Halloween: Tricks and Treats
by Julie Jensen

Spooky, creepy, and fun! Halloween is the time of lighted jack-o-lanterns, black cats and bats, spiders and spooks-of witches and warlocks and pumpkin patches-of hot cider and hayrides, steaming stews, pumpkin bread and caramel corn.

Get in the spirit of the fun. Make Halloween magical and memorable. Create a bewitching Halloween full of tricks and treats. Gather Around.

A no-fuss hearty stew that simmers all day in the oven

1 lb. stewing beef cubes

4 medium potatoes (peeled and cut in large chunks)

4 carrots (cut in slices)

1 bay leaf

1 pkg. prepared onion soup mix

2 cans cream of mushroom soup, concentrate (10 oz. each)

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)

1 pkg. frozen green peas, unthawed (10 oz.)

Grease dutch oven or heavy pan. Layer beef cubes on the bottom. Layer carrots, then potatoes, placing bay leaf on top. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour over beef and vegetables. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Bake at 250 degrees for 6 hours (or up to 8 hours). Serves 4-6 hungry goblins. Can serve in hollowed out pumpkin shell for a holiday touch.

A sensational buffet centerpiece. Make your own sandwiches with trays of cold cuts and cheese.

4 loaves (1 lb. each) frozen whole-wheat or white bread dough, thawed

1 large egg, beaten to blend

3 Tbs. black poppy seeds

2 Tbs. sesame seeds

The head
Divide 1 loaf in half. Knead half on a floured board to make a smooth ball. Set aside while forming body and legs.

The body
Knead remaining half-loaf with 1 whole loaf into a smooth ball. Center body and head on a greased 14×17″ baking sheet. Gently flatten head to make 3″ wide. Flatten body to make 5″ wide. Body and head should touch.

The legs
On a floured board, divide 1 loaf into 8 equal pieces. Roll each portion into an 8-inch log. Place ends of logs under head and body about 2″ apart (two on each side of head and two on each side of body). Curve them to resemble spider legs. Make sure dough stays at least 2″ from pan edge.

Spider eggs
Divide remaining loaf into 8 equal pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth ball; place slightly apart on a greased baking sheet.

Let dough rise in a warm place until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes. Brush dough with beaten egg; sprinkle spider with black poppy seeds, spider eggs with sesame seeds. Bake in a 350 degree oven until bread is a rich gold color beneath seeds and a toothpick inserted in thickest part comes out clean (20 to 25 minutes for spider eggs, and 40 to 45 minutes for spider). Serve warm or cool on racks. If not serving immediately, wrap well. Can be made ahead and frozen. Makes 1 loaf (about 3 lb.) and 8 buns (2 oz. each).

Serves 10-12.

A delicious and festive treat!  

1 cup corn syrup

1 pkg. brown sugar (1 lb.)

1 tsp. salt

1 square butter (4 oz.)

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)

1 Tbs. vanilla

2 gallons popped corn

Bring corn syrup, brown sugar and salt to a boil. Add butter and return to boil. Add sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly until it reaches soft ball stage

(228 degrees). Remove from burner. Add vanilla. Let cool slightly. Divide popcorn into two parts and lay on two greased cookie sheets. Pour equal amounts of caramel over each. Stir gently until coated. Can be formed into popcorn balls if desired. Allow to set for about two hours.

A fabulous eye catching dessert

3 eggs, beat at high speed about 2-3 minutes

1 cup granulated sugar, gradually add to eggs

Stir in:

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp. lemon juice

Stir together and fold into pumpkin mixture:

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

Line 15×10 1/2×1-inch jelly roll pan with wax paper. Oil lightly. Spread mixture evenly over pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn out immediately onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on cake. Start at one end rolling towel and cake together carefully. Cool.


1 cup powdered sugar

8 oz. cream cheese

4 Tbs. butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

Beat smooth. Gently unroll cake. Spread filling over top. Roll back up. Cover with wax paper and chill in refrigerator. Best when made a day ahead. Will keep in refrigerator 6 to 10 days (well wrapped). Freezes well.


Makes one loaf or four mini loaves. A fun treat to share with neighbors.

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup pumpkin (canned or fresh cooked)

3/4 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cups pecans (optional)

Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Sift dry ingredients. Alternate adding flour and pumpkin into creamed mixture. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Grease one loaf or four mini loaves. Pour batter into pans. For one loaf, bake at 350 degrees for about 1hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. For mini loaves, bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.

A crunchy snack

This year when you carve out your pumpkin, try saving the seeds. Wash them thoroughly in a colander and put on paper towels to dry. Put them in a skillet with some butter and salt (about 1 Tbs. butter per cup of seeds and salt to taste). Stir until all seeds are well coated with butter. Bake in shallow baking pan for about 30-45 minutes in 250 degree oven.


  • Carve and clean out pumpkin of desired size. Place in 300 degree oven. Warm pumpkin for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add prepared soup, stew or sloppy joe using pumpkin as serving container. Or try using hollowed out pumpkin for a centerpiece featuring autumn leaves, flowers, etc.
  • Cut off top of oranges. Hollow out leaving shell intact. Cut jack-o-lantern face in shell, if desired. Fill with orange sherbet. Serve immediately or freeze for later use.
  • Fill rubber gloves with water. Secure top with tight twist tie or elastic band. Freeze. Remove glove. Float ice hands in Halloween Punch.


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