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More Halloween Recipes

Ladies’ Fingers

(Tested by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The painted almonds make these so lifelike.

2 tablespoons red food coloring

30 blanched almonds

2 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

1- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper and set aside.

Place food coloring in a shallow bowl. Using a small paintbrush, color one rounded half of each almond. Set aside to dry.

Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg and vanilla. Set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioner’s sugar, granulated sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add egg mixture and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide the first half into 15 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece back and forth with palms into finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife. Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.

When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach.

Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Makes 30 fingers.

For adults only ...

Haunted Bleeding Heart

(Tested by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

If you want gross, here it is, adapted from the 1972 book “How to Play With Your Food,” by Penn and Teller. The recipe uses a 6- 1/2 -cup Valentine heart gelatin mold. I made changes in the ingredients to fit my 2- 1/2 -cup mold.

I couldn’t wait to invert the mold. The heart slid out easier than I expected (don’t forget to coat the mold with cooking spray). What I saw was a glistening, dark red heart – veins included. And the reactions from friends were better than I expected, especially when the blood oozed out!

2 cups boiling water

2 (3-ounce) boxes of cherry, raspberry or peach gelatin (I used cherry)

2 packages unflavored gelatin

6 ounces evaporated milk

Spray the mold with cooking spray.

Boil the water. Add the gelatins and stir until gelatins are completely dissolved. Add evaporated milk and stir until combined. Cool to room temperature. Pour enough gelatin into the mold until it reaches 1- to 1- 1/2 inches deep. Place the mold in the refrigerator until the gelatin is almost set (about 2-3 hours). Make the blood bag.

For the blood bag

1/4 cup grenadine or other red liqueur

1/2 cup light corn syrup

6 drops red food coloring

3 drops blue food coloring

1 food-storage plastic bag (1 gallon)

Cut the zipper closure from the bag. Mix all ingredients in the bag. Twist the bag, making sure most of the air is removed, and tie in a knot. Snip off most of the end. Place the bag inside the mold, over the gelatin. Pour the remaining gelatin over the plastic bag. Refrigerate until solid (overnight is best).

Remove the mold and invert on a platter. Return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Bull’s-Eye Finotini

(Tested by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

1 ounce Osborne Fino Sherry

4 ounces gin or vodka

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with bloody eyeballs and revel in the grotesqueness.

With a small knife (I used a zester), peel radishes, leaving thin streaks of red skin on to represent blood vessels. Scoop a small hole in each radish and stuff in a green olive, pimento side out. Optional: Place a radish eyeball in each section of an ice-cube tray, fill the tray with water and freeze overnight.

Hpnotiq’s Mad Eye

(Tested by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Here’s looking at you!

These Halloween cocktails will add a few laughs to an adult Halloween party.

1/2 ounce Hpnotiq vodka

1 ounce super-premium vodka

2 ounces lychee juice

Shake with ice; strain into a martini glass.

Garnish with a lychee eyeball:

1 canned grade AA lychee in syrup, drained

1/4 teaspoon cherry, strawberry or raspberry preserves

1 blueberry (you can use frozen)

Dry lychee and fill with preserves. Place blueberry, blossomed end facing out, into cavity and skewer.

– – Adapted from “How to Play With Your Food,” by Penn and Teller – Freixenet USA – Hpnotiq vodka