I didn’t realize that Halloween is the second most commercially successful and decorated holiday right behind Christmas. We decorate with produce from the garden, like birdhouse gourds, pumpkins, winter squash and field corn. Pretty generic compared to a lot of folks. Halloween is fun for me since I get to see the little ones in their costumes and go “begging” with them. I also learned that the kids don’t use the word “begging” and have no clue as to what it means. I have fun telling them about the meaning and how we went “begging” through our neighborhood. My sisters and I were usually gypsies – we got to use Mom’s makeup! My brother’s standard costume was a hobo, using coal from the coal bin in the basement as his makeup.
Deb Goulding’s Bourbon bacon caramel popcorn
I promised you this recipe and you’ll be glad I did. Deb, Executive Chef at price Hill Kroger, was a guest on my cable show. She made her now famous bourbon bacon caramel popcorn. Definitely an adult snack for Halloween! For my traditional caramel corn recipe, check out my blog.
3 strips applewood smoked bacon
1 bag popcorn, plain (popped)
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Fry bacon & set aside on papered tray, to cool.
Spread popcorn on papered tray & crumble bacon over top.
In medium saucepan, add butter, brown sugar and maple syrup
then bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the Bourbon, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat. Put in oven for 1 hour and stir up the popcorn every 15 minutes.
Caramel popcorn, peanut and pretzel bars
Doesn’t this sound good? I’m definitely going to make this treat. Thanks to Mary J. who gave this to me. “Salty and sweet all at the same time”, she said.
12 cups plain popped popcorn
1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped salted pretzels
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 cups mini marshmallows
Spray a 9×13 baking dish. Mix together popcorn, peanuts and pretzels. In a nonstick or heavy medium saucepan, put sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil, without stirring, until mixture looks amber colored, about 8-12 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in heavy cream. Be careful – cream will sputter. Stir in marshmallows until melted. Using sprayed spatula, pour over popcorn mixture until everything is coated. Pour into pan. Spay a piece of foil and use that to press mixture evenly. Cool and cut into bars. Store at room temperature, covered.
Halloween hash in pumpkin bowls
This is fun for the kids. Let them scoop the flesh and seeds out of little pumpkins.
The seeds can be roasted at about 300 degrees. I like to toss them with melted butter or olive oil, shake on some garlic powder, seasoning salt, or cayenne pepper. You can do whatever you want with them. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup stewed tomatoes
Corn – start with 1 generous cup and go from there
Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste
1/4 pound grated cheddar cheese plus extra for sprinkling on top
Nachos or large Fritos for scooping
Cook beef, onion and garlic until meat is done. Add tomatoes and corn. Cover and simmer over low heat 10 minutes. Stir in cheese. Serve with nachos and more cheese.