Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Hungry for Hallowe'en

I have a confession:  I was holding back some of the photos which could have been categorized in former posts so I could use them for Hallowe'en.  Who was thinkin' ahead?  This girl!

If you are aware of my ophidiophobia and my husband's arachnophobia, you may be surprised by some of this segment's offerings.

Super Snakes

Ssso, I ssspotted these sssuper sssnacks on Pinterest; these were described as caterpillars, however.  Whether you view them as being reptiles or insects, they are really easy to assemble.  I used 6" skewers, grapes, and canned frosting for adhering the mini chocolate chip eyes.

Here are the rest of the fruity friends.
I made them for my class as a reward for positive group behavior.
The snakey sticks were, literally and figuratively, SWEET!  
Serpent Sammies
Split bread-type cheese sticks, add your favorite ingredients inside, cut forked tongues out of raw red pepper strips, and stick on Cheerio eyes with some spreadable cream cheese.

Silly, Sassy Spiders

I'm so glad I took these pictures of Miriam making cupcakes for her class in 2006...she was such a spunky little pumpkin.  
I made standard cupcakes from a cake mix; sometimes I toss in an extra egg or two or substitute sour cream for some of the oil to make the cupcakes more dense.  Crumbly cupcakes are a pain to deal with, especially when little people are eating them!  When the cupcakes were cooled, I iced them with store-bought frosting because it was a busy fall and because I love using the frosting containers at school.  Miriam was in charge of the spider-making.
We used a divided tray formerly used for vegetables to hold the decorations of cut-up laces licorice for the legs and mouths, and gum drops for the eyes. 

I love the sneaky expression she sports in this photo. That look comes from her daddy...the same daddy that likes to tease and would hide in the dark or behind doors or shower curtains to scare them when they were younger...and not just around Hallowe'en! 

I drew spider webs on the parchment paper with which I covered the trays so the creatures had proper homes.

Miriam's spiders showed a lot of personality as well as the charm of assembly-by-first-grader!

Scare-Free Skeleton  (unless you're afraid of vegetables, I suppose!)

Thank you to my friend, Tanya, parent of a former student, who taught me a thing or two about how making the veggie tray choice for shared lunches could be awesome!

Hair = red cabbage leaf sections 
Face = dip in a shallow bowl or ramekin
Eyes = grape or cherry tomatoes
Smile = yellow pepper
Shoulders = narrow celery sticks
Arm bones = lathed carrot pieces
Hands = tiny cauliflower florets
Spine = English cucumber slices
Ribs = yellow pepper strips
Pelvis = mushroom slices
Femurs/Femora = wider celery sticks
Knees = tiny cauliflower florets
Fibulae & Tibiae = lathed carrots again
Feet = grape tomatoes
Toes = broccoli florets

Yummy Mummy Spinach Dip

I made this neat looking appetizer for our church camp's Hallowe'en party last year.  It was pretty easy - you make a mummy shape out of thawed frozen bread dough or pizza dough, bake it, stick on 2 black olive slices for eyes, and melt on torn-apart cheese strings for the mummy's wrappings!  You carve out the bread in the body part, make the cold spinach dip to put into the hollow just before eating, and serve with pieces of bread or the recipe's suggestion, Wheat Thins.  Most spinach dips are heated in the oven in the bread bowl for a while but this one is a mix 'n' serve variety.  Here is the link to Kraft's website and the recipe.  I didn't take a photo of my own creation (rats!) but it did look very comparable to the one shown and the kids at the party loved it.

Additional notes:
  • Try to find a recipe for the rest of the red cabbage head since you will only use a tiny portion of one of its leaves!
  • Ranch dressing seems to be the dip equivalent of cheese pizza...most kids'll eat it.
  • The "lathed carrots" which I refer to are the little ones you buy in a bag.  I loved that phrase when I heard it on CBC last year - such an accurate description!  Usually, they don't taste like much but my church friend, Genia, works magic on them by roasting them with a bit of chopped onion, butter, salt, and pepper in a covered casserole for an hour at 350 F / 180 C.  Yummy!
  • I now know the scientific term for fear of snakes as well as the plurals of fibula and tibia.  I have a new Internet friend -

Thank you for flying, creeping, and crawling to my island!  I wish you a very Happy Hallowe'een that is full of fun things on which to feast.


P.S.  Gotta go...the Alliteration Police are here, stating that I overdid it this time.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Back-To-School, Now Back to Blog!

Oh, I have missed my blogging!  School is back in full swing and I haven't had either spare time or a clear enough conscience to write since not all of my professional paperwork was finished! 

I work at a great school with great people and, as the September 30 count said, 431 great kids from age 4.5 to 10!  For our initial staff meeting, a few of us decided to make breakfast.  Tracy said I could only bring fruit...I said, "Okay..." and she very knowingly added, "...and not fancy stuff!"  Bummer.  She knows me, alright...but I didn't promise and off to Google Imageland I went.  Somehow I clicked on a website from Russia and after a few hours, I had some imperfect but still-cute apple art to share!

Things I learned during this first attempt:
  • Try hard to choose apples which are very alike in size and shape so your slices line up and the shape of each polka-dotted apple is maintained.
  • Use really sharp tools and practice on some potatoes first before you have crooked cuts or misaligned spots on your fruit canvases.  Some of the apple injuries were reminiscent of my attempts to slice a pizza with a pizza cutter; very few of the cuts matched!
  • People who are your friends appreciate the effort and novelty and say nothing of the imperfections. :-)

I'm not going to write up a step-by-step this time but here are some pictures of my venture:

It was a lot of fun.  I dipped all of the cut pieces in orange juice to try to avoid browning and it worked quite well.  My co-worker, Travis, who has a physical education background and encourages others to pursue healthy lifestyle choices, said that people are more likely to eat cut up fruit versus having to commit to a whole fruit.  Most of my plate was emptied by my friends; I shared the leftover apples with my class and they were pretty impressed and appreciative, too.

Thank you for coming to or coming back to the island after my hiatus and I hope you are having a pleasant autumn season.  My next post will be about Hallowe'en foods which I have made.  In the meantime, why not head to Pinterest for some inspiration?  I love the joke about Pinterest from  I couldn't find the original source so just look for the three block cartoon in this group of funnies; here is a link to it.   I'm not quite that bad but on my Pinterest boards, I have gathered lots of fantastic teaching ideas, helpful home things, and jokes to keep my family and students laughing.  Take care and remember an apple a day might keep the doctor away.  May only your apple skins be spotted or striped, not yours!