For years I’ve wanted to be a moth for Halloween but then Martha Stewart put a moth costume on the cover of her Halloween edition so I had to wait the appropriate mourning time to make a moth costume for myself. I wanted to make something that looked somewhat authentic but didn’t involve having massive wings that would bang into things all night. I opted to make a cozy cape that when held up would look like moth wings. I consulted my dear friend Erin for advice on some stunning moths (there are so many to choose from!) and settled on the Cecropia moth. After sewing the wing cape, I painted the design onto the fabric, added some antennae and mothy dark eyes and I was ready to go.
We of course had our traditional Halloween movie marathon. A few friends even drove all the way out from Texas just to be there as the rest of the TX contingent of marathoners were all here in Los Angeles. Our place was packed to the brim and it was a great time. We had many of the treats from previous years (my favorite spinach artichoke dip, caramel corn, cashew mac & cheese and pumpkin spice cake) and also added a taco bar this year. The jackfruit carnitas was of course a hit and to top things off, we had amazing cheese sauce made specially by James and Amy of Spiral Diner.
We ended this year by taking a field trip to a real theater for our last set of movies. I think more people made it through the whole event this year than any other.
1. Earnest Scared Stupid
3. Ginger Snaps
4. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
5. The Descent
6. The Ring
7. 30 Days of Night
9. Dead Alive
11. Crimson Peak
I may get my blogging credentials* revoked as I did not take any photos during this year’s Halloween Movie Marathon. It was year seven and we switched it up a little by starting the fest in the morning rather than at night. Since the marathon has been officially running for 24 hours for the past few years, we thought this would make it less about endurance and more about just having a fun time. We also stuck to mostly classic films and included some that were not as scary. It was a great time.
I made the usual treats: caramel popcorn, sugar cookies and spinach artichoke dip. Shawn set up a hot dog bar as always. We kicked things off with fresh bagels and cream cheese for the morning crowd. There was late night cashew mac and cheese. At one point, our friend, Scott, showed up with two seitan meats jesus pizzas from Pizzanista. There was so much food we couldn’t eat it all. I had made jackfruit carnitas for burritos but we never got to making them. There were secret donuts that we were all too stuffed to eat.
The one specialty thing I made on a whim were mini s’mores bars. Someone asked that I post the recipe so I will do my best, considering I just winged the whole thing. They were awesome though and really easy. For me, the perfect candy treat. Recipe below!
And of course, for posterity, our playlist for this event:
1. The Worst Witch
2. The Wicker Man
4. Blue Velvet
5. An American Werewolf in London
6. The Lost Boys
7. Rosemary’s Baby
8. The Orphanage
9. The Quiet Ones
11. The Exorcist
12. The Brood
Mini S’mores Bars
1 bag vegan chocolate chips
about 1/2 cup Dandies mini marshmallows
5 or 6 Speculoos cookies
chocolate mold – I used a chocolate cup mold, but you could probably just spoon these onto aluminum foil and be ok
Break up the speculoos cookies into small pieces and crumbs, making sure they’re small enough to fit into your mold, but not all powder. If you can’t find the Dandies minis, you can cut up some larger mallows into pieces. They’ll get really sticky, so rolling them in powdered sugar will make them easier to handle.
Melt most of the chocolate chips in a double boiler on medium low heat (or in a bowl over a pot if you don’t have a double boiler like me), setting a small amount aside for tempering. Once the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir in the remaining chips until they are also melted.
Mix in your marshmallows and cookies. Measurements above are approximate so you might want to do this a little at a time so that there the mixture is still sort of drippy and mostly chocolate. Spoon the chocolate into your mold and let cool in the fridge for 1/2 an hour to an hour. Pop out of the mold and store in a cool place, or refrigerate. Try not to eat them all at once, even though you’ll probably want to.
*as if there were such a ridiculous thing
We had a double Thanksgiving this year. It’s not uncommon. We kicked things off with the special Thanksgiving meal at Crossroads. We’d never been before and were excited to try it for the first time.
We arrived as they opened and there was already a line out the door. Inside, the the restaurant had a really nice atmosphere, unlike any of the other vegan restaurants in Los Angeles. It really felt like a special occasion. They also had a fancy bar and I wanted to try all their special edition mixed drinks.
The main course was a rosemary hazelnut scaloppini with stuffing, mashed potatoes, porcini gravy and maple mustard glazed brussels sprouts. The scaloppini was quite good, with a unique flavor. I quite liked the hazelnut. I’ll admit that I think I prefer something with a more traditional style like previous thanksgivings. I ended up taking home a bit of this dish and everything was even better the next day topped with extra gravy.
It was a really nice meal and I look forward to revisiting Crossroads on another occasion. As I mentioned, I really liked the atmosphere and I’m excited that there’s now a more upscale vegan spot not too far from us.
Afterward we headed home and started cooking for Thanksgiving number two. Shawn made his family recipe stuffing and biscuits and gravy, to great success. I made seitan en croute, maple glazed carrots and green bean casserole. Jenn brought over a ton of food: mashed potatoes, golden gravy, marshmallow topped sweet potatoes and baked mac & cheese. It was indeed a feast.
Despite the double meal, I managed not to overeat terribly and really just enjoyed spending the day with family and friends.
The holiday season is just around the corner. With a late thanksgiving this year, my mother and I were already able to throw a fancy dinner party. When looking for inspiration for table decor, I found that a lot of the autumn themed decorations tended to be a bit hokey. We kept it fairly simple and decorated mostly with birch logs and little woodland animals that my mom already had from her christmas tree last year. We added some glitter and fake leaves just to spice it up a little then lined the table with real leaves that I collected back East, candles and tiny pumpkins. My mom also found some birch lined planters to house a few ferns. I loved how it turned out and it was not terribly difficult to set up. It even felt like fall in seasonless Los Angeles.
We just finished up our 6th annual Halloween Movie Massacre. We made it through another 24 hours of horror films like the crazies that we are. We’re actually watching HOCUS POCUS as I write this because we just can’t quit.
As per usual we made a ton of treats, in fact, perhaps too many treats. There was pumpkin spice cake, rice crispie treat pumpkins, caramel popcorn, spinach artichoke dip, queso and more.
Jenn made some pumpkin spice donuts and chocolate coconut bars. Shawn made a giant batch of macaroni and cashew cheese. Plus we had our traditional tofurky dog bar at some point in the middle of the night.
With so many sugary treats and only a tiny bit of sleep I was feeling pretty terrible this morning. I whipped together a a batch of badass breakfast sandwiches since they were a hit last year, and they really helped me rally for the rest of the day. Coffee might have helped too.
This year some friends spawned their own horror movie marathon in Texas so there were dueling marathons this weekend. I like the idea that the marathons are multiplying. You too can watch scary movies in excess!
Since I’m still a bit delirious, I’ll just get to the list of what we watched.
1. IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN
2. TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
3. BLACK SHEEP
4. FRIDAY THE 13TH THE FINAL CHAPTER
6. WOLF CREEK
7. THE RING
8. HALLOWEEN III:SEASON OF THE WITCH
9. THE CONJURING
10. LAKE MUNGO
11. DEADLY BLESSINGS
Since this was year six, we included quite a few films we hadn’t seen before. Of course it’s always the classics that are the real winners. Ending with POSSESSION (from 1981, just so there’s no confusion with the more recent The Possession) was a great choice as it is not only a great film, but it’s also nuts. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it.
It was lots of fun, especially when things started getting silly. Looking forward to more Halloween celebrations in the next few weeks. Pumpkin carving! Costumes!