Monday, October 31, 2011

Quick, Fun Halloween Desserts!

Again, I've been out of town, so I apologize in advance for this being so last minute.  If you're like me, that's when you work the best anyway and when you're frantically looking for some good ideas!  This post is simply a quick recap of some fun Halloween themed goodies I've made in years past that my kids (and I) have really enjoyed.  They are quick, fun, and delicious.  What more could you need?

"Chilling Jack-O-Lanterns"
(from October 1997 Friend magazine)
4–8 oranges
l can (6 ounces/177 ml) frozen orange juice concentrate
1 1/4 cups water
1 small banana, mashed
1 can (8 ounces/227 g) crushed pineapple
1 small apple
1.  With an older person’s help, cut off the top of each orange; store the tops in the refrigerator.
2.  Scoop out the oranges, saving the juice. Stabilize the oranges in a muffin tin.
3.  Combine the saved juice with the frozen orange juice concentrate and the water. Mix in the    
     banana and the pineapple.
4.  Fill the oranges with the juice mixture, then freeze for 2–3 hours.
5.  To soften and decorate, remove the oranges from the freezer 5–8 minutes before serving. Core the
     apple and cut it into thin wedges. Using toothpicks broken in half, attach raisin eyes and an apple
     wedge mouth to each orange. Cover the jack-o’-lanterns with the stored orange tops.

"Creepy Crunchy Donut Eyeballs"
(from a 2009 edition of a local advertising magazine that I get each month)
2 (12 oz) bags white chocolate morsels
1 tsp. vegetable shortening
20 glazed donut holes
20 round jellied candies (like Gummi Savers)
20 milk chocolate candies (like M&Ms)
Red food coloring
1.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper and set aside. 
2.  Melt chocolate morsels with vegetable shortening by setting bowl over simmering water and stirring until smooth.
3.  Cut two 1/8" slices from opposite sides of each donut hole.  Drop donut holes into melted chocolate, one at a time.  Using a fork, coat the donut hole.  Lift and gently shake to remove excess chocolate.  While wet, place jellied candy on one of the cut sides of each hole.  Repeat with each donut eyeball and refrigerate until set.  Reserve unused chocolate.
4.  Re-heat chocolate.  Remove eyeballs from refrigerator.  Place a small dab of melted chocolate on the chocolate candies and stick them onto the jellied candies to form pupils.  Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.
5.  In a small bowl, mix 2 drops of food coloring with 2 tsp of remaining melted chocolate.  Using a toothpick, draw 'veins' on the eyeballs.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
(as you can see from my pictures, I'm no Martha Stewart in the kitchen, but they still taste great!)

"Frightening Fingers"
(from Oct. 2005 Home & Health magazine)
I love this one because it's like a shortbread cookie and I have a weakness for shortbread!  It looks pretty realistic and gross to boot.
1 c. butter, softened                             2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. confectioner's sugar                      1 tsp baking powder
1 egg                                                    1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract                              Red decorating gel
1 tsp almond extract                             1/2 c. sliced almonds

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg and extracts.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Divide dough into fourths.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll into 1-inch balls.  Shape balls into 3-inch by 1/2-inch fingers.  Using flat tip of table knife, make indentation on one end of each for fingernail.  With knife, make three slashes in middle of each finger for knuckle.

Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool for 3 minutes.  Squeeze small amount of red gel on nail bed; press sliced almond over gel for nail, allowing gel to ooze around nail.  Remove to wire racks to cool.
And then last, but certainly not least . . .
"Spooky Jell-O Jigglers"
Don't ask me what my infatuation with Jigglers is, but I can never get enough of them.  In fact, when I was in elementary school, that's what I requested my mom bring in each year for my birthday treat at school!  I'm not posting the recipe because you can find it on every single Jell-O box.   Plus, I'm in a hurry to head to the grocery store right now to go buy me some orange and grape Jell-O right this very second! 

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quick, Easy & Fun Dinner Ideas for Halloween

Sorry these are so last minute, but I've been out of town.  Here's three super easy & quick dinner ideas for Halloween night that I've made in years past.  They are so easy, even your kids can be involved in making dinner that night!  And since dinners always seem to need to be fast & easy on that night so the kids can rush out the door, they are a win-win!  (Plus if I can make them, anybody can!)

Whatever type of round rolls you prefer
Whatever type of sandwich filling you like (tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, pb & j, meat & cheese, etc)
Pretzel sticks
Yellow mustard (but ketchup or mayo could be used instead)
Not a very 'precise' recipe, but this one is just pretty self-explanatory. They are super quick to make and even the kids can help you! Just don't make too far in advance since the pretzels will get soggy eventually. Just slice the rolls in half, spread the bottom half of the roll with filling, add 8 pretzel sticks to each sandwich to form the spider legs, and top with the top half of the roll. Break pretzels in half and poke two halves (broken side down) into each roll to make the spider eyes and squeeze some mustard around each eye. (as you can see in my picture, I didn't finish this step before serving)
"Mummy Pizzas"
Again - a fun, easy recipe that even the kids can help with! Makes a perfect, quick dinner for Halloween night.
1 pkg. English muffins (6 count = 12 halves)
3/4 c. prepared pizza sauce (to be honest, I usually just buy some spaghetti sauce)
12 slices mozzarella cheese
24 black olive slices
Green bell pepper, chopped into 1/4" pieces
1. Preheat your oven's broiler
2. Split each English muffin and broil (tops only) until crisp and golden
3. Remove muffins from oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Cut your mozzarella cheese slices into muffin-sized mummy bandages
5. Spread about a tablespoon of pizza sauce on each muffin half.
6. Top with cheese "bandages."
7. Place two black olive slices on each pizza for eyes. Give each eye a piece of green pepper for a pupil.
8. Bake about 10 minutes, until muffin is crisp and cheese is melted.
"Crescent Mummy Dogs"
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 1/2 slices American cheese, quartered (2.5 oz)
10 large hot dogs (but you could do a mini version with cocktail sausages)
Cooking spray
Mustard or ketchup, if desired


1 Heat oven to 375°F.
2 Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. 3 With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).
4 Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese to look like "bandages," stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate "bandages" so hot dog shows through for "face." On ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); spray dough lightly with cooking spray.
5 Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard, draw features on "face."

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Cookie Dip

The other day I found this little gem of a recipe on Pinterest.  It is called a 'cookie dip'.  I made it on Monday night for a fun little FHE treat.  The kids loved it and my husband thought it was pretty good too.  I will admit that I couldn't eat too much because it was pretty sweet, but it was a good recipe and so easy to make.  It would be a great treat to take to parties and would be a hit too. 

The recipe I found on pinterest came from here (

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits

The first step is to cream the butter and cream cheese together. 

After creaming add the remaining ingredients and mix together.  On top of the toffee bits and chocolate chips I also added white chocolate chips and butterstotch chips. 
Serve with graham crackers, apple wedges, Nilla Wafers, etc...


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Static Cling

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For the past year I have not been using dryer sheets!
It seems crazy I know!
What happened was this...
every.single.time I washed my husband & my clothes
they would come out staticky (is that even a word?).
My husband would get so annoyed when he would grab a shirt to  put on and it would have a ton of static cling!
So I always would end up using a new dryer sheet and rubbing it directly on his shirt, as he was wearing it!!
Crazy I know!
And this was even with me putting 1 and even 2 dryer sheets in with the laundry!
Then my mother told me about a trick.
Now I am sharing this trick with you all!

You can use any aluminum foil you please
I prefer to just use whatever is cheapest.

I usually pull out about this much

And then you crumple it loosely

Then you toss it in the dryer with your wet clothes...that's it!
It will come out looking like this

Here is the difference side by side

And honestly, we have not had a problem with static cling since!

Also, I reuse my aluminum foil balls too.
When I take out my clothes, I find the foil ball and I toss it on the top of my dryer.
Then next time, I use that.

So there you have it!
Easy peesy...and way cheaper!
Bye bye static cling!!
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Latest Pinterest Finds

Soooo, how many of you have found yourself stuck on Pinterest for WAAAAAY longer than you had planned???
Please tell me I'm not the only one!!

Here are some of our latest fun finds from our beloved Pinterest...

I really think this would be such a fun family activity for extended family get togethers!
Pinned here

Okay, now I can stop throwing away all the dumb plastic hangers that come with childrens clothing.  This is a genius idea!
Pinned here

I stopped using dryer sheets about a year ago, I use balls of aluminum foil instead, but I might need to rethink all the possibilities with a USED dryer sheet!  Blinds!!  I also saw one where you use the dryer sheet to clean your shower doors!!
Pinned here


I love this idea.  My kids bring me so many picutres/school work and I just can't keep it all.  Now I can save them and display them but not have all the clutter.
Found here
I want this headboard.  She made it from an old door and added crown molding.  And the color is gorgeous.
Found here

My cookie sheets totally look like the right side of the pan.  So gross but I am going to try this trick so my pans can look better. 
Found here

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to Clean Your Fake Plants

Don't you hate how dusty fake plants get?  And then they are such a pain to dust.  Well tonight I learned a fun little trick from my fabulous mother in law. 

She was over decorating my house (you read that right...I laid out all my decor and she decorated) and she saw my ultra dusty plants (to my defense they had been in storage for 5 months...ok lets be honest they would have been dusty regardless).  She asked for a bottle of hair spray.  I looked at her and asked why she wanted hairspray.  She said that when she worked at a store years ago she noticed that the ingredients in those silk cleaners were the same as hairspray, but hairspray was much, much cheaper. 

So here's how you clean those pesky fake plants. 

First you need an ultra dusty plant.  This picture does the plant no justice.  Just trust me when I say that it was really dusty. 

Now you take your dusty plant and take your cheap hairspray (I had Suave on hand:) and spray it all over the plant.  Be sure to flip your plant over so you can get every side of the leaves.  Then you will take your plant (after spraying it all over) and give it a good shake.  And WAH-LA...a nice, shiny plant.

As you can see from the picture above the difference it made is AH MAZING.  Not only is my plant green, but it's nice and shiny. 
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Scary Sketch Game

I loved this little drawing game as a kid...and my kids still like it now. For lack of a name for it, I've decided to call it the Scary Sketch Game.

What you do is fold paper (however many people are doing it) into thirds. Make lines that go through the folds (as pictured—these are the neck and hip lines).
1. The first person draws a head (human, monster, animal, alien...whatever) and connects it to neck lines.
2. Then they fold it and hand it to the next person so that the head isn't visible.
3. The second person will draw a body connected to neck and hip lines. It can be whatever their imagination comes up with.
4. Then they fold their paper so that only the bottom section shows and hand it off.
5. The last person draws the legs.
It’s quite a simple game. When you’re done, the last person unfolds their paper and a monster of some sort is unveiled. We set all the drawings down so we can see them all, and it is a blast! Lately, we’ve used these to write letters on the backside and send to grandparents or my college daughter (they not only get a letter, but a weird drawing as well). Try it out. The game only takes about 5 minutes and is SO FUN! And best of all…it’s FREE!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Cute and inexpensive Halloween Costumes...

Growing up we loved to dig through the boxes and boxes of Halloween costumes that my mom had. We would rummage through the boxes and mix and match different pieces to make the perfect costumes. Sadly, the last time I (Tenille) really wore a costume was when I was 12.  Wait . . . I did dress up one year in college as Christina Aguilera and we went trick or treating to the college President's house (who later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles...seriously how many of you can say you trick or treated at a future apostle's house?)

So the point is, I am not one to get all excited about Halloween. It's a fun holiday, but not a favorite of mine. And dressing up in costume is not my thing.  So when my husband and I were invited to a Halloween dress up party, I began to stress over what we could wear. I didn't want to spend money on costumes that I knew would only get worn for about 2 hours. And of course is it me or do most of the 'adult' costumes now a days look more like strip club outfits? Anyway I digress.  I wanted a fun costume that wasn't expensive. Well it just so happened that this was around the time that the whole polygamist raids were going on. (Some of my sisters and I just might have a slight obsession with polygamists) Well it dawned on me that we could go as a polygamist couple and just scrap together stuff we had. So I present to you my all time favorite costume.....

My husbands outfit was simple. We took a simple white church shirt, jeans and black church shoes. As you can see from the picture he simply buttoned the shirt clear up to his neck, tucked it in and parted his hair. DONE.

For my outfit a little more preparation was required, but not much. I went to Walmart and found this silk shirt on clearance for $3. I then had an old jean skirt (not sure why I still had it but I did:) and an old pair of hiking shoes (seriously those shoes were at least 15 years old....still trying to figure out why I had them and the skirt...thankfully I did though). Anyway, I then did the classic Utah Poof (those from Utah or nearby know what I am talking about) and then had my neighbor french braid my hair.
Overall it was a simple, cheap and fun costume. Plus a great conversation outfit. No one expected that costume. I would call it edgy:)

And here are a couple old school pics from when we were growing up...
Haha...see you can dress up with ANY budget!!

Andrea circa 1984 maybe - she always had to be creative and unique with her 
costumes - thus an ear of corn?!

All 6 of us "Junk in Their Trunk" sisters are in this one from circa 1983.

Tiff, what were you in this picture??? =)

The youngest 3

The reason my costume is so classic in this pic is because I dressed up as Heidi from the Alps...and my name is Heidi! Haha, I don't know why but I thought that was sooo cool when I was a kid!

Tenille & Liesl

Are we noticing a trend with the gypsy costume??
You see, growing up we were definitely not rich.  But my mother was a creative lady and was genius when it came to finding unique and fun Halloween costumes for us.  The gypsy costume was everyones favorite and I believe we all took a turn being the gypsy at some point in our lives!
The earrings were our favorite and they were basically just the rings from a mason jar with yarn tied around our ears!

This is from 2002 - obviously Lord of the Rings was very popular that year.  Tiffany's little one was the 
perfect size for a hobbit and it worked out perfect that our adult friend was Gandalf.  
Plus two of Charissa's kids were dressed up in that theme as well!  No store bought costumes at all - and that
always results in way cuter costumes (for a WAY cheaper price).

And these last two are from college days...hopefully they give you a fun laugh to start your weekend!
Liesl & Venus & Serena
And Liesl & her friend Siegrfried & Roy (all the Vegas locals should appreciate this one!)


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Bites....

Today I am sharing a super easy and fun Halloween treat.  I don't know about you guys but I AB.SO.LUTE.LY love caramel apples.  I kind of have a thing for caramel.  Anyways I hate how messy and how hard it is to eat those Heavenly treats.  And don't get me started on kids and caramel apples.  KIDS+CARMEL APPLES= HUGE MESS. 

Well today we show you a fun and mess free way to have those delish caramel apples.  They are called 'Apple Bites'

They are so easy to make and can be customized to meet everyone's likes.  

Here is a list of items you need to make these cute 'Apple Bites'

-3 granny smith apples
-lemon juice
-butterscotch chips (butterscotch adheres better to the apples since they don't have skin on them anymore.  Carmel will slide off easier and just doesn't stick well.  Carmel can be used but they just don't look as pretty and will be lots messier to make.)
-various toppings: peanuts, toffee, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, coconut, white chocolate chips, m&m's, graham crackers, oreos, grasshopper cookies, rolos, the possibilities are endless.

Step 1:
I like to first get all my toppings ready.  I put them all into their own individual bowls and chop whatever needs to be chopped ie peanuts, m&m's, etc... (and please don't judge me for my lack of cute, small bowls.  I don't own any so my kids snack bowls will have to do:)

After getting all the toppings ready I next wash and dry my apples.  I then take my melon corer and begin coring the apple.  Before doing this I thought I would need lots of upper body strength to core the apple but surprisingly it's pretty simple.  If you don't have a melon corer you could use a small ice cream scoop or cookie dough scooper.  But the smaller the better.   Continue coring your apple until your apple is filled with holes.  Then give your apple to your kids and let them finish off the rest of the apple. 

Step 3:
After you core your apple be sure to put your apples into a mixture of 1 cup COLD water and 1 TBSP Lemon Juice.  This will make sure your apples don't go brown and yucky.

Step 4:
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. 

Fill a bowl up with butterscotch chips (as much or as little as you want...I did about a 1 cup or 1 1/2  cups) and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir then repeat until chips are all melted.  Be sure to not over heat otherwise the butterscotch will burn. 

 Once your butterscotch is melted remove a few cored apples from water mixture and dry them with a towel so they aren't wet. 

Take a toothpick and insert into the apple then dip them into the melted butterscotch and tap to get excess off.

  Now for the fun part.  Dip your apple bite into whatever topping you want.  You can mix it up or just do one topping.  I found they looked better if I put a little of the topping in a bowl then sprinkled the rest of the topping over it.  And you may need to use your fingers to get the toppings to stick (some work better than others).  
Make sure to let them sit for a while (I put mine in the fridge for 10 minutes).  And the very last step is to enjoy. 

Your kids will love making these and they are so easy to eat and they also make great neighbor treats. 

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