Halloween
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Whether you like it not, the end of the month always brings about excitement for children and adults alike, and not just because it is full of treats! This year Halloween has descended on us like the plague and before we jump straight in on the festivities… here is a quick update; of inspiration and ideas for 2016.

Fancy dress up

As well as your typical furry animals and zombie bride that remain a classic Halloween dress up, popular costumes this year may include…

Stranger things

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Pokemon GO

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There is no doubt you may see the odd Pokemon crawling about this Halloween; take your pick from the original 151! Apparently Pokemon mouths a.k.a Pokemouths are also a true thing… where you paint an entire Pokemon around your mouth!

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And even pokeballs get their moment of fame:

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Snapchat filters

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The rise of snapchat filters in 2016 has been enormous and now they happen to be universally popular for all ages…

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Drink up

Pumpkin flavours and red and orange coloured liquids are always a go-to when treating your guests to spooky drink. Here we have:

 

Blood orange margaritas 

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This flavorful citrus fruit adds a dramatic ruby red color to recipes both sweet and savoury.

INGREDIENTS

  • kosher salt
  • Crushed ice
  • ½ c. fresh blood orange juice
  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
  • Blood orange wedges (optional)
  1. Moisten rim of 2 margarita glasses and dip in kosher salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Add orange juice, tequila, and triple sec. Shake well and strain into glasses. Garnish with orange wedges, if desired.

Bloody Black Currant Punch 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1¼ c. brandy
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 4 c. black currant nectar
  • 1½ c. cold seltzer
  1. Stir brandy and sugar in a large bowl. Add nectar; stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Punch can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days. Add seltzer just before serving.

Dark and Stormies 

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INGREDIENTS

ICE CUBES:
  • 8 c. ginger beer
DRINK:
  • 8 c. ginger beer
  • 4 c. dark rum
  • ½ c. fresh lime juice
  • Thinly sliced lime
  1. To make ginger beer ice cubes: Pour 8 cups ginger beer into 4 ice cube trays and freeze.
  2. Stir ginger beer, rum and lime juice in a pitcher. Serve in tall cocktail glasses with 3 or 4 ice cubes each; garnish with lime. Try Barritt’s Ginger Beer, available at sodapopstop.com, and Gosling’s rum.

Trick or Treat?

Who knew how much you could do to a plain old apple!

“Poison” Candy Apples

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Ingredients

  • 12 baby Granny Smith apples
  • 12 wooden candy apple sticks or dowels
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • ½ c. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. black gel paste food coloring
  1. Wash and dry apples thoroughly. Place on a baking sheet and poke firmly with dowels. Line a second baking sheet with buttered parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Place a candy thermometer in a medium saucepan and add sugar, 3/4 cups water, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Let the temperature rise without stirring until it reaches the hard-crack mark at 310 degrees F. Remove pan from heat. Carefully remove thermometer, and add food coloring.
  3. Swirl pan to mix in the color completely. Swipe and twirl the apple through the candy, shake off excess, and place on buttered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples.

Caramel Apples 

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Ingredients

  • 12 crisp apples
  • 1⅓ c. dark corn syrup
  • 1⅓ c. granulated sugar
  • 1⅓ c. light brown sugar
  • 1⅓ c. heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Line a baking pan with a generously oiled sheet of parchment paper. Push a candy apple stick into the core of each apple.
  2. Combine the syrup, sugars, heavy cream, and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until the mixture reaches 270 degrees F – about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla. Let cool for 6 to 8 minutes, until caramel thickens to a toffeelike consistency.
  3. Dip and gently swirl the apples into the caramel and place on the prepared baking sheet. Let cool completely.

Ghostly Coconut Covered Apples 

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Ingredients

  • 6 Fuji Apples
  • 10 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 4 c. shredded coconut
  1. Remove stems and skewer apples (see “Tricks for Sticks,” below).
  2. In a double boiler over low heat, melt white chocolate chips, stirring continuously.
  3. Dip an apple into the chocolate. Immediately dip the apple into a bowl of shredded coconut, rotating to coat evenly.
  4. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for all apples and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

London Pop up screenings

You will not be stuck with what to do in London on Halloween weekend!

Farmopolis 

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Watch the Little Shop of Horrors – a horror musical about a flesh eating plant than amid the flora and fauna of Farmopolis ~ October 28th, £15, North Greenwich

‘Nosferatu’ at the Royal Albert Hall

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The birthplace of horror cinema. This screening includes haunting live piano . ~ October 31st £16.50

 

 

Teen Horror Pyjama Party 

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Six great movies, 11 hours. A room full of strangers in their jim jams.

~ October 29th, £20 The Prince Charles

More information here

The Cult of John Carpenter at the BFI

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From ‘Halloween’ to ‘The Thing’, the king of indie horror gets his own season at the BFI Southbank. For more information please see here

Autumn Sweet Potato and
Coconut Oil Recipes

Today marks the 1st October, one of our favourite months. Not only do we get all the excitement of Halloween, we get all those beautiful Autumn colours and foods too! Namely, autumn/winter vegetables! Amongst our favourites of these seasonal autumnal vegetables, is the sweet potato; an extremely bright, delicious and versatile veg, packed with vitamins and minerals.

The sweet potato can be boiled, baked, roasted and fried, just like a normal potato, and tastes particularly good when cooked in Coconut Oil. The health benefits of Coconut Oil are plenty, and it’s a much healthier alternative to most other cooking oils. See: The Lowdown on Coconut Oil to find out more. 

To celebrate the beginning of Autumn, here’s some of our favourite Sweet Potato and Coconut Oil recipes to keep you healthy and warm this October…

Wholefoods Market Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

Method: 

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with lime zest.

 

Lobster & Swan’s Vegan Sweet Potato, Carrot and Ginger Soup

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Ingredients:
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 red onions, diced
2 gloves garlic, crushed
1 green chilli, diced
1″ fresh ginger, grated
1 large sweet potato, chopped
5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1Tbsp vegan vegetable and gluten free stock
Salt and pepper
A fresh boiled kettle of water
Optional basil leaf for decoration

Method:
Set a large pan over a low heat add the coconut oil, once melted add onions, garlic and chilli and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened.
Add the potato and carrots and grated ginger to the pan, stir for a minute or so then pop in the stock and stir for a further minute. Pour over a kettle full of boiled water (roughly about 1.6L) and season with a little salt and pepper, I never go over board with the seasoning and let who ever is eating the soup add more to their preference.Turn up the heat and bring the soup to the boil, once it’s bubbling lower the heat back down and simmer for 40 minutes.
Check the veg is soft then take soup off the heat and let it cool for 30 minutes or so before blending.
Enjoy with some crusty bread or some buttered rice cakes.