Hallowe'en

Zombie, Hits the Spot on Hallowe'en

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My kids are grown now so the only thing I do these days for Hallowe’en Trick-or-Treaters is have a supply of goodies for whoever comes to my door.

I do remember the old days though, when my husband would take the kids out. Hallowe’en night was always cold. The kids didn’t want to wear coats for fear it would ruin the measly costumes I bought or made for them and they’d come back home freezing cold but happy to be loaded down with crap candy.

I would welcome them with something hot and comforting. Like hot cocoa.

Now?

No kids at home, so for us — some libation that’s, let’s say, more adult, to celebrate that I have reached the age when I don’t have to go out in the cold OR make or buy costumes OR make sure the kids get over the shivers.

For example — this Zombie cocktail, originally the prize beverage at the original Don the Beachcomber’s restaurants. Apparently the recipe for this drink was a secret for decades and someone either got the recipe or somehow duplicated it. It’s got a lot of rum plus a little of this and that and frankly, some of the ingredients were beyond what I wanted to bother with. For instance, I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle of falernum (a nut and spice seasoned sugar syrup) or even grenadine (a tart fruit syrup) — though I did go to the trouble of cooking a homemade cinnamon syrup. (Btw, if you don’t have grenadine, you can use 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or 1 teaspoon pomegranate juice.)

So I more or less made up my own recipe and it is quite delicious.

In the interests of making sure my recipe works I tried it several times already.

Happy Hallowe’en.

Zombie

  • 2 ounces dark rum

  • 1 ounce light rum

  • 1/2 ounce apricot brandy

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon confectioners sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon syrup, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or grenadine, optional

  • ice

Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or blender, shake until well blended and pour into a tall glass filled with ice cubes.

Makes one

To make the cinnamon syrup: Place one 3-inch cinnamon stick plus 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook at a simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy. Let stand for at least 2 hours. Remove the cinnamon stick. Makes 3-4 tablespoons

Bones and Blood

Last year my daughter Meredith (a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) who provides services for expectant and new parents), made these Hallowe'en snacks. Although I do not have young children at home, nor would I ever pass these out to trick-or-treaters, they were too cute to pass up. So I made my own. Just for us, for TV watching time.

Hers were baked with biscuit dough. I didn't feel like making dough, so I took the easy way out -- used packaged pizza dough. They looked the same as these, just a bit browner.

A cute snack for Hallowe'en and really easy to make:

Bones and Blood

  • one pound pizza dough
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups marina sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a rope about 8 inches long. Cut a slit at each end of each rope, and curve the slit part out slightly to make the bone shape. Place the bones on the baking sheet. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle with the cheese, oregano and salt. Bake for about 15 minutes or until vaguely tan. Serve with the marinara sauce. 

Makes 10

Apple-Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

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A few weeks ago I bought about 60 pounds of apples.

That's a lot of apples.

And even I can hardly believe that after making many pies, a few cakes, some baked apples, apple crisps and apple brown bettys, mounds of applesauce, a couple chicken-apple recipes, including a salad, all my apples are gone.

Oh no! 

I still have a pancake recipe to try! 

Hard to believe I'll have to buy another few pounds. 

But before I ran out of apples, I did get to try these Apple-Pumpkin Streusel Muffins which are gorgeous and delicious and such a welcome, seasonal treat (with cider or coffee or tea) for Hallowe'en or Thanksgiving or simply for breakfast or coffee break.

 

Apple-Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Streusel:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut in smaller pieces, or coconut oil

 

Muffins:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chopped apples

To make the streusel: place the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the butter and work into the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture looks crumbly. Set aside.

To make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin tins. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a bowl and stir with a whisk until the ingredients are evenly distributed. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, vegetable oil and eggs and blend thoroughly. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the streusel. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops are browned and crispy and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Makes 12

Zombie

Hallowe’en used to be kid stuff but these days it’s become an entire industry of food and costumes for both children and grownups, in a “season” that lasts for weeks and only culminates on Hallowe’en, which is this weekend in case you’ve been visiting outer space and had no clue.

I don’t know about anyone else but when my kids were young we took them trick-or-treating and somehow Hallowe’en was always the night when then weather broke and it was suddenly cold and often rainy so the costumes were hidden below heavy sweaters and raincoats and no one really saw the princess, ballerina, vampire or witch underneath. By the time we got home everyone was cold and shivering and needed something hot to drink. Hot chocolate the way my Dad used to make it (recipe elsewhere on www.ronniefein.com) or hot mulled cider (a recipe also on the site).

Occasionally something stronger would be needed after the kids were asleep. I’m sure things like this are no different today, so for those of you who are in need of a tasty libation to warm you up when Hallowe’en moves into the later hours, here’s a recipe for a Zombie, a fitting drink for the occasion.

Zombie

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1/2 ounce apricot brandy
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon confectioner’ sugar
  • ice

Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or blender, shake until well blended and pour into a tall glass filled with ice cubes.

Makes one

The Farmer’s Cow Hot Mulled Cider

Hey locavores and anyone with a great family recipe — help promote local Connecticut agriculture!

The Farmer’s Cow, a group of 6 dairy farms in Connecticut that produce hormone-free milk and other dairy products (and great apple cider) is looking for your recipes. They’ll post their favorites on their website. Get them in by November 12th. Send recipes to recipes@thefarmerscow.com

For more info go to: www.TheFarmersCow.com.

In the meantime, if you’re going trick or treating for Hallowe’en and you need something warm to drink when you get back home (the weather always turns cold on Hallowe’en night doesn’t it?) try their mulled cider recipe:

The Farmer’s Cow Hot Mulled Cider

6 cups Farmer’s Cow apple cider

1/4 cup Connecticut maple syrup

2 cinnamon sticks

6 whole cloves

6 allspice berries

1 orange peel cut into strips

1 lemon peel cut into strips

Pour apple cider and maple syrup into a large saucepan. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel into a square of cheesecloth, tie the cheesecloth with kitchen string and place in the cider. Heat the cider over medium heat until it is hot but not boiling. Discard the spice bag and serve. Makes 6 servings

The new Fairway in Stamford, Ct

Fairway market is just about to open in Stamford. There’s been a lot of hoopla here in town because the store was built in a once-thriving section of the city, a part that has seen better days, and this will be the beginning of a huge revitalization not only for one neighborhood, but the entire city. So bravo, for the foresight and good luck to all those who are part of the Harbor Point Project! 
 I, for one, who shops in several of the other Fairway stores in New York, hope — and believe it will — be a big winner for everyone. 
 The shop is almost ready — the photo shows one part of the store that has a hand-drawn mural depicting Stamford streets (there are other painted murals throughout the place). 
 Some festivities are planned before the official opening on November 3rd. One is a Hallowe’en party at the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford (347 Stillwater Avenue, Stamford, CT.), on Friday October 29th at 6:00 p.m. Stamfordites — you’re invited. Actually, the event is open to the public, and only costs $10. There will be entertainment, crafts and games and lots of food donated by — of course — Fairway market. All proceeds go to benefit the Boys & Girls Club, which helps underprivileged kids in the area.

Fairway market is just about to open in Stamford. There’s been a lot of hoopla here in town because the store was built in a once-thriving section of the city, a part that has seen better days, and this will be the beginning of a huge revitalization not only for one neighborhood, but the entire city. So bravo, for the foresight and good luck to all those who are part of the Harbor Point Project!

I, for one, who shops in several of the other Fairway stores in New York, hope — and believe it will — be a big winner for everyone.

The shop is almost ready — the photo shows one part of the store that has a hand-drawn mural depicting Stamford streets (there are other painted murals throughout the place).

Some festivities are planned before the official opening on November 3rd. One is a Hallowe’en party at the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford (347 Stillwater Avenue, Stamford, CT.), on Friday October 29th at 6:00 p.m. Stamfordites — you’re invited. Actually, the event is open to the public, and only costs $10. There will be entertainment, crafts and games and lots of food donated by — of course — Fairway market. All proceeds go to benefit the Boys & Girls Club, which helps underprivileged kids in the area.

My Pathetic Hallowe'en Costumes

My daughters are still po’d at me because I was so inept at Hallowe’en costumes. Even though it’s many years later and they are both now working moms with kids. 
 I hate to sew. And I am awful at it. And when they were little kids Hallowe’en was not the huge zillion dollar 2-month celebration it is now. Unless you wanted to spend a fortune (I didn’t) the only costumes were the ones you could buy at the local drugstore. Lame, cheap and uncool. There were mothers then who made nice costumes for their kids. 
 I wasn’t one of them. 
 One year I took white pillowcases, cut out holes for eyes, nose and mouth, plopped them over my daughters’ heads and they went trick-or-treating as ghosts. 
 I have to say, to confess, it was lame, cheap and uncool. And if my daughters are reading this, I apologize. But even now I think, I’m just not good at costumes. 
 Nevertheless they are still po’d about it and it’s one of those things (every family has these) that comes up regularly as conversation. 
 They still believe I made them wear those costumes for YEARS but it was only one year. 
 Okay, maybe two. AT MOST. 
 There were always nice things to eat when they got back from getting their candy stash. Usually my father’s recipe for hot cocoa (recipe’s here at  www.ronniefein.com ) and caramel corn or some other kind of popcorn or cookies. 
 I do hope they remember that part. 
 Heavenly Hash Popcorn 
 2 quarts popped corn 
 1 cup miniature marshmallows 
 1/2 cup peanut, cashew or almond pieces 
 2 4-ounce plain chocolate bars (such as Ghirardelli 60% or 70% baking bars) or 8 ounces chocolate chips 
 Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the popped corn on a large baking sheet with rims (jelly roll pan). Scatter the marshmallows and nuts over the popped corn. Break up the chocolate bars and place the pieces over the popped corn. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly, then toss ingredients. Makes 2-quarts+

My daughters are still po’d at me because I was so inept at Hallowe’en costumes. Even though it’s many years later and they are both now working moms with kids.

I hate to sew. And I am awful at it. And when they were little kids Hallowe’en was not the huge zillion dollar 2-month celebration it is now. Unless you wanted to spend a fortune (I didn’t) the only costumes were the ones you could buy at the local drugstore. Lame, cheap and uncool. There were mothers then who made nice costumes for their kids.

I wasn’t one of them.

One year I took white pillowcases, cut out holes for eyes, nose and mouth, plopped them over my daughters’ heads and they went trick-or-treating as ghosts.

I have to say, to confess, it was lame, cheap and uncool. And if my daughters are reading this, I apologize. But even now I think, I’m just not good at costumes.

Nevertheless they are still po’d about it and it’s one of those things (every family has these) that comes up regularly as conversation.

They still believe I made them wear those costumes for YEARS but it was only one year.

Okay, maybe two. AT MOST.

There were always nice things to eat when they got back from getting their candy stash. Usually my father’s recipe for hot cocoa (recipe’s here at www.ronniefein.com) and caramel corn or some other kind of popcorn or cookies.

I do hope they remember that part.

Heavenly Hash Popcorn

2 quarts popped corn

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup peanut, cashew or almond pieces

2 4-ounce plain chocolate bars (such as Ghirardelli 60% or 70% baking bars) or 8 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the popped corn on a large baking sheet with rims (jelly roll pan). Scatter the marshmallows and nuts over the popped corn. Break up the chocolate bars and place the pieces over the popped corn. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly, then toss ingredients. Makes 2-quarts+

The Hallowe'en "Season"

Has anyone else noticed that Hallowe’en is no longer a “day” but a whole “season?” And it starts just after Labor Day and everywhere you go there are window displays complete with ghosts and witches, spiders, skeletons and pumpkins. You can buy any kind of costume, from princesses to vampires.

And the candy! TONS of it. In my local supermarkets the Hallowe’en candy takes up more space than boxed cereal. And that is saying something!

If people are actually buying all this stuff our economy must be in better shape than we think it is.

Hallowe’en was much simpler when I was a kid. I hate to sound like an old codger, but back in the day if we went out trick-or-treating it was during the afternoon and we went to just a few neighbors, who would give us some homemade cookies.

Imagine that.

Most of the time we had a family Hallowe’en “party” (that meant my brothers and me and sometimes my cousin Leslie) at home.

My Dad would put coins in apples, put the apples in a huge bowl filled with water and we would dunk our faces in and try to bite an apple (and get to keep the coin). Sometimes he would tie the coin-stuffed apples to a string and we would have to jump up to bite them.

It was fun. And always followed by roasted marshmallows and my father’s fabulous hot chocolate.

Those were good days and warm, terrific, safe and fun Hallowe’ens.

Here’s his recipe. He made it with whole milk, but use what you want.

My Dad’s Fabulous Hot Chocolate

2 cups milk

4 regular size marshmallows

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons very hot or boiling water

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk with 2 of the marshmallows over medium heat until near-boiling (the marshmallows should be melted or almost completely melted). While the milk is heating, mix the cocoa powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour in the hot water and stir ingredients to form a paste. When the milk is ready, add the cocoa paste and vanilla extract to the milk and stir to combine ingredients. Pour into 2 cups OR, for better results, whirl the mixture in a blender, then pour into 2 cups. Add one marshmallow to each cup. Makes 2