Halloween Trick or Treat Decorate & Eat #6 Creepy Containers!


Spookamole! Fill scooped out pumpkins and gourds with your favorite dips. photo source: mexico


Punch bowl! Line a large cleaned pumpkin with a bowl to fit just inside, add ladle and surround with cups & treats. photo source: halloweencostumeideas


Set table as desired, use a large outdoor urn filled with orange & black colored stones as a centerpiece. Fill with tree branches, crepe paper, handmade ornaments (or not). Line wall with orange paper lanterns or hang balloons from the ends of branches. photo source: intimateweddings


Freaky Fruit Bowl. Fill bowl with orange wedges, make a mouth of sliced apples flesh side up, eyes of blueberries and sliced apples skin side up as the stem. photo source: listotic


Trick or Treat Decorate & Eat! #7 “Finger Foods!

green fingers

“Witches Fingers” Dip pretzel rods with green tinted chocolate to cover 2/3rds, place slivered almonds for fingernails while chocolate is still soft. Carve out knuckles with a toothpick. photo source: gandcjohnson

Here are a few more ghoulish Halloween delights. I must admit, finding treats that were appetizing and somewhat appealing was a feat! So I chose fingers ;-)

Carrot fingers

“Carrot Fingers” Place mini carrots in your favorite dip. Attach sliced almonds to tops with cream cheese. photo source: chicanol

mummy finger

Roll biscuit dough into finger forms, carve out knuckles & fingertip with toothpick. Bake until golden. Attach sliced almonds with ketchup.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Cinnamon Infused Maple Syrup: Autumn on a Plate!


“Tis the season for everything pumpkin! This time of year we find it in everything from pies to soufflés. The blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice give these delectable pumpkin pancakes the perfect kiss of sweetness. The cinnamon infused maple syrup complements leaps with its warm, buttery, cinnamony goodness. In my opinion, the ideal fall breakfast.


photo source: munchinwithmunchkin


1 1/2 cups milk: whole (preferred) or 2%

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt


In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, butter and vinegar. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture just until combined—a few lumps are OK.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or sauté pan over medium heat. Pour or ladle batter onto griddle; using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


Cinnamon Infused Syrup

This is a lovely, simple and scrumptious alternative to regular maple syrup. Serve warm over French toast, waffles, buttermilk pancakes or these beautiful fall-colored pancakes!


3 tablespoons butter, salted, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup (real only please)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground


In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in maple syrup and cinnamon. Warm to desired temperature and serve.

Microwave Instructions: In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 30 seconds until melted. Whisk in maple syrup and cinnamon. Microwave for an additional 20-30 seconds if desired until syrup reaches preferred temperature.

5 Spice Chicken, Vegetable & Egg Cauliflower Fried Rice

Best All

I’ve converted this simple chicken & vegetable egg fried rice to include all vegetables. Yes, no starch here! The new craze is cauliflower; an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6, choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, niacin, and magnesium. What an eyeful!

For this dish I’ve turned conventional rice into cauliflower rice. All it takes is a few pulses in the food processor or 2 minutes with a cheese grater—use the largest holes. While there is a slight difference in taste, I have to say; not by much. I barely missed the starchy white stuff. You can also add snow peas, corn, red onion and sliced ginger for a variety. Top with a few drops of Sriracha sauce, a side of Kimchi, sliced vegetables and fruit and you have a remarkable delicious dinner in about 15 minutes! 4 servings



2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

2-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cubed

1/2 head of cauliflower, grated

1/2 onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup frozen thawed peas

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 C soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon five spice powder (optional)

Dash toasted sesame oil

Pinch freshly cracked white pepper

1 large spring onion (green), finely sliced



Heat a wok over a high heat and add 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil. Add eggs and scramble for a few minutes, then remove them from wok and set side. Wipe down wok.

Reheat wok and add remaining oil. Sauté chicken until golden and juices run clear remove from pan and set aside. Add peas, carrots, garlic, onions and tomatoes, stir-fry for a few more minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add cauliflower and sauté for 3 more minutes. Return eggs and cooked chicken to the wok, and season with soy & oyster sauces, sesame oil, five spice powder and white pepper, to taste. Add spring onions and mix well. Serve immediately.

Best Closer


Guest Chef Wednesday! Peg’s Amish White Bread: Uncomplicated, Multipurpose and Delicious!

053 amish white bread square

If you’ve ever been to Amish country, you will never forget the green rolling hills offered by the vast emerald landscaping there. One of my treats while growing up was a trip to the quaint little villages in Ohio inhabited mostly by the Amish. Even then, I was humbled by their hard work, simple ways and incredible food. Their baking was second to none and even a simple white bread would leave one dreaming for more days after their memorable visits. Here’s my friend Peg’s recipe for Amish White Bread; plain, uncomplicated, highly memorable and delicious!

Peg says, “I got this recipe from a friend whose grandmother was Dutch Amish. It is very easy, and doesn’t take long to make. This recipe will give you two loaves of plain, sweet white bread that are quick and easy to make.” Confirmed, Peg!



2 cups warm water 110*

2/3 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6 cups bread flour



In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam. Mix salt and oil into yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Makes 2 loaves

**NOTE: Mixing and first rise can be done in a bread machine. Dough can easily be converted into rolls.


Maple Almond Banana Coffee Cake: Natural, Gluten Free & Paleo Friendly

BBread Best

Over the last year, I’ve had many requests for gluten free and Paleo friendly recipes. So, I’ve been testing my heart out to bring you simple, delicious and pure recipes that fit the criteria. I was a little apprehensive going into this venture; with all of my ingrained baking techniques so deeply embedded into my cooking psyche. Yet, thus far, I’ve been fairly successful with my attempts. Going into this endeavor “tastes, textures and flavors” were my biggest concerns; I would not sacrifice them—not at any price.

While I’ve had to switch up a few ingredients and get used to their nuances, this journey has been relatively painless. There have been far less “forest offerings in nature” than I had originally imagined. Coconino National Forest, where I live, is filled with wildlife which have far less discriminating tastes than man, so nothing goes to waste :-)

While flour-less cakes do not rise as high, this coffee cake is, in no way, a slouch. Full of banana flavor, moist and nutty, kissed with plenty of sweetness. This recipe is a wonderful conversion from conventional to all natural. Enjoy!


photo source: gheeshakar



3-4 ripe brown bananas, mashed

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter

1/3 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt


photo source: eskerridge

Streussel Topping:

1/4 cup organic butter or coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple sugar

1/4 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped


photo source:chiconthesteeet


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8.5×4.5 bread pan with butter or coconut oil; line the middle with parchment paper. This makes it easier to remove from pan.

In a large bowl, mix together bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and almond butter. Add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Pour batter into bread pan.

For Topping: In a small bowl, add butter, maple sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, and pecans. Use your fingers to mix.

Scatter spoonfuls of topping all around top of batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until rich, dark golden brown. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Run knife around the edges to loosen and remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Best Whole

Wicked Web Eggs “#8 of Trick or Treat Decorate & Eat!”

Halloween Eggs4These impressive Macabre Cobweb eggs are eye-catching standing alone or sliced in half and turned”devilish.” Make avocado egg salad filling for a ghoulish green filling…or not :-) Once again, your creativity is left only to your imagination.

Halloween Eggs1

Boil, Crack & Color

Halloween Eggs2

Rinse, Let Dry & Peel

Halloween Eggs3

Serve in Cupcake Papers

Trick or Treat! Decorate & Eat! Fascinating & Fun Halloween Recipes #9 Mini Spiced Pumpkins

Pumpkin Spice Cakeas

photo source: food&wine

This is a charming Halloween treat offered by the people at “Food & Wine” magazine. They are simple to put together and equally as tasty; Wonderful little ditties in the name of this ghoulish season. Bake, cool, dip and decorate! A very impressive treat to serve at a Halloween dress-up affair or serve to your little imps at home. Also, a creative alternative use for your mini bundt pans!


photo source: onceuponaplate

Mini Spiced Pumpkins


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream


photo source: ourbestbites


1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons water

Orange food coloring

Twelve 3-inch pieces of brown or black licorice twists, twisted


photo source: nuts

MAKE THE GLAZE Preheat the oven to 350° and coat a 12-cup mini Bundt cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and the sour cream in 2 alternating batches. Spoon the batter into the prepared Bundt cups. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, until the cakes are risen. Let cool slightly, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk the sugar, butter and water. Stir in the food coloring until it’s a pumpkin shade. Pour the glaze over the pumpkins, spreading it gently to cover them completely; let dry. Stick a licorice piece on top of each cake to make a stem.

Country Ham, Mushroom, Green Pepper, Red Onion & Spinach Frittata

Frittata Best

Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelet or crustless quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables, rice or pasta. The word frittata is derived from Italian and roughly translates to “egg-cake” In essence, you can literally add any favorite, savory edibles that you have in your fridge, saute to warm, add the egg base, broil and c’est voila!


6 eggs, beaten

1 -ounce Parmesan, grated

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon dried Herbs de Provence, Italian seasoning or 1/4 cup fresh herbs of choice; marjoram, chervil, basil, parsley, rosemary—pick one pick all!

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 red onion, sliced

1 green pepper, sliced

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 small bag of fresh baby spinach

1 cup chopped country ham

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves


Preheat oven to broil setting.

In medium size bowl, use a fork to blend together eggs, herbs, Parmesan, pepper and salt. Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add onions, peppers and mushrooms to pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ham and spinach; stir until spinach is wilted, about 2-3 more minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Best Pan

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.



Kentucky Fried Chicken #1 of 2014’s Most Searched Copycat Clone Recipes


photo source: budget101

KFC was founded by Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first “Kentucky Fried Chicken” franchise opened in Utah in 1952. KFC popularized chicken in the fast food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. By branding himself as “Colonel Sanders,” Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising. However, the company’s rapid expansion saw it overwhelm the ageing Sanders, and in 1964 he sold the company to a group of investors. However, we carry on his legacy today by visiting KFC restaurants and in essence, making the following scrumptious recipe in honor of his memory.


Having said the above, this is one of the best-to-date copycat recipes for duplicating Colonel Sander’s KFC ‘Extra Crispy’ chicken. It’s juicy and tender with just the right spices; ones that old Harland himself would approve.

Yields one batch of fried chicken (8-10 pieces, or up to 16 drumsticks)


1 premium quality fresh young roasting chicken, cut-up


2 quarts cold water

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Accent seasoning

Seasoned Flour:

4 teaspoons corn flour or 4 teaspoons masa harina

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar

2 teaspoons Accent seasoning

2 teaspoons celery salt

1 1/4 teaspoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon citric acid

1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

3 3/4 cups self-rising flour

1/4 cup packed cornstarch

Deep frying oil: (I use peanut oil) but vegetable oil or vegetable shortening also work well.


Mix brine: cold water, kosher salt, sugar and Accent seasoning in a large bowl until dissolved; Add chicken pieces; Cover and transfer to refrigerator; Marinate chicken in brine for at least 4 hours in refrigerator.

In a large mixing bowl, add seasoned flour ingredients except *self-rising flour and cornstarch; Break up any clumps; Whisk with a wire whisk until well blended; Add self-rising flour and cornstarch; Whisk until thoroughly combined.

*Note: For best results use ONLY self-rising flour.

Remove chicken from brine; rinse & drain. Place chicken in large bowl containing the seasoned flour and coat well; Remove chicken from seasoned flour. Place pieces onto a platter; Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Allow to sit for a few minutes until chicken begins to look wet and repeat flour dip for second coating; this makes it crispy.

Heat oil in fryer to 350*. Place breaded chicken into fry basket without crowding; Lower basket slowly into hot oil (or gently add breaded chicken pieces into stove-top skillet with hot oil, turning once halfway through frying). Fry chicken 16-20 (8-10 minutes per side if using skillet using medium heat) until golden brown and fully cooked (juices should run clear when chicken is done).

Drain on a wire rack over a paper towel-lined baking sheet; REPEAT the same cooking procedures until all chicken is fried. Transfer on a baking sheet and keep chicken warmed in a preheated 170°F oven until serving.


Serve with a side of mashed potatoes piled with gravy. photo source: adventuresofaglutenfreemom


KFC’s Coleslaw photo source: indulgy

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