Do You Boo Your Neighbors?

    I’ve recently learned about this tradition of Boo-ing Neighbors. You do it a few weeks before Halloween. It’s quite exciting, actually. What you do, for those of you who don’t know about this, is make up some signs one with a poem about “Being Boo-ed” and one announcing “We’ve Been Boo-ed”  — it’s a sign neighbors are asked to put on their door or in a window to let others know they’ve been boo-ed and to go boo someone who hasn’t been boo-ed, yet. You put the poem and sign in a container of your choice with candy and goodies. I go with the wrapped candy and goodies, because no one knows from whom it came.

    Here’s a Halloween Party Favor Treat Cone Free Template you may like as a container for your “Boo Delivers.” Here’s the link right here at Two Cans On A String.com https://twocansonastring.com/halloween-party-favor-treat-cone-with-free-templates/

    Image and Free Printables Courtesy of http://www.sistasfun.blogspot.com

    Under cover of darkness you deliver your “boo deliveries.” The fun part is ringing the doorbell and running for cover so you don’t get caught. Kids really like this part, sneaking up to porches, leaving the goodies, ringing the doorbell and running for cover in the bushes, behind trees and maybe they make it down the street to where you’re waiting in the “get-away car.”

    I like the idea, because it is a nice thing to do for a neighbor. It also creates a buzz of goodwill around the neighborhood of neighbors doing something nice for neighbors. It’s fun to see the “I’ve Been Boo-ed” signs pop up on doors or in windows. The great thing is when everyone has been boo-ed.

    You can start this tradition this year. You can give just one or more. Neighbors are encouraged to do the same to two neighbors . . . then those two boo two others . . . it should spread throughout the neighborhood quickly . . .

    Here are the Free Printables:

    You’ve Been Boo’ed and We’ve Been Boo’ed

    If you’d like to give packages of Pumpkin Poo as treats, here’s another Free Printable:  Labels for Cheese Puffs

    I make up four of these and place them at houses where I know there are elderly people who don’t normally participate in Halloween, but deserve something special. I leave it on their doorstep without ringing the doorbell. I also make up two more for families with kids. I know they are very likely to participate in this boo-ing activity. That does get the ball rolling — and when I get boo-ed I can make up two more and have some more fun. Or, I can put the “We’ve Been Boo-ed” sign on my door to help keep the mystery going of who started this. . . but, to tell you the truth, I do like getting “Boo-ed.”

    Spooky Tree You Can Make From A Paper Bag

    I love making things from common, everyday objects. This miniature Spooky Tree is made from a brown lunch size paper bag. If you would prefer a larger Spooky Tree as a centerpiece, you can use the grocery size brown paper bag. It may be fun to make several of the small ones and place them around your table with different displays at the base. I filled my paper bag with plastic pellets to give it some weight while I blended the center to make the trunk and the branches. Some may glue it to a cardboard base, but I find the plastic pellets to work well.

    It’s always good to have a video to show you how it’s done:

    Paper Bag Fall Tree

    There are many different techniques you can use. I prefer to lay out my brown paper lunch bag and cut 1 1/2 inch strips cutting the open double layer of the bag into strips.

    Then I carefully open the bag and pour in some plastic pellets for weight before twisting the trunk of the tree.  I have found it easier to put the pellets in before I cut my strips, but it works however you choose to do it. Some people have found it doesn’t need extra weight, but it is entirely up to you.

    I twist two strips together and depending how many small branches I want, I’ll cut and twist these separately.

    The fun thing is when your tree begins taking shape and you improvise the next step for the next branch. That way each spooky tree you make and each set of branches you create are all different.

    It’s a fun project to do while watching television, listening to music, or just some down town when you want to relax for a few minutes.

    Halloween Party Favor Treat Cone With Free Templates

    Halloween is an excellent time to have Party Favors for your guests. I consider Trick-or-Treaters guests, too. Without them scurrying up and down the street, Halloween wouldn’t be worth celebrating. I enjoy the variety of costumes and the enthusiasm these youngsters bring to make the night exciting for those of us who are home handing out the candy.

    These Halloween Treat Cones are easy to make, fun to decorate and I do enjoy looking for just the right candies to put inside. The Free Template has the pattern printed on it and there’s another Free Template that gives a Halloween sentiment.

    I suggest you make a couple dozen of these to be the highlight of this Neighborhood Halloween Celebration.

     

    HalloweenTreatCone

    Image Compliments of http://www.hgtv.com

    Here are the free templates:  Halloween Striped Treat Cone and Halloween Party Circles

    Now, what do you do?

    You’re going to need a few things:

    • white card stock for the templates (also a color printer)
    • scissors
    • hole punch
    • curly ribbon in black and orange and regular black or orange ribbon
    • double sided tape
    • tissue paper
    • Halloween candy and small Halloween related items

    Now, what?

    1. Print out the free templates on white card stock
    2. I would print out a dozen or so of the cone template and one or two of the party circles. There may be some expressions you like better than others to put on your party favors treat cones.
    3. Cut out the cone around the edges. Form it in a cone shape and secure it in place with the double sided tape.
    4. On both sides of the cone, punch a hole for the ribbon handle on top and embellishments on the sides. I like using curly ribbon to make them look festive and even to have loose ones to top off the top of the cone.
    5. I have a 2 1/4″ circle paper punch to cut out the party circles, but you can use a compass or jar lid that will give you the size circle you like. Or you can keep it a square for a different look. Once it’s cut out, put it on the front of your cone with double sided tape.
    6. Fill the cone with tissue paper — I like to tuck it in the pointy part of the cone to keep things from falling out. I also like to have some tissue paper peeking out to add color and to leave room for step 7.
    7. Fill it up with Halloween candy and Halloween related items you picked up along with the candy.

    There you have it! Once you’ve done your first dozen, you may decide you need another for friends, neighbors and unexpected guests.

    Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

    There are dinner recipes that just feel like home. Many people refer to them as comfort food, because they get that satisfied, almost nostalgic feeling of comfort and safety experienced in childhood. This classic stuffed bell pepper recipe is such a food for me. Each year I plant bell peppers in my garden and each year I cook up a batch of them just like my mother used to make and her mother before her. The only difference is I sometimes use different colors of bell peppers, but the classic green ones are my all-time favorite.

    Classic Stuffed Pepper Recipe

    Ingredients:

    4 bell peppers of any color
    1 lb. lean ground beef
    1 1/2 cup cooked rice
    1 cup chopped tomatoes
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    fresh ground pepper
    salt
    1/2 cup tomato paste
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
    5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
    1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

    Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
    2. Cut off the tops of the peppers and remove seeds.
    3. Add several large pinches of salt to the boiling water, then add the peppers and boil.
    4. Keep the peppers completely submerged until the flesh slightly softens. It would take approximately 3 minutes.
    5. Drain peppers and set aside to cool.
    6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    7. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often. Add garlic and a cook a minute longer. Remove skillet from heat.
    8. In a bowl mix the ground round, cooked rice, tomatoes and oregano together. You can add salt and ground pepper if desired.
    9. Drizzle some olive oil inside the peppers. Arrange them open end up in a baking dish. Stuff them with the meat filling.
    10. Combine tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Carefully spoon over the filling.
    11. Add 1/4 cup of water to the baking dish, place in the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The internal temperature of the stuffed peppers needs to be 150 to 160 degrees F.

    Enjoy.

    Classic Meat Loaf Recipe

    This summer seems to be rushing by, but we still have August and September before Fall officially is declared. Everywhere I go, the rush is on for Halloween and Back-to-School. My vegetable garden is doing well. I picked tomatoes for a nice salad. I thought about cooking up some squash, but wondered what I could have with it. Immediately, I thought of a good old-fashioned meat loaf.

    classic meat loaf

    Image from http://www.food.com

    Here’s the recipe:

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 lbs of your favorite ground beef
    • 1 slice of bread broken or finely chopped
    • 1 egg
    • 1 purple onion finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon table salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
    • 4 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1/2 to 2/3 cup of whole milk. My grandmother used half-and-half

    For the Sauce, you’ll need:

    • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 2 to 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar — add a little at a time to taste
    • 1/2 cup ketchup

    Putting it all together:

    1. Combine the meat loaf ingredients together and place in a loaf baking dish.
    2. Smooth out the top.
    3. Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the top and sides of the meat loaf.
    4. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. It may take longer, you want to make sure it is done. The milk or half-and-half should make the meat loaf plumb, but it should not be runny.

    If you like, you can make up more sauce and serve it hot to pour over the meat loaf or for dipping.

    Be sure to refrigerate the left-overs.

    The thing I like about meat loaf is that it’s almost better the next day for meat loaf sandwiches.