Tag Archives: DIY

Trick or Treats

One of the reasons why Halloween is such an enjoyable holiday is because it gives us some opportunities to get creative. Whether it’s turning your place into a haunted house, designing the perfect costume, or creating creepy and terrifying treats for your guests, Halloween gets our brain-goo flowing. Here are a few impressive Halloween food ideas for revolting, yet delicious, treats and meals you can serve to guests or just make it to scare yourself.

What’s cool about these foods is that they are all delicious AND they look absolutely disgusting/terrifying. Whether it’s a murdered meatloaf, some crunchy slithery snakes, or oozing skeletons, these recipes are sure to wreak delicious havoc.

Scary Snake Bites

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Dead Man Meatloaf

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Freaky Hot Dog Fingers

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Pizza Skulls

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Bloody Good Cheesecake

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Slimy Jell-O-Snacks

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Holiday Recipes

Cooking over the holidays is stressful enough. Finding the perfect recipe shouldn’t have to be. We have compiled a few easy recipes to share with you this season. Enjoy these for any occasion!

Roasted Applesauce

For a richer twist on a classic snack or side, try this recipe. Bake apples with butter in a covered pan in the oven for 15-30 minutes or until they soften. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes after turning up the heat. Then, stir up the softened apples and season with salt and sugar. This no-fuss recipe will help save time when there are other things to stress about this holiday season.

Fried Chickpeas with Sage

This delicious snack might just replace holiday cookies! Dry out chickpeas and toss in a mixture of flour, salt and paprika in a large bowl. Fry the chickpeas in a ½ olive oil, ½ canola oil mixture. Once they have stopped popping and have turned golden brown, remove the chickpeas with the skimmer. Next, toss the sage in flour and fry it, once again removing the product with a skimmer. Toss the chickpeas and sage together and they are ready to serve.

Tangy Spiced Brisket

Once these ingredients are in the slow cooker, you can leave to go gift shopping and come back to a delicious, hearty winter meal. First, caramelize onions and sauté halved garlic. Mix in paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, oregano and thyme. Stir together beef stock, ketchup, chili sauce and brown sugar in a large bowl. Once the brisket is in the slow cooker, spread onion and garlic mixture over it and pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for about 10 hours. Once the brisket has cooked, chill it for a few hours. Then, heat it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Apple Cake

This apple cake is the multi-tool of holiday recipes. It can be eaten for breakfast or dessert and it can be frozen and saved for later. First, beat oil and sugar together and add in eggs. Then, sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and stir into the sugar mixture. Add in vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins until combined. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes.

Snowman Cupcakes

Start with cupcakes of any flavor. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if you use a boxed mix. Spread white icing on top and dust with decorating sugar or shredded coconut. Once sufficiently coated, use chocolate and butterscotch chips to make the eyes, mouth and nose!

Sausage Rolls with Caramelized Red Onions

Serve these sausage rolls at your holiday get-together and you’ll have people coming back for more next year. Cheat a little and use store-bought pastry puff to cut down on stress this holiday season. First, caramelize onions in olive oil, adding cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar as you go. Then, mix together the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and fry. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle and roll the filling into a long cylinder in the middle, adding the caramelized onions on top. Brush the pastry with an egg wash and seal. Portion out the roll and chill it for about 20 minutes. Then, bake the roll for 15-20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Lattes

No gumdrop buttons here, just delicious, caffeinated beverages! Pour all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours. Turn it up to warm for another 2 hours and stir again before serving. For a special twist, dip the rims of cups in caramel sauce and graham cracker crumbs. Top with whipped cream and caramel syrup and enjoy!

Eggnog French Toast

Combine a classic drink with a classic breakfast food for a winning combination! Whisk together eggnog, eggs, nutmeg and rum extract. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Dip slices of bread into the mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Toss them on a griddle and cook until golden brown. Top with whipped cream for an extra-sweet treat.

Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels

Tide guests over before the main event with these scrumptious snacks. Combine cream cheese, feta cheese, dried cranberries and green onion. Spread the mixture on tortillas. Roll them up and refrigerate for about an hour. Slice up the wraps to make a festive hors d’oeuvre.

Rosemary Garlic Crusted Roast Beef

This dish will make you look like a professional cook, even though you just use your slow cooker. Rub roast beef with olive oil. Chop up some rosemary and combine with garlic, salt and pepper. Create a crust on the roast beef using this rub. Sear roast on each side in a skillet. Use balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and toss everything in a slow cooker. Cook for 8-9 hours.

6 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is often about family traditions, but if you’re looking for a twist on some classic autumn staples we’ve got you covered. We’ve collected six easy and delicious side dishes, desserts and a recipe for those leftovers to make Thanksgiving as easy as falling asleep after all that turkey.

Green Bean Bundles with Bacon and Brown Sugar

We’re pretty sure this is what people mean when they say “bundle of joy.”

Cook bacon until just brown and let cool. Divide trimmed, blanched green beans into small groups (somewhere around six green beans in each) and wrap them with a half slice of the bacon. Make sure the loose end is on the bottom!

Sprinkle brown sugar over the bundles. Whisk together melted butter, salt and garlic powder and drizzle this on top. Then roast until the bacon is properly cooked. Serve warm.

Check out the full recipe here!

Three Cheese Asparagus Gratin

Keep your asparagus warm on a cold, autumn night with a cheese blanket!

Cook asparagus until tender and place on a baking sheet. Season with salt and garlic pepper. Make sure to keep one cup of the water used to cook the asparagus. Then, melt butter and combine with flour in the same skillet. Pour this leftover asparagus water into the skillet to create a thick sauce.

Stir in all three cheeses after you turn off the heat. Once fully melted, pour the cheesy goodness over the asparagus and top with shredded mozzarella. Garnish how you please and dig in!

Check out the full recipe here!

Cinnamon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash

We’re nuts about this side dish!

Cut a butternut squash into chunks and toss with olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on a baking sheet. Bake for about half an hour, adding pecans in the last 10 minutes. Viola! You have a super easy, delicious dish.

Check out the full recipe here!

Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an apple dipped in caramel pumpkin cheesecake dip may bring a few friends running.

Combine caramels and pumpkin spice coffee creamer in a saucepan and heat until caramels have melted and combined with the creamer. Let it cool. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy and mix in some pure pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice while you continue beating the mixture.

Fold in a container of Cool Whip and cover the bottom of the serving bowl with caramel sauce. Make layers of dip and caramel until you have a ratio you like. Then, drizzle the remaining sauce on top of the layer to create a fun pattern! Serve immediately to prevent separation.

Check out the full recipe here!

Pumpkin Pie Crescents

You already fight over who will get the last crescent. Add pumpkin pie filling and a maple glaze and who knows what will happen!

After starting to preheat the oven to 375 ℉, you’ll want to combine the pumpkin pie mix, egg yolk, and spices. Place about one tbsp. of pumpkin pie mix on each unrolled crescent and roll them over once. Pinch the sides and continue rolling. Then place them on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake until browned; typically 10-12 minutes. After they’ve cooled a bit, glaze them with a maple glaze for a truly fall-friendly taste.

Check out the full recipe here!

Leftover Turkey Frittata

Who wants to make an elaborate meal the day after Thanksgiving? Just throw some of that leftover turkey in a frittata and you can keep the festivities going without the hassle.

Start by setting the oven to broil. Then, whisk together eggs, shredded cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper and set this mixture aside. Heat a pan over medium heat and melt butter inside. Add spinach and let cook for approximately one minute.

Next, add turkey and some garlic until heated. Pour in the eggs and cheese and cook this for another five minutes. Finally, place the pan in the oven and broil it for about 4 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Check out the full recipe here!

Little Ways to Show Your Friends You Appreciate Them

Write it Out!

Give your friends a thank you note, letting them know how much you appreciate all that they do for you. Express your gratitude in a unique way, not just a typical thank you note. Let them know that you are there for them if they need anything, like they were there for you.

Make them something

Take the time to make your friends a nice craft. They will notice that you took time out of your busy life to create something they would like. Do they light up your life? Make them a fun and festive candle! Do you feel all warm and fuzzy around them? How about on of these DIY Flannel Handwarmers! Even if it doesn’t turn out “Pinterest-quality” your friends will still have something tangible to remind them that you care.

Compliment them

Don’t just compliment their outfit or a good hair day. Compliment them on all the things that make them great! Whether you’re friends because of their razor-sharp wit, or their never-ending compassion. Get creative and take some time to make them feel as special as they are to you.

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Donate to your friend’s favorite charity

This one is a double whammy. Not only are you helping a good cause, but you’re showing your friends that you listen and know their favorite charity, or one that you know would mean a lot to them. You don’t have to empty your savings account, even a small donation will make a big impact. In some cases this can be cheaper than a material gift they might not even like. Here’s a website that helps you choose the best charity to which you should donate.

Give them a book you’ve read and inscribe a note

Have you ever read a book you know your friend would love? Chances are you won’t be reading it again, so why not give them the gift of reading! Inscribe the inside cover with a heartfelt note and an explanation of why they would love this literary work. Not only will they have something to do while the turkey is cooking this Thanksgiving break, but you’ll have something more to bond over as you discuss the novel.

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Mixed CD

It’s a classic for a reason. Compile a few songs that make you think of your friends, or that you know your friends will enjoy. Burn them onto a CD and decorate it! Create a track list that explains why each song has been included. Now you’ll have a good soundtrack when the producers finally contact you about the reality show you and your friends should definitely have.

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Mini scrapbook

Compile all the best pictures of your friends and create a mini scrapbook. Write down inside jokes, fun memories, and reasons why you love them. You can use cardstock as the pages and bind it with ribbon, or follow these instructions for one a little more craft-heavy. Go through it together with some hot cocoa on the side for a nostalgia-filled night.

Bring them a warm beverage

If it’s a cold day, warm your friends up with a hot beverage. Do you know their favorite coffee or tea order? Swing by Starbucks or Miami Ice for a delicious drink and you guys can catch up in between sips. This shows you know some of their favorite things and are willing to take the time out of your day to treat them to something nice.

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Cook them food

Take some time to make your friends a delicious meal. It can just be spaghetti and sauce, or something more complicated. Whatever you cook, your friends will know that you put in the effort to do something nice for them. Bonus points because you get to bond while you eat.

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What to Do This ~Friendsgiving~

Whatever your Thanksgiving plans are, you can still celebrate Friendsgiving with your squad at school. Show your pals how much they mean to you by hosting a stellar event with these fun activities (to go along with the food). They’ll gobble it up!

Leaf Crowns

Take a stroll down memory lane, or maybe just through Western campus, and find the biggest leaves you can. Once you get back inside the warmth of your dorm, make some hot cocoa and start crafting! Cut construction paper so it makes the base of the crown and staple the ends together to hold it in place. Then, attach the leaves in whatever pattern you please to create these fun leaf crowns. Wear them while you feast like a king!

Watch Your Favorite Thanksgiving Movie

Television specials are okay too! Gather around the screen and stay warm inside with some of your favorite Thanksgiving-themed programming! Some of the most popular ones include:

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

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  • National Lampoon’s Thanksgiving Family Reunion0add6c49a63979e1b576f4e5138d0f56
  • Paul Blart Mall Cop

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  • Free Birds

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  • Gilmore Girls

Bonus points because the new season is coming out on November 25th!!!

  • Gossip Girl

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  • That 70’s Show

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  • Friends

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  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Throw it back to the Nick at Nite days.

  • Bob’s Burgers

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Scavenger Hunt

Print out pictures of your friends and hide them in places that you frequently visit or where something fun happened. Give clues that will spark up good memories of times you’ve shared and rediscover old memories as you uncover each picture.

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Coloring

Take some time to relax and color as you let your food digest! What better way to celebrate the good old times than coloring up a storm with these free, printable coloring pages.

Ruffled Feathers

Have two people compete to each keep a feather up in the air without touching the ground or the other person’s feather. Make it a tournament and the two to reach the final can break the wishbone!

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Dining Hall Hacks

It’s the end of October and even with all the options at the dining hall, you find yourself going back for that same slice of pizza you got for lunch. If you’re looking for some tips on how to up your dining hall game, we’ve got your back. We found five recipes that will refresh your taste buds and save you from yet another dinner of chicken tenders and mac & cheese. All of the following dining hall hacks utilize food items available at the dining halls here on campus.

Not Your Freezer’s Pizza Bagels

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the bagel bites of your youth, this trick is for you. Grab a bagel and acquire your choice of shredded cheese from the salad bar. Grab some marinara sauce and spread it over your bagel. Top that with the cheese, and throw it in the microwave. After about two minutes, you should be kicking it back to your bagel bite glory days. Remember to clean up after yourself and don’t leave a mess in the microwave! This also works with english muffins.

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(Almost) Portillos Cake Shake

If you’re looking for a sweet treat and missing Chicago’s favorite dog house, grab a cup for this next concoction. Mash up a piece of cake, pie or a cupcake inside. Add your choice of soft serve flavor (or do a twist). Add milk until you’ve reached your desired thickness. Mix it all up with a spoon. Due to the need for ice cream, this recipe can only be created at Harris Dining Hall or Martin Dining Hall.

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Take a Dip!

If you’re looking to stay healthy and try new flavors, try this take on a Thai-style dip for grilled chicken or veggies. After cutting up some healthy and delicious grilled chicken or obtaining some broccoli, grab a few peanut butter packets and empty them onto your plate. Add some soy sauce and Sriracha until you have a thinner consistency for a fun update to this dining hall staple.

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All Veggies, No Eggs … On Your Pasta

If your taste buds are getting a little too accustomed to buttered noodles, try adding broccoli and carrots from the salad bar to your next plate of plain pasta. Then, top with salt, pepper, and olive oil (which can be found at the salad bar). Don’t forget to finish it off with some parmesan cheese for your own, personal pasta primavera.

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Chickey Chickey Parm Parm

For a dining hall take on a classic italian dish, look no further. Put breaded chicken (chicken strips, homestyle, etc.) on a bun. Grab a few slices of cheese, but leave them on the side for now. Get some marinara sauce and add hot sauce until you’ve reached your desired spice level. Put this spicy marinara on top of the chicken and layer the cheese on top of that. Now you’ve got a delicious, handheld chicken parmesan.

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We hope you enjoy these easy dining hall hacks. Let us know what you think, and keep checking back here at The Miami Spread for more hacks as the semester progresses.

 

Wickedly Good Halloween Recipes

So many people stress over finding the perfect halloween costume, but when it comes to halloween snacks, they miss the mark. If this sounds like you, or you’re just ready to try something new this Halloween, try one of these recipes:

Don’t Tell Your Mummy (About This Brie)

Actually, maybe you should tell her because this delicious appetizer is so easy – and an instant hit to boot.

First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. While preheating the oven to 400℉, cut a sheet of pastry puff into narrow strips and wrap them around a wheel of brie like a mummy. Next, brush the puff pastry with an egg and milk mixture and place it on the baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the puff pastry is a deep golden and the brie is warm and gooey.

Place two mini pepperonis into two sliced olives, use these as the eyes, and that’s a wrap! Find the full recipe here. 

Brownie Bat Truffles

Chocolatey delights that will make your taste buds soar.

First, bake a pan of fudgy brownies and allow them to cool while you lick the bowl (don’t worry, we won’t tell). Then, line a pan with parchment paper and grab a large mixing bowl. In the bowl, use your hands to crumble the brownies. Mix in some chocolate frosting and knead until the entire mixture is evenly moistened.

Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to measure out about 1 Tablespoon balls of this mixture. Break an oreo in half and stick one half in each side to create the wings of the bat. Repeat this until you’ve used up all of your brownie/frosting mixture. Place each bat on the baking sheet and freeze them for approximately two hours.

Once the truffles are firm, melt some chocolate, wait about 15 minutes until they come to room temperature, and dip the truffles in. Decorate them as spookily as you please. You can find the whole recipe here… if you dare.

Frozen Boo-Nana Pops

These delicious treats won’t ghost you. 

These under-100-calorie treats will trick your taste buds with how delicious they are. After preparing a baking sheet with wax paper, quarter a banana, stick a popsicle stick in the end of each quarter- and freeze.

After they’ve frozen, melt white chocolate, dip the bananas in, and add milk chocolate chips for eyes. Pop the pops back in the freezer until you’re ready for a fright (or just a yummy snack). The full recipe can be found here.

Dracula’s Dentures

A dessert good enough to sink your teeth into.

After baking some chocolate chip cookies and letting them cool, cut them in half. Frost the bottoms of each cookie half and add six marshmallows along the curved edge of the halves.

Cover with the other cookie halves and put two almond slivers in between two pairs of “teeth” to make fangs. You’ll be getting too many compliments to count with this recipe.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

This may sound cheesy, but making this is a ball.

Combine shredded cheddar cheese, regular cream cheese, onion and chive cream cheese, and paprika in a bowl. Cover this mixture and place it in the refrigerator to chill.

Once the mixture is firm enough, shape it into a pumpkin-like ball. Remove the florets from a stalk of broccoli and shape it to resemble the stem of a pumpkin.

Slice up a few apples to pair with the cheese ball and serve to all the boys and ghouls at your Halloween gathering. 

13 Foodie Approved Halloween Costumes

1. Dunkin Donuts

“Three Pointer! Nothin’ but net” – Aaron Carter

What do you need? – Basketball Jersey, Pool Floatie, Basketball (any size)


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2. Deviled Eggs

Hopefully your friends will get the yolk.

What do you need? – White T-shirt, yellow paper or felt cut into an oval, devil horns

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3. Hawaiian Punch

Talk about a punch line.

What do you need? – Hula skirt or hawaiian shirt, lei, boxing gloves

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4. Cereal Killer

Less H.H. Holmes, more Honeycombs.

What do you need? – Empty cereal boxes, plastic knife, fake blood (optional)

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5. Pig In a Blanket

It’ll hard to be humble like Babe with a costume as great as this one.

What do you need? – Pig nose, pig ears, blanket

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6. Spice Girls

Everyone will Wannabe in your squad.

What do you need? – Red Top Hat, Large paper with McCormick and Schmick spice label printed on it

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7. Taco Belle

People will taco bout this costume all year.

What do you need? – Belle costume or yellow dress, your favorite Taco Bell order

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8. Bag of Eminems

Better than mom’s spaghetti.

What do you need? – Trash bag, a variety of printed out pictures of Eminem

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9. Sushi

With this costume, you’ll be on a roll.

What do you need? – A pillow striped with washi tape, a black strip of cloth

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10. Croquembouche

Oh la la! This costume is à la mode.

What do you need? – Light brown fabric, pillow stuffing, sewing machine

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11. Bag of Jelly Beans

They’re not jumping beans, but people will be jumping for joy when they see you.

What do you need? – Clear plastic bag, balloons, printed out Jelly Belly logo

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12. Nutella

NuTELLa your friends about this fun idea.

What do you need? – Brown Shirt, Print out of Nutella Logo, White hat

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13. Morton Salt Girl

Don’t be salty because you don’t have a costume. Try this.

What do you need? – Yellow dress, Mary Jane shoes, umbrella

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