The Witch Is In: Halloween Cauldron Cupcakes!

Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes

 With Halloween on the horizon,

 it seemed timely to pull out my cauldron and practice my

 spell making with a batch of Chocolate Cauldron Cupcakes!

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Fitting too since October 18th is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. . .

I’m happy to celebrate any kind of cupcake day!

{insert *cackle* here}

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I like to use a doctored cake mix for quick & easy spelling for cupcakes.

I used a Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix for the cupcakes, substituting buttermilk for the water, 4 eggs instead of 3, and the same amount of oil called for in the mix.

Follow the box directions for mixing and baking, allowing the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

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Twizzlers Chocolate Twists form the handles of the cauldron cupcakes. Bend and insert them in your cupcake, they’re just the right size, no cutting or spelling required! Make sure not to put them too close to the edge of your cupcakes to prevent the cupcake from breaking.

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I tried to insert them after frosting the top, before adding the sprinkles, but I had better more luck placing them prior to frosting to prevent breaking the cupcake. I used the pretzel sticks, aka cauldron stirrers, to help spread the frosting close to the edges of the cupcakes and around the Twizzler/cauldron handles. I found the Chocolate Twizzlers at Target, a short broom ride away.

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This witch likes Pillsbury canned frosting, but if the idea of canned frosting makes your black teeth ache, use your favorite frosting recipe. I used a vanilla frosting tinted with green food coloring for a bubbling cauldron hue.

Little witches will enjoy custom blending their cauldron cupcakes with sprinkles and nonpareils for a fun Halloween activity and treat!

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I hope these cauldron cupcakes make you

Happier than a Witch in a Broom Factory <|: >)

Halloween Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes

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A Quick Beach Getaway

Pawley's Island, SC

We were fortunate to be invited to the beach with friends

for a weekend getaway to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina.

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A beautiful October weekend with temperatures in the 70s – 80s

 for a little fun in the sun and a few walks on the beach.

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Here’s a little South Carolina coastal scenery for your weekend.

Hope you enjoy!

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Butternut-Apple Soup with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

Butternut-Apple Soup with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

Butternut-Apple Soup is a sweet and savory soup,

 ideal for fall with butternut squash and apples in season!

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 I’m serving it up with a side of with

 Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves,

 pie crust leaf “sandwiches” of pecans, cranberries, and cheese!

Butternut-Apple Soup with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

The pie crust leaves are a variation of Cranberry-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves,

with the addition of cheddar cheese to complement the

 flavor of apple in the soup!

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I adapted a recipe for Carrot-Apple Soup in

Southern Living Magazine’s September issue.

In addition to substituting butternut squash for carrot, I made an additional change, using evaporated milk instead of cream called for in the recipe for a lower fat alternative. The butternut and apples are pureed, resulting in a thick and creamy soup with the addition of evaporated milk, without the additional calories or fat.

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You can find the steps and directions to make the

Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves, here.

Cheddar-Pecan-Cranberry Pie Crust Leaves

I added 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

along with 1/2 cup each of pecans and dried cranberries.

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Butternut-Apple Soup, adapted from Southern Living

Ingredients

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed

3 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and chopped (about 1 lb.)

1 large yellow onion

*2 cups cream (substitute 12-oz. can evaporated whole milk and 4 oz. chicken stock for lower fat alternative)

2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock, plus additional stock to thin soup if desired

1 1/4 cups apple cider

3 fresh thyme sprigs

*1 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste

*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste

Garnishes: diced apples, chopped toasted pecans, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, and/ or crispy prosciutto

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Directions

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 to 45 minutes or until butternut squash is tender. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes.

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Remove thyme sprigs. Process soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. For less clean up and no risk of exploding soup, use an immersion blender in Dutch oven, blending until smooth. For a thinner soup, stir in more stock to desired consistency. Spoon into individual bowls, and garnish as desired.

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This soup is even better reheated the second day.

Serve with Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves.

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You can find a printable recipe, here.

And you’re welcome to join me at the table with

Pumpkins, Leaves and Mikasa Autumn Nights here.

Butternut-Apple Soup & Cranberry-Cheddar-Pecan Pie Crust Leaves

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At the Table: Pumpkins and Pfaltzgraff Delaney Dinnerware

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I’m at the table with a celebration of pumpkins and

Pfaltzgraff Delaney Dinnerware!

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 Pfaltzgraff Delaney Dinnerware provides a classic blank canvas for the table,

with ivory embossed bordered plates, ideal for any season or occasion.

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A burlap tablecloth provides a neutral foundation for the table,

topped with a linen runner, and a crewel embroidered pumpkin

providing a seasonal pop of color.

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 An urn provides a pedestal to elevate a Fairytale pumpkin,

along with a medley of smaller pumpkins and gourds for an easy

and casual centerpiece for the table.

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It’s rimmed with a ring of maple leaves, provided by Mother Nature,

and the first leaves to turn with their crimson display of color here.

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Crafted of earthenware, Delaney 12 ounce mugs and creamer and sugar

are ready to serve your Pumpkin Spice Latte!

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And Pfaltzgraff Linden flatware provides a little understated elegance with its

 polished finish and details, in contrast to the nubby texture of the burlap.

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Mikasa French Countryside goblets echo the ribs on the pumpkins with

 their graceful bell shape, complementing the Delaney mugs and dinnerware.

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Delaney footed bowls, a handy 28 ounce size and a 1 3/4 quart vegetable bowl,

are serving up a tiger striped pumpkin.

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Delaney Table Details:

*Dinnerware / Pfaltzgraff Delaney

*Flatware / Pfaltzgraff Linden

*Stemware / Mikasa French Countryside

Chargers / World Market, several years ago

Burlap Tablecloth/ Couleur Nature, Amazon

Pumpkin Embroidered Runner, Bella Lux / HomeGoods

 Napkin Rings / Pottery Barn, several years ago

 Napkins / Kohl’s, several years ago

Urn/ retail days

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Enjoy 20% off one Delaney item through November 9th with the link below:

http://www.pfaltzgraff.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGPFDE201

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Pfaltzgraff Delaney Dinnerware

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Tricks for Your Treats: Tootsie Roll Witch Shoe Cupcake Toppers

Tootsie Roll Witch Shoe Cupcake Toppers

Here’s a little witchy fun and trick for your Halloween treats,

 Tootsie Rolls Witch Shoe Cupcake Toppers!

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I used Tootsie Fruit Rolls, orange and lime, to match the

cupcake liners and coordinate with the stocking leg straws.

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Every witch has to have her accessories. . .

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 It’s all about the shoes!

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The Tootsie Rolls work like a sticky play Play-Doh, also fun for sculpting poinsettias!

I had a bit of learning curve with the shoes since witches need to be airborne. Contrary to popular belief, witch shoes do not defy the laws of gravity :)

I discovered it works best with 1/2 to 2/3 of a Tootsie Roll, rather than a whole Tootsie Roll. Cut your straw and warm the Tootsie Roll in your hands first, placing it on the end of the straw before shaping it.

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Lay your straw on wax paper with the Tootsie Roll on the end and flatten and pinch to shape the end of your witch shoe.

Use a knife to cut a small v-shaped notch out of the Tootsie Roll to form the heel and shape as desired. You can even use a contrasting color to make a witchy shoe buckle.

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I’m thinking they look a little more like elf shoes than witch shoes :)

I found the orange and black straws at World Market and black and white straws at Target.

You can find Halloween straws from Amazon here.

Tootsie Roll Witch Shoes Cupcake Toppers

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Drivers Start Your Engines

Charlotte AutoFair

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500

is this Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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All these empty colorful seats will be filled with

some equally colorful NASCAR fans this Saturday :)

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I tagged along with my hubby to the Charlotte AutoFair

at the Charlotte Motor Speedway a couple of weeks ago.

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While my hubby is a car enthusiast, I’m only vaguely aware of make and model,

but I’m a photography enthusiast and there was lots to see!

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Collector car buyers, restorers, enthusiasts and car clubs

come in the spring and fall to the AutoFair.

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And there’s lots of car love to be found.

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Lots of nostalgia and trips down memory lane. . .

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For some models, fuzzy dice are a required car accessory :)

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And sights you don’t see just everywhere.

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And under the hood is as shiny and bright as the polished exteriors.

autofair

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Fun to spy a vintage Redmon picnic basket

in the back of a De Soto too!

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Are you a car enthusiast or NASCAR fan?

Charlotte AutoFair Fall

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A Bicycle Built For Pumpkins

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I picked up an old bicycle at a favorite antique mall

for the bargain price of three pumpkins. . .

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I brought her home to take a spin around my Potting Shed.

The person selling it, informed me she wasn’t road-ready. . .

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That’s okay by me since she’s pumpkin and vine-ready!

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Her tires are worn. . .

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But plenty sturdy for bittersweet vine. . .

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And while her spokes can’t handle road

 racing, they can handle Indian Corn.

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Her seat and petal, ideal prop a pumpkin. . .

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And basket is sturdy for planting pumpkins and gourds.

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Potting Shed: Pumpkins, Gourds, and Mums!

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We’ve had a little teaser of fall temperatures, just enough inspiration

to harvest some fall color around my Potting Shed!

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So I’m welcoming fall with open arms,

along with pumpkins, gourds and mums!

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Oak leaves frame a bittersweet wreath and

transferware lid hanging in greeting on the door.

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And my window box is liner-free and home for

 a medley of gourds and pumpkins for the season.

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Watering cans are filled with fall grasses and foliage.

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And I’m weighing in on pumpkin love :)

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I hope you’re enjoying a little fall weather where you are!

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Drink Up Witches Halloween Potion and Winners!

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I have a potion brewing for you for Halloween,

guaranteed to help you Eat, Drink & Be Witchy!

Drink Up Witches DIY Cup

I conjured Drink Up Witches Cups, from Pier 1, into witchy stemmed drinking vessels, (easier for long green, crooked fingers to hold :) with the magic of silicone adhesive and a Dollar Tree glass candleholder.

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Park your broom and join me at my Witches’ Potion Table, here.

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Drink Up Witches’ Potion Ingredients:

~1 1/2 ounces of Authentic Wolfsbane, aka Vodka

 ~ 1 1/2 ounces Poison No. 9, aka Ginger Ale

~ 1 1/2 ounces of Vampire Blood, aka Pomegranate Juice

~ Black Cat Arsenic, aka Black Sugar for Rimming

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Adjust the ratio of your potions if you’d like a more lethal cocktail.

Serve over ice, top off with additional Poison No. 9, aka Ginger Ale.

Garnish with a top quality spider bite. . .if you dare.

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You can mix an alcohol free potion for fledgling witches by skipping the

Authentic Wolfsbane, aka Vodka and just adding ginger ale.

Eat, Drink, and Be Witchy Giveaway

The winners of my Eat, Drink, and Be Witchy Giveaway are:

Pattie Tierney:  A Cauldron, a Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron 5-Quart Dutch Oven

Linda Kemp:  Baking Cups, Halloween Decorating or Potion Sprinkles, Cookie Cutters, Potion Stirring Spatulas, and some Eye of Newt, or Candy Eye Treat Toppers

Lynn @ Happier Than a Pig in Mud: Drink Up Witches Cups, Cocktail Napkins & Picks, Straws, Bar Towel, and Labels for your Bubbling Brew

and

Carolyn P : Some additional baking goodies and Halloween Treats!

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Congratulations to the winning witches,

I’ll contact you by email and get your goodies to you!

Thanks to all who entered!

Drink Up Witches Potion & Halloween Cocktail

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Witches’ Potion Table

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I’m calling all witches, there’s a potion brewing for you,

Bubbling with polka-dotted pumpkins and mercury glass too!

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 A dutch oven in cast iron serves as a cauldron for the table,

While plates are dressed for potion-making, with an ingredient label.

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Add the aging blood of the black cat to your witchy brew,

For best results, stir counter-clockwise, not one time, but two.

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Incredibly potent, very small doses of Cyanide you will need,

Unless it’s toxic witches’ potion you’re blending, don’t exceed.

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Frog Syrup is a swampy addition to your witches’ brew and meal,

Beware of imitation toad syrup, use only genuine frog that’s real!

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Add a dash of Eye of Newt and a pinch of Spider Blend,

Under the light of the full moon, your potion you must tend.

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Target, a favorite haunt, is a short broom ride away,

Where I fell head over heels with witchy legs, flying home to play.

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 A witchy spider web was spun for our potion’s tablecloth,

Spelled at HomeGoods, safe for catching our brew’s bubbly froth.

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Drink up Witches Cups were conjured straight from Pier 1,

Add a candlestick from Dollar Tree to elevate the fun!

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Apply silicone adhesive and allow 24 hours to cure,

Gather ribbon and some straws and thirsty witches they will lure!

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Ravens have flown in, perched by the cauldron at the table,

Conjure raven snacks up here, inspired by a Halloween label!

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It’s not too late to Eat, Drink & Be Witchy this Halloween,

Throw your name into the cauldron, here, where your comment will be seen!

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October 3rd is the date, three winners we will choose,

So enter today, don’t delay, you have nothing to lose.

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Witches’ Potion Table Details:

Tablecloth & Chargers / HomeGoods

Flatware & Straws / World Market

Polka-dotted Pumpkins & Witch Legs / Target

Drink Up Witches Cups & Napkin Rings / Pier 1

Potion Ingredient Labels, Ribbon & Ravens / Michaels

Drink Up Witches DIY Cup

Wishing you a Happy Halloween and a little Scary Fun,

 Happy Haunting to All~

Aren’t you glad my rhyming’s done? :)

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