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Tag Archive | "halloween"

No Tricks or Treats for Pets this Halloween


By Mona Shand, Michigan News Connection

HAL-No-tricks-or-treats-for-pets

Halloween is one of the most fun-filled nights for kids of all ages, but unless pet owners take precautions, the holiday could pose serious risks for four-legged friends. When trick-or-treaters bring home the Halloween loot, most people know to keep the chocolate away from pets, but, according to veterinarian Dr. Jamie Snow, keep the whole candy bowl out of reach of Rover and Fluffy, because the artificial sweetener xylitol found in most sugar-free gums and many other candies can be fatal to animals.

“I won’t let it in my house,” she declared. “If a dog eats that and ingests it in a good enough amount, it can cause severe liver failure and very profoundly low blood sugar and kill them.”

Snow said Halloween safety begins with securing pets inside the house or in a place where they won’t get overexcited by an onslaught of children, and to be sure all animals have proper identification. It’s all too easy for pets to escape amid all the Halloween commotion, but Snow says a few simple precautions will greatly increase the chance an animal will be reunited with its owner if that happens.

“Almost on a weekly basis, we have somebody that finds a dog or a cat with no collar, no microchip, and it’s very hard to find their homes if they have no identification,” she warned.

As for dressing pets up in Halloween costumes, Snow said to treat animals the same as toddlers: beware of choking or breathing hazards, and don’t leave them unsupervised while they’re suited up.

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Fresh Market-Jack o’ the Lantern


AWE-JackolanternBy Vicky Babcock

 

Most of us have heard the story of the wily rascal, Jack, and how he tricked the devil and thereby secured his own soul. Many versions of the tale exist, but all agree on the conclusion that Jack—having barred himself from hell and being unworthy of heaven—was made to wander the world, a lost soul.

One such tale suggests that Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Not wanting to pay for his drink, Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that he would use to buy the drinks. But Jack instead put the coin into his pocket next to a cross, which prevented the Devil from turning back. Jack agreed to release the Devil on the condition that the Devil never take his soul.  When Jack passed away, he found himself barred from heaven. The devil had provided him with a lit coal in which to light his way. Jack placed his coal into a carved out turnip and so the practice of Jack o’ lanterns began.

In truth, the practice began long before the story of Jack. Carved vegetables, usually turnips or beets, were used in celebrations around the world for centuries.  Wikipedia associates the term jack-o’-lantern with ignis fatuus (foolish fire) named for the phenomenon of strange flickering light over peat bogs.  You may have heard it called the will-o’-the-wisp. Gourds were the choice of the Maori, who used the carved fruit as lanterns over 700 years ago.  s gourds (the pumpkin is one) are the earliest produce known to be cultivated by man—dating back over 10,000 years—it is likely the practice of carving lanterns from them extends back thousands of years.  Irish immigrants have been credited with bringing the practice to the United States however, where they discovered the pumpkin made a much better media than the turnips they used in their home country.

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain—the celebration of their new year, the day of the dead—which took place on November 1. The day marked the harvest, the end of summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. The Celts believed that on the eve of their new year the bounderies between the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred and the dead could return to earth. The advent of Christianity changed and blended with the old rites. November 1 eventually became All Saints Day and November 2 All Souls’ Day to honor the dead. It is commonly believed that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic traditions with more sanctioned beliefs and the two holidays share many aspects, including bonfires, parades and dressing in costume. All Saints’ Day, or All-hallowmas—from Middle English for All Saint’s Day—has itself changed to include more of its pagan roots.  All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as we know it today, became the date of choice and the Jack-o-lanterns we all love, once used to frighten the dead and demons away from our doors, can be found on doorsteps everywhere. Trick or Treat, a mostly American tradition, probably resulted from the old practice of feeding the dead.

You’ve most likely carved your pumpkins for this year. Next year, consider saving the bits of carved out fruit (minus the peal) and throwing it into a pot of chili for a healthy and tasty addition. And the seeds—well we all know what pumpkin seeds are good for.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, everyone—and Happy Haunting!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you’ve never had pumpkin seeds, you’re in for a treat!  While these are great simply roasted and salted, you can make them your own by adding your own special blend of spices. If you’ve already carved your pumpkins, consider purchasing another. Roasted or baked pumpkin makes a great addition to soups and stews, breads, cookies and pies.

Basic ingredients:

Approximately 1 ½ c. pumpkin seeds

2 or 3 tsp. melted butter or olive oil

Salt

Optional choices (partial list):

A dash or two of soy sauce

Garlic powder

Seasoned salt (I like Morton’s)

Chili powder or cayenne pepper

Pre-heat oven to 300◦ Fahrenheit.  Rinse seeds thoroughly in a colander under running water, removing the majority of pulp and strings.  In a medium bowl, toss together seeds, oil or melted butter and seasons of your choice.  You can also make a sweetened version by substituting sugar and cinnamon.

Spread seeds out onto a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Once these start to brown, they will do so quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them. Cooking times are approximate.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs


Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only one week until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought of greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime at the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second, and scavenger hunt by En Gedi that starts at City Hall. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at Main Street businesses.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house at the museum in Morley Park for the first time.

A youth center and two area churches will also be part of the festivities. The En Gedi youth center will host a “Ghost in the graveyard” at North Park (NE corner of Pine and Main); Calvary Assembly of God will host a carnival at North Park; and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6pm-8pm, in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and the Double K Farms petting zoo. They will also serve donuts, hot chocolate and coffee inside for trick or treaters and their families.

 

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Whoooo is that?


N-Dear-Halloween-costumeJeremiah Dear, the son of James and Tracey Dear, of Solon Township, is looking forward to his first Halloween in Cedar Springs. He’s wearing a great looking owl costume. What a hoot!

 

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Halloween Coloring Contest


HalloweenColoringContestHey Kids, 

Download and Color this pumpkin with crayons, markers, or colored penils, and make your funniest or scariest face. There will be one winner from each age group: 3-4 years, 5-7 years and 8-10. All winners will be announced in the October 31st edition of the Cedar Springs POST. So, hurry pumpkins have to be to the POST by October 28 at 5pm!

 

Hey Moms and Dads, 

Don’t forget your child’s entry must be at our office by 5pm on October 28. Office is located at 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs, open 10am-5pm Monday-Friday. Or mail it to P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Rules: 

1. Only one entry per child.

2. Only one winner per family.

3. We are not responsible for lost mail.

4. All entries must be at our office by October 28, 2013 by 5pm.

5. Use crayons, markers, or colored pencils. Be Creative!

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs


Costume, check. Trick-or-treat bag, check. Comfortable walking shoes, check. Ready for a night full of fun? Double-check!

Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the 6th Annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with storytime at the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second, followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at Main Street businesses.

People can pick up their maps of participating businesses at the library. Trick-or-treating will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you are hungry, there will be hot dogs for sale next to the Cedar Pub.

The Kent County Sheriff Traffic Squad and Cedar Springs Fire Department will hand out candy, cider and donuts at the firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. while supplies last.

Two area churches will also be part of the festivities. Calvary Assembly of God will host a carnival in the lot by the next to D&J nails. The Springs Church, at the corner of Maple and First, will be hosting Trunk-or-Treat from 6pm-8pm, along with a giant slide, and the Double K Farms petting zoo in their parking lot, and free donuts and hot chocolate inside for trick or treaters and their families.

For more info, including details on the costume contest and other Halloween events, click here.

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Spook-tacular success


A spooky witch at the Post handed out candy to little ghouls and goblins Monday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Balmy weather brought out kids of all ages to enjoy the annual Cedar Springs Main Street Spook-tacular put on by area businesses and non-profits Monday evening, October 31. There were spooky stories, carnival games, trunk-or-treat, a giant slide, cider and donuts, and lots of candy handed out by area businesses. A big thanks to the area businesses for organizing and underwriting the event.

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BOOOOOOOO!


There is a rumor that the trees come alive on All Hallow’s eve (Halloween) and cause a great deal of mischief in their neighborhoods, including snatching candy away from unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.  Aaron Piskin, of Pierson, sent us this photo he took of a tree, located on Pine Lake Avenue near 17 Mile, practicing its scary face for Halloween.  If you see a tree like this one on Halloween, don’t try to climb it and don’t play dead. Instead, run as fast as you can in the other direction and don’t look back!

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Halloween Spook-tacular


Costume, check. Trick-or-treat bag, check. Comfortable walking shoes, check. Ready for a night full of fun? Double-check!
Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Main Street Annual Halloween Spook-tacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by area businesses, the fun starts at 5 p.m. with a reading of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Perry’s Place, 90 N. Main, from 5-6 p.m. Kids can then pick up a trick-or-treat map from the Cedar Springs Library, at the corner of Cherry and Second, and trick-or-treat at businesses around town from 5:45 to 7 p.m. There are more scary stories at Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, 32 S. Main, from 6-7 p.m.; a carnival at the corner of Main and Ash put on by Calvary Assembly of God; trunk-or-treat at the Springs Church (corner of First and Maple) from 6-8, along with a 20-foot giant slide, puppet show, carnival games, and cider and donuts; and the Kent County Sheriff Traffic Squad, Cedar Springs Fire Department and Cedar Springs Police will hand out candy, cider and donuts at the firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. until gone.
The Post will hand out candy again this year, so please stop by and see us!

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Vampires and Werewolves — They Won’t Bite, but You Will


Clockwise from upper left: Vicious-Delicious Vampire Cake, Freaky Fingers Candy Straws, Freaky Fingers Strawberry Cooler, Fright Nite Cupcakes, Vampire Fang Cookies and Vampire’s Bite Cupcakes

(Family Features)

Vampires Invade!

It’s fright night! Vampire-themed goodies cast a spooky spell on ghoulish guests this Halloween. To charm your gathering long past dawn, entertaining experts from Wilton recommend serving an array of lip-smacking snacks and a sip of “blood red” Strawberry Cooler. These supernatural recipe sensations are sure to summon vampires of all ages to enjoy your devilishly delicious treats … and maybe a few tricks.

 

Vicious-Delicious Vampire Cake

Makes about 16 servings
Pound Cake (recipe available at www.wilton.com)
Dimensions 3-D Skull Pan
Buttercream icing
Black Icing Color
Red Sparkle Gel
Black string licorice
Prepare pound cake in Skull Pan following recipe instructions. Cool completely. Assemble skull halves, attaching with icing, on cake board or serving plate.
Tint small amount of icing black with icing color. Tint remainder of icing gray with small amount of black icing color.
Fill in indented mouth and eye area with black icing; smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch. Build up cheeks and nose with gray tinted icing. Cover skull with tip 18 gray stars. Add tip 8 black outline eyebrows. Pipe tip 5 white teeth, fangs and eye highlights. Add red Sparkle Gel lips. Insert licorice for hair.

 

Vampire Fang Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Roll-Out Cookie Dough (recipe available at www.wilton.com)
Lips Comfort-Grip Cutter
Royal icing
Black Icing Color
Red Icing Color
White spice drops
Granulated sugar
White candy-coated gum pieces
Red Sparkle Gel
Prepare and roll out cookie dough. Cut cookies using Lips Comfort-Grip Cutter. Bake and cool.
Tint royal icing black and red. Use tip 8 and outline lips with red royal icing; fill in with tip 3 black icing; pat smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch. Roll out spice drops on surface sprinkled with granulated sugar; cut into triangles for fangs. Arrange gum “teeth” and spice drop fangs. Overpipe red lips with red Sparkle Gel.

 

Fright Nite Cupcakes

Each serves 1
Favorite cupcake recipe or mix
Buttercream icing
Knife Royal Icing Decorations
Red Decorating Gel
Bake favorite cupcakes in Halloween baking cups. Cool completely. Spatula ice cupcake top. Insert knife icing decoration; add red decorating gel.

 

Vampire’s Bite Cupcakes

Each serves 1
Favorite cupcake recipe or mix
Take A Bite Mark baking cups
Buttercream icing
Red Decorating Gel
Red Colored Sugar
Bake favorite cupcakes in Take A Bite Mark baking cups. Cool completely. Pipe tip 22 white buttercream swirl on cupcake top. Add red decorating gel to cut area on baking cup. Sprinkle with red colored sugar.

 

Freaky Fingers Strawberry Cooler

Make about 6-1/2 cups
1     package (16 ounces) frozen strawberries with no sugar added, thawed but still cool
1     package (.14 ounce) unsweetened strawberry soft drink mix
4     cups water
1-1/2     cups lemon-lime soda
1/3     cup granulated sugar
Freaky Fingers Candy Straws
(see below)
In the bowl of food processor, pulse frozen strawberries until completely pureed. Strain strawberries to remove seeds.
In large pitcher, combine strawberry puree, soft drink mix, water, lemon-lime soda and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Pour into glasses; add ice, if desired, and Freaky Fingers Candy Straws. To drink, bite end from finger candy and sip.

 

Freaky Fingers Candy Straws

Makes 6 fingers per mold
White Candy Melts
Skeleton Fingers Pretzel Mold
Drinking straws
Melt Candy Melts following package instructions; pour into Skeleton Fingers Mold. Insert drinking straw where pretzel fits in mold; rotate straw to cover with melted candy. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from mold.

 

Clockwise from upper left: Wickedly Wonderful Werewolf Pops, Frightfully Fun Werewolf Cake and Werewolf Furry Finger Cookies

Werewolves Are on the Prowl!

To raise a few hairs at your Halloween bash, add a collection of werewolf treats that are sure to satisfy your hungry pack. Party guests will be digging their fangs into Wickedly Wonderful Werewolf Pops and Werewolf Furry Finger Cookies. So bring your appetite because the Wilton Test Kitchen has baked up a cauldron of confections for this spooky season … take a bite.

Wickedly Wonderful Werewolf Pops

Makes about 8 pops
           Round Cookie Pop Pan
    2     tablespoons margarine or butter
    2     cups miniature marshmallows
    3     cups crisp chocolate-coated rice cereal
    8     8-inch Cookie Sticks
           Dark Cocoa Candy Melts
   Yellow Candy Melts
            Brown candy-coated chocolates
            Candy corn
Spray Round Cookie Pop Pan and spatula or wooden spoon with vegetable pan spray.
In large microwave-safe bowl, melt margarine and marshmallows together; stir to combine. Add cereal; stir until well coated. Press into prepared pan, leaving top edge uneven. Insert Cookie Sticks. Let cool; remove from pan. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture, reheating mixture in microwave if needed to make it easier to work with. Reserve any leftover cereal.
With knife, cut dark cocoa Candy Melts into fourths; with melted candy, attach 2 to the top of each pop, pointed side up, for ears. Cut 1/4 off yellow Candy Melts; attach 2 larger pieces with melted candy for eyes. Attach candy-coated chocolate pupils and nose. Cut pointed end from candy corn; attach for teeth with melted candy. Add additional small pieces of cereal mixture for eyebrows. Arrange pops in seasonal container.

Frightfully Fun Werewolf Cake

Makes about 16 servings
Pound Cake (recipe available at www.wilton.com)
        3-D Cuddly Bear Set
        White Rolled Fondant
    2     dowel rods
        Chocolate Buttercream Icing (recipe available at www.wilton.com)
        Rotary Cutter
    2     each Bright Green and Purple Sugar Sheets! Edible Decorating Paper
        Piping Gel (optional)
    1     each Bright Yellow, Light Pink, White and Black Sugar Sheets! Edible Decorating Paper
        Flaked coconut
        Brown and Black Icing Color
Bake and cool pound cake recipe in 3-D Cuddly Bear baking pan following pan instructions. Cool completely. Roll two 3 inch x 1-1/4-inch fondant logs; insert dowel rods, leaving 2 inches of dowel rod exposed. Insert into cake for arms.
Spatula ice cake and arms with chocolate buttercream icing, building up ears to a point at top of head. With Rotary Cutter, cut two purple shirt shapes and two green pants shapes from Sugar Sheets! Attach to front and back of bear, wrapping around to meet, using piping gel, if desired. Cut out pink triangles for ears, yellow eyes, black circle pupils and nose, black mouth and white triangle fangs; attach.
Tint coconut with brown and black icing color; press into icing for fur. Tint small amount of chocolate icing black; add tip 22 pull-out star claws on ends of arms.

Werewolf Furry Finger Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies
 Finger Cookie Pan
    1     cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    1-1/2     cups granulated sugar
    1     egg
    1-1/2     teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2     teaspoon almond extract (optional)
    2-3/4     cups all-purpose flour
    1     teaspoon salt
    3     tablespoons cocoa powder
        Flaked coconut
        Brown Icing Color
        Black spice drops
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray Finger Cookie Pan cavities with vegetable pan spray.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg and extracts; mix well. Combine flour, salt and cocoa powder; add to butter mixture. Beat until well blended. Press dough into prepared pan cavities, filling 2/3 full.
Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light brown around edges. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn pan over; lightly tap pan to remove cookies. Cool completely on cooling grid.
In resealable plastic bag, place coconut with icing color; knead until color is evenly blended. Dry on parchment or waxed paper. Attach in small clumps on cooled cookies with melted candy. Roll out spice drops on surface sprinkled with granulated sugar; cut into fingernail shapes. Attach to cookies with melted candy.

For additional Halloween ideas and directions for making all your vampire and werewolf goodies, go to www.wilton.com.

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