Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Well Halloween wasn’t entirely cancelled this year, just different!

I prepared a bunch of goodie bags and put them out in our walkway. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I definitely underprepared! There were a LOT of trick or treaters!

I did two batches. The first batch went out late afternoon and then we left for a bit and when we got home I put the rest out and it was all gone in a flash!

So this year, Logan was a Shark! He had a small Halloween party at preschool on Friday.

Then we went to two of my friend’s house to trick or treat there. The first one was my friend Debby. She loves Halloween as much as I do. She usually goes all out!

Logan was a little scared by the skeletons LOL but it was cute. She made a HUGE goodie bag for him. He had SO much candy (like seriously, the equivalent of many houses!).

Then we went to my friend Ed’s house and she put together a whole scavenger hunt in her back yard!!

There were clues for each “Station” in her backyard (I posted some videos on my Instagram account if you are interested) and then Logan had to dig (with a shovel!) for the clue that led him to the next clue.

The final riddle had to spell out a word (scorpion) and he had to find the scorpion in the yard and then dig. And then he found a KEY! And the key opened a treasure chest with a huge bag of halloween candy, toys, a book, etc. It was so amazing.

It was sooo incredibly sweet that friends did this and Logan LOVED it. He was so excited and did not even mention trick or treating or notice that we did something different this year, so that was good.

I also saw, as we drove around, how many people got creative! Lots of tables set up for safe candy grabbing (some with hand sanitizer!), candy attached to fences or string by clothespins. It was so cool. It made me happy so many people tried to make Halloween fun for kids.

We had dinner when we got home. I made Michael and me a Greek bowl: spinach, wild rice, roasted chickpeas, pepperoncinis, kalamata olives, onion, feta cheese and Goddess Dressing (it called for Greek dressing, which I didn’t have, but Goddess Dressing made with tahini went perfectly!). It was so yummy!

Michael and I watched “The Quiet Place” Saturday night (Friday night we watched “Hereditary”). So we got our scary movies in. 🙂

Sunday I made a REALLY good dinner I wanted to share here.

Butternut Squash soup with tortellini, sage and goat cheese.

It was the PERFECT fall soup. The soup was delicious, slightly sweet. Loved the pasta in it. The sage was sautéed in butter til crispy, which was a fun addition. I used herbed goat cheese on top. I would definitely make this recipe again. Even Michael, who isn’t a huge fan of soup, or “sweet” soups, loved it, too. I recommend it!

Pumpkin Muffins

I wish I could somehow bottle up what my house smells like after making these and share them with you.

I’ve had this recipe saved on my phone for a year. I’d planned on baking them last Halloween and never got around to it for some reason. I’m not sure why because it’s a pretty great recipe.

Simple, huh? I decided it was time to try this baby out. I did make a few variations of it. First, 3 cups of sugar was just too much for me to take. So instead of 3 cups of sugar I did 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 a cup of a Splenda mix.


I normally don’t change recipes before I try them out at least once–how are you going to know what to change, right? But with baking I can usually figure out additions easily. I used to bake A LOT as a big ol’ chubby girl living alone. Even if a baked goodie was a failure I’d still eat it…


I mixed all the dry ingredients together in my mixer and then added the eggs, oil, water, pumpkin, etc. Back in the day when I did a ton of baking I did everything by hand. If a recipe called for the batter to be hand whipped for 5 minutes I did it. Having a mixer is such a different experience. It takes all the work out of it, honestly. All I do is measure. 😛

 



I let the mixer do my work for me and blend everything together. It smelled magnificent–like Halloween and Thanksgiving Day!


I used the small measuring cup to scoop the batter into the Halloween cupcake cups and then popped them in the oven. While they were baking I perused the comments on the recipe website. Lots of people said it was too sweet, that they reduced the amount of sugar in the muffins (glad I did!).

“This made such a large batch of mix. I made cake instead and frosted it with cream cheese frosting. Amazing!!!!”

“I modified quite a bit: Used buttermilk in place of water (plus 1/2 tsp. baking powder), 2 cups agave nectar instead of sugar (added to wet ingredients), and folded in crystallized ginger, golden and dark raisins, and dried cranberries (total about 1 1/4 cups).”

“I cut the sugar down to 1 1/2 cups and used a bit of brandy in place of the water. FAB!”

Some Variations:

Add chopped walnuts or pecans.

Add dried cranberries.

Add chocolate chips.

I realized after I made the batter that this recipe makes an insane amount of muffins! Apparently over 30? Had I known that beforehand I would have made a half batch. So instead of just making 30 muffins, I made about 18 and then put the rest of the batter into a loaf pan.


I added a handful of chocolate chips to the batter for the loaf–probably about two servings worth of chocolate chips.

I’m so happy I was able to finally use my Halloween baking cups!


Mmmm pumpkin! I took the lazy route and used store-bought frosting. I really wanted to make homemade cream cheese frosting but was lacking the motivation after spending a few hours baking.

Cupcakes!


I used a vanilla frosting (store bought) and used it sparingly.


The pumpkin bread from the loaf pan went straight into the freezer for another day. So how many calories are in these cupcakes? Over 220 if you use the full sugar. If you don’t it’s a little less:

It’s not the healthiest treat to have (that pumpkin is deceptive!) but just one is enough honestly.

QUESTION: Do you have a Halloween tradition? What’s your favorite Halloween treat?