To finish off ghost week I present to you a cocktail. If you’re throwing a party tomorrow add this martini to your bar menu. Or, maybe you want something with a little kick to sip on while you’re handing out candy to the little ghosts and goblins knocking on your door.
Do kids really dress up as ghosts and goblins anymore? These days it’s all about wanting to be their favorite movie character – I challenge you to count the number of Elsas and Olafs. (Hey, this cocktail could easily be redone in the winter as a melted snowman!)
- 2 parts vodka
- 1 part vanilla simple syrup
- 1 part cream
- 2 parts seltzer
- Combine martini ingredients in a large pitcher and gently stir. Pour into martini glasses. If only making one, 1 part = 1 ounce.
*This recipe is adapted from Janelle at http://www.hgtv.com/entertaining/liquefied-ghost-cocktail-recipe/index.html *
Today’s ghost recipe is 100% inspired from my countless hours surfing Pinterest.
Doing ghost pancakes is the reason I chose the ghost theme for this year’s Halloween week!
I used my go to pancake recipe. I have been using this recipe for over four years and wish I could give credit where credit is due but I don’t remember where I found it. My copy is a wrinkled piece of paper with stains of egg, melted butter, and syrup all over it. The text is going to be fading before I know it. This recipe makes 12 1/3 C portion pancakes, or 10 ghosts. Feel free to use your favorite pancake recipe or use a boxed mix.
- 1 1/2 C flour
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 C milk
- 3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 30 chocolate chips
- Preheat griddle to medium-high heat. Grease with cooking spray or butter.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- In another bowl whisk together egg and milk. Whisk in cooled melted butter.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
- Pour pancake batter into a measuring cup. Pour onto hot griddle into shape of ghosts. Place three chocolate chips in the form of eyes and a mouth in the ghost’s head. Flip pancakes when batter starts to set and bubbles form in the center of the pancake. Cook until both sides are golden brown.
As I sit here, trying desperately to come up with a Next Food Network Star style story behind the dish I find myself coming face-to-face with writer’s block.
I don’t have any personal connection behind this dish. And it has all of the usual selling points: Slow Cooker, Chinese food, Barbecue, chicken. Easy, fast, delicious. Wait? Chinese food and barbecue in the same dish? Absolutely!
Hoisin sauce is used in China in a similar manner that Americans use ketchup or barbecue sauce, and by shredding the chicken you get the same versatility you get with pulled pork barbecue. You can turn this slow cooker meal into lettuce wraps like the original recipe, serve it atop steamed brown rice like I did, or even make it into a sandwich.
Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 jar (8.5 oz) hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Place sliced onions and peppers in bottom of slow cooker. Season chicken with S+P and place on top of vegetables.
- In a small bowl whisk together hoisin, soy, water, ginger, and garlic. Pour over chicken.
- Cook on low 5-7 hours.
- Shred chicken and return to sauce.
- Serve with steamed rice. Garnish with scallions.
*This recipe is adapted from Rebecca at http://whoneedsacape.com/2014/05/crock-pot-chicken-lettuce-wraps/ *
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Today is my mother-in-law’s birthday! After the birth of my son, her first grandchild, she now happily goes by Tilly. She didn’t want a traditional southern name for grandma and after a lot of contemplation she created this term for herself. After seeing Saving Mr. Banks (no, I don’t know what the movie had to do with it, I never saw it) she investigated her favorite family names to look for their origins, combined a couple, and created Tilly.
As you’ve probably gathered, my mother-in-law and I get along very well. I appreciate how lucky I am to have a mother-in-law who loves and trusts me enough to have given her diamond to Stuart to propose to me. (I still don’t know how she did it!) Three years ago she bought me my first sewing machine and taught me how to quilt. This new hobby provides a great way to bond with Tilly; it allows us time together to be creative, to have both serious and fun conversations, and to go fabric shopping!
Wedding photography by Cher Hanna
During her last visit she requested bagel chips to be put on my grocery list. And then added the caveat “if they have them.” I thought, why wouldn’t they? Apparently, they don’t. They sell countless versions of pita chips and pretzel chips, but no bagel chips. If I knew how easy it were to make my own I would have done so for her, but it didn’t cross my mind until after she left. So, I diverted from my original Tilly’s birthday post idea (a chocolate skillet cake) to share this recipe instead. I will definitely be playing around with flavors in the future!
Sea Salt and Olive Oil Bagel Chips
- 1 plain bagel
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut bagel into chips. Do this by splitting bagel in half and quartering. Halve the quarters from the bottom piece into thin chips and third the quarters from the top piece.
- Place bagel chips on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool before storing.
*This recipe is adapted from Lori at http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/08/homemade-bagel-chips/*
I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but here’s another cooking adventure I’d always been afraid to try. Making jelly and canning. This adventure wasn’t even on my culinary bucket list – it was too scary. There’s the whole bit with the pectin and the part of sterilizing jars and sealing jars. It just seemed like way too much time and effort to be worth it.
Boy was I wrong!
Homemade jelly is FANTASTIC.
Maybe it’s the grapes.
These grapes came from my parents’ lake house in Lake Geneva, WI. This house used to be my grandparents’ summer home and I spent many of my childhood summers making memories there.
By the road there’s a fence that has grapes growing on it. Grapes which I always thought were green grapes. Nope. They’re beautiful, purple concord grapes! They were just never ripe when I was visiting.
This year, the grapes were ready a little early and Mom called me up asking if I wanted to try making jelly with her. She had over ten pounds of harvested grapes! She stopped by on her way back to Florida for the winter for a few days and we tried our hand at jelly making. A first for both of us!
There are a good number of steps to jelly making. And there’s a good mess to be made. But it’s not difficult. And with the right canning suppliesit’s even fun. This recipe made 12 4oz Jarsand 4 8oz jars.
- 5 lb concord grapes
- 7 C sugar, divided use
- 1 pkt pectin(or 8 tbsp)
- blender or juicer
- jelly jars with lids and rings
- jar funnel
- jar grabber
- magnetic lid grabber
- large stock pot(s)
- Sanitize your jelly jars. I did this by running my dishwasher on a very hot cycle. Keep jars warm until ready to fill to prevent the glass cracking. If you do this in a dishwasher, simply don’t open the door until you’re ready to fill the jars. If you sanitize jars by washing with soapy water and boiling in water for 10 minutes,keep the jars in warm water until you’re ready to fill them.
- Place jar lids in a shallow skillet over low heat (do not boil) to get the seal gummy, remove lids from water.
- Place grapes in a blender (this will need to be done in batches) and pulse until juiced. Pour and press the juice through a cheesecloth lined strainer and strain into a large measuring cup. Squeeze cheesecloth to extract all the juice. Do this until you have 5 C of juice. (Any extra juice is a delicious tart treat for you to enjoy!)
- In a small bowl, combine the pectin with 1/4 C of the sugar.
- Warm the juice, but do not boil (yet). Stir in the pectin. Bring to a full boil.
- Add the rest of the sugar and return to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
- Fill jars with jelly, cover with lids and rings. Seal by placing the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in a dry place over night. (I did this in my oven.)
*This recipe is adapted from http://www.pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm#.VELDzfl4ofg*
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.