In Other News...

I'm right smack in the middle of our Holiday/Wedding Travel Marathon (On the agenda: VA-MO-WV-KY-CA-WV-FL-LA-MO-LA in 6 months). That means that we're indulging in alot of fast/frozen food. And cooking, when it happens, has become a bit of a resentment as it's sandwiched between packing, cleaning, and crying into Foxy's sweet, sweet fur as I say goodbye for the 30th road trip. I promise that over Christmas, while I'm cozied up in my apartment with Mr. Luz and Fwaf and not going anywhere, I will post more wintry soups, casseroles, and braised meats than you can even imagine. You'll hate me come March when it's time to diet, I promise.

In the meantime, here are some Food News Headlines from this week with a little BaCon twist.

Critics Say UN Food Summit Wasteful, Ineffective
Quote from the International Committee of Concerned Mothers: “There are starving children in China who would kill for those caucuses”

Food Fight: Sarah Palin Ticks Off Vegetarians and Vegans in her New Book, 'Going Rogue'
Handlers say that now the only people who are not pissed off at the idiocy of Sarah Palin are Rush Limbaugh and...Sarah Palin.

Burger King Franchisees: Management's Ideas 'Ill-conceived'
Franchisees say that new burger promotions vomit cash, cause major headaches, and make future agreements hard to swallow.

And in other Burger King news.....

Whoppers Tame Tigers for 2nd Win
Tigers say they are vegetarians. And pissed off at Sarah

Celebrate Halloween With a Spooky Good Menu!

Yes, I'm lame. I had a huge table full of food at our Halloween shindig, and I took nary a picture. BUT I have a good excuse. There was a keg of really, really good beer (Magic Hat #9) on ice in our backyard. And when the question is: Food blogging or Yummy Beer, well, you can guess which one wins every time.

But I am posting the menu, sans photos, with the recipes I have. I'll solicit the remaining recipes as we go:

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders
Jen K's Famous Empanadas (need recipe)
WJLauren's Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates (need recipe)
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Val's Spiderweb Cupcakes
Jen K's Chocolate Coconut Cookies (need recipe)
Butterscotch & Dark Chocolate Dipped Candy-Coated Pretzels

Celebrate Friends & Fall w/this Halloween Menu:

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders
Have your guests build their own, so you don't have to! Serves approx. 25-30 "sliders"

1 recipe of BBQ Pulled Pork
30 dinner rolls of your choice, sliced like small hamburger buns
1 jar of small, round-cut Pickles, drained
1 Onion, thin sliced
3 Cups creamy coleslaw

Put the pulled pork in a crockpot set on warm with a small serving spoon or tongs. Set the buns, pickles, coleslaw, and onion around the crockpot and let your guests put together their own pulled pork sliders.

Apple Cider Doughnuts from Real Mom Kitchen & A Bowl of Mush
These cakey doughnuts are a huge hit in the Northeast, especially during apple-picking season. The cider is subtle and yummy, and I add a little nutmeg to the cinnamon sugar dusting for some extra zing.

1 Cup apple cider
1 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup of butter (softened)
2 large eggs
1/2 Cup buttermilk
3 1/2 Cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
oil for frying
1 cup cinnamon-sugar (pinch of nutmeg) for coating fried doughnuts

Boil cider until it reduces to 1/4 cup, allow it to cool completely.

Mix 3 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, and mix until blended. Add buttermilk and reduced cider, blend until incorporated. Add flour mixture gradually, until just incorporated. Turn dough out on a well floured board, knead it a few times to make sure ingredients are well-mixed.

Pat or roll into a 1/2 inch thick circle. Using a 3" round cutter (or doughnut cutter), cut as many circles as you can. Cut smaller hole in center. Set aside centers to make doughnut holes, or collect them along with dough around the larger circles, form a ball, flatten to 1/2 inch and repeat the cutting of doughnuts. Heat appox 3 inches of oil in a high-sided pan or dutch oven. When oil is hot, place as many doughnuts/holes as will fit into pan without crowding them. Allow the doughnuts to brown, then turn them over and brown the other side. Remove them from the oil and set them on a paper towel. When all of the doughnuts are fried but still warm, coat them in the cinnamon sugar mixture and serve.

Simple, Spooky Spiderweb Cupcakes
The trick to these cupcakes is in the decorating. Simply make your favorite cupcakes, top with chocolate fudge icing and follow these simple directions for a cool, graphic cupcake design:
  • Fill a re-sealable plastic bag with a couple of heaping spoonfuls of white frosting and snip a tiny hole out of the bottom of one corner.
  • Pipe on three circles of white frosting for each cookie. Start in the middle with the smallest circle and work your way out.
  • Take a toothpick and beginning in the center, drag it lightly through each circle. Repeat all the way around the cookie.

Dark Chocolate & Butterscotch Dipped Candy-Coated Pretzels

I maybe only made these because I was craving butterscotch, but they were fun to make and everyone thought I bought them at a specialty candy store. Get yourself some extra Martha Stewart points and make some for your next party.

1 regular bag of the large pretzel rods
1 small bag of dark chocolate chips
1 small bag of butterscotch chips
Chocolate sprinkles
1 box of Reese's Pieces, crushed-the dustier the better, actually

For chocolate dipped pretzels: Fill a tall pint-sized water glass halfway with chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave for 40 seconds, then stir. Continue microwaving for 20 seconds and stirring until everything is melted. Swirl the pretzel rod in the chocolate, up and down the sides of the glass, until half of the pretzel is coated in a thin layer of chocolate.

Over a separate plate, sprinkle the crushed candies over the chocolate. Prop the finished pretzels in a deep baking dish on the ledge so that only the very bottom of the chocolate-dipped-side touches the baking dish and the undipped side is resting on the ledge. Freeze until firm and serve.

For butterscotch dipped pretzels: Use the same technique as above, but sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles instead of candies. (The butterscotch will be very sweet, so it doesn't need more candy added to it)

A Villain & A Victim: Halloween 2009

Mr. Luz and I hosted our First Annual K Street Halloween Party this weekend, and we had the absolute best time. Last Halloween was our first big night out in D.C. after we moved here, and it's really amazing how different things are one year later. We've found a fun-loving, supportive gaggle of friends, and it was great to get all of them together to mingle and celebrate Halloween.

Mr. Luz and I spent some time and creative energy on our costumes, so I thought I'd post them here. (NOTE: Mr. Luz has a tendency to be somewhat shocking on Halloween--it takes the party to a whole new level, and I love it. That said, his costume may be a bit....shocking.)

Here's what we were going for:
Poison Ivy from Batman and Lady Gaga (pop singer/spectacle extraordinaire. She's fantastic)

Here's where we ended up...10 hours of costume-making and one trip to Michaels later. My cape was awesome, but also inconvenient in a crowded party
Here's where it gets shocking--Lady Gaga at the Video Music Awards and....
....Mr. Luz at the dance club. The resemblance is uncanny, no? I love this man.