Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a BeWitChiNg DiNneR ParTy

Last weekend, another siblings dinner. This time, it was all about spells and potions. I'd created a little Potion Recipe book a few weeks ago and happened onto these adorable glittery witches boots, which in my opinion were the cutest Halloween decoration I'd ever seen. From there, my every other thought for days was this tablescape...It was so fun to create!

I gathered lots of containers and filled them with everything from eyeballs ( foil-wrapped chocolate peanutbutter balls) to the bubbling witches brew (purple colored water with dry ice bubbling). Lots of candles and a few spiders here and there... Voila! My favorite tablescape yet!

Here's a close-up of the book. I picked up an old textbook at the thrift shop, painted it orange with craft paint, stamped the title on the front cover and spine of the book, sprayed it with glitter spray paint and tied an old black ribbon on for fun. Love it!

Aren't these boots fabulous!? The neon green and deep purple velvet flowers are amazing. We did remove the boots from the table during dinner so that we could visit. I replaced the boots with a large "concoction" vessel during the meal.

This siblings dinner menu was kept sweet and simple:

Soy and Sesame Cream Cheese Dip on Sliced Asian Pears
Fresh Jalapeno Poppers
Homemade Sweet Pickles and Cheese
Baked Potato Soup
Chicken Fajita Soup
Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
Apple Cobbler Ala mode

These tiny ghost bags were our party favors, filled with Fall Hershey's Kisses, Caramels and Tootsie Rolls. Did you know that Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped candy ever sold in America? That's one of the Halloween Trivial facts that shared at dinners.

Our Spooky Tabletalk questions:

What keeps your awakes in the middle of the night?
What would people be "surprised" to know about you?
What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled?
What’s the best prank anyone ever pulled on you?
What’s the most “real” frightened you’ve ever been?
What’s the most “fun” frightened you’ve ever been?
Since Halloween costumes frequently require make-up, what’s your best beauty tip?
Share a specific memory of Trick or Treating?
What creepy thing scares you the most…mice, spiders, bats or something us? Share an experience of one of these.
What was your favorite Halloween costume ever?
What’s your favorite fall food? How do you prepare it?
Were you a candy hoarder or do you eat it all up on Halloween night?
How old you do you think is too old for Trick or Treating?
Speaking of ghosts, is there an ancestor that you’ve never met but feel a connection to?
What scents remind you of fall?
Do you have any phobias?
Speaking of potions, what’s your favorite home remedy?
On your worst day, are you more of a witch, a vampire, a ghost?
If you could have a bottomless bucket of Halloween Treats, what are three things you’d have in it?
What’s your favorite “scary” movie?
Pick a costume and tell us why:
Male: Michael Jackson in Thriller OR Indiana Jones OR a Mad Scientist OR Barney
Female: Scarlett O’Hara OR Dolly Parton OR Amelia Earhart or A Witch
If you could “wiggle your nose” and have an instant “material” wish, what would it be?
What’s your favorite thing about Halloween? Your least?
If you could cast a spell to change one thing about you, what would it be?

Last year for Christmas, my married daughters bought me a couple of sets of Corelle Plain White dishes because they are so versatile and durable! Love them! The girls and the dishes!

The more candles, the better the effect! One of my favorite homemaking tips...
Candles are to be burned, not dusted!

These adorable little fingertowels from Dollar Tree made the cutest napkins ever!

I'll post a few of our weekend recipes in a separate entry but I hope you enjoyed this fun and bewitching tablescape! Thanks Susan, for hosting another fabulous Tablescape Thursday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sesame and Soy Cream Cheese Spread

Seriously. This just sounds wrong!! Marilyn and I ordered this appetizer at a funky restaurant in the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City and we were c-r-r-r-a-a-a-z-z-z-y-y-y over it. It could be served with crackers or spread on whole wheat bread or with apples as a dip. "The Dodo" served it with Asian pears and celery sticks. The pears were wonderful! And this has to be the most simple appetizer ever!

1 ~ 8 ounce brick of cream cheese
Kikkoman Soy Sauce
Sesame Seeds (in the photo, black sesame seeds were used for the Halloween effect. In the restaurant, regular sesame seeds were used. I love the look of the black seeds!)

Place the cream cheese in a bowl and cover with soy sauce. Marinate for 4-6 hours, turning the cream cheese, if necessary. Remove from soy sauce and place in a plate of sesame seeds, covering completely. Serve with slices of Asian pears! Enjoy!

Fruity Apple Salad

My good friend, Connie, who is a fabulous cook brought this fruity salad over for dinner on Sunday and it was the talk of the meal! This is one of those recipes that you don't talk about the ingredients... you just serve and watch everyone enjoy. Eggs and vinegar in fruit salad?? Whodathunkit?? Honestly, I'll never make a Waldorf Salad again now that I've had this one!

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
2/3 cup water
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon butter
3 medium apples, diced
2 medium firm bananas sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup red grapes
1/2 cup fresh or canned pinapple tidbits
1/2 cup chopped cashews

In a saucepan, combine sugars, flour and water until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook for two minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount (2 - 3 tablespoons (one at a time) into egg; return to heat, add egg. Cook and stir mixture until it reaches 160 degrees or until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, stir in butter and vinegar. Cool completely and then combine with fruit and nuts. Chill and serve. Enjoy!