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  • A twist on classic soup
    As much as we love a classic chicken noodle soup, we decided to mess with ours a bit. The essence of the dish stayed the same – chicken and noodles swimming in chicken broth.
  • Some sweet, healthy treats for breakfast
    As mornings get crisper and cozy beds tempt the snooze button, some of us will take any motivation we can get to roll out of bed.Perhaps the promise of a sweet breakfast?That doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy.
  • Eggs make Greek soup creamy
    Score! It always feels that way when a dish described as “creamy” involves no dairy. Here, the texture is created with a mixture of egg and lemon juice.
Holiday tips
•Use dyed coconut to decorate cookies. Place a few drops of food coloring in a plastic food-storage bag. Add coconut and close the bag securely. Shake the bag until the coconut is dyed. Place the dyed coconut on a baking sheet covered in wax paper and place it in an oven at 200 degrees for a few minutes until it is dried but not toasted.
•Turn olives into a spooky spider on top of your guacamole dip. Cut one pitted colossal olive in half from end to end. Place half of the olive on the dip. Cut another olive into four rings. Cut each ring in half and place the eight pieces next to the olive half to look like legs. Slice the end from another olive and place it on the end of the olive half to look like a head.
•Stuff a grape with a chocolate chip so that it looks like an eyeball.
•Hollow out tiny pumpkins and use them as ice cream cups for your party.
•Cut the stem end out of a small pumpkin and use it as a candleholder.
•Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies make great tombstones on top of Halloween cupcakes. Or create a whole graveyard by pushing the cookies into the top of a cake. Use ready-to-use decorating gel to write “RIP” on cookies.
Scripps Howard News Service photos
Halloween pizza is made with premade sugar-cookie dough – and lots of candy!

Ghosts and gobblin'

This Halloween, treat partygoers to snacks they can't say boo to

Cookie Monsters
Spider-Web Dip

If you expect a gaggle of goblins to haunt your house this week, it will help to have a repertoire of tricks and ghoulish recipes close at hand.

We looked around for some party-food suggestions. Here are a few of our favorite sources – and some Halloween tips and recipes.

Even if you aren’t planning a party, check out this Web site just for fun. There’s a lot of advertising on the site, but it’s so clever that it’s fun to read and watch. There are online games and ideas for pumpkin carvings. This is a fun site for the fainthearted. There are cute recipes appropriate for little goblins. There also are decorating and costume ideas.

When it comes to great recipes, one of our favorite sources is Land O’ Lakes, the company that makes dairy products. If you are planning a party for adults, check this site for recipes and menu ideas. There are also cooking videos that are fun to watch, and photos of recipes are an inspiration.

Kraft is a great source of recipes that use store-bought products in creative ways. There are also demonstration videos and party decorating ideas.

The great thing about the Pillsbury site is that its recipes use products that give you a head start. For example, there’s a Halloween pizza made by pressing premade sugar cookie dough into a pizza pan, then topping it with Halloween goodies such as candy corn.

This site is an endless collection of recipes. You’ll also find a slide show of recipes and a dozen or more demonstration videos, many with Halloween themes. You’ll find lots of fun party and treat recipes.

Halloween Cookie Pizza

This sweet twist on pizza pairs Halloween toppings with a quick-to-bake cookie crust made with Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough.

1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar-cookie dough

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup candy corn (optional)

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or raisins

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup vanilla ready-to-spread frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil. Cut cookie dough into 1/4 -inch-thick slices and arrange the slices in the bottom of the greased, foil-lined pan. With floured fingers, press slices to form the pizza crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is a deep golden brown. Cool 30 minutes or until completely cooled.

Using the foil lining, lift the crust from the pan. Carefully remove the foil from the crust. Place the crust on a serving platter. Spread peanut butter evenly over the crust. Sprinkle evenly with candy corn, chocolate chips, almonds and marshmallows.

Melt 1/4 cup of frosting in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until thin and of drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over cookie pizza. Cut into wedges or squares. Makes 24 servings.

Spider-Web Dip

This recipe, from, is quick to assemble with store-bought ingredients.

1 jar (16 ounces or 1 3/4 cups) black bean dip

1 container (12 ounces) guacamole

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded lettuce

4 ounces (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped tomato

Tortilla chips

Spread the bean dip onto the center of your serving platter, leaving 1 to 2 inches around the edge of the platter. Carefully spread bean dip with guacamole.

Spoon the sour cream into a resealable plastic food bag. Snip off the corner of the bag and use the bag to pipe sour cream into four concentric circles on top of the guacamole. Drag a toothpick or knife through the sour cream from the center outward to make a spider-web design.

Layer lettuce, cheese and tomatoes around the edge of the platter. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 15 servings.

Note: We added a spider made out of pitted colossal olives and a slice of cherry tomato.