! Totally scary! Like most Ghostbusters fans, my favorite ghost was Slimer. When he passed through solid walls or anything really, he left behind a trail of bright green slime and he was always hungry and looking for something to eat. Kind of hilarious when you’re a little kid. When my kids and I watched Ghostbusters over the weekend, there were fits of giggles when they saw Slimer.

Today I’m sharing a fun, easy recipe for Ghostbusters Green Slimed Popcorn. It’s green and sticks to your fingers – just like slime! My kids loved this Slimer-inspired ooey-gooey popcorn treat. We’re planning on making for our family Halloween party. I think it will be a huge hit!

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What You’ll Need

This yummy recipe calls for popcorn, brown sugar, butter, marshmallows, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and food coloring.

Ghostbusters Green Slimed Popcorn
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick butter)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2 heaping cups miniature marshmallows (or 12 large)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 drops each green and yellow food coloring
8 cups popped popcorn

Instructions:
1. Place butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a 3-quart sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and add marshmallows and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
3. Add the green and yellow food coloring to create desired color.
4. Put the popcorn in a large bowl and pour the “green slime” marshmallow mixture over the popcorn. Stir with a large spoon until coated. Cover until ready to serve. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 8-10 large servings

The Others | Distractingly Delicious Yorkshire Pudding
Nicole Kidman’s character in the creepy flick The Others faced unimaginable horrors when the new housekeeper turned out to be more than she seemed. This classic English recipe for Yorkshire pudding would have put her at ease, if only temporarily. Eat up, and try not to think about the noises in the basement!

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One of my most favorite scary movies is The Others with Nicole Kidman. It’s it’s creepy, it’s unnerving, it’s dark and it has a fantastic surprise ending. (If you haven’t seen The Others yet, stop reading this post so I don’t ruin it for you! You can just skip on down to the recipe – then go rent the movie ASAP!)

Nicole Kidman plays Grace, a mother of two who loves her children dearly but is just a little bit crazy. In all honesty, who wouldn’t go crazy in that big, dark house constantly covered in fog and a piano that plays by itself? The character Mrs. Mills shows up on their doorstep one day and is hired on as the new housekeeper. Thank goodness because Grace’s kids needed a little stability and wholesome cooking in their lives…or deaths, as it were! Mwah-ha-ha!

I’m pretty sure Mrs. Mills would have served up Yorkshire pudding fairly regularly. It is classic English fare and she wouldn’t have had to go to the market for any of the ingredients, which is a good thing since it’s kind of hard for ghosts to go shopping!

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Yorkshire Pudding
This recipe is from my friend Angie. It has been passed down from generation to generation and is the best version of this dish I’ve ever had.
– 4 eggs
– 2 1/4 c. milk
– 1 1/2 c. flour
– 1 1/2 tsp. salt
– 4 tablespoons margarine, butter or meat drippings (Meat drippings is traditional and good for serving this as a savory dish. Butter or margarine is more neutral and makes this recipe good for breakfast served with jam.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place your fat of choice in a 9″ x 13″ pan and place pan in the oven. Keep it in the oven until fat is boiling then take out of the oven. If you are using butter, make sure to remove from the oven before butter burns, even if it is not yet boiling.

Pour the blended ingredients directly into the hot pan.

Bake at 450 for 25ish minutes, until it has browned and the sides have risen very high.

The Shining | Bloody Knife-Shaped Cookies
It wouldn’t be Halloween without some kind of homage to The Shining. If there’s any chance of fending off a crazed murderer (or, ahem, hunger), a sharp weapon is a must. These deliciously spooky cookies are sure to do the trick!

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The Shining: Bloody Knife Cookies

Bloody Knife Cookies! My ode to The Shining: the best horror masterpiece I have ever seen!

Ingredients for knife cookies:

  • 1 – stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 – cup sugar
  • 1 – egg
  • 2 – teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 – cups flour
  • 1/4 – teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients for Royal Icing:

  • 4 – cups powdered sugar
  • 3 – tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6 – tablespoons warm water
  • Food coloring gel (black, grey, and red)

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer until fluffy and creamy.
  2. Add in egg and vanilla, and mix on medium till mixture comes together.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix with a fork to mix well.
  4. Pour the flour mixture into the creamy butter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Remove from mixer and mix with your hands to bring it together. Then divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
  6. Wrap each portion of dough in plastic wrap, and smash down into a disk shape. Place in the fridge for 1 hour until cold.
  7. Preheat the oven for 325 degrees fahrenheit.
  8. Roll dough out on a lightly floured work space. roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Then with a small pairing knife cut out the shape of a knife. Either trace around a real knife or free hand it.
  9. Place cookie knives on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or wax paper.
  10. Bake for 11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet.
  11. Remove from baking mat with a metal spatula.
  12. In a bowl combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, and warm water. Still until smooth and well combined.
  13. Divide the royal icing into 3 separate little bowls and color one black, gray, and the other red.
  14. Place each color of royal icing into a piping bag fitted with a tip.
  15. Outline the handle of the knife in black, then fill in the middle.
  16. Then with the red outline from the tip of the knife blade to the bottom center. Fill in the red.
  17. Last fill the rest in with grey.
  18. Let dry completely overnight.
  19. Enjoy!

Hocus Pocus | Witches Brew Soup and Cheesy, Garlic Broomsticks
Although considered a family film, we’re not gonna lie: Hocus Pocus still scares the pants off us. And while the bubbling brew in the movie was used by witches to suck the lives out of the children of Salem (eek!), we recommend brewing this soup for a fun (non-life-sucking) All Hallows’ Eve supper.

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Hocus Pocus Witches Brew Soup, Cheezy Broomsticks!

For today’s Friday night dinner and a movie recipe I’m inspired by one of my favorite Halloween flicks: Hocus Pocus. So I’m stirring my bubbling cauldron (aka, my soup pot) to make this Hocus Pocus Witches Brew Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Cheezy Garlic Broomsticks and witches hats. Grab a spoon and dive into this spooky-delicious, witchy green soup. There are plenty of broomsticks to go around!..

The flavor inspiration for this soup is broccoli-cheddar. The idea is to get the kids to see the bright orange cheese first – and the green stuff second. But once they dive into these savory veggie flavors, I hope they will keep eating until the last broomstick is turned to crumbs. Or as the witches say. “to dust.”

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My meal was made vegan using Daiya dairy-free cheddar cheese, Earth Balance vegan butter and soy based creamer for the soup. You can make your meal vegan, or sub with similar ingredients that you keep in you pantry. Happy witching season!

Witches Brew Broccoli Cheddar Soup
vegan, makes 6-7 cups

6 cups broccoli florets – steamed
2 cups veggie or mushroom broth
1/3 cup soy creamer, plain
1 cup white potato, baked with skin
1 cup white cannellini beans
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
2-3 Tbsp olive oil + salt to taste OR melted vegan butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional for a sweet accent)
2-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
garnish: roasted broccoli florets coated in melted Daiya cheddar cheese

Cheezy Garlic Broomsticks and Witches Hats
1 ball pizza dough
garlic granules
1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds

Prepare soup in a high speed blender like a Vitamix (or use immersion handstick blender).

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To Make:

1. First steam 6 cups of broccoli florets. Add 3 cups to a blender. Also add in the potato, beans, cheese, creamer, optional oil/butter and veggie broth. Blend until smooth. Add in the remaining broccoli and either pulse to keep the soup “chunky” style or puree smooth for a creamy soup. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on stove top until ready to serve.

2. For the broomsticks, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough to 3/4 ” thick. Slice into long strips (the broomsticks). Then using about 1/4 of the dough, cut out triangle shapes. You can make these into witches hats as well as use them for the broomstick bristles. Slice the triangles into a broom shape. The dough will rise as it bakes, but still resemble the brooms. Lay the brooms and hats on a greased baking sheet. Brush with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with garlic and cheese. Bake for ten minutes, Broil on high for an additional minute until the cheese bubbles.

Serve the brew!

Eight Legged Freaks | Spooky Spider Crackers
We could literally feel eight little legs crawling all over our bodies as we watched this spider-infested horror flick. But these spooky crackers are the types of spiders we have no problem taking down!

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Spooky Spider Crackers

The first time I made this recipe, it was for a kids Halloween party eight years ago. It was a huge hit and the Mom appreciated a non-sweet treat.

If you think the kids will gawk at the noodle legs, you can always use….

 

The recipe uses items that you probably have in your pantry except for the noodles and you can always use pretzel sticks for the legs if you do not want to go buy chow mein noodles. I love the noodles because of their wiry shapes so they as a bit of dimension and spookiness to the ‘spiders’. BOO!

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Ingredients (per ‘spider’)
2 round crackers
peanut or any nut butter
8 chow mein noodles
2 raisins

Smear a small amount of peanut butter onto the inside of one cracker. Place 4 chow mein noodles on one side of the cracker followed by 4 more on the other side. Place the remaining cracker on top. To make the ‘eyes’: dab two spots of peanut butter near the top of one crackers to ‘glue’ the raisins into place.

Jaws | Sand and Sea Beach Cupcakes
Da nuh, da nuh, da nuh,… da nuh. These beach-themed cupcakes make a tasty treat while you watch Spielberg’’s 1975 classic, Jaws. We recommend steering clear of the beach for at least 72 hours after watching …and eating.

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Sand and Sea Beach Cupcakes

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I’m usually not one to do themed cupcakes unless they are really easy, and these are. I made lemon flavored cupcakes just by using store bought cake mix and then a simple homemade buttercream. You don’t even need a pastry bag to frost the cupcakes, this recipe only requires a butter knife. I first saw these cupcakes on Martha Stewart, and instantly fell in love with them. This isn’t the same recipe as on the Martha site, but they look very similar. For the shark fins, I thought my son had some darker blue or grey colored construction paper, but all I found was this light blue. I thought it was cute, but a darker color for the fins would have been more striking.

Don’t forget to bring the kids in the kitchen for these easy cupcakes. They can cut out the shark fins, add the little umbrellas and dip the frosted cupcakes in the brown sugar

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Sand and Sea Beach Cupcakes {Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting}

Ingredients

For the cupcakes
1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box instant lemon pudding mix
all other ingredients according to package directions on cake box, including one extra egg

For the frosting

1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 lb powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 – 3 tablespoons milk

Other ingredients

blue food coloring
brown sugar
blue construction paper
paper umbrellas

Method

1. Prepare cupcakes according to package directions on cake mix box, adding lemon pudding mix and one additional egg.

2. Add butter, shortening and sugar to stand mixer. Mix until well blended. Add vanilla and milk and mix on high until light and fluffy.

3. Frost half of cupcakes with this frosting, Add about 1 cup brown sugar to a bowl and dip frosted cupcakes in to coat. Garnish with umbrella.

4. Take the remaining half of the frosting and add blue food coloring. Mix on high until well blended.

5. Frost the other half of the cupcakes and use a butter knife to make a wave pattern in frosting. Cut shark fins out with construction paper and insert into blue frosted cupcakes.

Batman | Batty Brownies
From the psychotic, disfigured Joker to the notorious criminals that plague Gotham City, the flicks from the Batman franchise can be surprisingly frightening. Enter batty brownies – the perfect bat-themed comfort food to keep nightmares at bay.

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Dinner and A Movie: Batty Brownies for Batman

‘Tis the season for bats and ghouls and goblins which is where the inspiration for this recipe came from. My daughter was having a playdate last week and her friend told us he is going to be Batman for Halloween. He has never seen Dark Knight or anything like that, but he has read the kids comic books and seen the cartoon. That inspired me to bake these fun brownies frosting with orange cream cheese frosting and dotted with little bats. They seem like just the thing to eat when watching Batman, which happens to be on cable television all this coming weekend. You better believe we’ll be enjoying these while watching our movie after someone goes to bed tomorrow night!

Batty-Brownies

Batty Brownies

1 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2 eggs

1 pinch kosher salt

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1 t. vanilla

2 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the bats:

Chocolate wafers

Reese’s Pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9×9 square baking dish, set aside.
2. Fit the food processor with a metal blade and add the sugar and butter. Pulse until the butter is thoroughly combined. Then, add the eggs and salt. Process continuously until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Do not overbeat. Then, add the cocoa and flour, pulse until there is no visible cocoa or flour remaining. Stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

3. Spread batter into baking dishes and spread to make sure top is even. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is set. Cool on rack and cut into bars.

4. For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and beat again until smooth.

5. To Make the Bats: Cut the wafers in half and cut out little bat wings with a paring knife. Alternatively, use a knife to cut bat wings out of chocolate graham crackers. Wedge the wings into the frosting so they are tilting up out of the frosting and place a Reese’s Piece in the middle.

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This is What Happens when You Cook Everything Delicious Inside a Pumpkin


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Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

The name says it all: this pumpkin is filled with the savory goodness of bacon, cheese, and bread; it makes a hearty main course or side dish. The recipe comes from “Around My French Table,” by Dorie Greenspan.

1 (3-pound) pumpkin
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 pound Gruyere, Emmenthal, or cheddar cheese (or a mix of all three), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 cloves garlic, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or use a Dutch oven that is slightly larger in diameter than your pumpkin (in which case, you will need to serve your pumpkin from the Dutch oven, as it may stick, but it will keep its shape better this way).

2. Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut off top of pumpkin, working around the top with the knife inserted at a 45-degree angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; reserve top. Remove seeds and strings from cap and pumpkin. Season inside of pumpkin generously with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet or in Dutch oven; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, chives, and thyme until well combined. Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. You may need to add some bread and cheese or some of the filling may not be necessary to use. In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream — you may need to use more or less accordingly.

4. Place top on pumpkin and transfer to oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

5. Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (or serve in Dutch oven, if using) and serve.

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Halloween Hot Chocolate


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On a cold, blustery winter like day nothing is better than a cup of hot chocolate. We aren’t coffee drinkers at our house but we are big hot chocolate drinkers.

I am also a big fan of white chocolate and love making my hot chocolate with white chocolate. I decided to turn the white hot chocolate into some Halloween hot chocolate with a little food coloring and some edible googly eyes!

Halloween Hot Chocolate is sure to be a total hit at any Halloween party or to warm up those trick or treaters when they come home.

What little trick or treater wouldn’t love a mug of Spooky White Hot Chocolate?

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Those edible googly eyes are the perfect way to top off the whip cream.

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Or how about serving it monster style.  Just add green food coloring and some purple, green and black sprinkles.  And a few more googly eyes of course!

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And then for all those fellow candy corn fans out there how about some candy corn hot chocolate!!

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Just add some orange food color to the liquid  and top with whip cream, yellow sprinkles and a few candy corn.

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A fun and festive way to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate this Halloween season!

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I used Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bars.

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