Treats > tricks

I hope your Halloween is off to a great start! I think treats are better than tricks, so I brought these scary zombie/hulk hand cupcakes into work today!

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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!

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Today’s the day: Happy Halloween! We’re doing not too much today. Likely dressing up as ourselves and manning the candy bowl. Another crazy night on the Island!

Again this year we made Halloween dinner early, so I could share our fine meal with you!

I was inspired by this meatloaf idea from Pinterest. I used my favorite meatloaf recipe (with fontina, leeks and ground turkey), then shaping it accordingly and adding bacon. We have our turkey loaf every couple of weeks, since it’s so good and not that bad for you. We substitute chia seeds for the breadcrumbs and follow the other instructions. And it’s delicious! If you’re looking for a scary, spooky, healthy Halloween dinner, this is it!

Here it is raw…

Turkey meatloaf zombie

And cooked…

Cooked turkey meatloaf zombie

Originally I used garlic cloves for the eyes and shallots for the teeth. Unfortunately they blended in quite a bit with the lighter shade of the ground turkey, so I swapped the garlics for olives. It was just for show, but photographs quite well!

If you’re not into turkey meatloaf, perhaps you’d be interested in our pasta dinner from last Halloween.

Enjoy! Have a wonderful Halloween and don’t forget to “fall back” this weekend!

{Wine Wednesday} Halloween candy-drink pairings

WineWednesday

Halloween is just around the corner and if you’re like us, you’re buying candy {and booze} for yourself and not so much for the trick-or-treaters. We maybe get one or two trick-or-treaters each year, so it’s only worth it to buy what we like.

Vinepair (my new favorite wine blog) sent out their wine-booze-beer pairing guide earlier this week and it was so good that I had to share it with you:

2014-10-29 Candy-booze guide

We opted for the 2012 Vampire Merlot for Friday’s festivities — watching Grimm on the couch, dressed as a blogger and a PhD student (so creative, I know!) — so I’ll also need to stock up on KitKats (the orange ones!!!), as dictated by the above chart.

2012 Vampire Merlot wine

I bought this wine for two reasons: 1) It had a very cool, fitting name for Halloween drinking, and 2) It was on sale at QFC. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Upon further investigation, I’m totally stoked about drinking this wine!

Here’s what I found out:

Much mystery surrounds the Vampire line of wines.

As an example, the identities of the winemakers engaged for the project remain a well-guarded secret. That’s because they’re employed by other wineries, and it’s important that the brands they represent be protected in the marketplace. We can tell you that one of the vintners has garnered an almost unheard-of score of 96 for one of his bottlings from Wine Spectator.

What is not a mystery is why Vampire wines are so good. It’s a combination of professional winemakers having access to exceptional winegrapes and knowing exactly what to do with them. Several of California’s top growing areas contributed grapes for the 2012 Vampire Merlot.

The finished product is a medium-bodied, smooth wine that shows off the fruit flavors of the grapes, herbal notes from the terroir, and spice, vanilla and toast impressions from oak barrel aging. Why this wine is so sublime is no mystery at all.

Happy Halloween and CHEERS!

(We made some really fun Halloween cocktails last year! Read all about them here!)

Happy birthday, UW!

Today is a very special day for the University of Washington: birthday number 153!

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In honor of the UW’s birthday and tomorrow’s homecoming game against Arizona State, I put together a collection of blog articles as a tribute to my alma mater…

Goooooo Dawgs!

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Happy birthday, UW!

Chose your own craft: Bottle art

It’s Crafty McCrafterson here and I need your help. I cleaned out our liquor cabinet over the weekend and along with bags and bags of wine corks, I found a lot of old wine and bottles of booze.

After pouring out a barely-there bottle of Chambord, I took off the golden plastic rim and discovered there was a beautiful round bottle under all that gaudiness.

What to do with this Chambord bottle?!

What to do with this Chambord bottle?!

Lots to work with here

Lots to work with here

This is where I need your help. Please tell me in the comments what you think I should do with this bottle. Here are the options:

1. Leave as is — it’s beautiful and simple

2. Paint it gold! (I love gold spray paint…)

3. Other — Do you have a better idea? Share your thoughts!

It looks good as is, but would also look great in GOLD!

It looks good as is, but would also look great in GOLD!

 

Spring bulbs

It’s possible we had our last warm day of the year this past weekend — it was 75 degrees on Sunday! — and I took advantage of it by spending some quality time in the garden.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted some Hyacinthus bulbs at Costco for a reasonable $15. There were 28 bulbs in the pack, far too many for us to use, so we split them with my parents. They had purchased a different pack of bulbs and split those with us. We’re going to have so many flowers come spring!

My first time planting bulbs

My first time planting bulbs

Using my genius idea from last year, I found my leftover golf tees and painted the tips purple. Once everything dies back for the winter, these will help me know where to look for new growth. I used a $0.59 bottle of acrylic paint that I had on-hand (it’s Husky purple!) and painted the tops. They dried within a couple of hours.

Purple bulb markers

Purple bulb markers

Once the paint on the tees was dry, it was time to get to planting! I dug my holes per the specifications and covered them back up with dirt.

Bulbs = planted

Bulbs = planted

And...that's it. Bulbs are so easy!

And…that’s it. Bulbs are so easy!

Looking forward to the spring and all of our new flowers!

Looking forward to the spring and all of our new flowers!

My new AstroTurf “W” wreath

One of my most favorite crafts to date: An AstroTurf W!

One of my most favorite crafts to date: An AstroTurf W!

My dear old glue gun made it halfway through this very special project. I wanted to finish it so badly that after the literal glue gun explosion, we rushed to Lowe’s to pick up a new one.

I started with this “W” letter from JoAnn’s. It runs $2.99 and stands 9.5″ tall. Perfect. And, you can use this technique for just about any letter or number combination.

You’ll also need that giant roll of AstroTurf that I convinced you to buy a couple of months ago.

I flipped the AstroTurf over and traced my letter, leaving about an inch of overhang. From there, cut it out and get that glue gun ready.

Flip and glue. And glue and glue and glue

Flip and glue. And glue and glue and glue

What I didn’t do on my first go-around and will do in the future– and you SHOULD do your first time, add a wire or a tie of some sort toward the middle of your “wreath” before you glue on the facing layer of AstroTurf.

Start gluing. It’s important to go from one side to the other of the facing of the letter and to go with quick speed, since hot glue dries pretty quickly. Specifically, I glued in three main sections (left, right, middle), one section at a time. First, the fully covered “front” side, then I wrapped the overhang around the back, being very careful not to burn myself. On the backside, I pulled the turf tight and added cuts with the X-acto knife as needed.

Two sides done, just one to go

Two sides done, just one to go

I added some felt flowers to give the wreath that extra Husky feel, using leftover felt from a new coaster project I’ve got up my sleeve. (I tried a variety of designs for the flowers with this technique, for the most part.)

Felt flowers made out of extra AstroTurf coaster fabric

Felt flowers made out of extra AstroTurf coaster fabric

The project didn’t take too long and I think the finished product was well worth the time. I’m going to wager that this wreath and its presence at our game watching parties are the reason the Huskies are winning! (I hope I didn’t just jinx them!)

Anyway, happy Purple Friday and GO HUSKIES!

(YES! There is still time for you to grab the project pieces and make one of these to celebrate UW Homecoming on Oct. 25! You know I’m going to make a couple more!!)