August 20th, 2018

From Our Table: Hello Halloween

By Medicine Hat News on October 24, 2017.

Only one week until the streets are filled with happy Halloweeners all dressed up and ready to collect candy.

My boys used to love to dress up in costumes all year long. Dressing up and then going door-to-door collecting candy on Halloween was just a huge bonus. They would wonder how come they only got to do it once a year.

Speaking of my boys, 25 years ago today was a monumental day for my husband Kent and me. Our very first child was born. Josiah Jefferson Kent Smith surprised all of us and was so excited to see his new world he came two and a half months early. Weighing just two and a half pounds he was an amazing miracle. After 63 days in NICU we brought our first baby boy home and now all of a sudden he’s this amazing 25-year-old with a business degree and a job in his field and significantly taller then his mom although I can still stop him with “the look.” Don’t make me take my seat belt off!

The picture is him on his first Halloween. He was so cute and still is, just a much hairier version.

This time of year there are an abundance of sweet treats. It might be a good idea to bring balance with all the sweets and add in something healthy. The two recipes I’ve included this week do just that. They have a healthy component combined with a sweet side which equals delicious!

I was thinking one recipe would be for kids and the other for adults but in reality I’m pretty sure adults and kids alike will love both. I like them for two reasons, one they have that healthy element I mentioned and the other is they are very quick and easy with simple ingredients. You can whip them up in no time.

I hope everyone has a very safe and Happy Halloween!

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Crunchy Candy Apples

6 apples washed, dried and refrigerated

50 Kraft caramels

2 Tbsp water

1/2 cup crushed pecans

6 wooden Popsicle sticks

Line a large plate or platter or tray with waxed paper.

Wash apples well and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The caramel will stick better to cold apples. Insert sticks into the top of each apple until stick is about one-third to one-half of the way inside the apple.

Put the caramels and water into a large glass measuring cup. Microwave for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes to melt the caramels. The mixture should be smooth and creamy when stirred.

Dip the apple into the caramel sauce and turn it so its evenly coated. Allow any excess caramel to drip off. Sprinkle the bottom half of the apple with chopped pecans. Press gently into the caramel so it stays. Scrape the extra caramel sauce off the bottom of the apple with a knife. Place on lined plate and refrigerate for one hour. Enjoy this crunch sweet treat!

Pumpkin Pecan Mousse

1 cup cold milk

2 packages vanilla instant pudding

2 cups pumpkin puree

1/4 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice

2 cups slightly thawed whipped topping

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

Whip the milk, pudding, pumpkin purée, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice together for two minutes or until thick and creamy and well combined. Stir in the cool whip.

Put the pumpkin mousse in 8-12 individual dessert dishes. Clear glass dishes look nice. Refrigerate for a few hours.

In a small frying pan melt butter then add brown sugar and pecans and stir to coat pecans well. Cook on medium heat about one minute stirring constantly then remove from heat.

Sprinkle each dessert with a few of the candied pecans right before serving.

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