Friday, October 29, 2010
Thank you Marilyn Manson, Danny Elfman, and Tim Burton for getting us in the mood as we embark on All Hallows' Eve weekend.
As Halloween approaches, I suspect the usual classics will show up on the tube - The Exorcist, The Shining, Psycho, Halloween, Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, SAW XIV (Blake, what am I missing?) - I have seen none of these. Why? Z frightens easily - It's a fact of life. As my comrades from last weekend's trip to Knott's Scary Farm can attest, I jumped, shrieked, and cowered at every two-bit "monster" that went by - and I was genuinely scared. And as if there was a homing device over my head indicating "she is the weak one" the ghouls, ghosts, and goblins continued to single me out throughout the night. It was good eve however topped off with a funnel cake so this weakling went home happy.
In fact the scariest Halloween special I have seen is the 1990 "Growing Pains" yearly Halloween episode - and in case you need me to jog your memory, see below:
At some point in this episode, the Seaver's eyes turn yellow and they waive their arms and make scary voices. Yes, friends this award winning acting and high-end special effects HAUNTED me for years. Reed, my brother, still laughs at me for this and continued to scare me by waving his arms saying "woooooo" for years - maybe until I was about 27. So Z doesn't do scary - that said I have seen Beetlejuice and The Blair Witch Project - you can stop clapping now.
So Halloween eats means all things pumpkin and candy. I love candy. At approximately 4:45 each day, I go to my fabulous co-worker's office which is basically a mini Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for perhaps a mini Kit Kat, M&Ms, or Sour Patch Kids.... so needed by that hour. My favorite candy - chocolate and toffee, like a SKOR, but I don't discriminate - from Butterfinger, to Starburst, to Tootsie Rolls, to those cheap sugary bubble gum balls in the pink wrappers... all good.
This week, we are picking up on the other Halloween food - pumpkin. I present a simple easy banana bread adapted for Halloween - Banana Jack O'Lantern Bread.
Banana bread is awesome because it is very easy to make and can be dressed up in so many ways. The below recipe is Emeril Lagasse's go-to Banana bread and virtually impossible to screw-up. To dress this up for Halloween, I added a couple generous tablespoons of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter.
You can add anything to this recipe - chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, oats - and you get a different spin on a great bread. And for some extra pumpkin flavor, I mixed a few big tablespoons of Pumpkin Butter from last week's left over cream cheese frosting and it is SO GOOD on top of the bread (and now it's dessert or breakfast).
And here it is: Banana Jack O'Lantern Bread
Here is what you need
-1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening or 1 stick butter (doesn't have to be totally softened, but let it sit out for about 20 minutes)
-1 cup sugar
-2 ripe bananas (great use of mushy bananas!)
-3 or 4 big spoons of Trader Joe's pumpkin butter (which isn't actually butter - it's just a pumpkin-flavored spread)
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Here is what you do: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Oil and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
Using an electric mixer, cream the shortening or butter and sugar. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add the bananas and pumpkin butter and mix well. Add the baking soda, salt, flour, nuts and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. The dough will be sticky. Pour the dough into the prepared pan and bake about 50 minutes to an hour or until the center is brown and set. Poke the bread with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it's ready!
And now for a few Halloween tunes to get us ready for the weekend - I bring you the below eclectic mix for your spooky listening pleasure composed of Indie Rock, Rock, Urban, Metal, Classic Rock, Kids fun, Theater... Enjoy.
Some candy, Pumpkin banana bread, a few spooky songs, and my I Love Lucy costume (complete with red wig, red lipstick, and fake lashes) and I am ready for Halloween. Have fun kids and if you bump into me out trick or treating, throw me a SKOR if you have one and you can have my pick of the litter.
And I leave you with my favorite creepy and kooky TV family (other than the Seavers).
Hugs and Kisses and Happy Halloween!