Favorite Things, My Gratitude Journal

Halloween party food ideas

If you are in need of some ideas on how to decorate Halloween food and tables,  here are some examples of our award winning Halloween food and decorating contests from years back:

We made a Jell-o “brain” and put candy eyeballs on cupcakes. 

We made spaghetti, put candy eyeballs and used a hot dog cut in half lengthwise for a tongue.

We took some wire to string cheese cubes, salami, beef jerky and tomato. We used this to decorate a witch hat. It was alot of work to string all that food. But it was also alot of fun creating with friends. 

We took some mini saugsages, wrapped them in tortilla “bandages” and dipped them in ketchup to resemble bloody fingers. We made more fingers using string cheese. We scored the cheese to create knuckles and then put the skin of a pepper for a fingernail.

We made cupcakes and to decorate them to look like a witch fell through it, we used a peppermint patty, a hersey’s kiss and some fondant for the witch’s hat. For the witch’s legs, we used a chocolate covered pretzel stick and more fondant for feet and stripes on her stockings.

For a cornucopia theme, we used tablecloths in fall colors, fake fall leaves, baskets, and pumpkins to decorate our table. 

For a darker theme, use black cloth, skulls, lights, candlesticks and necklaces to decorate the table. 

baking

Farm animal cupcakes 

Farm animal cupcakes are so cute. They are perfect for a farm or barnyard themed party. Who wouldn’t want to eat one of these delicious and fun cupcakes. Not only are they cute, but they are so fun and easy to make! I made four different farm animal cupcakes: a rooster, a pig, a sheep and a cow. In this tutorial, I will discuss how to make a pig cupcake, a rooster cupcake and my favorite, a sheep cupcake.

For the pig cupcake, you will need:

-red food coloring gel
-ready made white frosting ( I used ready made frosting because it’s a thicker consistency)
-pink marshmallows
-edible eyes
-black icing
-red fruit roll up

Put a few drops of the red food coloring in your frosting, just enough to make the frosting pink. Stir it well. Frost your cupcake. Then put 2 edible eyes on the top half. Cut the pink marshmallow in half and place one of the halves in the middle of the cupcake. Cut the red fruit roll up into triangular pieces, small enough to resemble ears. Fold it a little bit in the middle, then place on the top half. Use the black icing to put two dots on the marshmallow nose.

For the rooster cupcake, you will need:

-sweetened shredded coconut
-yellow food dye
-ready made white frosting
-a gallon size storage food bag
-edible eyes
-yellow jelly beans or soft candy
-red jelly beans or soft candy

Frost your cupcake. Place your shredded coconut in the gallon size storage bag and add a few drops of yellow food coloring. Seal up the bag and shake very well. You might have to roll the bag around in your hands in order to distribute the food coloring evenly. Sprinkle the yellow coconut on top of the frosted cupcakes. Place 2 edible eyes in the middle. Cut the red jelly bean in half and place on top of the cupcake, one on top of another to resemble the rooster’s comb. You can also use a red fruit roll up and cut it up to resemble the rooster’s comb. I used the jelly bean because it was easier. Cut the yellow jelly bean in half. Take one of those jelly beans and cut it again in half, lengthwise. Place underneath the eyes to resemble a beak. If you want to make a chick, do all but omit the red jelly beans.

For my favorite, the sheep, you will need

-ready made white frosting
-mini marshmallows
-pink marshmallows
-edible eyes
-black icing

Frost your cupcake.  Cut the pink marshmallow in half and place one of the halves in the middle. Place 2 edible eyes on the top half. Cut the other half of the pink marshmallow in quarters. Use two of these quarters to resemble ears and place at the top half of the cupcake. Place mini marshmallows all around the cupcake to resemble the sheep’s wool. Make a smiley face on the big marshmallow in the middle using the black icing.

I made these cupcakes for a one year old farm themed birthday party. We placed a red gingham tablecloth on the table. I spread the leftover yellow coconut flakes on the tablecloth to resemble hay. I placed the farm animal cupcakes on top of the hay. It looked just like a farm!

Today I am grateful for celebrating birthdays with friends.

My Gratitude Journal

October Life Lessons and Love

I love October. It’s my favorite month. This was a great October. However, I must admit that there was a rough week in there. A really rough week. It was the week before my birthday. I let a couple of incidents bring me down. I certainly learned a lot of hard lessons this month. It was a real eye opener. Lessons that open your eyes are always good. Lessons that open your heart are even better. After my anger subsided, I learned a lot about compassion, respect and understanding. And another good part is…after you are down, the only way back is up! That’s the best part. So on this Sweet Monday, I am grateful for life lessons and love. I will continue to learn and grow. I know that there will be ups and there will be downs. Today, I will focus on the ups.

I am grateful for birthdays.

I arrived to work the Thursday before my birthday to a decorated cubicle courtesy of my co-worker. It was so thoughtful. I loved it. It lifted my spirits. It was a great way to start a birthday.

My aunt took me to a tea house for my birthday. She invited my daughter (who came all the way from San Diego just to be there) and my other aunt. We had such a good time. We went to the tea house on my actual birthday. It was nice to have a birthday this year on a Saturday.  It was a fun and relaxing way to start the day and weekend. Afterwards, we went to a boutique and my aunt surprised me with a candle that I was planning to purchase myself. I was waiting in line to buy the candle which was waiting for me at the counter. The storeowner wrapped up my gift quickly so that I wouldn’t see and my aunt presented it to me at the store.

After the tea house, I arrived home and I was surprised by birthday cards, birthday flowers, a birthday sign, light up balloons and even a birthday pinata. My first birthday pinata ever. 

The next day, my sister and niece prepared a delicious birthday breakfast for me. My sister asked me what kind of cake I wanted and I told her that I wanted a chocolate chip cake. It’s not my favorite flavor but she made it for me for my birthday a few years ago and it was such a special memory. I wanted it again. 

Today I am grateful for family, October, birthdays, decorated cubicles, tea houses, candles, surprises, pinatas and birthday cake.