Storm the Cassoulet

Skeleton Cupcake

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Baby Ghosts Cake

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baby ghosts

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Band Aid Cookies

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band air cookies frostiing

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Peekaboo Pumpkin Pound Cake with Brown Butter Pecan Icing

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Ingredients:

For the pound cake

1 (14-ounce) box pumpkin bread mix

1 (16-ounce) box pound cake mix

Orange food coloring

For the icing

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Method:

Prepare pumpkin bread

Mix up pumpkin bread ingredients according to the directions on the box. Add orange food coloring to make it more “pumpkin-y” looking (less brown).

Bake and cut

Bake in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan according to directions. Remove from oven before completely done, about 8-10 minutes less than instructed. Let cool, remove from pan and refrigerate for up to four hours. Cut cold pumpkin bread into large slices. Cut pumpkin shapes from slices.

Align them down the center of a lightly greased and floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Make pound cake

Mix up your pound cake batter according to the directions on the box. Pour over your pumpkin bread cutouts in the pan, making sure to cover the tops of the pumpkins. You may have more pound cake batter than you need. Try not to overfill the pan. Bake according to the directions on the box. Let cool when done.

Prepare icing

Meanwhile, prepare the brown butter pecan icing.

Put powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, melt butter and boil, stirring until it starts to brown and form dark flecks on the sides and bottom.

Remove from heat. Pour the melted brown butter and flecks over the powdered sugar. Add the evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir until combined and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if it appears too runny or more evaporated milk if it seems too stiff.

Ice cake

Remove baked and cooled pound cake from pan and top with brown butter icing. Add chopped pecans, if desired.

Cut into slices and delight your guests with the pumpkin-shaped surprise that peeks out from inside!

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Gender Reveal Cake

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Scallop Stuffed Pumpkins with Saffron Cream Sauce

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courtesy of Cafe Romanzo

Ingredients:

7 baseball-sized sugar pumpkins
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ pounds fresh sea scallops
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
1 pint spiced rum
8 oz. baby spinach
1 pound diced stale bread, crust removed
Pinch of salt and pepper
Saffron Cream Sauce (see recipe)

Method:

For the pumpkin:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash pumpkins thoroughly and pat dry; coat lightly with some of the olive oil.

Bake pumpkins on a cookie sheet with rack for 30 to 45 minutes or until soft to touch. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel and dice one of the pumpkins. Set aside.

Cut off the top of remaining six pumpkins, 1/3 of the way down the pumpkin with a serrated knife and reserve. Using a serving spoon, scoop the seeds completely out, soak seeds covered completely in cold water.

Use your hands to separate the seeds from the pulp. Once all of the seeds are clean, put in a strainer, and rinse. Pat the seeds dry and place on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, apple pie spice and Cajun seasoning. Mix to coat evenly, and bake in the oven at 425 degrees, mixing occasionally, for 35 to 45 minutes or until toasted.

For the stuffing:

Heat a large skillet or roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat and ¼ cup of olive oil. When oil is hot, add the scallops. Make sure they are patted dry and not wet when putting in the oil.

Cook until brown on one side. Flip over; add butter, brown sugar, reserved pumpkin and cranberries. When the butter is melted, add the rum, spinach, salt and pepper.
After all of the ingredients are incorporated, mix in the bread until the butter mixture is completely absorbed; remove from heat. The stuffing is now ready to be evenly distributed into the six pumpkins.

After the pumpkins are stuffed, replace tops of the pumpkins and put back on sheet tray and heat in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees or until ready to serve.

For the presentation:

On each plate, spoon equal amounts of saffron cream. Sprinkle with toasted seeds and set the pumpkin in the middle. Garnish with chopped spinach if desired.

Tip: 
The recipe could be done several hours in advance and held in the oven at 275 to 300 degrees.

For the Saffron Cream Sauce:

Ingredients:

2 shallots, chopped
2 cups white wine
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (mix of rosemary, thyme, sage, chervil)
1 tablespoon Spanish saffron
2 cups heavy cream Pinch of salt

Method:

In a small saucepan, place the shallots, white wine, peppercorns and herbs. Cook over medium heat, and reduce by a third.

After the wine has cooked down, strain and reserve liquid and discard shallots etc. Add the wine back to the saucepan with saffron and heavy cream and continue to cook until reduced by half, taste to adjust seasonings, and remove from heat.

 

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Squirmy Jelly Worms

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Ingredients:

2 packs (3 oz) Raspberry jello
1 pkg unflavored gelatin (for extra firmness)
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 cups boiling water
15 drops green food coloring
100 flexible straws (or enough to fill your container)
Tall container (1 quart or 1 liter carton of milk)

Method:

Combine gelatin in bowl and add boiling water.

Let it cool to lukewarm and then add the whipping cream and 15 drops green food coloring.

Gather your straws (don’t forget to flex them out) and put them in the container. It’s important that the straws have a tight fit so the jello stays in the straws. For this reason, a 1 liter carton may be better; you will probably get longer worms since there is a tighter fit. If you have a bigger container, a rubber band around the straws is helpful. Or you could just add more straws to fill the container.

Add the gelatin mixture to the straw-filled container and let it set until firm.

There are multiple ways you can remove the worms from the straws. You can roll a rolling pin over the straws and squeeze them out or you can hold the straws over warm water. The worms will slip right out.

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Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

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INGREDIENTS:

½ cup butter
3 oz. box of orange jello
¼ cup of corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
12 cups of plain popcorn

METHOD:

In microwavable bowl, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in a box of orange jello and 1/4 cup of corn syrup. Microwave again until it reaches a full boil (try 1 min. then more if needed). Stir.
Mix in 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Mix in roughly 12 cups popcorn.

Microwave the whole thing for 30 seconds more. You can do more if you prefer it crispy instead of gooey.

Form into balls. Wear plastic bags with a little non-stick spray on them as gloves.

Use tootsie roll minis for the stem. For a green leaf, you can shape starbursts, green apple tootsie rolls, airheads or laffy taffys into a leaf shape. Be sure to press the stem in while the popcorn ball is still warm and pliable.

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