Jack O Lantern Pizza, Toilet Paper Pumpkin & Candy Elevators!

I had the idea to make a jack o’ lantern pizza. It made for some silly family cooking!

Here we will reveal our favorite pizza recipe! You can whip up the dough in a fancy mixer, but we use a breadmaker that some friends picked up for us at a thrift shop for ten bucks! We love it! Have fun this weekend and try it!

Pizza dough: (Note: to appease everyone we make half the crust thick and half thin. It works pretty well.)

Put the following in this order into the breadmaker:

1 cup warm water

2 1/2 t. yeast

1 t. sugar

1 t. salt

2 T oil

3 cups flour

1 T. italian seasoning, 1 t. garlic powder

Press the dough cycle and wait for approx. 1.5 hrs.  It’ll make 2 crusts. (3 if you like thin.) Mike likes to cook the crusts for 8 minutes at 390 before we add the sauce.

We like Ragu Homemade Style Pizza Sauce.

Katarina started chopping the triangles for us. We took the edges she left and chopped them small to go underneath the cheese.

We shred our Tillamook mozzerella, but added a bit of yellow cheese(cheddar or colby jack) in stripes to give a more pumpkin looking effect. Green peppers made the stem.

Throw in the oven until it’s done! Mike recommends switching the pizza from stone to pizza pan for the last few minutes to make it more crispy.  Mike thought ahead and made Sam a gluten-free jack o’lantern pizza too (Sam wanted ham instead of pepperoni).

One day this week, Anabelle came walking through the door with her hands raised high. This is the standard move that means, “Watch out people, I have important homework and things to tell you.”

She announced, “I have to bring toilet paper to school tomorrow. My teacher said I need one roll of toilet paper. NOT USED! She said it CAN’T be used toilet paper.”

The combination of her seriousness and what she was saying cracked us up.

The next day she brought home a toilet paper pumpkin.  I’m not kidding.  Cloth wrapped around a toilet paper roll. Isn’t it cute?  They painted the cloth, wrapped it around the toilet paper and stuck a stick in the middle to hold it together.  It’s now a centerpiece on our table.  I’m certainly glad it’s not used toilet paper too. ( :

Anabelle also brought home a story that said her favorite halloween candy was candy corn.  So I bought some. The thing is, Halloween candy at my  house is DANGEROUS.  I wanted to put the candy out, but I didn’t want it in a bowl where I would easily grab a handful now and then, not really thinking about it.  I wanted it to be slightly hard and a tad annoying process but still look good.

Mike’s french press inspired me.

This morning I was posting these pictures when Sam came down the stairs and said, “Sound proof underwear really would be a good idea.”

I think I snorted up some coffee.
My kids always surprise me.  Too funny.

Tonight, besides being one of the nights the kids in this town trick -or – treat, is also Haunted Refrigerator Night. Time to check the fridge to see if anything is alive or growing in there. ( :

Halloween Fun!

We finally finished the pumpkins! Decided to skip the green leaves on their ‘vines.’

The lil pumpkins wanted a family photo before grabbing a marshmallow.

Sam tells them all to be patient and wait their turn.

They started off trying to roast their marshmallows around one jack o’lantern.

Soon they realized that they could spread out a bit.

This little guy snuck around the corner and got Anabelle’s jack o’lantern all to himself.  Anabelle had painted hair on this pretty jack o lantern but when we went outside the paint immediately flaked off. So weird!  In the dark, however, it makes for a cool effect.

It looks like a pumpkin block party at our house! Those pumpkins sure have good taste in chocolate.

This family fun project wouldn’t be nearly such a good time if my husband wasn’t on board. Some days he’s more into whatever insane project/activity/topic I’ve discovered than others, but in general he makes the activity so much more fun. Last night was no different.

When Sam was ready to make his ninja sword, we brought in the cardboard and started looking at pictures of different ninja swords for inspiration.  Mike asked for a yard stick to draw the sword.  I pulled it out and as he reached for it we both looked at it and said, “Wait a minute…”

Before I knew it, Mike had found some black heavy duty tape in the garage and had wrapped an awesome hilt.

Then came the aluminum foil.

Then we set to work on the rest of the costume. We try not to buy anything but a glow in the dark stick.

It’s safe to say the sword will be the coolest part. Either way, Sam’s  definitely into character.

A Bubbly Day & A Halloween Light Stick Tip

The Dollar Tree is selling these awesome glow in the dark masks, swords, and fairy wands. My kids are excited to have something glow in the dark be part of their costume.  We’ve used the following tip before, and it really works. If your kids use glow-in the dark anything on Halloween, try it out!

Did you know we have a champagne bureau? I certainly did not. They apparently represent the U.S. in the trade association for grape growers in Champagne, France. They are very strict about protecting the name Champagne.

Well obviously we are not going to drink Champagne as a family, but when I read that a scientist named Bill Lembeck said there were 49 million bubbles in a 750ml bottle of champagne and challenged people to try to count them… well, that seemed to inspire some family fun.

So I’m thinking a bottle of sparkling fruit juice or maybe Italian soda made with ginger ale might be a fun treat tonight… along with the challenge to see how many bubbles are in that bottle of soda before I start pouring.

Then we could talk about how the bottling plant forces carbon dioxide into the soda… more so than would normally be in the air.  When I turn the top, we hear most of the gas escape the bottle. But what’s left in the drink is dissolved carbon dioxide which is called carbonic acid. That’s why we call a drink carbonated.

I wish it was warmer or we’d try the Mentos Geyser experiment

Case of the Missing Marsmallows

So I mentioned that we finished our jack o lanterns and were ready to make leaves for the lil pumpkins’ vines — the vines that will hold the stick and marshmallow so the lil pumpkins can have a marshmallow roast.

We placed our jack o’lanterns and  lil pumpkins in the living room and went to bed.  The next morning….

The marshmallows were gone and the sticks were clear across the room. WHO DID IT?

First, we asked the eye witnesses.

They didn’t say a word, but one jack o’lantern kept leaning dramatically and darting his eyes to something….

or should I say SOMEONE!!!  “We’re going to have to go on circumstantial evidence,” I told the kids.

The fact that that Sugar, our dog, was sleeping next to the pumpkins instead of by Katarina’s room combined with her motive of eating something yummy, makes her top of our suspect list.

“Guarding the pumpkins?” a child suggests.

Interesting angle.

We confronted the dog.

She wasn’t talking, but she looked guilty enough… until someone got out the marshmallows, and she perked right up and started acting sneaky.

Entrapment is allowed in this household.

Case closed.

Last night’s plans were derailed again by an extra long Boy Scout pack meeting. I didn’t mind though, because the kids loved it!

After all the talk of fire safety through the years, and all the written fire evac plans we’ve made as a family for school homework, I was confident our kids would raise their hands when the fireman asked, “So who has a plan for if there is a fire at your house?”

Only a couple kids raised their hands. Every other kid scrunched up their face.  The fireman pressed on. “For instance, where are you supposed to meet if there is a fire in your house in the middle of the night?”  Still scrunched up faces.

This bothered me! We had just as a family discussed it about two months ago. I had even shown them how to escape through a certain window if there was fire on the stairs.  They had totally forgotten.  It bothered the fireman too and he gave them a very passionate speech including real life stories that had the kids completely enthralled… and eager to talk about our fire plan as soon as we left.

Do your kids know your plan? Now’s a great time to check before we light up all those jack o lanterns. ( :

Today is also cranky co-worker day.  Maybe a great chance to talk to your kids about how to handle cranky people.  It could be fun to role play after dinner… maybe while we finish our costumes and pumpkins.  How do you handle cranky people?