The Trick to Handling the Treats
Halloween is serious business for the little ones. After they don the perfect costume, they are ready to hit the neighborhood in search of some tasty treats. Since Halloween only happens once a year, it's fun to indulge a little and eat some of that hard-earned candy. Help your little ones avoid a tummy ache by taking advantage of kids' innate ability to regulate their appetites. One of the easiest ways is a well-timed and nutritious snack before heading out to trick-or-treat. Young children tend to naturally regulate their appetites, so they will usually slow down on eating sweets if they begin to feel overly full. Here are some of my favorite snack ideas to help!
 
A group of three trick-or-treaters walking down the driveway
 
  • Turkey and cheese roll-ups (Turkey mummies, if you will!)
  • Fruit of any kind, but especially easy finger foods like grapes, oranges, apple slices, or bananas
  • Yogurt cups
  • Cheese sticks of all kinds (There are tons of different flavors to choose from at your local Brookshire Brothers!)
  • Cucumber slices with a little vinegar, salt, and pepper
  • Cinnamon toast with butter on whole wheat bread
  • Or see some of my favorite grab-and-go snack options here!
And if you're looking for some unique options with a healthy twist to pass out in your neighborhood this Halloween, try some of these ideas. 
 
  • Fruit snacks and gummies, especially with natural flavors and colors (These fruit-filled recipes are frightfully good—and healthy!)
  • Inexpensive trinkets such as stickers, temporary tattoos, or bouncy balls
  • Simple chocolates
  • 100% fruit juice in small boxes or pouches
  • Snack-sized bags of freeze dried fruit, raisins, or pretzels (Another wicked-good snack to try: Rice Krispies Treats with fall flavors and fun topping ideas!)
  • Small bags of pre-popped popcorn (Make your scary movie night really pop with these three fun popcorn recipes!)
 
Read more: Don't miss Angela's other nine tips for keeping Halloween healthy
 

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas. 
 
 
 
Cooking with Kate: Wicked Good Snacks

A fall take on a summer favorite. 

With our Texas weather fickle as ever, it’s no surprise that we’re looking at a fairly warm Halloween this year. It seems like summer just won’t say goodbye! To mix up the summer temperatures with some fall spirit, here’s an easy-to-make, sweet snack recipe. Basically, think Rice Krispies Treats but with fall flavors and fun topping ideas. Even better, this snack mix makes for a quick, easy party favor for a Halloween bash and trick-or-treaters. Visit your local Brookshire Brothers today to find these ingredients and other wicked good snacks! 
 
 

Rice Krispies Treat Snack Mix

(Pictured left as seen at the 7th Annual Lufkin's Bistro | Photo credit: Lisa Crow Photography)
 
Ingredients
1 (12 oz) box crisp rice cereal
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (7 oz) container marshmallow fluff / crème
 
Directions
    • In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar until sugar dissolves.
    • Add the cereal to a large bowl and toss with the melted butter mixture until all the cereal is coated.
    • Add the marshmallow fluff and gently mix into the cereal until most of it is mixed in but you still have small clumps of coated cereal (the rice krispie “treats”).
    • Add in ingredients for flavor combinations (see below) or make up your own!
    • Chill mix for at least 2 hours before serving (it’s a LOT less messy if you serve it cold) and ENJOY!
Read more: Pull out all the potluck stops with toothy apples and spiced apple cider.
 

FLAVOR COMBINATIONS: 

Citrus-y Cranberry
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 (12 oz) bag mini chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 (3 oz) package dried cranberries
 
Movie Night Magic
1 (11 oz) bag Kraft caramel bits
1 (12 oz) bag mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coarse or flaky sea salt
 
Read more: Make your scary movie night really pop with these three fun popcorn recipes.
 
White Christmas Mint
1 (12 oz) package white chocolate chips
1 (4-6 oz) package soft peppermint candy, crushed
 
Tropical Oasis
1 (12 oz) bag white or chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) package shredded coconut, toasted
1-2 cups dried tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, etc.)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
 
Read more: These fruit-filled recipes are frightfully good—and healthy!
 
After School Snack
1 (10-12 oz) bag peanut butter chips
1 cup dried strawberries or raisins
 

View other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.
Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.
Treats, Treats, Treats!

Halloween is a fun-filled family time for costumes, parties, friendly visits to neighbors, and of course, candy. Lots and lots of candy. Though the candy can bring temporary joy, it does inevitably also bring tummy aches and energy crashes that are less than pleasant for everyone involved. How can you manage the Halloween candy stash to allow for some fun while minimizing the unhealthy side effects? Here are my top 9 Halloween tips for staying happy, healthy, and sane. 

1.  Treat Halloween candy as a learning tool. Setting boundaries can be helpful for teaching kids how to manage eating treats. Decide what your family rules will be and lay them out in advance so the kids know what to expect. 

2.  Eat some real food before you head out for an evening of trick-or-treating. Having a full tummy can help prevent a full-out candy binge. This goes for chaperones too!

3.  When you return from trick-or-treating, give your kids a little time to enjoy their stash. As long as they had a good supper, let them have a little fun with their bounty before collecting it and keeping tabs on it.

4.  Collect Halloween candy and set aside the unhealthiest treats. This helps prune down the total amount of candy. For me this would include all candies with the word “hydrogenated” on the ingredient list and candy with artificial food coloring. I don’t recommend kids eat anything with hydrogenated oils, and I recommend keeping food coloring to a minimum. (One “trick” is to add these treats to the candy bowl at work instead of tossing them out) 

6.  Avoid the temptation to use candy as a reward, punishment, or a babysitter. Instead include a specific amount of it as part of structured meal and snack times. Let your child choose a certain amount (maybe two pieces) and include that with a scheduled meal or snack. 

7.  On days when candy is allowed, don’t allow other foods high in added sugars on the same day such as juice, sugary cereals, soda, or cupcakes and other desserts (from the latest Halloween party). 

8.  Remember to always brush kids’ teeth twice daily, especially on days when they are eating added sugars. 

9.  And finally, keep a supply of healthy snacks like fruit that can be offered as a ready-to-eat substitute when the requests for candy start. 

Implement these easy suggestions to build a little structure into your trick-or-treat routine. Have fun and stay safe. Happy Halloween! 

 

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious healthy foods and providing nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does community education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. Look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.  

     

 

Cooking with Kate: Happy Halloween!

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is right around the corner...especially when it still feels a bit summery outside. Hopefully the temperature will drop some before the trick-or-treating weekend is upon us! Have some fun this year with your kiddos making these fun after-school and party recipes that are simple, quick, and delicious!

Toothy Apples

  • 3-4 apples – Granny Smith, Gala, or Fuji
  • smooth or crunchy peanut or almond butter
  • mini marshmallows

Slice apples into quarters and remove the core. Slice each quarter in half and spread a small amount of peanut or almond butter on one of the sides. Add 5-7 mini marshmallow “teeth” to one slice and top with another slice, peanut butter side down to hold the marshmallows in place. Refrigerate your “toothy” apples until ready to serve.

Fall Party Snack Mix

  • 6 cups Chex or Crispix cereal
  • 1 cup mini pretzel twists
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup peanut butter pieces or chocolate candies
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup candy corn or other fall candy

Pre-heat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the butter in a large bowl. Add the cereal and pretzels and toss evenly to coat. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, then toss with the cereal mixture to evenly coat. Spread the cereal mixture onto the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool the cereal mixture completely. Once cool, add the candy, candy corn and marshmallows. Serve in a large bowl for a party or package into small bags to give out to friends 

Spiced Apple Cider
Makes 16-20 servings

  • 2 ½ quarts apple cider
  • 24 ozs pineapple juice
  • 24 ozs orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4-6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

In a large crock pot, mix apple cider, pineapple juice, orange juice, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves (see note). Heat on high for 1 hour.  Turn heat to low and continue heating for 1-2 hours or until ready to serve. Refrigerate any remaining cider.

NOTE: If you have cheesecloth available, use a small square of cloth to wrap the cinnamon sticks and cloves and then tie with twine. Add to the pot and remove before serving. If cheesecloth is not available, use a slotted spoon to remove the cloves before serving. 

 

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.

     

 

"A Bottle of Boos" - A Halloween Wine DIY

Don't throw away those wine bottles you've been drinking the past few weeks... Halloween is coming and with it comes parties. Save your wine bottles, corks, and even some of your older wine glasses, and have a Halloween DIY! Did you know you could paint, accessorize, cut, decorate, and melt wine bottles and glasses? We've got some great ideas of how to spice up your Halloween party!

Candy Corn Wine Bottle

Are you like me and can't get enough candy corn this time of year? If so, you'll love this DIY! Collect 3 similarly shaped wine bottles and paint them orange, white, and yellow to match candy corn. You could even make them a focal point or centerpiece at your get together and have a bowl of candy corn in front of the 3 bottles.

Upside Down Wine Glass Candle Holders

Frankenstein, ghosts, witches, and mummies come to life in this project. Using a standard wine glass, paint the entire glass with colored paint (green for Frankenstein, white for ghosts and mummies, purple for a witch) and then sprinkle glitter on the wet paint (in the same color). Let dry and create your character by adding eyes and face, hair, clothes, etc (remember to decorate upside down). Finally, use them as candle holders by displaying upside down and putting tea candles on the bottom of the glass.

Cork Pumpkin

As you're opening your wine, try to keep your corks in good condition and repurpose them to be a pumpkin. Paint or color 24 wine corks orange and let dry. Next, glue the corks in a pumpkin shape - we recommend the following pattern: 4 corks, 5 corks, 6 corks, 5 corks, 4 corks. Finally, find a cream color wide ribbon or use wide burlap ribbon and wrap around the edges and tie at the top. You've just made your first cork pumpkin!

Wine Glass Characters

By using small amounts of fabric and your imagination, you can create your party guests and friends their own wine glass character. For example, a witch can have a hat that acts as a wine glass topper and a few ribbons acting as the stem's clothes. 

Let your imagination soar and Happy Halloween!

Have a Spook-tacular Healthy Halloween

Candy may be everywhere you look this time of year, but your Halloween celebration can be on the healthy side. Enjoy serving these great recipes that will still satisfy your sweet tooth and cast a spell on all your party goblins!

Bubbling Witches Brew

(Makes 5 cups)

3½ cups fresh mandarin orange juice
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup chilled sweet sparkling soda

Chill freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice and lemon juice. Before serving, mix into a punch bowl or pitcher and stir in 1 cup chilled sweet sparkling soda and ice cubes. Taste for sweetness. To garnish, peel and slice mandarin oranges.

 

 

Spook-tacular Fruit Cups

(Need 1 orange for each fruit cup)

Orange Pieces
Melon Balls
Grapes
Blueberries

Cut off the top 1/5 of the orange and use a paring knife to separate the fruit from the inside of the orange, being careful not to cut through the peel. It’s not necessary to get all of the flesh out, just enough to fill with cut fruit. If necessary, shave a small amount of peel off the bottom so the cups sit level, being careful not to create an opening in the base. Use a paring knife to carve faces and fill each cup with your choice of orange pieces, melon balls, grapes and blueberries.