Not Martha

links: halloween

Garlic Cupcakes to Keep You Safe From Vampires This Halloween ~ Cupcake Project.

What are some essential horror films for a movie marathon? | Ask Metafilter.

Make me deathly pale! | Ask Metafilter.

RECIPE: Breadstick Bones on Flickr. Cute idea for something savory to serve.

Halloween Food – Meat Head 2 on Flickr. I’m not sure if this is made by the same person but the meat head is one of the things I linked to way, way back in 2001.

earwax on a swab on Flickr. I could not eat this, but I like this idea.

Easy & Expert Recipes For Halloween Fingers | YumSugar. I love the way these are curled around a cup.

Note to self: buy Matthew Mead’s Halloween books Halloween Tricks and Treats and Monster Book of Halloween.

Blood and Bones at Joy the Baker. Red hot chocolate and meringue bones!

Ghostly Eggs at Serious Eats. These are so darn cute.

How to make fake blood, at Wired.

This melting head cake is astounding. The whole thing is edible, with cake brains, a royal icing skull, edible eyeballs that popped open and oozed, a layer of red jam covered by frosting skin and topped with cotton candy hair. It was set under a heat lamp and allowed to melt in the most dramatic and incredible way. You must read to the bottom to see the melting pictures, I insist, go go. Bravo!

Zombie jello mold at Geekologie.

Bloody Tooth Cocktail at Martha Stewart, another one to make using black vodka.

Three shrimp cocktail brains: one, two, three.

· comments [8] · 10-30-2009 · categories:halloween · links ·

Halloween ice for cocktails

This Halloween we are headed to spend a night with friends handing out candy to trick or treaters and playing board games (Zombie Fluxx and Betrayal at House on the Hill!). I’ve bought a bottle of Blavod, which you might know as the black vodka that Martha Stewart used to make Halloween drinks a couple of years back. I gathered a few options for making spooky ice.

eyeball ice from Target

First I found these gummy eyeballs at Target. They come in their own ice tray, you just add water and freeze.

denture shaped ice mold

I went to a Halloween store hoping to find white plastic fangs to embed in ice. Instead I found these teeth molds, called Frozen Smiles made by Fred. I think I like them even more.

small plastic skeletons

I also found these plastic skeleton pieces which are small enough to fit into my ice ball mold from Muji. note: You should not ever put something small into ice that is intended to be put in a drink. Especially not if there are children present. Or drunk adults.

I layered it in the ice of the sphere, making several trips in and out of the freezer. Here is my trial ice sphere floating in a glass of water:

plastic skeleton in an ice ball

I’ve seen these same plastic skeletons used to decorate cupakes, here and here on Flickr.

eyeball cocktail garnishes from Martha Stewart
(image from

And I intend to try out this eery Lychee eyeball garnish and see if I can freeze it inside of an ice ball. There is another Lychee eyeball at Martha Stewart along with a grape eyeball and this savory option of using radishes and olives. Yikes.

· comments [10] · 10-29-2009 · categories:halloween ·

two things you might be interested in

There are two things you might be interested in that have upcoming deadlines:

The Altitude Design Summit, a conference geared towards design bloggers. It’s being held in Salt Lake City during Sundace and includes a day spent skiing. Sounds fabulous right? If you sign up before Oct. 31st your registration price is $100 cheaper.

If you want to learn to screenprint keep an eye on the itinerant Sparka Screenprinting Workshops. There is a class here in Seattle this weekend at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. It looks like an amazingly complete lesson, well worth checking out. It’s also be in a bunch of west coast cities.

· comments [2] · 10-29-2009 · categories:events ·

links: halloween

Adam’s Spooky Candy Apples | These are stunning!

apple cider doughnuts | smitten kitchen.

I’m going as the sky. What is a good complimentary costume for my friend? | Ask Metafilter. My favorite suggestion was someone who says “scuse me” and kisses you a lot.

The Son of Man Halloween Costume on Flickr. From the Ask Metafilter thread above.

The Periodic Elements of Style: Hallowe’Etsy!.

Door Sixteen » Etsy wants.. The things from Mudpuppy are creepy.

bat boy lantern lit on Flickr. This is from she who is behind Suspect and Fugitive and Year of Deer, which I love-love.

Poison Labels on Flickr. Via this fabulous use of them by My Paper Crane.

Outside our chamber door on Flickr. I love how simple and effective this decoration is.

Bloody Brain Pannacotta @Not Quite Nigella.

“Bloody Brain Shooters” – Neatorama.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds at Simply Recipes. Really good advice on what type of pumpkins to use and how to cook the shell-on seeds for the best possible results. Lovely.

· comments [8] · 10-28-2009 · categories:halloween · links ·

Meat Hand

I made something gruesome and delicious.

No, really, it was good.

This is meatloaf.

Meatloaf with cheese on top.

And some ketchup.

The nails are made of onion.

The wrist bones are onion too.

Where are you going?

This is how I made it:

Since August I’ve had a post it note over my desk that simply said “meat hand”. I mulled over how to make it for a while. I realized that the old formed inside a plastic glove thing wouldn’t work since the fingers would cook so much faster than the rest of the hand. It wasn’t until I saw this hand gelatin mold that I had my plan:

I shot several angles to show how it has a base built in, meaning I could probably use it to mold meatloaf.

I made the basic meatloaf recipe from How to Cook Everything using a food processor to chop the onions and carrot to a very fine mince so I could fill in the details of the mold without trouble. One meatloaf recipe using 2 pounds of meat will make two hands.

I sprayed the inside of the mold with cooking oil spray and it came out fairly easily. I put it on top of a rack to allow the fat to run off as it cooked.

I did a few versions, learning as I went along.

Version #1

The first one was straight meatloaf. I surrounded it with mashed potatoes and kale (or brain matter and swamp greens if you have kids, or just act like kids). It looked ok, sort of creepy:

Version #2

The next time I tried adding fingernails made of onion, which were just like press on nails:

To make the fingernails I sliced a thin round off of a single layer of an onion, then used kitchen scissors to trim it into a nail shape keeping the lines in the onion running the length of the nail. I kept the thinnest end of the onion slice at the tip of the nail. (Shown here using a red onion as it’s easier to see details.)

I also covered it with ketchup before cooking:

It turned out gross:

This time to better define the fingers I piped mashed potatoes around the hand to define the shape. I just used a ziploc bag with a small corner snipped off to do the detail inbetween fingers, then I snipped off a larger corner to pipe around the hand. I smoothed down the mashed potatoes with a silicone spatula. The results where pretty creepy.

Version #3

The ketchup covered hand made me pretty happy but… I had this idea. My mom used to throw a slice of cheese on top of her meatloaf before cooking it and the cheese always turned out browned and crispy. I wondered how that would work with my relatively delicate hand. I also had the idea to use the smaller inner layers of the onion to create a cartoon-y wrist bone sticking out.

I made two versions. The first used white onion and was simply covered in cheese. The second used red onion and was covered with ketchup and then cheese. I used slices of provolone cheese because I knew it wouldn’t slide off completely as it melted. (Maggi suggested it, thanks Maggi!) This time I used the version of meatloaf with spinach, again from How to Cook Everything. Here are some pre-cooked pictures:

I peeled an onion until I got to the smaller inner layers and simply pressed it into the wrist:

I trimmed the cheese to fit around the fingernails:

If I were to do it again I would have put less cheese around the fingers, or rather, I would have put narrower pieces. The cheese pooled inbetween the fingers and made it more difficult to diguise later on.

This cheese thing, it worked a bit too well. We couldn’t bring ourselves to actually eat either of them (though, we had been eating a lot of meatloaf lately). Here is a picture showing them side by side. They were cooked at the same time and the one with the ketchup beneath the cheese (white fingernails) browned a bit more. You can also see that piping the detail more carefully can make a difference:

The wrist bone of the white onion was pushed out a bit as the meatloaf cooked:

The smaller onion piece of the red onion write bone wasn’t as impressive:

The red onion fingernails were creepier, but the white onion fingernails might get the point across more quickly:

Here is a cute pumpkin pancake chaser:

Just in case you need it.

Halloween pancakes from

· comments [517] · 10-27-2009 · categories:food · halloween ·

Orange Pumpkin Pancakes with Black Cinnamon Syrup and Spiders

Halloween pancakes from

These are light and fluffy pumpkin pancakes made extra orange with food coloring and decorated for Halloween breakfast using cinnamon syrup that has been colored a dark black. I’m a bit obsessed with piping spiders onto things. Spiders scare the bejeezus out of me so it’s not surprising I turn to them at Halloween.

Halloween pancakes from

The pancakes are delicious, I can say this since it isn’t my recipe. The recipe comes from Noble Pig, whom I’d like to thank for being bold enough to put a whole stick of butter into the batter. They need to cook a little longer than my usual pancakes and I found they needed a slightly lower heat than I’d normally use or they’d burn before the proper amount of bubbles came to the surface.

Halloween pancakes from

I added twice the cinnamon to the syrup and cooked it a little longer to make sure it would be thick enough to pipe. When I took it off the heat my syrup read 213 degrees, just barely over boiling.

Halloween pancakes from

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup

(Recipe from Noble, with a few small changes by Not

Very Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • orange food coloring gel

In a large bowl, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with a fork. Add milk, pumpkin puree and vanilla; mix well. Add melted butter. If the butter is hot, add it slowly or you will cook your egg yolk. Add a bit of the orange food coloring to the wet mixture at this point. Add more until it’s about as orange as you can stand. Stir this mixture into dry ingredients, just until combined.

In another bowl, beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg white into batter.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly with vegetable oil. For each pancake, spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges look dry. Turn over and cook until golden brown. The pancakes are delicate so stick to making small or medium sized pancakes, I put cracks in a few larger ones trying to flip them over.

Black Cinnamon Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • black food coloring gel

In a saucepan combine white sugar, brown sugar, all-purpose flour and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients together. Add vanilla extract and water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Be really careful while boiling sugar, keep a bowl of ice water nearby just in case. As it heats squirt in a little of the black food coloring and mix in, add more until it’s as dark as can be (it doesn’t take much). Allow to boil for a few moments until the mixture has noticeably thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to put into a squirt bottle (of the ketchup style). You can make it the night before and warm it by dipping the squeeze bottle in a bowl of warm water. You might also have your pancake eaters create their own designs.

Decorate the pancakes with the syrup. By all means decorate the plate with extra syrup. I find spiders, spider webs and bats work out well. Serve with sausages, sausages are creepy looking enough on their own.

Halloween pancakes from

Here are some of the designs I tried that didn’t quite work as I’d envisioned, a few details, and my first trials. What I’m not showing you is the two small pancakes I meant to look like a pair of eyeballs but ended up looking like a pair of something else, if you know what I mean.

Halloween pancakes from Halloween pancakes from
Halloween pancakes from Halloween pancakes from
Halloween pancakes from Halloween pancakes from
Halloween pancakes from Halloween pancakes from

Happy Halloween!

Halloween pancakes from

note: This post was originally part of a Halloween foods round-up called Trick-Or-Eat, the graphics for this have been moved from the top of the post to the bottom, right here:

Trick-Or-TrEAT,, spooky cave

Welcome to Not Martha’s Trick-Or-Eat post. Today, nine favorite food, craft & lifestyle bloggers await behind nine haunted houses with an array of holiday treats created just for you. At the end of this post, you will find two of these mystery houses. To join in the holiday fun, simply click on one of the buttons and you’ll be linked to the next home on the block. You can also discover all of the Trick-Or-TrEAT contributors and find direct links to their posts at Trick-Or-TrEAT. Happy Halloweening!

Whooo’s Next? To see what other Trick-Or-TrEAT hosts have cooked up for your viewing pleasure, click on one of the haunted homes below:

· comments [49] · 10-26-2009 · categories:food · halloween ·

links: technology

Photojojo – The White Balance Lens Cap at The Photojojo Store. Allows you to adjust your white balance with something you’ll keep on your camera anyhow, very handy.

Derek Powazek – Spammers, Evildoers, and Opportunists. Via a whole lot of people from all over the web.

Keeping Point-and-Click Adventures Alive – Boing Boing.

· comments [2] · 10-23-2009 · categories:links · technology ·

Trick-Or-TrEAT coming on Monday

On Monday, October 26th I’m participating in Trick-Or-TrEAT event where nine bloggers will be posting something Halloween-y and linking to the next person in the list. It’s like an oldey timey webring (are those still around?), or a blog block party. I’m flattered to be in the company of Tartelette, Recipe Girl, Closet Cooking, Dinner With Julie, Sophistimom, Heather Bailey, Kitchen Scraps, and Tongue-N-Cheeky. It’s gonna be good so be sure to come see what everybody has prepared on Monday.

· comments [0] · 10-22-2009 · categories:halloween ·

links: misc

mental_floss Blog » The New Shapes of Garden Produce. How to grow your own specialty shaped garden produce.

Rage Against the Elliptical Machine | Ask Metafilter. A question about why the calories burned on elliptical machines are always suspiciously high.

Effective treatments for SAD? | Ask Metafilter.

I’ve been hiccuping for more than 24 hours. Help! | Ask Metafilter.

Arts, Briefly – ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’ Sequel Lands in Britain –

shopping losts. A site that turns lost grocery lists into typographic images, via swiss miss.

The 10 cunning ways public radio stations convince you to give them money. – By June Thomas – Slate Magazine.

· comments [5] · 10-22-2009 · categories:links · misc ·

more Halloween items at Etsy

This week I had the pleasure to be the Guest Curator over at Etsy. The timing worked out well because I got to pick out Halloween items. People, there was so much great Halloween stuff that I wanted to include but I was limited to a reasonable number of items (they asked for 12 and I gave them 22). So, here is the rest of the stuff I bookmarked, take a deep breath:

Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds

And here are the items that were featured in my Guest Curator post, kept here as well for the purposes of posterity, and because they’re lovely:

Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
Etsy Halloween finds Etsy Halloween finds
  • Handsoap set, creepy in it’s multitude.
  • Undead We t-shirt, if you’re stuck in line you can pass the time naming all the characters.
  • Gothic Halloween download, everything you need for party decorations. Would be great for a last minute Let’s Have A Party moment.
  • Vintage party tray, so great, so orange.
  • Spider temporary tattoos, so creepy when placed on the neck. Or the back of a shoulder, or on your leg just below the hem of a skirt. Shudder.
  • Pumpkin Pie truffles, I love the pleasingly plump shape of these.
  • Sexy Bats nylons, these look all sold out but I love them and hope they bring them back next year.

If you want more check out Etsy’s ever-updating Halloween guides to Costumes, Gifts, Trends and Tricks, Treats and Parties.

· comments [11] · 10-21-2009 · categories:halloween · shopping ·

I’m the Halloween guest curator on Etsy

I had the pleasure of being asked to be a guest curator over at Etsy this week, and I was so happy to get to pick out Halloween items. Thanks so much to the people over at Etsy! (There was so much stuff I loved I’ll be posting more things I found here later on today.)

· comments [3] · 10-21-2009 · categories:halloween ·

Simple Lasagna Pan from the Baker’s Edge people

Bakers Edge Simple Lasagna Pan

Remember the Baker’s Edge brownie pan? They have recently come out with a similar pan sized for lasagna noodles, it’s called the Simple Lasagna Pan. They sent me one* and I’m very happy with it. I’ve made two lasagnas, the first was a recipe of Scott’s mom which we, um, ate it before I could get a good picture. The one shown below is from a recipe that comes with the pan and can be found on the Baker’s Edge website, the Quick and Delicious Lasagna (note: that links is to a PDF). It calls for using dry noodles and I like the texture of them when it’s cooked. All their recipes can be found here. I’m hoping to find time to make the Ultimate Lasagna soon (note: PDF again).

Bakers Edge Simple Lasagna Pan

The pan makes it so easy to remove a tidy square of lasagna to serve, and made portioning it out to freeze blissfully non-frustrating. Nothing stuck to the pan and it was very easy to clean. You can buy them on the Baker’s Edge website as well as at Amazon.

I took a picture of it with the brownie pan to show the difference in sizes:

Bakers Edge Simple Lasagna Pan

(p.s. I do know about the three channel lasagna pan but I like that the Baker’s Edge pan allows the sauce to flow from one side of the pan to the other.)

* (Disclosure: it was free, I did not request it.)

· comments [18] · 10-21-2009 · categories:food ·

apple picking at Jones Creek Farms

apples from Jones Creek Farms

I went apple picking with some friends last weekend, it was fantastic. It was muddy though, so I’m glad I wore boots. Also? The reusable shopping bags were very helpful.

apples from Jones Creek Farms

I heard about Jones Creek Farms from a friend and this past weekend just happened to be their Harvest Festival. They have pick your own apples service August through November, it was a little late for picking this year as it was an early growing season. As a result there was a lot of fruit on the ground, and sometimes hard to find an good apple left on the trees (and no pears left to be found). The farm is welcoming, and you’re encouraged to try a sample of an apple before you pick a whole bunch, as a result we tasted a whole lot of delicious apples. I came home with nine pounds and I hardly think it is enough. I’m already planning to return next year.

apples from Jones Creek Farms

This one is my favorite. It has an almost geometric shape, it’s nice and weighty and has a crisp texture with a bit of tartness. Unforunately I have no idea which variety it is. If you’re in the Seattle area Jones Creek Farms sells at a bunch of farmers markets (the list is at the bottom of the page).

· comments [12] · 10-20-2009 · categories:seattle ·

Grassroots meeting tomorrow – How to self publish

eat shop guides

The Seattle Grassroots Business Association meeting tomorrow is with Kaie Wellman of the guides who will be taking about self publishing. More details here, we’ll be meeting at Vermillion.

· comments [0] · 10-20-2009 · categories:events · seattle ·

links: halloween

Cakespy: Homemade Candy Corn | Serious Eats : Recipes. Made by Jessie of Cakespy!

Halloween Recipes | Mummy Meatloaf Recipe. Wrapped in lasagna noodles, cute.

How to Create a Giant Spider Meatloaf for Halloween. Using breadsticks for legs!

disgusting meatloaf head on Flickr.

Dead Man’s Foot Halloween Meatloaf on Flickr.

Serve Pumpkin Tarte Tatin at your sophisticated Halloween party – Slashfood.

Blogwatch: Cranberry Curd Pavlova | Serious Eats. Ok, this is not a Halloween item, but the picture looks creepy without context and I think it could be an inspiration for something.

Tricked-Out Caramel Apples – CHOW.

Glow-in-the-Dark Gin and Tonic Jelly Recipe by – CHOW.

Halloween Food – Meat Head on Flickr.

Blavod Black Vodka Review | Liquor Snob.

Mad Eye Martini Cocktail Recipe.

mental_floss Blog » Creepy Halloween Party Food. Including my spider cakes, thanks!

· comments [3] · 10-19-2009 · categories:halloween · links ·