Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gross & Sweet Halloween Treat Tray

I've never been to sure how to feel about Halloween?.....I mean it does seem a little sketchy to me.....

it's a day that starts of with ghouls and gobblins running through the streets,

masks from last summers slasher movies are manufactured by the truck full for sweet faced little girls and boys! 

The sounds of witch cackles y una mezcla ( a little mix) of blood curdling screams stream through the ...

and it wouldn't be realistic to think that you could walk past five houses without encountering a blood stained face or a murderous axe dripping with guts of the unknown.....

Okay so here comes the bizarre part...

after fighting through a sea of gorey monsters and aquamarine -tailed sirenas (mermaids)you happily skip home memories of the killing field all washed away with trick or treat bags filled with chocolate bars, licorice sticks and bubble gum!....

and yes as a little chica and honorary "scaredy cat" the promise of a sugar coma by the nights end gave me ensentive to conquer my fears!

And although trick or treating is an experience like no other...that "fearless" cough, cough,

little chica would have happily traded that evening of adventure for a more tamed event
that had trays and trays filled with these curiosly odd and bizarre but deceivingly delicioso treats!

Treat Tray Supplies
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 bag of red chocolate melts
1 bag of peanut butter chocolate melts
1 bag of Charms Blowpops
1 bag of Cotton Candy
1 single pack of Oreos
1 bag of pink Laffy Taffy, pink Starbursts or any other pink chewy candy
1 box of Green Fruit Rollups ( I purchased mine from a local candy store)
1 pack of Graham Crackers
1 bag of Tootsie Rolls
1 bag of gummy teeth (also purchased at a local candy store)
12 pack of mini waters
2 bottles of any green swamp water resembling juice ex Mountain Dew (or as close as you can get!)
1 pack of piping bags or ziplock bags

1 roll of twine
1 pack of circle labels
1 treat tray bag
1 pack of Halloween caution tape

Okay so it may seem like you have a lot of ingredients and will take forever....but it really is super easy and painless to put all these things together....I promise! You can also chop the list in half and work on it over a period of 2 or more days.

1. Snotty Tissues- cut 6 or 7 pieces of waxed or parchment paper into small squares...I would say about 4x4 inches each and set aside; Next you will need to pour your white chocolate melts into a medium bowl and heat them in the microwave for 20 second intervals stirring them in between until they are completely melted. Pour the melted white chocolate into your piping bag or ziplock then outline your wax squares and filling in the middles completely with the white chocolate.  Allow your chocolate to set for a minutes (until they are starting to harden but still wet). Once semi-set drop a few gummy boogers in to resemble a dirty tissue. Crumple the tissues a little to make them look used and more realistic.  Put them aside until they harden completely. Once they harden peel off the wax paper and place in the garbage can.

2. Already Been Chewed Gum- Unwrap Laffy Taffy or Starburts, place them on a microwave safe plate for approx 10-15 sec intervals until candy is pliable. ( be careful not to heat for too long as candy will melt quickly) Once candy is bendable form into a shape similar to chewed bubble gum. You can use a straw to make tooth-mark like indentations by pushing it into the sides of the candy to resemble teeth marks.

3. Dirty Lollipops- Open all your lollipops, the bag of cotton candy and package of Oreos. Crush your Oreos in a plastic bag and  pull your cotton candy into smaller pieces and set aside. Fill a cup halfway with water than lightly dip the lollipops into the bag of crushed Oreos and stick on a piece of cotton candy.

4. Dirty Q-tips -take your cocktail straws and place mini marshmallows on each end and set aside. Place peanut butter chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30 sec intervals mixing each time until completely melted. Dip each mini-marshmallow into the melted peanut butter melts coating just enough to cover the tips of the marshmallow. Place candy coated Q-tips on a piece of wax or parchment paper until peanut butter melts set.

5. Used Band Aids- break 6-8 graham crackers in halves (or however many you need) along the baked in lines. Lining them on a baking sheet. Place 6-8 mini-marshmallows in the microwave for no more than 5-6 secs, just enough to soften them a little. Take a softened mini-marshmallows and stretch them a little and place in the middle of your graham cracker. In a small ramekin or bowl heat up a few of your red candy melts and spoon or splatter a little of the melted candy on the mini-marshmallow to resemble blood. Set aside and allow candy melts to harden.

6. Cat Poop- Take a handful of Tootsie Rolls unwrap them and place on a microwave safe plate. Heat for approx. 10 secs. until the Tootsie Rolls are pliable. Once again be careful not to overheat as the candy can melt very quickly into a liquid mess. Take the Tootsie Rolls out the microwave, one at a time twist them around until they resemble the shape of Cat Poop. Place them on a baking tray to re-harden.

7. Swamp Water-Now this is where I leave it up to your discretion. There are many ways to make swamp water so I will give you some ideas and you can pick which one is right for you. First, I was unable to find empty bottles to purchase in my store, so I bought the  12 pack of little Poland Spring jr bottles of water and emptied them into a large pitcher for my family to drink later as not to waste their contents. The easiest way to make your Swamp Water is to purchase a package of Green colored Kool-Aid or powdered drink mix and prepare in a pitcher and pour into the mini bottles. Unfortunately I was unable to find green drink mix in my local grocery store so I had to improvise.  I waited until the day of my event and poured Mountain Dew into each bottle so that the fizz would remain (preparing days before will lead to flat soda). Once the sodas were bottled I took twine and placed little circle cards labeled "Swamp Water" I found at Michaels craft store and tied them around each individual bottle.

8. Lizards Skin- For this I just went to my local candy store and purchased a handful of green fruit-roll ups. I unwrapped the candy strips and just began to tear them apart jaggedly to make them appear as they had been ripped right off the lizards back...umm Eww! Simple!

9. Grandma's Teeth- This was the easiest one yet, I found a bag of gummy teeth in my Wal-Mart store opened and dropped them in the middle of the treat tray!  If you can't find these teeth you can obviously substitute for any that you can find or even those plastic Dracula always love those.

Once all the candy is set and prepared, place them onto your tray or dish preferably one that allows you to separate each candy. I placed a little name card in front of each treat with each gross little name.

Before delivering my tray I placed it in a plastic basket bag I found in my local Dollar Tree and covered it in caution type (this can be purchased at your local Dollar store or Wal-Mart).

ABRACADABRA!..That's It!....This really is a simple way to make a Gross & Sweet Halloween treat....No oven involved! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grilled Pineapple & Coco Cupcakes

El verano donde esta?!....Where has the summer gone?....

gone too soon, it happens to me every year I try to relish each day. 

Trying to juggle a healthy mix of chilling on the couch air conditioner breeze blowing through my hair

and running like a wild cavemen through the concrete jungle also known as the  amusement park.

Trying to escape the 105 degree summer sun while standing on line for the colossal jumbo vertical stand-up twister with the 300 ft drop.

Either way I tried it both ways and trying to focus on keeping summer from going away too soon helped me not to realize that summer was halfway over....

and now I can't help but pay attention because I'm receiving letters stuffed with homeroom numbers, binder and paper size requirements and kids requesting Converse sneakers with pictures of doughnuts printed on the sides.

Summer's over but I'm just not ready to let it go so I'm enjoying the sweeter side of summer with these

Grilled Pineapple Coco Cupcakes...

they give me the excuse to light up my grill  sit in the grass and soak up the leftover rays of the beautiful summer sun!

A La Cocina!

ingredients (yields approx. 12 cupcakes)
2 1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 c. milk (or 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 c. pineapple juice)
3 eggs, separated
2/3 c. grilled pineapple cut into chunks, drained

1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract
12 pineapple rings (approx. 2 cans keep in mind you'll need extra pineapples for the batter)

grilled pineapple directions
Grill pineapple wedges, a cut side down, on a lightly oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until just charred, about 2 minutes on each cut side.

(If you don't feel like lighting up the grill you can also use your oven being careful to lay the pineapples over the oven rack so that they won't fall through the cracks)

cupcake directions
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
2.In separate bowl cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolks until well blended.
3.Pour flour mixture and milk and pineapple juice into your butter mixture, alternating between the two. Add in your crushed pineapples then gently fold in your egg whites.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cupcakes will be moist.

coconut buttercream

1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons coconut milk

buttercream directions
1.Beat butter with a mixer until smooth.
2.Slowly beat in powdered sugar and mix until crumbly.
3. Add in the  coconut extract and 3 tablespoons of coconut milk and mix until smooth. If needed, add another tablespoon of milk to reach desired consistency.
4. Once buttercream is done, you can either frost with spatula or place buttercream in a piping bag and swirl it on top of the cupcake.
5. Once cupcake is frosted and set, take your grilled pineapple rings and place them on top.
Now it's time to taste la vida dulce!

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