Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Halloween Fun!!

Along with my spooky dinners, I had scary plans for the weekend. On Friday night, Sam was gone, so Sebastian and I made popcorn and watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Scared Shrekless. On Saturday,

Saturday night, the three of us went to Manteo to the haunted house at The Lost Colony, Quarantine Island. In years past, we've gone to Trick or Treat Under the Sea at the aquarium, and we've done the Haunted Hayride in Corolla at the Whalehead Club (which they don't seem to be doing this year). This year we went to First Flight Elementary School's main fundraiser, Trick or Treat Night. It was really great! Admission was a $2 (or more) donation per person, plus a canned good. Brilliant idea - NHES should do a food drive. We bought tickets to the haunted house, to sort of test out how Sebastian would handle it. I screamed. He did great, so I stopped worrying about how he would do at The Lost Colony. And he was fantastic! The production put on by the Lost Colony was amazing! I absolutely loved Quarantine Island and we are definitely going again next year. The only "bad" part was when I cut my tongue on a prop. About halfway through, we were in a section that had large rubber things hanging from the ceiling. They were blowing around as part of the production and I opened my mouth for some reason, and it hit me just right. It hurt my teeth a bit and left a good cut on my tongue. It was bleeding enough that I could see blood on my fingers in the semi-dark, and I could really taste it. There are also spots of blood on my sweater where I tried to blot it. But even with that, I loved it, and it was well worth the $30 we paid. Even Sebastian loved it.

Sunday morning, I got up very early to hide Halloween candy & trinkets around the house. When Sebastian woke up, I gave him his plastic pumpkin bucket and told him to start his treasure hunt. He found his loot then we took him to buy a new bike - exercise to burn off all those candy calories. His old bike was too small and it still had the training wheels. He couldn't ride it very well, so we upgraded and got him riding a bit. He did very well for his first sink or swim.

We ended the night in a very bad parent kind of way. We watched Paranormal Entity (Netflix Watch Instantly) and Paranormal Activity (Netflix Watch Instantly). I'm a bit of a ghost hunter freak. I would love to do some real paranormal investigating, not that stuff you see on television. Anyway, Paranormal Entity was stupid, stupid, stupid. Paranormal Activity was much better - the end even creeped me out a bit.

Other Netflix Watch Instantly to get in the mood:
Paranormal: Haunts and Horrors
Paranormal State: Season 1 -- Season 2 -- Season 3 -- Season 4
Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal: Season 1 -- Season 2

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Week Menu

I know I've been a-slacking on my bloggy here, but I've been busy and sick, and lately busy and sick at the same time. I wanted to throw this post up so I could reference it during the week. Last year during the week of Halloween, I did a theme for dinner and it was a huge hit. I'm doing a few of the same recipes & ideas but there are some new things, too. 

Lunches for Sebastian this week - just spooky sandwiches. Those are just sandwiches cut with Halloween cookie cutters. He's so weird about his lunch. He doesn't want to take anything "new" so we stick with peanut butter & jelly/honey/nutella sandwiches, sometimes some mini pizzas on Sandwich Thins or light English muffins. He won't take leftovers. Turd. 

Speaking of turds, I am still on the lookout for a good cookie recipe that can be made to look like dog shit. Sam said he'd eat it.

Monday's dinner is vegetarian chill-ee with blue moon corn muffins. I'm just using my favorite easy vegetarian chili recipe.

1/2 c dried black beans
1/2 c dried pinto beans
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced 
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
dash cayenne pepper
dash red pepper flakes 
1/2 cup TVP + 1/2 cup water

1. Cook the dried beans according to the directions on the package.

2. In a medium to large soup pot, sautee the onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth and chili powder and stir.

3. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Stir occasionally and cook for at least 20 minutes. Add TVP and water 10 minutes before done cooking. Of course, the longer you cook chili the better, but if you're pressed for time, 20 minutes is fine.

4. For a spicier chili, add extra cayenne and red pepper flakes. Makes 6 servings.

Blue Moon Corn Muffins - Okay, I cheated here. There is a recipe for this in 13 Halloween Recipes but it's not Weight Watchers Core friendly. So I made Core'N bread with a little blue food coloring.

Core'N Bread

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Cream of Wheat, uncooked
1 cup ff sour cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup splenda
2 tsp olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup ff milk.

The cornbread bakes in a sprayed 8x8" pan at 400 for 35 minutes. 

On Wednesday - jack-o-lantern sloppy joe pie. I'll be using ground venison instead of turkey sausage.

On Thursday - Halloween Soup.

1 pound black beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoon A-1 Sauce
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 pound carrots, sliced into rounds
cilantro for garnish (optional)

1. Rinse and soak beans for 6 hours or overnight.
2. Drain beans and empty into a large soup pot.
3. Add enough water to cover the beans by 2 to 3 inches.
4. Bring to a boil and then skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
5. Add garlic and onion.
6. Lower heat and cook until onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
7. Next, add A-1 Sauce and salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
8. Cook for about 1 hour.
9. Add carrots and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
10. Garnish with cilantro, if desired, before serving.

On Friday - Cannibal Platter

Fingers and Ears:
1 lb. medium-large shrimp, divided
1/4 lb. small peeled shrimp
3 tbsp. salted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

10-12 large sea scallops, rinsed and thoroughly dried
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

1. To make the fingers and ears, divide your pile of medium-large shrimp in half. Use half for fingers, and half for ears.

2. To create the fingers, peel each shrimp, leaving on the tail and the last segment of shell right before the tail. Devein each shrimp, cutting into the shrimp as little as possible to do so. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the tail off of each shrimp, leaving the small shelled end intact. Keeping the shrimp as straight as possible thread each one onto a toothpick or a length of skewer. This will keep them from curling as they cook. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

3. To create the ears, completely peel and devein the other half of your medium-large shrimp. Butterfly them generously to devein. This helps give them their "ear" shape. Tuck a small peeled and deveined shrimp into curve of each larger shrimp. Skewer them both together with a toothpick. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

4. The sea scallop "testicles" are basically ready to go - they require no preparation.

5. To cook your Cannibal platter, melt the butter and olive oil together in a large saute pan. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook over low heat until garlic is very tender, about 15 minutes. Don't let it burn or brown!

6. Add rosemary. Cook 2-3 minutes more.

7. To cook the finger and ear shrimps, salt and pepper them to taste and add them to the pan. You may need to do this in stages. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through. Sprinkle with lemon juice to taste and keep warm (if desired - they're also good cold) until ready to serve.

8. To cook the scallop "testicles," mix the flour and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl. Dredge scallops in flour mixture.

9. In a skillet, heat oil until hot. Cook scallops in oil, turning once, until both sides are brown, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle lemon over.

10. Arrange your "testicles," "fingers," and "ears," creatively on a platter and pour the sauce for each over top. Serve with your choice of dipping sauces, if desired. And don't forget to label each of these gross Halloween foods for maximum gross-out! 

Saturday's dinner is pizza mummies. We're making them with chicken breast & Sandwich Thins instead of pepperoni & English muffins.

Sunday's breakfast will be pumpkin oat pancakes.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoon wheat germ
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

2. Combine milk, egg, pumpkin and oil in separate bowl; stir into dry ingredients just until

3. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot greased griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of

4. Cook until second side is golden brown. Decorate with chocolate chips and raisins if desired.
Yields 10-12 pancakes

And dinner will be vampire-repelling burgers with potato worms. This is just burgers with minced garlic and potatoes cut into worm shapes and baked. 

For beverages, Sebastian loves Blood Juice - a little red Kool Aid mixed with club soda or Sprite/7-Up.