Thursday, October 27, 2005

Trick the candy monster this Halloween!

By Peggy M. Walker
Nutrition & Food Safety Agent

Beware of the candy monster! This fiendish ghoul won’t disappear at the stroke of midnight like the other ghosts and goblins of Halloween night. No, he’ll haunt you until you give into his powers and eat all the leftover Halloween candy.

He’s your worst nightmare! Garlic, mirrors, nor silver bullets will save you from this monster. Only you can save yourself from his pull with power from deep within your good health consciousness -- the power of self-control!

To prepare for this night of sugar torture, summons up all your power and brains. First, you must decrease his power over you. Purchase only hard candies instead of those soft creamy chocolates and buy less than what you need. Leftover candy is no treat! Those little sugar laden empty calorie tempters will whisper your name until you can no longer bear it.

Stop their tricks by buying your treats at the last minute. Or, completely banish the candy monster with, horror of horrors, no candy! Fill your trick-or-treat bowl with non-candy treats like plastic bugs, glow-in-the-dark stickers, fast food coupons, card games and puzzles, magic markers, beads, mirrors, pencils and such other fun stuff.

Now, arm your appetite with a good supper before the festivities begin. Eat an early supper so you won’t miss any of the night’s festivities. Then bravely step out into the night for a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy all the decorations.

The candy monster does not like for you to participate in appetite controlling activities like nutritious light suppers and walking for exercise! Enjoy escorting your own little trick or treaters through the night. The candy monster will try to brainwash you into believing that candy is all this night is about! Nonsense! Tell him to be gone!

Stir up a magic brew to scare the candy monster right out of his evil ways. Just before dark, fill a crock-pot with apple cider and turn it on high. Throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks, a few whole cloves and about six whole allspice. Float a few lemon or orange slices on top. Put a lid on it, turn it on high for a couple of hours and let it brew.

Hocus pocus change your focus! Challenge the candy monster by disguising yourself as the ghost of Halloween Future. Make sure that the evening stays safe for all.

Forget the candy – watch for tricks waiting to happen. Help little ones cross the street safely, put up your pets, remove things from your yard or front walk that might cause someone to fall or trip. Guide children through traffic and keep them from running between cars.

Keep an eye on burning candles. Then with a sharp eye sort through all the candy that your children bring home and weed out anything that looks suspicious or that your children won’t eat and throw it all away.

Fill small sacks with all leftover candy before the candy monster comes back. Tie each one tightly with string or ribbon and use as special treats for others next week. And remember --- no harm shall come to you if you throw it all away!

Your cider is waiting. Just one warm cup of this tasty brew will calm the candy monster and dissolve away his power.

Take a deep breath, enjoy the aroma and settle in with your family and enjoy the remains of another Hallowed Eve with a spicy warm cup and a not-too-scary Halloween story just before drifting off to never-never land.

Sleep in peace, knowing that you and your powers have defeated the candy monster.

Have fun, stay healthy and live well this Halloween!

Haunted Halloween Goodies

Monster mouths: Core and cut a red delicious apple into 14 slim wedges. Brush both sides of each wedge with orange juice. Spread one side of each with peanut butter. Press four mini-marshmallows into the peanut butter on seven of the wedges. Top each with the remaining wedges. Makes seven monster mouths.

Chocolate Spiders:  Melt 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips. Stir in one five-ounce can chow mein noodles and one cup dry-roasted peanuts. Drop by teaspoons onto lightly greased baking sheets. Refrigerate eight hours. Makes 36 spiders.

Howl-at-the-moon Quesadillas:  Place single layer of tortillas in skillet or on griddle sprayed with pan spray. Heat over low heat. Add about 1/4 cup grated cheese for tacos over each tortilla*. Place another tortilla on top of the cheese. Heat until cheese melts and tortillas are warm. Remove from skillet, cut in wedges with a pizza cutter. Serve with salsa.

*Other toppings: sliced jalapenos, chopped green chilies or onion, cooked and crumbled ground beef.


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