Being a Mom to 11 year old twins makes for a zany, unpredictable, yet richly rewarding life. Thank goodness for my wonderfully supportive hubby who keeps me grounded. I'm a writer, an editor and an online media professional. I write about pretty much anything that inspires me. I enjoy interviewing interesting people and sharing my thoughts on my family's experiences at various events and activities. I might also share a favorite recipe or two, particularly if it's something I've thrown together that turns out to be yummy! Outside of contributing to DFWmama.com, you can also find me at NorthTexasKids.com and over at my blog TheMomsJournal.com.

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Spooky Treats

Throwing a Halloween party for your kids or just want to make some extra special treats for the family? Check out these fun favorites.

Mini BoosMini Boos

Source: Myrecipes.com

Yield 3 dozen mini cupcakes

What You’ll Need:

1  (12 oz.) container Cool Whip
3  doz. mini Chocolate Cupcakes, (store bought or ready mix is fine)
72  mini chocolate chips
36  regular chocolate chips

Fit a pastry bag with a plain round tip (or use a plastic bag with a corner snipped off). Fill bag with Cool Whip. Pipe cream into peaks on each cupcake.

Position two mini chocolate chips as eyes and one regular chocolate chip as a mouth on each ghost, flat ends facing out. (Cupcakes may be refrigerated for up to 3 hours. Bring to room temperature before decorating.)

Monster Cup CakesMonster Cupcakes

Source: Myrecipes.com

Yields 1 dozen cupcakes (3 dozen minis)

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2  cups  flour
1  teaspoon  baking powder
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
1  cup  sugar
3  eggs
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
3/4  cup  milk
1  stick ( 1/4 lb.) unsalted butter
1/2  cup  shortening
3  cups  confectioners’ sugar
1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
dash of salt
assorted food coloring
assorted tubes icing in various colors
assorted candy, such as licorice string, mini and regular M&M’s, mini marshmallows, jellybeans and gummy candies

Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin (or mini-cupcake tin) with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition.

Fill each muffin cup about twothirds full. Bake until tops are springy to touch, 20 to 25 minutes (about 10 minutes for mini cupcakes). Cool in tin on wire rack. (Cupcakes can be made to this point and kept, in an airtight container, for 1 day.)

Make frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and shortening for about 2 minutes. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar a little bit at a time. Beat in vanilla and salt, and continue beating for another minute until wellcombined. (Frosting can be made up to 1 week ahead; refrigerate in an airtight container and beat again before using.)

Divide frosting among separate containers for each color you wish to use, and add food coloring; leave some uncolored if desired. Frost cupcakes with an icing spatula.

Use assorted icing tubes to make hair, and use assorted candies to make faces.

Apple BitesApple Bites

Source: FamilyFun.Com

What You’ll Need:

Apples
Slivered almonds

Just quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.

Tip: If you’re not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning.

Chocolate Creepy CrawliesChocolate Creepy Crawlies

Source: FamilyFun.Com

What You’ll Need:

2 cups chocolate chips
2 tsp. corn oil
60 mini marshmallows
5 thin black licorice whips
20 tiny red hot candies

Place chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until the chocolate chips are melted. Add oil and mix well.

On a sheet of waxed paper, squish about 6 marshmallows into one round ball. Do the same with the remaining marshmallows, making 10 spider bodies in all.

Cut licorice into 80 2-inch-long strips.

Dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Stick in the legs–4 on each side of each body for a total of 8 legs on each spider. Add 2 eyes made of red dot candies to the top. Makes 10 servings.

Jack-O-Lantern CookiesJack-O-Lantern Cookies

Source: Myrecipes.com

Yields 4 dozen cookies

What You’ll Need:

3 1/2  cups  flour
1 1/2  teaspoons  baking powder
1 1/2  teaspoons  baking soda
1 1/2  teaspoons  salt
2 1/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
1 1/4  teaspoons  ground ginger
3/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1 1/2  sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter
2 1/4  cups  (packed) light brown sugar
2  eggs
1  (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin puree
1/2  cup  evaporated milk
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
24  large marshmallows, halved
6  ounces  cream cheese
4  tablespoons  unsalted butter
4 1/2  to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
Orange food coloring
1  tube black icing
1  tube green icing

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Make dough: Whisk together first 7 ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until pale; beat in eggs. Mix in pumpkin, evaporated milk and vanilla, followed by flour mixture gradually.

Make icing: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until icing is thick but spreadable. Add food coloring.

Gently frost cookies over marshmallow. Let set for 20 minutes. Pipe icing faces and stems onto each cookie.

Put some dough in a large plastic bag; snip a corner. Pipe 2 1/2-inch rounds about 1/2-inch thick onto sheets. Continue with rest of dough. Bake, rotating halfway through, until tops spring back when touched, about 12 minutes. Top each with a half marshmallow; bake for 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer, on parchment, to racks; cool.

Mina FranneaMina Frannea is a mom to twin children, a son and daughter.  An avid volunteer, Mina is involved at her children’s school and in various capacities in her community.  In her past life, Mina enjoyed helping clients with estate planning and is now satisfying her passion for all things technological in her role as website administrator for www.momsoutloud.com.  Mina enjoys creating new recipes, finding great bargains, tinkering with technology, learning new things, and finding projects that will keep her little munchkins busy long enough to get dinner on the table!

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