by Kassandra Lamb (on behalf of the whole gang)
We’re celebrating Halloween this year with some autumn recipes and a bunch of sales on our books!! See below for the bargains, but first browse our recipes for some stick-to-your-ribs dishes and some lip-smacking sweet treats. We hope you enjoy these Halloween goodies from our authors.
First up is K.B. Owen with one of those sweet treats ~ Because life is short; eat dessert first!
K.B. here. In our household, nothing says autumn and Halloween quite like pumpkin fudge. The spice combination, the creaminess, not to mention real pumpkin being in it…yum! I make it at least once in the season.
It’s a particular favorite of our youngest son, Corey. In fact, I’m about to make a batch to bring up to Rochester when we visit him next week (he’s a freshman at RIT…7 hours away! sniff). Enjoy!
Pumpkin Fudge (makes 3 lbs)
3 cups sugar
¾ cup butter
5-oz can evaporated milk
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
10-oz pkg butterscotch flavor pieces
7-oz jar marshmallow crème
1 tsp vanilla
Optional – ½ cup toasted chopped pecans
Directions: Line a 13x9x2 baking pan w/foil, extending over edges of pan. Butter foil; set aside.
In a heavy 2-qt saucepan combine ingredients down through the cloves. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. (Clip candy thermometer, if you have one, to side of the saucepan.)
Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to boil at a moderate, steady rate, stirring constantly, until reaches 234 degrees Fahrenheit OR mixture reaches soft-ball stage (20-25 min).
Remove pan from heat. Stir in butterscotch pieces until melted. Stir in marshmallow crème and vanilla until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired. Score into 1-inch pieces while warm.
When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut fudge into pieces. Store in fridge up to 1 week.
Gilian Baker asked the main character of her Digital Detective series, Jade Blackwell, to share one of her slow cooker recipes. Yum!
Jade Blackwell, Gilian Baker’s protagonist here. As the weather turns each autumn, we get a hankering for homemade soup. If you are anything like me, you want to keep your time in the kitchen to the barest minimum. Enter the slow cooker! Here’s one of my favorite fall soups. It’s a family favorite too, and you can’t go wrong with it.
The best time to make it is when you have veggies in the fridge that are looking kind of sad, and/or when you need to free up space in the freezer or the pantry. If you plan it just right, you can make up a big batch and won’t have to cook for a few nights! We like to eat it with a hunk of sharp cheddar and a crusty baguette from Tea & Sympathy, the tea shop/bakery in our small (fictional) town of Aspen Falls.
Jade’s Slow Cooker Clean-Out-The-Fridge Soup
A couple of squash and/or zucchini
A couple of small potatoes
Some tomatoes ( From the garden, if we have any left, especially if they are a bit overripe.)
Any other veg in the fridge that is looking a little like now-or-never
Homemade chicken stock (or store-bought)
2 or 3 cans of beans (or dry) — Whatever you have in the pantry will work. Dust off the cans that have been hogging up space and plop them in the slow cooker.
If dry beans are what you have, soak them overnight with half a potato. (The potato will absorb all the gas-causing enzymes from the beans as they soak. This little tip makes bean soup much more enjoyable for everyone. DON’T eat the potato; pitch it!)
Directions: Cut up all the vegetables. Dump the chicken stock, crunchy veggies, and beans in the slow cooker. Wait to add the softer veggies that don’t take as long to cook—zucchini, squash, and celery—so they don’t get mushy. Once the crunchy veggies are soft, it’s safe to add them. If you want some chicken in your soup, shred some and toss it in.
Cook on low for 6 hrs. or so, depending on what vegetables you used and when you added the quick-cook ones.
And here’s another stick-to-your-ribs recipe from Vinnie Hansen that actually makes me want to eat vegetables (not usually my fave foods).
Vinnie here. To me, autumn means eating more root veggies, so one thing I make as the weather gets cooler are roasted roots. That includes potatoes and yams for sure, definitely onion, carrots probably, but also possibly turnips, beets, and parsnips.
I slice them up, put them in a large cake pan coated with olive oil, sprinkle them with the spices that call to me–salt and pepper for sure, but then maybe thyme, or if it’s closer to Thanksgiving, maybe rosemary and sage (this is never a measured thing).
Then I roast them at 400 degrees, for about 45 minutes or until soft, flipping the veggies around once or twice during the process.
We need to wash that all down, so how about some mulled wine, from Shannon Esposito…
1 bottle red wine (I like cabernet sauvignon)
1 cup apple cider
1 cup cranberry juice
1/3 cup sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 oranges (zested and juiced)
12-14 whole cloves
2 whole cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp star anise
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir. Cook on high until warm (about 30 minutes).
Garnish with leftover orange peel or cranberries and serve warm.
And yet another sweet treat from Kirsten Weiss — Autumn spice cookies.
(Um, after posting all these recipes, I need a snack! Bad!!!)
Kirsten here. These cookies are easy to make and lots of fun. Use Halloween-themed cookie cutters for the season!
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
10 Tbsp softened, unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
2 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Food coloring (Halloween-themed colors of your choice)
Directions: Whisk the flour and spices for the dough in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside. In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar (electric mixer on high) until the mixture is fluffy. Add the 1 whole egg and the vanilla extract. Mix well.
Reducing the speed to low (so you don’t end up breathing in a flour cloud), gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat until the dough is thoroughly blended.
Lightly flour a cutting board or other smooth surface. Turn out the dough and knead lightly. Divide the dough in half and flatten halves into two disks. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F and grease two baking sheets.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8” thick. Cut into Halloween shapes using cookie cutters that are roughly the same size (so the baking times will be the same). Re-roll the scraps and repeat. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
For the icing, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Keep beating until the mixture is thick and shiny. Separate into small bowls and add food coloring. Ice the cookies when they have cooled.
And now, more Halloween goodies from our authors~Book Bargains for You!
Kirsten has Alchemical Detective FREE through October 31st!
99 Cent Sale! (click on links under covers for book descriptions and buy links):
Grab these bargains before they’re gone!!
Also, if you click on each author’s name above, you might find more free stories available. Most of us offer free ebooks to folks who sign up for our newsletters.
We blog here at misterio press about twice a month, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.
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