Chipotle Almond Kettle Corn

Chipotle Almond Kettle Corn

Chipotle Almond Kettle Corn

Only a couple days left until the ultimate sugarfest known as Halloween. If you get sick of noshing on mini chocolate bars and candy apples (do people still make/eat candy apples on Halloween anymore?) why not make a homemade snack that’s not only sweet, but also salty and spicy? Win-win-win if you ask me.

I got a pack of chipotle maple almonds from Naturebox and while they suggested mixing the nuts in a homemade popcorn, their delightful flavor combo inspired me to throw together this special chipotle kettle corn. As we all know, I love chipotle. A lot. It’s kind of weird. Anyway:

Chipotle Almond Kettle Corn

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The Ultimate Comfort Foods

Mexico altar, LuisVG Wikimedia

Lisa Rogak’s book Death Warmed Over explores the world’s ultimate comfort foods: 75 recipes typically served at funeral ceremonies of different cultures around the globe. With Halloween (and Mexico’s Day of the Dead) just around the corner, Lisa joins ES to share a recipe for bread of the dead.

While there are many funeral traditions throughout Mexico, the best-known post-funeral celebration is The Day of the Dead, also known as All Souls’ Day, on November 2nd. Officially, it is the one day of the year when dead ancestors return to earth to visit. November 1st is All Saints’ Day, and traditionally, celebrations begin that evening, though in the daytime families tend to honor children who have died, reserving the evenings for adult ancestors.

On November 2nd, the family will spend the day at the cemetery where loved ones are buried. They clean the area around the grave, wash the tombstone, and place the deceased’s favorite foods around the grave. Huge flower arrangements are also common. Most families also build a small altar – either at the gravesite or at the home or office – and place food offerings and favorite items on it as well

Food is also a central part of Day of the Dead celebrations for those still walking the earth: Special black plates and bowls are only sold during the last two weeks in October and bakeries make hundreds of the life-size skull-shaped cakes with the name of the deceased written in frosting on the forehead. In fact, candy and desserts take center stage during the Day of the Dead, from chocolate caskets to candy skeletons. Indeed, like other cultures that saved biscuits and cakes from the funeral as a memento of a lost loved one, many Mexicans will hold onto these candy bones for years.

Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)

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Pumpkin Spice Cake Martini

Cocktail O’ Clock: Pumpkin Spice Cake Martini

Pumpkin Spice Cake Martini

I’ll admit it: I love cake vodka! Especially Three Olives Cake Vodka, because it seriously tastes like delicious vanilla cake mix batter. Then again, as a kid I would eat raw cake batter by the spoonful, so I’m not sure what this all says about me. I’m also one of those obnoxious people who unabashedly loves fall flavors, especially anything pumpkin spice related. Since everyone is going crazy for pumpkin spice lattes once again, I figured, let’s improve this autumn trend by spiking it! Thus the Pumpkin Spice Cake Martini is born.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Martini

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Endless Halloween

halloween collage

Today is the last day of September, which means it’s just about time to start the great Halloween brainstorm.

Whether you’re looking for a punny costume, Halloween cocktails, or 100 ways to cook a pumpkin, we got all your foodie Halloween love right here in Endless Halloween.  

Top 5 Halloween Pinterest Recipes

Finally, Halloween is here! We’ve spent weeks dreaming about candy, cocktails, and all sorts of festive party snacks, but you know how it goes… the day hits and you realize you’re one recipe short, or you get invited to a last-minute shindig… never fear, we’ve got you covered. ES has been compiling the best, weirdest, and funniest Halloween ideas on our Endless Halloween Pinboard. Here are the top five most repinned discoveries we’ve posted (not counting our own amazing ideas and creations, which you can find collected here!).

5. Halloween Candy Bark
From Annie’s Eats

Butterfingers, Reeses Cups, M&Ms, honey-roasted peanuts, and toffee candy paired with both bittersweet and white chocolate? Sounds like a recipe for a massive amount of cavities… and a massive amount of Halloween happiness. Also good for post-Halloween when you need to use up all that leftover trick-or-treat candy.

4. White Chocolate Bones
From Inspire Co. / Spoonful

Here’s one that’s perfect for all the last-minute lazybones. (Get it? Sorry.) With only three ingredients, these bones manage to be sweet, salty, crunchy, and pretty cool looking.

3. Pretzel Spiderwebs
From Mom Endeavors

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Top 10 Beers to Drink on Halloween

Other than eating half of it, what are you planning on doing while handing out Halloween candy? Hopefully you’re planning on scaring the crap out of kids. Or maybe popping in your favorite scary movie. Regardless, why not do that while drinking a seasonal brew?

I’ve sampled each of the beers listed (and then some) to create a lineup of the top ten beers to drink on Halloween. Rather than ranking them, I put them into my own categories in order for you to determine which would be your best pick. I suggest picking two (or three) solid choices that you know you will like. Then, take a risk and try something new! On to the research:

Sweetest Pumpkin Beer: Tommyknocker Brewery’s “Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale”

ABV: 5%

Pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top. That pretty much sums up this one. It smells like pumpkin pie and tastes like pumpkin pie. This is not for those out there that don’t enjoy sweets, particularly sweet beers. But for those who do, try it out. It’s a great dessert beer. It is medium bodied and has more of a sweet pumpkin taste than the spice taste that most pumpkin beers do. It’s a crisp, clear brew that’s easy (and sweet) drinking.

Spiciest Pumpkin Beer: Sam Adams Fat Jack Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 8.5%

You’ve heard about this one before, but trust me, it’s got all you want for a cool fall night. The brew offers a warming feeling with every sip–the same feeling in your stomach you get from a sip of Jack Daniels—while also delivering the sweet taste of pumpkin. You can taste the spices of cinnamon, ginger, and even the allspice together with pumpkin.

“Tastes Most Like Pumpkin” Beer: Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking Ale

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Taco-Themed Photo of the Day: Doritos Loco Halloween Costume

At a Patron-fueled Halloween bash in downtown Austin this weekend, I stumbled upon my favorite costume of Halloween 2012. And yes, of course it is hilarious and food-themed. May I present:

The Taco Bell Doritos Loco! A beautiful homemade creation, comprised mostly of artfully arranged tissue paper. The sombrero is an elegant touch.

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