Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mummy Pizza Puffs #Halloween #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: We've never made a big deal of Halloween at our house, but now that we know how easy these mummies are to make and how yummy to eat, that may change!

We own the one decoration, painted by a former secretary’s sister eons ago. Our community is wide-spread and rural, so the village – aka downtown – hosts the children, who roam from shop to shop collecting treats in the late afternoon, where they are safe and much enjoyed. I confess to being among the adults who make a point of going downtown to watch the fun. Toddlers who can barely walk make adorable jack o’lanterns and butterflies, and I love seeing the older children’s imaginations on parade.

Last year, my offering was the Veggie Skeleton with Brain Dip, and before that, Jewel Bay Critter Crunch, from Butter Off Dead, the third Food Lovers' Village Mystery.

Puff pastry, on the other hand, is a family fave. It’s super easy to use, yummy, and always looks like it took more work than it actually did, a bonus in my book. These mummies made us howl with laughter, and what beats that?

This recipe came from the Pepperidge Farm newsletter. As Krista said of her Scary Scones, it's all about the eyes! Or maybe, for this recipe, the guts.

Happy Halloween!

Mummy Pizza Puffs

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
6 tablespoons red spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
18 slices pepperoni
12 slices pitted ripe black olives

Heat the oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Sprinkle the flour on a cutting board. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the floured cutting board; roll lightly to smooth the seams. Cut sheet into 3 rectangles, along the fold lines. Cut each rectangles in half crosswise, making 6 (about 3x5-inch) rectangles. Place the rectangles onto the baking sheet.

Spread 1 tablespoon sauce on each pastry, smoothing it to the edges. Top each with about 2 tablespoons cheese and 3 slices pepperoni.

Unfold the remaining pastry sheet on the floured cutting board and smooth with rolling pin. Cut into 3 rectangles along the fold lines. Stack the 3 rectangles and cut crosswise into 12 strips, each about 3/4-inch wide.

Arrange 6 pastry strips on each pastry, placing them slightly askew over the filling to resemble a mummy's bandages. Seal the edges as best you can; don’t worry about this detail, because they will pop open anyway and look hilarious. Brush the mummies with the egg mixture. Place 2 olive slices on each mummy for the eyes.

Bake for 22-25 or until the pastries are golden brown, checking to be sure the bottoms are golden. Let the mummies cool on the baking sheet or on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Makes 6 mummies. (And who's been able to say that since the last pharoah died?)

P.S. from Mr. Right: Reheat mummies on the stove in a covered pan, 3-5 minutes. The pastry will stay crisp and heat through. The same trick works for left-over pizza and french fries.

Happy Haunting!

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Hobo costume circa 1968. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

#Halloween #Pumpkin Cookies #Recipe @PegCochran

And Halloween week at Mystery Lovers Kitchen continues!  I made these delicious pumpkin cookies and alas, they are already all gone!  I'm not sure whether it was me or the recipe, but the cookies puffed up nicely and were almost more like "mini pumpkin cakes" than a hard, crunchy cookie.  In an attempt to keep hubby healthy, I substituted Splenda for both sugars although I did make the glaze with real sugar.  I also substituted pumpkin pie spice (I made my own) for the individual spices.  I used two teaspoons so feel free to substitute if you have some on hand already mixed.


1 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt


3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2-2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Mix flour mixture into butter and sugar mixture.

Drop by the tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Place three inches apart.

* Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges.

Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.  Cool completely before applying glaze.

For Glaze

In a medium saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until bubbly.
Cook, stirring, for one minute or until slightly thickened.

Beat in the milk.

Blend in confectioner's sugar until glaze is smooth and spreadable. 

Spread glaze over cookies using a brush or drizzle from a spoon.

Warm glaze if it hardens.

* My cookies took longer to bake but my oven runs cool so check yours frequently and bake longer if necessary.

 I had some pumpkin leftover so I mixed it with one egg and enough whole wheat flour to make a dough and made cookies for my dog.  Those are also already gone!

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

Follow me on Facebook to learn about upcoming giveaways! 



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies for #Halloween #recipe @Lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I love Halloween, especially in Key West, which is rife with costumes and parades during this season. (KILLER TAKEOUT was set during the Halloween week--so much fun!) And I love snickerdoodles...hmmm. Could I combine the two? I set myself a challenge--revising my snickerdoodle recipe so it suited Halloween. I think I nailed it--but make a batch and see what you think...


Two sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp low-sodium baking powder
2 and 3/4 cups flour
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

For the topping:

2-3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375. Sift the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, flour, and low-sodium baking powder) together and set aside. Using either a beater or a Kitchenaid mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, about 1 to 2 minutes after each addition. Add the pumpkin and the vanilla and beat lightly until combined.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients--don't beat too long or the cookies will be tough. Divide the dough into two parts and roll them into logs, wrapped with parchment paper. Refrigerate for two hours or freeze for one. (As you can see from my photo, this isn't a beauty contest, as you'll be rolling the cookies too.)

Mix the spices and sugar on a plate. Cut the logs into one-inch pieces and form them into balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon mixture and place them on 2 parchment-covered baking sheets. You should end up with about 2 dozen. Big ones!

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, removing them as soon as the first cracks appear.

Lucy and her husband, ready for the zombie bike ride

King and Queen of Key West fantasy fest

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Happy Halloween solution: Pumpkin Coconut Soup

That crop of fall pumpkins is more than just a collection of pretty faces.  Put those pumpkins to use!  Okay, full disclosure: we used canned pumpkin. Pumpkin and coconut milk add up to a delicious velvety soup.  There are two excellent reasons to have soup on Halloween night.  First, it’s cold and dark when the trick or treaters arrive and  there is always a cluster of parents lurking by the end of the driveway. The kids are abuzz and never feel the cold, but those parents look like they’re freezing.  If you’re a parent about to take your family out on Halloween, consider an insulated container of this soup to keep you warm and toasty.  Because it’s creamy, savory and sweet, there’s a good chance the kids might have a bowl before they venture out.   Because who doesn't like pumpkins?

Fine. Who else?

Second, have I mentioned we love Halloween?  The soup works for us because we are poised near the door in our witch hats and the pooches in their costumes.  Oops! Where's Peachy's?

Racing to the door to see the Trick or Treater is not the ideal set-up to eat dinner, for sure. Now, our problem is solved.  Plus, it’s sweet and delicious enough to keep us from raiding the Reese’s Pieces.

We were very happy with our test run and will keep making new batches right into November.  

  Here’s how we did it!

Coconut-Pumpkin Soup


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large can pumpkin, about 3 cups
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tsp green curry paste
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups chicken stock, homemade or box
1 can coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional) 
Sour cream  (optional)


Heat the oil in  a large pot over medium heat.  Cook onions for about seven minutes. 

Add garlic and cook for two more minutes. Add red and green curry, ginger and salt. and simmer on low for about five minutes.  Add pumpkin.

Don't forget to stir!   Add  stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for a half hour.   Add coconut milk. and lime.

We then like to let it cool for a while before blending it with the immersion blender.  

You could use a blender or a food processor, but we find this easier and we're less likely to get a splash or a burn!

 When it's nice and smooth, you could return and let it simmer while you fiddle with your costume or refrigerate until you're ready to eat. 

We put little bowls of sour cream and chopped cilantro on the table because not everyone loves those.  Above is with sour cream and below with sour cream and cilantro.

We're sure you can think of others!

What about you?  Do you or your pet get dressed up for Halloween? Would a tasty soup be right on the night?

In case you don't know, Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between  me, Mary Jane Maffini, and my daughter Victoria. Together we write the book collector mysteries.   We think that reading them is like taking a lovely trip to a mysterious place where books are everything and, yes, murder happens and great meals are served and some relatives are not to be trusted. Of course, justice prevails in the end and books are loved.

The book collector mysteries are fun, easy to read and surprising too. All five titles are available in print, e-book and audio format. Don't miss out.  You can get to meet Peachy (posing below) aka Walter the Pug.  Watch out for the Siamese cats - one is good and one will get you!