The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


October 9, 2013

DIYW (Do It Your Way) Halloween

Frank Sinatra had the endurance of common table salt for this simple reason: he did it HIS way. As I pored over Halloween recipes involving springform pans, thermometers, waterbaths, and pumpkin carving plans that could earn my kids scholarships to culinary school, I thought: There has to be an easier way.

And there was.

While I enjoy a slice of multi-layered candy corn cheesecake just as much as the next gal, I also have to schedule both calls to my loving mother and bathroom breaks. Sadly, the two often overlap. (Sorry, Mom).

So I’ve included the down-and-dirty tips and spirited inspirations I found, tried and adapted for getting into

Halloween without spending a fortune or taking a furlough.

I also consulted a local pharmacist who moonlights as the Queen of Halloween, asking her thoughts on the subject. I learned if a busy mom to two young boys has time to indulge her fun side, then anyone has time.

Don’t Mind If I Dippity-Do

This dessert dip is as pretty as it is delicious. Just for fun, serve in a small hollowed-out pie pumpkin with an assortment of fruits for slathering, or with vanilla wafers or ginger snaps for a crunchy, sweet twist to party chips and dip.


1   tub of French Vanilla

        Cool Whip

2   packages white chocolate

        instant pudding

1   15-ounce can of pumpkin

        puree (not pie filling, but    

        100 percent pure pumpkin)

1   cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

     Pumpkin pie spice to taste

        and for finishing garnish

In a medium-sized bowl, mix pudding with milk and fold in Cool Whip and sour cream. Fold in pumpkin and a tablespoon (more or less) of spice until well blended. Sprinkle with a finishing dash of spice and refrigerate or serve immediately.

Decor to Die For

There’s something only close friends who’ve received her annual Halloween Party invitations know about Cyndee Wills — she and husband Eddie, a firefighter by trade, are closet zombies. The Hallow-fiends have historically gone all out hosting as many as 80 guests and blitzing their home in orange, black and red decorations.

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