Category Archives: Halloween

Happy Halloween 2022

Hi everyone, Happy Halloween!

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It seems the months are passing by so quickly and here we are at the end of October already. I hope you all have a safe, happy, and healthy Halloween.

This is the second year that DishingwithDiane is donating a tray for charity at a local school and I am honored to be asked again.

I was under a little pressure this morning to get it completed and wrapped for pick up and combine that with opening the door all day for trick-or-treaters and that is why this post is a little later in the day.

Yesterday I spent the day making rainbow cookies in the colors of Fall for the donation tray along with Halloween bark and once again I had to buy the sugar cookies at a bakery.

Maybe next year I will add that skill to baking but for all those who know me well, baking is not my strong point. It is a labor of love though and I am happy to make the donation…

After the pick-up and a big sigh of relief, Bob and I decided to have a luncheon celebration for the holiday before the trick-or-treaters arrive so we had “Bats & Pumpkin” ravioli served with butternut squash sauce (recipe to follow).

I prepared a simple tablescape and used plastic cutlery and paper napkins along with casual porcelain dishes that I recently purchased in Homegoods.

I only purchased the dinner/salad plates and I am looking for matching bowls. The pattern is called “Wicked” by Jahie Pty. Ltd.

(Please let me know if you see them around-thanks).

The ceramic mugs are a favorite of mine and feature a witch’s house and creepy trees…

The Halloween centerpiece is an oldie but goodie and it’s one of my favorite ceramic houses purchased many years ago in Pier 1, it makes an appearance somewhere in the house on Halloween.

Table accents are my tried and true Frankenstein mug that also makes an appearance every year since he arrived with a bouquet of flowers attached many years ago.

This year Frankie is holding black licorice. The other accents are candy bowls and pumpkins.

And speaking of candy- I am a candy corn lover, I will admit. And my new favorite flavor is “Smores”.

A big shout out to Bon Bons Chocolatier in Huntington, NY for the best candy corn in the world…..

My new Halloween purchases are salt and pepper shakers that are “Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein”; I couldn’t resist this set since their lips are magnetic and they never leave each other’s side with a forever Halloween kiss.

Dessert always reigns supreme on any table, especially on Halloween, and this year I have two special treats.

The first dessert is Halloween cupcakes displayed in plastic wine flutes filled with candy corn.

The next dessert is ghost cupcakes along with a mini pumpkin cheesecake and a special Halloween beverage. I purchased pumpkin cocoa bombs from Trader Joe’s for an extra little something.

I just love these ghost cupcakes (I purchased these because I am not that talented with frosting…)

We have been celebrating all day and adding one more holiday completed for 2022… Have a great Halloween! Be safe.

Butternut Squash Sauce

I have used this recipe from Simplyrecipes for years with a little tweaking. I will post the original recipe and my changes in parentheses.


  • 1 butternut squash weighing about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots or onions (I use shallots only)
  • 1/4 cup packed, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (I use mascarpone cheese)
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish (I use chopped sage in the sauce and to garnish).
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Pasta Water as needed to thin the sauce, about 1 cup


  1. Bake the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the guts and seeds and discard them (or save the seeds and toast them). Pour 1/4 cup of water into a baking dish and place the butternut squash halves cut side down. Bake for 40 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the squash. Allow cooling for 10 minutes. Scoop out the squash flesh from the skins and put it into a blender. Discard the skins.
  2. Sauté the shallots: in the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Purée in a blender: Add the shallots to the blender. Add 1 cup water, the parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little more water. (I add some sage to the blender as well).
  4. Add sour cream and heat until warm: Pour the sauce into a small pot set over low heat. Mix in the sour cream and warm it through. Do not let the sauce boil.
  5. Cook pasta in boiling salted water:Fill a pot with water and salt (1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). Set over high heat to bring to a hard boil. Add the pasta and cook at a hard boil, uncovered until al dente.
  6. Mix cooked pasta with sauce:When the pasta is ready, drain and put it into a bowl. Mix with a little of the sauce and serve. Add a dollop of additional sauce and some parsley right when you bring it to the table.


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Three Bean Turkey Chili and Sour Cream Cornbread

Hi Everyone,

We had such a busy Halloween this year with all the donated raffles to prepare and the baking that went on in my kitchen. I promised to post the recipes for our traditional Halloween night chili and sour cream cornbread, so here it is……..

We have been making this meal for the past 25 years for Halloween and every year we just can’t give it up. It’s officially a tradition.

The only difference is now is instead of having all my sons friends over for chili, we freeze half the chili to deliver to my son, who is now an adult and lives over 8 hours away from us- it is part of a food “care package” for him because he misses all the family traditions.

I am working on some new recipes for sweet and savory meals coming up in the next few weeks (so keep your eye out for something new), but I wanted to make sure I posted the chili and cornbread for those of you who have been waiting. Enjoy!

Turkey and Three Bean Chili


1- 2 tbsp. olive olive

1 large onion- diced (1 cup)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 bell peppers- diced (I use one green and one red just for color)

3 carrots- diced in coins

2 (1 lb.) pkgs. of ground turkey OR ground beef

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cayenne

2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1 capful of hot sauce (Frank’s red hot or Revenge)

4 tsp. of green chiles (fire-roasted in a can found in the Mexican food aisle- I use the entire 4 oz. can of MILD because I find if I don’t use them all at once, I just end up throwing them out.

2 cups of water

1 ( 28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can pink beans (or pinto beans), drained and rinsed

½ cup green scallions plus additional for garnish

1 bag of shredded cheese (cheddar, jalapeno, or Mexican blend) for garnish

Sour cream for garnish

Optional–Chipolte peppers in adobo sauce (also in a can in the Mexican food aisle). These are very spicy so be careful…I usually use 1 or 2 chopped up because I like heat in my chili. You can freeze the rest for another meal.

Optional – for some added spice, I use a squirt of sriracha sauce ( You can tell I like spicy)

Cooks Note: if you choose to use both optional items perhaps you should keep a box of tissues handy on the table for the watery eyes and the runny noses that will follow from the spicy heat.


Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat.

Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and carrots, COVER and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, combine your spices, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.

After the vegetables are soft, ADD the spice mixture and stir well to incorporate the spices and vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the ground turkey or beef, raise the heat to high, and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon into bite-size pieces, until the meat is no longer pink.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir in the tomatoes, water, green chiles, hot sauce, and scallions.

Add the chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and sriracha, if using.

Cook partially covered, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes.

Remember, taste for seasonings!

Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper before serving.

Garnish with shredded Hot Jalapeno, cheddar, or Mexican cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and additional scallions.

Serve with Sour Cream Cornbread (recipe to follow)


Sour Cream Cornbread

(To get the top crusty -I used a lot of butter on top of the cornbread before baking but that is not really part of the recipe- just a personal preference- Follow the recipe as written and your cornbread will be lighter in color.)

You will need an 8 X 8 square pan

(I prefer a glass pan, I think it cooks evenly in glass)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees


1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal (fine or medium-coarse)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt 

1 cup full-fat sour cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1 egg (beaten)

2 TBSP. melted butter

Additional butter and raw honey for garnish


In a bowl mix all your dry ingredients – flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl mix all your wet ingredients – sour cream, milk, beaten egg, and melted butter. Whisk until well combined

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. (Batter will be very sticky)

Pour the batter into a greased, 8 X 8 square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean

Cut into squares. Best served warm with extra butter or raw honey.



I hope you try both recipes and enjoy!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookie Bars & Candy Corn Cocktail

Hi Everyone,

Well, after the Halloween raffle tray was packed and sent off to a good cause, Bob and I realized that we didn’t have a dessert for us for Halloween, but I had an idea…

I saw a recipe that intrigued me on Pinterest from a great website “dessertnowdinnerlater” by Amber Brady, a few months ago and I double-checked that I had all the ingredients in the house.

I did, so I made a batch of “Candy Corn Sugar Cookie Bars”.

This recipe came to the rescue for a Halloween dessert for us.

Amber also includes her recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting.

(The frosting recipe is also below…)

In addition, I had a recipe for a Candy Corn Vodka Cocktail but we were too tired to make the cocktail tonight, and I really needed a cup of coffee instead.

I will include the cocktail recipe if anyone is interested. We might try to make it another night but I was just too tired with all the baking today. One sip and I would have definitely fallen asleep.

So, here is the LAST Halloween post of the day for Halloween 2021.

By the way, we had our annual Halloween chili & sour cream cornbread for dinner and I’ll post that tomorrow with the recipe.

It seems this year, I needed a few more hours today to get everything done with all the doorbell interruptions. We had over “one hundred trick or treaters” and it was quite a busy day.

So enjoy the recipe… and visit Amber’s website.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies Bars

Recipe courtesy of http://www.dessertnowdinnerlater


  •  1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  •  1 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 egg
  •  1 1/2 Tbsp milk
  •  1 tsp vanilla
  •  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  orange and yellow food coloring (I used Wilton’s food coloring gels)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay parchment inside a 9×13-inch baking dish with the ends hanging out the 13-inch sides (so you can lift out the cookie after it’s baked) and spray the 9-inch edges with pan spray since they aren’t covered with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Split dough in half and color one half orange and one half yellow.
  5. Press the yellow cookie dough onto the bottom of the baking dish; I used a mini rolling pin to roll mine evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  6. Press orange cookie dough onto the yellow cookie dough layer. I found it easiest to roll the orange cookie dough onto a lightly floured counter about the size of the dish, cut the orange dough into large squares and then assemble the squares on top of the yellow layer, smoothing over the cracks.
  7. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Cool completely.
  8. Pulling on both sides of the parchment paper, lift the cookie dough out of pan. Trim the crisp edges with a knife, if desired.
  9. Prepare The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting and spread it evenly over cooled cookie bars. Cut the large slab of cookie in half lengthwise, and then cut into triangles. Enjoy!


Cookies can be kept at room temperature OR refrigerated if you are worried about the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

courtesy of Amber Brady


  •  8 ounces cream cheese, cold (I typically use Neufchatel cream cheese)
  •  1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  •  1 cup powdered sugar
  •  1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth.
  3. Gradually add the butter 2 Tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until smooth and well blended.
  4. Add powdered sugar and vanilla all at once. Blend until combined and smooth. (Don’t beat too long or the frosting will be too soft to pipe. If this happens, place the frosting in the refrigerator or freezer until it firms back up.) Use for any recipe that calls for cream cheese frosting.


*You can store this frosting either at room temperature (which is 70 degrees Fahrenheit) or in the refrigerator. Do not go back and forth storing from one to the other, for food safety reasons. Use your own judgment.

YIELD: 1 1/2 cups frosting, which will frost about 12-14 cupcakes


Candy Corn Cocktail

Courtesy of

For the video on how to prepare, click the link-


for 1 serving

  • 1 cup whipped cream flavored vodka
  • ½ cup candy corn, plus more for garnish
  • 8 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons whipped cream


  1. In a medium glass bowl, combine the whipped cream vodka and candy corn. Set aside to infuse for 1-2 hours. Strain the candy corn solids from the vodka and discard.
  2. Add the orange juice to a 1 cup (7½-ounce) martini glass.
  3. Place a spoon, back side up, against the inside wall of the martini glass. Very slowly begin pouring 3 tablespoons of the infused vodka over the back of the spoon, making sure that the vodka hits the inside of the glass before reaching the orange juice. This will create a layered effect, causing the vodka to sink to the bottom of the glass, below the orange juice.
  4. Top with whipped cream and garnish with more candy corn.
  5. Enjoy!


I hope you try both recipes and enjoy!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Halloween Dessert Tray

Hi Everyone,

Happy Halloween – part II

“Dishing with Diane” had the honor of being asked to participate in a local fundraiser toward different charities during a local Halloween party.

I jumped at the opportunity since that was part of my background before my heart transplant; running fashion shows and fundraisers and I know the strain of getting donations and sponsors so I wanted to help with anything I could do.

I decided to donate a “Halloween Dessert Tray” and asked that it be raffled off toward The American Heart Association.

The following is my finished product before we wrapped it to go and it was off to auction. I hope you like the tray and it gives you some ideas for your Halloween get-togethers.

I baked the oatmeal cookies and the rainbow cookies but if you are pressed for time, this tray can easily be completed with all store-bought goods with a little “Halloween” enhancement from you”.

I’ll tell you how…..

Stay well & safe and have a Happy Halloween!

The rainbow cookies were made using the same recipe from my Christmas cookies but used different gel paste to color the dough.

The link to the recipe is below but you can also find these cookies in a variety of bakeries for Halloween.

The donuts can be homemade or you can buy a box of Entenmann’s chocolate frosted donuts and frost three thin circles on the top of the donut and run a knife through the circles toward the outer edges of the donut to get the spider web effect. Let the donuts sit and set before adding to a tray.

The oatmeal cookies can be homemade or store-bought and this time, pipe four rows of white icing directly across the cookie (leaving a space for the eyes) and add a criss-cross design on top of the cookie. Add edible sugar wiggly eyes on top for the mummy look. Let the frosting set before adding to the tray.

The candy eyes can be purchased in Michael’s Arts & Crafts.

The large sugar cookies of the ghost, pumpkin, and trick or treat bag were purchased in a bakery (I am definitely not that talented).

The cupcakes can be homemade or you can find a decent selection of Halloween cupcakes at Costco, grocery stores, or bakeries. I added the cupcakes to spider cupcake holders to continue the Halloween theme.

The cupcake holders were purchased at Crate & Barrel and I am not sure if they are still a stock item.

Additional fillers to complete the tray- My suggestions: I used black licorice, Halloween Peeps marshmallow treats, candy corn, candy sugar pumpkins, Chocolate popcorn with Halloween assorted candies, and snack-size Halloween candy that I placed underneath for a surprise layer of goodies…

More suggestions– Chocolate-covered white pretzels with holiday sprinkles, nutter butter cookies dipped in white candy melts can look like ghosts, mini popcorn balls and the list goes on and on….

To complete the tray I always included a package of Halloween napkins that can be used as a plate when making selections off of the tray and to name the theme of the tray.

Just have fun with the tray and let your imagination run wild.

Depending on the age of the recipients, you could also add plastic spiders to the tray and spider web gauze, or skeleton hands to keep the theme going, but always be mindful of small objects and any choking hazards with little ones around.

I did not include any of those items on this tray because I wasn’t sure of the age group that would receive this tray.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Pumpkin Muffins

Hi everyone,

Happy Halloween Weekend!

I decided to spread the Halloween Holiday throughout the weekend since Halloween falls on a Sunday this year so I am starting out with “Pumpkin Muffins” for our Saturday breakfast.

Of course, we don’t count the extra calories of the whipped cream and sprinkles on a holiday because after all, we have to decorate and celebrate.

This is a recipe that is a compilation of a few pumpkin muffin recipes that I have tried over the years and this is my final draft. I hope you give this recipe a try. (I sometimes add pumpkin seeds into the batter).

Pumpkin Muffins


  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 can 15 oz 100% pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted (OR vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • pumpkin seeds added to the batter (optional)

Cooks Note:   How to Properly Measure Flour

  • Fluff the flour with a fork
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup
  • Use a butter knife to level off the flour in the measuring cup

Scooping the measuring cup straight into the bag or canister of flour will result in too much flour being packed into the cup, which can result in dry muffins.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place 12 paper baking liners into each well of a standard size cupcake pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, and the next 7 dry ingredients (In italics above in the recipe).  Whisk together to combine and set aside.
  3. In a larger mixing bowl combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir to combine with a spatula or mixer on low for 30 seconds. 
  4. Por the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined into a batter. Do not over mix. (ADD pumpkin seeds now if using and combine).        
  5. Fill the liners to the top with batter. This will help give your muffins a nice puffy dome.
  6. Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan. 


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Halloween Recap over the Years ….

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

This year I am a little bit under the weather so I am posting a recap of my Halloween Posts over the years. I hope the post give you some ideas to use for your gatherings.

I’ll be back posting shortly with the gumbo recipe I promised.

Click link to open….

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, 

I Love hearing from you.

Happy Halloween

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to the original size.

Photo Oct 31, 10 10 05 AM PLACE SETTING

Hi Everyone,

Have a very Happy and Safe Halloween!

Next year, DishingwithDiane will have a new tablescape to view when I get my doctor’s approval to start lifting dishes and centerpieces again.

For now, take a stroll down memory lane and view some previous Halloween tablescapes of mine.

Open the links below:





Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you. 

 All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

2015-10-27 - INTRO - USE

Happy Halloween 2018


Photo Oct 31, 10 06 50 AM INTRO

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

Well, it’s that time of year again, hard to believe that Halloween is here!

I feel as if I just packed all the Halloween boxes for storage in the attic and now they are downstairs once again in my living room for me to browse through and see if I can make a different tablescape than last year.

From this point on, my holidays become a blur. The day after Halloween, I start to write my Thanksgiving menu and then I “stress eat” the leftover Halloween candy until the menu is complete.

(I am trying to save a few Almond Joys for this very occasion).

I still decorate outside for Halloween, to entertain the little trick or treaters, but I have limited my decorating inside, except for my tablescape.

I always have to have a tablescape to put me in the mood for Halloween.

The big challenge is to make it look different from year to year. 

This year the tablescape is all about the “haunted house”. I was in Pier 1 (my home away from home) and there was the cutest haunted house cookie jar.

I don’t know why I now have an attraction to cookie jars. First the vintage red truck and now this haunted house.

I bought the cookie jar with the intention of leaving it out on my kitchen counter for decoration and then the more I looked at it, a tablescape in my head was born.

So, let’s start a tablescape…

The tablecloth is orange with black bats, spider webs and of course spiders. I love the pattern but the material is a little hard to work with. It is rayon and tends not to stay in place. It gets stuck on everything and always bunches up. Keep that in mind if you ever buy this material.


The placemats this year are one of my favorites. Black woven placemats with an orange, black and white braided border. They bring out the best of any Halloween plate.

Since the border is so pretty, there is no need for a charger plate.

Photo Oct 30, 6 01 34 PM PLACEMAT

 Solid orange ceramic dinner plates along with a paper Halloween dinner plate on top.

If I use a paper plate for anything other than cake or a sandwich I like to have some support from another sturdy dish underneath to hold my food and prevent the weight of the food from going through the paper plate.

This particular paper dinner plate was a perfect design, since it featured the haunted house.

Photo Oct 30, 6 02 44 PM PLATES

Napkins are the standard black cloth and I chose to roll the napkins this time and not use a napkin ring. I just placed the dinner fork on top and added a decorative plastic spider climbing on the fork.

Thinking about it now, that spider on a fork isn’t very appetizing.

Photo Oct 30, 5 59 43 PM NAPKIN

Flatware is black matte.

Very simple and perfect for this tablescape and Halloween in general.

Photo Oct 30, 6 00 40 PM FLATWARE

Now, the glasses. I have six different designs of Halloween glasses with witches and ghosts and candy corn and somehow I always come back to this glass. I guess you could say it is my favorite Halloween glass.

It has it all the designs I want on one glass, the witches, ghosts, candy corn, pumpkins and the added bonus of a haunted house to carry out my theme this year. I added a black & orange paper straw for some fun.

Photo Oct 31, 10 09 21 AM GLASSES

The centerpiece. As much as I love the haunted house cookie jar, I felt it needed a little boost as a centerpiece so I used a cake stand to give it some height. I continued to shop the boxes of decorations for anything else I could use to enhance the centerpiece and there it was…

In one of the boxes, I found a metallic Halloween wreath. Solid black jingle bells alongside orange pumpkin jingle bells- perfect.

Photo Oct 30, 6 09 24 PM hALLOWEEN JINGLE BELLS

I used this wreath to circle the cookie jar and now I was happy.

Photo Oct 31, 11 25 29 AM CENTERPIECE APART

A little Halloween paper shred to hide the white cake stand and the centerpiece was complete.

Photo Oct 30, 6 09 04 PM CENTERPIECE

Completed Centerpiece…

Photo Oct 30, 6 13 18 PM EXTRA

The top of the cookie jar has a black crow perched on the roof so I wanted to add more crows to the table and used two black glitter pumpkins with crows perched on top to anchor the centerpiece.

(You probably remember these crows from last year).

Photo Oct 30, 6 07 57 PM BLACK CROW RIGHT

Photo Oct 30, 6 08 23 PM BLACK CROW LEFT

I wasn’t done yet. Bob and I went to a local craft fair and I bought two galvanized haunted houses, so I added them to the corners of the table.  

Photo Oct 30, 6 11 11 PM GALVANIZED HOUSE 2

Photo Oct 30, 6 11 36 PM GALVANIZED HOUSE 1

I found one more haunted house in my box of decorations. This is a tealight holder, and I thought we could have it lit during dinner with the lights dimmed since I didn’t use any candles on the table this year.

Photo Oct 30, 6 05 52 PM TEA LIGHT HOUSE

Of course, I had to add my favorite table accent and that is a salt and pepper shaker. A ghost and pumpkin and a black cat and pumpkin.

Photo Oct 30, 6 07 22 PM SP SHAKERS

And if you have been following DishingwithDiane for the past few years then you know of my love for my ceramic Frankenstein mug or as we call him “Frankie”.

Frankie held a floral arrangement back in the day, that was a very thoughtful gift and since that time he has always been highlighted on all of my Halloween tablescapes.

Instead of flowers, Frankie now holds pretzel rods with witches fingers every year. If you look at any of my past Halloween postings, you will find Frankie somewhere on the table.

Photo Oct 30, 6 10 21 PM frankie

I have two traditional food items for my Halloween tablescape every year.

First, I use my metal spider cupcake holders and add a Halloween cupcake with google eyes as a treat, besides all the candy.

I think this just reminds me of when my son was small and how he got the biggest kick out of these cupcakes and holders. So this is for my son.

Photo Oct 31, 10 21 40 AM CUPCAKES

If you recall the story, when my son was small, after trick or treating I would have some of his friends and their parents in for Halloween dinner.

It was always a Halloween punch and pizza for the kids and turkey and three bean chili with sour cream cornbread for the adults.

Well, this tradition never stopped and Bob and I have this for dinner every year on Halloween.

Photo Oct 30, 9 00 05 PM CHILI AND CORNBREAD

(Recipes to follow).

Place setting

Photo Oct 31, 10 10 05 AM PLACE SETTING

So that is my tablescape for Halloween 2018.

I hope you and your friends, family and children have a wonderful and safe Halloween.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 


Thank you for visiting my blog and please spread the word and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.



Turkey and Three Bean Chili


1 onion diced (1 cup)

1 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves- minced

1 ½ red or green bell peppers-diced

3 carrots- diced

2 pkgs. of ground turkey (ground beef can be substituted)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cayenne

2 teaspoons garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and fresh ground pepper

1 capful of “Revenge. Pit Bull hot sauce”

4 teaspoons green chili’s (fire roasted in a can)

2 cups water

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can pink beans (or pinto beans), drained and rinsed

½ cup green scallions….


  • Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute
  • Add the ground turkey, raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink
  • Stir in the tomatoes, water, green chili’s, hot sauce and scallions.
  • Cook partially covered, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes
  • Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper
  • (Additional peppers ie: adobo sauce and hot peppers can be added or jalapeno or red hot pepper)

 Garnish with shredded Hot Jalapeno cheese and sour cream, plus corn bread




1 Cup all purpose flour

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup sugar 

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp baking soda                                                             

½ tsp salt

1-cup sour cream

¼ cup milk

1 egg (beaten)

2 TBSP melted butter


 Preheat oven to 425 degrees

 In a bowl, mix 1-cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup yellow corn meal. ¼ cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder and ½ tsp each baking soda and salt. Stir in 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup milk, 1 beaten egg and 2 TBSP melted butter.

 Pour into a greased, 8-in square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cut in 16 squares. Best served warm.





Happy Halloween 2017

Photo Oct 30, 4 24 19 PM INTRO

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

Happy Halloween!

I have been seeing all the Christmas trees up in Costco, so I knew that we were close to Halloween. Isn’t that how it feels? All of the holidays are so rushed. You don’t even know what month you’re in anymore.

Anyway, back to Halloween. I love decorating for the Fall and Halloween. I still decorate outside with pumpkins, mums, and a few friendly ghosts. (I don’t want to have all the scary decorations and frighten the little ones). I have seriously curtailed the outdoor decorations from when my son was a child, but I still like a festive tablescape and indoor decorations.

Back in the day, my son and his friends in the neighborhood would go door to door trick or treating for a few hours after school and then I would have some of my son’s friends and their parents over for a Halloween party.

The menu was pizza for the kids and Three Bean Turkey Chili with Sour Cream Cornbread for the adults. I still keep the tradition and make chili every Halloween.  

I have collected quite a few decorations over the years which allows me to change the tablescape, except for my favorite table accent that is always on my Halloween tablescapes.

It is a Frankenstein mug that was the base for a floral arrangement I received years ago and Frankie is always a welcomed guest at the table. 

So let’s get started…

The tablecloth this year is what other colors but orange and black. This year the tablecloth is plaid with a few Halloween designs featuring pumpkins, spider webs, black cats, bats and candy corn.

The designs on the tablecloth match my treat bowls.

Photo Oct 30, 4 18 32 PM    HALLOWEEN TABLECLOTH.jpg

The placemat is a black spider web and I put a little plastic spider crawling up the side of the web. No need for a charger plate with this placemat.

Photo Oct 30, 8 30 59 PM SPIDER PLACEMAT

Photo Oct 30, 8 38 58 PM  SPIDER RING  2.jpg

The dinner dishes are solid orange ceramic dishes and I am using a new purchase, black and white melamine salad dishes with the word “Spooky” written over a black & white pumpkin.

I bought them in Wegmans of all places, last year on a visit to see my son. There were only six dishes on a clearance shelf and I took it as a sign they were just waiting for me.

Photo Oct 30, 4 17 25 PM  HALLOWEEN DISHES.jpg

The flatware is the standard black matte for Halloween.

Photo Oct 30, 8 36 35 PM  FLATWARE.jpg

Instead of using cloth napkins and glassware, this year I decided to use paper napkins and paper cups.

Photo Oct 30, 8 30 14 PM PAPER GOODS

The candlesticks are wire spiders holding a black tapered candle. I decided not to use the big candelabra this year. 

Photo Oct 30, 8 34 45 PM    CANDLESTICK.jpg

 To continue with the spider theme, I put decorated Halloween cupcakes iced in green and orange frosting with sprinkles in spider cupcake holders scattered on the table for dessert after dinner.

I just love these cupcake holders! They were too cute not to purchase.

Photo Oct 30, 4 18 53 PM   CUPCAKE 2.jpg

The centerpiece is a combination of cake plates and a pumpkin trio tea light holder taken from the kitchen window (shop your house first) with two sparkle black pumpkins with attached black crows, some glitter ribbon and Halloween paper shred.

This centerpiece was truly a work in progress. I had no plan what I wanted when I started out. It was a little of this and that.

Photo Oct 30, 4 11 16 PM CENTERPIECE

Photo Oct 30, 4 20 38 PM CROW

My table accents are of course a salt and pepper shaker; this time a ghost and black cat, both with pumpkins.

Photo Oct 30, 4 09 41 PM SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS

To add to the table accents, I have four assorted Halloween treat bowls.

I put glass Halloween table scatter in two bowls, paper napkins in another and left one to be filled with candy. 

Photo Oct 30, 4 23 05 PM BOWLS 1

Photo Oct 30, 4 10 39 PM BOWL 2

 The Halloween glass table scatter looks great, especially when the candles are lit.

Photo Oct 30, 8 37 22 PM   GHOST BOWL.jpg

And last but not least, “Frankie”.

Instead of holding flowers, Frankie now holds pretzel rods with plastic witches fingers.

Photo Oct 30, 8 33 17 PM   FRANKIE.jpg

The tablescape is complete and I am now ready for today’s trick or treaters and a piece of candy for myself here and there. I have a weakness for peanut M & M’s and Milky Way bars. (Notice what is in the bowl)?

Photo Oct 30, 8 37 36 PM (1) END CANDY

Have a very Happy and Safe Halloween!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Photo Oct 30, 4 09 06 PM EXTRA WITH NAME

Place SettingPhoto Oct 30, 4 10 21 PM PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Plaid orange and black tablecloth from Homegoods

Black spider placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Orange ceramic dinner plate from Dollar Tree

Black & white “spooky” melamine salad plate from Wegmans

Spider Cupcake holders from Crate and Barrel

Spider candlesticks from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Orange ceramic candy bowl from Homegoods

Halloween treat bowls from Sur La Table

Black pumpkins with black crows from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Pumpkin trio tea light holder from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Black Flatware from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Paper Goods, witches fingers and plastic spiders from Party City

Halloween paper shred and black tapered candles from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Glass Halloween table scatter from Homegoods

Frankie mug from previous floral arrangement

Salt & Pepper shakers from too old to remember

Photo Oct 30, 8 41 47 PM FROSTED PIC

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2015-10-27 10.09.03 - MUMMY

Halloween Recap

(Click on PHOTO to enlarge and hit the back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone, 

Wow, the end of October here already. With so many things going on, I didn’t have time to prepare a new Halloween tablescape and I have received a few emails asking for one. 

I am so sorry, I just ran out of time. So for those of you who sent an email and for all our new members, here is a recap of my last Halloween Tablescape. I hope you enjoy it and it gives you some ideas for your Halloween parties.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


2015-10-27 08.21.16- PEEPS GHOST

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe that October is almost over. My mind is still back at Labor Day.

Is it me or does it seem as if September to December fly by? Maybe it’s because the Halloween candy is out in August and the Christmas decorations are out in September. 

When I was a child, we didn’t see the decorations for the holidays until that particular holiday was upon us and I think we were all much calmer and enjoyed each holiday much better.

The holidays seemed special back then.

I am going to miss October. There are so many things that I love about thimonth that I don’t want to see go away so fast. I love pumpkins and mums on the front steps, apple picking, apple cider, apple cider donuts (my favorite), plus pumpkin & apple pies.

But most of all, I just love decorating for Fall and Halloween.

(Click on photos to enlarge)


(I took this picture at Krupski Farm- Long Island, NY)

What other time of year can you have more candy in the house than you will ever need at one time with no explanations as to why and no guilt ?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Of course we all buy a bag (or two) of our favorite candy just for ourselves and not for the trick or treaters coming to our doors. Admit it, we all do it, I’m not judging. I have a weakness for Milky Way Simply Caramel and peanut M & M’s.

I am not into the scary zombies on my front lawn, skeletons, coffins or bloody tablescapes. No, I like to decorate in a different direction. I have been known to display a few “friendly” ghosts here and there outside among my pumpkins, a witches hat decoration on the door and a few bats hanging around. I don’t want to scare the little ones when they come to the door to trick or treat.

I love to see the costumes on the little ones and even the costumes on the pets. I remember preparing my son’s costumes when he was a child. How excited all the kids were while making that big decision as to what to be dressed up as. All the thought that went into the final decision.

Well, if you think about it, to a young child, this is one of the most important choices they will have to make all year; so you have to have patience while they make this big decision.

 I have to say, as crazy as it was getting the Halloween costumes & the parties ready, I sometimes get melancholy for those days and would love to see another Ninja, Power Ranger, or Harry Potter costume hanging around the house with a plastic pumpkin full of candy that I would have to go through before my son even took a bite of  “anything”.

So, let’s get started on this year’s Halloween tablescape…

(Click on photos to enlarge)

2015-10-27 - INTRO - USE

If I was preparing this tablescape back in the day when my son was a child, it would definitely be a buffet and the tableware would be ALL paper goods and plastic dishes. The centerpiece would have NO candles and would probably just be a large metal spider basket full of cans of Silly String and some small toys – there is just so much candy you can give them. (Is Silly String still even sold today, or have I just shown my age?).

The menu is always the same; Pizza for the kids and for the adults, 3 Bean Turkey Chili with Sour Cream Cornbread.

But this year, I am doing a sit down Halloween table, adults only.

I am starting off with an orange tablecloth with a design of black spiders and black bats on a spider web. 

2015-10-26 09.11.14- HALLOWEEN TABLECLOTH

The napkins are plain and simple. Black napkins with clear Lucite napkin rings.

2015-10-27 09.59.17 - NAPKIN USE

I bought a few plastic spider rings to be added to the napkin ring for a little whimsy and to break up the solid black a little bit. 

2015-10-27 09.59.32- SPIDER RING

I found these great black, orange and white woven placemats in Homegoods that just scream (no pun intended) Halloween and really add to the table. There are two different designs.

One placemat is entirely the orange, black and white pattern. 

2015-10-26 10.59.13- HALLOWEEN PLACEMAT SOLID

The other placemat only has the border in the orange, black and white pattern.

2015-10-26 10.59.24- HALLOWEEN PLACEMAT BORDER

No need for a charger plate with these placemats, because the placemat with the border outlines the dishes perfectly. I am using bright orange ceramic dinner plates and I went with a themed paper plate for the dessert plates. The chili of course will be served in individual ceramic bowls.

2015-10-26 11.01.38- DISHES

Of course for Halloween, the flatware will be black.

2015-10-26 10.02.27 HALLOWEEN FLATWARE

 The glassware for this tablescape are Halloween tumblers with various Halloween designs circling the glass. I found these glasses in Marshall’s many years ago and I use them every year. For an additional added touch, I am using orange and black paper straws.

2015-10-27 12.26.14- GLASSWARE

I am starting off the centerpiece with a few candelabras covered in spider webs. For this adult table, I will light the black tapered candles. I think it’s a nice touch. I wouldn’t recommend tapered candles with children around.

2015-10-27 20.27.1 CANDELABRA

The main focus of the centerpiece is a large metal spider shaped basket complete with a metal spider on the rim (and a fuzzy one thrown in the basket) filled with Halloween shred and what else- CANDY.

2015-10-27 12.25.42 - SPIDER BASKET

Notice the M & M’s and Milky Way bars?  I told you I have a weakness.

2015-10-27 10.01.32 - CANDY BOWL

In addition to the candelabras, I have to have more candles when we lower the lights to eat, so I have added black and orange votive candle holders around the table. I am using pumpkin spice tea light candles and the house smells wonderful.

2015-10-26 10.33.31- CANDLES USE

The table scatter will be none other than candy corn. I think that I am one of the few people who actually EAT candy corn and like it. Of course, I eat each color separately. I don’t know why, a childhood thing.

In addition to the candy corn, a Halloween table just wouldn’t be complete without sugar and honey pumpkin candies and Peeps (my favorite) in the shape of Ghosts.

2015-10-26 11.42.42 - CANDY # 1

My table accents are various shaped Halloween candy dishes. The set includes a bat, cat, pumpkin and ghost. I bought these a few years ago in Sur La Table and this is the first year that I am using them. I packed them so well in my attic Halloween box, I forgot about them. They will soon be filled with candy.

2015-10-26 10.04.22- HALLOWEEN CANDY DISHES

One of my favorite additions every year to my table, is my Frankenstein mug (respectfully known around here as Frankie). He was the base for a bouquet of flowers I received many years ago. Today he is the holder for pretzel sticks. I decided to decorate the pretzels sticks by adding plastic witches fingers. 

2015-10-27 10.05.32- FRANKIE

Another table accent that I usually just use as a decoration on my entrance table by the front door are Halloween salt and pepper shakers. A cute cat and pumpkin and ghost and pumpkin. I have had these so long I don’t even remember where I got them from.

2015-10-26 11.47.46 -HALLOWEEN SALT AND PEPPER

The menu will always stay the same, since it is now a tradition with pizza and chili; but dessert will be Halloween cupcakes in spider cupcake holders. I have added a few sugar googly eyes and sprinkles to each cupcake.

Aren’t these the cutest cupcake holders? I just love them. When I saw them in Crate and Barrel a few years back, I was so happy to find them, you would have thought I won lotto.

2015-10-27 12.24.28 - SPIDER CUPCAKES

I am now ready for all the trick or treaters and of course a piece of candy here and there. (Honestly, I can’t wait until Halloween. I am writing this post and eating peanut M & M’s.) 

I hope you and your family have a very Happy and Safe Halloween!!

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!


2015-10-27 12.38.31- INTRO 2

2015-10-27 10.09.03 - MUMMY

Place Setting

2015-10-27 12.41.50 - PLACE SETTING

Tablescape Details

Tablecloth from Etsy

Napkins from Amazon

Clear napkin rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Dinner plate from Dollar Tree

Dessert plate from Party City

Spider Bowl from Crate and Barrel

Spider Cupcake holders from Crate and Barrel

Black flatware from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Halloween glassware from Marshall’s

Placemats from Homegoods

Candelabras from Terry’s Village

Orange and black votive candle holders from Dollar Tree

Spider webs and candy from Party City

 Halloween shred and cupcake decorations from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Frankie mug from a previous floral arrangement

Orange and black paper straws from Amazon

Halloween salt and pepper shakers- very old, forgot from where

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