Appetizer – Spooky Smiles- Halloween

halloween apples

Ingredients:

Red apples

Blanched Almonds

Orange juice

Slice apples.  To prevent the apples from browning dip them in orange juice. Lemon juice is usually used but its sour, and if the kids don’t like sour, orange will do just as well. Both are acidic and both prevent browning.

Chop the almonds and stick into the apple slices close to the skin to make teeth.  Arrange slices on a platter to make monster smiles!!

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Dessert – Kitty Litter Cake – Halloween

halloween kitty litter

Ingredients:

  • 1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 White Cake Mix
  • 1 package White Sandwich Cookies
  • 1 Large package Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
  • Green food coloring
  • 12 Small Tootsie Rolls
  • 1 *NEW* kitty litter box
  • 1 *NEW* kitty litter box plastic liner
  • 1 *NEW* pooper scooper

Preparation:

 

Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans). Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in blender, they tend to stick, so scrape often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup.

To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix using a fork or shake in a jar.

When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. You probably won’t need all of the pudding, mix with the cake and “feel” it, you don’t want it soggy,  just moist;  GENTLY COMBINE

Line new, clean kitty litter box. Put mixture into litter box.

Put three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls and bury in mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly over the top, this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.

Heat remaining Tootsie Rolls, 3 at a time in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Now spread 5 of the remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box; sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs.

Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around. Serve kitty litter cake with a *new* pooper scooper.

Dessert – Sansa Stark – Game of Thrones Lemon Cakes

Sansa Stark – Game of Thrones Lemon Cakes

game-of-thrones-lemon-cakes

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. warm ale
  • 2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 Tbs.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbs. poppy seeds
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ~2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in warm ale, along with 1Tbs. of the flour mixture.  Your yeast should bubble up after a few minutes, indicating that the yeast is active.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and seeds, followed by the lemon zest and juice. Gently add the yeast to this mixture, then begin to fold in the flour and salt.  Use as much flour as is needed to make a smooth, thick batter. Grease your cupcake pan, and fill the cups 2/3 full. Bake in middle of oven at 350° F for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before turning onto a cake rack.

Finally Dip top of your cakes in lemon curd

Dessert – Rum Chata Cup Cakes

rum chata

Rum Chata Cupcakes
YIELD: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
½ cup butter (1 stick, at room temperature)
1½ cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup RumChata
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
4 egg whites

RumChata Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces of cream cheese (1½ packages, at room temperature)
½ cup of butter (1 stick, at room temperature)
½ tsp of vanilla
5 tbsp of RumChata
1 package of confectioners’ sugar (2 lb. bag)

Directions

•Preheat oven to 350* •Combine sugar and butter and beat until fluffy
•Mix together flour, baking powder, salt,&cinnamon, set aside
•Mix the RumChata&vanilla together, set aside
•Alternating, add in the flour mixture and RumChata mixture in to the butter and sugar. Start and end with the flour mixture.
•In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form (this will be easiest in an electric mixer)
•Fold egg whites in to the batter – do not do this in an electric mixer, use a spatula
•Fill cupcake liners •Bake for 20 minutes

Frosting Directions:

•Combine butter and cream cheese until smooth
•Add vanilla
•Slowly add confectioners’ sugar
•Mix in RumChata (use more or less based on the thickness of the frosting. use 4 to 5 tbsp)
•Frost the cupcakes

Dessert – OMG Cheesecake Bites

20130915-115005.jpg

This is the most mouth watering, easy, always a HUGE HIT dessert.

9×13 cake pan greased
Pillsbury Crescent rolls 2 packs
1 cup sugar
2 packages cream cheese
1tsp of vanilla

Grease pan
Open unroll and flatten one package of crescent rolls, lay in bottom of pan.

Mix cream cheese , one cup of sugar and vanilla then spears
Evenly over crescent rolls.

Open unroll and flatten 2nd package of crescent rolls, lay on top of cream cheese mixture.

Mix 3/4 cup sugar, one stick of butter melted and 1tsp of cinnamon then pour over top

Bake 30 min at 350 degrees

Cut into squares when cooled

Then sit back and relax and enjoy the compliments

20130915-114851.jpg

Dessert – Chocolate Chip Hidden Kiss Cookie

kiss choc chip cookieIngredients

  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates or HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates with Almonds
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup HERSHEY’S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)

Cooking Directions

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour to butter mixture; blend until smooth. Stir in small chocolate chips. Mold scant tablespoon dough around each chocolate piece, covering completely. Shape into balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Prepare CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE; drizzle over each cookie. About 4 dozen cookies.

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE: Place 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate and 1 teaspoon shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.

Recipe courtesy Hersheys.

Dessert – Lime Squares

lime squares

This is a cool, refreshing, citrus-y summer dessert that is so simple and easy to make.  In fact, I’ve made it three times already this month…

It begins with crushed/pulsed animal crackers, believe it or not.  I guarantee that it’ll bring out the kid in you.

The crackers are blended with a little bit of brown sugar, melted butter, and pressed into a square baking pan with a “sling.”  Ever notice that it is difficult to get the first brownie out of a pan?  Next time, try a “sling.” Folded foil is pressed into the pan and lightly greased, making it easier to pull out the dessert and cut them into squares.

The crust is baked and cooled while you make the filling.  I used regular limes for this recipe … the thought of juicing itty bitty key limes was daunting enough.  Whatever you do, DO NOT use bottled lime juice.  Fresh is always better ~

First, a lime is zested (avoid the bitter white pith!) and chopped even finer.  Then it is mixed in with softened cream cheese.  Then a can of sweetened condensed milk is added …

Everything is whisked together and poured onto the baked crust.  Once cooled, this is only chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours.

You can see how easily this is pulled out from the pan.  You do need to run a knife along the side that does not have foil first.  Then you can grab the excess foil on either side and pulling it straight up.

I’ve cut this into 16 equal pieces and have even cut it into 36 bite sized pieces.  Sprinkled toasted coconut is optional, which adds textural interest and tames the lime flavor for those who find it too intense.

I’ve made this with an animal cracker crust and a pretzel crust.  Both were good, although the pretzel crust could have used a wee bit more sugar.  Doesn’t hurt to experiment!  This recipe can be doubled and put into a 9×13 pan.  Sweet!

Patriotic Party Ideas and Menu

To me a theme makes the party so much more enjoyable for you and your guests.  Here are 10 ideas for your next patriotic themed party.

The first things guests usually grab is a drink when they arrive at your celebration, so in the drink category we have a recipe that can be either Virgin or Laced with a little Liquor for a kick.

patriotic drink

1)  Place a few strawberries, blueberries and chunks of pineapple in a glass.

2)  Muddle the fruit by mashing it with a wooden spoon or muddler (which is a fancy word for cut it or mash it a little so the flavor is released). THIS PART MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

3) Toss in some ice cubes and bits of the aforementioned fruits.

4) Pour in a favorite ginger ale or lemon lime soda.  (Add a shot of White Rum, Vodka, Gin or Tequila for that kick)

You can always go with a simply stand by of Lemonade served with some sliced strawberries and Blue Berries

patriotic lemonade

Next is the presentation!  There are really SO MANY things you can do with mason jars, I highly recommend you have one case of them stored in your home, they are VERY versatile and pretty in expensive.  For this we are going to make them our drink glasses.  GREAT for the environment instead of using those plastic cups.  To help everyone keep straight whose drink belongs to who try this trick.  Simply little key tags, you can buy these almost anywhere and red white and blue pony tail holders.  Again these are great to keep on hand and change up the glass themes.  Decorate the key tags and attach them to the pony tail holder then secure then on the neck of the glass,  Add Colorful Paper straws and WALLA a fun colorful accessory to your party, again it also protects the environment

patriotic drink glass idea

patriotic-glasses

Here is one other quick mason jar idea, this idea adds in the table setting and again is environmentally friendly.  In the mason jars include a colored bandanna for a napkin and the utensils.

OK Next we need some apps while wewait for our meal, snacky things sitting around for munching.

mason jar tble setting

Lets start with something easy, Patriotic Popcorn

Patriotic Popcorn

You will need:

1 bag of white candy meltsPatriotic Popcorn
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 bag white popcorn
patriotic sprinkles
red M&M’s

Combine cereal, pretzels, and popped popcorn in a large bowl.  Make sure you separate the popcorn from the unpopped kernels before pouring into the bowl.  Melt your candy melts and pour over mixture.  Stir gently until evenly coated.  Spread out onto a foil lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles and M&M’s.  Do not stir the sprinkles and M&M’s into the mixture or you will have white sprinkles and M&M’s.  Let cool then break apart.  To keep fresh, place in a gallon size Ziploc bag or store in a sealed container.

patriotic ptretzels

Firecracker pretzels

One bag large sized pretzels
1 tray Vanilla CandiQuik Coating
red, white and blue sprinkles

Melt CandiQuik according to package directions. Quickly dip pretzels or marshmallows in CandiQuik and place on parchment paper. Let CandiQuik set for one minute then sprinkle with sprinkles.

OK we need one last snack to serve.

Stuffed Cocktail Tomatoes

20 cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb bacon (cooked and crumbled)patriotic tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped green onion
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (snipped or dried)
Directions:

Cut a thin slice off of each tomato top.

Scoop out the insides and drain upside-down on a paper towel.

In a small bowl combine all other ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes.

Chill and serve.

OK Next lets move on to the Meal

Let’s start with an easy little salad

patriotic watermelonfeta blue berry-flag

Flag Salad

This is really simply it is simply the following ingredients cubed

Feta Cheese or any white cheese you prefer

Watermelon, seeds removed

Blue Berries

(Alternatives could be tomatoes or raspberries)

For a fruity addition to dinner simply cut watermelon into wedges and use popscicle sticks or tongue depressors to eat them on

Watermelon Popsicle patriotic watermelon

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

Yes there are Blue Potatoes too,  This recipe is VERY simple, and if you cannot find the blue potatoes it is still great with red and white potatoes served in a blue bowl.patriotic potato salad

This is a German-style potato salad. That means it gets its great flavor from herbs and vinegar instead of mayo, make it easier to bring along and safe to make ahead, even on the hottest days. Two things to note about this recipe: (1) you’ll want to bake or microwave the potatoes instead of boiling them, which will help them retain their color. And (2) even if you cook the potatoes ahead of time, you’ll want to “dress” them with the vinegar while their warm, so they absorb more flavor.

Simply add some diced Garlic, onions, bell peppers and ham (Omit the ham for a vegan delight) make it exciting, and a touch of walnut oil and your choice of sherry or white balsamic vinegar round it out to perfection. We promise you’ve never had a potato salad quite like this, and each bite will feel like a celebration of flavor in your mouth!

Patriotic Taco Salad

Serve with Red, White and Blue Tortilla Chips

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped

patriotic taco salad1-1/2 cups water

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 envelope taco seasoning
6 cups tortilla or corn chips
4 to 5 cups shredded lettuce
9 to 10 pitted large olives, sliced lengthwise
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Place chips in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Spread beef mixture evenly over the top. Cover with lettuce. For each star, arrange five olive slices together in the upper left corner. To form stripes, add cheese and tomatoes in alternating rows. Serve immediately.

OK on to a main course now

These chicken Kabobs are really VERY simple.

Chicken Kabob Blasts

patriotic chicken kabobSome cubed chicken

Cherry Tomatoes

White Onion (White Potatoes will work if you are using purple onions below.

Blue Potato -Purple Onion will also give you the color you want)

You can grill them or bake them at 375

When they are done simple drizzle a mixture of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin), garlic, salt and pepper or what ever flavors your prefer

You can not get more patriotic than hot dogs so how about simply grilling some hot dogs and serving them with some colorful toppings.

hot dog grilledHot Dogs Patriotic Style

Simply serve your hot dogs with the following toppings

Purple Onions, White Corn Salsa and Red Bell Peppers

White Corn Salsa Recipepatriotic corn salsa

Strip the kernels from 2-3 ears of white corn into a large bowl, add a half cup or more of diced onion, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Uncover and add diced jalapeno pepper,  one half cup or more of diced red pepper. A sprinkling of salt, some chopped cilantro if you wish, and the juice of a small lime or lemon (or try a few tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar instead) complete the salsa. Mix well and chill.

And of Course deserts

Popcorn Cake

This would also work using Rice Crispies

1 package (16 ounces) miniature marshmallows
20 caramels
patriotic popcorn or rice crispy cake1/4 cup butter, cubed
10 cups popped popcorn
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup red, white and blue milk chocolate M&M’s

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the marshmallows, caramels and butter. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3 minutes or until melted, stirring occasionally. Place the popcorn in a large bowl; pour caramel mixture over popcorn and mix well.
Stir in peanuts and M&M’s. Press into a well-greased 10-in. tube pan. Cool until firm. Remove from pan; cut with a serrated knife

Red White and Blue Ice Cream Sandwich

Simply cut regular Ice Cream Sandwiches in half

Roll in colored (Red, White and Blue) Sprinklespatriotic ice cream sandwich

Insert Popsicle stick and Walla Dessert!

This would also work as an Ice Cream Sandwich Bar

Supply the Popsicle Sticks

Patriotic Sprinkles

Chopped, Strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, Black berries

Chocolate chips etc

And let your guests create their own delectable dessert.

Looking for more patriotic Dessert Ideas?

Well there you have it you Patriotic Menu, everything you will need to Celebrate with your Red White and Blue Theme.

Dessert – 10 Amazing Patriotic Desserts- Many No-Cook Recipes

flag cake balls

What a great idea for simple cake balls, it is all in how they are arranged

patriotic pie

Yum M and M’s Cream Cheese and Pie, Check out this recipe 

patriotic pop cupHome Made Popsicle s, easy and fun

straw 2

Simple strawberries Hulled and filled with whipped cream and a Blueberry

strawberries

Simple Strawberries dipped in icing and colored sugar.

cake

Red, White and Blue Cake Recipe 

cupcakes one

It is all in how you arrange simple colored cupcakes,  This makes the American Flag

patriotic cupcakes fruit

More simple icing and some blueberries and strawberries, light, fresh and patriotic

fruit kabobs

How about Fruit KaBobs?  Just takes a little Marshmallow and Strawberries and Blue Berries

layered jello

Layered Jello always LOOKS amazing if you have the patience to make it look even, I never could manage this trick.

Well those are our Top 10 Patriotic Desserts, I hope you find one to Adorn your table and Enjoy at your Holiday Party!

Looking for an entire Meal for the holiday?  Check this out!

Be Safe!  Drink Responsibly

Dessert – Cranberry Up-side Down Cake

cranberry upside down cakeIngredients:
Topping:
• Non-stick cooking spray
• 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 8 oz. fresh or frozen, thawed, cranberries (I used fresh)

Cake:
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°.

For topping, lightly spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Heat brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into cake pan, tilting pan to coat bottom evenly. Arrange cranberries evenly over sugar mixture to cover entire bottom of the pan.

For the cake, mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Pour sugar and 1/2 cup butter in another bowl and mix until well blended and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. (Be sure to save the egg whites for later.) Add in vanilla. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with milk.

Mix egg whites with a whisk. Add egg whites into the batter. Pour the batter over the cranberries, spreading evenly.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan. When cake has cooled, use a thin spatula to loosen cake from the pan and then invert the cake into a large plate.