Category Archives: Halloween

Phantom Flight Night™ 2017

Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wineIt’s that time of the year again–Phantom wine time! Earlier this month we hosted our THIRD annual Phantom Flight Night™, our little wine tasting gathering where we compare notes on several years of releases of Phantom wine. This year, we tasted 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. (2014 is available now at Trader Joes and other wine shops!) Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wine Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wineThis year, I packed most of our Halloween decorations in the dining room since that’s where the party was. I labeled the bottles so we could easily identify the year and poured each person two ounces. This was the biggest Phantom Flight Night™ yet, so I had to borrow some wine glasses from Karen so we’d have enough for everyone. Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wineKaren brought her grandma’s wine glasses. As you can see, wine glasses (right side) were, uh, a little smaller back then. Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wine, meat and cheese trayKaren made her fabulous homemade pimento cheese and we served meats and cheeses and minestrone soup. The “other Karen” made Lucky Charms treats which were amazing. Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wine Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wine Phantom Flight Night, Bogle wines, Bogle Phantom, wine tasting party, halloween wine tasting, red wineThis year, I printed some wine tasting wheels so we had some wine language to work with. I’m terrible at discerning different tastes in wine, so it’s nice to always have a guide and some Trader Joe friends who’ve had some wine tasting training. Even though I’m no sommelier, I still find comparing Phantoms interesting. The blend changes a little bit each year (for instance the 2014 blend is 42% Petite Sirah, 34% Zinfandel, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot) and the finished wine is vastly different. Overall, 2012 came through as a favorite.

Every year I love this party more. Mainly because it’s an intimate group of fellow wine lovers, but also because wine, snacks, friends…simple. It’s the perfect October tradition before the busy-ness of the holidays begins.

P.S. Here are the posts for Phantom Flight Nights™ of years past: 2016, 2015

 

Tagged , , , ,

Phantom Flight Night™ 2016

sheet pan fall vegetables and chicken thighs, Phantom Flight Night Another fall, another Phantom Flight Night™. I just love this party…this year it was a small group, only four of us, enjoying Bogle’s Phantom wine from 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Unlike last year, this bottle of 2008 was fine and delicious, though I can’t remember which one we liked the most. sheet pan fall vegetables and chicken thighs, Phantom Flight Night sheet pan fall vegetables and chicken thighs, Phantom Flight Night Simple decorations this year…sheet pan fall vegetables and chicken thighs, Phantom Flight Night We made this one pan Autumn dinner and it was amazing…apples, brussel sprouts, sweet potato…all the best of fall. sheet pan fall vegetables and chicken thighs, Phantom Flight Night It was a good night.

Tagged , , , , ,

KimBOOly HAUNTSegawa’s Mailbox

Paper Pastries Halloween MailMy mailbox was filled with a steady stream of Halloween mail last month. Margaret sent the package above, adorned with all of the fabulous spooky stamps of the post office’s history! Inside, there was a Halloween card and a tiny wooden casket filled with candy. I LOVE the creative use of the wax seals! Margaret wrote a blog post about creating the little candy caskets. Such a fun postal treat! I’m going to use the little casket in my Halloween decorating next year and I’m hoarding the envelope too. candy corn postcardSarah sent this fun see-through candy corn postcard. It was laminated into the postcard size, like the corn was floating. Japan Post Halloween postcardYuki sent this amazing Japan Post Halloween postcard. These seasonal cards are coveted by me and many other Japan Post lovers…I screamed with delight when I saw it in my mailbox! Japan Post Halloween postcardYuki sent the postcard in an envelope, but still used vintage stamps with special postmarks on the postcard. I’m sure the postcard will make a reappearance next year in my Halloween decorating. It’s too good to file away with my other mail. Halloween cardsAnd, above are the other sweet, charming, funny Halloween cards I received. punny addressesDanielle, who sent me two Halloween cards, addressed them in the BEST way! KimBOOOly Adami- HAUNTSegawa and KimberlEEK! ADOOMi-HAUNTED HOUSEegawa made me laugh for days. And that Parcel Ghost sticker–so good!

Thanks to everyone for making it a great mail month! Anyone else receive anything spooky in your mailbox?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Cocktail Perfected: Corpse Reviver #2 

Corpse Reviver #2, Lillet, Aviation Gin, Cointreau, AbsintheI’m slowly recovering from the plague* so I figured, what better cocktail to feature today than the Corpse Reviver #2. It’s actually the second of the Halloween cocktails I promised you last month. I’d been reading about the Corpse Revivers (#1 and #2) in all of my vintage cocktail books for years, but never made one because of one key ingredient, absinthe. I hate the anise/black licorice flavor that is so prominent in absinthe so it seemed pretty risky to buy a pricey bottle of something I may not enjoy. But we took the plunge and bought North Shore Distillery’s Sirène Absinthe Verte and it’s been a worthy addition to the cocktail menu for the Corpse Reviver #2 alone.

Corpse Reviver #2

3/4 oz gin

3/4 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz Lillet Blanc

3/4 oz lemon juice (freshly squeezed!)

dash absinthe

Pour a dash of absinthe in a cocktail glass and slowly swirl it around to coat the inside of the glass. Turn the glass slowly and pay attention to get the absinthe as close to the rim as possible. I think this is the key to a good Corpse Reviver. You can’t really taste the anise flavors, but the scent of the absinthe adds an herbal dimension to the cocktail. Discard any extra absinthe (or use it to rinse the next cocktail glass.)

Add the gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, and Lillet to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and pour into the prepared cocktail glass. Bring out your Ouija Board and see who you can conjure up from the dead.

*It wasn’t really the plague.

Tagged ,

Halloween Mail

Halloween mail, La Familia Green glow in the dark button, mail artI’m behind on my Halloween mail because I got sick this week and I was down for the count for a few days. But, earlier this month, I got a jump start on sending some festive mail out to a couple of cat lady pen pals. I had these glow-in-the-dark cat buttons from La Familia Green that I wanted to send in a slightly more creative way than just sticking them in a plain envelope. I was inspired by the peek I had of my Presley patch from Margaret, so I decided to use a cellophane envelope instead. Halloween mail, La Familia Green glow in the dark button, mail art 2I used washi tape to attach the button to the card and wrote my note. I tried to place the buttons on the middle of the card, where the machine wouldn’t be canceling the stamp or printing the bar code on the bottom. Halloween mail, La Familia Green glow in the dark button, mail art 3I stuck it all in the cellophane envelope with an address label and added postage. Since the envelope was lumpy, I added the extra twenty-one cents. Halloween mail using cellophane envelopesI also used a cellophane bag to attempt to protect the googly-eye “bra” on my mail art to Kathy. Thanks to a Halloween mail art party with Donovan, I’ve have a huge stack of Halloween envelopes to work through. Now that I’m feeling better, more spooky mail will be written. Better late than never, I guess.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Cocktail Perfected: Purgatory

Purgatory Cocktail, Old Overholt rye, Chartreuse, BenedictineI am embracing the Halloween spirit this week, finally finishing decorating and reading a few spooky short stories. We are reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” for book club this month. One of our book club members sent over Edith Wharton’s “Afterward” as a bonus suggestion since our stories are so short and everyone loves reading a good “ghost story” this time of year. I highly recommend “Afterward” and this post has some other great suggestions if you’re into Halloween reading.

I have a couple of good cocktails to share this month for Halloween. These aren’t Pinterest-y cocktails like a Witch’s Brew or Candy Corn Jello Shots, but classic cocktails that always put me in the mood for ghost stories, scary movies, and ghoulish mail art.

The first cocktail is Purgatory, a rye-based cocktail with warm, herbal, and spicy notes. It’s potent, especially considering it’s a 4 ounce pour, but there’s nothing like it on a crisp fall night.

Purgatory Cocktail

2 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (I like Old Overholt. It’s budget-friendly!)

3/4 oz Chartreuse

3/4 oz Benedictine

Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Drink slooowwwwwwly while reading about headless horsemen, the return of the dead, or Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Tagged , ,

Plot #6: PUMPKINS!

Pumpkins, Forest Park Community Garden, plot 6Things are slowing down in our garden plot. On Saturday, I spent some time cutting down our broccoli “tree” (seriously, that thing was so tall and its root was enormous!), tearing out a tomato plant (the Cherry 1000 was not producing anything), and harvesting more than a pound of Brandywines and Juliets. I still have five more tomato plants that are flowering and producing, so I’m hoping to have a few more tiny crops before it frosts. And our loofah plant has two babies, but I don’t think they’re going to grow enough before the winter. I’m also swimming in parsley and thyme, but I’ll share more about that soon!

In the spring, Laura and I planted pumpkin and loofah seeds on the hill in the community garden. Sadly, no loofahs made it (I think the dirt was too heavy for them) but the pumpkins grew like gangbusters! Naoto and I picked our pumpkins last week, a tall one and a tiny one. They are on the lanai now with the mums and the waning summer plants. I need to get out there and take down the party lights and get rid of the sad summer annuals, but every time I think about it, the weather warms back up and we are able to sit outside and eat dinner!

Is your garden done for the year? Are you already making plans for next year? (I am!)

 

Tagged , , ,

Packing Tape Postcards for Halloween

packing tape postcards Halloween, Angry Chicken InspiredI started reading blogs in 2007 when a coworker told me about Angry Chicken. Angry Chicken is a personal blog by Amy Karol where she shares a variety of things from homeschooling and sewing projects to homemade deodorant and cake recipes. I love that it’s an unpredictable range of topics and that there are no sponsored posts. (Not that there’s anything wrong with sponsored posts…it’s just nice to have a break from them once in awhile!) I was so fascinated with her blog that I stayed up late one night reading all of her posts from the beginning. It’s one of the few blogs that I continue to read after all these years.

Over the summer, I was inspired by this post about packing tape postcards. I love how her three girls sandwiched anything and everything between two strips of packing tape and made it a postcard. Simple, but genius. I thought it would be fun to try but I was out of packing tape and kind of forgot about it until last week when I broke out my Halloween mail stuff. I have loads of confetti and ribbon and some chunky copper glitter that I felt would make a perfect Halloween packing tape postcard. packing tape postcards Halloween, Angry Chicken inspiredI only made two, but I hope to make a few more before fall ends. I forgot the glitter in Margaret’s, which is fine…there’s no right or wrong, but I love how the glitter pieces fill the void. I also didn’t write messages on them, but next time I will. My postcards ended up being about 5×7 inches so I used a Forever postage stamp on them (stuck on the outside of the packing tape!) And because I didn’t write a message or sign the postcards, I stamped my return address on them with StazOn ink, pretty much the only thing that will dry on the slick packing tape surface.

I can’t wait to make more of these! It would be fun to make one with bits of ephemera from a vacation or an event. For now, I’m just hoping to make a few more fall-themed ones.

P.S. I finished my 31 Postcards in 31 Days project on November 1st! Yay!

Tagged , , , ,

Scenes for Halloween

decorated bar cartHappy Halloween! Here are a few scenes from around the apartment this year.Halloween decs living room Halloween decs dining room Halloween decs dining room Halloween decs living roomHalloween decs bathroomWe aren’t hosting a party, but we have had friends over throughout the month. But even without visitors, I’m glad I decorated. There’s something fun about having a festive home, especially as the days get shorter and darker and you find yourself inside watching spooky movies and reading scary stories.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Forest Park Casket Races 2014

Forest Park Casket Races 2014The Forest Park 3rd Annual Casket Races were held on Saturday and they were wickedly fun! It was the perfect day–cool and crisp and sunny. And look at those leaves! Forest Park Casket Races 2014We found a good seat on the curb kind of in the middle of the “track” and had a great time seeing the funny costumes and caskets. My favorites were the guys above, who all dressed like The Count from Sesame Street. (Although, I do believe those giant heads cost them the race…not very aerodynamic.) Forest Park Casket Races 2014 Forest Park Casket Races 2014I also loved this Weekend At Bernie’s themed casket. (The second picture shows them carrying Bernie during the post-race casket parade.)Forest Park Casket Races 2014The Forest Park Library got into the action with zombie librarians. Forest Park Casket Races 2014And the Kiwanis raced a peanut casket.

I love that this happens in Forest Park!

(To see last year’s Casket Races, go here.)

Tagged , ,