Friday, October 30, 2009

Quick, easy CHEAP costume ideas

Spent the morning talking up some great inexpensive costume ideas you can pull together on the fly.  Check out this link to watch the video.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spooktacular Sweet Treat

Just finished a Bride of Frankenstein Cake!  I saw this idea on one of my favorite cake websites and thought I can't let Haloween come and go without making this! It's the perfect centerpiece for any party. The best part is this cake screams Halloween on the inside too!  One of my favorite fall treats is apple cider...though I barely ever get a glass from the jug because my husband guzzles it like it's water in the Sahara.  

So I decided to whip up an "Apple Cider" infused cake.   I took one of my favorite cake recipes and subbed out the water for cider.  Then when it came time to assemble the cake I stacked layers of the apple cider cake and filled it with Apple pie filling and caramel.  Wa-laaa: Caramel Apple Cake.  Does life get any better than that?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Dinner: Pork Roast & Apple stuffing

Looking for a fall comfort dinner?  Tonight we did Pork Tenderloin with apple stuffing and pan seared brussel sprouts.  I love Sunday dinner, especially on a gloomy fall day.  I think it gives everyone something to look forward to all day.  I try to come up with something special since I've actually got time to really put some "love" into a meal.  During the week- I cut a lot of corners and stick with things that are quick and easy.  On Sunday I don't mind spending time chopping veggies and building flavors for a good recipe.  I love this recipe I put together today.  The stuffing is sweet and savory and I used a sweet chicken sausage to pair with the chopped apples.  The roast is simple but cooked to the perfect temp. it melts in your mouth.  To really brighten things up I created an unusal but yummy brussel sprout recipe.  I found I LOVE brussel sprouts when they are prepared like this, but my trusty taste testers couldn't get over the "brussel sprout mindset" and didn't love it.  If you like brussel sprouts or want to try it for the first time. You'll love this recipe.

1/4 C. diced celery
1/4 C. diced onion
2 chicken and apple sausages (casing removed and crumbled)
1/2 bag of stuffing mix
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 apples (peeled and chopped)
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 t. dried sage
1/2 cup roasted salted pecans
1 pork loin
2 T. honey
2 packets Duck Sauce
2 T. apricot preserves
2 t. chicken stock

Stuffing Recipe:
Sautee celery, onion and sausage in EVOO until onions are translucent.  Add Apples, cook 5 minutes. Salt & Pepper to taste. Toss in stuffing mix, panko, egg and chicken stock.  Toss in salted roasted pecans and place in the bottom of a roasting pan.

Pork Loin:
Season pork with salt, pepper, ground red pepper & paprika.  Mix Honey, duck sauce, preserves and chicken stock together.  brush over the meat.  Place meat atop of stuffing.  Cover.

Roast at 325 degree for 45 minutes.  Remove lid.  Reglaze. Roast without lid for 30 minutes or until thermometer reaches around 160 degree.   Let rest for 15 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Fancy Brussle Sprouts:
quarter desired amount of brussle sprouts
sautee over medium high heat in EVOO.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Meanwhile in a bowl wisk 2 T. of dijion mustard, 1 t. sugar, 3 T. pomegrante vinegar (or red wine vinegar).  Once sprout start to brown toss them in the dressing.  Place in serving bowl and top with feta cheese, pecans and dried cherries.  Serve warm.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cozy up with a Chicken Pot Pie

I found a delicous recipe that I tried out this weekend: homemade chicken pot pie!  It was sooo good!  It calls for a homemade crust but I didn't have much success with that part and being the baker that I am I feel like something may be off in the recipe (I mean it couldn't be me right?! LOL)   I had a frozen pillsbury pie crust on hand so I used that instead and threw the homemade dough away.  Here is the link to the website where I found it.  They provide step by step instructions with pictures!

Here's my "TWEAKED" version of the recipe
Chicken Pot Pie

1 rotesseire Chicken (meat pulled an diced)
1 package of frozen pie crust (rolled kind)

Filling ingredients
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, diced
3 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 potato (peeled and diced)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
couple splashes of white wine
3/4 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
salt and pepper to taste

Egg wash
1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

1.  Thaw pie crust dough according to package directions.
2.  Prepare the filling. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and potato and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, one minute more. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the chicken stock. Whisk in the cream.   Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken meat and dried seasoning salt and pepper and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Fold in peas.  Divide the warm filling among six 10-ounce ramekins or one large pie pan.

4 Cut pie dough slightly larger than the circumference of the ramekins or baking dish. Lay a dough round on each pot pie filling. Fold the excess dough under itself and use the tines of a fork to press the dough against the edge of the ramekins. Cut a 1-inch vent into each individual pie. Use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash to each pie. Line a baking sheet with foil, place the pies on the baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Spooktacular Starters

You're probably in one of 3 sitatuions for Halloween.

1. You're having a party.  You've got to plan a costume, plan the menu, shop, decorate, send the e-vites and get the house ready.  The food needs to look festive- taste great- and there needs to be lots of it.
2. You're going to a party.  THis means you've got to have a fabulous costume and bring a fabulous dish to pass.  You want everyone to gush over the dish you made- how cute it is, how great it tastes, and you'll of couse want to be asked for the recipe like 20 times. 
3. You're staying home, passing out candy and watching a scary movie with your sweetie.  You know you're being lame and want to spice up the evening.  A few festive snacks to go with the all night movie marathon are a must!

Ok- so regardless if you fall into Category 1, 2 or 3 you don't want to spend the next 2 weeks surfing the web and testing recipes.  Don't worry!  That's what 365.entertain.everyday is for!  Here is my top 5 Spooktacular Starters.

Mummy Dogs
The have 3 big wins: tastey, cute, EASY!

Pumpkin Face Pizza

Pizza! A perfect party food.  Though I love this cute concept, go with your own favorite pizza recipe and then do the cute veggie pumpkins on top of that!
 (I always used the refridgerated dough or a pre-made crust)

Pumpkin Cheesball
If you've been to a party with me you know I hover by the cheeseball. MMMM! Here's a fun one for Halloween!  (ditch the apples though and serve with crackers!)

Bone Breadsticks
These cute easy treats are sure to be a hit.  For a hidden suprise, wrap the dough around a mozzerella cheese stick for an oohy-gooey center before you bake them.

Italian Eye Ball Bites
A last taste of summer!  Tomato and mini mozzerella balls (with olives) are layered on basil leaves and drizzled with EVOO. Love it!

(Image courtesy L. Marie’s flickr.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Favorite Favor for Halloween

Halloween is about 19 days away and I've got a great idea that's super easy if you looking for fun favors for your spooktacular bash!   It's the biggest trend in Weddings but I'm giving it a Halloween makeover: The Candy Buffet! 

What else could be sweeter than letting your guest load up their own goodie bags with tons of treats?!   When I did my candy buffet last year I stopped by the Dollar store to gather fun Halloween themed containers to fill with candy.  I used some plastic table clothes and some Halloween themed dish towels to cover my display area.  I also picked up some halloween clear goodie bags and ties so guests could fill their bags before they left.

My Table also includes a massive jar of "Guess the candy corns" where the winning guess gets to take it home!   What is your favorite Halloween Candy that you look forward to each year?  leave me a comment!  I can't live without a Charlston Chew!  MMMMMM!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Top 10 Halloween Party Games

If you're throwing a Halloween Party or looking for some fun activities with your kids, Martha Stewart has some really easy, cute games on her website. 
Check these out at this link: Top 10 Halloween Games

My Favorite is doughnuts on a string!  (picture on the right from Martha ) Click the link to get the instructions. YUM!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Top 5 Couples Costumes for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and if you're like you always end up at the costume store 2 days before the big party fighting for a parking spot and searching through the crappy costume leftovers.  SO here is your big chance to get ahead of the game.  Start getting a game plan for your costume now!  I love COUPLE's costumes!  This year the two biggest trends include Barak and Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin and John McCain.  I didn't include those because who wants to show up at a party and have the same costume on as another couple.  These are the Top 5 couples costumes I found.  I hope they inspire you to dress up as something great.  I hope to dress up as something awesome (to be determined) and Adam will likely dress up as well... Adam.  (he hates dressing up).  I better get to convincing him!

Popeye and Olive Oyle(
How cute is this costume that I found at the link above.  Simple and fun!  I've also seen "Sexy Olive Oyle" if you're into sexifiying your costume.  I think you could do this costume yourself but probably easier just to purchase the set.

Fred and Wilma Flinstone

I love these costumes that I found on the website above.  I've wanted to be this for a few years now.  It's a classic costume that you could reuse down the road or let a friend borrow next Halloween.  Great one for the collection.  If you're going in a group you could also add Barney and Betty or your kids could be Pebbles and Bam Bam!

Spencer and Heidi (MTV's The Hills)

What better idea than to be "Speidi" this year! (check out the above link) Hillarious and easy to do.  Get a blonde wig and maybe a wedding dress or google some Heidi fashion online and pair it up with a spencer themed out in spiderman and you are set.  Bound to be the talk of th party!  If you're not familiar with this popular MTV reality show these 2 have been all over the tabloids!

The Super Mario Brothers (Mario and Luigi)

I think this is so funny.  Why get all glammed up when you can be comfortable and hillarious!  This costume is super easy to put toether yourselves.  Hit up Goodwill for overalls, teeshirts and hats then stop by the halloween store for some mustaches and wigs.  So cool!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 (The Cat and The hat)

This works if you have a brave husband/boyfriend ect.  This is the ultimate couples costume that will have fellow party goers dying with laughter.  Also perfect for an outdoor party.  No problem staying warm in this!

What are the best couples costumes you've seen?  Leave me a comment and share! 

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's in store this week on 365.entertain.everyday

I've been busy updating my blog layout so I haven't posted much. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the improvements! 

Though I haven't posted I have been thinking about all of the great things I want to post about Halloween!  This week I plan to begin featuring great costume ideas for all ages, Costume DOs and DONTs, great recipes for take-a-long party treats and recipes for your big fall bash!  Keep checking back to find out what I'm cooking up for one of my favorite holidays!  TO start things off I had to post a picture of me dressed up as Martha a few Halloween's ago (holding a plate of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies of course!)  

Perfect Purses

This weekend I worked on some purse cookies that I just had to post a picture of.  I used a Martha Stewart sugar cookie dough recipe that was easy to make and held it's shape sooo well.  I'll definitely be using this for my Christmas cookies this year!  Click the link below for the recipe.
Martha's Sugar Cookie Cutouts