Halloween

alienpizzasquaresWhen my kids are having a playdate there often isn't time to whip up a batch of cookies or other type of treat. Since most kids like pizza in some form, this is always a big hit.

The possibilities for themes are endless since you can use any cookie cutter shape to personalize this pizza into any thing you choose. Hearts for Valentine's Day, Christmas trees, candy canes, ghosts, shamrocks, you can even spell your child's name with alphabet cutters. Like I said, the possibilities are endless and always welcomed by the young people in our lives.

To make the alien faces, I used a pumpkin cookie cutter. I used capers for the eyes and basil for the mouth.

My boys and their friends loved it and they always feel special when I make this very simple after-school snack.

Make your kids smile today by making them this simple treat.

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dragqueen.jpgI live in West Hollywood, where Halloween is like a national holiday – arrangements for street closures have been made well in advance and people from all over will come watch the flagrant and the flamboyant, the political and the theatrical,  the absurd and the sublime march along Santa Monica Boulevard, from La Cienega to Doheny. Candy is not an integral part of this spectacle and frankly that's the only thing that rankles me about it.

One year, the Wicked Witch of the West wheeled along the Boulevard with an enormous crystal ball that housed terrorized miniatures – Dorothy, Toto, and the other Oz pilgrims were all cowering on the yellow brick road within her bubble. Another year, there were several Menendez brothers, wearing blood covered v-neck sweaters and conservative haircuts. Then another year, there were groups of huddled Titanic musicians playing desperately as their ship was sinking (or, I should say, as the parade was passing them by).

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pumpkin-cookies.jpgLittle munchkins and monsters, big ones, too, will be looking for special treats this weekend. Why not have some cookies to tuck into their hands?

My little two-year-old grandmunchkin will be with us this weekend. She’s one of the muffin monsters in our family. I don’t have muffins ready for her yet, but I think these cookies may be a good substitute.

Butterscotch Pumpkin Spice Cookies are not cloyingly sweet, although a thick smear of Maple Cream Cheese Frosting topping each cookie does add a fair amount of sweetness. Chopped butterscotch morsels stirred into the dough add flavor without big hard chunks  in each bite. Old-fashioned oats add a nice bit of chewy texture.

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spadena.jpg Jack Benny (who was famously cheap and made fun of himself for it) gave out silver dollars on Halloween.
                  True

Lucille Ball used to answer the door herself.
                  Also true

A witch lived in the witches’ house on Walden Avenue and gave out apples on Halloween.
                  Don’t know the answer because “the witches’ house” was so scary that none of us ever made it down the walkway. But the witches’ house wasn’t really a witches’ house. It was really offices and dressing rooms at a silent movie studio in Culver City before someone (don’t ask me why) relocated it to a corner lot in Beverly Hills in the 1930s and moved in.

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draculahorror.jpgWhen my brother and I were 4 1/2 we were taken to see a movie called X-76 Bloodrust. I can’t find a single living soul who has ever heard of this movie. Not even John Landis.  What I gleaned about the plot, which was observed through a space between two fingers covering my eyes, was that this undulating creature (that looked like vomit, by the way) was created in a Sparkletts bottle, and if it touched you, you would die. I think it might have been the poorer cousin of The Blob.

The denouement had this vomit creature trying to force its way out of a baggage hold in an airplane and the passengers freaking out. My brother slept with a nightlight for the next 11 years. His head wrapped tightly with the sheet and just the tip of his nose poking out so he could breath, because we all know that monsters can’t touch sheets or blankets. I on the other hand became fascinated with Science Fiction and horror.

Charles Laughton’s Quasimodo, Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi’s and Christopher Lee’s Dracula and Henry Hull’s Werewolf of London (definitely more sexy than Lon Chaney Jr.) I even remember an early Humphrey Bogart chiller called The Return of Dr.X. where he played a man who had been executed and was brought back to life by the laziest of plot devices: electricity. His line to the girl he kidnapped and brought to a remote cabin will stay with me forever: “Don’t bother to scream, no one can hear you”, as he pulls out the biggest fuckin’ hypodermic needle I’d ever seen. Thass what I’m talking ‘bout!

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