Oct 26, 2008

Go Political This Halloween - Costume Mask Fun!

The mask is a good old-fashioned staple when it comes to costumes and Halloween is no exception. Your kids might want to wear a Batman or Robin costume which come complete with their own mask or they might wear a homemade costume and just buy a black or silver mask separately to complete the effect.

There is a new and growing trend however .... costume masks based on whoever is in the media spotlight at the time. This year of course it's none other than the Presidential candidates themselves! According to what I've read, the biggest fashion in costume masks this Halloween is to have either a Barack Obama mask or a John McCain mask.

I can imagine a lot of students having fun with these this Halloween .... but also a few parents. There are going to be some great Halloween photos taken this year!

Personally, I will won't be donning a mask or costume - it's enough to concentrate on the food, especially the ice cream. Well, someone has to do it!

Happy Halloween!

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Oct 17, 2008

Dorothy & Peter Pan on Halloween

I've already written about Halloween ice cream and if you follow the link you'll get some great ideas for how to give your family and friends a really appropriate dessert!

Many people have already made their costume preparations for Halloween - especially for the kids, but if you haven't and you are beginning to panic a little, don't worry because there's lots of ideas out there and, hopefully, still enough time to place an order online and get your costume delivered before the big day itself.

Of all the great halloween costume ideas for children these are my favorites ....

Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) costume (photo) - 5 star rating
Oh and don't forget the special red shoes!

Robin costume (really cute for toddlers)

Happy Halloween everyone!


Oct 12, 2008

Halloween Ice Cream

Summer's over, the children are back at school and autumn has arrived. October can be a wonderfully atmospheric month - golden leaves on the trees, a nip in the air with a hint of winter to come, darkness falling earlier and before you know it Halloween is just around the corner.

For many children Halloween is a day of fun and excitement and if you are involved in organising anything for Halloween you will know only too well that it can take a lot of time and effort to plan your Halloween party just right.

You might be looking for ideas for childrens' Halloween costumes for example or for food recipes to celebrate Halloween. Pumpkin dishes of course are usually on the menu - but how about some Halloween ice cream? If you have an ice cream maker it's not difficult to produce a batch of tasty, unusual ice cream for a Halloween celebration. Here's my idea for a Halloween ice cream recipe: Pumpkin and Maple Ice Cream. Made with heavy cream, egg yolks, caster sugar, cooked, cooled & mashed pumpkin, maple syrup and a touch of ground nutmeg, it's simply delicious!

But what if you don't like pumpkin? OK, then just go for a quick and easy ice cream recipe such as this vanilla ice cream.

Did you know that the pumpkin isn't a vegetable?
Do you know why the pumpkin is associated with Halloween?
Do you know what the Pumpkinfest is?

Find out the answers on this Halloween blog post.

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Oct 8, 2008

Rise Of The Ice Cream Machines

Making ice cream is big business - yes, of course for the commercial ice cream producers such as Ben & Jerry's, Baskin-Robbins or Dreyers but also for the manufacturers and retailers of the type of ice cream maker that you can buy for home use.

Ice cream has been popular for as long as I can remember, starting with the simple ice cream cone you could buy as a child from the ice cream truck when it came round through to today when supermarkets stock a wonderful, wide range of ice cream flavors you can just put in your trolley, check out and take home to enjoy at your leisure.

Over recent years, however, there's been a significant increase in the number of people interested in home cooking and recipes. In line with that, manufacturers have recognised the need to supply these people with more machines and gadgets to help them with their homemade foods. From juicers to smoothie makers to bread makers ... the list goes on.

When it comes to ice cream makers we are almost spoilt for choice. There are the larger sized, 'professional' type ice cream makers that retail for around $700 in the USA such as the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker (via Amazon) and in the UK there's the incredibly popular Gaggia Geletiera 74500N Ice Cream Maker that retails for around £260. There's also a good range of less expensive ice cream makers of course that are still really quick and efficient as they have their own built-in freezers so you can freeze the ice cream as it mixes and batches (ready in about 20 minutes from when you put your mixture in the machine). At the 'value for money' end of the range there are ice cream makers which require the use of a freezer before the ice cream is ready, hence it takes longer to produce the ice cream.

If you have never made ice cream before don't worry about getting the best ice cream maker that money can buy - get what you can afford and just have a go. The important thing is to have some good ice cream recipes to follow and to make your ice cream with enthusiasm! Don't be afraid to try out new ideas too. Like any other food, when ice cream is made properly, it's wonderful.

Looking at the statistics of visitors to my website, it's clear that year upon year there is an increase in the number of people searching for ice cream maker recipes. The rise of the ice cream machines goes on!

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