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Spooky Nights in October

10 Oct

Halloween

Hello, one and all! Welcome! The month of October is associated, at least in the USA, with Halloween. Many people love this holiday and count down to the 31st. All across America, there will be parties and costume contests as the official date approaches. Even Universal Studios dedicates a portion of its theme park to “Halloween Horror Nights” —an event I’ll be attending this year (and posting pictures ;D)

Halloween Horror Nights The Walking Dead

I’m scared already!

There are many people who do not celebrate Halloween. Some people claim that it’s an ungodly event marked by devil worship. Well, I hate to inform them that every night, there’s probably devil worship going on somewhere in the world. Anyway, this has always made me wonder about the origins of Halloween. I looked into it and in today’s post, I will share with you what I’ve found.

goth girl  with ghost
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain is a Gaelic (Irish, Scottish) festival marking the end of the harvest season (summer) and the beginning of the cold winter, or the “darker half” of the year often associated with human death.
Celts believed that on the night before the new season (what we now know as Halloween), the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead became indistinct, unclear. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed the ghosts of the dead returned to Earth.

Celtic Samhain Celebration

Celtic Samhain Celebration

The Celts believed the spirits caused trouble and damaged their crops, but they also thought the presence of the phantoms helped the Druids, (Celtic priests), to make predictions about the future. Celts were entirely dependent on the natural world, so these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
During the celebration, the Druids built huge sacred bonfires where the people gathered to burn crops and sacrifice animals as offerings to the Celtic deities. To honor the gods Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.
When Christianity spread throughout the Celtic lands, the church changed the festival of Samhain to All Saints Day, which was a day to honor the dead. The celebration was similar to how the Celtics used to celebrate Samhain. Later, All Saints Day was changed to All Hallows Eve and, eventually, to Halloween.

All Saints Day

All Saints Day

So there you have it. A little insight into how Halloween came about. In the spirit of Halloween (no pun intended), I will be posting scary stories and all things spooky, as well as Halloween recipes, decorations, costumes, make-up and more. So hold on to your butts! Here we go…
I will start you off easy today with a few Halloween cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy!

Yummy! Sludgy Chocolate Martini

PHOTO BY: Kraft
Yummy! Sludgy Chocolate Martini

Sludgy Chocolate Martini

 

What you need

1
Tbsp.  chocolate syrup
3
 Halloween OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 1/4 cup)
1/2
cup  chilled brewed strong MAXWELL HOUSE Coffee, any variety
1/4
cup  vodka
1/4
cup  chocolate-flavored liqueur
1
cup   light vanilla ice cream
2
Tbsp.  PLANTERS Creamy Peanut Butter

make it

 POUR syrup onto small plate; place crushed cookies on separate small plate. Dip rims of 2 martini glasses in syrup, then in cookie crumbs.

SPOON any remaining cookie crumbs into prepared glasses.

BLEND remaining ingredients in blender until smooth; pour into prepared glasses.

kraft kitchens tips

DEEPER-CHOCOLATE MARTINI
Prepare using light chocolate ice cream.
VARIATION
Omit the peanut butter for an equally delicious martini.
NON-ALCOHOLIC VARIATION
Substitute 1/2 cup chocolate milk for the vodka and liqueur.
Spooky drink - Midnight Mary

Spooky drink – Midnight Mary

Midnight Mary

Original ingredients for the Midnight Mary #3:
1 1/2 oz North Shore Aquavit
1/2 oz Benedictine (not B&B)
3/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz galangal syrup
1/4 oz simple syrup
1 1/4 oz clarified tomato water
Fresno chile bitters
Nitrogen frozen basil foam
Garnished with heirloom tomato and pigmy basil

An easy at-home version that has proven delicious:
1 1/2 oz North Shore Aquavit (or sub other brand of aquavit, gin, or tequila — all work very nicely)
3/4 oz lime juice (fresh-squeezed)
1/2 oz simple syrup, or to taste (1:1 sugar to water)
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 basil leaves (or other fresh herbs of choice)
Pinch of salt

* Place halved tomatoes in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add lime and simple syrup. Muddle well to extract liquid from tomatoes. Add remainder of ingredients. Add ice, shake well, and pour through mesh strainer (to collect solids) into a chilled coupe.

Hot Dog Mummies

Hot Dog Mummies

Breadstick Mummy Dogs

1 roll/pkg Pillsbury Breadstick dough (12 count)

12 hot dogs (I think it should work with sausages too)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll all 12 breadsticks from package. Cut each into 3 equal strips. Take 3 strips, one at a time and wrap around 1 hot dog starting from the top of the hot dog. (Each hot dog has 3 thin breadstick strips around it). Leave a small space towards the top of the hotdog to make mustard eyes. Continue wrapping all dogs then place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

2. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Use mustard or ketchup for the eyes.

Bat Bites Aren't they cute?

Bat Bites
Aren’t they cute?

Bat Bites

Recipe Time

Prep Time: 50 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 7g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Sodium: 154mg

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces soft, mild goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 8 pitted olives, sliced
  • 32 peppercorns
  • 32 triangular blue corn chips or free-form wing shapes made from leftover tortillas from Ghost Chips $

Preparation

  1. Mash together cream cheese, goat cheese and pesto. Chill for 40 minutes.
  2. Shape mixture into 16 2-inch balls, about 1 heaping tsp. each. Roll in black pepper and poppy seeds to cover. Press two olive slices into balls for eyes and place peppercorns in centers for pupils.
  3. Insert chip on either side of ball for wings; serve.

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26 Responses to “Spooky Nights in October”

  1. rcprice October 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Chocolate martinis all year round!!!

    Like

  2. Katie Cross October 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    The food and decorations that go with Halloween are some of my favorite. I love all the decorations that people put up as well. I don’t decorate or celebrate myself much, but I love looking at what other people have done. I’m sure I’ll decorate more when I have kids 🙂

    I’ve also been looking into Samhain because of my YA fantasy, so it was fun to read about here. Thanks Vashti!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Hi Katie! You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I love all things Halloween too! From the food and cocktails to the make-up and costumes. I also love all the horror films and parties. Yee-pee!

      Like

  3. Ben Roach October 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I’ve often wondered about the origins of Halloween, that was really interesting, thank you. At least i can say I learned something today LOL. I loved the mummy hotdogs. I am sooooo making them, Halloween or not. Can’t wait for more Spooky updates.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      Hi Ben! Yay! I entertained you and taught you a little some’n some’n I can now retire for the day. 😉 Thank you so much Benny.xx

      Like

  4. Doreen Sargente October 10, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    I’m with Katie. I don’t decorate for Halloween, but love to look at what other people have done. One of our neighbors was putting up a huge display yesterday and it looks awesome! Can’t wait to see what it looks like at night.

    Those drinks look might yummy Vashti :)! Thanks for the history lesson on Halloween. Who knew?!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      I’m surprised you don’t decorate for Halloween Doreen! No mummy sitting on the porch, no carved and lit pumpkins? I don’t believe it. You’re the queen of craftiness and decor! Ha,ha! I’m just kidding. 😉 I’m definitely going to try these cocktails. Maybe one of these nights when I invite a couple of friends over for a scary movie night. You’re very welcome! 😀

      Like

  5. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin October 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Interesting information, I had read up on this before. In Australia we have only in the last 5-6 years started to celebrate Halloween. Great recipes.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      That’s interesting to know. I had no idea Halloween was celebrated in Australia. Do people dress-up and trick-or-treat? Do they carve Jack-o-Lanterns and decorate their homes?

      Like

  6. Teagan Kearney October 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    I’m with Rob on this one, Vashti, those cocktail recipes sound absolutely delicious! I might just try them out! Great post and looking forward to the next!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      I’m with both you and Rob! Ha,ha! I think I’m going to try one of these this weekend. I’ll tell you how it comes out. 😉 Thank you so much Teagan! I’ll try not to disappoint. 😀

      Like

  7. glenperk October 11, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    Always interesting to find some history about our celebrated days.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 11, 2013 at 1:54 am #

      Hi Glen! I agree. Sometimes we go through the motions of celebrating holidays without really knowing what the origin of the day we’re observing. 😉

      Like

  8. Rat October 11, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    interesting post and now i i get to know more about Halloween. i am attracted towards that Bat Bites. lol its so cute 🙂

    Like

  9. Frank October 11, 2013 at 5:53 am #

    Interesting article thanks. You seem to be confused about one point, though. All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows, falls on 1st November, which is why 31st October became known as All Hallows’ Eve and thus Halloween.

    The Western Christian holiday of All Saints’ Day falls on 1 November, followed by All Souls’ Day on 2 November, and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. (Wikipedia)

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Hi Frank! Thanks for clearing that up for me. That part was a little confusing. I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

      Like

  10. Louisette October 12, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Very lovely bat bites, cute!
    Greeting from Belgium. ♥.o°O°o♥
    http://retriever-louisettesblogs.blogspot.com

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Hello Louisette! Thank you! I’m glad you liked them. Greetings from south Florida, USA! 😀

      Like

  11. JESS44903 October 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    These are so cute!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week?

    Like

  12. Easy Life Meal & Party Planning October 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    I love all of your Halloween creations! Very nice! I especially like the drinks they are great. Thanks for sharing on the Blog Hop Blitz.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

      Hi Terri and/or Shawna! Ha,ha! Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. The drinks are yummy indeed. You’re very welcome. It was my pleasure. I hope you guys have a great evening! 🙂

      Like

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