Fall and Halloween Delights



The tree pictured above is one of the few really bright and vivid colored trees in the  Columbus, Ohio area this year. It has not been a good year for fall colors.  Don’t know why. A few years ago we had a bad drought. Yet the trees were gorgeous.

Below are two pictures of the same tree in two different years.



The top picture was taken in 2012. The bottom one this year. The leaves this year behaved as if they were stressed – little color and fell early.

This phenomenon played out all over the Columbus area this year.  So there are few really spectacular tress or photos to post this year. Many of the tress looked muted this year, like the one below.

Fall 2013 was a replay of Spring 2013.

Yet there is a soft kind of beauty to the low color leaves as well


Yes, there is still much beauty. The picture below is just three blocks north of the block above.









Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.
William Cullen Bryant

Featured Recipes

Everyone will love these easy to make goodies!

These recipes are so simple no need to do step-by-step with picture descriptions.

#1 Hot Spiced Witches Brew

From Kraft

3 cups  boiling water

1 pkg. (6 oz.) JELL-O Orange Flavor Gelatin

8qt.  (4 cups) apple juice

8 cinnamon sticks

ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved.

STIR in juice.

SERVE in mugs with cinnamon sticks.

#2 Pumpkin Dip      


This is simply delicious. It makes  a great after school snack. Kids will gladly eat fruit with this dip. The recipe below suggests dipping cookies in the dip. I much prefer fruit.

Note on making the recipe. I put everything in a processor and mix well.

*NOTE on ingredients:  Recipe calls for pumpkin PUREE. This is not pumpkin pie mix. Pie mix has all sorts of spices in it.  Puree is nothing but pumpkin. On the label under ‘Ingredients,’ there should only be “Pumpkin” listed. Nothing else is in the can. That is what you want. Many stores carry it. Ask.


From Southern Food Via About dot com

2 cups pumpkin puree*

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Cream together pumpkin and cream cheese.

Add in all other ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate overnight.

Serve with gingersnaps and graham crackers.
Shared by Janet


I saved the very best for last.
#3 Salted Caramel Strawberries    


From Southern Living Via my recipes dot com

I do not follow this recipe, cause as you know I am the Lazy Cook. However, below I do share the recipe as is from the ‘my recipe’ site if you prefer to use that recipe instead of my lazy cook one.

What I do:

Number one, I do not use caramel candies melted in the microwave with cream. I use Caramel Ice Cream topping.  I add a bit of salt to the caramel topping. If you have never had salted caramels you are in for a real treat. It is a special favorite of mine.

I also use pistachios. Surprise there. Right?

After washing and drying over night in the fridge, just dip the bottom half of the strawberries in the caramel then dip in crushed pistachios. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet and place in fridge till set.



Below is the actual recipe I messed with and changed.


20 large fresh strawberries

40 caramels

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped mixed nuts

Wax paper

1. Pat strawberries completely dry with paper towels.

NOTE: Once washed, pat strawberries dry with paper towels. Caramel mixture will not stick to wet strawberries.

2. Microwave caramels, 3 Tbsp. whipping cream, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a 1-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 1-minute intervals.

3. Dip each strawberry halfway into caramel mixture. Roll in nuts, and place on lightly greased wax paper. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Caramels and Planters NUTrition Heart Healthy Mix.

Southern Living
APRIL 2009

Bon appétit!!!


Today I am not doing a cost analysis. I am simply telling you how much each recipe cost in total. I am super busy. Have to get my broom ready for Trick or Treat Night.

#1 Hot Spiced Witches Brew      $2.89
#2 Pumpkin Dip                             $6.90
#3 Salted Caramel Strawberries          $2.90

Quote of the Day

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band….
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky….

George Cooper, “October’s Party”


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4 comments to Fall and Halloween Delights

  • We don’t get Autumn colors up here so I loved seeing what you have. Some years in Maine it was stunningly gorgeous and some years things just turned brown. They used to say it was whether or not the sap got up during the day and trapped by the cold at night – that’s what made the best colors. I think maybe they didn’t know what they were talking about but I could be wrong. 🙂

    I love the witches’ brew!

    • Roberta

      That is so sad, Maureen about not having Autumn colors. Never heard the sap theory. I often wonder if the colors, especially how early or late they come out, predict the severity of winter. This year wondered if the cold spell we had in spring had anything to do with it. No matter what the reason, always nice to warm up with a big cup of witches’ brew or other cider drink. Enjoy your spring Maureen.

  • Pretty pretty pretty pretty! You’ve captured my favorite season.

    • Roberta

      Thank you, Julia. Hope it lightened your load a bit. Some day when you are not so busy I will share previous fall posts with you….the colors in those are so beautiful.