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Friday, October 31, 2014

30+ of The Best Halloween Recipes, Crafts, Printables and Party Ideas

Today I've rounded up all of the fabulous Halloween recipes, crafts, printables and party ideas as seen on this year's Halloween Extravaganza!  It's basically the best Halloween ideas all in one place!
They say time flies when you're having fun, and that certainly proved true for me during this crazy but wonderful month of October.  I have had an absolute blast sharing these spooky-cute Halloween ideas with you.  I hope you've equally enjoyed viewing and hopefully gaining inspiration from them.  :)  

I'd like to give a huge shout out and thank you to my awesome and very talented guest contributors.  Weren't they amazing?!  I think so.

This was definitely an event to remember.  Thanks for joining in on the fun! 

Now I'm off to prepare the kids' costumes and set out the Halloween candy.  Hopefully there will be some left to share with the trick-or-treaters.  :)

Baby Food Jar Spider Craft

 Candy Corn Banner Turned Halloween Matching Game

Candy Corn Bark

 Frosted Candy Corn Snickerdoodle Pie

A Frightfully Delightful Halloween Party

Candy Corn Treat Bucket Craft

Halloween Style Chicken Pot Pie

DIY Fringe Ghost Decoration

Dollar Store Spider Halloween Wreath

Halloween Door Hanging

Drink Me If You Dare Free Printable

 Frankenstein Floats and Monster Eye Cupcakes

Frankentines Free Printables

Swamp Water Halloween Drink

 Graveyard Cheesecake Parfaits

Hairy Spider Cookies

Easy & Fun Halloween Blocks

Halloween Mantel Ideas

Halloween Oreo Cake Bars

30 Halloween Party Foods and Drinks

Halloween Popcorn Balls

Halloween Oreo Popcorn

Mini Pumpkin Patch Pudding Cups

Googly Eye Monster Jars Halloween Craft

DIY Ribbon Bat Halloween Bunting

 Creepy Crawly Spider Wreath

DIY Spiderweb Knee Patches

Spiderweb Plate Kids Craft

No-Sew Puffy Pumpkin Friends

 Trick-or-Treaters Welcome Door Hanging

Witch's Fingers Halloween Treat

Ghostly Mini Halloween Trifles

Happy Halloween, everybody!  I hope it's "spooktacular"!
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ghostly Mini Halloween Trifles

How cute and spooky are these Ghostly Mini Trifles?  These peanut butter white chocolate cups with ghosts make a great treat at a Halloween party!  The kids will go wild for them!
Serving them up in little individual cups makes them so fun too!  I love making trifles because they are SO easy and always look so pretty with the layered effect.  They're certainly impressive.  Add a little ghost on top, and how can you resist?

This trifle consists of Nutter Butter cookies, white chocolate pudding, and a white chocolate-covered Nutter Butter cookie with mini chocolate chip eyes.

They can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, as long as they get eaten the same day.

Yield: about four small cups

1 pkg. (3.3 oz.) White Chocolate Flavored Instant Pudding, prepared
1 pkg. Nutter Butter Cookies
1 pkg. White Chocolate chips
A handful of mini chocolate chips

Prepare pudding and let set in the fridge for about 10 minutes to thicken.  Alternate layers of pudding and cookies (I put the pudding on the bottom) until full.  To make the ghosts, melt white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and dip cookies about 2/3 the way down in the chocolate.  Position two mini chocolate chips on for eyes.  Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes, or just until the chocolate hardens.  Can store at room temperature, after the chocolate solidifies, as long as it's not too hot.  Place a ghost in each cup just before serving.

Are you hosting a Halloween party this year?  Even if not, these Ghostly Mini Trifles are such a tasty, cute dessert to enjoy during the month of October!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hazelnut Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls: October Mystery Dish

Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls with hazelnuts are absolute heaven!  Perfectly sweet, with a hint of maple as a pleasant surprise.
It's time for some more Mystery Dish!  I get so excited each month to share with you the delectable creations of the group, along with my own.  And...exciting news...we've expanded!  We have some new members and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Marcie from Flavor the Moments was our gracious hostess and asked us to use three ingredients from the following list:

kabocha squash
hard apple cider
heavy cream
maple syrup
brussels sprouts

There's just something about fall that urges me to make cinnamon rolls!  It could be the cooler weather and the changing leaves, but this time of year, I just want to cozy up and enjoy some comfort food, especially those in the dessert category.  

So I decided to give the traditional sweet roll recipe a bit of a shake-up and throw in some tasty hazelnuts and a bit of maple from the syrup that typically tops my pancakes.  

I don't mean to toot my own horn...oh wait...yes I do, because horn-tooting is totally authorized when something is this awesome. Anyhow, it was a genius flavor combo, so you'll forgive me if I sound prideful.
But in return, I'll let you take the credit for the compliments that come when you make these phenomenal rolls.  :)

I have to admit that I had never eaten a hazelnut before I saw the ingredient list.  So I was eager to give them a try, and after I did, wondered why I'd been kept in the dark for so long.  They are a scrumptious nut!


Sweet Dough
1 1/4 c. scalded milk or warm water (I use warm water)
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil
1 egg, beaten
4 cups flour (I use bread flour anytime I'm using yeast); add up to 1/4 c. more flour if needed.  Mine didn't.

1/3 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. cinnamon (I don't really measure, just sprinkle it on)

1 c. confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (the kind you use for pancakes)
3-4 Tbsp. heavy cream

For the dough, add warm water or scalded milk to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add yeast, then sugar, salt, oil, and beaten egg.  Add 2 cups of flour and mix until ingredients are mostly incorporated.  Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing in between, just until dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl.  Be careful not to add too much. 

Place a warm cloth over the bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.  Remove to floured counter and roll into a rectangle.  Spread softened butter over dough, then sprinkle with brown sugar, then cinnamon.  Roll up and pinch the seams.  I use a little cold water to help the dough stick together.  Cut into pieces (I always use a string of unscented dental floss, but a sharp knife works too) and place on a greased baking sheet.  Let rise another hour or so, until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the glaze by whisking together sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup.  Add heavy cream 1 Tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  Once rolls are mostly cool, drizzle with glaze.

**The filling amounts are totally adaptable to your taste.  I really don't measure that part.  Just spread on some butter, then sprinkle on some brown sugar and cinnamon to your liking.

These are utter and complete bliss!  If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, I just might overlook chocolate for these Maple-Glaze Cinnamon Rolls...gasp!
They are seriously bakery-worthy!  Mmmmmm....so good!  I hope you love them too!


Check out what the rest of the group made this month!

Baked Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze by Yummy Healthy Easy Baked French Toast Casserole by I Want Crazy Hazelnut Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls by I Dig Pinterest Hazelnut Macarons with Pumpkin Maple Filling by Baking a Moment Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin from The Pajama Chef Italian Sausage and Ravioli Skillet by Simply Gloria Kabocha Squash Curry with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Farro by Chez CateyLou Maple Glazed Fennel and Brussels Sprouts by The Well Floured Kitchen Pear Hazelnut Bread with Orange Maple Glaze by Blahnik Baker Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Hazelnuts by Flavor the Moments Shaved Brussels Sprouts Harvest Salad with a Hard Apple Cider Vinaigrette by Joyful Healthy Eats {Vegan} Orange Hazelnut Maple Cinnamon Rolls by Sweet Tooth Life

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Jump Start Your Holiday $300 Cash Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be teaming up with some amazing bloggers to bring you the chance to win $300 in Pay Pal or Amazon Cash!!  How sweet is that?!?

The holidays will be here before we know it.  They bring lots of joy, magic and wonder, but can take quite a toll on the bank account balance.  :)  So we wanted to lighten the load a bit and make it possible for one very lucky person to do some gift shopping on us!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This fabulous giveaway is brought to you by:
The Weary Chef - Hot Eats and Cool Reads - Krafted Koch Five Heart Home - Flavor the moments - Food Faith Fitness Pint Sized Baker - Dieter's Downfall - Delightful E Made Belle of the Kitchen - Petite Allergy Treats - Clarks Condensed Yesterfood - I Dig Pinterest - Memories by the Mile My Turn for Us - House of Yumm - Yummy Healthy Easy Julie's Eats & Treats - Love Bakes Good Cakes - Diary of a Recipe Collector Melanie Makes - The Bitter Side of Sweet - Life Made Sweeter Maebells - From Everyday To Gourmet - My Gluten-Free Kitchen Or Whatever You Do - Wishes and Dishes - Lemon Tree Dwelling - Chelsea's Messy Apron

Best of luck to you!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fun Holiday Traditions for Kids with Hallmark's "Once Upon a Northpole Christmas" Book plus a Giveaway!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NorthPoleFun #CollectiveBias

It's never too early to start planning for the holidays, so I'm excited to be sharing with you some fun traditions that my kids and I enjoy during the most wonderful time of the year.  Hallmark's "Once Upon a Northpole Christmas", Snowball Cookies, and hot chocolate with peppermint candy cane marshmallow stirrers are included in our festivities, so be sure to read on for all the exciting details!
I know it's not even Halloween, but my little ones are already getting excited for Christmas!  Yes, the trick-or-treat buckets are out and ready to roll, I've stocked up on candy and the costumes are just waiting to be donned, and yet the hot chocolate, along with the candy cane stirrers and snowball cookies have already made their first debut.  Ha!  We just couldn't help it. :)
Every year, we can't wait to make our delicious hot chocolate, accompanied by some homemade candy cane chocolate marshmallow stirrers.  Don't they just scream "Christmas!"?  

Simply unwrap a few peppermint candy canes, dip in melted chocolate, let set, then pop a jumbo marshmallow on the end.  The chocolate dip and marshmallow will melt to perfection while stirring in the hot chocolate, creating a dreamy holiday drink!  Mmmmmm....!!!
Since we don't see snow very often here, we like to bring it into our home in a the form of a dessert with these Snowball Cookies.  The kids love helping me make them, and they come together in a jiff!


1/2 c. salted butter, softened but cooled
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. pecans, chopped
Powdered sugar for rolling and sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla or almond extract.  Add flour, salt, and chopped pecans and mix until blended.  Form dough into 1" balls and arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately roll in powdered sugar.  Let cool completely, then roll in additional powdered sugar if desired.  Makes approximately 15 cookies.

Hot chocolate and cookies aside, quite possibly the highlight of our holiday season each year is our book advent.  Each evening in December leading up to Christmas, the kids get to unwrap a festive story and read it by the glow of the tree while in their pajamas.  Most of the books are from our collection that we've built up over the years, but the kids just beam when they get the occasional surprise of one with crisp pages and the amazing "new book" smell.  
So you can imagine the scene when the kids opened Hallmark's "Once Upon a Northpole Christmas" this past weekend.  We'll be adding it to our book advent rotation in December.

It comes with a pretty snowflake ornament that glows to let Santa know where to visit on the night of Christmas Eve.  We haven't decided who will get to put their name on it.  :)

I have to tell you about the adorable Northpole Communicator device that Santa and his elves sent too.  Each day in December, the kids get to "dial in" to the North Pole and speak to some special friends there.  The kids have been trying to cheat the system, but when they turn the knob, an elf relays a message to check back later on December 1st. :) We're working on the patience thing.  

These items from Hallmark are based off of a new movie coming out and will be launching exclusively in Walmart stores on November 1st!
"Once Upon a Northpole Christmas" is a heartwarming tale and reminder of a huge part of what the holidays are all about...the happiness that comes from enjoying family and loved ones.

It's a rhyming story about finding true joy during the holiday season, a magical snowfall, and the importance of a close-knit family.
The kids were completely drawn to the bold, beautiful illustrations and of course the cute story involving Santa and his elves and children just like them.
My son has been attached to the snowflake.  He even sleeps with it. :)  When we set up the tree, it will earn a special place there until Christmas Eve when the kids will take it to their room and set it to glow all night as a beacon for Santa and his reindeer.

We are looking forward to our book advent and including Hallmark's "Once Upon a Northpole Christmas"!  I hope you enjoyed reading about some of our family's favorite holiday traditions.  I'd love to hear about yours in the comments below!

Enter below for your chance to win a Northpole item!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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