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Spooky spirits and tasty treats make Halloween movie night right

Spooky spirits and tasty treats make Halloween movie night right

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Cooking Spooky spirits and tasty treats make Halloween movie night right

Lawns sprout campy tombstones. Skeletons hang out on doorsteps. And, if you drop by the St. Petersburg neighborhood of Old Northeast, aliens invade houses in Steven Spielberg-worthy style. When October hits, we have a nationally approved excuse to overload on candy and let our imaginations go wild. And what better way to do that than with a lineup of themed movies and snacks on Halloween night? Whether you're into horror or heartwarming, these flicks are sure to get you into the jack-o& #039;-lantern spirit - and provide some inspiration for the food and drinks you serve tonight.

HALLOWEENTOWN

What's it about? In Halloweentown (1998), three children discover they are descendants of powerful witches. The first clue: The youngest can summon chocolate chip cookies. The second: Their mysterious grandmother arrives on Halloween night, bag brimming with candy, and announces that the oldest daughter must begin her magical training. When they follow their grandmother home to Halloweentown, a magical world for goblins, ghouls and other supernatural creatures, the children must assume their role in helping defeat a dark presence. It's best enjoyed with a cup of witch's brew and a good sense of humor.

What to eat: This cult classic is as delightfully campy as you'd expect from a '90s Disney movie. It's also filled with plenty of Halloween snack inspiration - from melty chocolate chip cookies to ice cream sundaes dripping with pumpkin syrup. Before viewing, bake yourself chocolate cookies that bear the shape of Halloweentown's iconic jack-o'-lantern. Then whip up your own witch's brew. Unlike the brew in the movie, our recipe is easy to make. You don't have to steal a vampire's fang, the hair of a werewolf or the sweat of a ghost. Feel free to take a shot whenever a cheesy Halloween mask pops on screen.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Jack-O'-Lantern Cookies

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Valrhona

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 extra large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

About 4 tablespoons peanut butter

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a larg e bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to bowl and beat until just combined. Dough should come together; if too crumbly, add 1 teaspoon water. Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half and roll one half out onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of approximately ? inch. Cut out 12 pumpkins using a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter and transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Using a pairing knife, cut jack-o'-lantern faces into half of the cookies. Bake cookies until just dry on top, about 10 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. When completely cooled, spread top of faceless cookies with about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter (more or less depending on how much you like peanut butter). Top with a face cookie to complete sandwiches.

Makes about 18 sandwiches.

Source: Serious Eats

Witch's Brew

1 (6-ounce) package lime gelatin

2 cups boiling water

3 cups chilled pineapple juice

Ice

2 cups chilled vodka, optional

1 (2-liter) bottle chilled lemon-lime soft drink or ginger ale

To begin, pour the gelatin mix into a large bowl. Slowly stir in the boiling water for at least 2 minutes, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice. Let cool to room temperature.

Fill a serving bowl or pitcher with ice.

Carefully pour the drink mixture into the serving vessel. Slowly add the chilled vodka and lemon-lime soda or ginger ale. Stir gently to mix.

Serves 12 to 16.

Source: Food Network

PRACTICAL MAGIC

What's it about? Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, Practical M agic is a 1998 movie based on a novel by Alice Hoffman. Raised by their quirky, magical aunts in a Victorian mansion, Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) come from a long line of witches. But their power comes at a price: Their lovers are cursed to die. Grieving the loss of her husband, Sally swears off magic. But when her sister becomes haunted by an abusive boyfriend-turned-demon, Sally must rekindle her spells to save her family. This Halloween flick packs plenty of charm, mostly thanks to some magical set design and bewitching acting. Initially panned by critics, the movie became a cult classic and has recently received praise for its depiction of female empowerment.

What to eat: Witches exist on chocolate goodies. At least, that's what Practical Magic tells us. As two eccentric witches introduce their nieces to a rambling mansion of magic, they announce: "In this house, we eat cake for breakfast." (Sometimes, it 's actually a brownie.) Despite the rejection of their small town - everyone suspects they fly around on brooms - their lives look pretty cool. Where else do you get to eat chocolate cupcakes right before bed, or chant spells over your midnight margaritas? The cozy, witchy spaces and nostalgic '90s soundtrack make this movie well worth a Halloween viewing. While you watch, sip on a gingerbread apple cocktail or eat a slice of decadent chocolate cake.

Gingerbread Apple Cocktail

Agave syrup (or honey)

Finely crumbled gingersnap cookies, for rimming the glass

2 ounces Domaine de Canton, a ginger and cognac liqueur

1 ounce vanilla-flavored vodka

2 ½ ounces apple cider

Dash of lemon juice

Orange zest, for garnish (optional)

Spread agave syrup or honey on a plate and dip the rim of a chilled cocktail glass into it to lightly coat the edges. Spread the crumbled cookies on another plate and dip the coated ri m into the crumbs so that they adhere.

Add the next four ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into the prepared glass and add the orange zest on top.

Serves 1.

Source: New York Times

Chocolate Cake

For the cake:

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup sour cream

1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring the pan

1 teaspoon baking powder

For the frosting:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

6 tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or an 8- or 9-inch cake pan.

Cut the chocolate and ½ cup butter into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over them; let stand until melted. Stir in the vanilla and sugar, then whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.

In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and sour cream and whisk into the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the batter, mixing thoroughly.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not too dry. Stir a quarter of the egg whites thoroughly into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, unmold and cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: Place all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth. Spread on the cake while the frosting is still warm.

Serves 12.

Source: New York Times

A QUIET PLACE

What's it about? With a sleek narrative and stellar acting, A Quiet Place (2018) deserves all the critical acclaim it received. Lee (John Krasinksi) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) focus on protecting their children in a world where mysterious monsters have scary-good hearing. Evelyn happens to be pregnant, which causes a lot of tension. If you want to spend the evening on the edge of your seat, watch this.

What to eat: Of all the films in our lineup, this is the scariest. Monsters have been unleashed on Earth, hunting entirely by sound, which means the only way to survive is through silence. Chip bags are left untouched at looted grocery stores: The characters may be hungry, but Lays are life-threatening. To be safe, they dine on fish, served on large leaves to avoid the clatter of plates. Krasinski, who's also the film's director, fully immerses us in this noiseless universe, which makes it practically a silent fi lm. That means you want to be careful what snack you choose: It's not a movie that welcomes chomping. Popcorn is out. Plus, whatever you eat is likely to spill with each jump scene. That's where an easy-to-sip milkshake comes in. Made with vanilla ice cream, cinnamon apples and a crumbly brown sugar and oat topping, it boasts all the flavors of fall.

Cranberry Spice Cocktail

1 orange wedge

13 cranberries

3 (1-inch) pieces crystallized ginger- 2 minced and 1 whole for garnish

2 ounces Aperol

1 ounce Lillet Blanc

4 dashes Cranberry-Anise Bitters or Peychaud's bitters

Ice

4 ounces hard cider

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the orange wedge with 10 cranberries and minced ginger. Add the Aperol, Lillet Blanc, bitters and ice. Shake well. Double-strain the drink into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with the hard cider. Garnish with the 3 remaining cranberries and the slice of ginger skewered on a toothpick.

Makes 1 drink.

Source: Food & Wine

Bloody Candy Apple Milkshake

For the apples:

1 tart apple (Pink Lady or Granny Smith), peeled, cored and chopped

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ tablespoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

? cup water

For the crumble topping:

4 tablespoons butter

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

? cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons oats

For the candy apple drizzle:

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup warm water

2 to 3 drops red food coloring

For the milkshake:

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1 cup whole milk

In a small saucepan, combine apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and water. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the apples have softened, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the filling cool to room tempe rature, about 15 minutes.

While apples are cooling, beat butter and sugars in a stand mixer. Add flour and oats and continue to beat until small crumbs form; set aside.

Then make the "blood" candy drizzle by combining sugar, corn syrup and water in another small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add food coloring.

Add ice cream, milk and cooled apples to a blender and blend until smooth. (Add more or less ice cream until desired consistency is reached.) Divide between two glasses and top with whipped cream, crumble topping and a drizzle of "blood."

Makes 2.

Source: Kailley's Kitchen

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