Halloween Tricks and Treats

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A pumpkin-pecan cinnamon rolls is a perfect treat this October. (kblog.lunchboxbunch.com)

A pumpkin-pecan cinnamon rolls is a perfect treat this October. (kblog.lunchboxbunch.com)

Harvest Fest. Halloween. Hour of the Apple Picking. Whatever you want to call it, autumn has arrived. The last week in October marks the changing of the seasons. Summer is over. The children are back in school, and the holidays are right around the corner.

Soon will be family gatherings, the carving of the turkey, overcrowded malls, and the trimming of the tree. Oh, the most wonderful time of the year. But just for now, it is autumn. It is the transformation of the leaves, the fresh chill in the air, and the sweet smell of pumpkin and cinnamon. In this moment, for these few days, there is no stress, no last minute gifts forgotten, and no dinners for plenty.

This is a magical time too. The kind of time filled with carving of the pumpkins, creative costumes, and the first of the eggnog citings at the supermarket. But of course, who wants to carve a pumpkin alone? Without the added pressure of the holidays in full swing, this is the perfect time to have a few friends over, share a ton of laughs, and carve a few pumpkins, all while You’ve Got Mail plays in the background. Add a bottle of White Merlot and you’ve got yourself a party.

Even better than wine, I’ve got a trick to turn Apple Cider from drab to fab, and treats to keep the crew happy all evening long.

Trick: Orange and Apple Spiked Cider

Everyone likes cider, but it doesn’t exactly keep the crowds coming back for more. Try this recipe and you’re sure to get requests for years to come.


1. 1 gallon Apple Cider or Apple Juice
2. 3 whole oranges (sliced in full rounds)
3. 1 cup dried cranberries
4. 4-6 whole cinnamon sticks
5. 3 cups spiced rum


Combine all ingredients, except for rum, in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 45minutes. Add rum, stir, and serve.

Treat: Pumpkin-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

If your friends are fans of pecans, this sweet treat is just as good sans the nuts.


1. 1 pkg pre-rolled pie crust (2 per pkg)
2. 1/3 cup brown sugar divided
3. ¼ cup granulated sugar divided
4. 4 tbsp ground cinnamon
5. 4 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
6. 1 can pumpkin
7. ½ cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Roll out both pie crusts. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar, white sugar, and 2 tbsp cinnamon on each crust. Divide butter into several tiny pieces, and place all over pie crust. Add 2 large spoonfuls of canned pumpkin to the middle of each crust. Top each with ¼ cup chopped pecans. Finally, fold the pie crusts like a burrito, being sure to tuck the edges. Place on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet, and bake for 7-10 minutes or until crust is lightly golden. Remove from oven, let cool, cut and serve!

Nichole Jones is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle, entertainment and sports. Follow her on Twitter: @Cinnam0nBun
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