Archive for the 'Appetizers and Finger Foods' Category

Recipe: Grammaw’s Little Luvvies Luv Apple Lumpies

|October 6, 2013|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

The little guy stayed for the weekend and I always spoil him with anything homemade.

We've enjoyed our weekend – Friday night was Wrestling night, last night was movie night and today it's whatever we want to do.

It's quite miserable out there – horrid thunder/lightning the past two nights. Friday night we pulled an all-nighter and he went to bed at 4:30 in the morning!  Yes I allowed it – the storm was scary and watching movies and playing WWE 12 on the Wi was fun.

For last nights movies we had tacos – hard and soft shell and fries like the ones BK has just introduced.  So I filled my fry baby with corn oil and made the fries. 

This morning – still storming and scary – so I cranked up the fry daddy and made some lumpies for him.

It's just something I tossed together one day, it's babies-approved and a definite keeper.

Grammaw's Apple Lumpies


It's really a no-brainer!


Now remember – I am an eyeballer –


I placed about 2 cup pancake mix in a bowl, sprinkled with cinnamon to my liking, sprinkled in about 1 tablespoon sugar and enough water (about 1 1/4 cups I used) to make a batter with a nice consistency for fritters.


Washed, peeled and rough dice 5 apples (I used Macs which are perfect for this!) and stirred into the batter.


Meanwhile, my fry daddy was heating up.


Just drop off a large spoon (I got 3 lumpies to a fry batch) and fry until golden brown on the first side; turn; fry until golden on the flip side.


Drain and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.


And then they get devoured!



Recipe: Pizza subs

|March 28, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

A cold night, a good movie in the DVD player (since cable is nothing but re-runs – the same 4 or 5 movies on every channel day in and day out for weeks on end!) and  something nice to munch on.

Enjoying a loaded salad for a meal is nice – it gives you a chance to enjoy a nice movie munchie.

Normally, it's a movie and crocheting – but a pizza sub just sounded so good!

I was just in the mood for one.  They take just a few minutes to make and you can have anything you want on it.  Dang!  Fresh out of anchovies!  Oh well –

Soggy pizza subs are not for me.  Saucy – YES!  Soggy – NO!  And there is a difference.  (I am a big sauce person – I have no blood in my body – it's just homemade sauce!)

Using 6-inch sausage/hoagie rolls, I start by splitting open and placing in the broiler for a few minutes to toast the inside of the bun.  To me there is a big difference and I don't miss this step – then it's not soggy.

Remove from the broiler and brush a very light coating of olive oil over the inside of the bun, top with whatever sauce you want (I make my own sauces) and add your toppings.  No anchovies so I had to suffer with a cheese/pepperoni one. 

Popped into the oven (I used the toaster oven to do the whole thing – so easy!) at 350* F. for about 10 to 15 minutes and it was perfect. 

Nice and crusty, not soggy on the inside, yet saucy enough to keep me happy.

If making them open-faced:  just separate the top and heel of the bun and place in the broiler to toast, and continue the same way with the oil, sauce, etc.

Very simple to do and you can even use thick sliced bread, French bread, baguettes, bagels, English muffins – whatever.

Recipe: Fries with some zing!

|October 23, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I wasn't raised on hot and spicy foods so I am not a really big fan of them.  But occasionally, I like some ZING to something.

After opening and closing the fridge a dozen times, wanting to have something to pick on (you know how that goes – nothing seems to look good at the time) I decided instead to head to the potato basket.  (I know – a far cry from the fridge!)

I scrubbed and sliced some new potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.  I was in the mood for fries.  And who said they had to be cut into fingers anyway?

I tossed them in olive oil and placed on my baking sheet – once again – too lazy too pull out the deep fryer.  By the time the fat got hot enough to cook anything in my oven fries would be done.

Baked at 350 – 375* F., turning half-way through cooking time.  I like them with that nice golden color and a bit "crusty".

Meanwhile, I wanted a different flavor and a bit of zing so I combined about 1/4 cup Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder, and a few grinds of fresh large ground black pepper (once again I eye-balled everything).  Once they were done I sprinkled with my mixture – both sides, then I sprinkled some fresh grated Cheddar over the tops and placed in the oven for a minute – just long enough to slightly melt the cheese (I prefer my cheese on my taters and not my baking sheet.)

Served with a mixture of ketchup with some prepared mustard for a quick dipping sauce.

Yeah I know – but it was good and satisfied my craving.  And I didn't miss any of my movie!

Jalepeno monterey would haver been good on this as well!


Happy munchin'!!!



Recipe: remember the ham salad?

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

As you've already seen – I made my ham salad not long ago (a couple posts down from here) and of course, as always, there is never any waste when that is made. Just like ham salad – I made bologna salad – you can use it for so many things. Stuffing pita breads, making sammies or hoagies, served as a spread for crackers, bagel chips, etc., stuff into tomatoes, etc.

So easy to make – and of course – it doesn't last long around here.

I purchased a whole bologna at the market (which I shared with someone else so they could make this as well) and we enjoyed bologna salad!

Just like making the ham salad, cut bologna into chunks and mince in the food processor.

Mince an onion as well and add sweet pickle relish – salad dressing or mayo to desired consistency and enjoy with bread and butter pickles!

At this time of the year, when there is so much to do for the holiday and so much baking – it's nice to have something like this that you can make a quick lunch, dinner or a snack with.

Recipe: before Thanksgiving – Ham Salad – from 11/2010

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Before Thanksgiving it is so hectic for me. All the scrubbing and cleaning, windows, curtains and all, plus the menu planning, who's who, etc. and I just need more time to get everything done. And it always comes together for me.

The Sunday before seems to be the last day of making a big meal for us to enjoy until the big "stuffing" day.

On this day I made a pork steak dinner – just look under Pork, Yams, Potato Dressing – it's there.

Then it's "cheater" meals until Thursday.

The Monday before Thanksgiving I pick up the last of what I need – and in my travels I purchased a 3-pound canned ham. Great for sandwiches – and ham salad. That is always popular around here. Always rinse off well and pat dry with paper towels.

What I like about it – it's easy to make and you can add as much as you want of anything you want in it – and it's a great sammie-stuffer, or can be used as a spread for crackers, bagel chips, etc., or use to stuff tomatoes, celery, pita breads; you can turn it into a sub/hoagie by adding lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc., or you can serve it on lettuce leaves for a nice salad. There is so much you can do with a salad like this.

Here's my minced ham, minced onion, sweet pickle relish –

Once mixed – I can eat this with a spoon and I'd be in heaven!

Ham Salad

Deli/cooked ham (leftovers are good for this)
Sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickles
Onion and/or celery
Mayo or salad dressing

Mince your ham in your food processor; occasional lumps are okay – they taste good! Add enough sweet pickle relish, minced onion and/or celery, and mayo/dressing to make it the right consistency.

Will last in the refrigerator for 3 days, covered. Unfortunately – mine NEVER lasts that long!

Served on a nice deli rye with pickles and olives – Yep – I can do this quite often!

I hope you try it! Make it for yourself, your family, or for your next party as a spread.

Recipe: Halloween Safety and Adult Goodies

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating:

Times have changed since back in my day. Back then you had to have your mom check your apples for razor blades and you were warned not to accept pennies in your hand incase they boiled them to burn your hands. Yeah – I guess people have been rotten since the beginning of time – but it has gotten worse as time has gone by.

Some cities/towns will allow you to bring your candy in to be x-rayed to look for foreign objects. You need to check everything thoroughly – pinpoints are so hard to detect.

I feel that trick and treating should only be done by visiting just a few close neighbors (that you know very well), friends and family.

In my honest opinion – Halloween should be celebrated at home with friends and family. Not only is it much safer – but the memories will remain with the little ones for many years to come.

If going out trick and treating be careful when it comes to costumes. A cape can hang to the ground which can be dangerous for walking or running. Also – they can catch on fire if walking buy lit candles or pumpkins that are lighting walkways.

Be sure to have fresh batteries in a GOOD flashlight! The little toy flashlights are good for playing with in the house – but a good flashlight is much safer to carry. Any adult taking little ones should also carry one. Not only do you see where you are going – but others can see you as well. Make it fancy – place a colored plastic tumbler over the flashlight and draw a face using magic markers for a festive look. Children prefer something more “halloweeny” than the regular “boring” flashlights. And different color cups will make them stand out.

When it comes to candy – for the life of me I don’t understand the “greed” to load up your home with candy from others. The day after Halloween all the store put their Halloween candy on sale – but it then if you must to have candy in the house. It’s much safer than having your children accept candy from strangers. If you MUST go to a complete stranger house – give you children a different bag to use for “stranger candy” – better safe than sorry. Don’t allow anyone to eat any of that candy and when you get home – toss it in the garbage. Buy candy for your children – it’s a much better substitute.

When it comes to wearing facial masks – some of them make it quite difficult to see out of and prevent a child from seeing peripherally. Either leave the mask home or cut the eye holes larger using a pair of scissors. Make it easy to see.

You can make your own Halloween Make-Up:

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white flour
Few drops glycerine
Food coloring

Spread on face. Then dust with talcum powder to set.

Children get all excited when it comes to trick and treating. Although they are anxious to go – put on the brakes and review safety lessons with them. Remind them to stay together, not run between cars, stay on the sidewalk, not to enter a strangers’ home, etc.

And don’t forget the household safety tips:

Never leave burning candles unattended or burning if you are not home or sleeping.

Although you may be going to the door every 2 minutes – remember to lock it each time for safety reasons.

The way things are today – you just never know.

How about a good Apple Dip?

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla**
6 oz. bag toffee bits

Combine all ingredients; store covered in refrigerator. Wonderful with Granny Smith apple slices.

A definite adult (although kids love them too!) treat:

Cream Puff Ghosts

6 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
4 eggs


2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold orange juice
1 cup milk
2/3 cup packed brown sugar, firmly packed
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Confectioners' sugar

Miniature black jelly beans or chocolate chips

In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny. Drop by 1/3 cupfuls 3 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets; spread into 4-in. x 3-in. ovals. Using a knife coated with nonstick cooking spray, make a wavy edge at the bottom of the ghost as shown in photo below left. Bake at 400* F. for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice; let stand for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and brown sugar; cook and stir over low heat until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved. Stir in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Cover and refrigerate for 45-60 minutes or until thickened. Fold in whipped cream.

Split cream puffs in half; remove dough from inside. Set aside 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling for eyes. Spoon remaining filling into cream puffs; replace tops. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Place two small dots of reserved filling on each ghost; top with jelly beans. Serve immediately.

Yield: 9 cream puffs

When the day (and night) has come to an end and the party is over – how about a nice relaxing treat for yourself?

And it doesn’t have to be Halloween to enjoy this! Keep the syrup in the refrigerator to enjoy whenever you want.

Make spice syrup:
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

In a small saucepan bring syrup ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Cool syrup. Syrup may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated.

Brew your favorite tea and add a few drops – to taste.

Recipe: Tired of Halloween yet???

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen


1 ready-made chocolate cookie pie crust
1 quart orange sherbet
3/4 cup chocolate sauce
10 gummy worms

Soften sherbet slightly and spoon into pie shell. Drizzle with chocolate sauce to form "spider web" design. Freeze for at least one hour. Decorate with "worms".

These are a favorite with everyone!

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract**
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder**
1/4 teaspoon salt
Yellow and red food color
2 cups Vanilla Frosting (see recipe posted – continuing-with-halloween – Chocolate Cake recipe)

Garnishes: Mini chocolate kisses baking
pieces, licorice Twizzlers and bits

Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease a 12-inch round pizza pan. If using a disposable pan, place on baking sheet to bake.

Beat melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract with spoon in large bowl; beat in eggs; stir in dry ingredients; beat with spoon until well blended; spread into pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center.

Cool completely. Add yellow and red food color to frosting for desired shade of orange. Frost brownie; garnish to resemble jack-o-lantern. Makes 12 to 16 servings.


4 egg whites
1 teaspoon grated orange peel**
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder**
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup salted almonds, slivered or chopped

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites and sugar with orange peel and baking powder until blended. Gradually add nuts and flour, beating until mixture is thoroughly blended. Cover and chill until firm enough to handle, at least an hour or up to a day.

Lightly flour your hands and pinch off a three-tablespoon size piece of dough. On a lightly floured board, use the palms of both hands to evenly roll an 8-inch (20 cm) long rope. Cut rope in half; roll each half out again to 8 inches (20 cm). Fold an inch of each end back onto rope and pinch ends to make bone shapes. Repeat to shape all the dough.

Place bones an inch apart on a buttered and flour-dusted baking sheets.

Bake at 325* F. about 20 minutes until cookies are lightly browned on bottoms.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder**
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black licorice whips, black jellybeans, black decorating gel, assorted Halloween candies

Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg and then melted chocolate. Beat in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt until combined.

Divide dough in half and shape each half into a roll about 8 inches long. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350* F. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until cookies are set when lightly touched, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Combine cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Spread about 1 teaspoon of frosting on half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies and spread additional frosting on top.

Decorate the cookies with "spiders," using jellybeans for bodies and licorice for legs.

To make cobweb cookies, squeeze a small amount of black gel on the middle of the cookie. Use the end of a toothpick to draw gel from the middle of the cookies to edges. Then put gel across to connect the gel lines in a cobweb pattern.

Cookies can also be decorated with a variety of ready-made Halloween candy decorations. Once frosted, keep cookies refrigerated.

Yields 32 servings.


1/4 c. margarine or butter
1 (10 oz.) pkg. regular marshmallows (about 40) OR 4 c. miniature marshmallows
5 c. Kellogg's Marshmallow Krispies cereal

Melt margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Cook over low heat 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add Marshmallow Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

To make 5 Jack-O-Lanterns, divide cereal mixture into five equal parts. Form pumpkin-shaped balls and stems. Decorate with frosting and Halloween candies. Makes 5 Jack-O-Lanterns. (For best results use fresh marshmallows.)


1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
1 boxed chocolate cake mix (use my homemade chocolate cake Just like Duncan Hines Chocolate mix recipe – Kitty Litter Cake recipe – Halloween is coming)

M & M candies
Red hot candies

Beat together peanut butter, eggs and water. Gradually add the dry cake mix. Mix well. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Pinch out the dough to form two ears at the top of cookie. Add the M & M's for eyes and the red hots for a nose. Press a fork into the dough to form whiskers. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 4 1/2 dozen.


2 tubes refrigerator roll of pizza dough
1 cup grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Nonstick spray
4 tablespoons pizza sauce or pasta sauce
8 hot dogs
Optional pizza toppings: onions, green peppers, olives, etc.
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 300* F. Open package of pizza dough. Grate cheese, and dice vegetables. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place pizza dough on sheet and cut into 8 squares; press dough thin with fingers. Add pizza sauce to each square. Add hot dogs and other pizza toppings and pizza herbs to taste. "Mummify" the hot dogs by wrapping them completely in the dough and pinching the ends. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Serve with warm pizza sauce or pasta sauce for dip.

Serves 4 to 8


1 (.13 oz.) envelope unsweetened grape soft drink mix
1 (.13-oz.) envelope unsweetened orange soft drink mix
2 cups sugar
3 quarts cold water
1 liter ginger ale
1 frozen hand

To make the frozen hand, wash a disposable glove, fill with water, seal with a rubber band and freeze until hard.

Stir together grape and orange soft drink mix, sugar and water until solids are dissolved. Combine with chilled ginger ale just before serving. Dip the frozen hand briefly in warm water, then peel off the glove. Float the prepared hand in the punch bowl for a ghastly effect.


Recipe: Ready for more Halloween recipes?

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Halloween Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is a smashing success, especially if you're hosting a monster bash at your house.

Medium sized pumpkin (4 pounds)
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can chestnuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 4-ounce can mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked rice

Black olives
Steamed carrot
Whole cloves
Fresh parsley

Using a sharp knife, cut lid from pumpkin and scoop out pumpkin seeds and excess membrane with a scraping tool. In a large skillet, combine ground beef, chopped green pepper, chopped celery, chopped onion, and chestnuts. Cook over medium heat until ground beef is browned. Add next seven ingredients to skillet. Mix well and place mixture into pumpkin cavity. Place lid on pumpkin. Place pumpkin on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Just before serving, embellish pumpkin by placing (with toothpicks) black olives to make eyes, a steamed carrot to make a nose, and whole cloves to make a mouth. Use fresh parsley leaves to make hair around like opening. To serve, scoop out part of the baked pumpkin, along with the meat mixture, onto each plate.

If desired, serve with a loaf of warm crusty French or Italian bread.

Yield: 6 Servings

Dinner in a Pumpkin #2

1 medium pumpkin
2 lbs. ground beef, cooked
1 chopped onion
3 sliced carrots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can sliced mushroom, drained
1 tablespoons garlic salt
1 celery stalk, sliced
2-3 potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Bring all ingredients (except pumpkin) to a boil in a pot. Boil 10 minutes. Place pumpkin in sturdy baking pan. Fill pumpkin with hot mixture. Bake at 350 degrees, for approximately 45 minutes, until pumpkin is tender and brown.

Halloween Snack Mix

6 cups caramel corn
2 cups cashews or Pecans
1-1/2 cups candy corn
1/3 cup raisins

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.
* Great for a Halloween Party or to package in individual goodie
bags for a school party or bake sale.

Do you think I wouldn’t post a recipe for Caramel Corn?

1-1/2 cups popcorn, not popped for 2 batches
OR 2/3 cup for 1 batch
1 cup margarine or butter
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed**
1/2 cup light corn syrup**
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla**
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250* F degrees. Pop popcorn and set aside (a large roast pan works well, allowing for room to stir).

Bring margarine or butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. During this period, do not stir AT ALL.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Mix and pour over popcorn. Put into the oven at 250* F, checking and stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour.

** Add chopped peanuts, if you want.

Halloween Cookie Pizza

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter flavor shortening
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)
ORANGE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350* F. Lightly grease 12-inch round pizza pan; set aside.

Beat brown sugar and shortening in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Add egg, water and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to sugar mixture, beating on low speed until well blended. Stir in peanut butter chips.

Spread batter into prepared pan to within 1/2 inch of edge.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. Sprinkle marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans over top. Return to oven. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool completely.

Drizzle CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE over top. Drizzle ORANGE DRIZZLE over chocolate. Let stand about 1 hour until drizzles set. Cut into wedges. 16 servings.

Combine 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter flavor shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. I melt mine in a double boiler over hot water.

ORANGE DRIZZLE: Combine 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 3 drops yellow food color and 2 drops red food color in small bowl; stir until well blended.

* Cookie pizza can be baked in 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan. Bake at 375* F. 15 to 18 minutes or until set.

What is Halloween without Candy Apples?

6 red apples – I like Mac Intosh for these
6 wooden lollypop sticks
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 splash vanilla extract
Food coloring of choice

Wash and dry apples. Remove stems and insert stick pushing halfway into apple.

In deep, heavy saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, and water; place over medium heat, stirring, until mixture boils and sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Continue to cook without stirring until you reach the soft crack stage.

Remove from heat, add extract and food coloring and stir only enough to mix. Place pan over boiling water to keep from thickening while you dip apples, winding in a circular motion until thoroughly covered with syrup. Place on buttered pan to allow to cool and harden.

Of course you will need dips and assorted finger foods:

Dracula Dip

2 cups sour cream
1 packet of dry tomato-vegetable soup mix

Combine dry soup mix and sour cream into a bowl. Stir until soup mix is moist. Refrigerate (covered) for at least 2 hours. Serve with chips or vegetables.

Halloween Snack Mix

1/2 cup blood drops (red hots)
1/2 cup cats eyes (blanched almonds) or (gumdrops)
1/2 cup cats claws (sunflower seeds)
1 cup chicken toenails (candy corn)
1 cup colored flies (M & M's)
1 cup butterfly wings (corn chips)
1 cup ants (raisins)
1 cup earthworms (cheese curls)
1 cup cobwebs (Triscuits) or (Golden Grahams)
1 cup snakes eyes (peanuts)
1 cup bats bones (shoestring potatoes)

Mix together in a large bowl. Serve with several pints of blood (cherry punch).

Halloween Punch

Serving: 24 servings

12 oz orange juice concentrate, frozen
12 oz grape juice, white
2 liter 7-Up
1 pint sherbet, lemon or lime
Green food coloring

Mix together orange juice, white grape juice, 7-Up, lemon or lime sherbet, and several drops of green food coloring.

If desired, serve with large, buoyant, and well-washed plastic spiders on the top!

(For adult party: add rum or vodka to taste, optional)

*Get a plastic witch’s cauldron and put a piece of dry ice in it. Pour the brew over the ice and watch the kids’ eyes with delight! (caution should be taken when using dry ice – you should not touch it)

*Take a rubber face mask; cover the eyes, nostrils and mouth with duct tape to seal all openings. Fill a large bowl with ice or have a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal, to cushion the mask. Place the mask in the bowl/sheet, pour water into the mask. Place in freezer for several hours until frozen solid. When you’re ready to serve your punch, take mask out of freezer and dip quickly into hot water to make the ice separate from the mask. Place the piece of ice face-up into the punch bowl. It will look like a face floating in the punch!

Buy some new latex gloves (without powder). Wash two out and fill with water. Fasten the arms closed with a twist-tie or rubber band. Freeze it. When frozen solid, carefully cut away the glove and place one hand on each side of the “ice face” in the punch before serving. Make sure you place the hands downward.


½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 lb. confectioners’ sugar**
2 teaspoons vanilla**
10-12 oz. white chocolate

Cream together the first four ingredients. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place balls on waxed paper for 30 minutes, and refrigerate.

When the balls are cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Partially dip ball into melted white chocolate; leaving an open area on top of ball where you insert a chocolate chip upside down to make the iris, let harden. You may need to reheat the chocolate until all balls are done.

Place eyeballs in little cupcake liners.

“Mud” Sodas

4 cups chilled chocolate milk
4 cups chilled rootbeer
1 pint chocolate ice cream

In glass combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup rootbeer, and top with a scoop of ice cream. Make 8 drinks

Spiderweb Munch

This crispy snack is topped with a layer of chocolate and then decorated with a thin
piping of peanut butter. A candy spider on top would complete the image for a creepy
Halloween treat!

2 cups (12-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 cups toasted rice cereal

Heat morsels and 3/4 cup peanut butter in small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; remove from heat. Add sugar; stir vigorously until smooth.

Place cereal in large bowl. Add 1 cup melted chocolate mixture; stir until evenly coated. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Using small metal spatula, shape into 10-inch circle with slightly raised 1-inch-wide border. Pour remaining chocolate mixture in center of circle; spread to border.

Place remaining peanut butter in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to pipe concentric circles on top of chocolate. Using wooden pick or tip of sharp knife, pull tip through peanut butter from center to border. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into wedges.

Recipe: Continuing with Halloween –

|August 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen


Although the Kitty Litter Cake is exceptionally good – there may be some that would prefer to pass on it (although I haven’t had anyone pass it up yet!) and I always make sure I have my traditional “pumpkin” cake ready. Of course it disappears fast too!

I bake a chocolate cake in 8 or 9-inch round tins:

Chocolate Cake

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder**
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter (not margarine)
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla**
1 cup buttermilk**

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two nine-inch cake pans, line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper as well.

In bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt; set aside.

In separate bowl, cream butter; gradually add sugar and beat at medium speed for one minute; add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Gradually add water and vanilla; beat another minute more.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add ¼ dry ingredients, 1/3 buttermilk, another ¼ dry ingredients, another 1/3 buttermilk, until both are completely added. Blend only until the flour no longer shows, then add the next portion of buttermilk.

Pour into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until done – use the toothpick test for doneness. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing by inverting onto wire racks. Allow to cool completely.

Frost and fill as desired. What I do for Halloween I fill with either a pudding or mousse (chocolate) and I frost with a basic white frosting that I have tinted orange with food coloring. I decorate the cake with a Halloween face to look like a pumpkin using candy corn or other candies.

My basic frosting – A stick of softened butter, sifted confectioners’ sugar, a splash of vanilla and enough milk for a nice spreading consistency. No – I don’t measure. Ad a few drops of orange food coloring or red and yellow until your get orange.

A plate of cookies is always nice to have for serving.

This is my Autumn Cutout Cookies recipe:

½ cup butter (not margarine)
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*** recipe below
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons canned pumpkin (or fresh – pureed)
1 teaspoon vanilla**
2 cups flour
Orange and green paste food coloring

Cream butter. Add sugar and spices. Beat. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla; beat in as much flour as possible – stir in the rest. Divide into 3 portions; tint. Cover and chill 3 hours or till it’s easy to handle. Roll ¼-inch thick. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased sheets. Bake 375* F. 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on racks.

MARBLED LEAVES: Combine doughs; cut leaf patterns; sprinkle with sugar; bake.

PATCHWORK PUMPKINS: Roll white dough. Roll other colors and cut into strips. Lattice strips over pumpkin loosely. With rolling pin, gently roll over strips to gently press down. Cut pumpkin shapes. Use scraps to make leaves. Bake.

POLKA DOT PUMPKINS: Roll a portion of dough ¼-inch thick. Cut with pumpkin cutter. Place on ungreased sheets. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Using small cutter, make smaller cutouts in chilled cookies. Fill each opening with another color of dough. Bake.

You know by now – I insist on making as much as possible homemade!

Need Pumpkin Pie Spice?

1/2 cup cinnamon
1/4 cup ground ginger
2 tablespoons nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground cloves

Combine all. Use 3 1/4 teaspoon per 1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin.

And speaking of pumpkin –

I think everyone gets pumpkins for Halloween. Many just carve and waste the pumpkins completely. That’s a no-no in my book!

Did you know that you can make your own pumpkin puree to use in your recipes? Simple and cheap! My preference is the sugar pumpkins – but the choice is yours.

Begin by selecting a nice ripe and firm pumpkin. Don’t think that bigger is better – the larger pumpkins get “grainy” the bigger they get.

As with everything (I have this “thing” about cleanliness – almost to the point of OC!) – wash the pumpkin off! Dry with paper towels.

Cut your pumpkin open and remove the seeds and fibrous strings. Cut the pumpkin into 4 to 8 pieces (depending on the size of the pumpkin) and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in a preheated 375* F. oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the pulp is soft.

Using a spoon, remove the pulp from the rind – discard the rind. Place pulp in a blender or processor and process until smooth. If you want a really thick puree, place the pureed pulp in cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out the excess water.

Use immediately. You can freeze in portions for baking. Label and date. YOU CANNOT CAN PUMPKIN PUREE – it is not recommended by the USDA.

And don’t waste the seeds! As children we used to chomp on pumpkin seeds constantly.

Extract seeds from pumpkin – removing from the fibrous strings. Wash thoroughly in warm water; drain well; dry with paper towels. Transfer seeds to a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt.

Bake in a preheated 350* F. oven for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and adding more salt to taste. Cool before tasting! If the insides are dry – they are done.
Cool completely before serving.


Cheesy Pumpkin Seeds- sprinkle with Cheesy popcorn seasoning.
Tex-Mex Style- Sprinkle powdered Taco seasoning onto the seeds. This is better mixed in a bowl first. Add more red pepper powder for a really hot seed!
Cajun style- Mix seeds in a bowl with a packet of Cajun seasonings mix. If you like it really spicy, add extra hot sauce.
Garlic Salt- REALLY GOOD!

Recipe: and speaking of meatballs – Chinese Meatballs

|June 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen


I come from a meatball loving family.  Like I have said before – many think that meatballs are just balls of ground beef in spaghetti sauce and served with spaghetti.  This is so far from the truth!

Meatballs can be made in many different sizes – from the tiny ones you find in Italian Wedding Soup to the baseball-or bigger-sized ones I make for a nice dish of homemade macaroni (that is pasta to many of you – to the Italians – it's MACARONI!)

And I do enjoy some Chinese dishes as well.  The unfortunate thing with eating Chinese food – if I don't make it myself – I can't eat it.

Take me to a Chinese restaurant and before I am half through with my meal I will begin to "grow" large red welts all over my entire face and body.  They itch terribly and they hurt like hell.  I walk in normal and walk out looking like a monster.  Not good for business either.

So I DIM – do-it-myself.

Being in the mood for rice and veggies, I decided to make some of my "Chinese" meatballs to go with it.  I started making these over 50 years ago – and everyone likes them.

I began with a bit over a pound of ground chuck.  To this I added Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, parsley, ground ginger, and several splashes of low-sodium soy sauce.  I added about 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage and about 1/2 cup shredded onion as well.  Mixed well and formed into meatballs – I happened to get 9 good-sized ones. 

I fried them in my garlic-flavored olive oil until done.

Just before they were done I made my rice – the choice at that time was simple Minute Rice which I used beef bouillon to cook it in instead of plain water, still added the bit of butter and a bit of salt – but not too much salt because I gave it a splash or two of the soy sauce.  This is also a great way to use up leftover rice and veggies!

In a separate pan, I cooked my frozen veggie mix of snap peas, broccoli, etc. and I added frozen green peas and since I had leftover steamed carrots from the day before – I added those as well.

Combined my cooked veggies and hot rice; served with my "Chinese" meatballs.

I also added a nice thick slice of onion bread – which I absolutely love.  Why not?

Slice a thick slice of Italian or French bread and slather on your onion butter –

Softened butter (no substitutes)

sprinkle of minced garlic – not much

pinch of Kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper

fresh grated onion

fresh minced parsley

Place in preheated 350* F. oven (or until broiler or in toaster oven) until done.  Can't beat it!


Give it a try and let me know how you like them!