October 27, 2013

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Ready for an extra special fall treat for yourself and/or your friends?  Pop some coffee, milk, and pumpkiny goodness in your crock pot and you're set.  The recipe really is delicious and hit the spot on a fall afternoon.  Thanks go to Crock-a-doodle-do for the recipe!

  • 4 cups strong brewed coffee
  • 6 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon sugar for topping
  1. Pour coffee and milk into crock pot.  Whisk in pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.  
  2. Cover and set on low for 4 hours, or high for 2.  
  3. Turn crock pot down to "keep warm" setting or just turn off 30 minutes before serving, unless you want coffee scorching hot.  Whisk before serving.
  4. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to serve.

Grape Demon Eyes (filled with goat cheese and pistachios)

Continuing our trend of creepy and delicious original creations, here's a twist on one of my favorite appetizers: grapes rolled in goat cheese and crushed pistachios.  Same flavors, different display.  While this is a snack that scares off many people for multiple reasons, for those who enjoy it it hits the spot wonderfully.

  • 24 green grapes
  • 24 pistachios, shelled
  • 1-2 ounces goat cheese
  1. Cut a hole in the middle of each grape and fill with goat cheese.  Press in pistachio.
  2. Arrange in pairs on a plate or serving tray and chill until ready to serve.

Witches' Fingers (chocolate covered pretzels)

I was very proud of myself for the ORIGINAL Halloween creation (no Pinterest to steal my thunder here!), which was a huge hit all around.  Cover pretzel rods with green chocolate, add a creepy pistachio finger nail, and you're set.  Tasty and ghoulish = just right for Halloween.

  • 1 bag pretzel rods (about 20 rods)
  • 1 bag Wilton green colored chocolate discs
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • About 24 pistachios, shelled
  • Witches' Fingers label (optional)
Directions (pictures below)
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat sheet.
  2. Melt chocolate according to package directions.  Optional: mix in butter while melting to make a smoother consistency.
  3. Pour melted chocolate into a tall glass.  I came up with this technique because I'm a velociraptor (read: clever girl), and realized this would mean I could just dip the rods in the chocolate instead of trying any number of inefficient ways to cover the awkward shape in chocolate.
  4. Dip each rod into the glass of chocolate until covered at least 1/2 way.  Lay flat on prepared cookie sheet.  Repeat until all rods are covered with chocolate.
  5. Place a pistachio on the end of each chocolate covered part of the rod, to be the "fingernail".
  6. Suggested additional decorations: extra blobs of chocolate to look like warts; raisins to look like moles; cover parts of the pretzel with torn up marshmallow to make fingers lumpy or have large knuckles.
  7. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 5 minutes or until chocolate is set.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in refrigerator if storing for several days.
  9. When serving, I recommend a cute printable like the one I made just using Word.
 Fill the glass with chocolate.  So much easier to cover the pretzels by dipping!  Stir occasionally.

Aaaand dip!

So easy!  Even my 3-year-old was able to do some.

Line em up on your Slipat- or parchment paper-covered cookie sheet.  Also, photobombs by the family dog are welcome.  Add pistachio fingernails.

Freeze until set, then arrange for display.  I really like how perfect these to-go coffee mugs were because they hid the pretzel part, just showing the creepy fingers.

Labels make everything better, no?

October 20, 2013

Batty Goody Bags

I really have tried to keep the crafting mayhem in check, but I was determined to find a cute way to do the goody bags for the Halloween party.  A quick Pinterest scour and I was set.  Even better: all I needed to buy were the black bags.  I already had the other supplies at home!

Supplies (for 4 bags)

  • 1 5x7 sheet of white foam 
  • 1 5x7 sheet of black foam
  • Scissors
  • 4 paper bags
  • 8 googly eyes, preferably different sizes
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  1. Fill bags with treats and glue or tape closed.
  2. Cut out smiles with fangs from the white foam.
  3. Cut out bat wings and ears from the black foam.
  4. Glue all pieces, as well as googly eyes, to bags.

Pumpkin Hunt Treats

Next weekend is our first ever kids Halloween party.  Yay!  One of the activities I have in mind is to do an Easter egg hunt with pumpkins.  I saw this super cute idea from Martha Stewart to have tear open treat pouches shaped like pumpkins.  I thought it would be great to use those for a little pumpkin hunt.

I just filled them with a piece of candy and a sticker, nothing too crazy because the kids will have goodie bags, too.


  • Orange tissue paper
  • Green masking tape or florist tape (they had the green masking tape in the school supply aisle at Target)
  • Candy, stickers, or small toys to wrap up in pumpkins
  1. Cut the tissue paper into 4 pieces, or whatever size necessary to wrap up around your goodies.
  2. Pull up the corners and twist around the top to form a stem and close up the tissue paper.
  3. Wrap tape around the top, and then twist excess to form the vine.  Fold a larger square at the end to be a leaf.
Very simple, and I like that it's more the impression of a pumpkin than these perfect pumpkin shapes like crazy Martha made.  ;)

Pumpkin Die-o-rama!

Ahhh Pinterest Parties.  A chance to get out of the house, spend some time doing all the fun pins I might not otherwise get to, and basically have a 3-hour therapy session complete with cheese and desserts.  Yesterday was another one for the books and I'm glad we have another one coming up so soon.  So what did I work on yesterday?  I spent about 30 minutes on my pumpkin die-o-rama and the rest of the time in pom pom hell, but that's for another post.
I got this amazing idea from Pinterest last year, just after Halloween.  I'm so glad Pinterest exists so I can just look through my Fall board to remember these fun projects!  A trip to Michaels was all I needed to get the goodies for this fun scene, and it really was easy to put it all together.

Isn't that so great!?!?  I have two electric votives in there.  One is behind the haunted house, and the other is buried in the moss on the left.


  • Large white hollow foam pumpkin.  Michael's pretty much sells these half off all fall.
  • Serrated pumpkin carving knife
  • Wet floral foam block (green)
  • 1 medium bag fake moss
  • 4 small ravens
  • 3 small skeletons
  • 3-d haunted house scrapbook sticker
  • Halloween scrapbook sticker set (included the moon, tree, grave stone, bat, and spider stickers)
  • 2 small flameless electric tea lights
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  1. Use the serrated knife to cut out the opening in the front of the pumpkin.
  2. Cut the foam block to fit inside your pumpkin.  I cut it in half, put the large half in the center of pumpkin, and cut the remaining part in two, to go on either side of the large piece.
  3. Hot glue the top of the foam and cover with moss.  Fill gaps between foam block and pumpkin with loose moss.
  4. Place one votive in the back of the pumpkin, and rest haunted house sticker in front of it.  You'll want to be able to move the haunted house to turn the candle on and off, so don't secure it in place.  It should be able to rest against the candle and pumpkin and stay in place just fine.
  5. Place scrapbook stickers throughout the pumpkin.  I did hot glue the moon because it was a thicker, glassy thing that came with the haunted house.  I wasn't sure if it would stick well to the pumpkin so when in doubt, hot glue.
  6. Place the skeletons wherever desired.  I left two whole (one is laying by the grave, the other is hanging from a noose, hot glued to the top of the pumpkin), and broke one up to have bones scattered around the scene.
  7. Place the ravens where desired.  I do recommend hot gluing them in place, especially so you can have them floating or resting on top of things.  I have one sitting on a rib cage and another glued to the haunted house.
  8. Hide remaining tea light under a fluffy patch of loose moss, again so you can remove to light and put back easily.
Ta da!  Look how impressive you are, with almost 0 skill required.  :)

October 8, 2013

Toilet Decoration

Well, in a sign of craftiness taken to a new level, I present you with my house's current (and only) toilet decoration.  The toilet monster?  Potty poltergeist?  Suggested names welcome!  I also must note that I am not the only person to ever embark on this project.  I got the idea from someone else.

I also apologize for neglecting my poor blog.  The last class really drained me, but thankfully my hubby and I got a MUCH needed vacation afterward.  Now that I'm back, we'll see how much I can keep on top of the blog posts as I suffer through my very last class.  Aaaahhhmazing.  

  • 2 pieces of black construction paper
  • Googly eyes (or white construction paper)
  • Tape
  1. Tape two pieces of construction paper together so you have one nice loooong piece.  I did need to tape two pieces of paper to make the design long enough to wrap around the right side of the toilet and onto the back.  Otherwise, the chopped off look is just weird.
  2. Use a straight edge to draw a diagonal line on your construction paper.  Draw out fingers next to the line.  Cut out along line/fingers.
  3. Erase any pencil lines, or just flip design over so clean side is showing.  Glue on googly eyes and let dry.
  4. Remove lid from the toilet tank so you can line the paper monster up without any gap showing at the top.  Tape design in place, with the small part of the triangle just over the toilet handle.  Wrap construction paper around side of toilet and tape to back.  Put lid back and admire the view.
  5. Bonus: everyone is now encouraged to put the toilet seats down.