Happy Halloween! Have I ever posted my very favorite pumpkin recipe? Does it matter? Here it is. Again. Or for the first time. I can’t be trusted to remember.
MAPLE PUMPKIN PIE
1 can Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP flour (though I’m wheat free – so I sub in a tablespoon of arrowroot with no problem or even just leave it out)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp maple extract (or maple flavor)
Mix it all up, put it in a pie crust or in custard dishes, bake at 350 until set (a pie take about 50 minutes, start checking small custard dishes at about 25 minutes). Cool. Serve with loads of whipped cream.
You can make this lower fat and lower calorie. Substitute low fat evaporated milk for the cream and something like Egg Beaters for the 3 eggs. It won’t be as velvety as the original, but it’s still awfully tasty.
What are your Halloween favorites? I’m always looking for more temptation!
This, MANhandlers, is the photo that launched a thousand ideas. It is my inspiration, my happy and my favorite photo. Not as explicit as some of the others, but there’s simply something about this man that makes me rawr. Enjoy!
I put off this week’s post as long as possible. I’m writing it about an hour before it’s due. I’m normally not such a procrastinator. In fact, I try to have my posts done early so I know they’re up for you to peruse at your leisure. But this time? It’s not that I didn’t want to send out the MANhandler shout out, but I had nothing to offer for the (ahem) meat of the post. We’re discussing favorite horror movies, books, shows, magazines — whatever. I’ve got nothin’. I blame Halloween.
When I was little, not quite two, my mom dressed me as Raggedy Andy. I was freakin’ adorable. Then she and Dad took me trick or treating. We lived in Sacramento, California. I remember going, being very unsure of myself with the older kids, but people were giving me candy. Once I got that part figured out? I was golden.
We hit a few houses in the neighborhood and then went to The House. The man was dressed as a werewolf — mask, ragged clothes, big paws, scary-ass feet. He was terrifying older kids. Me? I lost my sh…tuff. The man removed his costume and got down on my level, tried to give me candy. Even then, I was nobody’s fool. I’d seen the monster behind the man, thank you very much, and my “Stranger Danger” alert was at DefCon 8 on a scale of 0-5. Dude had a bigass, terrifying creature locked inside him and I was the only one who seemed aware of this tidy little fact.
Things like this tend to leave a mark on a child and shape how she sees the world. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, it created in me a true fear of monsters and mythology and things that go bump in the night. I always had an overactive imagination, but that night has been fodder for a lifetime of I’m-no-chainsaw-wielding-psycho’s-victim-chick-who’s-going-to-trip-in-the-woods-but-thanks mental ramblings that make me cross dark spaces quickly and get the heebie-jeebies when I walk down an unlit hall. So to come up with something like a favorite horror movie? There’s just no such thing as a “favorite.” I’m reduced to choosing between Scooby Doo episodes. Sorry, folks. I yam what I yam.
What about you? Do you love to get the wits scared out of you? Do you thrive on having to change your shorts after a movie? Or are you content to live in well-lit spaces? If so, come sit by me.
Sabrina bows her head. She has a confession to make. “I can’t hack horror in books or movies or shows.” Sad face. 😦
I have climbed a rock face, traveled alone in a foreign country, asked a guy to the junior prom, made a keynote speech but I cannot sit through a horror movie and keep my popcorn down.
It all started at a seventh grade sleepover. Psycho was playing. From that day until I started college, I never took a shower with the curtain closed. My mother eventually gave up on me. But I never really could remove the psycho shower scene in my head.
In college, I learned to shut the shower door. Older and wiser (at least I thought so at the time), I tried again. The now classic film, Halloween. I went with my boyfriend, so grabbing onto him every time Michael showed up was actually a pretty good thing. Fear mastered.
Or so I thought.
Then we got home. A friend, in a hoodie pulled up over his head, jumped me from behind. To be cute.
I shattered, fell to the floor, lost my ability to breathe, completely freaked my friends and boyfriend out. And my experimentation with horror movies, from that moment, was over.
To this day, I avoid them. So that, is my sad story, and why I do not have any favorite horror movie or book or anything else to share.
However, I do love the holiday of Halloween. For some reason, I do not classify monsters as horror. They’re just fun. Buddies to pal around with. Romance figures to write stories about. Or maybe its just the candy? Twizzlers anyone?
Isn’t life ironic? My mom didn’t really like Halloween. So every year the night of trick-or-treating came upon us a little too quickly, and we scrambled for costumes. We rushed up to my Nana’s house and borrowed colorful scarves, bright makeup, and clunky jewelry. In other words, I was a gypsy for at least five years running. Okay. I liked the makeup.
Don’t get me wrong here. My mom is an awesome mom. She coached pee-wee softball, was always room-mom at school, and worked her butt off (along with my dad) raising three girls. But hey, the woman just didn’t like Halloween. I think my sisters were usually anything with a wig and/or ghosts.
I love Halloween. When my kids were tiny, they still wore costumes. Blues from Blues Clues. Buzz Lightyear. Wonder Woman. New costumes every year—I went all out.
My son hit the point this year that he just isn’t into it. He may go as a football player. Of course, he wears his football jersey every Friday to school, so it’s not like a real costume. I was holding out hope that my ten year old daughter would still want to dress up. And she does! Guest what as? YEP. You got it. A GYPSY!
Are you kidding me?!? I tried to talk her out of it. We looked at costumes on the internet. It finally came down to: a gypsy costume.
So, we headed up to my mom’s house, and the woman laughed her head off as she searched through drawers for colorful scarves and chunky jewelry. The Halloween spirits must be giggling right along with her.
Everyone have a safe and fun Halloween! Also, a quick note here that CLAIMED was released into the wild (aka bookstores) yesterday and I’m running a contest for one person to win the first ARC of HUNTED. Go here for the contest.
What was either your favorite or your least favorite Halloween costume?
I don’t have children. I have relatives who have children and I’ve done the trick or treating thing with them. Most of the time though, I stay home on Halloween with the lights off and wait for that magic moment.
I was in college the first time I saw it. My best friend and I rented a movie called The Rocky Horror Picture Show and were instantly hooked. We watched it every Halloween after that. We even attended parties where everyone performed the Time Warp. We had the audience participation down pat and shouted at every chance. We dressed up like characters from the movie. She was Columbia since she had shorter hair and had taken dancing when she was a kid. I was Magenta since I had the long hair and no problem with a lot of eyeliner.
That was well over ten years ago, but every Halloween I feel the antici……pation of the movie. I wait and start brushing up on the songs. I make sure to turn all the lights out so I can curl up on my sofa and lose myself in the world of Brad and Janet and Frankenfurter. I sing along at the top of my lungs and every time this scene comes up, I have to leap off the sofa and dance the Time Warp again.
Do you shiver…..with antici……pation? 😉
At this time of the year, I love to end my days watching horror movies. I’ll curl up on the couch, grab a big old bowl of popcorn, and just enjoy the show. Lot’s channels are currently helping me get my horror fix (Thanks so much, SyFy, for your 31 days of horror!).
There are certain types of horror films that I really enjoy. Campy flicks are my 1st love. Yes, that’s why I’m addicted to SyFy Saturday. I don’t feel afraid during these movies–the whole thing is just a fun ride for me. Films like LAKE PLACID and ANACONDAS (The Hunt for the Blood Orchid) get watched over and over at my house. How can I turn away from them?
And when I’m in the mood for a scare, I tend to go for the psychological flicks. To me, what you don’t see coming for you is far more frightening than what is actually jumping out on the screen. I like to feel the build-up of tension. The fear. Mind games always get to me.
What I don’t like? Gore for the sake of gore. Gross-out horror (yeah, HUMAN CENTIPEDE, I’m talking to you). That’s just not my style. Poop doesn’t do it for me.
What about you? What’s your horror style?
Thanks for coming by to check out my post!! Have a great day!
ANGEL OF DARKNESS–Available 11/29/11 from Kensington Brava
When an angel falls, all hell breaks loose…
Hello all! Today I want to give you all a look at my brain. No, not literally, though that might be less scary! The last few months I’ve been “working” on a romantic suspense novel that falls into the cowboy/western realm. I love writing about cowboys. But for some reason this series of demons I had planned to write about have been pounding my brain and kicking me in the temples. They’re nasty little creatures who I will be more than glad to kill off in a book or two.
So, while I’ve been battling the little brats my mind has wandered away from my cowboy. Which I should mention was in the middle of a very hot, steamy, about to be a very happy man scene. He’s been stuck for about a week now and well, I don’t see him getting unstuck anytime soon.
For one, Halloween is coming, so of course my demons are really going into overdrive. They really want their stories written. Me, I just want to decorate my yard, gate, house, trucks, basically anything that stays still long enough for me to decorate. My hubs came home yesterday, walked around the yard and just shook his head. He asked if I had enough Halloween stuff out and of course I said, “Nope.”
But I won’t lie, I am the biggest chicken you’ll ever meet. While I am trying to push the little evil creatures back in their closet in my mind, I’ve been planning all these Halloween events I want to attend. Now, forty-five miles away I can hear Cynthia Eden’s eye roll and laughter. She knows I will plan these things and then back out hours before they are set to start. I’m such a chicken!!
Yet, Halloween is the right time to break out movies like The Goonies, Hocus Pocus, and Practical Magic. These movies really get my imagination going. My mind takes the stories on screen and the untold ones and really runs with it.
I mean, Nicole Kidmans character was just left to be alone with her Aunts in Practical Magic, what happened next?? And what about the Aunts? Who were their loves? What happened to them? I so want to know more.
And Hocus Pocus is one of my favorites because of Zachary Binks. Oh poor guy trapped in a cat’s body for 300 years! Poor thing. What would happen if a witch came along and changed him back to human form for one night, Halloween night? Oh the possibilities are endless!!
See, my paranormal stories are killing off my cowboys as I type this post! But you know what, my cowboys are fighting back. Now I must go and referee them. Oh the life of a writer, my poor kids and husband! You just get a glimpse of what they have to deal with 🙂
And inspired by the goodwill of the authors of Entangled, I would like to remind everyone that if we all can do just one good deed a day we can make a difference in someones life. For me, I try to donate a book to my children’s library, take can foods to the food bank, or donate a dollar to a local charity. Even a kind smile to a stranger can make more of a difference than you will ever know.