©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Marshmellow Ghost Cupcakes

I also made these for Miss V's Halloween party.  I was afraid that 24 cupcakes would be enough, so I made a dozen from a recipe on the Joy of Baking Site.

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

Vanilla Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. If you want flat topped cupcakes then slice off the dome of each cupcake, with a sharp knife, before frosting.
Makes about 12 cupcakes

I frosted them with a canned milk chocolate frosting.  I used some fall sprinkles from Wilton and used a tube of Wilton Black icing to make the faces on the marshmellows.


Marshmellow Frankenstein Cupcakes

I made these yesterday for Miss V's Halloween Party.  I found the idea in a magazine called Yum for Kids.

Make and cool your favorite box mix or homemade cupcakes.

1/2 cup warm water
Pastry brush or new foam paintbrush
24 large white marshmellows
Green liquid food color
1 can white frosting
Purple gel food color
24 green gumdrops cut in half lengthwise
48 red Dots candies or gumdrops cut in half
Cookie sheet lined with wax paper
Tube of black icing
Small star tip and small circle tip

Add green food color to the warm water until you get the shade of green that you would like your Frankensteins to look like.

Quickly and lightly brush the marshmellows with the colored water on all sides and place on a the lined cookie sheet to dry.

Tint the white frosting with the purple gel food color until you get a nice shade of lavender.  Frost the cupcakes.

When the marshmellows are dried pipe on the faces with the circle tip with the black icing.  Switch to the small star tip and create hair.

Place the marshmellows on the cupcakes and gently push in.

Place the green sliced gumdrops in front to form arms and two red Dot candies on either side of the head to from the bolts.

Sorry if the pictures are huge, blogger is having an issue uploading so I had to upload them to photobucket.




Pumpkin Crunch Parfaits

I originally saw the recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Parfaits on the Taste of Home site last year and had it bookmarked.  I am room mom for Miss V's class and we do Harvest Parties.  This year we decided to make it a luncheon with tukey sandwiches, mashed potatoes, stuffing and all the fixings.  I love making cupcakes but felt the need to switch it up a bit since the kids will also be making caramel apples.  My mind went right back to the Pumpkin Crunch Parfaits.  The recipe makes 6, but I doubled it and made them in smaller cups so I ended up with 16.  I used Solo 9 oz punch cups.  I also made a little modification.  I did not add all the Cool Whip to the pumpkin/pudding mix.  I put one cup in and folded it in until there were no more white streaks.  I bought the 16 oz tub of Cool Whip.  I also layered it a bit more like a trifle.  I skipped the nuts.

The recipe below is for 6 parfaits.

3/4 cup cold milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups whipped topping
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped pecans
32 gingersnap cookies, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
Additional whipped topping

In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the whipped topping, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in pecans.

Spoon half of the mixture into parfait glasses; top with half of the gingersnap crumbs. Repeat layers. Top with additional whipped topping. Yield: 6 servings.


Fall Leaves Cookies (updated)

I originally made this last year at my cooking workshops at YCA.  I just made a batch for Miss V's Harvest Party.

1 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 LAND O LAKES® All-Natural Egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Red, orange and yellow gel food colors

Combine butter and sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, milk and lemon extract; continue beating until well mixed.

Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.Divide dough into thirds; place each portion into separate small bowl. Add very small amount of red gel food color to 1 portion; mix well. Add additional red gel for desired color, if necessary. Repeat with remaining dough portions and gel food colors.

Shape each dough into ball; flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (2 to 3 hours).

Heat oven to 400°F. Working with half of each dough color (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), drop tablespoon-size pieces of dough from each color onto a lightly floured surface in a random pattern with dough pieces touching. Roll out dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness, forming a marbled design. Cut with 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters.

Place cookies, 1 inch apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling rack
The original recipe calls for almond extract and sanding sugar.  I subbed lemon since that is Miss V's favorite and she isn't a fan of sanding sugar so I skipped them.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten {Tuesday} 

This is my first time doing a Top Ten Tuesday, hopefully I can find ten foodie things to put on my list.

01.  Need to figure out what to do with the leftover chicken for dinner.  The last couple times we had roast chicken I made a pot pie with the left overs and I don't want to do that every week.

02.  Need to figure out what fun foods to serve at Miss V's Halloween party this weekend.  Going to be a bit more difficult since fridge space is very limited.  Our kitchen fridge died yesterday and we moved the garage fridge into the kitchen.  It is a much smaller fridge, but at least we have one!

03.  I found the perfect Frankenstein cupcakes to make and Miss V loves them.

04.  Need to hit the grocery store tomorrow, I am making desserts for Miss V's Harvest Party at school.

05.  I am going to make Pumpkin Crunch Parfaits for Miss V's class party.

06.  I think I might make some cookies too for her party.

07.  Need to find a good gruesome drink for Miss V's Halloween party, have any ideas???

08.  Must take a picture of the Chocolate Banana bread that just came out of the oven when it cools off.

09.  I also need to make a menu plan for the rest of the week.

10.  I have some left over pumpkin that needs to be baked into some yummy treats, off to scour the internet.

Corn Salsa

I also made this corn salsa for our Deadwood party.  It too was very yummy.

2 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen kernels, thawed)
4 oz. can green chilies
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
½ green bell pepper, seeded and diced
¼ cup green onions, chopped w/tops
2 TBS White Vinegar
1 TBS Vegetable Oil
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Black Bean Salsa

I made this on Saturday for our Murder at the Deadwood Saloon.  It was incredibly yummy.

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
16 oz frozen corn, thawed and drained
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
3 TBS chopped fresh Cilantro
3 TBS Lime Juice
1 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 TBS Olive Oil
Sprigs of fresh Cilantro

Combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil in a large bowl and mix well. Chill covered for 1 hr. before serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Yields 6 cups.  Serve with tortilla chips.


Deadwood Tea

This is what we served last night at our Murder at the Deadwood Saloon party.  We found the recipe on a display at a liquor store.

1 part Mailbu Passion Fruit
2 parts iced tea
1 part lemon lime soda

Serve over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with lime

We still have some Passionfruit syrup left over from our Mardi Gras Party so we subbed white rum and added some of the syrup. 


Pumpkin Patch Pancakes

Victoria was looking through her favorite cookbook last night. She wanted to make Pumpkin Patch Pancakes in the morning. Of course this morning she ready to make her pancakes. She read the ingredients as I pulled them from the cabinet, pantry and fridge. We didn't make the Yogurt Cream that goes with this recipe. I didn't have any vanilla yogurt so Victoria just ate them with syrup.

2 apples (I used one granny smith)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbs brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup of fat free milk (I used whole)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tbs canola oil

1. Make the yogurt cream. Save until step 8. Put the apples on the cutting board with stem sides up. Use the sharp knife to cut each apple into quarters. Cut the core out of each apple quarter and throw away the cores. Cut the apples into 1/2 inch sticks. Save until step 6.

2. Put the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt into a medium bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix.

3. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Beat with a whisk until yolk and white are mixed. Add the milk, pumpkin, and oil to the egg. Beat with a whisk until ingredients are well mixed.
4. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are wet. The batter should be somewhat lumpy.

5. Lightly coat a nonstick griddle or heavy skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Put the griddle or skillet on a burner. Turn heat to medium and let griddle get hot.

6. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot griddle and use a rubber scraper to spread the batter into a 4 inch circle. Put one apple stick in the circle of batter so that the apple stick goes over the edge of the pancake. This will be the pumpkins stem. Cook over medium heat until pancakes have a slightly bubbly surface and the edges re slightly dry, about 2 minutes.

7. Turn the pancakes over with a pancake turner. Cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Remove pancakes from the griddle and put on the serving plate. Cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat until all the batter is used. Turn off burner. Remove griddle or skillet from the burner.

8. Serve warm pancakes with yogurt cream and any left over apple sticks.

Yogurt Cream: Put on 6 - 8 oz carton of vanilla low fat yogurt and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice into a small bowl. Stir with spoon to mix. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Aren't they cute??

Victoria gave them a two thumbs up for taste and said she would make and eat them again!

This was also posted on her blog and copied here.  For her own protection, I did remove the pictures with her in them.


Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Rolls

I wanted something fallish breakfast and something of a treat. I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour site.


1 cup canned pumpkin or squash
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup lukewarm water*
1/4 cup soft butter
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast

*Adjust the amount of water by the time of year or your climate. For summer, or in a humid enivronment, use the lesser amount of water. In winter, or in a dry climate, use the greater amount. It's always best to start with the lesser amount; you can


3/4 cup Baker's Cinnamon Filling*
3 tablespoons water

1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger, raisins, or dried cranberries, optional

*Substitute 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon for the Baker's Cinnamon Filling and water, if desired. If you use sugar and cinnamon, DO NOT ADD THE WATER.

1 cup glazing or confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make a "drizzlable" glaze


Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you've made a soft, fairly smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours, until it's almost doubled in bulk.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Roll it into a 14" x 22" rectangle; the dough will be thin.

Mix the cinnamon filling and water. Spread a thin layer over the dough, leaving one short edge free of filling.

Sprinkle with crystallized ginger or dried fruit (or both), if desired. (I skipped  this part of the filling)

Starting with the short end that's covered with filling, roll the dough into a log.

Cut the log into nine 1 ½"-thick rolls.

Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9" x 9" pan that's at least 2" deep. Set aside, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until the rolls look puffy.

Bake the rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're lightly browned and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and set them on a rack. Turn them out of the pan, and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes. Towards the end of the cooling time, make the glaze.

To make the glaze: Heat the butter and milk together till the butter melts. Whisk into the sugar.

Drizzle the warm rolls with the warm glaze. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Yield: 9 rolls.

I ended up by cutting mine smaller into 12 rolls instead. 



Pumpkin Scones

I had about 1/2 a cup left over canned pumpkin from making the cinnamon rolls.  So I went in search of another breakfast item that I could make.  I settled on Pumpkin Scones and they are from that "other" coffee shop, the one that I will not go to, because...well I am a Dunkie's kind of gal.  Anyway I made these, but they were way to sticky.

2 cups all-purpose flour (I had to knead in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup more flour)
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (use fresh please...)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half (didn't have any so I used light cream)
1 large egg

Powderered Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (again..use fresh please)
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a food processor, pulse butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.

Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. (These a HUGE and I really should have cut them smaller, no wonder people have portion distortion)

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.


Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.

When scones are cool, use the back of a spoon to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.

As the white glaze dries, make your spiced glaze:

Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A ziplock bag works great for this.  I mixed it right in the bag until smooth then snipped off a corner.

I must say the scones are HUGE!!! I should have cut them even smaller.




Candy Corn Cookies

So this morning on my Facebook News Feed this recipe popped up from FoodBlogs.  I knew I had to make some TODAY!  They are so cute!!!  I did have to change a couple things from the original recipe.  I did not have orange juice or zest.  So I subbed clear vanilla extract and lemon extract since that is a favorite flavor of Miss V's.

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
orange gel food coloring
lemon yellow gel food coloring

Sanding Sugar

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and extracts. Mix well. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.  Add to they wet ingredients.

Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Add orange food coloring to the first part and blend well.

Add the lemon yellow food coloring to the second part and thoroughly blend. Use plenty of food color gel.  You want to have nice bright colors.  They do fade a bit in the baking process.  Leave the third part plain.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. (I ran out of parchment and had to use plastic wrap.  It is a bit harder to get out.)  My glass loaf pan is 8.5 inches.  Press the yellow dough evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Then you will press the orange dough evenly over the yellow dough, and press the plain dough on top. Wrap the parchment paper over the dough and refrigerate for a few hours.  I made the dough around 9:30ish.  And baked them at 4:00 pm.

Preheat your oven to 375.

When you are ready to slice and bake the cookies.  Remove the dough from the loaf pan and remove plastic wrap or parchment.  With a sharp knife cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices.  Then cut into triangles.  Then put onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Miss V then sprinkled the sanding sugar on the cookies.

Bake cookies for approximately 8 minutes, be very careful no to over bake them.





Blogger is having an issue uploading pictures, so I needed to upload them to photobucket.  Hopefully you can still view them.


Chicken & Corn Chowder (or as I say with my New England accent, Chowda)

I had some chicken that needed to be cooked up and really didn't know what to do. Since it has been feeling fallish I figured on a soup. I just came up with this recipe based on other soups that are here there and everywhere on my blog.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper
4 cups chicken stock
4 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
3/4 cup onion chopped
4 large baking potatoes peeled and diced
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 tsp thyme
1 cup half and half or milk

Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and thyme. Brown in a skillet then place in a warmed crock pot. Make a roux with 4 tbs butter and flour. Add 2 cups of stock and whisk until smooth.

Pour the cream of potato soup over the chicken, add the potatoes and onions.

Pour your skillet gravy into the crock pot and add the rest of the stock. Stir until well mixed. Taste to check your seasonings. You may add a bit more salt, pepper and thyme.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.

Add the frozen corn and cook on low for one more hour.

Stir in half and half or milk turn to high, cover and cook for 15 minutes.


Ground Beef Pot Pie

Yum this is what I made for dinner.  It also comes from the Pillsbury Pot Pies and Casseroles magazine.

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups frozen southern-style diced hash brown potatoes (from 32-oz bag), thawed
3 medium carrots, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 jar (12 oz) beef gravy
Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie, using 9-inch glass pie plate. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef, onion, garlic salt and pepper over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.
Stir cornstarch into beef mixture until mixed. Stir in potatoes, carrots and gravy. Cook 5 to 6 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until hot. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust; cover edge of crust with foil.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


October Food Holidays

Can you believe it is October 1st already?   Lets just see what food we can celebrate this month.

Eat Country Ham Month

Fair Trade Month
National Apple Month
National Applejack Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
National Cookie Month
National Dessert Month
National Pasta Month

National Pickled Peppers Month
National Pizza Festival Month
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
National Pork Month
National Pretzel Month
National Seafood Month
Vegetarian Awareness Month

October 1: World Vegetarian Day

October 1: Pudding Season Begins
October 1: Homemade Cookies Day
October 2: National Fried Scallops Day
October 3: National Caramel Custard Day
October 4: National Taco Day
October 4: National Vodka Day
October 5: National Apple Betty Day
October 6: National Noodle Day
October 7: National Frappe Day
October 8: National Fluffernutter Day
October 9: Moldy Cheese Day (we presume they mean blue cheese mold)

October 9: Submarine-Hoagy-Hero-Grinder Day
October 10: National Angel Food Cake Day
October 11: National Sausage Pizza Day
October 12: National Gumbo Day
October 13: National Yorkshire Pudding Day
October 14: National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day
October 15: National Chicken Cacciatore Day
October 15: National Roast Pheasant Day
October 16: World Food Day
October 16: National Liqueur Day
October 17: National Pasta Day
October 17: Four Prunes Day
October 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day
October 19: National Seafood Bisque Day
October 20: National Brandied Fruit Day
October 21: National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
October 21: Caramel Apple Day

October 22: National Nut Day
October 23: National Boston Cream Pie Day
October 23: National Canning Day
October 24: National Bologna Day
October 24: Good and Plenty Day
October 25: National Greasy Foods Day
October 26: Pumpkin Day
October 26: Pretzel Day
October 26: Mince Meat Pie Day
October 27: National Potato Day
October 27: American Beer Day
October 28: National Chocolate Day
October 29: National Oatmeal Day

October 30: National Candy Corn Day
October 30: Buy a Doughnut Day
October 31: National Candy Apple Day
October 31: Trick or Treat for UNICEF Day

So what are YOU going to celebrate this month?

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