Spiced Nut Mix Recipe

Yield: 40 Servings (10 cups)

Spiced Nut Mix

Photo by Taste of Home©

 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) salted peanuts
  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins

 

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, beat egg whites and water until frothy. Add nuts; stir gently to coat. Combine sugar, pie spice and salt; add to nut mixture and stir gently to coat. Fold in raisins. Spread into two greased 15x10x1-in. baking pans.
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 300° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

Nutritional Facts
1/4 cup: 134 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 87mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

 
Originally published as Spiced Nut Mix in Taste of Home October/November 1997, p27

Halloween Trivia

Trick or treating comes from the Middle-Age practice of the poor dressing up in costumes and going around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for prayers. The food given was often a Soul Cake, which was a small round cake which represented a soul being freed from Purgatory when the cake was eaten.

The tradition of adding pranks into the Halloween mix started to turn ugly in the 1930’s and a movement began to substitute practical jokes for kids going door to door collecting candy.

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat!

  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with Fall.  The color black is associated with darkness and death.
  • Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
  • Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers as Number 1.
  • Candy corn was first made in the 1880s, and it was only more March through November.
  • Over 93% of children will go trick-or-treating. Approximately 84% of trick-or-treaters say candy and gum are their favorites with chocolate candy preferred by 50% and non-chocolate by 24%.
  • Kids’ least favorite items to get in their trick-or-treat bags are fruit and salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
  • Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  • Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderies Candy Company.
    National Candy Corn Day is on October 30th.
  • There are 25 colors of M&Ms, the most popular candy sold in the U.S.
  • It takes an average of 252 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
  • San  Francisco is the number one U.S. city for trick-or-treating
  • In 1955, UNICEF (United Nations Children Fund) for Halloween program began.  The original idea started in 1950 in Philadelphia, when a Sunday School class had the idea of collecting money for needy children when trick-or-treating.  They sent the money they made, about $17, to UNICEF which was inspired by the idea and started a trick-or-treat program in 1955.
  • A study from the National Retail Federation shows Americans spent over $300 million on pet costumes last year!

Halloween is also know by other names:

All Hallows Eve
Samhain
All Hallowtide
The Feast of the Dead
The Day of the Dead

  • The tradition of bobbing for apples originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green.
  • There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
  • Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
  • Halloween also is recognized as the 3rd biggest party day after New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday.
  • The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia.

Monster Trivia & Folklore

  • Signs of a werewolf are a unibrow, hair palms, tattoos, and a long middle finger.Werewolf in the light of a full moon
  • Vampires are mythical beings who defy death by sucking the blood of humans.
  • In 1962, The Count Dracula Society was founded by Dr. Donald A. Reed.
  • Dracula means “Devil’s son.”  Bram Stoker’s creation “Dracula” was based on the life of Prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476). He was also called Vlad the Impaler since he had a bad habit of impaling his victims on stakes. The name “Dracula” is Romanian for Devil’s Son.  Vlad Draculas father was a knight of the Order of the Draco (or dragon), so Dracula also translates as “the son of Draco.”
  • To this day, there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires.
  • There really are so-called vampire bats, but they’re not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.
  • According to legend, you can kill a vampire by cremate it, pound a stake through its heart or bury it at a crossroads.  Sunlight is also said to kill them. Different countries have different ideas of how to destroy vampires.  Garlic and crosses only keep vampires away.
  • Allegedly, “Revenge falls upon whoever opens the coffin of a mummy.”
  • The country most associated with mummies is Egypt.
  • Zombies often wear chains for they are slaves; slaves of their evil masters who have brought them to life using magic.
  • Two areas of the world particularly associated with the zombie myth are Africa and Haiti, a country on the island of Hispaniola.
  • Many people still believe that gargoyles were created by medieval architects and stone carvers to ward off evil spirits.

Witches

  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
  • In the Middle Ages, many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.

Creepy Tidbits

  • If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved on watching over you.
  • Worldwide, bats are vital natural enemies of night-flying insects.
  • The common little brown bat of North America has the longest life span for a mammal it’s size, with a life span averaging 32 years.
  • In about 1 in 4 autopsies, a major disease is discovered that was previously undetected.
  • In Medieval times, a spider was rolled in butter and used as a cure for diseases such as leprosy and the plague.
  • The famous magician, Harry Houdini, died on Halloween, 1926 in Detroit, MI.

The next full moon on Halloween night will be October 31, 2020.

haunted house, owl, spider and jack-o-lanterns

Happy Hallowe’en!

The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl’s call meant someone was about to die.

Halloween is Oct. 31 – the last day of the Celtic calendar. It actually was a pagan holiday honoring the dead.

Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.

Halloween is correctly spelt as Hallowe’en.

Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain.

According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.

Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

Obsolete Rituals focused on the Future and Love

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married.

  • In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.
  • In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)
  • Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.
  • Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.
  • Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.
  • Bobbying for apples is a fertility rite, or a marriage divination and dates back to the Celtics. Unmarried people would try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string. The first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to marry.

bobbing for applesPumpkin Facts

  • Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexico, but now grow on six continents.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.
  • Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.
  • In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding “gros melons.” The name was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since evolved into the modern “pumpkin.”
  • Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.
  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was presented by Chris Stevens at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010.
  • Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin.
  • Stephen Clarke holds the record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time: 24.03 seconds, smashing his previous record of 54.72 seconds. The rules of the competition state that the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and be carved in a traditional way, which requires at least eyes, nose, ears, and a mouth.

National Pumpkin Day

October 26, 2016 is National Pumpkin Day!

Pumpkins are the harbinger of the harvest season, appearing every year as the first sign of autumn. Did you know that the word “pumpkin” comes from the Greek word “pepon,” meaning “large melon”?

Pumpkins can be grown on every continent except Antarctica, and the United States produces about 1.5 billion pounds of them each year. A Wisconsin farmer grew the largest pumpkin ever recorded. He used seaweed, cow manure, and fish emulsion to grow his pumpkin, which weighed a total of 1,810 pounds and was the size of a dumpster!

Celebrate National Pumpkin Day by carving a pumpkin in time for Halloween. Don’t forget to bake the tasty seeds for a healthy, autumn snack!

pumpkinsPumpkin Trivia

  • Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Pumpkins are 90% water.
  • If your pumpkin shrivels up, soak it in water overnight to rehydrate it.
  • Pumpkins were once used for removing freckles and treating snake bites.
  • Pumpkins have high levels of lutein, alpha carotene, and beta-carotene that are responsible for the orange coloring and for transforming vitamin A in the body.
  • Pumpkin pulp can relieve burns.
  • Pumpkin flowers are edible.
  • Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops, removed the seeds, and filled them with milk, spices and honey. The milk-filled pumpkin was then placed in hot ashes to bake. This is the origin of our pumpkin pie.
  • Native to the Western Hemisphere, Central America specifically, pumpkins were originally used as a food crop.
  • Settlers to the New World sent pumpkin seeds back to their English relatives where the new seeds and fruit rapidly became popular.
  • During the Halloween season, about 99% of the pumpkins grown for domestic consumption are earmarked for the sole purpose of carving.
  • In Ireland, the original jack-o’-lanterns were made of hollowed-out turnips.  Turnips were plentiful throughout the British Isles.
  • Morton, IL is the self-declared pumpkin capital of the world.  It is the home of the Libby® corporation’s pumpkin industry, owned by NESTLÉ® USA.  The pumpkin packing facility prepares 90% of all processed and canned pumpkin consumed in the United States.

Click HERE to find out more!

Averie Cooks Crock-Pot Maple Pumpkin Spice Chex™ Mix

Maple Pumpkin Spice Chex™ Mix - Averie Cooks

Photo by Averie Cooks

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Chex™ cereal (I used 3 cups each Rice Chex™ and a storebrand honey-nut Chex™; try Cheerios™, Golden Grahams™, etc.)
  • 2 cups dried fruit (I used 1 cup each dried cranberries and dried cherries; try (golden) raisins, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups nuts (I used 3/4 cup each honey-roasted cashews and honey-roasted peanuts)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups pretzels
  • 1 1/2 chopped graham crackers, diced in large 1-inch pieces (about 5 full-size graham crackers)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (I used sugar-free pancake syrup)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 to 2+ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • salt, optional and to taste

 

Directions:

  1. In a 5 to 6-quart Crock-Pot, add cereal, dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, and graham crackers. Recipe is very flexible. If you don’t have something, don’t like something, etc. use something you do have on hand or omit.
  2. In a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Add the maple syrup, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice (I used 1 tablespoon but recommend at least 2 tablespoons if you want a more pronounced pumpkin flavor), vanilla, optional salt, and whisk to combine.
  4. Slowly and evenly drizzle wet mixture over the dry ingredients in Crock-Pot and stir very well to combine. I use a silicon-tipped spatula so I don’t break the cereal.
  5. Cook covered on high power for about 2 hours, stirring well every 15 to 20 minutes. Start keeping a more careful eye on mix at about 1 1/2 hours to make sure pieces on bottom don’t start burning. All slow-cookers and ingredients vary, and cooking times will vary. Cook until there’s no visible liquid pooling and pieces have dried out. They will not be ‘dry’ and will be more on the sticky and tacky side even when done, but do dry out more as they cool. Note – Although I haven’t tested it, you could probably bake in a 250F oven, with the mixture divided between two baking trays. Keep a very watchful eye on it and toss every 15 minutes until it’s done.
  6. Turn mixture out onto baking tray and allow to dry for at least 2 hours, overnight is better. Mix will keep airtight for up to 5 days.

Crock-Pot Maple Pumpkin Spice Chex™ Mix

It’s been far too long since my last slow cooker recipe. It was both a blessing and a curse that I fired up my Crock-Pot and made this mix. Holy addicting. I’ve always had a thing for Chex Mix. All the textures and flavors make it such a great snack. I decided to put a fall […]

Source: Crock-Pot Maple Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

Autumn Pumpkin Chili Recipe

We have this chili often because everyone loves it, even the most finicky grandchildren. It’s also earned thumbs up with family and friends who’ve tried it in other states. It’s a definite “keeper” in my book! —Kimberly Nagy, Port Hadlock, Washington

Yield: 4 Servings

Autumn Pumpkin Chili

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and sliced green onions

 

Directions:

  1. Saute the onion and green and yellow peppers in oil in a large skillet until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Crumble turkey into skillet. Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the pumpkin, tomatoes, chili powder, pepper and salt. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Serve with toppings of your choice.

 

Nutritional Facts:

1-1/4 cups (calculated without optional toppings): 281 calories, 13g fat (3g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 468mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 7g fiber), 25g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.
Originally published as Autumn Pumpkin Chili in Simple & Delicious October/November 2012, p56

Pumpkin Cake Bars w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

By Dine and Dish  

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Photo by Dine & Dish

Yield: 12 to 24

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 2⁄3 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour one glass 9 x 13 inch pan.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread into prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes.Remove from oven and allow to cool.

 

For the frosting:  Beat together the cream cheese, butter and confectioner’s sugar.
Evenly spread over bars after they have cooled.