October 30, 2014

It’s been a little quiet around here this week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on something. I’ve been busy pulling together something perfect for the upcoming holiday weekend. We’ve got a collection of 50 Creepy, Clever, and Fun Halloween Recipes over on the Sunday Supper Movement’s website!

50 Creepy Clever and Fun Halloween Recipes
So, if you are looking for some inspiration for Halloween dishes for your parties look no further!

CLICK HERE (or on the photo) to see the roundup, and get cooking!

October 28, 2014

They’re baaaaaaaaack!!!! Our two friends were such a hit in front of our house last year (and on the Internet as well), that Justin and I certainly could not resist setting them up again. So today I am sharing with you our 2014 DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween!

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

Of course, we already had our two skeletons on hand from last year (CLICK HERE to see our previous setup), but as a refresher, we found them at two locations – a lucky score at Ross, and one from Target!

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

We figured since we live in Florida, it would only make sense to take that into consideration with this year’s pose. Justin and I replaced our beach chairs with a new set this summer, and we still had the old ones in the garage. They served as a perfect seat for each of our skeletons. Posing them was a bit easier than last year, as they didn’t need to be standing up like before. We did use some wire (from coat hangers) and fishing line to shape and pose the arms a bit.

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

A bit of rummaging in our house yielded a few extra pairs of sunglasses we don’t wear anymore…and were destined for the garage sale bin. Perfect! We wouldn’t want our skeletons to be blinded by the Florida sun…

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

Our new addition to the lawn skeleton family came in the form of a flock of friends. As soon as we stumbled upon these skeleton flamingos (which I lovingly refer to as “skelemingos”), we had to have them. I love them! Posed next to our large skeleton friends, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

I can’t help but chuckle every time that I walk outside and catch a glimpse of this duo. To me, they look like they’re two best pals having quite the chat! Perhaps I should name them? Hmmm.

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

And my skeleton crew is not alone this year. We had some leftover bones from last year’s setup and we decided to add them to our dying flowerbed (which needs to be replaced/spruced up…but looks great for Halloween purposes, haha!). A skeleton coming out of the ground? Spooky, and easy to set up as well.

DIY striped skull wreath

Of course, my DIY skull wreath from last year had to grace the front door as well! I still love that darn thing! If you’re looking for the instructions, CLICK HERE.

So – how have you decorated your domicile for Halloween this year?

October 27, 2014

Well, it is the start of a new week, and although that sometimes comes with the dragging of heels while returning to work/a busy schedule, I’m here to brighten your Monday a bit with a giveaway! And not just any old giveaway; in honor of American Cheese Month, I’ve got a giveaway for a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card for you to create the cheese tray of your dreams!

American Cheese Month at Whole Foods Market

American Cheese Month spans the month of October, but I don’t know why you have to relegate yourself to eating amazing American made cheese during those four weeks only. Undoubtedly, my favorite aspect of our brand new Whole Foods Market near my house is the cheese section. When I’m shopping, you can almost always be sure to find me visiting that particular counter. I love trying out cheese varieties that are new to me, and Whole Foods never seems to disappoint with their selection. So, when Whole Foods asked me to try out some American made cheese, how could I possibly say no???

I asked my in store cheesemonger to set me up with a variety of textures and flavors with the cheese, and I left it up to her to surprise me with what she thought I’d find interesting. I ended up with five different cheeses, along with some flatbread, for my cheese tray!

American Cheese Month at Whole Foods Market

My first selection was the Rum Runner BellaVitano by Sartori. The cheese is made in Plymouth, Wisconsin and is a Whole Foods Market exclusive. The texture is slightly firm, and the initial flavor of this cow’s milk cheese is buttery. The cheese is soaked in a Wisconsin-produced “Heath rum,” and you can definitely taste the sweetness as you enjoy every bite. It was definitely one of our favorites in the tray!

The next cheese on my journey was the Saxony-Alpine Cheese made in Cleveland, Wisconsin. It is full bodied and features sweet and nutty flavors. This cow’s milk cheese has won awards at both the U.S. Cheese Championship and the Wisconsin State Fair, so it isn’t fooling around!

American Cheese Month at Whole Foods Market

Moving on! The third cheese we sampled was the Five Peppercorn Raclette by Emmi Roth out of Monroe, Wisconsin. I had never tasted a raclette cheese before, and it was the cheese on the tray that brought the most controversy, if you will. The aroma is very distinct (which is what could draw people in or drive them away if they aren’t used to strong smelling cheese), but the texture is smooth and great for melting, which is what I would recommend doing with it instead of eating it cold. It is another Whole Foods Market exclusive!

Next up – the Snowfields-Aged Butterkase Style Cheese by Saxon Creamery. This is another raw milk cow’s cheese. During the late fall and early winter in Cleveland, Wisconsin, their herd produces a unique milk that is high in protein and cream. It is aged for 6 months and rotated through 3 different aging rooms in order to develop it’s unique flavor – buttery, with notes of parmesan. Yet another crowd pleaser on our cheese sampling tray!

American Cheese Month at Whole Foods Market

The final cheese we sampled was the Rogue River Blue Cheese from Central Point, Oregon. The cheese itself is beautiful, marbled with bright blue specks. This blue cheese is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves that have been macerated in pear brandy. It is cave aged for a minimum of 9-12 months. The texture is unbelievably creamy and the flavor is vibrant.

American Cheese Month at Whole Foods Market

Of course, it wouldn’t be a great cheese plate without some sort of cracker or flatbread! I had to pick up a package of the new Raincoast Flats. These non-GMO flatbreads are debuting exclusively in Whole Foods Market this October in Kale and Walnut and Lemon Fennel flavors. I opted for the Kale and Walnut Flatbreads, and they were the perfect complement to my cheese. The long, thin flatbreads add the perfect crunch, and the flavors are light. They quickly disappeared from our tray…I guess I’ll have to return to Whole Foods to replenish!

American Cheese Month at Whole Foods Market

Have I made you hungry for cheese yet? Fear not, Whole Foods has also given me a $50 gift card to dole out to one of my fabulous readers! You too can create the cheese plate of your dreams! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Disclosure: Whole Foods Market provided me with a gift card to purchase cheese samples, as well as a gift card to give away. All opinions are my own.****

October 26, 2014

The Halloween season is officially upon us, and that means it is time for a little bit of sinful indulgence. I don’t know about you, but the beloved creepy holiday is a perfect excuse for me to walk a little on the wild side and enjoy some decadent bites like these red wine caramel and chocolate apples. They are just one of the recipes being presented around the table today for a Frightfully Fun Entertaining themed #SundaySupper with Gallo Family Vineyards!

Red Wine Caramel Chocolate Apples

One of the food images that always pops into my head with Halloween is a platter filled with caramel apples. They are such a wonderful treat bringing out a bountiful fruit of the fall season. You have the tart, cool crunch of the apple (I prefer Granny Smith for their tart flavor and firm texture, but you can use your favorite apple variety), the rich flavor and chewy texture of the caramel, and just enough chocolate to take this dessert over the top. Creating a slightly sinister plate of these red wine caramel and chocolate apples for my Halloween entertaining seemed like the thing to do. By replacing traditional wooden sticks with some natural branches (sourced from the craft store), these enticing caramel apples beckon to you. Take a bite, won’t you? I promise: you won’t regret it…