Mummies and Pumpkins and Cakes, oh my!

What a fun weekend we had! I participated in my first bake-off. I am SO not competitive, by nature. It gives me anxiety, like, for real. But I LIVE for baking (and you know, my kids, husband, Jesus too). And it was a friendly competition, hosted by my wonderful friend, judged by two chefs that she knew. And I knew we’d ALL be winners, you know, eating all of the desserts. I wanted to do something seasonal, so I decided on a pumpkin cake. To me, that would be perfectly acceptable on its own, because…#pumpkinallthethings, but this was a competition.

The cake itself was so pretty. The recipe called for an entire can of pumpkin, which I hadn’t seen before. I knew it would be rich with fall flavor and moist.

It was heavenly. While that was baking, I went to work on  next project – the cake’s decoration.

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Melting chocolate – isn’t it magical?

Halloween Candy Bark!

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I meannnnnn, forrealz! This is a thing! I ran across the recipe in my research and fell in love with it. It’s so festive! I could have used any candy, I suppose, but the blog used these and I loved how it looked like the inside of a trick or treat bag, but with eyes.

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It was so pretty. I can’t even handle how cute it came out.

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It’s my new favorite. Of everything.

http://www.justataste.com/2014/10/halloween-candy-bark/

Since my pumpkin cake recipe called for 3 8-inch rounds and I only had two, I made three smaller cakes to go with the 2-layered big one.

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I decorated the big one with the Halloween bark, cut into shards, and I used candy corn, more shards, and eyeballs to decorate the smaller ones. Not the cleanest work I’ve ever done, but it worked out because my creation won “Most Innovative”! I was so happy. It really was a delicious cake (and the bark was SO good).

This cake would be an incredible addition to a Thanksgiving table. It’s maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting takes it to a new level.

http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/10/pumpkin-dream-cake/

Since my long-suffering husband is both and dairy and gluten free, I couldn’t let him go to the bake-off with nothing to eat. I made him a Chocolate Pumpkin Sheet Cake.

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I could tell by the batter that it was going to come out delicious.

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And I was right. It was HUGE too, enough to feed a gluten and dairy free army. It puffed right up like a “real” cake! This was my first successful attempt and GF DF from-scratch baking (cakes). I left off the frosting (since it was filled with dairy).

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I’ll be using this recipe again and again. It called for over 1 can of pumpkin, but I just used one and it turned out beautifully.

http://www.thebakingbeauties.com/2010/10/gluten-free-chocolate-pumpkin-sheet-cake.html

All of the desserts at the bake-off were delicious. That was a fun night. I’ll have to up my game for next year’s competition.

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And lastly, I made mummies. Not real ones. Because that’s gross. And unheard of. In these modern times.

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I’ve made these before (here). They are too easy for words and make a big impact (to kids, mostly, I think).

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They’d be great dipped in ketchup. But that would look bloody. And grody. We don’t do bloody. Unless it’s a lip or knee. And not on purpose.

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I was going to make them all like the one on the left, but then nobody had time for that.

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I packed that little guy in my Bigs’ lunchbox, along with seasoned corn, banana chips, raisins, pineapple, red grapes, a Halloween cookie, and some orange and black chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

Boo!

Blessing to you!

Kristin

Halloween School Lunch

Halloween is almost here! What are your little ones going to be? We are not doing anything scary. We don’t do scary in our house. We like cute and coooool. I love doing fun lunches for my Bigs (and Smalls!) this time of year. I feel like the holiday season gets my creativity flowing more than usual (the usual being about as as flowy as molasses).

Here is tomorrow’s lunch I packed for my Bigs:

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I warmed up some frozen pizza rolls I made a month or so ago (he’ll eat them cold). I also packed seasoned corn, green grapes (or googly eyes, if you’re creative!), granola, black and orange chocolate covered sunflower seeds (found at Ross), a ghost banana (sharpie!), and a ghost cookie for dessert (pre-fab from Aldi, baked at home).

Boo! 🙂

Have a blessed day!

Kristin