Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Favorites - 10/31

Happy Halloween!

Seriously, how is it Halloween already?!?!?!?!    We've had a fun, festive week leading up to the big day.  Can't wait to get home from work and head out to trick or treat with the girls.

My favorites today are my kids in their Halloween costumes.  I had so much fun looking back at these pictures this week.  Two things I noticed while going through the pictures this week.  

1) I love putting my kids in an animal costume for their first 2 Halloweens (before they can talk and they have an opinion about what they want to be).  I just think a baby in an animal costume is the cutest thing ever.  I love how just their little face sticks out.  

2) Maddie loves a wig.  For the past 3 years, she has chosen her costume based on the wig.  She fell in love with that Rapunzel braid months before Halloween and her mind was set on being Rapunzel.  When she saw that red Merida wig, she had her heart set on it.  This year it's an Elsa wig.  

Okay, onto the costumes.  But first, here is my very favorite Halloween costume from my childhood.  The dress and wig were homemade by mom when I was in 1st grade.  Love it!
2008 - Maddie's first Halloween.  This seems so long ago.
2009 - Sweetest little dalmation ever.
2010 - This was the first Halloween that Maddie really "got" it.  She was SO excited.  We had so much fun experiencing it all with her.
2011 - My favorite Halloween yet.  We spent this Halloween in Disney World.  It can't get much better than that!  This was Lily's first Halloween and she was such a cute little pig.  To celebrate Halloween, we had dinner with Cinderella.  So much fun!
2012 -  This Halloween was 2 days after Hurricane Sandy and, like most Long Islanders, we had no power.  We went trick or treating that afternoon because there wasn't much else to do.  Stores were closed, stop lights at major intersections were out, and gas was nearly impossible to come by.  So many Long Islanders were dealing with devastating losses this Halloween.  We were so grateful that the only loss we had was power.  It was a very different Halloween for sure.
2013 - Last year.  Annie's first Halloween and the first Halloween that Lily "got" it.  Such a fun Halloween.
This year we have an Elsa, Elsa, and an Olaf.  No, I couldn't convince one of the girls to be Anna.  Trust me, I tried, because how cute would that little family theme be?  Oh well.  Two Elsas it is!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vampire Chicken

During Halloween week, I like to have a Halloween inspired menu leading up to the big day.  It's simple to tailor our meals for the week and the kids love it.

Here is our Halloween menu this week:

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta from Mix and Match Mama.
My kids devour this dinner!  I just call it pasta with orange sauce.  No one asks what the sauce is.  They just gobble it up.

Vampire Chicken (see recipe below!)
Do not be afraid of the 20-30 cloves of garlic.  Trust me.  The chicken comes out with a great flavor, but not overly garlicky.  Also, it's a crock pot recipe, so it makes for an easy dinner during a busy week.

Ghoul-ash from Mix and Match Mama
Again, delicious!  I love a crock pot meal, and this one is perfect for Halloween week.

"Monster" Mini Meatball Sandwiches from Pioneer Woman

My kids love meatballs.  Call them "monster" meatballs and the kids think it's an extra-special Halloween treat.  I make the meatballs ahead of time so they are ready on a busy night.

Halloweenies with Halloween shaped mac and cheese

These are just fun, and quick to whip up while the kids are getting their costumes off and checking out their candy.

Another fun lunch or dinner the kids love is when I make grilled cheese and let them use seasonal cookie cutters to cut out their sandwiches after they are cooked.  Using cookie cutters is fun, and my kids love eating grilled cheese pumpkins or grilled cheese ghosts rather than just a sandwich.  I make some tomato soup to go with it, and put out some carrot sticks or make broccoli on the side.  A simple meal during those very busy pre-holiday weeks.

Here's the recipe for Vampire Chicken.  So tasty.

Vampire Chicken

1 whole chicken
20 - 30 cloves of garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white wine

1.  Take the gizzards out of the chicken and put it in the crock pot.
2.  Put the garlic, chicken broth, and wine into the crock pot.
3.  Cook on low for 10 hours.

How easy is that?  We ate it with refrigerated mashed potatoes and broccoli for a quick, simple meal.  It was a hit with everyone!