Skull & Crossbones Chart

skully_chart_2013

Download FREE  Skully Chart  Updated version 10/17/13

Something a little bit spooky for Halloween, a fun and scary knitting chart!  You can knit it all with one yarn by knitting and purling the design, or use two colors and make a cute insert. Gauge depends on your needles and yarn. It would be really fun on a hat, a scarf on a sweater, an iPod or cell phone cozy…a poison cozy… whatever tickles your funny bone…

no pun intended. -Marie

Chili Squash with Black Linguini and Pesto

As percet for lunchtime as it is for an Evening meal. The black linguini makes this frightfully fun, and the pesto is a great colour contrast.

This is what you’ll need;

1 Carnival squash

Olive oil

2 Garlic cloves

Salt and Pepper

Dried red chili flakes

Black linguini

Pesto

Spinach leaves

Preheat the over to 425°

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Take one gloriously speckled carnival squash

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Cut it into wedges, I follow the natural lines of the squash. Then scoop out the seeds.

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In a little dish combine a couple of table spoons of olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves and some salt and pepper. Lay the wedges of squash on baking sheet and brush each side with the olive oil mixture.

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Get the chilli flakes and shake some over the squash pieces. Stand the squash upright to roast and pop them into the oven for about 25 minutes.

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I love this black linguini, it is coloured with squid ink. It’s great for adding some festive character to a dish. It tastes good, not at all fishy and cooks in about 3 minutes. I bought mine from amazon.

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Drain the pasta, mix in the pesto and spinach leaves. Arrange the wedges of carnival squash and garnish with some grated parmesan. Now gobble it up. Dessert coming soon.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a combination of great flavours, tea and spice, sweet honey and vanilla.  I’ve made these several times and love them, but with most things I bake and cook it is a work in progress.

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes

IngredientsVanilla Chai cupcakes

 

250g vanilla sugar

225g butter

1 tsp ginger paste

½ vanilla pod

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

200 ml chai mix

¾ cardamon pods crushed up

4 English breakfast T bags

75 ml honey

¾ tsp black pepper

¾ tsp nutmeg

 

225g all purp flour

1tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

Halloween cupcake papers

Butter cream

Purple food colouring

Halloween sprinkles

12 pumpkin lollipops


Pre heat oven to 350°

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Bring the chai mix to the boil in a saucepan, remove from heat and add in the t bags and crushed cardamon. Leave to steep for 10 minutes

Meanwhile…

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

…Cream together the butter and sugar, and add in the ginger paste, mixing it in and scraping down the sides

Whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and seeds from the vanilla bean, beat this into the creamed butter, sugar and ginger paste


Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Fragrant spices, add the remaining spices to the flour along with the salt, baking powder and baking soda. whisk them together to remove any lumps and to incorporate them well

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Pour the tea mixture through a strainer and…

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes…Mix the honey into the warm tea.

Alternate adding in the liquid and dry ingredients to creamed butter and sugar mixture, Do this slowly and remember to scrape the sides and bottom

Vanilla Chai cupcakesspoon into the cupcake papers and bake the mini cupcakes  for about 20 mins, and larger ones for 25 mins

cool and ice

 

Butter Cream Icing

1/2 pint of egg whites, about 8 eggs

16 oz sugar

A pinch of salt

1½ pound unsalted butter, room temperature & cut into cubes

Set a pan of water on the stove to simmer away gently

Whisk, whisk, whisk

Put the egg whites, sugar and salt into a bowl. I use the mixing bowl of my kitchen aid  because later this requires a lot of whipping. Put the bowl over the simmering water and whisk, with a hand whisk, until the sugar dissolves and the whites are hot.

Sweet, frothy, slimy

Keep whisking, the last thing you want is scrambled egg whites.

Thick glossy white, can it get any better?

Transfer to the mixer and whisk on the second speed until you end up with thick glossy meringue. Keep going until the meringue is cold.

Only when the meringue is cold can you whip in the butter.  Add a little at a time, whipping on the second speed until all the butter is incorporated. Then increase to the third speed  and add the purple food colouring

Vanilla Chai cupcakes

Vanilla Chai cupcakesNow for the fun… decorating the cupcakes

Vanilla Chai cupcakes

 

 

 

 

Cackle Cookies

Get ready to bake some tasty goodness.

Makes about 12 cookies

Here are the ingredients;

2 Sticks room temperature unsalted butter  Cackle cookies

¾ Cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2 Cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1½ Cups hard toffee broken into pieces

½ Cup Dark chocolate

Witches hat cookie cutter

Chocolate transfer sheets

Preheat the oven to 325°

Buttery sweet crunchiness

Buttery sweet crunchiness

Break the toffee into bits, you’ll need 1½ cups of this good stuff. Click this & it will take you to the recipe for toffee

Cackle cookies

Put the butter, sugar, vanilla,flour and salt into a bowl

I'm not too posh to get down and dirty
I’m not too posh to get down and dirty

Combine in bowl, If you don’t want to use your hands use a wooden spoon. A mixer will quickly over beat the dough

Cackle cookies

I used a wooden spoon to stir in the toffee…… some of those bits are sharp!!

Cackle cookiesTip the dough on to a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet lined with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper

Cackle cookiesSmouch down with your finger tips. Make sure to get it into the edges

Cackle cookiesFlatten and smooth with a rolling pin

Pop it in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Then cut around the edges and remove from the pan. I lift the edge of the silicon baking sheet and slide it the rest of the way

Cackle cookiesNow I cut out the cookies. You want the cookies to have rested and settled a little, but the still need to be warm.

There is a lot of unshaped cookie left over, I wouldn’t call it waste because it gets eaten, but if you wanted more you could try cutting the out before baking, but the dough will spread.

Cackle cookies Leave to cool on a rack

Cackle cookiesLay the transfer sheet rough textured side up

Cackle cookiesMelt the chocolate and pour a thick ribbon onto the transfer sheet

Cackle cookiesSpread the chocolate evenly with an offset spatula

Cackle cookiesLeave the chocolate until it is semi hard then use the cookies cutter to cut out the hat shape

Cackle cookiesVery gently peel away the chocolate around the hat. Place the chocolate hat somewhere safe

Cackle cookiesTurn the cookie over, you need to have the smoothest side of the cookie facing upwards, also the chocolate transfer sheet cut out will be the reverse of the cut out cookie

Cackle cookiesDrizzle more melted chocolate onto the cookie. You can  use the scraps from the transfer sheet and remelt it

Cackle cookies

Smooth the chocolate on the cookie and delicately place the transfer sheet cut out onto it

Cackle cookies

Cackle cookiesServe on a creepy plate

BOO Box

The nights are drawing in and the wind’s whistling, so to avoid gaining unnecessary pounds by digging into the biscuit barrel I’m going to be keeping my hands busy by crafting A LOT this Autumn/Winter. So here’s my first project , just in time for Halloween. A little trick in the middle of a treat.
BOO! Box

What you’ll need; A  small shallow box, black paint, orange paint, orange card, mini cupcake papers, wooden ‘BOO’ decoration Halloween ribbon, Halloween paper, candy, pencil, ruler, glue and tape.

BOO! Box

I chose to use a long, shallow bracelet box. Then painted it black all over, inside and out.

Thin wooden cut outs come in several spooky shapes
Thin wooden cut outs come in several spooky shapes

I used BOO!, but took the ! to make it fit inside my box better. Then I…

BOO! Box…Painted it bright orange

To make the BOO jump out and surprise the recipient I made an origami type spring. When I was little we would always make larger ones any time we had to decorate at school.

BOO! BoxYou need to end up two pieces of card that measure 2cm x 66 cm (3/4″ x 22″).  My card wasn’t that long, so I just glued the bits together

BOO! BoxGlue them together to form a right angle…

Regressing back to primary school days

Regressing back to primary school days...

With an end in each hand, fold the piece in your left hand back on itself  to the right

BOO! BoxSo it looks like this

BOO! BoxNow do the same to the end in your right hand, but fold it to the left. Just remember the piece you are folding should go over the top of the other piece. You can’t go wrong.

BOO! BoxWhen it’s all folded and finished, this is what it looks like, square and springy

BOO! BoxGlue it in the middle of the box. Put the lid on and it will keep the spring in place until it’s dry

BOO! BoxCute skull and cross bone mini cupcake papers, Glue two of these on either side of the spring

BOO! BoxBoing, boing, boing

BOO! BoxBefore you put the glue on to stick the BOO to the spring, use  a bit of tape to position it to try a balance the weight. This will make sure that when the lid is taken off the BOO will come straight up instead of flopping over. Put the lid on to hold the BOO in place

BOO! BoxGlue some pretty ribbon around the edge of the lid of the box

BOO! BoxCut a piece of decorative paper to fit the top of your box and stick it down

Once everything is dry, the only thing left to do is add in the sweeties, and trick someone with the treat

BOO! Box