Halloween 2009

Though I have been to many festivals and passed out candy, I have never participated in a Halloween party before this year.  One of the many things I love about the internet is the vast amount of recipes one has at their finger tips.  I remember when I first started reading food blogs, and when I would go to a magazine website to print off a recipe, but I cannot recall the moment I started using the internet for recipes.  I guess it was when I needed something, and we finally bought our first computer.  The distant memory I have is searching for Tiramisu and Allrecipes.com.  The tiramisu recipe story will have to wait until a later date, but I absolutely love Allrecipes.com.  If it every ceases to exist, my cooking will take a completely different turn.  I have become a better cook because of all the reviews and tips in each and every recipe.  I am proud to say I have one recipe on there.  Anyone who asks me for a specific recipe I do not have in my collection, I refer them to Allrecipes.com.  I know, enough with the commercial.

This Halloween I was in charge of desserts and punch.  (The punch was little bit my idea.)  And the winner for the most original recipes and ideas on the internet: Martha Stewart.com.  The punch was their idea.  I actually think it was a readers, but they have it on their site.  It was Shrunken Heads Punch.  And though everyone did not know how it would turn out, everyone complemented on its effect.  Even the hubby who is skeptical.  It seems hard, but really all you need is two hours, a sharp knife, and a punch bowl.  Really simple. And it makes a ton!!!  I down sized the recipe and still some had to be thrown away!

halloween1

Shrunken Heads Punch
Slightly Adapted from Martha Stewart.com (Credits Allison DiNatale)

2 cups lemon juice
2 Tablespoon coarse salt
4-6 large Granny Smith Apple
16-24 Whole cloves
1 gallon Apple cider
1 (12-ounce) can Frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup spiced rum

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix together lemon juice and salt; set aside.
Peel the apples, and cut each into half.  Trim the core and seeds.  With a sharp paring knife, carve the desired faces into the rounded part of each apple half.  Place into the lemon juice.  All the apples to rest for one minute in the lemon juice and drain on a towel.
Place the apples, faces up, on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 90 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.  While cooling, press the cloves into the “eye” sockets of the apples.  Store in an air tight container and refrigerator until ready to use.

Punch:
Mix the cider, lemonade, and rum in a punch bowl.  (Any temperature is fine.)  Float the “heads” on top of the punch.

Serves: 15 (generously)

halloween3The dessert idea was partly due to my genius and partly due to my love of chocolate.  I bought a chocolate fountain and never used it.  For some reason, I have a ton of appliances that are useful when you need it, but most people do not own them.  A friend used it for a party she had and helped me come up with the recipe.  The idea was a White Chocolate Fountain that turns into blood.  This of course only works for white chocolate and for a chocolate fountain.  I wanted to have the white chocolate running, and add tablespoons-full in the bottom.  This way the “blood” would start mixing as the party went along.  But the effect was just the same.  I added it to the top.  Of course, no one got a shot of the first dose.  But the second dose was just was cool.  I use about 2/3 bottle red food coloring, so this recipe should be enough.  Things to serve with the chocolate, strawberries (if you can find them), dried apricots, small chocolate candies, bananas, pound cake, marshmallows, etc.  Anything you want dipped in chocolate.  It was a lot of fun!!

halloween2

White Chocolate Fountain

3 bags of white chocolate chips (10 ounces I think)
1 1/2 -3 cups half and half (depending on how thick you want yours)
1 bottle of red food coloring

The machine instructions state you can heat the chocolate in it; I do not suggest this.  Heat 1 1/2 cup half and half until almost simmering, add the white chocolate.  Either leave on very low heat, or take off the heat.  This depends on whatever you trust yourself to not burn.  Stir until the chocolate has melted.  Add the amount of cream for your desired thickness.

I store it in plastic containers, then heated it up in the microwave for 15 second intervals until slightly melted.

Get the fountain running.  Then add the food coloring.  And have fun!

Serves 15.

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