Halloween party 2015

This Halloween why not try something a little different, a backyard movie theater party. Of course you will need a great costume; you’re the host so it’s up to you to set the bar high, just remember, as host you will need to be mobile, so keep that in mind. Next: the decorations, if you’re not sure of a theme, check out a local party store or go on-line for ideas.  (www.partycity.com). Remember the decoration set the mood. What to eat and drink? Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Bones n’ Blood

Use breadstick dough (store bought or homemade) and cut into strips. Use scissors to snip the ends into 2 pieces and roll them down to make the bone shape. Dip in “bloody” marinara! For extra flavor, sprinkle with garlic and Parmesan. Cheesy Fingers Super kid friendly- who doesn’t love string cheese?? Again, I cut them in half to make them kid-sized. Use the flat side of a knife to make the knuckle marks and attach slivered almonds with a dab of cream cheese for the nails. I also used a knife to shave off just a bit of the cheese at an angle before attaching the almond. Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs

 6 hard-boiled eggs, halved

 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

 1⁄2 teaspoon ground mustard

 1⁄8 teaspoon salt

 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

 black olives

 Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Slip out yolks and mash.

 2. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.

 3. Cut whole olive in half.

 4. Put one half on mashed yolks for the spider’s body.

 5. Thinly slice the other half for the spider’s legs. Put four legs on each side

Eyeball Tacos



 1 lb. ground beef

 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

 12 taco shells

 3⁄4 cup salsa

 3⁄4 cup sour cream

 1 tomatoes, small cubes

 1 small head lettuce, sliced into small confetti squares

 1 (2 1/4 ounce) can large black olives, sliced

 1 cup cheese, Shredded & Long (cheddar is good, but a Mexican blend would be good too)


1. MIX meat and seasoning mix. Shape half of the mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls; place in 15x10x1-inch baking pan and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.

2. Brown the remaining seasoned ground beef and add salsa.

3. Fill each taco shell with a thin layer of ground beef, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes.

4. Position 2 meatballs inside the taco shell and add a dollop of sour cream to each. Garnish with olives to make “eyeballs.” Spread the cheese out along to the top for stringy hair.


Halloween Black Brew

 1 ounce Malibu rum

 3⁄4 ounce blue curacao

 3⁄4 ounce Chambord raspberry liquor

 1⁄2 ounce grenadine

 fill with cranberry juice

 fill with ice

 Use a hurricane glass.

 Fill with ice, Malibu Rum, Blue Curacao, Chambord, Grenadine.

 Fill the rest with Cranberry.

 Top and Shake.

Halloween Jell-O Shots (Variety)


One package Sour Gummy Worms


 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry Jell-O gelatin dessert

 1 cup water

 1 cup Malibu rum


 1 (3 ounce) package pineapple Jell-O

 1 cup water

 1 cup Malibu rum

Blue Lagoon

 1 (3 ounce) package berry blue Jell-O gelatin, any blue jell-O will work

 1⁄2 cup water

 1⁄2 cup Sprite

 1 cup raspberry vodka


 1 (3 ounce) package raspberry Jell-O gelatin

 1 cup water

 1 cup raspberry vodka

[“sour gummy wo


1. Strawberry: Boil water, add Jell-O and stir until completely dissolved.

2. Add Malibu rum and pour into 2 oz. shot glasses (I use plastic) leave some space for gummy worm on top

3. Chill until Jell-O is 1/2 way set up and add gummy worm. If you add to early it will fall to bottom, make sure it can support the worm.

4. Chill until firm and serve!

5. Pineapple: Boil water, add Jell-O and stir until completely dissolved.

6. Add Malibu rum and stir.

7. Follow previous directions to pour and set with gummy worm.

8. Blue Lagoon: Boil water, add Jell-O and stir until completely dissolved.

9. Add sprite and vodka, stir.

10. Follow previous directions to pour and set with gummy worm.

11. Raspberry: Boil water, add Jell-Oand stir until completely dissolved.

12. Add raspberry vodka and stir.

13. Follow previous directions to pour and set with gummy worm. What You Need to Host a Backyard Movie Theater Party

1. Video Source

This is simple; you can use a lap-top, DVD or Blu-ray player, as long as it is compatible with the movie source you choose. Be sure to have the correct cables.

2. Video Projector

There are a number of very good and cheap projectors on the market. Some you can rent, but if the party is a complete success, you may want to buy ne for next summer’s “Backyard Movie night”. Check them out online.

3. Sound System

There are a number of ways to go with this. It all depends on the quality of sound you are aiming for. One of the fun parts of horror films is that great sound quality is not essential. So you can always use that old “boom-box” you have in the garage. Or upgrade to some

speakers. This is another item you can rent.

4. A Screen

Yes, you could project the image on to a blank wall on the side of your garage, but I don’t recommend that, the surface is never smooth enough. A king sized white sheet is a fairly cheap way to go. If you are a DIY type of person, then, here is what you’ll need:

 Two white king sized flat/top sheets which I purchased from Walmart {they have them

where you can just purchase the top sheet and not the full sheet set – each one was under $10}.

 40 feet of 1 1/2 inch SCH 40 PVC Pipe

 (2) 1/4 inch x 3 inch eye bolts

 (2) 90° PVC elbows

 (3) 1 1/2 inch PVC  “T” pipes {connectors}

 (3) five gallon buckets

 Sand

 Cord or Rope

Like I said, if you’re a DIY type then this is a no-brainer. But if you are like me (screwing in a light bulb is a change) then I suggest going the rental route, for the screen as well. When it comes to renting this stuff, I recommend talking to the good people at a local PARTY-

STORE. Even if they don’t rent the stuff you need, they might just know someone local who dose. Also ask if they offer a delivery/set-up/take down service, if will cost you a little more, but with a party t plan, set-up and run, it’s a service that you will be grateful for, trust me! Check out the NET, you will find all of the equipment and services you need, but you already know that.Depending on the size of your house and the number of guests at your party, you might what to set up film viewing if several different rooms, using the various TV’s/DVD players you have (or barrow). This will allow your guests to wander around and find something that is their style. Now what to watch!

Everybody has their favorite horror films. Some go for suspense, some gore, maybe humor or even something sexy. The home multi-plex style of showing a different style of file in different room let you keep the party going all night long. Here are some of my personal favorites; this is not a complete list, just a good list to start with.

1. Silent Night, Bloody Night   (1974) B/W

2. John Carpenter’s Halloween  (1978)

3. The Haunting  (1963)    B/W

4. Drag Me To Hell   (2009)

5. Young Frankenstein (1974) from the twisted mind of Mel Brooks so, yah, it’s funny

6. F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu 1929) B/W Silent and scary as hell

7. Night of the Living Dead (the original) (1068)  B/W

8. Creep show (1982) funny, in a sick way

9. The Amityville Horror   (1979)

10. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

bonus listing: Rocky Horror Picture Show  (1975)  funny and a musical, what can I say If you want to go is a more “adult” theme there are some that are, well maybe not sexy but there was definitely sex on the minds of the writer/directors of this little gems:

1. Suspiria (1977)

2. Hollywood Chain Saw Hookers (1988) there is a title that says it all

3. Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. (1975) all righty, then

4. Idle Hands    (1999)

5. Species   (1995) the only one you will admit to seeing.

No matter which films you choose, just remember: It’s a party … so have fun Wishing you a ghoulishly fun Halloween.

Keven Gibson

Staff Writer





If you love cooking and shows about cooking you know who Giada De Laurentiis is. She’s the world renowned super star television personality and writer. Her fabulist smile and sparkling eyes adorn Food Network on Giada at Home and is a regular on NBC’s TODAY. In 2008, 2010 and 2012 her talents earned her a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host and in 2012 she was nominated to the Culinary Hall of Fame. Born in Rome, Italy, her grand-father was the incredible file producer Dino De Laurentiis (Serpico, King Kong, Barbarella, Three days of the Condor , Blue Velvet ). Her family moved to Los Angeles where she attended UCLA and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Anthropology.

Growing up, she says she spent much of her time in the family kitchen where she accrued her love of food and how it was prepared. After graduating from university she decided to pursue a culinary career, so she attended the famous Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Upon returning to L.A. she landed a position at Wolfgang Puck’s SPAGO in Beverly Hills. Utilizing her artistic background she worked as a food stylist, which led to her hit show EVERYDAY ITALIAN on the FOOD NETWORK. It didn’t take the fans long to fall in love with the petite chef with the dazzling smile and the way her eyes would light up as she spoke about the food she was preparing. The sound of her voice let you know there was a true love and passion for the process of taking basic, raw ingredients and turning them in to small masterpieces’.

 In 2007 premiered GIADA’S WEEKEND GETAWAYS, traveling to some of her favorite food destinations (Seattle, San Francisco, and Napa). On a episode of Iron Chef America she teamed up with Bobby Flay , but was defeated by the team of Racheal Ray and Mario Batali. But let’s face it; there are only winners in that group of food stars.In 2008 Giada teamed up with Italy’s top pasta maker Barilla to launch a food line called Academia Barilla, it was Barillas first ever gourmet celebrity product line. She has been called the “Petite powerhouse” by Town & Country magazine and also made the 2010 Sexiest Mom Alive awards.

Giada has authored over 7 cook books with Giada at Home and Weeknights with Giada making it to the #1 position on the New York Times best seller list. It was only a matter of time before she joined the ranks of many of the best chefs in the world and establish a restaurant in Las Vegas. GIADA is located in the CROMWELL in the heart of the Strip. The soft tones of the decorations (cream, tan, white and gold) along with the floor to ceiling windows are a perfect match for the namesake’s easy and open approach to life and cooking. Her exacting high standards are evident in every aspect of this lovely establishment.

With its open kitchen approach to dinning, you can watch the highly trained chefs prepare the meals to perfection. And that is what they do with many of Giada’s signature dishes like: Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp, Masala Herb Chicken Meatballs and Rosemary and Lemon Focaccia. The passion Giada has is evident in everything this restaurant has to offer.


Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes.

Giada’s’ Family Dinners.

Everyday Pasta.

Giada’s’ Kitchen: New Italian Favorites.

Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California.

Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner.

Giada, Feel Good Food.

Along with her incredibly busy schedule, which includes the cooking shows, writing books and appearing on the NBC TODAY show and running an award winning restaurant in Las Vegas, she also dedicates spare time to help OXFAM. The international relief organization, which focuses on the plight of the billion people worldwide who are chronically hungry. OXFAM is an organization we all should support. Giada is one of the shining stars on TV, publishing and restaurants. But nowhere is her sparkling more evident then the smile and near whisper as she shows the true passion while reining supreme in the kitchen.

James Garr: Head Staff Writer. COOKINGONTV.NET



What is small, green, somewhat funny looking and very much beloved? No, I’m not talking about  KERMIT the Frog, I’m talking AVOCADO! While Kermy sang “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, well it is for the avocado. So much so, that there are a multitude of Avocado festivals held in California, Florida and Mexico, every year to celebrate our little green friend.  One of my favorite is “Taste of the Avocados”, held in Los Angeles, California (this year on April 19th),at the famous and historic La Placitas Olvera a.k.a. (Olvera Street). The celebration kicks off at 10am and goes to 6pm. The admission is free, so there is no excuse in coming down.  So join the several thousand fans that flock to the party for the little green fruit.

It’s a classic street fair, extensive food vendors and local restaurants highlighting their best renditions of green heaven.  Tacos with guacamole sauce, Carne Asada prepared on open grills, carnitas, plus several  variations of veggie sandwiches featuring the green guest of honor, you name it, if it’s related to the avocado, it will be there. The air is perfumed with the aromas of fresh, delicious, well-made food. There is, also a Beer & Wine garden, where you can sit a spell and enjoy your (multiple) plates of yummy goodness while quaffing a cold one.  Vendors of all manors present their wears for your shopping enjoyment, from cookbooks, leather goods, pottery, festive masks and art. Oh, did I mention avocados? Avocadoes of every type will be well represented, from the ubiquitous HASS to equally delicious but lesser known varieties’. The HASS is the avocado most of us are familiar with, pebbly, dark skinned with a creamy flesh, …yummmm . All HASS trees are descended from a single “mother Tree” raised by a mail- carrier named RUDOLPH HASS, of La Habra Heights, California, back in 1935.

So please stop by the “Taste of the Avocado” and enjoy, I can all most hear Homer Simpson say “M mmm guacamole..”


Baked Avocado, Bacon and Eggs;

1 Avocado

2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

2 eggs

Sea salt and course ground black pepper to taste

Optional; ground cayenne pepper

1- 12X18 inch sheet of foil

Preheat over to 425F degrees


Roll the foil in to a tube and form in to a tight oval shape; this will be used to support the avocado when it is in the oven. Cut the avocado in half. Remove the seed and scoop out some of the flesh, (reserve the flesh), depending upon the size of eggs you are using. Spray the foil and a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the avocado, cut side up, on the sheet and support it with the foil ring. Crack the egg in to

the hole in the avocado, and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, you can adjust the time based upon how well done you like your eggs. In a small serving bowl, mash the reserved avocado in the bottom, this will act as glue the keep the cooked avocado upright. Place the baked avocados in the bowl and sprinkle with the cooked bacon and some more salt and pepper, if you want. Serve warm with toast or chips and some salsa on the side.

Sonoran Hot Dog:

8 hot dogs (all beef, Dodger dogs, if you can get then)

8 hot dog buns

16 oz. can pinto beans, drained and heated

1 onion, sliced thin, raw or caramelized

8-16 pieces bacon, thick cut

1 cup fresh guacamole sauce (recipe below)

1 tomato, diced 8 grilled yellow chills (deep fried works very well, so does green jalapeno) Ketchup (as needed) Yellow mustard (as needed) Mayonnaise (as needed)  Pickled jalapenos In large sauté pan, heat oil (1-2 inches) to 375Fd degrees. Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each hot dog, secure with toothpicks.  Carefully place hot dogs in to the oil (use thongs) cook until bacon is done, about 4-5 min. Remove the dog to a plate lined with paper towels, to absorb the oil. REMOVE THE TOOTHPICKS. You can steam or toast the buns, or just use, right out of the bag.


Place a hot dog (you did remember to remove the toothpicks, right) in a bun. Add 2 tbsp. beans, followed by pickled jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, drizzle with guacamole sauce, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. Serve with a fried yellow chile on the side.

Guacamole sauce:

½ lb. Tomatillos, (5-6) husked, rinsed, chopped

Hand full Cilantro ½ cup, more or less

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small White onion, peeled, chopped

2 fresh Serrano or Jalapeno chiles, remove stem, chop,(if heat is an issue, slice and remove seeds and vein)

1 tbsp. Lime juice, or more to taste

½ tsp. salt, or more to taste

2 ripe Hass Avocadoes, halved, pitted, flesh removed In a med sauce pan, over high heat, add Tomatillos, garlic, onion, chiles. Bring to a boil, cook 3-5 min. remove from heat and drain, reserving cooking liquid. Place Tomatillo mixture in the a blender jar, add Cilantro, Lime juice, salt and Avocado, pulse on and off 10 of 15 times, add some cooking liquid if needed to help puree, blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, lime juice or a little cooking liquid. Pour in to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (place wrap directly on the surface of sauce, refrigerate 30 minutes, before serving. Great on tacos, roast chicken, beef or just about anything you can think of.


This is your basic guacamole, a great one, an everyday style that you will enjoy.

4 ripe HASS Avocados

1 White onion (or Red), skin removed, chopped and rinsed in cold water and drained

1 fresh Jalapeno (or 2 Serrano) stemmed, and seeded

½ cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 Tomato, coarsely chopped


2 tsp. lime juice

1 tsp. salt

Half and remove the pit from the avocados, scoop the flesh in to a large bowl. Add chile, onion, cilantro and mash with a potato masher, you want chunks, add tomato, lime juice and salt, gently mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice if needed. Cover with plastic wrap, directly in the surface of mixture and refrigerate for no more than 1 hour, before serving with chips.

Guacamole with Chorizo :

 2 cups Basic Guacamole recipe (see above)

1 lb. Mexican style Chorizo

In a large sauce pan, over med-high heat, add chorizo, remove the casing, and cook until chorizo is

completely cooked, 10-12 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break-up and stir. Remove from heat and drain in a colander or strainer over a bowl to remove the oil and juice, bring to room temp. Gently fold chorizo into the guacamole. Guacamole with Mandarin Orange, roasted Garlic and toasted Almonds:

2 cups Basic Guacamole recipe (see above)

1 (6oz.) can Mandarin Orange segments, drained, reserve liquid

½ cup toasted, sliced Almonds

6 Garlic cloves, peeled

2 fresh green Poblano chilies, stemmed, sliced in half, seeded

On a broiler safe baking sheet, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, place Garlic and Poblano chilies, skin side up, under the broiler for 4-8 minutes, until they begin to show brown spots, longer if you want a real char. You can do this step over a grill if you want.  Cool and gently rub the charred skin off, I do not remove the char, it add an extra rustic flavor, but that just me. Finely mince the chilies and mash the garlic into a paste. Gently fold the orange segments, chile and garlic in to the guacamole, season to taste, sprinkle with Almonds before serving.


Guacamole with Mango:

2 cups Basic Guacamole recipe

1 large ripe Mango, 2 if they are medium sized

Peal the Mango, cut flesh from the pit and coarsely chop and gently fold in to the guacamole.

Borracho (Drunken) Guacamole:

2 cups Basic Guacamole recipe (see above)

6 slices, cooked Bacon, crumbled

4-6 sun dried tomatoes, drained if packed in oil

1 cup dark beer (I like Negra Modelo)

1 Tbsp. Tequila

Juice of half a lime

¼ tsp. salt

In a small sauce pan, over high heat, add beer and tomatoes bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, chop the tomatoes and place in a small bowl, add Tequila, lime juice and salt (sound familiar?), tomatoes and bacon, bring to room temp. Gently fold in to the guacamole and serve.


2014 California Avocado Festival

           TURKEY TACOS 

San Diego Thanksgiving 2015

Once upon a time a young surfer from San Diego named Ralph Rubio would slake his appetite

after a long day on the waves down in Ensenada, Mexico with the amazing fried fish tacos. He

brought the idea back and was soon selling them state­side. It didn’t take long for the tacos to

catch on, and it also didn’t take long for someone to expand on the idea, a variation on a theme, if

you will. And soon the Turkey Taco in Mole Sauce was born. Our recipe uses a slow cooker to

braise the turkey that is juicy and oh­so­tender. Once you try it, this will become a regular item on

your menu list at home, not just for the holidays.

Turkey Tacos with Mole Sauce

Slow­Cooker Turkey Mole Tacos

1 15 ­ounce can no­salt­added diced tomatoes, drained

2 large carrots, cut into 1/2­inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping

4 scallions, chopped, plus more for topping

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 1/2 tablespoons low­sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five­spice powder or ground cinnamon

1 skinless, bone­in turkey breast (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Combine the tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, cilantro, scallions, peanut butter, soy sauce, chile

powder, cocoa powder and Chinese five­spice powder in a 6­quart slow cooker and stir to

combine. Add the turkey and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low, 8 hours.

Remove the turkey and transfer to a large plate; shred the meat with 2 forks, discarding the bone.

Return the shredded turkey to the slow cooker and stir to coat.

Warm corn tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave. Serve the turkey in the tortillas and top with

more cilantro and scallions, and Queso Anejo cheese or Queso Crema cheese sauce. And if you

are feeling a little wild you can also top with some Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce (recipe below)

Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

• 1 lb. Cranberries (4 cups) thawed if frozen

• Zest and juice from 1 Lime

• 1 1⁄4 cups sugar

• 1 tsp. ground cumin

• Kosher salt to taste, (approx. 1⁄4 tsp.)

• 1⁄4 cup chopped pickled Jalapeno plus 2 Tbsp. Brine from the jar

Reserve 1 cup of the cranberries, put the rest in a sauce pan over med­high heat

Add Lime juice, sugar, cumin, salt, jalapenos and brine.

Add 1⁄4 cup water and simmer for 10­15 minutes, stirring often

Stir in the remaining 1 cup of cranberries and cook until softened

Remove from heat, stir in the Lime zest, cool and refrigerate overnight.



                                                                                                MRS. CASSIDY’S PANTIES

(Adapted for the American kitchen)

1 lb. Beef Chuck Steak, cut into 1⁄2 inch cubes

2 Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1⁄2 inch cubes

1 Onion, diced

1⁄2 bag of frozen Peas

1 Carrot, diced

6 Tablespoons Butter

1 package instant Brown Gravy mix

1 Pre­made Pie Dough, room temperature

Salt & Pepper to taste

Pre­heat oven to 350F degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet In large fry pan, heat butter over med­high heat

Add Beef cubes and sauté for 5­8 min. Add Onion, Peas, and Carrots, sauté for 5­8 min

Prepare Gravy Mix per package instructions

Pour gravy onto meat mixture and simmer over med­low heat about 10 minutes, until gravy is

thickened and meat is cooked through. Stir in Salt & Pepper to taste, remove from heat. Cut each piece of Pre­made Pie Dough into 4 square pieces (total of 8)

With a slotted spoon place approx. 1⁄2 cup meat mixture on top of each piece of dough, fold and seal edges. Cut a 1­inch slit on top of each. Place on pre­oiled Baking Sheet and cook until golden brown, approx. 20­25 minutes

Remove from Baking Sheet and let cool to room temperature. Pasties are traditionally made while drinking a wee bit of Jameson’s Irish whiskey, but that’s up to you.

GIADA DE LAURENTIIS     Recipe,Recipe, Recipe



(4 main­course servings)


3⁄4 cup Olive Oil

2/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1⁄2 cup fresh Lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

3⁄4 teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste

1⁄2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper, plus more to taste

1 Lb. Spaghetti

1/3 cup fresh Basil, chopped

1 Tablespoon Lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

In a large bowl, whisk the Oil, Cheese, Lemon juice and 3⁄4 teaspoon Salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

to blend. Set aside.

Bring a large stock pot of salted water to boil (4 qt. water to 1 tablespoon salt)

Add spaghetti and cook about 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking


Add drained spaghetti to the Lemon mixture, add Basil and Lemon zest and toss well. Add 1⁄4 cup

of cooking water at a time as needed to moisten. Salt and Pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls to



16 Lg. Shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 Tablespoon Lemon zest (from about 2 Lemons)

1⁄4 cup fresh Lemon juice (from about 2 Lemons)

1⁄2 teaspoon Paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over med­high heat

Cook Shrimp, turning once until done, 3­4 minutes first side, 1­3 minutes second side

Remove to a large bowl

Add Lemon Juice and stir to coat

Add Lemon zest and Paprika, stir to coat, Salt and Pepper to taste

Arrange 4 per plate on top of the spaghetti. Serve hot with a side of Focaccia.


Prep time 3 hr. cook time 25 min.

1⁄2 packet Instant Yeast

1 3⁄4 cups water, 105 ­110 F degrees

4 1⁄2 cups Flour

1 teaspoon Salt

1⁄4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Lemon zest

1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil

2 teaspoons Sea salt

2 Tablespoons Rosemary

Add yeast to warm water to bloom, 5 min.

Combine 4 cups Flour and salt and mix, Add yeast and water and 1⁄4 cup Olive Oil

Mix to combine, when it makes a ball, move to a counter top dusted with a small amount of flour.

Knead for 5 min.

Add veg. oil to a lg. bowl, return dough to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and let rise for 1 1⁄2 hr.

Place dough onto a greased baking sheet, spread with fingertips and let rise 1 hr.

Pre­heat oven to 350 f degrees

Using finger tips, make small indentations approx. 1 inch apart over the entire top

Brush with Olive Oil and sprinkle with Sea Salt and Bake for 25 min. until browned

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with Lemon zest. Cool on rack, and slice to serve.



Where would you find the most Christmas spirit in the world? It’s hard to say for certain, but if a global competition were to be held, the Philippines would have an excellent shot at winning. The southeast Asian island nation has the world’s longest festive season — and pulls no punches in its celebratory zeal for the period, with lavish light displays, masses, and festivals held throughout the country from September until January. One of the most populous nations in Asia, the Philippines is an overwhelmingly Christian nation.  Approximately 90% of Filipinos are Christian and 80% of those are Catholic, an influence gleaned from the country’s period as a Spanish colony from the sixteenth century until the end of the nineteen As a result, while many countries concentrate on the commercial side of Christmas, Filipinos

attend several masses throughout the Christmas season and faith forms an intrinsic part of celebrations.  The Philippines is known as the “Land of Fiestas,” and at Christmas time,  this is especially true.  Filipinos are proud to proclaim their Christmas celebration to be the longest and merriest in the world.  It begins formally on December 16 with attendance at the first of nine pre-dawn or early morning masses and continues on nonstop until the first Sunday of January, Feast of the Three Kings, the official end of the season. The Philippines is the only Asian country where Christians predominate. Majority of its people are Roman Catholic.  Christmas, therefore, is an extremely important and revered holiday for most Filipinos.  It is a time for family, for sharing, for giving, and a time for food, fun, and friendship. To most Filipinos, Christmas is the most anticipated fiesta of the year and is celebrated  accordingly.

The splendid climate of this tropical island nation, the abundance and beauty of its flowers, and lovely landscape, its multitude of culinary delights, and above all its warm-hearted people with their true devotion to family and faith all contribute to a holiday celebrated in the true

Philippines fiesta tradition. There is no winter or snow in the Philippines at Christmas time.  There are very few pine trees.  There is no traditional Yule log or fetching of the pine sprigs from the woods.  And Santa Claus, though visible in displays and believed by most Filipino children  to exist, seldom comes bearing gifts.

Even without snow or pine trees, there’s no doubt it’s Christmas in the Philippines.  Filipino Christmas decorations are abundant and beautiful. The bamboo parol (pah-role), or star lantern, is the symbol of Christmas in the Philippines, representing the guiding light, the star of Bethlehem.   It emits a warmth unparalleled among holiday adornments and is unique to the Philippines.  Filipinos enjoy decorating their homes not only with star lanterns but also with all sorts of Christmas decors.  Brightly colored buntings or streamers are hung inside and out.  Often, Christmas cards that illustrate scenes in the Philippines are pinned on red and green ribbons.  The cards are then hung in the sala, or living room, for all to enjoy. Candles and wreaths are also common adornments.  Recently, Filipinos have begun choosing wreaths and other decorations made with local native materials rather than those patterned after western designs.

And many houses, particularly those in the urban areas are strung with tiny multi-colored lights both inside and out. Most Filipinos think that decorating their homes for the Christmas holidays is a must.

Christmas in the Philippines is a mixture of Western and native Filipino traditions.  Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, sending Christmas cards, and singing carols have all been inherited from the cultures of the West.   However, these have all been  adapted to fit the nature and personality of the Filipino people. Christmas Eve in the Philippines is one of the traditions most families celebrate.  It is a night

without sleep and a continuous celebration moving right into Christmas Day.  As December 24th dawns, the last Mass of Simbang Gabi is attended; then preparation begins for Noche Buena, which is a family feast that takes place after midnight. The Noche Buena is very much like an open house celebration.   Family, friends, relatives, and neighbors drop by to wish every family member “Maligayang Pasko” (Merry Christmas).  Food is in abundance, often served in buffet style.   Guests or visitors partake of the food prepared by the host family (even though they are already full or bloated!).   Among the typical foods prepared in the Philippines during Christmas are: lechon (roasted pig), pancit, barbecue, rice, adobo, cakes (Western and native rice cakes), lumpia, etc.  There is also an abundance of San Miguel beer, wine, and liquor, which makes the celebration of Christmas indeed intoxicating!  The streets are well lit and are full of activities.  The children run in and out of the house  to play, to eat, and to play again. The Christmas Eve gathering provides an opportunity for a reunion of immediate and distant family members.  Some families may choose to exchange gifts at this time; others wait until Christmas day.  In general, the center of a family’s Christmas gathering is always the lola, the endearing term used for a family matriarch or grandmother, who is deeply respected, highly revered, and always present.   Filipinos remember how their lola had their children form a line and step up to receive a small gift of some coins.  The older the child, the more coins he or she receives. Some families have a talent show during Christmas Eve celebration.   Children are asked to perform.  One might sing a Christmas song, others might play a musical instrument,  or other may recite a poem or do a dance. The celebration continues until about  6 o’clock in the morning.  Those who cannot attend Mass the night before will go to the morning Mass on Christmas day. Christmas day is a popular day for children to visit their uncles, aunts, godmothers, and godfathers.  At each home they are presented with a gift, usually candy, money,  or a small toy.  Food and drinks are also offered at each stop.  It is a day of family closeness, and everyone wishes good cheer and glad tidings.


                        APRIL FOOLS’ DAY

                         Articles to avoid

April Fools’ Day often requires being slightly suspicious of what you read in an effort to avoid being tricked by a prank story.  Here are some stories published in recent days which seem far-fetched enough to fall into the April Fools’ Day category, but are in fact genuine.

1. Whoopi Goldberg launches medical marijuana products for period pain

The actress has created a line of balms and bath soaks containing medical marijuana, which are intended to relieve period pain.

2. Dash the dog sparks terror alert at US bank because of confusion over name

Officials at Chase Bank blocked a bank payment of a man with muscular dystrophy because of the name of his assistance dog. The bank issued an alert because they thought the name Dash was  similar to “Daesh”, the Arabic acronym for Isis being used by politicians in the US.

3.  Politician files resolution calling upon colleagues to stop saying ‘physical’ when they mean ‘fiscal.’

Tracy McCreery filed the resolution in the Missouri House of Representatives in March. She told The Washington Post: “I feel like the word ‘fiscal’ is just very critical to doing our job properly. And I feel like that’s a word that we should be cognizant of pronouncing correctly.”

4. Judge says creamery’s all-natural skim milk is not skim milk

An all-natural creamery cannot label its skim milk as “skim milk” because it does not add vitamins to the product, a judge from Florida has said. The move is in line with regulations set out by the state’s Department of Agriculture. According to the Associated Press, Mary Lou Wesselhoeft, of Ocheesee Creamery, will have to carry on throwing away her milk unless she labels it “imitation skim milk”.

5. Chinese news agency advises the nation against taking part in April Fool’s Day

Xinhua news agency posted the following message on its Weibo social media account: “The so-called Western April Fool’s Day does not conform to Chinese cultural traditions or socialist core values. Hope people won’t believe in rumours, start rumours or spread rumours.”

6. Company uses pineapples to make trainers and sofas

Textile company Ananas Anam is using pineapple leaves to create a leather alternative, called Pinatex, which can then be used to make footwear, accessories and upholstery for furniture, according to Wired. To make just 1sq/m of textile, the leaves of 16 pineapples are needed.

7. Children in Italy could be taught about wine in schools

According to Il Fatto Quotidiano, children aged between six and 13 could spend one hour a week learning about their country’s wine industry. The Local reported that the plan had been proposed by the Left Ecology Freedom party’s Dario Stefano in a draft bill. He said being educated about wine would create responsible drinkers,


Childhood hunger: Schools, groups offer summer options

Childhood hunger: Schools, groups offer summer options Elijah Baylis/The Clarion-Ledger Sarah Fowler, The Clarion-Ledger9:50 p.m. CDT May 15, 2016

(Photo: Elijah Baylis/The Clarion-Ledger )


Last month, 5-year-old Tamyrria came home from school and ran into the kitchen.  She flung open the door to the refrigerator, eyes scanning the shelves. Empty.

She yelled to her mother. Telling the girl a white lie, Tamara Mack said she had forgotten to go the grocery store.

But Mack, a Jackson resident, hadn’t forgotten to go to the grocery store. The truth was, she couldn’t afford to.

Mack’s SNAP benefits had run out, and her paycheck from her part-time job as a childcare worker wouldn’t be in until the following week.

Like many families across Mississippi, she struggles daily to feed herself and her child.

According to the Mississippi Food Network, one in four children in Mississippi struggle with hunger.

“Being a single mom is tough, especially if you don’t have the finances and resources you need,” Mack said. “It’s a joyous thing as far as the blessing you’ve got, your child, but finances, food, shelter, it’s tough trying to provide for yourself and someone else without the help of another parent.”

In the state of Mississippi, between 60 percent and 70 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, according to the Mississippi Department of Education. To meet the growing demand of impoverished children in the state, some school districts have transitioned to offering free lunch for all students. While the children are fed at least one nutritious meal a day during the school year, their needs don’t stop when school ends.

To combat that void in easy to access nutrition, the United States Department of Agriculture provides a summer food service program to areas in need at no cost to the children or the state.

Last year, more than 2.4 million meals were served to Mississippi children in need through the federally funded program, according to Scott Clements, MDE director of the Office of Child Nutrition. The figure  was a 6.9 percent increase from the year prior. “In the summer we have this gap because many of these children rely on the school year for meals,” Clements said. “Then, when summer comes around they are, in many ways, left without.”

Jackson resident Karen Cotton said, without a summer feeding program, her children would be forced to go to a local soup kitchen. The mother of four boys, Cotton said she struggles to provide healthy food for her children within her SNAP budget. Despite working two part-time jobs, she often has to choose between buying groceries and paying the bills.“Having to take money from gas or a bill, I may have to pay partial payments, or maybe that car note may have to get pushed back but then you have to pay a late fee,” Cotton said. “It’s like you’re never getting forward, the kids are, but financially you’re not.”

Mack said she frequently gets extensions on bills because “I don’t have it all.”

“It’s a lot,” she said. “If a bill is $200 and I only have $75 then I have to pay $75 and get an extension on the rent or something so I can be able to put gas in the car, food, have clean uniforms for the week.”

Last week, Tamyrria lost her first tooth. Mack didn’t have money to leave under her pillow so she told her daughter “the tooth fairy can come any time.”

Mack will have to wait until she gets paid to place change under her daughter’s pillow. The little girl doesn’t know her mother struggles to put food on the table. Once homeless, Mack said she’s happy to have a roof over her head. “She thinks everything is perfect.”

Mack said things would be worse if she didn’t have the help of Stewpot, a Jackson-based ministry, and the summer food service program.

In the last five years, MDE has seen a 95 percent increase in summer feeding sites around the state.

Many of the sites are in rural areas, Clements said.

“They may only feed 50-60 kids a day but they have 50 or 60 kids who are in real need,” he said. “We get a lot of small sites these days but they’re in areas of high poverty.”

The sites serve the children a protein, vegetables, fruit, bread and milk.

“It’s not just chips and a soda,” Clements said. “It’s not just empty calories to tie them though.”

With sites from churches to schools to community centers, Clements said children are not only fed but offered a “safe place.”

“You see that look of anticipation as they open the door and, in many ways, that look of relief because there is a meal, a place to go during the day…You can see that look in a child’s eye when they’ve not had a meal and these are areas when children don’t have another outlet in the summer —  they don’t have another resource.”

Catherine Montgomery, programs director at the Mississippi Food Network, said many of  its summer sites are also in rural areas.

Last summer, the food network had 19 summer sites and served 49,000 meals. This summer, it’s hoping to have 24 sites and serve 60,000 meals.

“Summertime hits and family budgets are already spread thin,” Montgomery said. “When you’re breaking even during the schools months and then have those additional mouths to feed, it’s a lot, it’s overwhelming.”

Through  its summer feeding program,  Jackson Public Schools will serve about 4,000 meals a day, according to Mary Hill, executive director for food service.

“I know that there are a lot of areas in the city that children are not getting well-balanced meals,” Hill said. “I think it is a vital part of the growth of the child, and I don’t think you ought to stop it when school is out and when they go home.”

Linda Anderson has served as a cashier in the lunch line at JPS’ Pecan Park Elementary for 12 years. Anderson estimates she has seen more than 4,000 students during her time with JPS and, at this point in her career, she can recognize the children who haven’t eaten since they left school the day before.

“A lot of them, when they’re hungry they can’t wait and you can tell that because they’ll start eating before they get to the end of the line. They’re just always in like a jittery state,” she said.

Anderson said the free summer feeding program provides a security for parents and the children.

“Even though the kids are out of school during the summer, unfortunately the parents have to work. So (the program is) one way of knowing that that child can come in and get at least one nutritious meal per day. I think it takes a lot of the worry off the parents, and it definitely helps the children out because their little stomachs are full.”

Anderson said having a free program alleviates stress in children who are fearful they won’t be able to eat that day because they don’t have any money.

“They come in, a lot of times, they’re real nervous and timid because they don’t have their money and I guess they think the lunch ladies are going to be rude to them (and say) ‘Baby, you don’t have your money today’… but we always feed our children whether they have it or not.”

For Cotton, there’s never a day when she doesn’t stress about having enough money to feed her children. Inevitably, toward the end of each month, she looks at her SNAP balance and ends up boiling beans for dinner.

“Do they like beans? No, but I know I’ve made a fresh meal, they’re not hungry. You just make it happen. When you’re in a struggle, I could sit and say, ‘My children need something’ but if I don’t do something as their mother, I’m just talking.”

Cotton said she’s thankful for options like the summer food service program.  Without them, she said she would have to do “things I might not necessarily feel proud of” in order to feed her children.

“When you’re a mother, and you’re struggling to feed your kids, you find yourself getting into mischief activity to provide for your children,” Cotton said. “I don’t want to have to do crime to feed my children.

“When you’re a parent you’ve got to make sure they eat …You might not see on the outside that there’s a struggle but when you open that refrigerator and that child is looking for that milk, they don’t necessarily know what’s going on maybe but you do,” Cotton said. “I just thank God I don’t have to do other things to make sure they’re provided for.”


             TEACHER’S GUIDE TO THE                   AUGUST 21, 2017 TOTAL SOLAR                           ECLIPSE’S FOOD 

Local and national eateries have let their creative flair take hold with ways to commemorate Monday’s solar eclipse. The list below showcases the special foods available in our area.

The Lunch Ladies go solar

The staff at Goodness to Go by The Lunch Ladies are making Eclipse Baskets for watchers to take to their viewing destination. The menu includes a choice of appetizer, a selection of sandwiches and sides, and a homemade moon pie for dessert. The baskets are being sold for 4 ($35), 6 ($50), or 8 ($70). Pick up for preorders is slated from 7-9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 21. Deadline for ordering is 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18. Call 865-253-7099.

Sip to a successful eclipse

The Tennessean Hotel’s Drawing Room lounge, 531 Henley St., will be serving the Lunar Shadow cocktail in honor of the solar eclipse. The specialty cocktail will debut on Aug. 21 and be available through Aug. 27.

The creation is designed to reflect what viewers will see in the sky during the eclipse.

The hotel’s mixologist shares the Lunar Shadow cocktail recipe: 1 ounce Vodka, 1 ounce orange juice, 1/2 ounce. Aperol, 1/2 ounce Clement Creole Shrubb, top with club soda, Superberry juice and a sphere of ice.

More: People wait seven hours for eclipse glasses at Knoxville store

Back in Black Eclipse Ice Cream

It’s All So Yummy Cafe is serving Back in Black Eclipse ice cream from now until Aug. 21 or until sold out.

The waffle cone creation costs $5 which includes black sprinkles.

Want to know the true flavor of this ice cream?  A trip to 124 S. Peters Road is the only way to find out for sure.

Kim Moegenburg Wilcox, owner of It’s All So Yummy Cafe, is enjoying their “Back in Black Eclipse ice cream. (Photo: Submitted)

K Brew cold-brew Cody style

Pierce LaMacchia, co- owner of K Brew coffee house said barista Cody Linhart hit it out of the park with his Eclipse tonic drink creation.

“The Eclipse Tonic is made with blackberry reduction syrup made with real blackberries, Fever-tree tonic, a double shot of espresso poured over ice with a mint leaf on top,” he said.

The drink will not only wake you up but will also give a boost to Linhart’s bottom line. That’s because K Brew has a program in place where every drink created by one of their baristas that’s chosen as a specialty drink will garner said creator with 5 percent for each drink sold.

More: How to safely view the solar eclipse in 2017

Krispy Kreme’s original glazed doughnut will be smothered in a rich chocolate glaze for the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Go dark with Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed Doughnuts is taking on a chocolate glaze this weekend in honor of the impending solar eclipse.

The chocolate glazed confections will be available from Saturday, Aug. 19-Monday, Aug. 20.

Visit http://www.krispykreme.comto find a location near you.



           Celeb for the month’s of

          April, May and June 2018

              Chef George Hirsch

CIA Graduate, ’80—CEC; certified executive chef, CCE; certified culinary educator, AAC; Member American Academy of Chefs, TV Host, producer, five-time cookbook author

Celebrity Chef George Hirsch is at the heart of quality cooking & lifestyle in-and-out of his Hampton’s home kitchen—sharing his deep culinary knowledge and well-honed techniques for the at-home cook and better living lifestyle enthusiast.

George is the host and executive producer of his national cooking & lifestyle television shows. Best known for his down-to-earth guy-next-door personality, George has been welcomed into millions of homes around the world through his informative and entertaining TV programs; both on syndicated and public television. As an expert TV producer in food and lifestyle TV production, he serves as a judge for the The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Daytime Emmy® Awards.

Celebrating his 24th anniversary since the launch of his ground breaking-TV series on public television, George Hirsch as executive producer and TV host, was the first production company to take cooking outside the indoor studio. His shows transformed the way cooking and lifestyle was perceived to millions of people. You may say he changed outdoor lifestyle forever. And it all began with the phrase, “If I can do it, you can do it!”

His TV series, George Hirsch Lifestyle is seen on PBS, PublicTV and PBS Create TV stations. In every episode George invites you into his home-studio kitchens where he cooks, bakes and even grills his mouthwatering favorite recipes, such as; apple strawberry rhubarb pie, oven-fried garlic chicken and pork tenderloin sliders. George takes you to visit his favorite local places and sources for fresh ingredients—offering his viewers a behind the scenes drop-in on his friends who practice sustainable living in their artisan craft, producers right in the heart wine country and the farmland of the East End of Long Island.

George has paved the way as an inspiration to a well-lived lifestyle. His love for people is evident in his shows as he visits a diverse variety of artisans such as farmers, brewers, vintners, and artists; demonstrating their craft found in the most beautiful unspoiled locations in his Hamptons backyard. George is a multifaceted individual with a positive, compassionate and entertaining personality, which comes across naturally on camera. Chef George’s work on behalf of farmers and good eating has listed him as #6 influencer globally in #farmtotable via Cyber Branding Ltd.

George a multi-award award winning chef has authored five cookbooks ranging from grilling & outdoor cooking, indoor cooking & techniques, and inspirational living-attaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with food. Chef George is also a contributor for Hoffman Media’s Celebrate magazine featuring technique with seasonal cooking for America’s households.

One of Hirsch’s most rewarding experiences is being Co-Founder and Chairperson Emeritus of the Chef and Child Foundation, a national program with over 20,000 American chefs dedicated to fighting hunger and emphasizing nutrition among the young. His launch of the Champion of Breakfast program for school age children during the Clinton era is still the model used today. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American Culinary Federation, along with recognition internationally for his efforts in eradicating childhood hunger. George has served on the advisory council of Jessica Seinfeld’s foundation, Baby Buggy. Chef George was recently honored by Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation’s Soul Kitchen “Wall of Honor” alongside tributes to President Bill Clinton and Tom Colicchio.

Prior to his national television series, George was the host of a weekly television series on News 12 Long Island. You have seen him on many national news and talk shows, such as The Today Show, Fox & Friends, Weekend Today, Wendy Williams, Good Morning America, Live with Kelly, MSNBC, and CNBC to name a few.

George makes numerous appearances globally for associations and corporations. He also serves as a media and product development consultant, and corporate spokesperson. He is widely recognized as one of the most trusted and influential media talents, a visionary in food and lifestyle, and was recently recognized #24 of the top 50 Hamptons Power List.





Halloween Barcelona 2017

Halloween parties and events for Halloween

Event date: Tuesday 31st October 2017 and following days
Event location: Barcelona night clubs & hotels

What’s on for Barcelona’s Halloween celebrations? Although Halloween is not a Spanish or Catalan tradition, the Halloween tradition is popular in Spain and Barcelona. Barcelona celebrates Halloween in the same way as other European cities with many Halloween fancy dress parties featuring ghouls, ghosts, witches and zombies.

Kids in Spain also go out and ‘trick or treat’, which is called “Truco o Trato” in Spanish. See our Spanish-English Halloween word list further down the page for more useful Halloween phrases in Spanish.  You can buy Halloween outfits and costumes in Barcelona at shops like Clair’s Barcelona and at Barcelona fancy dress shops. For carving Jack o’Lanterns out of pumpkins see this handy step-by-step pumpkin carving guide and read about the origins of halloween pumpkins.

1st November is Public holiday
The day after Halloween – 1st November – is a public holiday Todos los Santos – All Saints and so there are many halloween parties in the days up to Halloween and on 31st October Halloween night at all top Barcelona clubs including Cafe del Marclub,  Pacha Barcelona club, CDLC club, Opium club, Shoko club, Catwalk club and at Sala Apolo club to name just a few.  To find all the top clubs in town visit our Barcelona clubs guide. Some hotels also offer Halloween dinners. The Spanish village Poble Espanyol has a Halloween Party for families and children on Sunday, October 29th 2017, from 11 in the morning until mid-afternoon. The theme park PortAventura 1 hour south of Barcelona also has special Halloween activities.

You might also come across a nice Mexican tradition during Barcelona Halloween period which is the ‘Ruta de Altares’ – the Alter Route. Around 20 altars are created in tribute to the memory of the departed for the Mexican ‘El Día de Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) The alters all have different themes and dedications and can be found in some Mexican bars, associations, shops and galleries around Barcelona. More information and maps about Barcelona 2017 Ruta de Altares website

Barcelona fancy dress & party costume shops
The day after Halloween is 1st November and this is a public holiday in Spain called Todos los Santos or ‘Tots Sants’ in the Catalan language which means ‘All Saints.’ On 1st November you can enjoy the Catalan tradition called La Castanyada and on All Saints’ Day it is a tradition is to attend church services in honour of Catholic saints and martyrs and also to visit family graves to place flowers, wreaths and candles.

Barcelona has nine cemeteries – which are Montjuïc cemetery (the biggest,) Poblenou, Sant Andreu, Horta (the smallest,) Sant Gervasi, Sarrià, Les Corts, Sants and Collserola. On Tot Sants 1/11 – All Saints day – the Barcelona cemeteries have extended opening times on  from 08.00 until 18.00. They also have extra flower stalls at the gates and special shuttle bus services from Plaça d’Espanya to Montjuïc Cemetary, the biggest graveyard in Barcelona.

At Montjuic cemetery the Barcelona Cemeteries association (CBSA) usually invites the public to an open day event to visit the Montjuic cemetery museum and its collection of funeral carriages.  At Poblenou cemetery there also usually a partial performance of the play Don Juan Tenorio by Jose Zorrilla in the week before halloween. The Don Juan Tenorio play features scenes with tombs and ghosts and is traditionally performed in Spanish theatres on All Saints Day.

Origins of Halloween

Although the modern Halloween is based on traditions from the USA, the origins of Halloween can actually be found in CelticBritain. The Celts lived in the British Isles during ancient times and worshipped the gods of nature. There were two important festivals in the Celtic calendar, Beltane and Samhain. Samhain was pronounced something like ‘Sow-win,’ which might be origin for the modern word Halloween.

Beltane celebrated the beginning of summer. Samhain celebrated the start of winter, and was the first day of the year on the Celtic calendar. The festival of Samhain started on October 31st and finished on November 1st. The Celts were frightened of winter because the days were short and cold, and the nights were very long – they associated winter with death and evil spirits.

The Celts believed that on the night of October 31st the spirits of the dead rose from the tombs and the Celts made big fires to scare the ghosts away. They also wore scary costumes and played games on October 31st to bring good luck for the year. Nuts and apples were eaten and were considered lucky foods.

The colours of Halloween are also of Celtic origin. Black was the colour of winter and long nights. Orange was the colour of the harvest. The black cat is another symbol of Halloween because the Celts believed that a black cat had special powers.

Useful Spanish Halloween words

Halloween – Noche de Brujas
Pumpkin – La calabaza
Carved pumpkins – calabazas talladas
Lantern – farol
Vampires – vampiros
Ghosts – fantasmas
Witches – brujas
Zombies – zombies
Skeletons – esqueletos
Mummy – momie
Dress up – disfrazarse
Trick or Treat – truco o trato
Sweets and treats – dulces y golosinas

Origins of halloween pumpkins
Wikipedia page Halloween
Halloween make-up techniques

Happy Halloween in Barcelona!