Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Free Candy Corn Crocheted Coaster Pattern

I found some chocolate candy corn earlier this week at Target. They are made by Hershey’s in the shape of a kiss. They look like candy corn shaped like a Hershey’s kiss and taste like white chocolate. There is a recipe for Autumn Cookies on the package which looks delicious!!! Candy Corn Kisses are addicting!!!

I have been making many Candy Corn Crocheted Coasters. I made up this pattern myself and would like to share it with other crocheters:

Candy Corn Crocheted Coasters

G crochet hook, small amounts of white, orange, and yellow Lily Sugar and Cream yarn

Row 1: With white, ch 2, 2 sc in second ch from hook: ch 1, turn
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc across: Ch 1, turn.(4 sc)
Row 3: Sc in each chain across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 4: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(6 sc)
Row 5: Sc in each sc across. Drop white and weave in orange. Ch 1, turn.
Row 6: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(8 sc)
Row 7: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 8: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(10 sc)
Row 9: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 10: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(12 sc)
Row 11: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 12: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 10 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(14 sc)
Row 13: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn
Row 14: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 12 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(16 sc)
Row 15: Sc in each sc across. Drop orange and weave in yellow. Ch 1, turn.
Row 16: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 14 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(18 sc)
Row 17: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
Row 18: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 16 sc, 2 sc in last sc, ch 1, turn.(20 sc)
Row 19: Sc in each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
End yellow and weave in ends. Lightly press to flatten. Each coaster measures 5 inches tall and 6 inches long at the base.

This is the first time I have ever written a pattern so please be forgiving if you find any mistakes and let me know if I need to make corrections. Thanks!

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Easy Fall Recipes for Halloween

Fall is the perfect time for a wiener roast. Start a bonfire or light up your grill and roast some hot dogs or even a brat or sausage. Put some baked beans in the crock-pot for a side dish. Cut up some carrots and celery. Nothing is as satisfying as cooking your own meal over a fire with the people you love. For dessert, roast some marshmallows or make s’mores by putting a roasted marshmallow on a piece of graham cracker with a chunk of Hershey’s chocolate bar and smashing another graham cracker on top. Delicious!!!

Kids are not too hungry Halloween night when they are preparing to go trick or treating. They just might eat some Vampire Soup and Frankenstein Fingers! Make a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup and some hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. To make Frankenstein Fingers: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place wiener on shortest side of crescent roll triangle and roll up. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. You can even insert a strip of sharp cheddar cheese into a slit cut into the wieners.

After you make your jack-o-lanterns, you will have lots of pumpkin seeds. To make a tasty, nutritious snack: wash seeds and discard pulp. Place seeds on an oiled cookie sheet and mix to coat seeds or spray with Pam. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees until just toasted or about 25 minutes. Be sure to stir after 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container. Toasted pumpkins seeds are great as a snack. Try spicing them up with garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce or sweeten them with cinnamon and sugar for a different taste.

Cupcakes or cookies are great for school treats or parties. Make, frost, and decorate with Halloween sprinkles or candy corn and pumpkins and also those Halloween Peeps. Ghost Cupcakes can be made by sticking a Nutter Butter Cookie into a chocolate frosted cupcake. Frost the cookie with white icing and put a ghost face on it with chocolate icing, gumdrops, or chocolate chips. Pumpkin Cupcakes can be made by frosting a cupcake with orange frosting and arranging chocolate chips into eyes and a mouth. Spider Cupcakes can be made by bending 8 black licorice sticks into legs and inserting them into opposite sides of the cupcake. Add two red M&Ms for the eyes and two candy corn fangs. Black Cat Cupcakes can be made with half an Oreo cookie to which you attach chocolate chips for the ears, jelly bean halves for the eyes, and pieces of black string licorice for the whiskers using chocolate frosting. Let dry for 30 minutes. Stand on chocolate frosted cupcake and attach a black licorice piece for the tail. Creepy Dirt Cupcakes can be made from chocolate frosted cupcakes scattered with crushed Oreo cookies decorated with gummy worms. Be sure to stick the end of some of the worms into the cupcake so they look like they are climbing out.

There are many kinds of punch. Green Slime Punch is from equals amounts of green HiC and Sprite. Black Witch’s Brew can be made from 1 (.13 ounce) envelope unsweetened grape soft drink mix, 1 (.13 ounce) envelope unsweetened orange soft drink mix, 2 cups white sugar, 3 quarts cold water, and 1 liter ginger ale. Wormy Punch is made by combing 1 gallon orange sherbet (softened) and 1 quart chilled pineapple juice. Stir in 1 liter of lemon-lime soda. Decorate the bowl with gummy worms. Make Vampire Punch with a large bottle red grape juice chilled to slush, large bottle of Hawaiian Punch chilled to slush, a large bottle of chilled ginger ale, and a large bag of frozen strawberries. Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl. For fun, you can put a frozen hand in the punch by freezing water in a plastic glove (Make sure they do not have powder in them) or add some dry ice for a foggy effect (add dry ice to a larger bowl sitting under punch bowl and touch the dry ice only with some tongs. You might also try putting the punch in a clean, hollowed out, chilled pumpkin. For an adult punch, just add vodka to the recipes listed above.
Popcorn Balls are a treat this time of year. I have used this recipe for years. Make 3 quarts of popcorn and place in large bowl. Stir 1 Cup Karo Light Syrup, 1 cup sugar, and ½ tsp. salt in pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Cook without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. (I also add even drops of yellow and red food coloring to tint them orange). Slowly pour over corn, mixing well. Cool enough to handle and shape into balls. Wrap in wax paper.
Caramel Apples are delicious. If you buy a 14 ounce bag of caramels, you will usually get a recipe on the back and some sticks. For six apples: Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top. Butter a baking sheet. Place caramels and 2 tbsp. of milk in a microwave safe bowl (a 4 cup Pyrex bowl works great) and microwave for 2 minutes, stirring once. Allow to cool briefly. Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated. Place on baking sheet to set. You can decorate them before they set with sprinkles, peanuts, candy corn, or anything else you can imagine. I also like this Caramel Apple Salad: In a bowl, whisk 1 cup cold fat-free milk and sugar free butterscotch pudding mix for 1 minute (mixture will be thick). Whisk in 1 cup whipped topping. Fold in 3 ½ cups chopped apples. Refrigerate until serving. Top with 1 cup of whipped topping and sprinkle with 12 cup chopped peanuts.
Last is Hot Apple Cider, a warm and soothing drink. Pour ½ gallon of apple cider in a pan and simmer on the stove. While it simmers combine 3 sticks or cinnamon or 2-3 tsp. ground cinnamon, 2 tbsp. whole cloves, or 2 tsp. ground cloves, and one tsp. ground nutmeg. Add to cider, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes more. You can add orange slices or brown sugar for a slightly different taste. Adults can add a cup of rum or ½ cup of brandy. Smells and tastes great on those cold rainy evenings!!!
Enjoy the season.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Pleasures of Fall

Brrrr!!!! It’s cold outside today. After a long period of unseasonably warm weather, it has finally turned cold outside. Days are getting shorter and shorter. It’s dark in the morning and dark early at night. This is lovely sleeping weather – these cool dark nights!

The cold crisp air is energizing. This morning I went for a long walk. It seems that the leaves have changed color overnight. They are beautiful: yellows, reds, browns, rust. It’s a feast for your eyes! Everyone in my neighborhood has decorated for fall. I saw scarecrows, ghosts, cornstalks, and pumpkins of all sizes and shapes.

It is windy out. I was pelted with a blast of acorns being blown out of an oak tree. I watched two squirrels scampering around picking them up. Leaves are blowing around. Somewhere, someone is burning leaves. I can smell them. I love that smell.

I like this poem about fall:

The harvest moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky,
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn season is giving birth.
Oh, it must be October
The leaves of red bright gold and brown,
To Mother Earth come tumbling down,
The breezy nights the ghostly sights,
The eerie spooky far off sounds
Are signs that it's October.
The pumpkins yellow,. big and round
Are carried by costumed clumsy clowns
It's Halloween - let's celebrate.
- Pearl N. Sorrels, It Must be October

Take a few minutes to enjoy a beautiful fall day!