Category Archives: Yummy Yummy Goodness

Halloween Party Ideas!

Hellllllllo again. So instead of starting this post with a bunch of empty promises of my return to this space, I’m just going to get right into the good stuff. We had a super early halloween get together this year, and I wanted to share some of the recipes and crafts I made for the shin-dig.

We decided to do it really early because I didn’t want to compete with other parties, and I kind of love staying in Halloween weekend and just watching a movie with Russ while carving pumpkins and drinking cider.

But for our 2nd annual spooky (but more quirky) halloween movie night, I had to go all out.

In this post I will share our menu, decorations, and party favors!

Menu:

Pumpkin Puking Guacamole with chips

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Buy a medium sized pumpkin. Carve it to look like its getting sick. Make some guacamole. Put it on a plate and a little near the mouth so it looks like it’s puking.

Skinned Alive Skull deli meat tray

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Buy a styrofoam or plastic skull head. Cover it with saran wrap. Buy deli meat sliced thin, cover the skull, but leave the mouth area uncovered so the teeth show through. The eyes are made with small fresh mozzarella balls and two sliced olives. I used a tooth pick to keep them in place. Roll up the rest of the deli meat, and put it on a tray. I also had mini rolls and a small dish with mustard out for people to make their own deli sandwiches.

Edible Intestines (Spanakopita)

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I got this idea from the blog, “Wanna Bite” but was left rushing at the end so I didn’t have time to nicely paint the blood on. Next time I will make it earlier in the day. I chose to do the spinach/feta combo inside because I wanted to provide my guests with another hearty option for a snack. The spanakopita recipe I used is linked in the title of this menu item.

Zombie Brain jello dessert

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This is incredibly easy. Buy the jello mold, choose a red flavor, and add in some evaporated milk to make it opaque. Make sure to spray the mold with cooking spray to ensure an easy removal of the item.

Putrid Chocolate Covered Oreos

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My mom has made chocolate covered Oreos for more occasions than I can count, so I had to make some for my party. The pumpkin toppers are royal icing, and my mom made them so I don’t have the recipe, but you could just put regular halloween themed sprinkles, or buy some other themed topping to go on it. I chose to purchase the Halloween Oreos this year as well, so when you took a bite you saw orange and black!

Bar:

For the bar we put out the usual liquor, plus some wine and our awesome friends brought beer and soda, etc. Instead of spiking the cider beforehand, this year we chose to leave it as is, and let our friends choose to use either rum or bourbon for the extra kick. (Our friend Nick drew the awesome signs!!)

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We also got these cute little napkins at TJ Max for $3 a pack! I’m officially obsessed and have plenty leftover for next year.

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Decorations:

We like to have fun with our decorations and go all out with new ideas of making fun things happen around the apartment. Here are some of the things we did!

Haunted House Door Decor

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Ghostly Ghoulish Chandelier

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Creepy Guy Hiding in the Shower

Russ did this one last year, but upped the awesomeness of it by adding in a motion sensor that turned the bathroom light red after a few seconds of people being in the bathroom. Yup. I have an amazingly creative boyfriend over here, and people LOVED it.

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Party Favors:

I always like to end my holiday parties with a little treat bag for friends to take home, so this year I made some classic halloween candy filled goodie bags. I bought a 13lb bag of mixed candy at Costco, filled halloween themed bags with them, and added in some plastic spider rings and holiday themed stickers. Yup.

Costco packs your groceries in boxes, and I happened to end up with one that was a perfect size to turn into a goodie bag holder. I used some halloween themed tape that my mom bought me at TJ Maxx for $3, wrapped the box and that was it. I put it on the table at the front of our apartment near the door, added a pumpkin for good measure, and a little sign telling people to grab one on their way out. It was a big hit!

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Movie: 

As for the movie choice, Russ’ brother Dane came through with an awesome recommendation called “Slumber Party Massacre Part 3.” No, none of us saw parts 1 & 2 but it didn’t matter. This movie was ridiculous and perfectly wonderful for the evening.

Alright that’s it! Hope you guys enjoy the ideas, and that this has sparked some creativity for our halloween party this year. I’d love to see some of the things you’ve done in the past, or come back later to share links to the things you end up doing later this month.

ADIOS!

Sasha

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Big Apple Sinatra Cupcakes: A Going Away Treat For My Family

So yeah. My brother and sister in law(n) are moving to the Big Apple in t-minus 1 day and I am drowning my sorrows in whiskey filled butter cream. What can I say? Sugar makes me happy.

(Brother and sister in law(n). Clearly not their going away party but cute pic!)

Last night was their going away party, and I knew I wanted to bake them something delicious as my way of saying farewell and good luck and here is a stiff “drink” to get you through all of the goodbyes!

I made what I’ve dubbed the Big Apple Sinatra cupcake. It’s an apple cinnamon cupcake, with a whiskey brown sugar butter cream topped with a whiskey cinnamon apple compote.

The apples represent the Big Apple of course, and the whiskey because it was Frank Sinatra’s drink of choice.

I made this apple cinnamon cupcake recipe (omitting the chopped apples, and using apple juice instead of water/milk) while also adding in a tbsp of whiskey to the batter.

I baked those up, and started on the compote. I didn’t use the filling recipe from the one above, because I wanted to experiment a bit with what I thought would taste good.

So, I chopped up 3 granny smith apples, threw them into a pan with 1 tbsp of butter, and just started dumping cinnamon on until they looked nice and covered. I would say in total I used about 1 tsp of cinnamon, maybe a bit more.

After they had sauteed for a bit, I added 1/4 cup of water. Continued to cook it on medium heat until the apples were soft but not total mush. I waited until the end to add the whiskey because I didn’t want the alcohol to burn off. I added about 3 tbsp of whiskey (I prefer to use Crown Royale because it is sweet!!)

Once that was all done, I put the apples compote in the fridge.

Next up is the butter cream. I like to think that frostings have become a bit of a speciality of mine, and I am ALWAYS working off of a basic butter cream recipe but substituting whatever flavor I want for the normal tbsp of cream you would use in a vanilla recipe.

So. For the buttercream:

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
3 tbsp of whiskey
1 tsp of vanilla

Start by creaming together the butter and brown sugar. You want your butter at room temperature, but if you are in a rush the easiest thing to do is slice the butter thinly which will make it easier to cream.

Next, add in 1 tbsp of whiskey. Then a cup of powdered sugar, then more whiskey, then powdered sugar. You get the idea. Alternate between wet and dry. Add in the vanilla in between your dry and wet additions any time during the process.

As always, if you find your frosting to be too wet, add more powdered sugar.

Now its time to decorate.

Before I started frosting I dumped a liiiiiittttllle more whiskey over the apples just to make sure they packed a punch.

Then I piped little “cups” of frosting on top, added the compte to the middle, and there you have it folks. Delicious apple cinnamon whiskey cupcakes.

Since I had a little bit of frosting and apples left over, boyfriend, his brother Dane and I all started taking shots of frosting and apple compote. It. Was. Awesome.

If you have any questions about the recipe, give me a shout in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, happy eats, and much love to you all.

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Brownie “Ice Cream” Cones

Last year when my dad was sick, during some of the down time my mom and I (and sister in law!) would bake.

It was, as it always has been and still is today, a great way to just lose ourselves in something when times are tough.

At the time, I didn’t have this baking blog so I never shared this really cute project we did.

These are VERY easy, SO cute for any party you are having, and were a huge hit among our friends and family.

Here is what you will need to make these:

Mini ice cream cones (you can buy them at Michaels, or you can buy regular cones and cut the ends off!)
Mini M&M’s
Rainbow sprinkles
White chocolate candy melts or coating bark
Batch of brownies
Small ice cream scoop, or if you don’t have it a spoon would work too!

First, bake your batch of brownies according to whatever recipe or box you choose to use. My mom swears by Ghirardelli Brownie Mix and I tend to agree with her!

Once the brownies are done, let them cool.

While those are cooling, melt your candy melts according to the directions on the package.

Now that the brownies are cool, start scooping them into your mini ice cream cones. The fun part about these is that during the whole process, there is really no way to mess them up. Ice cream scoops always look different, so don’t get too obsessed with perfection.

Next, take the melted white chocolate and let a big spoonful drip on top of the brownie. Again, no wrong way to do this! You may always want to try dipping the top right into the chocolate bowl to really get it covered!

Quickly add the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens, and don’t forget your “cherry” mini M&M to top it all off!

And that’s it! Put em nicely on a platter of some sort and watch as your guests go crazy for this cute idea.

Enjoy!

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Bakerella’s “Snow Cone” Cupcakes For Memorial Day

To continue my red, white & blue baking this weekend, I took on the task of baking these “Snow Cone” inspired cupcakes made by someone I really think is amazing, the one & only Bakerella.

If you don’t know about Bakerella, you need to. She is amazing.

So, I decided to take this one on right after making these red, white & blue pancakes. So much baking in one morning, and I advise if you are going to try the snow cone cupcakes to leave yourself enough time. I was rushed, and it was crazy!

Instead of making mini cupcakes, I went with the full sized variety and they came out pretty nifty if I do say so myself.

Instead of making the batter from scratch, I used a box of white cake and added a tablespoon of my new favorite madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract. It’s a bit more expensive than the regular kind but worth EVERY penny.

She has a delicious butter cream recipe on her blog, so go for it.

Make sure you have piping bags ready because you need quite a few of them.

Also, to get that perfect stripe of the three different color batters, make sure when you are piping the batter into the cupcake tins you use a fluid back and forth motion, don’t keep the bags stagnant! You need some motion to make the stripes.

And that’s it! They were super yummy and a crowd pleaser at the party.

Have a nice day.

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Red, White and Blue Pancakes!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, three days off of work and a time to make sure we thank veterans who have given their life to protect our country.

It’s hard to be too serious when talking about red, white and blue pancakes but I really do mean it. I’ve known many people who have dedicated their lives to our military, and whether or not I believe in the reasons we are fighting certain wars, I still have nothing but respect and gratitude for those who serve.

Real talk.

Alright, on to the pancakes.

These are super simple, and a really fun way to be festive (these would be great for fourth of July too!) and just make you happy in the morning.

I used this pancake recipe, divided the batter into three parts. Added a few drops of food coloring, and made em!

Simple. Easy. Makes boyfriends/girlfriends/roomates/brothers/sisters/mothers/fathers/daughters/sons/cousins happy!

Enjoy your weekend. I’m off to make red, white and blue “snow cone” cupcakes for a BBQ!

Cheers.

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And Then We Got REALLY Motivated And Did A Ton Of Stuff Before Noon On A Sunday

Right when I think I have given up on doing just about anything remotely productive besides work, in comes a Sunday where my boyfriend is working allll day, my friends are either out of town or enjoying their Sunday with their loved ones, and I am all by my lonesome needing something to occupy my time.

You see, the phrase “Idle hands are the devil’s play thing” was written for me.

Seriously.

I go from being the happiest, funny, light hearted lady to a totally depressed, hopeless ball of mush when I’m bored. Life just sucks when you are bored, what can I say?

So today I decided that instead of sitting in my apartment staring at Facebook and getting sad that all of you are out on a boat, running a marathon, vacationing in Tahiti, or doing some other fabulous event without me, that I would be productive DAMNIT! And when I am productive, I’m REALLY productive.

I woke up, did laundry, painted a picture for our bedroom and unpacked from New York (only a week late!) all before 10am. No joke.

(Im not LOVING the yellow, it came out a bit bright for my taste, but its good enough for now. I also plan to stencil some white branches on it at some point, which should bring the brightness down a bit.)

Oh hey look! It’s Washburn. Did I mention we adopted another cat? Yeah, he’s cool. We like him.

Ok, so now it’s about noon O’Clock and I realize that I have an entire day ahead of me and will get bored pretttty quickly if I don’t find something else to do.

In walks Netflix. We hang out, watch some depressing documentary about crazy shit because I am a weirdo who likes to watch stuff like that and then it’s time to make cupcakes.

I realize to myself, “Self, you have that new Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, and everything you need to make vanilla cupcakes.”

So I did.

I went to Joy The Baker’s website, found this recipe, added chocolate chips because why not, and made myself a good ol fashion batch of vanilla chocolate chip cupcakes with a chocolate butter cream.

I didn’t have the Ovaltine she uses in the recipe, so I just didn’t put it in there. The frosting still turned out great.

I then packed everything up in my nifty new cupcake carrying case, thanks to my great friend Tara who hooked it UP for my birthday, and called it a day.

Well, hope all you fancy pants people with Sunday plans enjoyed yourselves today.

I sure did 🙂 And I have clean shirts too! Go me! I’m a productive member of society with clean shirts and cupcakes! BEAT THAT MARTHA STEWART!

Toodles.

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The Lazy Baker: Mini Nutella Cakes

So it’s been getting prettty, prettty lazy round these here parts.

I know I keep talking about it (BORING!) but it’s true.

We were out of town for an amazing wedding last week and if I was a true food blogger, I would have taken pictures of the food and commented on how lovely everything was (note to self, do this in the future!) but instead I was focused on the incredible, amazing bride who honored me with a request to be in her bridal party.

I mean look at this couple, could you die?

Ok, back to baking!

Recently, I have been really into quick, simple baking recipes.

Perhaps this isn’t a good thing, because it makes delicious baked goods right at my finger tips, but who cares, no big deal, I want mooooooooore! (If you got that little mermaid reference we are best friends forever now, good job!)

Tonight I made the four ingredient Mini Nutella Cakes found at this blog right here.

SO easy. They rose better than most of the cupcakes I’ve made in my life, and they were awesome. I mean like offensively good.

Note: instead of chopping up semi sweet chocolate, I just added a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips and folded them in. This was a good choice.

Little balls of delicious Nutella cake. Go make them. Right now.

But you don’t have Nutella on hand, you say? What kind of sugar addict are you, man? Get with it. Go get you some. I won’t tell.

Goodbye for now!

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