This past weekend my husband and I hosted our 4th annual Halloween Open House party. I wanted to make decorative cupcakes and since our theme this year was Mad Scientist Laboratory I was trying to find a cupcake that wasn’t too time consuming, but could go along with the theme. I figured little monsters would work. Although, if you own the book What’s New Cupcake you’ll see so many other amazing decorative cupcakes. I really wanted to make the rats, but I had so many other things to do that the rats would have to be made another year. A dozen of these little monsters took me about an hour to decorate. That does not include baking time for the cupcakes. 

 I used cupcake wrappers I already had on hand and based my frosting colors off the cupcake wrappers. I also made red string monsters which aren’t shown in any of my photos. The actual cupcake flavor is a basic white cake *recipe to come soon, and my basic vanilla buttercream. I know the authors of What’s New Cupcake suggest you use the boxed goods, but I couldn’t bring myself down to that level.  
These were surprisingly very easy to make. I did skip the last steps of placing white icing and applying the brown M&M’s as pupils to the dum-dum pops. I figured everyone got the idea with how they looked as pictured! 


You can watch this video from Karen Tack and Alan Richardson of What’s New Cupcake to learn how to make your very own string monster cupcakes and the “furballs” version, too!

Do you think you’ll try to recreate these little creatures for Halloween this year? 

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I stumbled across the blog, Inside BruCrew Life and found what I felt would be an awesome and easy recipe for Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes. Some would question why I would even choose to bake a recipe that I might not be interested in. Let’s face it… not a fan of oreo’s OR pumpkin. But I wanted to give this a try for not only my friends and family at our Tombstone Pizza Party, but also for my followers! I have to keep a diversified recipe index or I know you guys will get bored! Well I’m so glad I choose to bake this recipe not only did everyone love this… I LOVED IT! Yes, the nay-saying oreo hating cook; LOVED IT! Although I had whipped cream already in my fridge in a can I wanted to make my own (because I had heavy cream on hand too)! Below you’ll find a super easy recipe on how to make your whipped cream as well! 



Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 22 minutes

Serves: 24

Ingredients:

  • 2-8 oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 48 oreos + a few for crumbling
  • whipped cream

Directions: 


1. Preheat oven to 350. 

2. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan. Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the sugar and cream again. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each one. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat again.
3. Place one whole oreo in the bottom of the cupcake liners and fill up the liner 3/4 full with the cheesecake batter. Push another whole oreo into the top of the batter. 
4. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan for 15-20 min before removing and placing on a wire rack to finish cooling. Keep refrigerated. Top with whipped cream and oreo sprinkles before serving.

Now for the whipped cream…


Ingredients for the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted



Directions: 


1. Using a large mixer add 2 cups of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar. Beat on medium for 30 seconds until you notice that it’s not really liquid any more. Then beat on high for 2-3 minutes until peaks begin to form. Refrigerate and store for up to 1 week. 


Linked to: sugar bananas


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This dip was the hit of the party (minus the Tombstone Pizzas)! I’m so glad I found it on Annie’s Eats! I had to give it a gruesome name since I made it for the Halloween Party, and named it Intestines (minus the mis-spelling on the name card everyone got it). What can I say I was in a rush… see what happens when your in a rush… never a good thing! The next day with only a cup of dip left I used this as a filling for my baked stuffed mushrooms! I don’t eat mushroom’s but everyone who ate the mushroom’s thoroughly enjoyed them! So make sure you don’t throw away any of the leftover dip and transform them into something totally different if you can! 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25-30 minutes

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeño peppers, drained
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray
Directions: 


1. Preheat the oven to 375? F.  In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, green chiles, jalapeños, and shredded cheeses.  Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula until smooth and evenly combined.  Spread the mixture into a baking dish (approximately 9 x 9-inches).

2. In a second bowl, combine the Panko and Parmesan and stir with a fork until combined.   Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture in the baking dish.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the topping is golden.  Serve warm with baguette slices, vegetables, etc. as desired. 


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Well, this would be the second time I’ve posted about red velvet cupcakes. The first time I posted it I warned that it wasn’t the best recipe, but I felt the need to still post it. Everyone beyond loved this recipe… except, my husband! I think he think’s he is the world food critic for red velvet cupcakes! 
I figured this recipe would be THE recipe since it came from the fabulous Annie Eats, and in my mind and the mind of all my party-goers it is (excluding my husband who still thinks I should search for THE recipe)! 


Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

Serves: 24

Ingredients:

FOr the cake: 

  • 2½ cups cake flour1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
FOr the frosting: 

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted*

Directions: 


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar *(Annie calls for 2-1/2 cups of sugar. I only put in 1 cup and it tasted awesome) until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

To make the ghost or “scream” cupcakes all you will need is Black Wilton Decorating Gel. Simply squeeze 2 dots for the eyes and then make an oval! It’s that easy! 

To make the “brain” cupcakes. Pipe to straight lines down the middle of the cupcake, then pipe a squiggly line on each side! That’s it! 

To make the spider web cupcakes; make one small circle in the middle and then a larger circle. Take a toothpick in the center of the cupcake and drag it to the end. You’ll notice that you will start to see a spider web!!! If you have any spare spider rings put them on top! It’s an extra treat at the end of a great cupcake! 


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I love 7 layer dip–always have, and I’m guessing always will! This is my third year making my 6 layer spider web, and I felt the need to share this super easy recipe. It’s 6 layers and not 7 layers because I do not add the lettuce that I would normally add in a 7 layer dip! 

Prep: 10 minutes
Serves: 8-12

Ingredients:

  • 1 container of Wholly Guacamole
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • zip lock baggy
  • sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1/4 cup shredded mexican blend cheese

Directions: 


1. In a round dish place the vegetarian refried beans at the bottom, followed by salsa, and cheese. 

2. Then spread the guacamole on top. Place the sour cream in a zip lock baggy and cut a very small portion of one of the corners off. Pipe sour cream over guacamole as if it were a spider web! 
3, Lastly, take sliced olives and cut them in half creating “spiders” on the web. Enjoy with tortilla chips. 
*Note: 

This dip needs to be made right before your serving it since the guacamole will discolor over time. 



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At the beginning of last month I saw on the House Party site that they were looking for applicants to host a Tombstone Haunted House party! Without hesitation I put my application in. I knew this would be the absolute perfect party for me to host since for the past 2 years we’ve hosted a Halloween party, and we were planning on hosting a 3rd! I was wishing and hoping I would get this party–not only to try a wide variety of products, but to cut down on my total grocery bill for this annual event. Well, sure enough… I got it, and began planning my menu around Tombstone pizza’s! 

I must admit that not only myself, but ALL my guest were pleasantly surprised by how delicious the Tombstone Pizza’s were. I think it had been quite some time since all of us had bought the Tombstone Pizza brand, and I know that–that will not be the case any more! In fact I loaded up on a few pizza’s today since they were on sale at my local grocery store!

We also got to try some delicious Nestle Tollhouse Cookies, now who can resist these awesome prepackaged cookies? Not I, nor anyone else at the part! Out of the 48 cookies I had baked only a handful of sugar cookies were left by the end of the night!

Not only did the kids get to bring some candy home, but so did the adults. Wonka candy, to boot! Butterfingers, nerds, sweet tarts, and laffy taffy! 

Here is some more information on Tombstone Pizza found directly from the website
Founded in 1962, TOMBSTONE® pizza began its days in “The Tombstone Tap,” a bar located across from a graveyard in Medford, Wisconsin.  Today, TOMBSTONE is a nationally distributed frozen pizza brand that provides consistently good, unmistakable flavor with just the right combination of sauce, cheese, crust, and every day toppings.
“What do you want on your Tombstone?”  With over 12 different flavor varieties and multiple crust types to choose from, your family can have TOMBSTONE pizza your way.  Whether you want Original Pepperoni, Half Pepperoni/Half Cheese, or Garlic Bread crust, TOMBSTONE has something to please everyone! 
You can find TOMBSTONE in the frozen section at your grocery store. 
We love Halloween in my house, so naturally we love to decorate for the holiday. Here is a picture of the front of the house during the daylight hours (not too creepy, but when you see it at night it can be a little eerie)! 
One of the very cool spooky tree’s my husband painted for our party! 
This is what the entry way to our home looked like… Fun House mirror, rustic coffin, hour glass that ultimately translates to “your time is running out”! 
And if you look closer at the coffin you just might see that someone is trying to escape!!! 
Now that you’ve gotten a small glimpse at our decorations now its time for the food! If you want to see more decorations and how we made some of it make sure you stop by our craft blog; Sew Woodsy
**Now onto the food!** 
The prep work… look at how cool these cookies are??? They come pre-stamped. 
Here are a few of the pumpkin sugar cookies. 
I took all the remaining cut out pieces and molded them into 5 extra cookies! 
No wasting here! 
Some of these pumpkin cookies look scared baking in the oven!
Mmm freshly baked chocolate chip cookies! 
**The night of the party**
Pulling the pizza out of the oven!
Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza (Look at all that pepperoni)!!! 
Cutting the Tombstone Supreme Pizza!

Tombstone Supreme Pizza; full of veggies & meats!!! 
Tombstone Pizza & Jazz Hands!
Ok, now a little leisurely pose with the Tombstone Pizza! 
Tombstone pizza is fit for princesses, too! 
I must say I made a rocking Spinach & Artichoke dip (recipe to come)! 
Along with some veggies and tortilla chips to dip with! 
Eyeball Caprese’s anyone?
Intestines anyone? 
Actually it was an awesome Jalapeno Popper Dip (recipe to come later on this week)!
6 layer spider dip (recipe to come later this week)! 
Look at Frankenstein… peaking above my fridge! 
Spooky baked sweet treats (New awesome red velvet cake recipe to come)! 
Nestle Tollhouse Cookies!
Sugar cookies on the left, Chocolate Chip Cookies on the right! 
**Some of the best costumes of the night**
Funniest Costume went to the 1950′s Nerd! 
Best Couple went to Jack & Oogie Boogie! 
Most Creative went to the “tea baggers”! 
The host & hostess; Mr. Chaplin & his ladies! 
Lastly… a few of my blogger friends in real life!
On the left is Christy from Through My Looking Glass, next to her (silver flapper) is Kristi from The Unknown Florida, ME w/ Katie’s Cucina & Sew Woodsy, and lastly, Ricardo from The Beer Guerrilla.
Thank you House Party for choosing me to host the Tombstone Haunted Pizza Party, and a big thanks to all my friends who came and made the night memorable! 
Disclaimer: I received free products from Tombstone and House Party. This post is a reflection of my opinions and is not tied to either of the brands. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. 

Linked to: 

Entertain Exchange

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