Tale of the Candy Snatcher

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! This post is just a few pictures of my kids and a funny Halloween story, but I will be back tomorrow with a craft.
I took my kids to get some Halloween portraits done by Jacquilyn Avery photography. She was collecting donations for Autism Speaks and in return she was doing mini Halloween sessions. Here are my two favorite pictures from the shoot.






Okay so now for a Halloween story from my past. I was reminded of this story the other day and I just had to share it with an audience that hadn't heard it before.

When I was 14 years old(8th grade) a group of my girl friends went out trick or treating by ourselves. I can't remember what I was supposed to be for Halloween but I had been wearing big combat boots that hurt my feet and so I was carrying them around in my pillowcase.
As we walked around the neighborhood we saw some older boys in masks rollerblading around. I didn't have a good feeling about these boys, so we did our best to avoid them where we could. Eventually they skated up to us and snatched the bag of candy right out of my friends hand. Well let me tell you, I was not having any of that monkey business. I immediately started swinging the only thing I had at my disposal; a pillowcase full of candy and combat boots.
I knocked the attacker down to the ground and just kept swinging. He was on roller blades so every time he would try to get up I would knock him back down. I wasn't doing it maliciously I was running on full adrenaline. Eventually his masked friend had to come over and tell me to let the boy up. I let him go and they skated away with their figurative tails between their legs. 
It was one of those situations that was scary and crazy at the time but now I get the biggest kick out of it. It must have been the most ridiculous scene to witness ever. I think it would have totally been a viral video if it wasn't before youTube and all of that. I do still have that protective nature about me, so candy snatchers beware. I will mess you up! LOL

I hope you had a safe and candy snatcher free Halloween!!

Graveyard Dip Recipe

I strongly believe that when you spend a lot of time or money on a costume you should get as much use out of it as possible. That is why every Halloween I jam pack our schedule with as many activities as possible. This year I think we are attending 7 different activities/events that require dressing up.One of these activities was a potluck and so I decided to bring some graveyard dip.

The pin I had posted is a dead end, so I just googled Graveyard dip to get some guidance and inspiration. I used my go to bean dip recipe, which is the rave at every party I take it to.
Here's the recipe:

Bean Dip:
2 - 16 ounce cans refried beans
16 ounce tub of sour cream (I usually use reduced fat)
1- 8 ounce softened block of cream cheese(I usually use the low fat neufchatel cheese)
2 Tbsp of Taco seasoning (1/2 packet)
Shredded cheese to sprinkle on top

Instructions:
Mix the beans, sour cream, cream cheese, and taco seasoning together in a casserole dish. Make sure your cream cheese is softened or it really hard to mix in. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Easiest dip ever! I have been asked for the recipe at every single event I have taken it to. Now to make it a spooky graveyard!

Using kitchen shears or a pizza cutter, cut out tombstone shapes and a tree. I actually made the tree with a pizza cutter, and I thought it turned out really well. I wrote on some of the tombstones with an edible marker. Spray your tortillas with cooking spray and let brown in the oven. I put mine in while the dip was cooking and it was 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

My bean dip didn't stay level while I was transporting it, so I was happy to have something to sort of cover up the messy look.

I will reveal my kids costumes in this post too! I already posted this picture on Facebook, so it may be a repeat. Let me introduce Bowser and Princess Peach!

We had some actual portraits done of the kids in their costumes, so I will talk more about their costumes when I get those back and I have some cute pictures to show too!

I hope you are all having a fun and safe Halloween weekend!!

Halloween Cupcakes

I had the opportunity to attend the Halloween Cupcake class that I did the giveaway for at Simply Sweets. Oh my goodness, I had so much fun. I have never worked with fondant before and only done piping like one time. I learned so much from this class, and I genuinely had a great time. Without further ado, here are some of the cupcakes we made in the class.

As a craft blogger I just had to start with a "Before" picture. :)

We made a few cupcake toppers. I loved the texture we added to the black layer.

We made a spider web pumpkin using chocolate to make the webs and spider.

This pumpkin might have been my favorite. It was in an orange liner and the whole thing looked like a pumpkin. Very easy to decorate but it looked really cute.

Gravestone cupcakes.

My husband really liked the eyeball cupcaked. We used a red edible ink marker to make the eye bloodshot.

This little ghost is pretty cute too!

I shared this picture on my Facebook page yesterday. I love this little pumpkin patch too.

I already found cake decorating fascinating, but now I really want to make it a hobby. So cute and fun!

I'm trying to get a few more Halloween posts in before it is actually Halloween, so hopefully you'll be hearing from me again soon! We have a weekend packed full of fun activities, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for some time to blog!

Halloween Party Food

I had the pleasure to throw an Elmer's Craft and Tell party. One of my blogging bff's, Julie(It's Sew Stinkin Cute) was coming to town on business so I decided to hurry and put a Halloween party together while she was in town. I will show you the crafts we made soon but I wanted to show you some of the cute Halloween themed food we had. I joked that we had a Pinterest party because I think all my food ideas were things I pinned on Pinterest.

Here is what we ate:
Pumpkin Bread bowls with Ham and Baked Potato soup:

The bread bowls came from a local bakery and I always use this recipe from Sister's Stuff  for my baked potato soup. I always throw in ham chunks too!

Pumpkin Vegetable Tray:
I saw this fun idea for an easy veggie tray on Living Locurto's round-up of 10 veggie trays.

Spider pizza and breadsticks:
I first saw this marinara spider over on Edible Crafts. The original looks a little more serious and spooky, but I loved these eyes I had in my stash. I used some gel icing for the fangs.


Pumpkin Bottles

This idea I actually thought of on my own! I saw this mango punch in little bottles and I thought they would make cute little pumpkins. A wanted at least one soda alternative so it worked out great. You can also see in the picture above the cute Monster cans that 7UP and A&W came out with.

Donut Acorns
 For a sweet treat I made these little donut acorns. They were inspired by these acorns at Gracious Rain. They may have been another Pinterest find, I can't remember for sure. I branched out a little and used a fall color mix for the acorn tops. They were well received! My kids were lucky that I managed to come home with one left for each of them.


Pretzel Mummies
These pretzel mummies were quick, fun, and delicious. This idea came from Midwestern Sewing Girl. I love that the candy eyes have the pupils off center, so you can give your treats all kinds of crazy expressions.

I can't wait to show you the projects that everyone made at the Elmer's Craft and Tell party. Look for that post soon. Plus, I get to giveaway two boxes FULL of Elmer's and X-acto products. It is a giveaway you will want to enter for sure!

Lemon Seafood Paella and Sunkist S'alternative

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

High blood pressure is something that runs in my family and your sodium intake can directly effect your blood pressure.  That is why I jumped at the opportunity to help spread the word about Sunkist S’alternative. It is not a new fancy product you have to buy or anything like that. Sunkist S'alternative is simply squeezing a fresh Sunkist lemon on your food as a substitute to salt. Using lemons instead of salt can decrease your sodium intake, increase potassium and add a nice fresh flavor to your dishes.

Not sure where you fall on the sodium scale? Sunkist has you covered there too. You can take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz and find out if you are a Serial Salt Offender or a Sodium Smarty.

sunkist

 

I took the quiz and I am a "Mover, not a salt shaker." For the most part that is true, when I have a craving it is not usually for something salty. That's not to say I don't enjoy tortilla chips and goldfish crackers for time to time!

Now that you have put down the salt shaker, here is a yummy looking recipe for you to try.

Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

Instructions:
• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

 

Sunkist S'alternativ#3C3C25.doc

 

What are you going to make with the Sunkist S’alternative?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Giveaway Winners

Congrats to commenter #46, Briana from Babblings and More
for winning the $100 Visa Gift Card.

There will be one more giveaway this year coming soon, so keep an eye out. Thanks to everyone that entered!

The winner of the Halloween Cupcake class from Simply Sweets was #11 Edna Cole. Congrats!


*Winners selected via Random.org

Yo Gabba Gabba Party: Muno Pretzels

A while back I helped Jax of Aly & Ash with some details for her son's Yo Gabba Gabba birthday party.
The biggest crowd pleaser were these Muno pretzels. Thank goodness that Muno looks exactly like a pretzel rod! :)

I simply dipped them in candy melts and added a big candy eye. I got them from my local cake supply shop, but I know they sell smaller versions of them at craft stores too.

Muno Pretzels with a life size Muno.
Here are some other shots from the party...
Plex manning the present table.

Jax had an really fun party favor table. Foofa and Muno hat, DJ Lance glasses, and themed goody bags. Each bag had goodies that went along with the character plus some sweet treats too.

Up next I'll show you how Jax and I made the Muno and Foofa party hats and share a few more party photos!

For more party details you can also go and check out the whole party at Jax's blog

AZ Giveaway: Cupcake Class

Reminder: The $100 Visa gift card giveaway ends Wednesday at Midnight EST.

I have a short and sweet(ha, ha) giveaway for you today. If you follow me on Facebook, you may remember that I mentioned a Halloween cupcake class taught by Dana of Simply Sweets. Dana recently expanded her bakery and has begun offering decorating classes!

Well last night I was thrilled to get an email from Dana saying she wanted to offer one of my readers a spot in her class.

Here is the information about the class from her site:

"In this class we will teach 12 different Halloween themed cupcakes designs which students will recreate as time permits. Techniques will include buttercream piping, fondant and chocolate work. No previous experience required. All supplies are included and everyone goes home with a box of decorated cupcakes.

Fun and spooky Halloween cupcake designs including a sparkly pumpkin, mummy, blood shot eyeball, graveyard, spiderweb and ghosts will be covered."


Here are some cute examples:

This giveaway is going to be short and sweet because the class is next Tuesday, October 25 6:30-9pm. The bakery is located in Scottsdale, AZ so if you aren't local, you probably don't want to enter.

Entry requirements(leave 1 comment for each entry):
1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Halloween treat.
2. Like Simply Sweets on Facebook.
3. Publicly Follow the Simply Sweets blog with Google Friend connect
4. Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and include a link back to this post.

That's up to 4 chances to win, so please leave me one comment for each entry. Please include your email address so I can contact you. No email address, no winning.

The giveaway will end on Saturday, October 22 at midnight AZ time. The winner will be notified via email.

**Disclaimer: Class participants paying the full tuition price will receive a 10% discount on any purchases made the night of the class. This discount is not available to the giveaway winner.

$100 Visa Giftcard Giveaway

Now it's time for the really exciting part of Rice Krispies Making Memories Challenge. I am giving away a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky reader. 
Just as a reminder, here are the Caramel Apple Rice Krispies Treats that we submitted.





Here is how you can enter the $100 Visa gift card giveaway:
1. Visit Kellogg's Rice Krispies on Facebook and leave some comment love on one of our Caramel Apple Rice Krispies Treat pictures. Each picture is also labeled Team Phoenix.
-1 entry-
{Already do? Just remind me!}
-1 entry-

3. Follow me on Twitter (CuteAsAFoxBlog)
-1 entry-
4.  Follow my Blog with Google Friend Connect.
Already do? Just remind me!
-1 entry-
5. Tweet, Facebook or Blog about this Giveaway.
-1 entry-
(tweet: I entered to #win a $100 #giveaway from #RiceKrispies with @cuteasafoxblog ends 10/19. Enter here: http://cuteasafox.com )

**Please leave a separate comment for each entry along with your
email address. I will pick a new winner if I do not have an email address for you.**

Each member of the team will also be giving away $100, check out their blogs for more chances to win.
Ashley - Cute as a Fox
Jacqui - Aly & Ash
Kristyn - Lil Luna
Wendy - Around My Family Table


Giveaway ends at Midnight Eastern on October 19th. The winner will be announced on October 21, 2011. In the meantime, you can head over to the Rice Krispies Making Memories Circle on The Motherhood on Friday, October 14th at 1 PM ET where there will be a special LIVE chat with the Wisk kid.



Abbreviated Rules. No Purchase Necessary. Begins no earlier than 12:00:00 AM (ET) on 9/15/11 and ends no later than 11:59:59 PM (ET) on 10/26/11.  For complete Official Rules, go to ( http://web.mediacdt.com/docs/BloggerRulesHalloween.pdf ). Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Subject to complete Official Rules. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: The Motherhood; www.TheMotherhood.com.

Krispie Crunchy Bones

Come back tonight(12am EST) for the start of the $100 Visa Gift card giveaway!!

When we are creating our Rice Krispies Challenge recipes we always try to come up with some other Rice Krispies inspired recipes that fall in line with our theme. We are only permitted to submit four photos for judging, so sometimes our other treats don't really make the final post. So today I am going to show you these Krispie Crunchy Bones I created as a part of our Halloween Rice Krispies Challenge. They taste a whole lot like a Nestles Crunch bar. Yum!


Supplies:
Ice Cube or Candy Molds - these came from the Dollar Tree and Target
Almond Bark or candy melts
Rice Krispies Cereal
Paint brush - keep a set of small brushes in my kitchen that are for food only. 
Optional: Candy eyes, Mini M&M's, food color spray in black

Directions:
1. Start with clean and dry molds


 2. Melt some almond bark in the microwave. Paint a thin layer of chocolate over the whole mold. Thick enough that the details of the mold will be covered in chocolate but thin enough you can see the Rice Krispies through it.


3. Add a layer of Rice Krispies cereal to your molds. I used plain and then I used Black color spray to color some of the Rice Krispies. It makes for a spookier skeleton when you are done. 

 4. Spoon some melted almond bark over the Rice Krispies. Tap the mold against the counter to get any air bubbles out. Your should look about like mine below when you are done. If you watch while you are tapping, you can see little air bubbles popping up.

 5. Pop them in the freezer for a few minutes to set up. Unmold your treats. I love the fleixibility of silicon molds. It makes getting these treats out very easy.

6. You can stop with step 5 or add some candies for eyes and dress up your skeletons a little more. I used some additional melting chocolate to glue on some mini M&M's and edible eyes.


Here's one more shot from the photo shoot. You can see our cute candy jars a little better.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear if you try these out. They are a perfect little treat for your friends and neighbors this Halloween.

Caramel Apple Rice Krispies Treats

Team Phoenix (Wendy, Ashley, Jax, and Kristyn) are so pleased to present our Fall entry for the Rice Krispies Making Memories Challenge. For this challenge we were given the challenge to create a spooky Halloween display, along with a Rice Krispies recipe that can double as a craft activity with kids, perfect for a costume party with the little ones. We worked long and hard to come up with a delicious recipe that would be fun for kids and very practical to execute at a party for children.

We are so excited to present our Rice Krispies Caramel Apple treats with real apples, spices, and caramel bits right inside. These treats are delicious on their own, but dip them in caramel and add your favorite candy or sprinkles and you are taken to a whole new level!
Serve these treats on a spooky spider plate for the complete Halloween experience! Fun place cards for guests "Noah Pulse," "Doug M. Upp," "Myra Mains," and "Stella Live" really set the mood for this fun and spooky party. 
Rice Krispies Caramel Apple Treats
Yield: approximately 12 servings
Ingredients: 
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 10 ounce bag of marshmallows
1 ½ cups dehydrated apples
2 individual serving size packets of Apple Cider drink mix
1 1/2 cup caramel bits or caramel squares cut into small chunks
6 cups Kellogg’s Rice Krispies®
Popsicle, lollipop, or other sticks
Caramels for dipping the apples
Assorted cookies, candies, and sprinkles for decorating

Directions – Preparing the Treats
  • Before you begin cooking, rough chop 1 ½ cups of dehydrated apples into small chunks. Dehydrated apples are located next to the raisins at the grocery store. Make sure the dehydrated apples and caramels chunks are approximately the same size.
  • Heat 4 Tbsp butter or margarine in a sauce pan over low heat.
  • Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
  • Stir in 2 packets of Apple Cider drink mix.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 6 cups of Kelloggs Rice Krispies®.
  • While the mixture is still hot, add the dehydrated apples and caramel chunks.
  • Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, tightly pack balls of Caramel Apple Treats around your stick. Make sure your hands are clean and greased well to avoid sticking.
  • Rest your treats, stick side up on a sheet of wax paper or greased cookie sheet
  • Refrigerate the treats until it is party time.

Directions – Dipping and Decorating
  • Heat up a bag of caramels on the stove-top according to the package instructions.
  • Depending on age and kitchen experience, you can let your child dip the caramel apple treats in the caramel or you can give some assistance.
  • Before the caramel sets up, have your child roll their caramel apple treat in various candies, sprinkles, or crushed up cookies. You can go crazy and incorporate your families favorite treats into this recipe.
  • Eat and enjoy
Plain, caramel dipped, or dipped in candies or crushed cookies. They are all delicious! 

Part two of the challenge is creating a spooky Halloween scene. We decided that instead of a formal dessert table we would incorporate the caramel apple fixings right into the table where the kids will be making their treats. We have got the different apple toppings in cute candy jars with Halloween faces on each jar. The apples that are ready to be dipped look beautiful sitting on a tiered tray in the middle of the table.


 It was just too hard to decide on one Halloween  themed Rice Krispies recipe so we made a few extras to incorporate into the table setting. We rounded out our party with some Rice Krispies candy corn treats and cute little Rice Krispies treat grape spiders. Rice Krispies Crunchy Skeleton Bones are pictured above as well.
Here's a close-up of our candy corn Rice Krispies treats, and grape flavored Rice Krispies treat spiders. You can see some of our fixings too. Green sprinkles in a Frankenstein jar and white chocolate chips in a cute ghost jar. 
We hope you celebrate this fall season with us and make your own Caramel Apple Rice Krispies treats. Whether you make them with your kids for an after school snack or have your own Halloween party, we can guarantee and kids and adults alike will love these Caramel Apple Rice Krispies treats!

Stay tuned to each of our blogs for more information on how to enter a $100 Visa gift card giveaway! We also hope you will join us for a live chat over at the Motherhood on October 14 at 1:00pm Eastern.

Birthdays and a Spooky Get Well

This post is about a few different things so bear with me. First of all, today is my 30th birthday! Honestly I have been a bit down about leaving my twenties and I had zero plans to talk about it on the blog. However, I have been working on giving myself an attitude adjustment. I decided that instead of focusing on me, I wanted to focus on finding a way to serve others on my birthday. There is no time to be down if you are busy working! Plus giving service to others leads to "warm fuzzies" and I was so over the pity party I was throwing myself. One of my good friends is having her gall bladder out and I knew she wasn't looking forward to it. It's out patient surgery, but still not a lot of fun. So..... my daughter and I decided to decorate her front door while she was at the hospital. We picked up some supplies at Dollar Tree and we both had a lot of fun with some foam stickers and googly eyes. My favorite was this "Eye hope you feel better soon." I do love a good pun!
Here is the whole door. I mostly just let my almost 4 year old go to town with the foam shapes. I spelled out the words, but she put all the letters on and picked the rest of the stickers out. It's nothing revolutionary in the crafting sense, but it was great bonding time for us. I also hope she learned about how service.

Here's my little partner in crime, so very proud of her artwork. I just hopes it stays up by the time my friend gets home from the hospital.

The other thing I did was cut 10" off my hair and I plan to donate it to Pantene's Beautiful lengths. They make wigs for cancer patients and donate them. I always thought it was a neat idea, but I' have never cut so much of my hair at one time. I decided there was no time like the present and just went for it!
Some of you may remember when I was collecting hair clips for my friend Keri who is currently fighting cancer. She is still fighting but not feeling so great. She doesn't wear a wig herself, but if I can help someone who is fighting cancer, I'll gladly do it!


I can tell you that shifting the focus from myself on my birthday has been truly uplifting. If you are starting to feel the birthday blues, I highly suggest you give it a try.

One more word about birthdays. I just read this really great article called Happy Birthday to Mommy! …And this year, I’m enjoying it like I’m about to be 4! It outlines what it would be like if as adults we had the same excitement for birthdays as we did as small kids. It's really humorous, and I highly recommend you click over.
Have a great day and the rest of your week. Friday is the big reveal of our Rice Krispies Halloween Recipe. I can't wait!!