This is Halloween. This is Halloween. Pumpkins scream in the dead of night. Special thanks to Stephanapolis for the Jack Skellington pumpkin carving pattern (it turned out great).
Halloween is my favorite day all year. Here's a few reasons why: Pumpkins. Candy. Pumpkins. Creepy Stuff. Pumpkins. Skeletons. Pumpkins. Gargoyles.
And, of course, Pumpkins.
I like to make homemade treats every year to hand out to my friends. This year I went above and beyond making my normal witchy pretzel fingers - I also made Bakerella's Red Velvet Cake Balls (only I called them Demon Eyes). I used white candy melts to cover the cake balls and used chocolate chips for the pupil - not to mention some red gel to give them that special "blood-shot" look. The ghost cookies are from Lady V and her twin kiddos - aren't they the cutest things ever! And believe you me, they are yummy!
I was exited to use this bowl for dinner - and I had Halloween shape pasta; so as I do almost every Halloween tonight was a pasta night. I used a variation of the Penne in a Tomato Cream Sauce (I used some Laughing Cow Cheese instead of cream - it's still wonderfully good).
Tip: when cooking colored pasta - separate into color groups and cook individually. Yes it takes more time. But - at least this way the colors stay more vibrant and you don't end up with sad and sickly looking pasta.
I also made a recipe I spied over on Our Best Bites - Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers. It was in my recipe file and I was looking for a reason to make them. Halloween seemed like a good reason. But not having everything that was required to make the recipe as it was - I tweaked it. Which is normal. And why I make a better cook than I do a baker - - tweaking a baking recipe can have disasterous results. I would know.
Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders
12 chicken tenders (or just cut up a chicken breast into "tender shaped pieces")
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (I eyeballed it)
1 cup bread crumbs (again I eyeballed it)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (the shaker kind)
1. Preheat oven to 450 F. While the oven is warming up - put a sheet of foil onto your baking sheet (yay easy clean up).
2. Put the coconut flakes, bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese on a plate - toss with you hand until evenly mixed (add more of any ingredient that you think you need).
3. Spray the tin foil covered baking sheet with some cooking spray.
4. Dredge chicken tender through the egg. Drop tender into coconut, bread crumb, cheese mixture - cover both sides (you might want to pat it down to ensure it sticks). Place tender on greased baking sheet.
5. Repeat process until all tenders are used or until all the space on the cooking sheet is used.
6. Sprinkle each tender with some fresh ground pepper and ground dried garlic. Drizzle each piece with some olive oil (helps the coconut brown up nicely).
7. Bake in your 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear. Try not to overcook them because chicken tenders go from perfect to overcooked really fast! Coconut should be a nice golden brown color.
I decided that instead of calling each recipe by its actual name I would give it a special Halloween name. I came up with Crusty Mummy Fingers & Noodles in Clotted Blood Cream.
Sounds appetizing, doesn't it?
I hope everyone has a great Halloween weekend this year. I know mine has been lots of fun (even though I didn't get to see Aretha Franklin on Saturday night - the concert was canceled due to health issues).
The only bummer to the weekend is that I, as I type this, can feel an ear infection coming on. They hurt. A lot. So I'm off to curl up on the couch, some good meds in my system, Hocus Pocus, and maybe a glass of wine.
The only thing that would make this night better (other than no ear infection) is if it was cool enough to have a fire in our new fireplace.