Welcome to the 13 Days of Halloween
Here we are with another 13 days of Halloween upon us. Can. You. Dig it? I am sofa king excited!! This year has been a pretty big year for this lil blog o’ mine and as you’ve seen from a couple of previous posts, I’m takin’ her out a whole new door. Collaborating with some of the brilliant and wickedly talented creepsters I personally know has been so much fun. So much fun, in fact, that I’ve decided to continue on with it, whenever the mood strikes. And today will be one of those collaborative days. What?? Back-to-back collaborative posts (you ask). Is she mad (you wonder)? No! I assure you, I’m perfectly sane, bruh. So stay in your lane. I must say, the first day in the 13 days of Halloween countdown has always been my favorite; it’s full of the excitement and “fuck yeah” that I love so much. In this post, I’m collaborating with a long-time friend who has a plethora of talents. Some of those talents we will not discuss because this is a PG blog–wait, is it a PG blog?—Ummmm—maybe more like N-17. How many f-bombs does it take for something to get an R rating? (Asking for a friend.) Anywho, the talent I’ll be featuring today is culinary. About a month ago, I messaged him and threw down this challenge, “Create a menu and I’ll write a blog post around this menu.” And gadzooks, did he deliver! So here, we are with one kickass Halloween menu featured in one fine ass blog post. Who is this person that I speak of? Well, in order to tell you that—a story must first be told—settle in, creepsters.
Once upon a time, there was a dude and a dame. And because they both shared a love for the dark and twisty and taxidermy, a bond was formed, and years of hard to explain convos (one consisting of only using emojis, another with aquatic puns—mostly fish) transpired. She became his qween (his spelling), and he became her minion—a dynamic duo came to be and the world made a wee bit less sense that day. Now, it’s true that we’re not as epic a duo as, say, Maleficent and Diablo— no, we’re more the Flora and Fauna of dynamic duos (and I ain’t talkin’ about plants and animals) click here to see what I am talking about. That’s right–the Amore twins! Let’s get started . . .
In this post
- song of the day
- villains and sidekicks and shizz
- what’s on the menu
Song of the Day
Today’s SOTD comes to us courtesy of Jered (minion). When asked what his favorite Halloween song was, this was his answer. Outstanding choice! “Dragula” is the first Rob Zombie song I ever heard. I was down in the cities at the state pool tournament and it came on the radio while we were gearing up to compete. Needless to say, I was headbanging within the first few riffs. My absolute favorite part of this video is Rob’s “nod” to the SNL “Roxbury Guys” within the first car scene of the video. So good!
Villains and Sidekicks and Shizz
So, here’s my question–who (in the cinematic universe) has earned the title of “best” in the following categories: best female villains, best sidekicks, and best villain names. My methodology for creating the following lists comes from days of research, copious amounts of vodka, and complicated mathematic formulas (I made my lists out of lists). Good times.
Best Female Villains
Where: Sleeping Beauty
Why: Most sinister of the Disney villains? Let’s see—she’s a heartless fairy who has no qualms about cursing a newborn baby simply because she was not invited to the baby shower. Oh yeah, that’s evil AF! And earns her the number one spot.
Who: Evil Queen (Queen Grimhilde for true fans)
Where: Snow White
Why: This witch makes several dastardly attempts to kill her stepdaughter, so that she (the queen) may retain her title of “fairest in the land.” If looks could kill—amiright?
Where: Thor: Ragnarok
Why: So not only was Hela Odin’s firstborn, she was also his strongest warrior and self-identified as the executioner. Now, there are those that may argue that this version of Hela was underwhelming and if you are one of them—please, click here. Listen, aside from manipulating and killing as she pleased, aside from sparking dread, awe, and scared shitlessness in all who encounter her—the bitch busted up Mjölnir!!!!
Where: Sleeping Beauty
Why: This raven is a straight-up asshole. He is sneaky, sadistic, and sedulous, not to mention clever, loyal, and kinda judgey. But, I guess none of us should be surprised by this. His name actually means “devil.” I feel like this may be a forehead smack moment for anyone who is today years old in discovering this.
Where: Young Frankenstein
Why: Digging up corpses—undying loyalty—flipping the big switch at the pivotal moment—all of these things (and more) make Igor a truly great sidekick. Plus (and this is an important addition), his one-liners are wildly entertaining. I love this movie—such a classic. If you haven’t seen it yet, then what the hell are you doing on my Halloween blog?
Who: Bellatrix Lastrange
Where: Harry Potter
Why: Described as being bat-shit-crazy, cruel, and unpredictable, Bellatrix is responsible for some of the evilest acts meted out in the Harry Potter series. She was a Death Eater and was noted (by Neville) as the main torturer of Frank and Alice Longbottom. And—AND—for what she did to Hermoine, I loath her!!
Best Villain Names
If (and when) you decide that being bad is way more fun than being good, change your name to some cool type of villain name. Oddly enough, I’ve got some ideas.
- Naughty Zombie
- Cruel Spider
- Obnoxious Commando
- Hissing Hornet
- Necrotic Ninja
- Professor Ancient Raven
- Agent Wicked Sage
- The Unwritten Shadow
- Drunk Illusionist
Because any villain worth their salt has a cat or two—maybe even three.
Villains who own Cats
Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth—I do not care for hairless cats. Jen and Randi, on the other hand, are inexplicably partial. Either way, this Sphynx with the sardonic grin is the perfect choice for its equally hairless master.
Gargamel and Azrael—My very first black kitty, I named Azrael. Do you know how many times I heard, “Why’d you name him Azrael? He’s not an orange kitty.” Funny thing is, I did not name my little black kitty after the cartoon cat. I named him after the angel.
Vito Corleone and Cannoli—I found out that this kitty was a stray that wandered on set. And because it was a contrast to the character’s mafia mentality, they kept the kitty in the movie. This one specifically made my list because recently my manipulation of words resonated with someone “like a Sicilian in matters of death.” Did I make an offer that couldn’t be refused? Or did I place a severed horse head within the bedsheets? Neither! Nevertheless, his point was valid and gave me a good chuckle. Kudos!
Now, when asked, the minion said his favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus—“duh!” Another fine choice! However, I’ve already featured the movie in The Sanderson Sisters. So tonight, in sticking with my theme, I’ve chosen this movie. I absolutely love this movie. I love the way they spin the storyline.
Aw, hell—let’s make it a double feature night, shall we?
What’s on the Menu
As planned, prepared, and pictured, here is what my most favored minion has created for you. You’ll notice from the first recipe image that this menu is classy AF. None of that blood and guts shizz I usually share (but most likely will be tomorrow’s menu).
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
Jered: I love fall. It’s the perfect time for warm, filling, hearty meals. I don’t, however, love how
freaking heavy and unhealthy many of these types of foods can be. Pumpkin chili is velvety and
rich beyond a standard chili, and I created this vegan recipe because I wanted a lighter version.
I’m all about healthy clean food, but I didn’t want to sacrifice ANY of the flavor or density of
regular chili. Adding the mushrooms and walnuts really keeps this dish feeling true to its origins.
It may seem weird, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
- 1 avocado
- fresh cilantro
- ½ cup yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno finely diced seeds removed
- 1 stalk diced celery
- 1 carrot sliced into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 large tomato diced
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 ½ cups fresh mushrooms (I prefer crimini but any will do)
- Zest of one full lime
- 1 sugar pumpkin (1 cup canned purée will work but…no)
- 1smaller zucchini halved and sliced into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 can dark kidney beans
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- ¾ cup corn (canned or fresh)
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 Tbls chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbls honey
- 1 Tbls Worcestershire sauce (make sure it’s vegan if that’s important to you)
- 1 Tbls low sodium soy sauce (make sure it’s vegan if that’s important to you)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Cut pumpkin into quarters and remove all seeds and goo by scraping it clean. Discard seeds
and goo. Place all 4 pieces shell side down on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Salt and Pepper to taste and then roast in oven for 30-45 minutes or until pumpkin flesh is soft and able to scrape clean from its shell. Set aside
- Place mushrooms and walnuts into a large food processor and blitz until they resemble large
pebble sand, and set aside
- In a large pot (I prefer an enameled cast iron Dutch Oven; such as LeCreuset) heat about a
tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.
- Place onion, carrot, and celery into pot and sauté until onions become translucent around 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and jalapeño, cook for one minute
- Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon.
- Cook for another minute stirring constantly.
- Add canned beans, tomatoes, corn, walnut/mushroom mix, broth, pumpkin, honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and stir to mix well.
- Bring to a slow boil and then simmer for thirty
minutes, stirring often to be sure nothing burns or sticks to bottom. You may need to reduce
heat if your stovetop runs hot.
- After 30 minutes add zucchini and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced avocado and a few cilantro leaves. It’s super hot so
don’t rush … it’ll stay warm enough to serve.
Curried Pumpkin Humbow
Jered: Humbows are fun to eat and totally fun to make. I make them all year round, but this time of year is all about pumpkins for me. It screams Halloween, Samhain, and all things fall! I also
prefer to bake mine and this may technically disqualify them from the title “Humbow” but I really
like the chew of a soft baked bread and so screw it all to hell. They’re my Humbows and I’ll
make them how I want. (: These are great as a small lunch or as an accompaniment to a lighter
main course. I’ve even been known to just eat a couple as an entire meal!
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 smaller onion diced
- ½ Tbls curry powder
- 1 tsp red curry paste
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Olive oil
Jered: Don’t get me started on the importance of quality flour… but King Arthur is the very best in my
opinion. I use their recipe here, but there are many versions of Anadama bread. This link also
contains a fun origin story for this loaf. I love that shit. Regardless, this particular type of bread is important because the use of masa and dark molasses in the recipe really pairs super well with the flavors in the filling.
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Cut pumpkin into quarters and scrape the seeds and goo off.
- Discard the seeds and goo.
- Place shell side down on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper.
- Roast for 30-45 minutes or until the flesh is soft and scrapes easily away from the shell.
- While pumpkin is roasting prepare bread recipe and set aside to rise.
- Once pumpkin is scraped from shells set aside.
- Place a small pot on the stove and heat a splash of olive oil in it. Cook onions until they begin to brown a bit at their edges, 5-7 minutes or so.
- Add the curry powder and turmeric continue to cook for another minute. Then add the
pumpkin, curry paste, and ginger.
- Cook on med/low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
- If it starts to get too thick add a tablespoon of water to keep it from drying out. It should be the consistency of pudding when finished.
- Remove from heat and let cool. This can be done up to three days in advance if need be.
- Keep filling in the refrigerator until you plan to use it.
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- When the dough has risen for the proper amount of time and the filling is cool enough to handle punch the dough down.
- Break off about ¼ cup of dough. This doesn’t have to be exact, just be
sure to use the same amount for each bun.
- Stretch the dough into a disc about ½ inch thick.
- Place about a tablespoon of filling in the center of the disc and carefully close the dough around it. Be sure to pinch the dough completely closed so that the filling doesn’t leak.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet seam side down. Continue this until all the filling and dough are used, placing the buns about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the buns are evenly golden brown all over.
If you have extra dough (I seem to have this like 50% of the time) on a separate baking sheet
make “plain” buns and bake until golden brown, around 15 minutes. DO NOT BAKE THEM
MIXED WITH THE FILLED ONES. They will not bake at the same speed and will burn.
Brown Butter Bourbon Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Jered: I’m a sugar FREAK. So when I create a cookie recipe it’s really just all about the flavors of the sugars for me. These are the most indulgent cookies EVAAAA. I also like a crispy-edged cookie
with a soft center. The whipping of the butter and sugars is where this is achieved (as the great
Christina Tosi taught me in her amazing cookbooks) so don’t eff around on that part. Really get
in there and whip it, whip it good! ( you’re hopefully singing that song in your head like I am right
now). The browned butter is where these cookies scream Halloween for me because it’s a very
caramelized flavor and the bourbon only amplifies that. The sweet chocolate and that hint of
salt totally max out the flavor profiles here. SUGAR HAS MANY FLAVORS and I put most of
them into this one cookie!!!!
- 1 ½ cups pecan halves
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted until browned
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (don’t pack the flour into the measuring cup!)
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp baking soda
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup sugar
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 2Tbls bourbon
- 2 eggs
- 12oz semi-sweet OR dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
- 24 pecan halves, for decoration, optional
For the Brown Butter:
- Place the butter in a small pot over medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes – stirring constantly – until the butter has browned.
- Pour the brown butter into a bowl, being sure to scrape all of the “toasted” bits into the bowl as well.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, waiting sucks, I know, but it’s worth it. It should not be liquid at all but also not hard. Think “room temp.”
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until needed.
- In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside.
- In a large bowl using mixer combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on
medium speed until light and fluffy; I recommend at LEAST 5-7 minutes for this step. It creates the best texture of cookie.
- Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for a very short time after each.
- Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. As little mixing as possible.
- Fold in the chocolate chunks and pecans.
- Roll 3 tablespoon-sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a ¼ cup), then place on parchment-lined baking sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for spreading).
- Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled.
- Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired.
- Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until
golden at the edges but still soft in the middle.
- Repeat with all cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies
with sea salt right when they come out of the oven.
- Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meet the Chef
It all started with a childhood obsession with the Addams Family. I loved the fact that they were different, they were dark, and they held a core value of family. As I grew into adulthood I slowly became “the dark twisty friend” that you could always rely on. The fun one that was obsessed with all things Halloween.
Much like anyone I have a career (the hair/beauty industry is my personal universe) and a few hobbies that have come to define a large part of my life. Creating food has always been one of these pastimes of mine, and my eccentricities have found their way into them. Samhain and Halloween inspire me to create Fall-Time dishes. This time of year I find myself making pumpkin-themed savory dishes, creepy cakes, and cookies good enough to die for … literally.😈
Follow Jered on Instagram where you’ll see his more advanced culinary creations like Shrunken Head Shortbread and Almond Creature Cake (picture here).
“The best pictures are ones where you’re smiling like you have a severed head at home in your freezer.”
He is not wrong, muh dudes. And this picture right here proves it.
Until next time . . .