Archives for category: Halloween

Now that the kiddos arrived home with their candy booty. Be brave and take a look through their score. Could you now guess which candy is your state’s favorite? Let us know if the map below is accurate to your first hand observation.

halloween-candy

 

 

 

trump-dog

This dog is leading in the polls – don’t believe it, just ask him.

Halloween Safety Tips For Dogs

1. Avoid chocolate and other candy.  Make sure to keep any candy that you are going to hand out safely hidden from your dog. Notify kids in the house to put their candy bags away. Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs as it contains theobromine, which their bodies cannot properly digest. The darker the chocolate, the worse it can be. Small amounts are typically not lethal, so if he does snag a bite don’t freak out. But also don’t let it happen.

Candy wrappers, tinfoil, and other dangers can be found in candy bags, so keep your dog safe by putting these away.

2. Put your dog in a safe place, either a separate room or his crate, when the trick-or-treaters are coming by. You should not let him be at the door to greet the kids. Costumes, commotion, and loud noises will stress him out and can cause problems ranging from stress to aggression.

3. Don’t leave your dog around kids without supervision. The erratic movements and loud, startling noises can really upset him. Add in a scary costume and you have a formula for disaster.

4. Be careful about placement of electrical cords for decorations. If your puppy or dog chews on these, trouble will follow. Arrange them for safety and use a bitter apple spray on the cord to keep pets at bay.

5. Don’t leave candles unattended. Carved pumpkins look great with a candle burning inside them, but they can be tipped over. They can also be investigated by curious pets which can lead to burns or worse.

6. Make sure that your dog’s costume is the right fit. Don’t put him in a costume that is too small or tight. Also check for loose ends that could be chewed on and swallowed or cause other problems. If your dog hates having the costume on be a friend to him and take the costume off.

7. Watch out when the door is open. If your dog is not secured in another room or in his crate then he might bolt out the door. With all the activity outside it may be even harder to get him back in.

8. Walk your dog before the festivities begin – all those costumes can be scary.

9. If the noise is bothering him, try adding background sounds (radio, TV) to distract him from the neighborhood hubbub.

10. Be careful when out walking your dog after Halloween – loose candy can be found and he may grab a big piece if he sees it before you do.

11. Think twice about taking him out with your family to trick or treat. There’s a lot of costumes and commotion which can put any dog on edge. He might be happier at home.

12. Tell kids the dangers of the treats and to not feed the dog any.

13. Be firm. Don’t let anybody who wants to greet your dog just to be polite. Be willing to say “no thanks” if your dog is feeling anxious or if the other person (perhaps an excited, sugar filled child) is approaching inappropriately.

14. If you take your dog with you, do not take him up to a stranger’s door – the resident dog may not take kindly to that and it could end up being a bummer. Someone should wait at the end of the driveway with the dog.

15. Do not leave your dog outside. There are plenty of rumors that dogs are taunted and teased, that gates are opened, and that candy is tossed in yards. It’s unlikely that lots of kids are running around causing harm to dogs on Halloween night, but the commotion is enough to unnerve your dog and it is conceivable that a youngster might toss a treat toward your dog with the best of intentions but bad results.

It may seem like a lot, but the truth is that Halloween is a fun time for parents and kids and can easily be fun for dogs too. Many dogs enjoy being the center of attention and will tolerate wearing a costume (which we get a huge kick out of!) to do so. Keep an eye out for the dangers of candy, keep your dog secure in your house, and be ready to ward off over excited kids and all will be well. Happy Halloween.

Deviled Eggs, always for Halloween, but this year we’re egging you on to eat spider eggs. Spider eggs are high protein and may be a great way to creep out some friends.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
  • 8 hard-cooked large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning slices as needed, until browned on both sides and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.
2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Don’t you agree this is a super timely recipe for fun?

With the arrival of fall just around  the corner and  Starbucks now serving their Pumpkin Spice Latte, are you ready for the season? This recipe for fun may put you and the kids in the mood. We have found a Pumpkin Latte Playdough for your little ones that just may become a new autumn classic at your house. Dinosaurs and Octopuses has the recipe for fun this week.

Here it is:

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar)
maple extract
vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it mixes you can see if you’ll need more food dye. Adding a little at a time until the desired color is  achieved. Turn out onto wax paper. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

Betsy, you must give this a try for Katherine.

Anyone looking for a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Latte recipe? Give this one from the Kitchn a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin or 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute – you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.)

Directions:
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

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Frozen

It happens every year here in Minnesota, whether you are ready for it or not. SNOW, and lots of it. With ten to twelve inches forecast today, there were the first school closings of the season for some of the northern suburbs.  Luckily, our staff made it safely into work, but the drive was slippery and took twice the time. After thirty years, we have never had a Totally Kids snow closing; however a surprise day off would be welcomed by many.

We are a few days ahead of November 21, the average date for the first measurable amount of the white stuff.  The earliest ever “measurable” snowfall for the Twin Cities was September 24, 1985. Then, there was the Halloween blizzard of 1991 which none of us will ever forget. That infamous storm went on to put 28.4” into the record books. Ross, our customer care manager recalls the bumper crop of Halloween candy he collected that Halloween night. Sounded as if folks triple rewarded his bravery in candy for carrying on the “trick or treating” tradition, right through a blizzard. Way to go Ross!

Welcome winter with some snowflakes from your kitchen.

Tortilla Snowflakes at Totally Kids

                 Snowflake Tortillas 

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Warm the tortillas (about 15 seconds) in the microwave.
  2. Individually fold the tortillas in half once and then in half again, so that you end up with a shape that resembles a wedge of pie (it will be thick). Using clean scissors, cut triangle, circles, or squares out of the edges, as if you were making paper snowflakes. Unfold the tortillas.
  3. Lightly brush the tops of the snowflakes with canola or vegetable oil and place them on a cookie sheet slightly apart.
  4. Bake them until lightly browned and crisp (about 4 minutes). Sift confectioners’ sugar on the snowflakes while warm. For an extra sparkly effect, you can sprinkle on a bit of edible glitter. Makes 6.

Wrap up some mummies then serve them up on a plate. Surprise the kiddos, there’s a hot dog inside. This how to is found at Family Fun.

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Looking for a no brainer and easy Halloween gift? This Mummy has no brain, just unwrap it and you will find Halloween Playdough. Another recipe from the Idea Room.

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Mummified Oreos could be your treat and not much of a trick to make.

Go ask How She Does It, and she will show you how to too.

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Mummy? No silly, it’s a baby, well okay, maybe a baby Mummy.

Babble claims all it takes is roll of gauze plus a cute baby and you’ll have your own baby Mummy.

All you Mummys and Daddys too, have some family fun on Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doll up your kitchen with these witty yet accurate measuring cups.  Inspired by traditional Russian Matryoshkas (wooden nesting dolls) they’re made to measure. Practical, charming, and no surprise, they’re easy to store, one tucks inside the other. Measure for measure, this set includes ¼ cup, ⅓ cup, ½ cup, ⅔ cup, ¾ cup, and 1 cup.

Every year we kick off the Halloween season with a practice run of pumpkin carving. We begin in the kitchen with this favorite recipe. Give it a try, the kiddos will love it!

Stuffed Mini Jack-O’-Lanterns

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cut off the tops of bell peppers and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Save the tops for later!

Use a pencil to draw the faces on the peppers, then use a small serrated knife to carve out the faces.

Brush a little olive oil all over the inside of the pepper and lightly sprinkle them with salt and black pepper. At this point you can choose to bake them in a conventional oven for an hour or until soft.

In the meantime, make the quinoa stuffing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes or until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and saute two more minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for just about 30 seconds.

Add the parsley salt, black pepper, quinoa, and vegetable broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy. If the quinoa is still crunchy you can add more broth and simmer it for a few more minutes.

Stuff, and bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes.

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The Blood Moon yesterday reminded us it is time for some of this tasty bloody Vampire Punch.

Vampire Punch

1 new rubber surgical glove
2 quarts apple juice
2 quarts cranberry juice
2 liters ginger ale

1. Rinse the glove inside and out several times with cold water to make sure it doesn’t have any powder coating. Fill with water and tie the wrist tightly closed with a twist tie. Freeze solid.

2. Mix the juices and ginger ale in a large punch bowl. Cut the glove carefully off the hand and fingers with a sharp scissors and float the molded hand in the punch.

Smile Day at Totally Kids

Happy World Smile Day 2014!

Yes, it is World Smile Day once again, so go ahead and turn that frown upside down.

World Smile Day was created by Harvey Ball of Worcester, Massachusetts, who, in 1963, designed the original smiley face logo. Since 1963 they have taken over. Anybody else now see those little faces almost everywhere, every day of the year? I could not begin to count how many I see daily in email, Facebook and Twitter.

Smiley Face

He thought that we all should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world, regardless of politics, geography and religion.

World Smile Day® is always the first Friday in October each year, people all around the planet perform acts of kindness and help others smile.

Here is a healthy treat from family go that’s sure to put a “smile” on anyone’s face. Even the youngest kiddos can help create these; an excellent cook together.

This week’s Recipe for Fun: False Teeth aka Apple Smiles.

Ingredients

  • smooth peanut butter
  • 1 red apple, cored and sliced into eighths
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Spread peanut butter on one side of each apple slice (squeeze a little lemon juice over the apple if not serving immediately).
  2. Place four miniature marshmallows on one apple slice and then lay another apple slice, peanut butter side down, on top.

Boolicious-Brownie-TreatsWe believe in ghosts.

Boo-licious ghost brownies – recipe from Around My Family Table.

Ghost pretzels

Ghost Pretzels!

This is a great make together for even the youngest children.

Makes 18

8 oz white chocolate melts
18 pretzel sticks
Tube of black icing
Clear plastic pretzel bags

Melt the chocolate, then dip pretzels halfway into the chocolate and gently shake to remove excess. Dry on a rack. Decorate eyes and mouth with black icing. Wait until dry and then package in plastic pretzel bags available at craft or baking stores.

Egg-Ghost

This egg might require a ghostly talent to prepare?

Ghost Cookies

Frightfully easy ghost cookies to make with the kids.  Yes, more of the white chocolate melt, but only 2 other ingredients: Nutter Butter cookies and mini chocolate chips. Fly over to Hands on Learning Fun for the details.

ghost poop

What’s that you say?  “Still don’t believe in no ghosts?” – Here’s the evidence, Ghost Poop.  Can’t Stop Making Things has the tutorial for you.