Halloween Party Recipes
YAY it’s almost Halloween!  Probably one of my favorite holidays to celebrate next to Christmas because not only is the weather simply perfect, but it comes complete with crazy costumes, fun decorations and a good excuse to watch endless amounts of scary movies!  Normally I’m not the biggest fan of horror movies, but there is just something about Halloween that doesn’t feel right unless you have yourself a marathon fright fest.  Michael Myers anyone??  This year we are throwing a small party for just our closest friends and their kids so I thought I’d share my favorite Halloween party recipes as well as a yummy punch (adult-friendly of course) that always keeps the party going!
I must say one of my favorite things about Halloween is decorating my whole house.  It’s so fun to get creative and it really is possible to decorate on a budget!  Try making your own decorations using a cheap black table runner.  I ripped apart numerous holes and hung it on the wall along with cobwebs, orange streamers and of course placed little spiders everywhere to creep people out.  I also found inexpensive green spotlights that I use going up the stairs which illuminate the stairwell and really make the cobwebs look extra creepy!  It doesn’t take a lot of money to throw a decent party – just some creativity, a lot of patience and TAPE!
Favorite Halloween Party Recipes
And let’s be serious folks, a Halloween party isn’t a true party without festive food.  Now let me warn you, the goodies I make each year are not necessarily healthy and I tend to use large amounts of chocolate, but sometimes it’s okay to splurge, especially when serving a lot of people!  One of the recipes I always receive the most compliments on are these Witch’s Fingers, which are basically sugar cookies shaped into creepy fingers, colored with green food coloring and topped with blanched almonds.  They are surprisingly eeeeeeasy to make and have become a staple at every Halloween party I throw or am a guest to!  A huge thank you to Simply So Good for the inspiration behind this recipe!
Witch's Fingers
The next recipe I love to make that will literally be gone in three seconds flat (yeah you think I’m kidding…) is my Pumpkin Cheese Ball.  For this I use a basic cheese ball recipe that I make all the time for parties from Allrecipes, but I like to do a fun spin on it using the stem off a large bell pepper for the “pumpkin” topper!  Simply secure it using two toothpicks, chill overnight and serve with your favorite crackers – voila!  I promise your friends will love it and will be impressed at the same time.  This appetizer would be perfect for Thanksgiving as well or any Fall party for that matter!  Double (or triple) the recipe if you’d like a bigger pumpkin – I may do that next time since this cheese ball doesn’t stay around for very long!
Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Along with the above recipes, I also make Chocolate Bones using pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows and white chocolate as well as Mini Mummy Dogs using crescent rolls and mini smoked sausages.  Mmmmmmm.  Caution:  These go pretty fast as well, so make a lot if throwing a big party!

For the chocolate bones – all you do is secure a marshmallow on each end of the pretzel, making sure not to smush it in the process, then carefully dip it into the melted white chocolate allowing them to harden.  Super easy and they sure make great table treats!

I got the idea for the mini mummy dogs after seeing so many large hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls and thought these would make fun appetizers!  Using a pizza cutter, simply slice the crescent dough into thin strips.  Then pat the mini sausages with a paper towel so that they are dry and wrap the strips of dough around them, making sure to pinch the dough on the end so they’ll stay secure.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place wrapped mummy dogs on a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and enjoy!  Feel free to give them little eyes using ketchup or mustard.

Chocolate Bones

Here’s another recipe I love to make for Halloween parties – Monster Munch!  I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs A Spicy Perspective and it’s basically just chocolate covered popcorn adorned in sprinkles and mixed with all my favorite types of Halloween candy such as M&Ms, candy corns and candy pumpkins.  Doesn’t get much better than that, huh?  Not only is this insanely delicious and highly addictive (there I at least warned ya), but it always looks so pretty on the table when serving to guests!  I tend to be kind of OCD when it comes to displaying food and decorating tables so this is something I love to have out for Halloween!

Monster Munch

Now on to the best part – BOOZE!  An adult Halloween party is certainly never complete without a spooky cocktail and one of my favorites is this Blood Punch that I literally have to keep making throughout the night because it goes so fast!  It’s crazy easy to throw together and even though I tend to triple this recipe during parties, it really does make a ton in one single batch.  Guess that speaks volumes as to my friends’ drinking abilities….hmmm.  Anyway back to the booze, I also like to throw in a few spiders or eyeballs to keep the theme going, then just add a bunch of ice and you’re ready to serve!
Blood Punch

Well there ya go!  Here are all my favorite go-to Halloween party recipes that never fail when having lots of people over.  Hope everyone has a fun and SAFE Halloween!!

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Juice Pulp Muffins

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Okay so don’t be scared by the title of this post.

These muffins are actually delicious, nutritious and won’t make you feel bad about wasting all those veggies when you juice!  I wrote a detailed post at the beginning of the year on why I love juicing so much, and YES I still do!  Juicing has become a part of my morning routine and when I need a bit of a detox, I’ll go ahead and juice for a few days along with some added protein and salads.  It just makes me feel SO much better!  Well one of the main questions I had (as well as most of you) was what can you do with ALL that colorful pulp you have leftover from all your yummy fruits and veggies??  There is so much amazing fiber left over that it’s just so sad to throw out and I just cringe at the thought of wasting such healthy, clean produce!  Sooo I did a little research as well as some trial and error (that’s the FUN part!) and found a great recipe using all this pulp in the form of MUFFINS!

Seriously folks, who doesn’t love a good breakfast muffin?  Or dessert muffin?  Or even a post-workout muffin??  Yes as you can see muffins are great ANY time and since they are packed full of fiber, they’re also deliciously healthy for you too.  Luckily for you, if you already have your pulp ready, making the muffins is the easy part!

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Any combination of fruits and veggies will work for these muffins and experimenting can be fun too!  For this specific recipe I just used one of my favorite morning juices which consists of kale, carrots, green apples and ginger.  Carrots are great for these muffins because they produce a lot of pulp and are so good for you!  These muffins have a great flavor without being overly sweet, so if you do prefer SWEET muffins feel free to be generous with your honey or other sweetener.

Another idea would be to throw in some protein powder if you’re looking for a great post-workout snack!

Juice Pulp Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins

Recipe adapted from Never Homemaker

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups fruit/veggie pulp (I used approximately 1 bunch kale, 4 carrots, 2 green apples and 1 large chunk of fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Handful of rolled oats

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, flax meal, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Then add in the pulp followed by the yogurt, banana, almond milk, maple syrup/honey and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix until just combined and add more almond milk if too thick.
  4. Add batter to lightly sprayed muffin tins and sprinkle with rolled oats. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Muffins will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1 muffin • Calories: 98.1 • Fat: 0.8 g • Carbs: 20 g • Fiber: 2.8 g • Protein: 3.5 g • WW Points+: 2 pts

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2014/10/juice-pulp-muffins.html

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Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!  At least you won’t feel guilty the next time you juice!

Also I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts lately….I know, I know – I keep saying “I’m back” and then I disappear for another month, but I really am trying to make time for recipes and my blog again.  If you have any recipe or post ideas you’d like to see, please comment below and I will be happy to post them!  I love being inspired so any ideas are welcomed and much appreciated!

Happy Thursday everyone!

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Skinny Queso and a Giveaway

Happy Monday!

As most of you know, one of the things I love about my routine is meal planning.  Not only does it aid for better weight loss success, but it also saves you money and keeps your organized!  I am ALWAYS healthier during the week when I stick to my meal plans, but sometimes it’s tough to know where to begin.  Well lucky for you my lovely friend Kristen has got you covered in that department!  She started a website called Slender Kitchen which not only shares delicious recipes and fun tips/tricks for getting in shape, but she also has customizable meal plans!  The best part??  They’re centered around Weight Watchers points!  I know I’ve said this before, but I absolutely LOVE this program and believe it’s a great way to keep track of your eating habits without having to constantly count calories.  Even if WW isn’t for you, these meal plans are still great for those who either want to start eating better and losing weight, but just need a little direction OR even those who already have a great nutrition plan, but simply want to mix it up a bit!  There is truly something for everyone.

One of the many recipes you’ll find from Kristen on her site is this super delicious Skinny Queso.  With football season now upon us, it’s the perfect appetizer to serve to your friends and family without all the guilt!  Pair with homemade pita chips or even some sliced bell peppers and enjoy this perfect alternative to the pre-made full-fat stuff that comes in a jar (bleh!)  If you don’t like a lot of spice, feel free to omit the jalapeno, but if you’re anything like me you may just add two!

Here see for yourself how easy this is!

weight-watchers-queso_1

Skinny Queso by Slender Kitchen

Yield: 16 servings

Recipe from Slender Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 poblano, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles, diced and drained, like Rotel
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced fat sharp Cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with 3 tsbp of cornstarch. Set aside, this will serve as the thickener.
  2. Bring a medium to large sauce pan up to medium heat and spray non fat coking spray. Add the onions, garlic, poblano, and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until they begin to soften.
  3. Add the chicken broth and milk. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 3 minutes to reduce slightly.
  4. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and stir quickly. It will immediately thicken up and begin to bubble. Once you see it thicken up, turn the heat to low.
  5. Add the cheese and stir until it melts completely. Then add the tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  6. Serve with homemade baked tortilla chips. To cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut corn tortillas in 1/4’s and place onto a sheet of parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Calories: 75 • Fat: 2 g • Carbs: 3.1 g • Fiber: 1.1 g • Protein: 4 g • WW Points+: 1 pt

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2014/09/skinny-queso-and-a-giveaway.html

Often times the hardest part about losing weight successfully is the lack of planning meals out in advance or simply not knowing which meals to eat and when.  I just love Kristen’s meal plans because they’re healthy, well-balanced and super easy to follow!  She gives you the ease of convenience by listing the points for each meal along with the recipe and a grocery list of items needed for that week.  Not only that, but she has all sorts of different plans to fit your personal diet – everything from vegetarian to low-carb to just plain healthy!  Well lucky for YOU, she’s giving one reader a chance to win an entire year of meal plans to help you get that bikini bod just in time for summer next season!  This is a $72 value and totally worth it in my opinion!
If you don’t feel like waiting until the end of this giveaway to begin your new eating regimen, you can start now for just $6 per month!  ALSO, Kristen is giving my sweet readers all a limited time special yearly price of $25 if you sign up now!  Simply use the password SKMEALPLAN and it’s all yours!  Get started right here!
sample meal plan
So what does all this include?  So glad you asked!
  • Weekly Meals Plans for 2 or 4
  • All points plus and nutritional information
  • Complete, categorized shopping lists
  • Healthy, vegetarian or low-carb meal plans available
  • Quick and easy breakfasts
  • Packable lunches
  • Delicious dinners
  • Fallback meals to swap in
  • Over 100 bonus recipes
  • Ideas for snacks and desserts
  • Time saving tips on meal preparation
  • Month-to-month unlimited access!
  • Printable and cell phone/tablet friendly
Here’s how to ENTER!
Please leave a comment for each
Follow Slender Kitchen on Twitter here
Become a fan of Slender Kitchen on Facebook here
Follow Slender Kitchen on Pinterest here

Follow me on Twitter here
Like Eat Yourself Skinny on Facebook here
Follow me on Instagram here
Tweet: “I just entered to win a year of @slenderkitchen WW friendly meal plans today on @EatUrselfSkinny! http://bit.ly/1ylXWWG”
All separate comments please.

I’ll announce the winner this Friday, September 26th so you have all week to enter this giveaway so please don’t miss out!  I know for me fall is the best time to plan out my meals because it’s so easy to give in to those yummy pumpkin pies and sinful football apps!  Always remember “fail to plan, plan to fail!” so why not start with a plan like this??  Good luck loves!

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