spooky-apples.jpgFull confession: When I was about 4 or 5 years old I was so utterly terrified of Halloween that I once ran from the dinner table to the bedroom where I locked myself inside it for 20 minutes while Trick or Treaters came to the front door of the house. I’m not sure why I did that exactly as I wasn’t normally a timid or shy child; I think my dramatic exit had more to do with the fact that I enjoyed that sense of fright, darkness and mystery that rolls around every October. I like to be scared when I know nothing bad will actually happen.

This explains my interest in fright nights, scary movies, haunted houses, macabre scenarios, you name it. I think there’s a part of all of us that likes that thrill…why else would we visit haunted houses, watch slasher films, and listen to Paris Hilton songs and videos?

Not that I’ve done the latter. Even that’s too scary for me.

When I mentioned to Adam that I wanted to do my first Halloween blog post about a cocktail I tried he quickly informed me that it would neither be a) exciting b) deep enough or c) have enough pizazz. “What’s so exciting about a cocktail, all by itself?”  he asked. I could see his point as there are tons of others who focus on spirits and do a much better job. Besides, this drink wasn’t anything exciting or thrilling but perfect for the grown-ups at any Halloween party. “Give me a few minutes and I’ll help you out” said Adam.

Wow. Was my drink really that lackluster that it needed help? Apparently so.

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peanutbuttercupckaesRich, dark, devilish. Like a big Reese’s peanut butter cup. The recipe for these cupcakes sounded amazing, although once I started following it I had to tweak it a bit to get it to work. When they were finished, they were sublime!

I used two 12-mini muffin tins to yield 24 tiny cupcakes. They have a small mound of peanut butter frosting on top, then a glaze of dark chocolate and a Reese’s peanut butter candy on top. I know you will love these once you try them.

They are even great right out of the freezer!

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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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halloween-party1.jpgEach holiday comes with it’s own brand of unpleasantness and disappointment.  New Year’s Eve offers forced joviality along with the prospect of being French kissed by a blowzy stranger with Cold Duck on her breath.  Christmas means spending lots of thought and money on presents for people who already have way too much stuff and enduring long hours with folks you’d never spend five minutes with if you didn’t share a smidge of DNA.     

However, most holidays also have an upside.  Thanksgiving often brings out the charitable side of people who donate to food drives and volunteer too serve dinner to those in need.  Easter signals the final days of winter and sometimes the final round of the Masters.

Then, there’s Halloween, the holiday, with no redeeming features. For starters, it’s not even a proper “holiday” because nobody gets to miss school or work. 

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Image Boo!

I told you I loved Halloween!

And what would a Halloween celebration be without Blood Red Punch? It would be boring, that's what.

Seriously, a Halloween party needs a scary drink. However, if you are a Halloween nut like me, you don't need a party to make a wicked drink.

My kids love this punch anytime but love the ice cube spiders more. I always make a couple trays of these cubes in October and pop them into whatever they are drinking. They love it...and so do I.

This punch is kid-friendly (alcohol-free) but can be easily transformed into an adult beverage.

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