Satan’s Whiskers Cocktail Recipe

This is the last weekend before Halloween and you’re probably prepping for Halloween parties, or maybe you’re like me and planning what you’re going to eat and drink in front of the TV on Halloween night while you watch horror flicks in your pajamas. Either way, this is the perfect cocktail to help you get your spooky on.

Devil's Whiskers Cocktail.jpgSatan’s Whiskers Cocktail

1 oz gin
1 oz french vermouth
1 oz italian vermouth
1 oz orange juice
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz orange bitters

Put everything into a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a glass.

Devil's Whiskers Cocktail 2.jpgRecipe from The Official Mixers Manual by Patrick Gavin Duffy, 1934.

Poached Pear Mummy Pies

Awhile ago I was watching The Great British Bake Off and Paul Hollywood challenged the contestants to recreate his mini pear pies, which are poached pears wrapped in pastry. My husband and I immediately commented on how we wanted to make them, but then as I watched the bakers wrap the pears in strips of dough like little pear mummies a light bulb went off in my head…PEAR MUMMIES!

poached-pear-mummy-pies-5This adorable dessert will take your Halloween shindig to the next level. Here’s how you make them.

Adapted from Paul Hollywood’s Mini Pear Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

Store bought puff pastry
6 large, firm pears (preferably ones that are straight and tall)
10½ oz caster sugar
18 oz white wine
14 oz water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zest only
12 whole cloves

Directions

Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. In a large saucepan combine the water, white wine, cinnamon and orange zest and slowly bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for three minutes.

Poached Pear Mummy Pies Add the pears to the pan. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Reserving the syrup, remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool on kitchen paper. Use a melon baller or small teaspoon remove the core from the pears.

Return the syrup to the heat and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half and the syrup is thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

When the fruit and syrup are cool, roll out the chilled puff pastry to a thickness of no more than 1/4 inch. Then use a knife to cut into thin, long strips, about 1/3 inch wide.

Poached Pear Mummy PiesBrush the pears with the cooled sugar syrup and starting from the bottom, wrap the pastry strips around the pears. When you come to the end of the pastry strip, brush the end lightly with syrup and press to adhere to the next pastry strip. Leave an opening near the center of the pear for the eyes. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear. Place two cloves into the pear where you want the eyes to be.

poached-pear-mummy-pies-3Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the pastry covered pears on a baking tray. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes then serve with a drizzle of the reduced sugar syrup.

poached-pear-mummy-pies-4

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton

I’m finally getting into the Halloween spirit and wanted to share a quick DIY project with you guys. You probably already know that I love the retro kitschy vibe of plastic lawn flamingos, so I figured why not turn them into skeletons for Halloween?  Cute idea right? Well, I have to admit that this is one of those times where I thought I was being really original and creative, and then saw that you can actually buy them like this. Well, a scarier demon version anyway. Fail. I already had the materials laying around so I did it anyway! Here’s how I did it in case you want to make some yourself.

First I started with a plastic pink flamingo.

DIY Plastic Flamingo Skeleton

Then I sprayed it with satin black spray paint. Which looked pretty cool on its own, but I went with the skeleton idea anyway.

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeletons

Then I used a white Sharpie paint marker to make the skeleton.DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton I’m not an expert on bird anatomy so you’ll have to forgive my crude interpretation of a flamingo skeleton. Listen, I did my best!

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton

 

DIY White and Gold Light-Up Halloween Pumpkin Makeover

Autumn is just around the corner and it’s time to start decorating! First up, Halloween! I absolutely love Halloween, but it’s not really my personal style to do a lot of gore or tons of orange and black in my home. One of the things I like to do with my Halloween decor is try to make it fit in with my home’s existing style. Here’s a really quick and easy way I updated a pre-lit, cheapy plastic pumpkin that I found for for $6. Isn’t he cute?

DIY Gold and White Halloween Light-Up Pumpkin (4).jpgSpray paint. That’s all you need. I went with gold and white of course.

DIY Gold and White Halloween Light-Up Pumpkin (3).jpgI painted the entire pumpkin with white satin paint (satin or gloss work best) and then sprayed the stem gold. I didn’t use tape or anything around the stem because I like the way the gold over-spray looks on the top of the pumpkin.

diy-gold-and-white-halloween-light-up-pumpkin-2

Cute, right?! I think I’m going to have to pick up a few more pumpkins and try different colors.

before-and-after-pumpkin

Anyway, easy peasy! Super cute and fits in perfectly with the rest of my decor.

diy-gold-and-white-halloween-light-up-pumpkin

Devil’s Booze Cake Recipe

If you’re in the mood for something super rich, chocolate-y, and boozy for your Halloween shindig, I’ve got the perfect cake for you. It’s a chocolate cake soaked in coffee flavored vodka, with gooey dulce de leche in between the layers and on top, and finished with black sea salt. It basically tastes like a boozy candy bar. In the words of Ina Garten, “How bad could that be?”. It’s perfect for Halloween! Or for when you’re generally feeling dark and want to eat your feelings, have PMS, etc. This cake has no limits, but it really is most perfect for Halloween.

Let’s bake.
Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama
This recipe was adapted from Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coffee or espresso flavored vodka
Black Hawaiian Sea Salt for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and dust the pans with cocoa powder. (I like to flour chocolate cake pans with cocoa powder. I think this gives it a nicer finish.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make your dulce de leche. Place two cans of sweetened condensed milk to a pot of simmering water. Make sure the cans are completely submerged in water or they will explode. Simmer for 3-4 hours. Remove from water and let cool to the touch. Be cautious of opening cans. If they are still too hot they may splatter.

Once cakes are cooled, use a tooth pick to poke small holes around the layer. Brush the coffee flavored vodka onto each layer (about 1/2 cup each layer). Let the cake soak up the vodka.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Pour a good amount of dulce de leche on and spread around. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and pour remaining dulce de leche on top and let it run down the sides.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Top with a sprinkle of black sea salt. SO. GOOD.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

DIY Decor: Simple Halloween Living Room Decorating Ideas

My husband and I are pretty big fans of all things creepy so it totally makes sense that Halloweentime tops our list as the best time of the year. I wish I had a house that I could deck out for trick or treaters, but I have to make do with decorating my apartment for my own personal enjoyment.

Here’s what I’ve got going on so far.

Halloween Gallery Wall via MelodramaI have a colorful gallery wall above my sofa that features vintage illustrations. In honor of Halloween I kept it colorful and replaced the pictures with vintage Halloween themed advertisements and magazine covers.

Vintage Halloween Adverts via Melodrama Halloween Gallery Wall via Melodrama

Over on the other side of the room I used my DIY Halloween candles and hand painted IKEA FADO Jack o’Lantern lamp. I like to cast photography and art on our TV when it’s not in use. It makes it feel less like a big, black, empty square on the wall. For this I’ve been casting creepy photos and vintage Halloween greeting cards. Cuuuute, right?

Halloween Decor via Melodrama

And then there’s the bar (AKA my favorite corner). I kept it simple with black decorations. Because the room is already so colorful I didn’t want anything to clash too much. Black decorations bring the creep vibe, but don’t take away from the existing decor. I made black pennant garlands with Martha Stewart Crafts Pennant Garland Punch and used “Poison” and “Potion” bottles to Halloweenify the shelves. Oh and my DIY Ouija board tray!


Halloween Bar Decor via MelodramaHalloween Bar Decor via Melodrama

I tried not to go overboard this year, but still have a lot of fun with it. What do you think?! For more decor ideas be sure to follow along with me on Instagram @melodramablog.

DIY: Ouija Board Serving Tray

If you want to be the Halloween hostess with the mostest, you need this Ouija board tray to serve your guests their cocktails and treats. Also, maybe conjure some spirits while you’re at it. Just kiddingggg…kind of.

You can find basic serving trays like this at most stores that sell home goods. I got mine at IKEA.

klack-tray__15449_PE082139_S4I wanted to use a classically creepy image and the Ouija board is one of the most iconic things I could think of. It works perfectly for this. I searched for the right image and decided on the William Fuld/Parker Brothers version. This is the image I associate most with the Ouija, and I like the cheekiness of the Parker Brothers name being on there. What a fun toy…and not satanic at all…it’s Parker Brothers!

oujia board
Click to download full size image.

Above is the image I used for my tray. For it to fit I had it printed at 24 x 18 on heavy paper. You can crop and resize it to fit the size of your tray and then take it to your local print shop. I went to FedEx Office.

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAYFirst, I painted the tray black and then I cut out my Ouija image to fit in the bottom of the tray. I used Mod Podge in a matte finish to stick and seal the image on. Easy!

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAYIt looks legit right? I just hope the wine glasses don’t start moving over the letters to spell things out. Although, I’m sure if I drink enough wine it’ll look like that anyway.

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAY