Monday, August 27, 2012

Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook

Betty Crocker cookbooks have been around since 1930, and this is the first ever all-Halloween edition. Featuring almost 100 recipes (each with an accompanying photo), the book is filled with silly spirit and the many quick cook short-cuts Betty fans have come to expect. It will definitely appeal more to parents with younger kids as many of the "recipes" involve drawing faces on food or shaping food to resemble witches and insects. These are not the overzealous and intricate Martha Stewart-type Halloween recipes that would appeal to the more sophisticated haunted holiday entertainer, but I can see using a handful of these recipes as a springboard for more adult fare. The Smores Shake Shot could be made with Godiva Chocolate Liquor instead of melted chocolate ice cream. The Spider Bites gelatin squares made with black vodka would be a clever jello-shot. And adding Midori to the Lemon-Slime Punch and serving it in test tubes would be great for a mad scientist theme. Beyond the liquor additions, I also liked some of the ideas for decorating cupcakes (tombstones! chocolate bats!), and the ubiquitous Pumpkin Cake. Overall, this book was not my cup of tea, but it's nicely produced in full color with good photography throughout.



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yard Inflatables

I'm not a huge fan of the airblown yard balloons that pop up on lawns this time of year. However, it's always been my policy that some spirit is better than none. And I can understand why the simplicity of plugging something in that turns ginormous, colorful and lit could be alluring to the average homeowner. With that in mind, here are some inflatables that have our seal of approval.

This cat has claws and it's dark color helps conceal it in the dark. Add a fog machine and some backlighting and you've got a great display. Available at YardInflatables.com

This is not your average blow-up and probably the sickest, greatest one I've seen. I especially like the beady red eyes. Available at HomeDepot.com


I imagine that this would look quite spooky at night. Take off those strings, glue on some moss, dangle a bat or an owl, and this tree is ready for haunting. 

As a child of the 80's, Ghostbusters was one of my all time favorite movies. Having Mr. Stay Puft mat not illicit terror, but those who love retro whimsy will. Available at SpiritHalloween.com


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Martha Stewart Halloween 2012

When Martha Stewart's show ended its run in May, it felt like the beginning of the end. I'd look forward to her late September and October shows since they often featured some Halloween craft or recipe. With the show done and her Grandin Road affiliation (gladly/sadly) terminated, I wondered if her Halloween craft products would be the next thing to go. Luckily, the EK Success Brands products will go on. This year's batch of Halloween goodies is quite inspired, although they haven't quite made it to Michaels yet. Here are some of my favorites, all of which are on sale for 20% off online at www.MarthaStewartCrafts.com. I really like her creepy "Carnival" line and the no-carve pumpkin transfers and skins.






Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grandin Road Halloween 2012

Every year Grandin Road's Halloween Haven shop expands. This year (like last) they offered an entire catalog worth of quality Halloween products that you won't find anywhere else. Shop the site or view their online catalog. Here are some of our favorites from 2012, some of which you'll see in our gallery later this year!

UPDATE: A reader pointed out to us that the skeleton couple on the bottom left corner is a blatant copy of another artist's work. This is unacceptable and I hope Grandin Road will do the right thing. I encourage fans of the store to speak out on their Facebook page. You can view images of the original work on PumpkinRot's blog. The original artist is William Bezek.





Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dibbuk Box

In June 2003, an strange listing appeared on eBay for wine box along with a very lengthy explanation of its origins and it's possible paranormal side effects. What followed was a very creepy story of a eyeless hags, shadow people, and unexplainable bad luck and illness. Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) even bought the rights to the story and produced the upcoming movie "The Possession" about this dibbuk box. Read the fascinating true story in the August 3, 2012 issue of Entertainment Weekly (unfortunately, this has not been published online yet). For more information about the owners of the box, visit: www.dibbukbox.com.




Friday, August 3, 2012

Yankee Candle Halloween

Tomorrow morning (Saturday, August 4) is Yankee Candle's Halloween Preview Sale (i.e. the only chance to get their limited edition stuff). If there's no store near you, it's already available online: YankeeCandle.com! The Boney Bunch is the main draw, but there is so much more. Here are some of our favorites: