Northwest NEWS

October 26, 1998

Home & Garden

DINING IN: Halloween treats for ghosts, goblins

   Chocolate Marshmallow Spiders
   1 pkg. (8 squares) semisweet baking chocolate
   2 c. mini-marshmallows
   Black or red string licorice
   Assorted candies
  
   Microwave chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes, stirring half way through heating time. Stir until completely melted. Add marshmallows; mix lightly until completely coated. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined tray.
   Decorate with pieces of string licorice to create spiders' legs.
   Use additional miniature marshmallows and candies to make eyes. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Makes 2 dozen.
  
   Texas Peanut Popcorn Balls
   1 (3 1/2-oz.) bag microwave popcorn or 10 c. popped popcorn
   1/2 c. dry-roasted peanuts or honey-roasted peanuts
   1/4 c. peanut butter morsels
   2 c. miniature marshmallows
   3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
   1/4 c. each black and orange gumdrops, coarsely chopped (optional)
   Paper muffin pan liners
  
   Microwave Preparation:
   Prepare popcorn as directed on package. Discard any unpopped kernels. Place in a mixing bowl with peanuts and peanut butter morsels.
   In a 4-c. microwave-safe measuring cup, combine marshmallows and butter or margarine. Microwave on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth; stir once halfway through cooking.
   Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn, tossing until evenly coated.
   With buttered hands, form into 2 1/2-inch balls. If desired, add gumdrops to surface of balls to provide color. Place balls in individual paper muffin pan liners. Refrigerate until firm.
  
   Stovetop Preparation:
   Follow microwave instructions with these exceptions: Use conventionally popped popcorn. To prepare marshmallow mixture, melt butter or margarine in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add marshmallows; stir until mixture is melted and smooth. Makes 16 balls.
  
   Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
   When making Jack-O-Lanterns, remove membrane from seeds; place on a shallow pan with butter and salt. Toast seeds in a slow oven, stirring often, for 1 hour.
  
   Hot Spiced Cider
   4 qt. apple cider
   1 c. orange juice
   1/2 c. sugar
   2 tsp. whole allspice
   2 tsp grated orange peel
   1/2 tsp. mace
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1 tsp. coriander seed
   2 tsp. whole cloves
   2 Tbsp. cinnamon stick broken into bits
  
   In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients,. Cover and heat to boiling.
   Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and serve hot.