Not Martha

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 ·

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 ·

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 ·

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 ·

links: halloween

Time to get ready for Halloween – Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.

Funny/punny/scary names to put on fake tombstones for Halloween. | Ask Metafilter.

Spider Web Cupcake Wrappers by CupcakeFlair on Etsy. Thanks to Conny for pointing me towards these!

Staircase Silhouette – Creepy Crafts –

Head-Waiter Tray – on

Creepy Candles – on

mental_floss Blog » The Art of the Jack-O-Lantern: More than just a pretty face!.

mental_floss Blog » Do-It-Yourself Molded Pumpkins.

Ultra Modern Livingwares for You and Your Home by soule on Etsy. Zombie dishware!

Invisible Lollipops, on

Savory Pumpkin Puffs – Eerie Edibles – Halloween Central –

Eye-Popping Soup – Eerie Edibles – Halloween Central –

Eyeball Highballs – Halloween Cocktails and Drinks – Halloween Central –

Shrunken Heads in Cider – Halloween Cocktails and Drinks – Halloween Central –

Wool Windings: The Pumpkin Patch. Miniature pumpkin, to knit and then felt.

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

Happy Halloween

I’ve managed to come down with a cold for the best day of the year, and despite sleeping dangerously late into the day I’ve got some links. Cough, sniffle.

Salty Pie-Spiced Pumpkin Seeds at Hogwash

The 7 Types of Pet Costumes at Cute Overload

Kids Halloween Candy Code, via Neatorama

Vampire Cookies at Baking Bites

Melon Brains at Instructables

Bones of the Dead Cookies at Craftzine

Fish/Monster Lampshade at Craftzine

And if you’re similarly sick and stuck inside, some reading. These are free zombie novels by David Wellington written in blog format. Scott read these as they were released and enjoyed them. Also, the column width is perfect for reading on an iPhone. If you prefer paper all the books have been published. Start here with Monster Island.

· comments [7] · 10-31-2008 · categories:halloween ·

links: Halloween

Yes We Carve, Barack O’ Lanterns

savory pumpkin puffs at Martha Stewart Online, I have a large pumpkin shaped cookie cutter and I’m looking forward to making these soon

chocolate covered witch hats at Baking Bites

best dog costume, at The Stranger

pumpkin farms in Seattle, go forth and get lost in a corn maze

how to roast a pumpkin at Food Chronicles

at Neatorama:

Zombie Wall Decals!!

24 Tales of Ghost Towns and Abandoned Cities

The Outbreak — An Interactive Zombie Movie

· comments [3] · 10-28-2008 · categories:halloween ·

links: Halloween

Mighty Haus Halloween Decor Guide and Mighty Goods A Handmade Halloween, in particular the knitted zombie hat

Martha Stewart Crafts Paper-Mache Treat Balls Kit

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories a dark detecting circuit for your jack-o’-lantern and a round up of halloween projects

The books Extreme Pumpkins and Extreme Pumpkins II from the Extreme Pumpkins site

Defective Yeti’s Halloween Gaming Guide

Craftzine has a bunch of good stuff, some that has caught my eye: Make a Gilded Lace Crown, Fishbowl Pumpkin, Halloween Cocktails, Spooky Tree Face Pattern, and the Knit Monster Head

And because I am a fan of Kevin Smith, a simple costume idea for the very bold: Zach and Miri masks (note: Not Safe For Work, or kids, you can spot some bits of bits).

· comments [5] · 10-21-2008 · categories:halloween ·

savory and sweet Autumn leaf pies

Last week I saw these Aut-yum Leaves cookies in FamilyFun magazine:

They rang a distant tinny bell in the back of my head that meant I’d seen something similar before and I found these in the Martha Stewart Living Halloween book, Savory Autumn Leaf Pies:

In searching I also found these Savory Autumn Leaf Pies that are in the Vegan Lunch Box book:

It was suddenly imperative that I make some stuffed Autumn leaves myself so I headed to Cookies in Ballard, a store specializing in cookies cutters, sanding sugars and baking supplies. They had three different 5″ maple leaf cookie cutters for me to choose from, as well as the Fox Run set of 5. Gosh I love Cookies. That night I made Autumn Leaf cookies stuffed with a cinnamon sugar mixture:

And on Sunday I made the Martha Stewart Savory Autumn Leaf Pies, they were served next to a bowl of potato leek soup. It was the perfect meal after a day spent lost in a corn maze:

These are absolutely perfect served along side a bowl of soup. I have a feeling a lot more Autumn leaf shaped dough will be consumed in this house in the upcoming months. You can find a very similar recipe for Autumn Leaf Pies at The Pepper Mill, it’s slightly changed from the recipe in the book. I’ll post the original recipe here when I have the chance to type it out.

· comments [42] · 10-20-2008 · categories:food · halloween ·

Happy Halloween

Last week I spent a lot of time making bread.

I was trying to make a Jack-o-Lantern Loaf by carving a face in the top just before baking. It never quite worked so I gave up on the idea for the time being, but it served as a fantastic crash course in bread baking.

The main problem was that when the dough was too wet I ended up with a smiley face, and when I made the dough stiffer it wouldn’t allow itself to be formed into a ball and the one face that did turn out ended up on a loaf that had propped itself up (like a laptop opening, or, you know, a book, those paper thingies).

I chose the recipe for Nigel Slater’s “A Really Good and Very Easy White Loaf” from this post at The Amateur Gourmet. There is nothing like a little taunting to get me to move into action in just under a year. The loaf turns out adorably rounded, and the very first comment says it resembles a pumpkin, which must have stuck with me until now because it was the first recipe I thought of when I decided to make jack-o-lantern bread.

The recipe as is calls for eight cups of flour which makes a very impressively sized loaf that would be perfect to casually display when you expect guests to come around. But, halving the recipe makes a loaf that is plenty big enough for two people. I suggest cutting it while it’s still warm inside and melt Halloween chocolate between slices, it is so good that way. Also, it’s the perfect vehicle for pumpkin butter.

I also decided to make an early Halloween dinner and made the Prosciutto version of an Awful Edible Flesh Worm.

I included sauteed kale as Swamp Greens and mashed cauliflower as Maggot Mash. (Cut cauliflower into pieces which you steam the crap out of, mash in a bowl and add a little butter and a little half-n-half, salt and pepper, surprisingly delicious.) Too bad it wasn’t a Farmers Market Wednesday, I was really hoping to find purple cauliflower so I could call it Gray Matter!

· comments [15] · 10-31-2007 · categories:food · halloween ·

links: halloween

Awful Edible Fleshworms at I Make Projects. These are Prosciutto or bacon wrapped pork tenderloins which sound quite delicious but look so revolting.

Also at I Make Projects, How To Make a Charred Corpse (oh my god do not look at that!!).

DIY costume wings roundup at Bleu Arts.

Excellent Vampire Cupcakes at Baking Bites

Leftovers that didn’t make it into the Extreme Pumpkins book.

A town in Novia Scotia races boats carved from giant pumpkins at Chow.

Make your own Halloween candy bars at Chow. Just don’t try to give them to trick or treaters.

Yum, Spicy Pumpkorn at Cool Hunting.

Halloween themed games to download at Casual Gameplay.

The Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories dressed up as A Traveling Exhibition of Modern Art for Halloween.

LJC made a charming little Bat Tree

The Cupcake Queen’s cupcake graveyard, I really like the ones with eyes.

Bleu Arts is selling a fleece Leia Wig.

and things found via Craft:

hooded cape pattern

Halloween garland download from My Paper Crane

Halloween Bento

how to make a Magic Mirror

spiky candycorn pumpkin

monster finger chapstick cozy

· comments [7] · 10-29-2007 · categories:halloween ·

spider cakes

Last year I had a lot of fun making the creepy crawly cakes so I decided to try a few again this year. This time I pulled out my Betty Crocker mini bake and fill pans and bought a box of chocolate cake mix and some Pocky. I made whipped cream (vanilla pudding would work too) and raspberry coulis (I left the seeds in) for spider guts. I also made some cupcakes to fill, tested one using a bakery bought cupcake and did a frosting variation, the Pocky legs can take an awfully long time. Pocky leg instruction can be found mid-page here.

the dome cakes:

I found the filling stayed in fine without any icing glue, but I do think this would have looked great with a chocolate glaze poured over it.

I love love love the many sugar eyes.

the filled cupcakes:

the bakery cupcakes:

This is a Triple Chocolate from Trophy Cupcakes here in Seattle. If you don’t have time to bake but think Pocky legs are doable, I think this turned out fantastic.

the non-pocky dome cake:

I used a milk chocolate fudge icing from a can – I figured the fudge icing would be a little stiffer. I like this effect a lot. Again I would have loved to have glazed these with chocolate, a shiny spider body would be so dramatic here.

Last year I tried pretty hard to make molten chocolate spider cakes but didn’t figure out quite how to pull it off. So, if you can imagine cutting through the side of this one and having the warm center come oozing out, that would be my ideal chocolate spider cake dessert.

the non-pocky cupcake:

I did this will a full sized cupcake and one I cut in half doing the Seinfeld muffin top thing. I like the way the short cupcake looks but it would make for a rather skimpy dessert. I would use a smaller dome pan or egg-shaped pan next time.

I linked to this last year but it’s worth a second time – Hannah made a giant spider cake using the large Bake and Fill pan and Peppridge Farm Pirouette cookies to make the legs. I totally adore it.

p.s. Oh lookit! My crawly cakes from last year were featured on yesterday.

· comments [104] · 10-26-2007 · categories:food · halloween ·