Tuesday, October 28, 2014

OOOOooooh Spicy Cheese Fondue, Brownie Cheesescake Trifle and Pumpkin Pie Cake for Halloween!

Thank you to Leslie Mann for allowing me to contribute to her  article in the Chicago Tribune and affiliates:
Strategies to attract or deter trick-or-treaters

Thanks KSL.com for featuring 
Show your creativity with Halloween costumes made at home

In case you missed our chat about Halloween fun on the Kim Power Stilson show on October 29th on BYU SiriusXM Radio 143  here's the link:

For your Halloween dining pleasure, here are three delectable treats guaranteed to delight you and your guests. My recipes were featured in the food section of the Salt Lake City Deseret News.


The head chef at Pebble Beach Gold Resort in Monterey, California served this to me as an appetizer - it is delicious! The fondue is so rich you can serve it for dinner with the crudites and croutons. 

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut off top of 
1 24 oz. round loaf of unsliced sourdough bread  (CostCo bakery)
Reserve top. Hollow out the inside of the loaf with a small knife, leaving a 3/4" shell. 

Combine with a mixer
3 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated (12 oz.)
12 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 C sour cream
1 C green onions, chopped
2 (7 oz.) cans green chiles, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
Spoon the fondue into the bread, replace the lid. Wrap tightly with several layers of heavy-duty foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 1 hour, or until cheese is melted. During the last half hour of cooking; toast bread cubes. Remove bread from foil and place on a bed of purple kale on a serving tray. Encircle with vegetables and toasted croutons.

Prepare the crudites the day before, wash and cut into large bite-sized chunks and place in ziplock bags. 
Broccoli, red, yellow and green pepper strips, zucchini, celery, cauliflower, green  cauliflower

Place in 2 baking pans
16 - 20 oz. sourdough bread baguettes, cut into 1/2 " slices (I buy 2 - 10 oz. bags of La Brea sliced sourdough baguettes at Smith's grocery store and the bread removed from bread bowl cut into 1 1/2" cubes
stir together
1/2 C butter, melted
1/4 C vegetable oil
Place in oven during the last half hour the fondue bakes. Remove when crisp but not hard.


This is a rich variation of the classic English dessert. It is pretty (scary) layered in a glass bowl and served with a new trowel or placed in a cauldron. Layer ganache (or substitute instant chocolate pudding made with 1½ cups milk), crumbled brownies, cheesecake filling, gummy worms, chopped nuts (optional) and crushed chocolate sandwich cookies. Top with meringue mushrooms and garnish with mint leaves or for a more festive look, candy rocks, gummy worms and spiders.

16 ounces good chocolate, chopped
1½ cup whipping cream
Melt chocolate over low heat. Add cream and stir well. Chill for 45 minutes, whip and set aside.

Bake according to package directions a 9-by-13-inch pan of brownies. Set aside to cool, then crumble.

8 ounces whipping cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 8 ounce Neufchatel (light) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Whip together whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold in cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
Place in bowl and chill until time to use.

Crush about 30 chocolate sandwich cookies and set aside. Chop and set aside 1 cup peanuts, walnuts or pecans (optional).
In the serving container, layer one third of the ganache, half of the brownies, half of the cream cheese filling and nuts. Tuck in a few gummy worms.
Repeat layers, top with ganache, crushed cookies and a few more gummy worms. Decorate with meringue mushrooms, candy rocks, mint leaves or parsley, gummy worms and spiders, if you dare!

2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
sprinkle of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy.
Add cream of tartar, salt and vanilla and continuing beating. While the mixer is running, stir in ½ cup sugar one tablespoon at a time.
Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth, stiff and glossy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Place meringue mixture in a plastic zip seal bag, squeeze out excess air and seal. Cut off one corner to make a ½-inch opening.
When making meringue shapes, allow an inch or two around each piece for expansion while baking. Place the tip of the bag on the parchment and squeeze out six 1-inch to 2-inch stems (should be standing up). Enlarge the opening to ¾-inch and squeeze out caps in varying sizes.
Moisten your finger with water and smooth the points on top of the mushrooms to get a rounded top on the cap and flat top on the stems. Lightly sprinkle the caps with cocoa powder.
Bake in the center of the oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour to 1½ hours or until dry and dark cream in color.
Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and heat another 30 seconds. Repeat until melted.
Dip the tops of the stems into melted chocolate, place on upturned caps. When chocolate sets, store mushrooms in airtight container or place on trifle. Stored in an airtight container, the mushrooms will keep for several weeks.

Many like this rich dessert better than pumpkin pie!

1 box yellow cake mix, with one cup reserved
1 egg
½ cup butter, melted

4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 29-ounce can pumpkin
1½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk

½ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. From a box of yellow cake mix, remove one cup of dry mix and set aside for topping. Combine remaining cake mix with egg and melted butter.
Pat into the bottom of a 9-by-13 baking pan. Mix together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and evaporated milk.
Pour over crust. Set aside.
Mix together reserved cup of cake mix, ½ cup sugar, 1½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup softened butter and the pecans until the texture of corn meal and sprinkle over pumpkin filling.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes or until pumpkin is set. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Fit a silver punchbowl or cauldron with a clear plastic bowl liner (check discount or party stores). Place several activated glow sticks in the punchbowl and set the liner on top. Fill the liner with half  white grape juice and half ginger ale, adding a few drops of green food coloring if you wish. Wearing gloves, float chunks of dry ice for a bubbling, steaming effect.

These delicious dishes should land you a prime spot in the Halloween hostess hall-of-fame. Happy Halloween!

 Download your 
A Harvest and Halloween Handbook 
for more amazing autumn recipes, party plans and lots of fun! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's almost time

You are cordially invited to join Kim Power Stilson and me for a Halloween broadcast this Wednesday, October 29th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on BYU SiriusXM Radio 143. Or listen here: http://www.byuradio.org/

It's not too late to download your own copy of 
A Harvest and Halloween Handbook 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween 2014 Trend Roundup

It's here again and even though Halloween is an old (I mean really old) holiday, the stylistas are giving fresh advice for 2014. 

Thank you to my BFF's S-I-Ls Rhonda and Sandy, owners of the L.A. costume shop that is popular with film studios,  
for this costume outlook:

For girls: Frozen princesses
For boys: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
For everyone:  Minions
For men: pirates
For women: scary, violent (zombies - ewwww)
My favorite: superheroes
Come on people, pirates and zombies have been making headlines for what, a dozen or so years? Let's think of something new for 2015. 

The trends for decor:
monochromatic: black, white, silver and gray
matte surfaces

If you must have color (I must), add:
citron green and purple to your orange melange 
or autumn hues of red, gold, brown, yellow

Cool themes:
Edgar Allen Poe (always)
Steampunk with gears, watches, spectacles
Dia de Los Muertos sugar skulls
bats, spiders, pumpkins and cats

Something different:
Medieval castle (Macbeth) with heraldry, stone, urns, 
plaid and tapestries instead of a torture chamber

You can still serve glow-in-the-dark punch

Glowing Quaff
Activate two or three green glow sticks and place in a tarnished silver punchbowl or cauldron. Line punchbowl with a clear plastic bowl. Pour in Glowing Green Punch, add dry ice for a bubbly, steaming effect.

Glowing Green Punch
            Pour into punchbowl equal amounts of
white grape juice
ginger ale
drops of green food coloring

Here is another delicious recipe that we enjoy in the fall. 
Bon appetit!

Baked Spicy Cheese Fondue with Crudités and Croutons

Bread bowl prep

             Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the top off of a

24 oz. round loaf of unsliced sourdough bread

            Reserve top. Hollow out the inside with a small knife,          leaving a 3/4" shell. Cut remaining bread into 1 1/2" cubes. Toast as directed below. 

            Combine with mixer
3 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated (12 oz.)
12 oz. Neufchatel cheese (light cream cheese), softened
1 C sour cream
1 C green onions, chopped
2 (7 oz.) cans green chiles, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
            Spoon into bread, replace lid. Wrap tightly with several layers of heavy-duty foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for one hour at at 350°, or until cheese is melted. During the last half  hour of cooking; toast bread cubes. Remove bread from foil and place on a  kale-lined serving tray.  Encircle with vegetables and toasted croutons.
            Cut into bite-sized portions
Broccoli, red, yellow and green pepper strips, zucchini, celery, cauliflower, green cauliflower, carrots

Toasted Croutons

         Place in separate baking pans
1 16 oz. baguette sourdough bread, cut into 1/2 " slices
bread removed from bread bowl
            stir together and toss with bread
1/2 C butter, melted
1/4 C vegetable oil

            Place in oven during the last half hour the fondue bakes. 
Remove when the bread is crisp but not  hard. 

Don't forget to pick up your copy of 
A Harvest and Halloween Handbook

And please join host Kim Power Stilson and me for a Halloween chat on BYU SiriusXM Radio 143 on 
Wednesday October 29th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

See you then! 


Hey Deseret News.com  -
Thanks for posting the fondue and 
"what was under that rock ?" trifle on your website !

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Share the fun of fall with a Halloween party or carnival for your little ones. It doesn't have to be complex or expensive, you can even make the games. Here are a few favorites from 
A Harvest and Halloween Handbook 

  Host a fun-not scary carnival or party

Create an engaging entry

and lots of games

Gather a few containers and shiny pennies for a penny toss game

 Candy jar guessing game - winners take home the candy jars

Bubblegum necklace

Ring lollipops with glow bracelets from a craft store

Mini doughnut eating race - no hands! 

Pumpkin golf

Peanut drop

Mini basketball toss

Cupcake and cookie decorating

Fishing Booth 

Black cat knockoff with bean bags 

If you have a few pennies left, rent a bounce house! 

Please join host Kim Power Stilson and me for an informative and creative chat about Halloween on BYU SiriusXM Radio 143 on October 29th and 3 p.m. Eastern.