Holiday Spreads

How to put together a Halloween Candy Board

A spooky and fun take on just what you can put on a "cheese" board
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"
halloween candy board

There are a lot of food and entertaining trends I CAN’T get behind, boards for everything is not one of them.

Collecting your classic cheese and charcuterie boards in all different shapes and sizes has become as popular as collecting matchbooks or blue and white chinoiserie pieces. Not only do these boards look gorgeous placed around your kitchen, but they’re extremely practical. Practical yes for your classic cheese plate obviously, but if you’re not thinking outside of the cheese board it’s time to start. And what better way than loading one with all the Halloween treats your stomach can handle for a Halloween Candy Board.

Crafting a Halloween Candy Board is truly easier than it looks. Personally, I like to start from the center and work my way out. Mix up colors and types of treats like chocolate pumpkins, cupcakes (I just added eyeballs to store bought cupcakes), homemade mallows, and cookies. For those local, Pum’s Sweets made these gorgeous mini sugar cookies!

Always include a bowl, or rather three if you’re doing more than one as odds always work better in this case. My pumpkin bowl is filled with a classic Autumn Mixture of mine, recipe coming on Friday! And if you feel like making your own bark I highly suggest this easy bark of mine. I make it every year!

Aesthetically make sure you’re angling treats all different directions so it doesn’t look like your Halloween Candy Board is tilting or moving in one specific direction. And try to make everything flow together so you have very few spaces or gaps showing. Lastly, have fun and don’t take it too seriously.

One more thought. I love a good grazing board as much as the next person, but based on everything that’s going on grazing is a no-no. To help make your Halloween Candy Board more socially distanced friendly grab plenty of inexpensive tongs and make sure everyone has their own that way they can pile the treats on their plate and simply place the tongs in a “dirty” bucket once they’re done for the evening. And grab some Halloween themed goodie bags so guests can take a few goodies home with them.

Happy Halloween friends, and if you need any Halloween decor ideas make sure to check out my favorite Halloween-themed post HERE! Truly, MKR

Photography Rustic WHite Interiors

Homemade Caramel Corn with Pecans & Candy Corn

A perfectly addicting, seasonal sweet snack
Filed Under > Desserts

Homemade caramel corn with pecans and candy corn, the perfect recipe for fall, @waitingonmartha

I get very nostalgic when it comes to homemade caramel corn.  Memories of my dad whipping up a big batch as soon as the leaves started to change.  Melting it all low-and-slow, and then shake-shake-shaking the mixture in a big paper bag before spilling out the warm, sweet, crunchy goodness on the table for Mom and me to devour until we literally made ourselves sick. 

Being one of my favorite fall treats, I wanted to try my hand at making homemade caramel corn myself this year.  It seemed simple enough…traditional stovetop popcorn (which in my humble opinion is the only way to make popcorn) + pecans + candy corn + homemade caramel sauce.  And it really is simple as long as you have a few tricks up your sleeve.  Tricks I’ve finally perfected after a few trial and error test batches.

First, you’ll logically want to put the candy corn directly into the popcorn, pecan, and caramel sauce mixture before baking it all together in the oven.  Don’t.  Since candy corn is essentially all sugar what ends up happening is the candy corn pieces completely melt leaving you with patches of yellow and orange dotted throughout your mixture. Instead, you’ll want to sprinkle on the candy corn pieces right when you bring the mixture out of the oven when it’s still warm.  That way, they stick in the mixture but don’t melt.  

Second, line your oven with aluminum foil to catch any rogue drips of caramel sauce.  If you’re heavy-handed with the caramel sauce like me, then your sauce will likely bubble over during baking.  Trust me when I say, sticky caramel sauce on the bottom of your oven is a major pain to clean up. 

Lastly, when making the caramel sauce, constant stirring and timing really is everything, so make sure you read the recipe at least twice before beginning and DO NOT walk away from the sauce.  It can all go terribly wrong in less than 30 seconds, just trust me on this!  Happy fall y’all!  Truly, MKR

P.S. When the homemade caramel corn comes out of the oven, it’s my favorite time to indulge since it’s so warm, gooey, and not too hard, but try to show a little self-restraint and set some aside to package up for neighbors, teachers, and coworkers!  xo

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Homemade Caramel Corn with Pecans and Candy Corn
Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 QUARTS POPPED POP CORN COOLED (1 PREFER STOVETOP, BUT MICROWAVE WILL WORK AS WELL)
  2. 1 BAG OF CANDY CORN
  3. 2-3 CUPS OF PECAN HALVES
  4. 2 CUPS BROWN SUGAR
  5. 1 CUP LIGHT KARO CORN SYRUP
  6. 1 CUP ORGANIC BUTTER UN SALTED
  7. 1 TEASPOON SALT
  8. 1 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
  9. 1 TABLESPOON VANILLA
  10. NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY
  11. INSTRUCTIONS
Instructions
  1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 250 DEGREES.
  2. SPRAY LARGE SHALLOW TURKEY ROASTING PAN WITH COOKING SPRAY. ADD POPPED POPCORN AND PLACE IN PREHEATED 250 DEGREES F OVEN WHILE PREPARING CARAMEL.
  3. IN A LARGE HEAVY SAUCEPAN OR DUTCH OVEN MIX BROWN SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, BUTTER AND SALT. STIRRING CONSTANTLY, BRING TO A BOIL OVER MEDIUM HEAT.
  4. BOIL 5 MINUTES WITHOUT STIRRING. REMOVE FROM HEAT. STIR IN BAKING SODA AND VANILLA; MIX WELL.
  5. POUR SYRUP OVER WARM POPCORN, STIRRING TO COAT EVENLY.
  6. BAKE FOR 45 MINUTES, STIRRING OCCASIONALLY. DURING YOUR LAST STIR ADD PECANS.
  7. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND SPREAD ON PARCHMENT PAPER. SPRINKLE IN CANDY CORN AND MIX LIGHTLY.
  8. LET COOL THEN BREAK APART AND STORE IN TIGHTLY COVERED CONTAINER.
  9. NOTES
  10. CHECK POST ITSELF FOR PLENTY OF TIPS TO MAKE SURE YOUR BATCH TURNS OUT PERFECTLY.
  11. BY WAITING ON MARTHA
Welcome by Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

A One-Pot Meal that Hits the Spot This St. Patrick's Day
Filed Under > Food

Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe on Waiting on MarthaCorned Beef & Cabbage for St. Patrick's Day - Waiting on Martha 

Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like this traditional one-pot meal.  It’s perfect in a cozy-comforting-savory-tender way.  And I actually just learned that this beloved dish is actually rarely eaten in Ireland!  But it sure makes one heck of a St. Patty’s Day dinner. 

I didn’t do anything fancy with mine, but I have found that I’m particular on a few specifics when cooking it at home.  I always throw it all into my slow cooker, and I always, always cook it low-and-slow for up to eight hours.  You can, of course, cook it on high for four hours, but you’ll have a chewier bite than if you take the slow route, believe me.  I like mine to practically fall off the fork!  And the beauty with corned beef is that it comes pre-seasoned, so you don’t have to fuss with any kind of marinating or additional spices while you’re preparing it to cook.  Find the full recipe below, and tell me – will you be slow cookin’ some corned beef and cabbage next week?!  Truly, MKR

P.S. A nice little suggestion for your leftovers the next day: get some white bread, and make some cold corned beef sandwiches for lunch! My mouth is drooling just thinking about it.  You can plate it traditionally (as shown above) or shred it like your typical brisket sandwich. xo 

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Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
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Ingredients
  1. 1 corned beef with seasoning
  2. 1 head of cabbage, cut into quarters
  3. 10-12 raw carrots
  4. 10 baby red potatoes
  5. onions, peeled and quartered
  6. 2-3 cloves garlic, to taste
  7. grainy mustard, to garnish
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste
  9. Fresh thyme, to taste
  10. Fresh parsley, to taste
Instructions
  1. Fill crockpot with corned beef (fat side up), potatoes, onion, & carrots. Add water so it comes up to the bottom quarter of the beef. Top with one bottle of beer.
  2. Cover and cook the corned beef on low for 8-10 hours. (You can cook it on high for 4 hours, but I swear the meat tastes the best with my low-and-slow method!)
  3. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add cabbage.*
  4. Slice into preferred cuts, add grainy mustard, fresh parsley and thyme to serve.
Notes
  1. *You can also cook the cabbage separately by boiling it in water for 20 minutes if there isn't enough room in the Crock Pot.
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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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