Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Joy of Hallowe'en Baking

October and November are hectic here in the Gothic Mansion, as every member of the insomniac's  immediate family, herself included, celebrates their birthday during these two months. Add to that a wedding anniversary (thirty-one years this past week) and the obligatory Thanksgiving extravaganza, it makes for a very busy time in the Mansion's very tiny scullery.

The eldest offspring, whose birthday occurs mid-October, allowed his Sainted Mother to plan his Hallowe'en themed birthday parties right up until the age of nine, after which he started demanding laser tag and pizza, like the rest of his friends. The youngest offspring, whose birthday falls on All Saint's Day, enjoyed Hallowe'en themed parties right up until the legal age of eighteen, after which she started celebrating at the bar, like the rest of her friends.

In preparation for the parties, the month of October was spent shopping - for decorations, prizes and candy for the goody bags, and searching for publications with unusual food ideas suitable for experimentation on unsuspecting party guests. The insomniac  has accumulated a fair number of these publications, commonly found in grocery store checkout lines and bearing such clever names as “Spooktacular Recipes and Party Ideas” and the like, all of which she has saved over the years and are likely worth a great deal in the collectibles market.

Indeed, the insomniac's  birthday cakes were legendary. She would be quite remiss in leading you to believe her baking creations even remotely resembled the following examples; the term legendary being used in the more unsavory  sense of the word.

The insomniac's  version turned out nothing like this ...

Nor this ...

Despite the fact the offspring haven't celebrated their birthdays in the Gothic Mansion for quite some time, the insomniac  has yet to do away with the yearly Hallowe'en shopping spree. When the time came to gather up the Giveaway purchases in one central location, it was evident that more shopping had been done than previously estimated. Accordingly, one Giveaway has now multiplied into two: the first with a somewhat sophisticated Black & White Theme; the second with a more traditional Black, Orange & Green Theme.

Black &White Hallowe'en Giveaway Contents, L-R:

Bone Sprinkles, Damask Skeleton Baking Cups, Cupcake Tattoos, B&W Sprinkle Set
Skeleton Cupcake Combo, Skeleton Cupcake Wraps, Black Baking Cups

Traditional Hallowe'en Giveaway Contents, L-R:

Hallowe'en Cookie Cutter Set, Creepy Sprinkles Lab, Green Damask Baking Cups,
Batty Bats Treat Toppers, Ghost Icing Decorations, Coffin Sprinkles

This week's Giveaway ends on Saturday, October 13th at 12:01 a.m. EST, hopefully allowing one enough time to figure out how the Rafflecopter winner selection process works. Names of the winners will be announced on Sunday, October 14th, along with details on that week's Giveaway.

The insomniac  is going to text the youngest offspring today to see if she can attend her father's birthday festivities this evening, along with her eldest brother who is currently in town on a short hiatus from his extremely remote job near the North West Territories. This celebratory meal will, as always, be finished off with the insomniac's  infamous Devil's Food Cake. She might also attempt to coerce her youngest into a Hallowe'en baking session sometime next week - for old time's sake, you understand. Rest assured, the end result will look NOTHING like this ...

For baking of this quality,
you should go to the Martha Stewart website.

Definitely not the Insomniac's Attic website.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties ... and Good Luck to you all!

IA


a Rafflecopter giveaway

40 comments:

  1. Wow! I love this! Are those Halloween cookie cutters???!!! It makes me sad Halloween is not a big thing where I live. I wanted to get some of the gorgeous Dusk shop candles this year, but didn't have enough money. If it wasn't so far to my local store, I would probably consider going back and getting them!

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    1. Yes indeed, Laura! Eighteen cookie cutters, including tombstones, bats, pumpkins and other Hallowe'en themed shapes. Of course, the insomniac  couldn't resist buying a set for herself. Truthfully, a duplicate of every single item in the Giveaways managed to end up in her cupboards, as well.

      It is sad that Hallowe'en is not a big deal in your country. One is now going to Google “Dusk Shop Candles” to see what you were forced to miss out on!

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  2. I did them both, I have no idea how the copter knows who I am and that I did it so I will assume it has evil powers! Mua ha ha!

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    1. Despite reading everything on their website, the insomniac  still feels a little in the dark about all things Rafflecopter related. As to how it knows who you are, one agrees with your suspicions of Evil Powers at work!

      Thanks for entering this week, and Good Luck to you!!

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  3. Amazing giveaways! It's almost impossible to find nice stuff like these were I live. Halloween is not celebrated very much here (except for our house ;) ). We manage to find a decent cookie cutter set this year though.

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    1. Well, linnea-maria, one can never have too many Hallowe'en themed cookie cutters, don't you agree? ;o) And knowing you have offspring who are still at home enjoying your baking skills, as evidenced by that picture of those luscious cupcakes a while ago, either one of those Giveaway items would come in extremely handy in your household!

      Good Luck to you! :o)

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  4. my baking endeavors won't look anything like those either!

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    1. You are in good company, Kam! However, the insomniac  feels that as long as the end result is edible, all is not lost! :D

      Hopefully you entered the draw and, if so, Best of Luck to you!

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  5. HAHA you are too funny!
    We collect the Martha Stewart Halloween editions of Living, although I never do anything out of them. :/ My extended family has a lot of Halloween birthdays as well. Mine's on the 28th so I have always had a Halloween themed party. I used to ask my mom whyyyyyy she couldn't have held on for three more days to have me! Her response is that it was a full moon and she had no choice. Valid excuse. ;)
    I would love to see some of your Halloween baking creations. I don't think anyone is expecting you to live up to Martha.
    Awesome giveaway! I hope you find some new readers from it. If I win I promise I will dust off my cookie sheets and bake something. ;)
    <3

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    1. A full moon is a perfectly valid excuse! The insomniac had always hoped she was born on Friday the 13th, but she believes it was actually a Sunday. Pfffft....

      If you win, you must dust off the cookie sheets, Lady B.! Since the offspring have grown up and moved away, there is very little baking done in the Gothic Mansion anymore. Too hard on the waistline, which is already practically non-existent! ;o)

      As for this year's Martha Stewart Hallowe'en Handbook - should have read the cover a little more closely before purchase, especially the part where it said BACK IN PRINT - already had it. Pfffft again... LOL.

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    2. By the bye, one had no idea that attracting new readers was the purpose of a Giveaway. One assumed it was just a clever way to smuggle in new purchases under false pretenses. As in, “These old sprinkles? Nah, had them for years, dear. Really.”

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    3. I hoarded October issues of MS Living until last year, when I decided to cull the bulk and only save the Halloweeny articles and legitimate holiday porn photos. They now reside in a binder. I had to stop buying the Halloween Holiday issues, because after 12 years of collecting Living, I discovered that they just self-plagarize.

      I don't care, though. I lof Martha. LOF.

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    4. “Spooktacular Recipes and Party Ideas” can't hold a candle to Martha ...

      Organized in a binder, you say - impressive! :D

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    5. UGH! Yeah, totally disappointed that this year's was an amalgamation of things already seen. Very disappointing.
      The only upside is that it sits on the coffee table instead of the pile of individual magazines that I used to pull out every year.
      Oh, also, I made the homemade tortilla chips made with cookie cutters tonight from page 95 of this year's reissue. Um.... YUM! and soooo easy.

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    6. Thank goodness the magazine was on the top of the pile next to one's bed which, you're absolutely right, makes it so much easier to refer to! Just bought 5 avocados today, so guess what's on the menu for supper tomorrow night! Thanks for the tip!! :D

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  6. Oh Gosh, everything is lovely and both giveaways are SO charming. I don´t know which one I like the most, maybe because I like to think that I am half a lady and half a little-Halloween-weirdo-child.
    Anyway, I´ll do both things and I´ll keep my fingers crossed!

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    1. Half-Lady and Half-Little-Hallowe'en-Weirdo-Child sounds like just the right mix for the perfect personality type!

      Good Luck, Violette!

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  7. Those cupcake tattoos are gorgeous! Where did you get them?

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    1. We have a discount store here in Canada called Home Sense, which is where all these Hallowe'en goodies were purchased. The name on the package front is Duff Goldman who, judging by the small picture on the package front, looks as though he probably sports a bit of tattoo art himself! He has a website at www.duff.com and it also looks as though Michael's might carry them, as well.

      Best of luck in the Giveaway! :D

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  8. October is such a tricky month! I relate in that October never fails to go by without some spooky purchase.
    You should definitely show off what you do-- it's always interesting to see what people come up with for the festivities.

    This particular October is important for me, it's the first time in the last 6 years I've known my husband that I get to celebrate his birthday with him. It falls on the 30th, and I have absolutely no idea what I am going to bake. If I win I am going to give my baking for him a good shot, at least lol

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    1. Ah yes, Madame MM, October is indeed a difficult time for the pocketbook, but completely justifiable, at least in the insomniac's  mind! ;o)

      One has managed to accumulate a number of easy, never-fail cake recipes over the years. Might one recommend the Devil's Food Cake recipe, which we will be indulging in this evening. If interested, please feel free to email and a copy will be gladly sent to you! And Good Luck in the Giveaways! :D

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    2. Oh, and congrats on your six years together, as well!

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  9. The giveawy sounds fun. Even though I have a cookie blog, I don't like sugar cookies (to eat) they are beautiful to look at. You are so fun and very generous.

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    1. Rhonda! You of all people don't like sugar cookies? The insomniac  wishes she didn't enjoy sugar cookies quite so much ... :P

      Good luck in the Giveaway! :D

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  10. All those cupcake decorations look so pretty! I've never tried making a cake not from a mix yet- keep meaning to but since my husband doesn't like sweets that much I would end up having to eat most of it (well, I guess that wouldn't be so terrible ;)). Maybe I should try making an elaborate one for Halloween just for fun!

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    1. Ooh, you should make one - you really should! Your husband doesn't like sweets? How fortunate for you - no sharing required!

      Good luck in the Giveaway! :D

      Delete
  11. Duff Goldman is the owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, and used to have a Food Network show called Ace of Cakes. I love to bake, so I'll watch anything that involves cake decorating... :)

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    1. Well, anybody brilliant enough to come up with idea of Cupcake Tattoos is a-okay in the insomniac's  books. The spouse has a slight addiction to the Food Network Channel, especially Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

      Good luck in the draw! :D

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  12. I love this time of year... I wind up baking for my anniversary (Halloween itself) even though it is only my husband and I around to enjoy it. He hates it when I don't use a mix though...he is a fan of those and thinks every thing else "tastes too fancy". Too fancy? For my favorite time of year? NOT possible.

    I also suffer from things not looking quuuuite like I want them to. They tend to taste nice though, which evens it out a bit. >^-^<

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    1. Ooooh, your anniversary is on Hallowe'en? How awesome!

      The insomniac's  spouse is the complete opposite of yours. He can't stand mixes and says they taste too “fake”. But since one does enjoy baking from scratch (and eating the results, whether beautiful to behold or not), it's not too much of a hardship!

      Good Luck in the Giveaway, Morgaine!

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  13. I need some Halloween cookie cutters! Everything you bought looks cute!

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    1. Kendra, the insomniac  thinks EVERYONE in the world needs some Hallowe'en cookie cutters, don't you agree? She must admit, it was quite enjoyable shopping for all the Giveaway items; because shopping, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is her one true skill ...

      Thanks for commenting and good luck in this week's Giveaway! :D

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  14. This week's giveaway looks wonderful and the items will go wonderfully well with any Halloween or October baking. That said, I'm not much at baking; so even though you encouraged me to enter each giveaway, it would be far better to allow those with culinary skills to enter this contest. Still, I think it's very generous and awesome of you to do this. Good luck everyone!

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    1. It did occur to the insomniac  (after the fact) that not everyone might enjoy this particular Giveaway. Hopefully, the prizes for the next two weeks will appeal to almost everyone! And please be sure not to miss the final one on the 28th, which will be a Gift Certificate from the Attic, where hopefully you can find something you'd like to possess!

      P.S. Really enjoyed your post this week ...

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  15. I am in! :D The stuff seems great!

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    1. Should you be the lucky winner, you must promise the insomniac  you'll share your creation on your delightful new baking blog, Lesthi!

      Good Luck! :D

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  16. I just died a little when I saw all of this amazing stuff.
    I know my creations won't look amazing but I'm hoping they'll taste half way decent.

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    1. You and the insomniac  both shall leave the amazing looking creations to the professionals, and be perfectly content with our decent tasting results!

      Good luck to you in the Giveaway, and thanks for commenting! :D

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  17. Okay, the little coffin sprinkles boxes are too cute. I'm actually pretty decent at cake decorating, though I've never tried decorating cookies...hmmm...

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    1. The insomniac  is somewhat better at cookie decorating. Her cakes have a tendency to tilt precariously after icing, and the second layer has even been known to slide right off in the middle of a birthday party. Still tasted okay, though.

      You know a set of those coffin sprinkles are being hoarded in the Gothic Mansion's pantry cupboard because they really are too cute, right?

      Thanks for commenting, and best of luck in the Giveaway! :D

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