No Tricks Just Halloween Treats

img_5389I love Halloween, not for the scary and spooky stuff, for the creativity it brings out of everyone.  Starting with costumes,  it is so fun to see my girls coming up with what they want to dress up as.  As a mom it is hard not to want to tell them what they should be or what costume would be the cutest, but really it is the best when they come up with their own ideas.  

Working up Halloween treats in the kitchen is the same, the more creative the better. Halloween is not a serious or elegant holiday so why not be a little crazy and have fun with it.  This year I am focused on treats that you and your kids will enjoy and get their hands a little dirty with.

Black and White Chocolate Bark is a simple treats you and your kids can make together.  With nearly no recipe needed at all, find whatever Halloween candy or salty sweet combination you like and sprinkle over melted dark and white chocolate.img_5391

Candy corn and caramel corn both scream fall and why not combine the two for a delicious snack that you won’t be able to stop eating.  Candy Corn Caramel Crunch combines all of my favorites, popcorn, buttery caramel, roasted peanuts, candy corn and drizzled with chocolate.  Serve in a bowl for your guests or package up for a perfect school treat for friends.img_5317

If you are hosting friends on Halloween Orange Fizz Punch is refreshing before or after trick or treating.  Frozen orange sherbet topped with pineapple juice and lemon lime soda ending with a fizz is decadent and sweet, it can even be dessert! img_5449

Keep Halloween stress free with these three kid and adult friendly recipes that will bring your creative juices out!  

Black and White Chocolate Bark
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate
  2. 8 ounces White Chocolate
  3. Candy Corn
  4. Sixlets
  5. Pretzels
  6. Candy Corn M&M
  7. Peanuts
Instructions
  1. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  2. Melt semisweet chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until chocolate is melted
  3. (remove one ounce of semisweet chocolate and save)
  4. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet and spread to be even and smooth
  5. Allow the semisweet chocolate layer to cool
  6. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until chocolate is melted
  7. Pour the white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate layer and spread evenly to cover the semisweet chocolate
  8. While the white chocolate is still melted, drizzle the extra semisweet chocolate in rows onto the white chocolate and take a toothpick to spread the semisweet chocolate through the white chocolate
  9. Immediately sprinkle the toppings; candy corn, sixlets, pretzels, M&M’s and peanuts over the white and dark chocolate.
  10. Allow the bark to cool completely, approximately 1 hour, before breaking it into pieces
  11. Package for gifts or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Candy Corn Caramel Crunch
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  2. 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  3. 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 8 Cups Popcorn, Popped
  7. 1 Cup Candy Corn
  8. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Peanuts
  9. 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  3. In a large Saucepan, melt butter completely
  4. Stir in light brown sugar and light corn syrup and stir until fully combined
  5. Bring butter mixture to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes without stirring the caramel mixture
  6. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture comes to a desired caramel color
  7. Turn the heat off and stir in the salt and baking soda
  8. Slowly pour in the popped popcorn and peanuts and toss until completely coated
  9. Spread the caramel corn onto a sheet pan 
Bake for 15 minutes until the caramel becomes a deep amber color
  10. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with candy corn and drizzle with semi sweet chocolate
  11. Once the caramel corn has cooled, break the pieces into small chucks
  12. Package the candy corn caramel crunch for gifts or store in an air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Orange Fizz Punch
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1 quart Orange Sherbet
  2. 1 Can (46 ounces) Pineapple Juice
  3. 2 Cups Orange Juice
  4. 1 Liters Lemon Lime Soda
  5. Garnish: Halloween Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a large punch bowl, combine pineapple juice, orange juice and lemon lime soda
  2. Right before you are ready to serve add orange sherbet to the punch bowl
  3. Serve the punch in individual glasses and top it off with a splash of lemon lime soda to create the fizz!
  4. Garnish with halloween sprinkles and a straw
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Eight Edible Gifts for the Holidays

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With the hustle and bustle that goes on during the holidays, I love the idea of edible gifting. This is an inexpensive way to share a favorite recipe or family tradition with the ones you love. Whether it is homemade or purchased at your favorite neighborhood store, keep it simple and make something special with creative packaging.

 1. Homemade vanilla extract

One of the most popular ingredients in baking, homemade vanilla extract is a perfect holiday gift. Choose your favorite alcohol: vodka, rum, or bourbon along with whole vanilla beans. Give the extract at least one month to infuse before packaging and gifting for your favorite baker.

 2. Chocolate Peppermint Caramel Corn

Caramel corn is a classic but can only get better when you add a drizzle of white and dark chocolate, and a sprinkle of peppermint. It will keep you coming back for another bite — the perfect party snack or gift.

 3. Nut and Dried Fruit Boxes

A simple and elegant gift mixed with a variety of dried fruit and nuts, this is a great gift without getting your hands dirty in the kitchen. Check out your local gourmet market and find an assortment of sweet, spicy, and chocolate- or candy-coated nuts and dried fruit. Packaged in a basket or tray, this pairs perfectly with a bottle of wine.

 4. S’mores Kit

Cold weather, burning fireplaces and roasted marshmallows are the best memories of a busy holiday. Share the love with adults or kids by gifting an adorable S’mores kit. Clear acrylic boxes, graham crackers, large marshmallows and chocolate bars are all you need to create this sweet package from the craft blog, Twig & Thistle.  

 5. Seasonal Flavored Futter

Edible gifting is not always sweet. Combine your favorite fresh herbs or citrus zest with room temperature butter. Transfer the chilled log of flavored butter into a layer of plastic wrap and onto parchment paper, rolling it up and tying the ends with kitchen twine or jute. It’s a great foodie gift from gourmet food blog, The Fromagette.

 6. Herb Salt

Use any dried herbs you have in your kitchen cabinet for this gift idea from The Pretty Blog. Herb salt can be made well in advance with rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley or basil mixed with sea salt for a great addition to any meat, fish or vegetable dish.

 7. Cookie Gift Box

If you need the perfect gift for office mates, this is it: a selection of petit cookies sectioned off in small ornament boxes wrapped in cellophane. The recipe from Sweet Paul Magazine requires no baking.

8. Rosemary Roasted Almonds

For this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod, whole almonds are seasoned with fresh rosemary, a dash of chili powder, and salt, and then roasted in the oven, filling your home with an amazing aroma. The almonds are a great source of protein, packed with flavor, to balance all the sweets being consumed this month.

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