What do you get when you mix one part Carmen Miranda, two parts sugar, and equal parts royal icing, glitter, and morbidity?

I've been obsessed with El Día de Los Muertos since childhood (a little weird, I know), but this October marks the first time I've ever actually made a calavera of my very own. I'm quite proud!

I had the pleasure of taking a very informative and incredibly fun class from ReForm School, which I'm fortunate enough to live a block away from. After an hour and a half, I'm a semi-pro and fully addicted to making these things. (The big one even has rattling brains!)
The result: confections that are simultaneously flamboyant and celebratory while giving a nod to the dark side. I love!
Next up: muertos-inspired cupcakes. 
I'm leaning towards tres leches cakes with technicolor Calaveras piped on top; or spicy-cinnamon Mexican chocolate cakes topped with shimmery buttercream skulls... Or maybe just good old fashioned sugar cookies revamped as colorful skulls! The possibilities seem endless.
Calavera cookie (via Cake Central)

What do you think?


Pumpkin Season

Especially pumpkin carving.

Behold, my creations:

Cantankerous ole cultivar carcass

My beau's homage to Evil Dead

And the pièce de résistance: 
my beloved Harry Potter pumpkin!
My nerdiness knows no bounds...

But no carving session is complete without a proper snack.  (And nothing's more fun than sloppily eviscerating a gourd-like object and harvesting its contents.) 

Here's how to roast the best pumpkin seeds this side of the river Styx:

1 pumpkin's worth of seeds, rinsed and de-gooped
1/4 C Earth Balance (or even betterbutter), melted
Finely ground Pink Himalayan Salt or sea salt, to taste
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Rinse your plethora of seeds in a colander under cold water.  
  • Discard any orange goop/pumpkin guts.  Pat dry with paper towel.
  • Get your melted Earth Balance situated in a nice big bowl.
  • Add pumpkin seeds.  Coat well with buttery goodness.

  • Transfer seeds to parchment or foil-covered baking sheet.  Slop on any leftover Earth Balance.  Waste not!
  • Sprinkle liberally with salt.  (I'm obsessed with my pretty pink Himalayan salt, but sea salt is equally divine.)
  • Bake for  15 minutes, remove, stir seeds around, rotate pan, and bake 15 more minutes.

Snack on, you pumpkin-sculpting fiend, you!