10 Halloween Finger Food Recipes

Halloween is all about the eerie, scary and downright creepy. When you’re hosting a Halloween party, make a variety of sweet and savory finger foods for guests to enjoy – just be sure to get a little creative with the decorations atop these skull-tacular snacks.

Prosciutto- Wrapped Fig Hearts

Savor the taste of these rich and indulgent fig bites. They offer a sophisticated combination of tangy goat cheese, salty prosciutto, and sweet dried figs it for a Queen.

 

Wavy Grissini

Ready for a hair-raising snack? These breadsticks are nothing like the kind you’ll find at an Italian restaurant; mix the dough with black squid ink for a devilish hue and serve alongside Black-Tahini and Eggplant Dip.

 

Popcorn on the Cob

Popcorn balls are a popular snack to serve to trick or treaters. Give them a fall twist by forming the popcorn, marshmallows and colored candy into the shape of flint corn. It’s a simple, sweet treat perfect for the harvest season and just right for Halloween.

 

Crudites with Miso-Yogurt Dip

Swap out brightly colored vegetables for dark, creepy colors such as red cabbage, purple carrots, purple potatoes, and black olives. This appetizer has a seriously dark side.

 

Brain Cupcakes

This is a fun, freaky dessert that’s a Halloween must-make. Use Swiss Meringue buttercream to create the squiggles and wiggles of a brain on top of a rich chocolate cupcake.

 

Deep-Sea Specimens with Devilishly Hot Cocktail Sauce

This spooky presentation of elegant seafood looks like the crab legs and poached shrimp are coming alive right before your eyes. The spicy cocktail sauce may frighten your taste buds, but it’s so good that you won’t resist a double-dip.

 

Sweet Bones

No bones about it: These are some seriously spooky meringues. Dip in chocolate, or shape into ghosts and add chocolate chips as eyes.

 

Rest in Peas

Use Halloween-shaped cookie cutters – gravestones, bats, witch hats, skulls, and pumpkins – to create festive croutons for this most unusual dip. A creamy mixture of cooked peas mimic the appearance of graveyard grass, but tastes so much better!

 

Black-Widow Spider Bites

Real spiders would not be welcome at the Halloween celebration but this savory rendition – made with sweet potato chips, avocado, and olives – makes perfect horror d’oeuvres. Dig into this creepy crawling snack before it bites you back!

 

Caramel Apples

Caramel apples are essential to Halloween as ghosts and goblins galore. Sprinkling flaky sea salt on the rich caramel cuts the sweetness and adds a crunchy texture, making this a scary good treat.

Weekend Events: October 25-27

It has been a busy week, so all you want to do is put your feet up and relax. But, do you? You’ll miss out on all of these fun-filled weekend events! Food trucks, a spooky orchestra, scary museums, a concert, and a Día de Los Muertos celebration! Still want to hang out on the couch? We didn’t think so. Put on something comfy and head out that door! We’ve got the perfect weekend events for you before the hustle and bustle of Halloween weekend.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 25, 2019

Food Tour of Downtown Los Angeles

Location: Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles

This guided Downtown LA food tour includes six unique stops showcasing the best of the growing, diverse DTLA food scene. Our expert foodies have done extensive and delicious research to offer you the ultimate best-of food tour of DTLA.

Natural History of Horror

Location: Natural History Museum, USC/Exposition Park

The Natural History Museum is taking a look at the science and history that inspired some of the film’s most iconic, hideous creatures. “Natural History of Horror” will tackle scientific discoveries, like the excavation of King Tut’s tomb, and explore how they influenced the classic Halloween movies, like The Mummy and Frankenstein.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

 

‘Psycho’ Live Orchestra

Location: The Theatre Ace Hotel, Downtown Historic Core

The LA Opera and the Theatre at Ace Hotel join forces once again for a spooky mash-up of film and opera. Hole up in the Ace’s gothic auditorium for a screening of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho, complete with a live accompaniment from LA Opera Orchestra. Stick around after the October 26 performance for the Ace’s “A Hitchcock Halloween,” a haunted costume party in the hotel theater’s cathedral-like lobby.

Saturday October 26, 2019

Morrissey + Interpol

Location: Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood

The Los Angeles love affair with Morrissey continues. Due to popular demand, Morrissey has announced a final show of his arena headline run at the Hollywood Bowl. British national treasure Morrissey brings his Smiths and solo hits to Los Angeles, with support from moody aughts post-punk band Interpol.

Grand Park Downtown Día de Los Muertos

Location: Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles

Join Grand Park and Self-Help Graphics & Art—which hosts its own Day of the Dead celebration—for a nine-day display of altars erected within the park alongside large-scale art installations curated by LORE Media and Arts. This holiday originates in Mexico. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. With stunningly decorated Calaveras, and delicious food you won’t want to miss out on Día de Los Muertos at Grand Park!

True Crime of Los Angeles/Ghost Tour

Location: Heritage Square Museum, Montecito Heights

Step into the sordid history of Victorian love triangles, a deadly party at a speakeasy and the suspect circumstances surrounding a riot as part of this turn-of-the-20th-century true crime tour at Heritage Square. In addition to the daytime walking tour, the museum will also host an after-dark ghost tour, in which small groups will retrace the stories of the families who once lived in the houses at Heritage Square.

Sunday October 27, 2019

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Location: Old Zoo, Griffith Park

Like seemingly all pop culture horror experiences right now, this year’s Haunted Hayride will set the action in the mid-’80s in the fictitious town of Midnight Falls. This Hayride is a Los Angeles Halloween classic that you cannot miss!

Second Home Serpentine Pavilion by SelgasCano

Location: La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Miracle Mile

Each summer, a different world-renowned architect constructs a short-lived immersive pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens. One of those fleeting structures is headed stateside: SelgasCano’s crisscross of airy rainbow tunnels will welcome visitors who are looking for colorful photo ops and free performances. Hosted by coworking space Second Home and the Natural History Museum.

Rooftop Cinema Club

Location: NeueHouse Hollywood

The masters of alfresco rooftop movie viewing have returned for another season of screenings in Hollywood and Downtown L.A. Rooftop Cinema Club is your comfortable and less stressful alternative to other outdoor movie screenings. Rooftop Cinema Club provides you with your very own comfy lawn chair, as well as blankets on request for the ultimate cozy experience. What’s more? You’ll get a set of wireless headphones so you never have to miss a word.

Top 10 Halloween Movies

Grab a bowl of buttery popcorn, light the fireplace and cozy up in a blanket because it is Halloween movie night! We put together a medley of the best Halloween movies to date! Whether it’s a family movie night or if you’re looking to get seriously spooked, we have all the right choices for you!

 

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Rating-PG

Witchcraft, black cats, and one spooky neighborhood! Three witches (played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy) return 300 years after being hung for their 17th-century spell work in Salem, Massachusetts. These three sinister women must take the life of a child and three kids who also happen to have resurrected the witches by accident. The kids go on a mission to stop the witches from returning Salem to the way it was when they first lived.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Rating-PG

After dying in a car crash, the ghosts of Adam and Barbara Maitland are informed that they have to remain in their house for 150 years. Which is fine, until the house is sold to a family they can’t stand. The Maitlands love their home and don’t want Deetz living in it! The couple hires freelance bio-exorcist Beetle Juice to scare the Deetzes away. See this family-friendly Halloween classic to find out what happens next!

Halloween (1978)

Rating-R

A serious spine-chilling suspense, this 70s classic will scare you out of your wits! You might want to keep a light or two on for this one. A murder, stalking, and institutionalization. Have you gotten goosebumps yet?

The Conjuring (2013) 

Rating-R

A freaky looking house in Rhode Island, and paranormal activity inside those four walls. What’s more? This movie is based on a true story. The Perron family moves into this frightening looking house. When increasingly scary things continue to happen to them, they call the Warrens to investigate. Their findings are straight out of your nightmares!

Halloweentown (1998)

Rating- PG

This classic is perfect for a family movie night. Marnie and her kids are in for a surprise when they follow their grandma home to Halloween town. They find out that they are from a family of witches! Halloweentown is the only place where supernatural beings can lead a normal life. With monsters of all sizes roaming the streets going about their daily lives. Marnie soon discovers that she and her family are involved in a fight against the very same evil that is threatening to take over the world.

The Strangers (2008)

Rating-R

Kristen and James head out for a vacation stay in a cottage nestled in the woods. However, their stay turns out to be anything but peaceful. The eerie nature of this film is so spine chilling you may want to watch the lights on.

House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Rating-R

Stephen Price, a millionaire with theatrical tendencies invites several people to stay in a giant creepy building formerly an insane asylum. The millionaire is accompanied by his bitter wife Evelyn, Stephen offers a million dollars to anyone who can stay the whole night without leaving out of fear. Stephen and Evelyn become trapped with their guests and very angry spirits. 

IT Chapter Two (2019)

Rating- R

This time around, the grown-up losers must find a way to defeat IT and end its cycle of terror once and for all or else die trying. The sequel clocks in at just under three hours so clear up your evening and strap in for a scary adventure!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Rating- R

A creepy killer who stalks you through your unconscious mind, scared yet? Caution: this movie may give you nightmares. The slasher film rests on the notion that not even your dreams are safe from Freddy Krueger.

Scream (1996)

Rating-R

This film is the perfect mix of funny, clever and scary, as fright-masked knife maniac stalks high school students in middle-class suburbia. Scream follows the character of Sydney Prescott, a high school student in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California who becomes the target of a mysterious killer in a Halloween costume known as Ghostface.

Out and About: Trick or Treating in LA

Trick or treating can be tricky, especially in a massive metropolitan area like our very own Los Angeles. We’ve handpicked the best neighborhoods to get your favorite treats! Gather your little goblins and ghouls, witches and princesses, Batman and Wonder Woman and get ready for buckets of delicious chocolate, candy and sweets!

1. Walden Drive, Beverly Hills

Walden Drive in Beverly Hills is the best spot for family-friendly trick or treating! The owner of the famous storybook “Witch House,” Michael Libow continues a decade-long tradition by handing out 5,000 custom-labeled chocolate bars.

2. Carroll Avenue and Douglas Street, Angelino Heights

Known as the Haunted District, Angelino Heights is the perfect setting for a spooky Halloween night. The street is lined with antique craftsman bungalows and Victorian mansions making it a great destination for families to go door to door to fill their buckets with candy!

3. Brentwood Glen

The Westside of Brentwood Glen, the walkable neighborhood is a slice of Americana. Residents are generous with their candy and their Halloween spirit, making it the ideal spot for little trick-or-treaters who are new to the tradition. Beware the spookily decorated homes and glowing carved pumpkins!

4. Grand Hope Park at the Fashion Institute of Design Merchandise, Downtown

Downtown is not the easiest place to go trick or treating, but the local community knows how to throw a great event! The Annual Halloween Party at Grand Hope Park is a fun-filled evening for the whole family! Bounce houses, caramel apples, “trick-or-treat-doors” and lots of candy! The event will be held October 31st, from 5 pm to 8 pm and tickets cost $8 in advance, $10 day of.

5. Dell and Venice Boulevard, Venice Beach

The canal neighborhood of Venice Beach goes all- in every Halloween. Take your little zombies and witches and walk around the bridges, soak in the spooky decorations and twinkly lights!

Home Tips: 10 Spooky Décor Ideas

Your front door is brimming with Halloween décor potential – all you need is a little imagination. Decorating your door requires a bit of creativity, especially if you’re hoping to forge a festive but sophisticated entry display. Here are ten somewhat spooky Halloween front door décor ideas that don’t sacrifice an inch of style.

1. Knock Knock

For a stylish, but a slightly spooky way to greet guests this season? This aged iron owl door knocker will be a real hoot with trick-or-treaters on October 31.

2. Spooky Greeters

A little lighting goes a long way when it comes to decorating your door to Halloween. This bat-clad light-up wreath is composed of rattan branches and features glowing LED lights for added eeriness.

3. Welcome to the Bat Cave

Out your current doormat for a festive style to welcome visitors on Halloween. This spiderweb-inspired half-round mat is mad of black coconut husk bristles so it’s every bit as durable as it is creepy.

4. Bat Attack

For a foolproof way to bring an unexpectedly spooky element to your front door this Halloween? These easy-to-use vinyl bats cling to the glass of windows and mirrors and don’t leave any residue behind.

5. Beetlejuice Inspired Banner

Your Halloween door décor to make a statement? This sleek-but-spooky banner will do the talking for you on your front door this season.

6. Pretty Pumpkins

Said Halloween décor can’t be chic has never seen these hand-punched ceramic pumpkins. Place a couple of these terra-cotta candleholders on your front porch to create a warm, ambient glow on All Hallows Eve.

7. Enter at Your Own Risk

Underestimate the impact of a creepy front door wreath on Halloween. This eye-catching metal wreath is decorated with dozens of individually crafted and welded black bats – with red eyes to boot.

8. Halloween Charm

For a wreath that captures the playfulness of Halloween? This nostalgic wreath made of natural air-dried maple leaves comes clad in vintage-inspired ghosts, candy corn and jack-o-lantern ornaments for added charms.

9. Go with the Classic

You can always count on pumpkin-shaped planters to make a festive statement at your front door on Halloween. These faux pumpkin planters are composed of weatherproof plastic so they’ll look great on your porch all season long.

10. The Witch is in the Details

Spooky scary goblins, spiders and bats aren’t your thing, keep your décor classy with a fun little message for visitors.

Weekend Events: October 11-13

The air is getting chilly, well…for Los Angeles, which means it is nearly sweater weather! Grab a hot pumpkin spice latte,  put on your favorite fall sweater and get ready for a fun filled weekend! We have a list of both indoor and outdoor events, festive and non festive. Scroll down and check out our favorite event picks to help you unwind after a long work week. Enjoy!

Friday October 11th, 2019

Pie Night at 189 by Dominique Ansel

Location: 189 by Dominique Ansel, Fairfax District

Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm or 7:30-9:00pm

The world famous all you can eat pie night is back! With the leaves rupturing into ruby reds and bright orange, Halloween decorations going up, and shorter days. What better time of year to ring in pie season than the crisp autumn days of October? Every ticket includes unlimited slices of 10 different pies, including sweet and savory options from Ansel his 189 by Dominique Ansel team and few other lauded chefs (Wolfgang Puck and BBQ champ Aaron Franklin). Did we mention that there will be ice cream?

“The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China”

Location: LACMA, Miracle Mile

 Time: 10am-7pm

Wu Hang, exhibition organizer from the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum has categorized the creators at the center of “The Allure of Matter”. The 21 featured artists all employ unconventional materials to create their works. For example, Zhang Huan used temple incense ash to form a landscape of field workers or Wang Jin’s imperial robes made from PVC. Unwind after a long week at work with some artistic inspiration from the far east!

Cinema Phantasmagoria

Location: Million Dollar Theater

 Time: Depends on show, see website

What screams Halloween more than Hocus Pocus, Halloween, or Beetlejuice? We’ve got just the right place for you to catching screenings of all your favorite Halloween flicks! Head over to Million Dollar Theater to unwind with one of your favorites. Guests are welcome to bring food from the neighboring Grand Central Market into the theater, and can embark on a backstage ghost tour. There is an early and late screening each evening, what’s more? Your single ticket gets you into both of them!

 

Saturday October 12th, 2019

Halloween Horror Nights

Location: Universal Studios

Time: 6:30pm-2:00am

In the mood to get spooked? Enter a world more terrifying than you can imagine at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, now with more mazes than ever. You can run but there’s no hiding from the screams of five new scare zones, each with spine tingling hair raising monsters and unimaginable horrors. Finish off the evening with watching out of this world moves from the Jabbawockeez.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Location: Griffith Park OLD ZOO

Time: 7:00pm

Your pre-Halloween scare awaits! The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride presents: midnight falls, an eerie and mysterious village set in 1985 where time is at a halt and its always Halloween!  Newly reimagined attractions include Trick or Treat haunted maze, Roadkill Ranch open air maze and Midnight Falls town square!

 

All star comedy night @ The laugh factory 

Location: Laugh Factory

Time: 9:30pm-10:45pm

Got a favorite comedian from Hulu, HBO, Netflix or TV shows and films? Well grab a friend and go see all your favorites at Laugh Factory this Saturday night. Be sure to put your name on the guest list as it closes 15 minutes prior to show time! Saturday Nights line up features  Jay Davis, Dom Irrera, Dean Delray, Orny Adams, Gina Yashere.

Sunday October 13th, 2019

Maple BlocktoberFest 

Location: Maple Block Meat Co. Culver City

Time: 12pm-4pm

Enjoy an all you can eat BBQ, Biergarten featuring four craft breweries (Boulevard Brewing, Ommegang, Boomtown Brewery, and Shiner Beer) pumpkin decorating, music, cornhole, games, a raffle a bounce house for the kids; the ticket includes all of the above including unlimited craft beer tastings from all four breweries (selection of 14-16 beers).

Farmers Market Bakery Pop-Up

Location: Beverly Hills Farmers Market

Time: 10am-2pm

Cater to your sweet tooth after that brunch date. Come and taste some of the best French Pastries in LA! Anyone who RSVP gets a dollar off on anything they purchase from the vendors. Macarons, Eclairs, Opera Cakes, Mille-Feuille just to name a few! They’ve got all your favorite mouth watering pastries!

Sisters in Law at The Wallis 

Location: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Time: 2:30pm & 7:30pm

This new production, based on Linda Hirshman’s New York Times bestseller, celebrates the friendship – and conflict — between two modern-day legends who became the United States Supreme Court’s first female justices. Sisters in law transcends party, religion, and culture with a tale of Democrat Ginsburg and Republican O’Connor, two polar opposites, as they grapple with matters of the law and personal belief.

Perfect Recipes for Fall

Halloween is right around the corner and we’ve got the perfect recipes for your holiday get together! Whether you are having a gathering for the kiddos, friends over for some cocktails, or a more formal three-course meal. With these mouthwatering recipes your guests will leave with a full belly and a smile on their face! We put together a list of appetizers, entrees, drinks, and desserts! Pick and choose or mix and match for a Halloween feast!

Appetizers:

7-Layer Spider Web Dip:

Start your Halloween fiesta with a flavorful chip dip. Perfect for everyone, including the kids! The black olives and sour cream give it that spooky Halloween look.

 Ingredients:
  • 1 can (15 ounces) refried beans
  • A single packet of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup mild or medium chunky salsa (make sure it’s not watery)
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sour cream, separated
  • 1/2 can drained olives, separated
  • 1 cup prepared guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1 (10-12 inch) round plate, pie tin, or tart dish 
Instructions:  
  • 1 cup mild or medium chunky salsa (make sure it’s not watery)
  • A single packet of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can (15 ounces) refried beans
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 can drained olives, separated
  • 1 cup prepared guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1 cup sour cream, separated
  • A (10-12 inch) round plate, pie tin, or tart dish

 

 

Charcuterie Board:

Give your guests plenty of options to snack on while dinner is finishing up with a charcuterie board. Make it a colorful autumn mix with cheddar cheese, black grapes, red pepperoni slices, green celery, red meat slices, and a little pumpkin to give it that Halloween pop.

 Ingredients 
  • 8 oz Italian dry salami sliced
  • 4 oz uncured Salame di Parma
  • 6 oz smoked prosciutto
  • 4 oz sliced prosciutto
  • 8 oz Apricot Cherry Cranberry Goat’s Milk Cheese
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese sliced
  • 8 oz traditional French Brie
  • 11 oz fig butter
  • 8 oz 1000 day hard gouda cheese
  • 5 oz sweet and spicy pecans
  • 4 oz pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Granny Smith apples sliced
  • 2 Honey Crisp apples sliced
  • 1 bunch Concord grapes
  • 1 bunch Champagne grapes
  • 6 fresh figs sliced in half
  • 10 oz Stone Ground Wheat Crackers
  • 2 11 oz French baguettes sliced
  • 11 oz naturally flavored candy corn
  • fresh lemon juice as needed
Instructions:

 Assemble on a 20 inch round platter.

If assembling ahead of time, brush apples lightly with lemon juice to avoid browning.

Pumpkin Soup:

The perfect way to warm up on a chilly autumn night is with of course, soup! Soups are the perfect appetizer, they are light and fill your tummy up just enough to save your big appetite for the main dish.

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 large Garlic cloves
  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • 2 1/4 lb. pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh majoram
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 c. frozen corn
  • 6 c. vegetable broth 
Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in green peppers, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until peppers soften, about 8 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes.

Main Course:

Cider Scalloped Potatoes with Smoked Gouda:

Potatoes are the perfect comfort food. Take one scoop and place it on your plate, take a bite and enjoy the crispy outside and moist inside of the potato, the apple cider adds just the right amount of kick!

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • 2 lb. Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes
Instructions:  

Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter a 10- by 2-inch round baking dish or a 8- by 12-inch rectangular baking pan; set aside.

Place flour in a medium-heavy saucepan; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in cider, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Cook for 1 minute more and remove saucepan from heat; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine Gouda and Jarlsberg cheeses. Arrange half of the sliced potatoes, slightly overlapping, in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Arrange remaining potatoes on top. Pour cider mixture over potatoes.

Bake 25 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven. Using a metal spatula, press down on potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture; return to oven. Bake until potatoes are fork-tender and the top is crusted and lightly browned — about 20 minutes more. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

Pumpkin Baked Ziti With Sausage:

Ziti noodles, and baked? Sounds like a mouth watering combination. What’s more, sautéed in garlic, bay leaf, safe leaves, nutmeg, pumpkin puree, and red pepper flakes. Hungry yet? This rich medley of flavors is pretty amazing! Add sausage or go vegetarian!

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ziti or rigatoni noodles, cooked to al dente
  • 1 pound sage sausage (can substitute for sweet Italian)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like chardonnay)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350

Brown the sausage in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the fat is rendered and the sausage is no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.

In the same skillet, add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt / pepper to taste. Cook one more minute.

Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. The heat should remain to medium high. Add the stock and stir in the pumpkin puree. Mix until everything is incorporated. The pumpkin will thicken the sauce.

Stir in the sausage and transfer to a large bowl with the pasta. Mix until combined.

Transfer back to your cast iron skillet (or a baking dish) and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes until bubbly.

Garnish with sage and parsley. Fried sage is good too! Enjoy this with a nice glass of white wine, preferably the one you used earlier

 

 Tex-Mex Lasagna:

 This tasty entrée is a great follow up meal to the chip dip appetizer; following the same flow of flavors, this lasagna will send your tastebuds on a savory ride!

 Ingredients:
  •  1 pound of lean ground beef/chicken/vegetarian meat
  • A 1 cup of frozen diced onion red and green bell pepper, and celery
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free chipotle seasoning blend 1 (24-oz.) jar mild salsa
  • 1 (15-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained 1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend Toppings: sour cream, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed 16 (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas
Instructions:

Cook first 5 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef crumbles and is no longer pink.

Stir in salsa and next 3 ingredients. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Layer 1 cup beef mixture, 2 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 1/2 cup cheese in a lightly greased 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dish. Repeat layers once. Repeat procedure with 3 additional 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dishes. Cover dishes with nonstick aluminum foil.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with desired toppings.

Note: To use a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish, prepare recipe through Step Omit 4 corn tortillas. Layer one-third beef mixture, 6 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 2 cups cheese. Repeat layers with one-third beef mixture, remaining 6 tortillas, remaining beef mixture, and ending with remaining 2 cups cheese. Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

Drinks:

Blood Orange Blackberry Rum Punch:

This delicious treat can serve as a dessert, with a tangy kick to finish off your meal if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth. The ruby red blood orange juice, and blackberries give it that dark spooky Halloween feel.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chilled blood orange juice
  • 4 (12 ounce) chilled natural blackberry sodas
  • 1 cup rum
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 blood orange thinly sliced
  • pansies to garnish (optional)
Instructions:

In a large pitcher filled with ice combine all of the ingredients. Stir gently to combine.

Add several blackberries and an orange slice to each glass and pour the punch into the glasses. Garnish with a pans if desired and serve immediately.

 

Spiced Warm Cider

What better way to ring in the holidays than with some warm cider on a cold evening? Garnish your drinks with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.

 Ingredients:
  • 64 oz. apple cider
  • 6 chai tea bags
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • Apple sticks, for serving
  • Cinnamon sticks for serving
Instructions:

Combine apple cider, chai tea bags, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean in slow cooker. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours. Discard tea bags; stir in lemon juice. Serve warm with apple slices and cinnamon stick.

Good and Evil Potion

 If you’re in the mood for something cold, go with the good and evil potion. This cocktail is just as pretty as it is delicious!

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. ApplePucker
  • 1 oz. Midori
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 handful ice
  • pineapple juice
  • Sierra Mist
  • lemon slice, for garnish
Instructions:

Combine vodka, ApplePucker, Midori, and Triple Sec in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake.

Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass, then top with pineapple juice and Sierra Mist. Garnish with a slice of lemon (optional).

Dessert:

Strawberry Ghosts:

Our most adorable treat on the list are these strawberry ghosts! This treat is as easy to bake as it is to eat! The kiddos will definitely have fun with these precious little treats!

Ingredients:
  • 2 c. strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c. white chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chocolate chips, melted
Instructions:

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine melted white chocolate and coconut oil and stir until combined. Dip strawberries into white chocolate and place two mini chocolate chips on the top half of the strawberries for eyes. Place strawberries on prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden, about 10 minutes.

Place melted chocolate chips in a ziploc bag and pipe mouths on the strawberries.

Let cool again in the refrigerator, 5 minutes. Serve.

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

 Nothing screams Halloween more than pumpkin spice, and in a cake?  Yes you read that correctly, a pumpkin spice cake! Alas, your wildest dreams have come to life!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup

Frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp real maple syrup
Instructions:

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 or 10 x 15 pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Make the cake: In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with electric mixer until just combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add dry mixture to the wet ingredients in 2 additions, mixing well after each. Add the TBSP of maple syrup and mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (It may have some moist crumbs on it – but shouldn’t have wet batter). Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: While the cake bakes, make the frosting. Soften cream cheese and butter together in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. (See note if browning the butter). Cream well with mixer. Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and maple syrup and mix until combined.

Serve + Store: Frost the cake when cool. Use the back of a dinner spoon to make swirls in the frosting, if desired. Store leftovers, covered tightly, in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Make ahead tips: The cake can be made a day in advance. Bake as directed, and let it cool completely. Cover well with plastic wrap/foil and leave at room temp. Frosting can be made a day ahead too – cover well and store in the fridge. Let frosting sit out for 10 minutes before frosting so it’s pliable. If the top of the cake tears a little when you try frosting it, cover it and chill in fridge for 15 minutes.

Spider Pumpkin Cake:

This delicious dessert could very well serve as your center piece as it could a delicious finish to your meal.

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. good-quality cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. good-quality cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh-grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting
Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter three 8-inch cake pans and fit each bottom with an 8-inch circle of parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

Divide the batter among the pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean — about 35 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove cakes and cool. (For cupcakes: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in standard cupcake tins and fill each with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 22 minutes.)

Trim each of the layers. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one third of the frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers. (To ensure that the cake layers do not shift, cut three skewers to 1/4 inch shorter than the full height of the cake and insert them before icing the top layer.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.

                 

Weekend Events: October 4-6

It’s officially the spookiest time of the year and fall came in with a hurry. With so many fun things to do this season, we’re rounding up this weekends top choices. From a Dumpling Festival to GOT at The Hollywood Bowl, the options are endless! Spend some time out and around L.A. and discover your inner Angeleno!

Friday, October 4
San Gabriel Dumpling & Beer Fest 2019

Location: Historic San Gabriel Mission District

The City of San Gabriel is proud to present the 5th Annual award-winning Dumpling & Beer Fest! The event will feature dumplings, craft beers, desserts, DJs, and live entertainment! Foodies and beer enthusiasts are invited to partake in experiencing a local twist on Oktoberfest. The event is free and open to the general public. Wristbands can be purchased online  in advance until October 4th.

Click here for more info!

2019 Pacific Park World Taco Eating Championship

Location: Pacific Park

Join us for the 2019 Pacific Park World Taco Eating Championship in honor of National Taco Day on Friday, October 4th at 11AM at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. Watch Joey Chestnut, the number-one ranked competitive eater in the world, compete against 14 other Major League Eaters to see who can chow down on the most LA street-style carnitas tacos in 8 minutes!

Click here for more info!

2019 Ventura Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Show

Location: 2019 Ventura Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Show

The 2019 Ventura Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Show, is coming to Seaside Park at the Ventura County Fairgrounds October 4-6, complete with Kids’ Zone with a pumpkin patch, an outdoor stage with live entertainment, and three buildings brimming with hundreds of captivating arts & crafts and specialty foods.

Click here for more info!

Saturday, October 5
4th Annual Say NO Bullying Festival

Location: Griffith Park

Come ALL! 4th Annual Say NO Bullying Festival is an outdoor extravaganza which empowers and educates the entire community (all ages). The festival will feature messages from bully prevention influencers, some of today’s hottest musical talent, exhibit/resource booths, food, celebrities and a massive group of supporters. The event is hosted by the Human Growth Foundation.

Click here for more info!

Game Of Thrones Live Concert Experience – Music By Ramin Djawadi

Location: The Hollywood Bowl

The critically acclaimed Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will return this fall, bringing the music of Emmy® Award-winning Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi to stunning new life at outdoor theatres across North America. As we say goodbye to one of the biggest shows and scores in television history, relive the greatest musical pieces and footage from all eight seasons in an immersive outdoor concert experience.

Click here for more info!

33rd Annual California Avocado Festival

Location: Downtown Carpinteria on Linden Avenue

Why avocados? Well, Santa Barbara County is the third largest avocado producer in North America, with Carpinteria being a major contributor. It’s all good (fat, that is)! The 33rd Annual California Avocado Festival takes place in Downtown Carpinteria this weekend only. Admission to the Festival is FREE. There are four entertainment stages with over 75 acts in total as well as dozens of arts and crafts vendors, commercial vendors and food booths. The festival is home to the world’s largest vat of guacamole! Other activities include Best Guacamole Contest, Avocado Auction and more.

Click here for more info!

Sunday, October 6
CicLAvia—Heart of LA Celebrating UCLA100

Location: Hollywood/Highland Metro Station

Don’t miss a special edition of CicLAvia’s beloved Heart of LA route, presented by Metro and celebrating UCLA’s centennial. Come along for the ride as they explore Westlake, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, and DTLA (where UCLA originally began as a teachers college), by bike, board, or foot.

Click here for more info!

Nick Jr. Live! Move to the Music

Location: Dolby Theatre

Join the Nick Jr. Live at this day of fun for the whole family! VIP Experience premium main floor seating and Meet and Greet with Dora the Explorer and Rubble from PAW Patrol. Don’t miss an Exclusive photo opportunity with Blaze from Blaze and the Monster Machines, a VIP merchandise item, a souvenir lanyard, and more!

Click here for more info!

14th Annual Denim, Diamonds & Stars for Autism

Location: 14th Annual Denim, Diamonds & Stars for Autism

This star-studded, red carpet charitable event raises funds to provide direct care and treatment to children with autism. Event will The fundraiser will feature a VIP & general cocktail reception, silent & live auctions, live entertainment, seated gourmet dinner catered by Four Seasons Hotel award-winning chefs, and an exciting program of celebrity presenters, live entertainment, and a special tribute to 2019 honorees.

Click here for more info!