Saturday, November 15, 2008

Burnt Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (parental guidance advised)

I bought a bunch of Halloween themed Peeps intending to make Ghost Hot Chocolate, but everyone was too stuffed after eating the food that we never got around to making it. A few years ago, we inherited a culinary torch from a friend that was moving overseas. I don't make many desserts that require torching, so the torch has stayed in the original packaging until I had a very morbid yet delicious idea for its use.

I was a bit of a pyromaniac as a child. I never really burnt anything of significance down, but as my older brother will tell you, we used to spend a lot of time frying various critters of the insect kind with a magnifying glass in the backyard and also putting grapes in the microwave to start little mini-globe shaped fireworks. I also distinctly remember my brother putting a piece of raw meat near an open window with a screen and flaming the mosquitoes that landed outside with a lighter and an aerosol can. It's a wonder that we didn't turn out to have antisocial personality disorder with all the torturing of insects we did as children, but I guess that applies more to kids who torture animals that are cuter than bugs. Anyway, I digress.

I much prefer the taste of charred marshmallows to just melty ones. I know that the carbon is a carcinogen, but it's not as if burnt marshmallows are a staple of my diet, so I figure just once in awhile is okay.

So here goes, step-by-step:

1) Make some hot chocolate and buy some marshmallows (peeps or otherwise)

2) Float marshmallows in HC

3) Fire up your torch! Boooooooooo!!!

4) Ooh! A little too burnt, but smells lovely!

5) Turn crisped mallow over to get other side which will be a little harder to torch because it is wet, but will look quite lovely and inviting to drink!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Oh my! I just realized that it has almost been a month since my last post. Things have been busy at work and after reading and staring at a computer screen, I guess I haven't felt motivated to do more computer related activities once I get home. Or maybe my lack of posting was because I was so consumed with planning for my Halloween/Housewarming party!

I admit that most of my ideas for food were stolen from a Taste of Home Halloween magazine. I also admit that I was more amused with preparations for this party than a person over the age of 30 should be.

On a trip to Target, I picked up some pretty awesome Halloween themed sodas. Jones soda has several different limited editions for various holidays and themed events. Want some turkey and gravy soda for an upcoming Thanksgiving or Christmas party? Well, you may be able to find it here!

Here are the rest of my spooky offerings:

Severed Hand Punch - a big hit! Easy to make... all you need is a latex glove. Wash it out to rid of powdery rubbery taste. Turn inside out and fill with liquid. I chose a mixture of cranberry juice and water so that it would freeze quickly, but not water down the punch upon melting. Float the resulting frozen hand in whatever liquid concoction you desire. I also had pomegranate floating in to represent miscellaneous body bits!

Mummy Turkey Dogs - or Halloweenies! Any variety of tube steak will do. Simply wrap with Pillsbury bread stick dough and dot on eyes with mustard.

Bleeding Heart Brie - Brie with cherry preserves wrapped in crescent roll dough.

Eyeball Taco Salad. This was supposed to be cut into individual "faces" for serving purposes, but by the time we made this, most of my guests and my sous chef were too in the bag to care. They just wanted to shove nachos in their gullets.

Halloween shaped tortilla chips! These were harder to make than I thought they would be because my cookie cutters were not very sharp. I think metal ones would have worked better, but I only had plastic. I sprayed them with olive oil and sprinkled with a creole spice mix that I had made for something else and then baked them at about 375 for 12 minutes. They may not look so pretty, but they tasted good.

Here's some of the spread.

And some of the spread eaters!