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Poetry Friday ~ Mother’s Day!

10 May

Hi, everyone and welcome!

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

In the USA Mother’s Day is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Although the custom of setting aside a day to honor mothers has ancient roots, our observance of Mother’s Day mainly came about through the efforts of a devoted daughter, Anna M. Jarvis.

After the death of her own mother in 1905, Jarvis wanted to recognize the sacrifices mothers made for their children. She organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in May 1908 at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia.

On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day, and within a few years, the idea gained worldwide prominence.

Think about your mom as a person. What are some of her favorite things? What does she like to do? Show your mother you know her by choosing a thoughtful gift that she’s sure to like.

If you’re going to give your mom flowers make sure you give flowers that have meaning for her. You can also give her a plant if she has a green thumb.

Bring mom breakfast in bed! 30+ Mother’s Day Breakfast and Brunch Recipes


Peach Ginger Bellini Recipe

Mother's Day_brunch-peach bellini_recipe-poetry-Poetry_Friday-vashti quiroz vega-the writer next door

Peach Ginger Bellini (Recipe by Tyler Florence)

Breakfast Tart With Pancetta and Green Onions Recipe

Poetry_Friday-Mother's Day-brunch-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-recipes

Breakfast Tart With Pancetta and Green Onions (Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis)

Breakfast Lasagna Recipe

breakfast lasagna-mother's day-brunch-poetry_Friday-vashti quiroz vega-giada de laurentiis-recipe

Breakfast Lasagna (Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis)

Marmalade Muffins Recipe

Poetry_Friday-Mother's Day-brunch_recipes-vashti quiroz vega-the writer next door-ree drummond

Marmalade Muffins (Recipe by Ree Drummond)

No one knows your mom better than you do, so do whatever you feel she would enjoy on this special day. 


savor your day

Croissants, quiche, cheese soufflé

Have a miracle for breakfast

Je t’aime

Poetry_Friday-Mother's Day-brunch-art-vashti quiroz vega-the writer next door

Mother and Child by Gustav Klimt

To all you wonderful mothers out there have an unforgettable Mother’s Day! This also goes to women that have helped raise children and to moms of fur-babies (which is like having a child that never grows up). 


Christmas Brunch

20 Dec


Photograph: Christmas Day Brunch at the Rosen Plaza Hotel

(^ Click play to hear song)

Hello, and welcome to my blog! I love receiving visitors, although I have to admit that I’ve been a bit “Bah Humbug!” this year. I’ve been slow getting into the Christmas spirit.

I recently watched the movie, ‘Lady in the Water‘ and I began to feel a spark of Christmas joy. The movie isn’t a Christmas movie but it has all the elements of a feel good holiday movie. I love movies where a diverse and interesting cast of characters come together to solve a problem. Some of my friends didn’t like it because they didn’t get it. Of course, this movie is pure fantasy and based on mythology but if you watch it with this in mind you will enjoy it.

Lady in the Water‘ is an American fantasy thriller that’s exciting, funny at times with some scary and suspenseful moments in between and it’s one of those movies that’ll leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I love it and highly recommend it.

You Deserve This: The meaning behind ‘Lady in the Water’


This is a favorite poem of mine by AJ Long of ajwrites57

Santa Sat

by A Long

Santa sat in calm reflection,
his heart was set in one direction,
Christmas day is near.

His opened list, he checked it twice
Who was naughty, who was nice,
Christmas day is near.

Soft white beard, stroked in thought,
Making sure no one’s forgot.
Christmas day is near.

Santa’s head chock full of names,
Who gets dolls and who gets games.
Christmas day is near.

Mrs. Claus feeds and stuffs her man,
To make him jolly as she can.
Christmas day is near.

Toys for Tommy, toys for Jane,
No one forgotten, it is plain.
Christmas day is near.

Mrs. Claus loves to sing,
Fa-la-la’s when bells do ring.
Christmas day is near.

Santa’s elves outdo themselves,
Stacking toys upon the shelves.
Christmas day is near.

Presents packed in his red sleigh,
Elves have worked night and day.
Christmas day is here.

Eight reindeer groomed and fed,
Rudolph waiting at the head.
Christmas day is here.

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
Christmas day is here.

The children, good as gold each day,
You-Know-Who is on his way!
Christmas day is here.

His pipe fit tight between his lips,
His red suit wrapped round his hips.
Christmas day is here.

Through the night sky his team flew,
On the way to me and you.
Christmas day is here.

On the rooftops, click-click-click,
Tiny hooves landed mighty quick.
Christmas day is here.

Down the chimney with full pack,
Stockings stuffed with Cracker Jack.
Christmas day is here.

“To All, A Goodnight!”

Eats your cookies, drinks the milk,
Up the chimney, smooth as silk.
Christmas day is here.

“Happy Christmas to all tonight
To all I wish a fond Good Night!”
Christmas day is here.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Christmas-Florida

Happy Holidays from sunny Florida!


My family celebrates Christmas Eve with lots of food, drinks, music and dancing. On Christmas Day we sleep in, and then enjoy opening gifts and a nice brunch of leftovers from the night before. So my post today features  delicious Christmas breakfast/brunch recipes. I hope you enjoy them!

You can prepare this delicious breakfast casserole the day before and bake Christmas morning. A great recipe from

Christmas Brunch Casserole

Christmas Brunch Casserole

If you’re like me you’ve gotta have bread! I ran across this beautiful and festive bread recipe at My Diverse Kitchen At first, I thought it would be too complicated to make, but Aparna gives you step-by-step instructions that simplify the process. I’m going to try it!

Golden Santa Bread

Santa Bread

I love pancakes and these look amazing! I got the recipe from

Grandma’s Gingerbread Pancakes

Grandma's Gingerbread Pancakes

Crumb Cake + French Toast = Scrumptiousness (is this a word? Hmm)

Cinnamon Streusel French Toast

cinnamon streusel french toast

If your family is like mine then you had a big Christmas Eve party with lots of food. This is a great recipe made from leftover mashed potatoes from Key Ingredient

Bacon Cheddar Potato Cakes

Bacon cheddar potato cakes

Feeling drowsy Christmas morning? The following recipes will wake you right up and get you going.

Delicious recipe from Williams-Sonoma

Mint Hot Chocolate

mint hot chocolate

Scrumptious concoction by Half Baked Harvest

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte with Chocolate Drizzle (Yummy mouthful!)


 Thank you for visiting!

Happy Holidays


Meandering Monday Blog Hop & Linky Party!

5 Jan

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Hello everyone! Happy Monday! I was invited by the awesome Stacey Gannett to co-host the “Meandering Mondays” Blog Hop and Linky Party for the month of January. Yay! It was a lovely surprise and it looks like 2014 is off to a good start for me. So come on writers, poets, beauty and food bloggers join us and link up!


In Stacey’s words…

Say howdy to my linky party co-horts…

The wonderful Jessica from The Wondering Brain and Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures.

The Wondering Brain200

Epic Mommy1

Now join me in welcoming our amazing January co-hosts!

Joining us for another month is…

The very amazing Vashti from from Vashti Quiroz-Vega’s Blog!
“Writer of Fiction, adventurer, lover of animals, nature and chocolate covered strawberries.”
Vashti cover

Newly joining us is…
The very wonderful Lisa from Chronically Content!
“I enjoy writing about my journey with Chronic Illness and how I have a desire to be content. It’s a challenge and I fail often, but turn to God’s Word for strength and encouragement. My life, like yours, is very busy. I’m a stay-at-home-mom who is homeschooling and trying to live a frugal lifestyle. Because of my health problems, this is very difficult. I’m sure I could learn many tips from you, so feel free to share.”

The very fabulous Dara from Not In Jersey!
“Dara is a mom of 3 kids who loves blogging about their adventures. She also loves reading, Disney, the show Scandal, traveling, and more!”

Grab a badge and join the party!

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Now it is time to introduce our favorite This Momma’s Meanderer’s from last week, and boy oh boy it was a difficult choice! Don’t forget to grab your “I Was Featured” badge of honor! Congratulations to you all!

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Natasha’s favorite came from Army Wife to Suburban Life with the post “A Few Things Worth Seeing“.
Saying, “This is a great post and so similar to my own thinking! It’s so true – when I first started blogging, I tried to copy what other, more successful bloggers were doing. When I found my own voice and my own style in blogging, I saw that I had more readers and they were more interested in my posts. And although I’m anxious to really start monetizing my blog, I want to focus on growing my blog and finding my niche first, then I believe that I will be more successful at monetizing. All around – a great post!”

Millie and Kristina’s favorite came from Honesty’s Protege with the post “My Life Book 2014“.
Saying, “I think this is a great idea – it can help you set goals, see how you have grown and encourage your personal growth!”

Mrs Tee’s favorite came from Pragmatic Mom with the post “Celebrating my Birthday with Random Acts of Kindness“.
Saying, “I feel that the thought of doing things for others on your birthday is one full of selflessness and definitely a large undertaking. I admired the uniqueness of the Acts as well as the willingness to complete the goal despite life’s delays (sickness).”

Sinea’s favorite came from Kids Fun 101 with the post “Snowmen made from Kid Thumbprints make Perfect Holiday Thank You Cards“.
Saying, “I loved the snowman thumbprint craft.”

Megan’s favorite came from Organizer By Day with the post “Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies“.
Saying, ” I love the addition of chocolate chips to a traditional oatmeal raisin cookie. Yum!”

And my fave came from Country Road Abode with the post “Fairy Gardens“.
“The hubby and I both fascinated by the thought of little fairy/elf gardens and doorways throughout our house. He has even talked about decorating one room in a medieval theme and include these types of things in the decor.”

Congratulations to all of you amazing and wonderful linkers! Don’t forget to grab and display our “Featured” badge!

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Thank you to all of you who joined us last week!

Now let’s get this party started!


Remember everyone enjoys a little comment love!

Feel free to “meander” by some fellow bloggers and find a new recipe to make for the family, a helpful blogging tip, a funny story to read, and best of all a new friend to make! There are really no rules to follow, only some suggestions to keep in mind…because we are all to enjoy the friendships that come along by doing these few simple and wonderful things…

1. Link up your favorite post…a story, a recipe, a photo, or a helpful tip…As many as you want, that’s right as many as you want!!!!

2. Please follow our Host’s and Co-host’s

3. Find some new friends to follow, friendships are what it’s all about!

4. Be sure to leave some comment love, to get it in return.

5. Grab our badge and display on your blog, sharing the love is what it’s all about.

Meander through the links and make some new friends, find some amazing and useful tips, and maybe even a new treat to try!

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we want you

I am looking for February co-hosts for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays? If interested, please drop me a line at I would love to have you along for the ride! You can also check out my sponsor page for more info.

This Momma’s Meandering Mondays, now offers more ways to link up all of your favorite sites, so that we have more opportunity to Meander around and share the love! So happy Linking everyone!

Blog Link Up:

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Facebook Link Up:

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Twitter Link Up:

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Stacey L Gannett
Writer and Designer of This Momma’s Ramblings


My Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party

21 Dec

The Basement Cover

A toasty warm welcome to my blog. Thank you for visiting. I’m excited to bring you once more the Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party! I’d like you writers and poets out there to give it a try. Share your favorite stories and poems with many who are eager to read them.  Click here to enter  Fill out the linky form with the title of your piece, the link to your piece, your email (will not be posted) and your name. Then click on a button that says FROM WEB and it will take you to a page where you can choose a picture to go with your post. Try it! It’s easy, believe me.

Fill out linky form and click FROM WEB button.

Fill out linky form and click FROM WEB button.

Then you can see your post HERE or HERE.

Blog hop

Happy Friday! Thank you for joining us for another fun weekend of making friends and finding new blogs! Please welcome my hosts:

Say hello to my December team:
Kim from This Ole Mom
Melissa from Deliciously Savvy
Miranda from Myra Bev’s Corner
Let’s SHOW OFF some of those awesome posts from last week!

Natasha’s favorite from last week comes from Jenny’s Evolution:

“I’ve been looking for some ways to make this Christmas special for my son. Christmas cookies and desserts are at the center of making it great. I’ve been following Jenny’s Christmas Cookies series, and I have not been disappointed yet! Great post!”

Stacey gives New Mama Diaries a thumbs up: “These last few months, I seem to have taken on more and more, which has led to me feeling overwhelmed with the day to day. This reminded me that I need to find a way to slow down and stop trying to do so much.”

Meg loved this DIY from Taylor-Made Ranch:  ” have been wanting to make my own laundry detergent for months and just haven’t jumped in and done it yet! This DIY laundry detergent post from the Taylor-Made Ranch Homestead Blog has re-inspired me to give it a try. It’s too simple not to!”

Melissa was excited to see this post from Put a Bird In It:  “This grabbed me because my hubby is always a lover of a good cup of hot cocoa as well as his entire family! I am going to do this concept at his family’s Christmas Eve Party… everyone will love it!!! Awesome post and creative idea having a Hot Cocoa Bar!!! Thanks You!!!”

Miranda thought that this post was awesome coming from Lady Blogger:  “I love Yoga but I found it so hard when I initially started to make matters worse we had an 80 year old wonderful lady who used to do the splits like there was not tomorrow, she made it look so easy I was very encouraged to continue. Such a lovely Post.”

My favorite goes to Taylor-Made Ranch.  I am very big on supporting non-profit organizations.  Part of my job resposibility at work is to work with non-profits within the community and I see what happens and who they benefit.  Tammy’s post was a wonderful way to help non-profits not just for the holidays but throughout the year through your donated goods thst you do not need anymore.  Thanks Tammy!

Show Of Feature Button photo featuredblogbutton.jpg

Congratulations to our featured bloggers! Take our awesome badge and SHOW OFF your blogger skills by displaying it on your sidebar and encouraging others to join us! 
A quick announcement to all our faithful participants of My Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party.  We will be taking a short hiatus starting January 2014.  However, The Wondering Brain will still be hosting two other wonderful blog parties:  This Momma’s Meandering Mondays and Turn It Up Tuesdays with Stacey and Natasha.  If you’d like to co-host these 2 awesome blog parties, please reach out to them.  We’d love to have you!!
Ready to party? We are! But first… some guidelines to follow:
  • Link up your favorite posts. It doesn’t matter which one, just make sure it’s family friendly! 
  • Follow all 4 of your hosts
  • Follow all  co-hosts
  • Leave a comment if you’d like them to follow you too
  • Visit at least 5 other bloggers 
  • Show them your blogger love by leaving a comment  if you’d like them to follow 
  • Remember, it’s not a party unless you mix and mingle, so mingle around and make some friends! 
Let’s Party!!You are next… Click here to enter


It’s That Time Of Year Again

18 Dec

Hello and a warm welcome to my blog. It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joy of Christmas. People are nicer and more civil to each other this time of year. Have you noticed that? Sometimes I wish December could go on all year long (or at least the spirit of December).


Anyway, this time of year there is a great deal of entertaining. All that hosting can be a bit stressful and could potentially damper your holiday fun. We can’t have that! So in order to make life easier for all  you terrific hosts out there I’m sharing some awesome posts I found on the net that I believe will truly help you this holiday season.



I LOVE Nigella Lawson! She’s a domestic goddess. So who better to give us entertaining tips?

Lawson’s Top Five Entertaining And Party Hosting Tips

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson



If you’re struggling to figure out your Christmas menu here’s a great post by Epicurious

Nigella Lawson Christmas Menu

The Brit hostess extraordinaire shares her favorite recipes for a scrumptious holiday feast; plus, timeline and tips for effortless prep, setup, and serving.




Table settings  for the holidays have become an art form. You too can create a beautiful holiday tablescape. Get inspiration from these sites.

HGTV Rate My Space

Christmas tablescape



Cyndi Mathews (no, I didn’t write her name backward that’s how she spells it) shows us how to decorate our holiday table using ornaments in Festive Holiday Table Settings at She Knows Holidays And Seasons




You can use candles, fruit, flowers, pinecones, colorful dishes and tablecloths to create your own unique holiday tablescape.







I grew up in New York City and I think everyone who’s grown up there has tasted or at least heard of “Coquito”. It is a traditional Puerto Rican holiday cocktail. It’s delicious and I have a friend who makes a bottle for me every Christmas and I share it with my family on Christmas eve. I serve it in shot glasses. I decorate the rims of the glasses with melted white chocolate and shredded coconut. They look really cute!  (I’ll show you how I do this at a later time)



Here’s a simple Coquito recipe I found at 12 Bottle Bar. You really should try it.





Last, but not least some adorable recipe ideas from Holly Ehlenfeldt Stockman’s Pinterest board: Christmas Delectables

Homemade Candy Canes recipe from Whirly Bird

Homemade candy cane



Roxana shows us a great holiday cake log recipe on Roxana’s Home Baking

Vanilla Roll Cake




I love these hot cocoa stirring sticks. So adorable! I wish it would finally get cold here in Florida so that I can serve them with some creamy hot cocoa. I got the recipe from this incredible blog: Bridgey Widgey : Life’s A Party

Hot Cocoa Stir Sticks

Hot Cocoa Stirs

That’s all folks! I hope I’ve been of some help. 😉


A Thankful Heart

22 Nov

A Thankful Heart

Hello and welcome! Yay! It’s Friday! Thank you for visiting my blog. Today I have compiled a mix of quotes and poems with related topics and recipes. I know, it may seem a little strange, random and mismatched, but it’s well thought out. My friends would say it’s a Vashti-ism. Maybe it is, but I hope you enjoy it. ;D



Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.

~ J. Robert Moskin

You can get this yummy Cheese Straws recipe at smitten kitchen

Cheese Straws



Ah! On Thanksgiving day…
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?

~ John Greenleaf Whittier

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

Get the recipe at Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer

Pumpkin pie_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog



Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

30 countries worldwide have taken part in Good Deeds Day. Here’s the story and mission of the global annual eventGood Deeds Day



Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.

~ Wilbur D. Nesbit

Feed the Homeless in Your Community During the Holidays . . . and Throughout the Year

Feed the Homeless



Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.

~ Jacqueline Winspear

If there’s someone that lives gracefully that would be Kim from The Kim Challenge

Visit her blog for a Tres Leches Cake recipe. You will thank me later.




A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.

~ Cicero




To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.

~ Johannes A. Gaertner

Today is my little pomeranian’s birthday! He is 16 years old! I am so grateful to have had another year with my little buddy. Happy Birthday Rascal!

Rascal Quiroz-Vega

Rascal Quiroz-Vega



Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.

~ Kevin James

I just thought this was hilarious (and in some cases true), and I love this guy.

Kevin James

Kevin James


One Of My Favorite Words: Scrumptious!

17 Nov

Table settings


60 Stylish Table Settings for Thanksgiving – under the table & dreaming by Stephanie Lynn



Hello, and welcome to my blog! I am a writer, but I am also a woman with many interests, and I’m a bit of a “foodie.” Anyone who knows me well would agree. I enjoy trying new recipes and even inventing recipes of my own. Baking, grilling, broiling — I love it all. I also enjoy eating good food (prepared with love of course, it’s the tastiest kind). I have prepared a list of food traditionally prepared for Thanksgiving so that even those of you who don’t traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving in your country can enjoy a feast fit for a king and queen on Thursday the 28th of November, or whenever.

I remember when I moved into my first house, everyone expected me to host Thanksgiving dinner at my new place. I searched all over the net for recipes. I had 15 guests! Everything turned out great (thank God). I have found some delicious recipes in various terrific blogs. Here I provide a menu of recipes so that anyone can prepare a complete and delicious Thanksgiving meal. If you’ve never hosted a Thanksgiving meal before maybe you should surprise your family this year. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a great deal of fun, and your place will be blessed in the process. (To find the recipes and instructions click on the title links above each picture.)

I would love to hear about any funny (recipe gone wrong), unusual (Tofurkey anyone?) or rewarding (you invited a homeless person to dinner) Thanksgiving experiences you might have had. Feel free to tell me all about it in the comments section. I will share my favorites in a future post. ;D



I can’t imagine Thanksgiving without a beautifully roasted turkey. 😛

For a juicy and tender Turkey follow the recipe at Just A Little NuttyOne Of My Favorite Words: Scrumptious!



Carrie Groneman shows you how to make her delicious Butternut Squash Soup at A Mothers Shadow




At my house there must be cranberry sauce to accompany the turkey.

You can make Candied Orange and Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (Yum!)

by following the recipe at Moore or Less Cooking Food Blog

Cranberry sauce



Another Thanksgiving dinner staple: Mash Potato and Gravy.

Get a great and easy to follow recipe from the Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten

mashed potatoes and gravy



Just A Little Nutty gives us a great recipe for Green Beans (You gotta have your veggies)

green beans



What is Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing (dressing)?

Bountiful Harvest Sausage & Cranberry Dressing

Get the recipe at It’s Yummi!




Another great recipe from Just A Little Nutty

Corn Soufflé (I’m salivating just looking at this picture)

Corn soufflé



We gotta have our carbs, right? The Rowdy Baker features a

scrumptious recipe for Pumpkin Rolls

pumpkin dinner rolls



No Thanksgiving meal would be complete without dessert! (At least, not in my house)

Cooking Classy will show you how to make this mouthwatering

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce

pumpkin cheesecake



This is a nice twist on the traditional Pecan Pie.

And They Cooked Happily Ever After has a quick and easy recipe for you to follow

Pecan Squares

pecan pie squares



More dessert! I saw Lizbeth McGow’s recipe at Just Dip It In Chocolate and I had to add it here! 😛

Butterscotch Banana Harvest Cake

let them eat cake



Last, but certainly not least is a nice cocktail.

Find the recipe to this yummy drink by Francis Schott at Food & Wine

Dirty Bart

Black Bart Recipe



Food & Wine features another cocktail winner by Linton Hopkins


DCV Recipe


Spooky Nights in October

10 Oct


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

Yummy! Sludgy Chocolate Martini

Sludgy Chocolate Martini


What you need

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

Prepare using light chocolate ice cream.
Omit the peanut butter for an equally delicious martini.
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


  • 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 $


  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.