Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pumpkin, Cleaner and Comfort Food.

Wednesday I managed, with difficulty, to saw the top and bottom off Pumpkinthe pumpkin. Then I couldn’t get any further. Bit later Matt had a go and couldn’t get anywhere with it either, tried all kinds of cutting implements and saws, but no good. Ended up throwing it away and Matt went to the store and got me some canned pumpkin. They did have some in our local store after all. I have never used canned pumpkin before, but I think I will be doing so in the future; fighting with a pumpkin apparently made of cement just isn’t worth it. I have never known such a tough pumpkin before, how anyone manages to carve one of these things I don’t know. It’s always been a tough job, but previously we have managed to cut one up and cook it. Anyway, I have lots of soup in the freezer (made some tomato soup whilst I was at it, particularly as the basil is still growing strong) so I guess the freezer is a tad full. I have also run out of storage containers too. Matt is always complaining we have too many. We do?? Not one soup sized container left.

Bit of a problem, apparently our cleaning lady is sick. Don’t knoMrs. Mopw what with and when she will be able to come in. Meanwhile we have dinner guests on Saturday so I guess between us we will have to clean the place up a bit. Neither of us are much up to cleaning unfortunately. Too many aches and pains. At least Matt can manage to run the vacuum and I can flit around with a duster LOL. Flit, I should be so lucky.

Tina, at Life is Good was talking about comfort food in her last blog. Discussing it with Matt, we really don’t know comfort food. Possibly I might choose soup as a comfort food of sorts, chicken anyway, especially the Jewish variety. I am not really quite sure what comfort food is – something one’s mother cooked? If so, my mother was an outstanding gourmet cook and we rarely had repeats.  Other than that we both like most foods and what we want to eat depends on the moment, what is at hand, or what we have planned. We eat such a range of foods, I could never pick out one I consider to be comfort food. I’ve said it before though, I don’t like reduced fat foods or low sugar foods. I like my food to be fresh and normal and NOT messed with. If it is very high fat or high sugar I will decrease my intake accordingly,  Having said that, it’s just occurred to me, I have skim milk on my cereal, something I have been doing for around 40 years. Just got so used to I don’t normally think about it.

I saw this picture and couldn’t resist sharing although in fact this is more about decorating for Hallowe’en than actually cooking. if you go to the website you will have access to all the other cupcakes suggested below. There are a lot of instructions, but you can just pick one or two ideas.

Mummys  Monsters and Spiders Oh My! Cupcakes

By momaphet

Mummys, and Monsters and Spiders, Oh My! Cupcakes. Photo by momaphet
Photo by momaphet
I'm posting this to share decorating ideas. Mine are far from decorating perfection but oh, so fun to make and eat. Decorating like this takes time – you are warned - but well worth the effort! You can make it much simpler by only make one or two designs. These were a huge hit at our work Halloween party and kids love them! Use your favourite cake and frosting recipes, your frosting must be soft enough to squeeze through a cone and tip but firm enough to hold it's shape. My frosting was a basic buttercream with a little egg white added for firmness - egg white powder will work too. The bright blue frosting lost some of it's shape due to mixing powdered food coloring with extra milk to avoid grainyness, this is one reason I suggest using gel or paste food color. I went through the bulk candy section at the grocery store and picked out the items I thought most conducive to monsters and such - the assorted liquorice candies are fabulous and slice up easily; sour strips make great tongues : ) , and I loved the yellow Runts for making horns and fangs! I had mini baking M&M 's on hand; they were a good size for eyes, but regular ones could work too. I was looking for the skinny string liquorice but couldn't find any - it would be a nice addition as is edible glitter - Wilton makes it and you can find it at JoAnne's or Michael's, or where ever you buy your cake decorating supplies For frosting Decorating Tips - I used open star #18, plain round #7, a #68 leaf tip, Atteco 47 or 45 for the mummy, and a Wilton or Marpol 233/ Atteco 133 for the grass and some of the monsters . You may have similar tips but slightly different sizes. I make my own parchment cones, unless you do a lot of decorating and make your own to save money, it's much easier to buy the nice plastic bag cones. I always use couplers so I can change tips but you could make separate cones for each tip. The Mummy and Worm Cupcakes are the easiest and take the least amount of time to make. The spiders are the messiest and most time consuming. If I were to do this assortment again I would prep for the decorating ahead of time - slicing liquorice candies for eyes, cutting sour tongues, dipping the spiders etc., and bake the cupcakes the day before. Doing everything at once took hours.


Yield 24
  • 24 cupcakes, baked
  • 4 cups buttercream frosting (The frosting amount is approximate always be prepared to make more, See note below)
  • food coloring, gel type preferred


  1. Separate your frosting, and color as desired, place a damp paper towel over your bowls of frosting, this keeps a crust from forming which can clog your decorating tips.
  2. MONSTER CUPCAKES - let your imagination run wild!
  3. Runts.
  4. Liquorice Candy.
  5. Sour Strips.
  6. Assorted Coloured frosting Frosting.
  7. For fur/ skin fill a cone with frosting and tip of choice for the type of fur you want (see intro for #'s) - I used : green monster - star tip , white monster - round tip , teal blue - leaf tip , bright blue - grass tip . For the white fangs on the green monster I used the round tip squeezed a little frosting then pulled away to make the fang.
  8. Top with candies for eyes, tongues, fangs etc.
  10. Gummy Worms.
  11. Chocolate wafer cookies.
  12. Frost the cupcake ( I added cocoa to my butter cream just for these to start with a brown base). Crush a couple of Oreos, or other cookies without the cream, for the dirt, insert the worms, then added grass around the edges (Tip # 233) and a couple of flowers. I found it hard to get some of worms in whole, so cut them down before inserting. Another fun addition is to create tombstones or ghosts with vanilla finger cookies.
  14. Use a touch of frosting to put your mini M & M eyes in place.
  15. Use Tip 47 (ridges down) to create bands of white frosting for the mummy wraps, overlap and curve them a bit - mummy's aren't flat or symmetrical. Leave a tiny gap for a smile. Once frosted I used a dot of black gel food color for the pupils on the eyes.
  17. Chow Mein Noodles.
  18. Chocolate, Melted with a little shortening.
  19. Mini M & M's.
  20. Black gel, melted chocolate or black food coloring (for the spider's web.
  21. Black edible glitter.
  22. Dip small clusters of the noodles in chocolate - a fork helps, place on waxed paper, dip individual legs and poke into the cluster; add red m&m eyes. Make ahead and let them completely firm - you may need to pop them into the fridge. Make extras in case of breakage.
  23. Frost the cupcakes white, then to create the web, using black gel frosting from the store, or a small cone with melted chocolate (I dipped a tooth pick into my black gel food coloring) starting from the center make three thin concentric circles on top of the cupcake; take a thin knife or tooth pick and starting from the center to the outer edge drag through the circles spacing the drags about 1/3" - 1/2" apart. (You could also use chocolate icing and pipe with white glaze) . Sprinkle black edible glitter around the edges. Top the web with your chocolate chow mein spider. If any legs fall off, a little dab of melted chocolate will glue them back into place.
  24. NOTE:.
  25. A little egg white or egg white powder added to your frosting can give it a little extra firmness to hold piped shapes better.
Have a great day.


  1. Replies
    1. I think they look such fun decorated this way.

  2. No way I could make those little mummy heads.
    I don't think we've ever cooked a real pumpkin before. Pumpkin pie is all right, but sweet potato pie is delicious.

    1. Couldn't or wouldn't bother?

      Always used a real pumpkin until yesterday. Don't like pumpkin pie at all, never had sweet potato pie. About the only pie I really like is pecan.

  3. Shame about the concrete pumpkin ... I've never had that problem but I tend to buy small pumpkins as (rightly or wrongly) I think the flavour is better. Haven't made pumpkin soup yet this year.

    I freeze soup in plastic containers then when frozen I warm the containers slightly and turn the iced soup blocks into freezer bags, freeing up the containers for the next batch. The soup keeps well in the bags for months.

    1. Possibly you are right. There wasn't anything wrong with the canned I might say. It was pretty strongly flavoured and nothing added.

      Yup, I do that too although this year I have got the freezer pretty crammed with stuff so it won't help me to do that.

  4. That's why we paint the face on the pumpkin! LOL

    Cupcakes are sweet, in a cute way - but I'm sure in a sweet way too!

    1. I guess Yolanda, however, I wanted to make soup. Never had problems before.

      I think they look great, makes me wish I had kids.

  5. I can't imagine ever eating canned pumpkin. I don't think it's even sold in Australia! I usually buy half a pumpkin so the hard work of the initial cut has been done.
    They are some fancy cupcake recipes too! I make simple ones with cream...yummo.

    Enjoy your dinner party!

    1. Never heard of half a pumpkin. Don't think they are available here. I wonder. Normally we don't have such a problem, but this time!!!!

      Hallowe'en is a big deal here, is it in Oz? So the creepy cupcakes would be good for kids.

      Thanks, gotta get cooking for that soon too.