It’s Friday! I’m relieved, how about you?

Halloween is tomorrow and the weather is supposed to be nice (a high of 70*!) here in Boston. With the crazy New England weather, we’ve been known to have a warm Halloween one year and snow the next. It’s just sad to see the little kids wear their winter coats over their Halloween costumes. It’s just not right. This year the kids will be comfortable in their costumes while trick or treating.

While it isn’t my favorite holiday, I do hold a special place in my heart for Halloween because it’s right near my birthday (next Tuesday). Growing up, a lot of my birthday parties were Halloween themed. I remember parties in my backyard where my friends and I would be in costume, bobbing for apples and eating donuts on a string (BEST game ever).

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As I got into middle school, I had the brillant idea to have a pizza party then have all of my friends go to a haunted house. My poor parents. They ended up having to deal with 10-12 wimpy, screaming girls  at a haunted house – for several years in a row. Some of my friends refused to even go inside the haunted house. I remember one girl being chased by Beetlejuice one year and losing her shoe. I can laugh now but it was frightening back then. I’m better with donuts on a string. 🙂

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Well, enough reminiscing. This past week I was craving a hearty salad.  I found a recipe online for a Warm Fall Spinach Salad at everydayhealth.com. The preparation seemed pretty straightforward and I liked the combination of ingredients (dried cranberries, shallots, pecans, bacon!). In creating the dish I added a bit of crumbled blue cheese…because cheese makes everything even better.

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The results? A very flavorful salad. The different elements worked really well together! Next time, I would use a little less cider vinegar and I bet it would be perfect.

This salad is great for a light dinner or a nice side dish. While the dressing is warm, it doesn’t wilt the spinach much so if that’s what you’re looking for, just put the finished plate into the microwave for 15 seconds. Delish! I had the salad both ways and preferred the wilted spinach a bit more. Yum!

Now onto my Friday Favs. There has been a lot of goodies in the blog world this week, especially with Halloween coming up. Here are my picks:

  • Tina at Carrots ‘N’ Cake made a delicious-looking Pomegranate Coconut Quick Bread this week. She has just returned from the POM orchards in California so I’m sure she knows the best way to cook with pomegranates now. I bet the tart pomegranates and the sweet coconut are a nice combo in this bread.
  • Erin, over at Erin Cooks, made a mouth-watering Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza this week.   Sometimes I find that homemade pizza isn’t as good as I find in a pizzeria but Erin’s looks better than any BBQ chicken pizza I’ve seen in a restaurant. This is a must try for me.
  • Last but not least, a Halloween treat. How could I not include this one? It’s a simple recipe that includes candy and chocolate. Maria and Josh at Two Peas and Their Pod made a batch of Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark  this week. It’s just so festive and would make a great gift. Adorable and delicious, you can’t go wrong!

I told you about my childhood birthday parties…what’s your favorite Halloween memory?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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