Two Must-Try Recipes

If you remember my Halloween Bucketlist, one of my October goals was to make something spooky and delicious for the Halloween potluck at work! Baking is one of my favorite things to do, and getting back at it was so much fun!

For inspiration, my Pinterest perusing did not let me down. I found not one, but two!, dessert recipes to try and they were a huge success! I have shared the recipes below, and I hope that you all enjoy!


Halloween Oreo Cookie Bars

These were so easy to make, and tasted incredible!

Ingredients:
1 pkg. Halloween Oreos
Halloween Funfetti Cake Mix (15.25 oz.) (I used regular Funfetti mix because I couldn’t find the Halloween edition)
1 egg
1/4 c. oil (Canola or Vegetable)
1/4 c. milk


Cookies

First you line a greased baking dish with Oreos…

Batter

Then mix up the Funfetti Cake Mix, egg, oil and milk…

Prebake

Spread the batter evenly over the Oreos. Crush approximately 9 more Oreos and press them into the top of the batter and bake at 350°F for 20-25 mins.

Bars

And then…voila! you have scrumptious Halloween Oreo Cake Bars! (You can find the full recipe that I followed here.)


and then we have…

Reese’s Frankenstein Cupcakes

 

Cupcake2

These little guys were much more difficult, but also a lot more fun, to create!


Ingredients (adapted from original Reese’s Frankenstein Cupcake recipe found on Your Cup of Cake):

Chocolate Cake:
1 devil’s food cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 C. oil
2/3 C. sour cream
1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Frosting:
1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
5-6 C. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
Green food coloring
For Decorations:
Reese’s Cups (20)
White chocolate melts (1/3 Cup) (I used Nestle white chocolate chips for melting instead)
Chocolate M&M’s (40) (I used Reese’s Pieces since I couldn’t find chocolate M&Ms!)
Chocolate chips (40)
Chocolate sprinkles

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Sift cake mix into a large bowl and add eggs, oil, sour creme, buttermilk and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
3. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 14-17 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
4. Let cool.
5. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. The continue to add in more powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add more milk if it becomes too thick and add food coloring. I found that you needed a lot more powdered sugar than the recipe originally called for in order to get the frosting thick enough!
6. To Make Eyes: (see photos) Melt white chocolate melts, pour into a small bag to make a mini piping bag, pipe dime-sized circles onto wax paper then immediately place a brown Reese’s Pieces on top. Let set for a few minutes.
7. Pipe green frosting onto cupcakes and shape the frosting into Frank’s head. You can make it as square-shaped as you like! Place a Reese’s Cup on top, put eyes on and then chocolate chips as”bolts” and use the sprinkles to make a mouth!

Getting the frosting to the correct consistency was definitely the most challenging part of this recipe. I think they turned out well for my first try! I figured out that the key is adding more cream cheese and powdered sugar to make it thicker…

Cupcake1

 Frosting difficulties aside, they still turned out super cute and I had a lot of fun making them! Do you have any fun Halloween or fall recipes to share?

xoxo

Sarah

Playing Tourist

Hi Everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend, and that you are gearing up for a fun and spooky Halloween! I still have ZERO idea what I will be doing for it. I am tentatively scheduled to work at my restaurant job, boo! However, I may end up having the evening off, so I need to work on having a last minute costume ready in case I do. I hate not being able to prepare better! C’est la vie…

This past weekend I got to play tourist and spend some quality time with my family, and I just had to share about it with you all because it was so much fun. How did I play tourist? We went on a behind-the-scenes tour at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park! I originally had wanted to do the Tigers & Friends tour, because tigers are my favorite animal in the whole wide world, but there weren’t enough seats available. We chose to do Lions & Friends instead, and let me tell you, we were not disappointed!

If you live in San Diego, and have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes safari tour, DO IT.

These safari tours are a little on the pricey side, but lucky for me my awesome roommate works at the Safari Park, and she got us a super sweet discount on tickets. Thanks roomie!

Even though tickets are on the expensive side, it goes to a good cause. The Safari Park and San Diego Zoo are part of San Diego Zoo Global, an organization committed to saving species worldwide through conservation science. They focus on fighting extinction, and also are making great strides in broadening the public’s knowledge base on wildlife conservancy. They seek to inspire change through education. They want to save the animals, each and every one, and I’m on board.

The experience was incredible. Our tour guide, Frank, was knowledgeable and hilarious. I learned so much about the animals, the park, and what San Diego Zoo Global is doing to conserve wildlife! I definitely walked away from the tour feeling educated and inspired!

And without further ado, here are some fabulous snapshots from our safari!

Sugar GliderThis little girl was the first meet-and-greet of our tour. She is a Sugar Glider, and was soft as velvet to the touch!


SomanB&WMeet Soman, my favorite of the day to interact with! This gentle giant is  a Greater One Horned Rhino who loves lettuce, celery, and sharing his food with the deer “locals” that find their way into his enclosure!

FeedingSomanSoman and I bonding. Our connection is obvious.

Lions1These guys took their time showing up…we were afraid they wouldn’t come out for us! The lioness and her four cubs have free reign over an enclosure with multiple rooms to roam. We were so lucky they finally came to say hi!

Lions3Not pictured: Me literally squealing with excitement like a 16-year-old. Not the least bit ashamed about that.

Lions2I could have stood and watched them all day! Sadly there are rules against that.

San Diego is such a great place to play tourist in! I hope you all enjoyed the look at my behind-the-scenes safari experience! Are you interested in learning more or in going on your own behind-the-scenes tour? You can purchase tickets here!

What are you going to dress up as for Halloween? Have you ever taken a tour at the Zoo or Safari Park? I would love to hear your creative costume ideas, all about your plans, and about your experiences!

xoxo

Sarah

October is for Bucketlist-ing

I can’t put my finger on what is different about this year, but for some reason I am more excited than usual for October, and Halloween activities in general. I think all of the Pinterest perusing I do has gone to my head.

I thought it would be fun, albeit a tad over-ambitious, to create an October bucketlist in honor of Halloween. A collective list of fun things to look forward to and plan for! You know, because I have so much free time on my hands.

So, without any further ado, we have…

The Seemingly Simply Halloween Bucketlist

1. Visit a pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins. Last year, I got my pumpkin from a grocery store and didn’t even get around to carving it. Granted, I picked out the largest one I could find at the time to haul home, but that is where the effort ended. I let myself, and the poor pumpkin, down. Not this year, I say!

Pumpkin Patch

 

2. Try out the Haunted Trail at Balboa Park. So far, in years past, I have been to The Haunted Hotel in downtown San Diego, and also to The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. I have heard the Haunted Trail is fairly spooky, and inexpensive, so I’m going for it. I might have to make a return trip to The Scream Zone as well. There’s a Zombie Paintball Safari calling my name…

Haunted Trail

 

3. Watch a scary movie(in theaters). I think Annabelle is going to be my choice for this month. Here’s my rule about horror flicks: I don’t do them. Simple, right? However, I make an exception to this rule during Halloween time. Because, for some reason, during Halloween they are fun and scary, while during any other time of the year they are unintelligent and a waste of my time. This logic doesn’t make much sense to me either, but it’s the honest truth. And while we are on the topic of Halloween movies, Hocus Pocus will be on repeat in our household this entire month. The end.

Hocus Pocus

 

4. Actually put effort into a Halloween costume. Last year, I didn’t even wear Halloween colors on October 31st, much less come up with a creative costume. The extent of my costume participation was wearing devil horns to the aforementioned Scream Zone the week before Halloween. This year, I have requested Halloween weekend off from work, have every intention of coming up with a super sweet outfit, and plan on doing something fun! I have no idea what I am dressing up as or what this super-duper-fun plan is yet, but I will get there! I really want to incorporate some outrageous and impressive costume makeup, and have recruited my coworker to help me out on this project. We shall see how that works out for me. Wish us luck!

Makeup

 

5. Bring something spooky and delicious to my office potluck.  Halloween falls on a Friday this year, and a festive company potluck will be held in honor of this glorious holiday. Here’s a fun fact about me: I love to bake! I especially like to try out new recipes as fall hits, embracing the new season. I see much more Pinterest perusing in my future…

candycorn

So there you have it, a seemingly short and simple bucketlist for All Hallows’ Eve! But let’s never underestimate my ability to get sidetracked and let time slip away from me. If Self-Care September taught me anything, it’s that it’s easy to dream big and difficult to get it all done. Happy October everyone!

Do you have any fun Halloween traditions you like to do? Any costume ideas you would like to throw at me? I would love to hear them!

xoxo

Sarah