Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

You might have noticed something new here at Mystery Lover's Kitchen this morning.  It's our little Halloween treat for you!  We have finally added a recipe index!  Look for this recipe index icon in the sidebar and click on it to go to our index.

Hopefully, it will now be easier for all of us to find our favorite recipes.  We have divided them into categories that we hope will be easy to scan when you're looking for a dish to make.  Some recipes fall into two or more categories, so be sure to cross check.  For instance, vegetarian and pasta dishes are also terrific main courses.  Blogger only allows a certain number of pages, so we have grouped a number of different categories on the pages.  If you select Cookies, for instance, you'll go to the Desserts page where pies, cookies, and cakes are listed as well as other desserts.  Just scroll down to the section you want.

The index is still a work in progress.  We're trying to figure out why the names of the recipes appear in different colors.  That pink is hard to read and we're working on it.  (Update: they're pink in Firefox, but not in Safari.) Whew!  We've posted over 900 recipes on this blog!  We'll be adding more of them as time allows.  If you can't find a recipe, let us know.  We appreciate your feedback, too.  If there's something that would make the index easier to use, please let us know about it.  We do have some limitations, of course, but you might think of something clever that we overlooked.

There's a lot more news.  It's going to be lively around here with the holidays approaching.  We have some amazing weeks planned.

Christmas Cookie Contest

Our second annual Christmas Cookie competition is on starting today!  Here's how it will work.

You send your favorite Christmas cookie recipe to KristaDavis at KristaDavis dot com.  Recipes submitted last year which were not among the winners may be submitted again this year.  We're also interested in gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes this year.

Sheila, Wendy, Avery, Jenn, and Krista will each select two finalists.  We will be testing and posting your recipes. 

Those ten finalists will be listed on a ballot here and our readers will pick the overall winner! 

We're still discussing the prize for the winner, so if you have suggestions, we're listening!  Start sending your recipes today!

Easy Holiday Dinner

November 12th through 19th, we'll be featuring an entire menu for an easy holiday dinner.  One of our readers suggested this last year, and we think it's a great idea.  If someone in your family doesn't eat meat, don't miss Wendy's vegetarian recipe!

Penzey's Week

Since this is the season for baking and cooking with all sorts of wonderful spices, in December we're bringing you recipes made with spices from Penzey's, one of our favorite on-line and retail store sources of seasonings.

Now you didn't think I would let Halloween pass without a little trick, did you?  Rumor has it the photo of my Chicken Scary-aki Monster Fingers had grown men running from the room!  If you're squeamish, if you prefer the sweeter side of Halloween, or if your name is Christi, you might want to miss this little trick.

Once again, it's Monster Fingers!  But these take about four minutes to make and only require three ingredients.  They're great for breakfast or an after school snack.

Monster Fingers

almond halves or slices
any red jam or jelly

Cut the banana in half.  Slice lengthwise.  Press an almond slice on each pointy end as a fingernail.  Dribble a little jam on the finger as blood.

Are you still reading Christi?  Cover your eyes!

Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd alsoshare this interesting little story.  Last year I visited a haunted mental hospital.  No kidding.  Some of the paranormal investigators claim it's the most active site they've seen.  They claim ghosts have touched them, and that they've heard footsteps.  People report all sorts of strange things and the place has even been featured on TV shows that investigate haunted buildings.

No ghosts in the bowling alley!

The building is over 100 years old.  A lovely staircase and huge moldings leave no doubt that it was once a grand dame.  Today it is in a sad state of disrepair.  My friend Amy was a good sport to go with me, but we didn't experience anything spooky.  We didn't hear voices or see anything ghostly.

But maybe we weren't alone after all . . .

This is a photograph that I took in the radiology department.  Pretty boring, right?  Look closer.  Just above the middle and to the left.

This is that spot enlarged.  So what do you think it is?


  1. Ewwww-I admit-these fingers freak me out a bit too! I'm so excited about the upcoming contests as well as the recipe index! As for the haunted mental institution...I currently work at a state hospital and our old building was definitely haunted. I find old asylums so interesting and find it so sad of the destruction and disrepair of these great old buildings. As for your photo...interesting, but I think it's a reflection of light. You never know though... Happy Halloween and Joyous Samhain to all!

  2. Index is great addition. Have spent time searching posts by ingredients.

    Will send my cookie recipe.

    Nice things said about Cleo and Elizabeth:

  3. I love the idea of the recipe index.

    The image does look like a spirit.

  4. LOL on the spooky banana monster fingers, Krista. Your trip to the haunted mental hospital is my kind of ghost hunting fun. I'm assuming no windows were located behind you or to the side of the eerie play of light. Without any definable source for that pattern, I'd certainly consider the possibility of paranormal activity (especially on October 31. :)

    Happy Halloween, everyone!
    ~ Cleo

  5. I have a questions about the Cookie Contest.. Is there a limit on how many we submit?

  6. Those banana fingers are scarier than others!!!!
    ~ Avery!!!!

  7. Krista,
    Ha! When I scrolled through the pictures, I did think, "NEW severed fingers! Ahhhh!" and cracked up when you acknowledged my squeamishness. I will say that these aren't as scary as the chicken. The jelly on the front banana looks like a puppy face - (look really hard) lol.

    I can't believe it's cookie contest time again. But, I'm happy! You hardly ever see severed body parts on cookies. :)

    Regarding the recipe index, will they also be grouped by submitter? (I can see thinking, "Sheila posted a recipe for ......." and wanting to search that way). If not, no big deal. It's great that there will be an index.

    Regarding the mental hospital photo - it looks like a reflection of water. But what's it doing up there? EwwwwwwwOooohhhhh

  8. Katreader, it's really a beautiful old building. The front isn't very attractive, but inside, there's no mistaking that it could be gorgeous. I fear that they'll tear it down simply because it would cost so much to repair it.

    ~ Krista

  9. Liz V, that search mechanism wasn't the best. WE couldn't find our own recipes!

    ~ Krista

  10. Dru, I'm so glad you like the index. I'm with you on the wisp. It looks like a spirit to me!

    ~ Krista

  11. Cleo, the wisp appears in a little room that was set back off the main room. You can see it curling around that open cabinet door. To the left was a totally dark room where the x-rays were taken. No water anywhere. Eeek!


  12. Shawn, there is no limit on the number of recipes you submit! Yay!

    ~ Krista

  13. Avery -- BOO! LOL! Aw, they're just bananas. And they tasted great!

    ~ Krista

  14. Christi, I was worried about you when I wrote the post! I see the puppy face -- how funny! : )

    Hmm, I'll have to make severed finger cookies next Halloween. LOL!

    You're quite right, Christmas cookies aren't scary.

    Maybe we should consider grouping recipes by submitter -- after we recover from this go round! Good suggestion!

    ~ Krista

  15. Exciting stuff coming up! And I like BOTH the banana fingers AND the chicken monster fingers! Very cool!

  16. What a fun post today! The recipe index will certainly be helpful and wow, can't wait for our second annual Xmas Cookie contest. The last one was a real treat.

    Krista, I think your ghostly wisp is just that--a wisp of a GHOST! (cue scary music, lol) And Christi, I see the puppy face in the banana too!

    BTW, the chicken Monster Fingers were so easy and delicious. I also made a tasty "finger sandwich" for my lunch the next day.


  17. Elizabeth, I'm glad *you* didn't run away screaming. Your kids would love these banana fingers.

    ~ Krista

  18. Lynn, I'm thrilled that you liked the chicken Monster Fingers! I like them too. In fact, I think I might make them year round without the fingernails!

    The recipes have already started to come in, so don't wait too long to send your submission!

    I'm with you about the wisp in the picture. I know it seems sort of silly, but it's an odd shape and it looks so -- smoky! LOL!

    ~ Krista