Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Puppy Chow

Halloween Puppy Chow

          Raise your virtual hand if you ever ate Puppy Chow as a kid! If you didn't and you've never heard of Puppy Chow, let me reassure you that I have not started blogging about dogs LOL! Puppy Chow is a delicious snack that always conjures up memories of elementary school Halloween, Christmas and Valentines Day parties when at least one of my classmates would bring Puppy Chow for snack. I grew up in a 'Cupcake household" so my mom and dad always baked the most delicious cupcakes for us to bring to school for these class parties. However, there is just something about crispy rice cereal, sweet chocolate and powdered sugar that satisfies my sweet tooth every single time I enjoy it :-)

          This past weekend a couple of my friends and I took a trip to a Pumpkin Patch and decorated pumpkins while my friend Juanita, blogger behind The bRUNcher Blog, and I cooked up some Halloween/Autumn Recipes. 

Below is a look at our adventure along with the recipe for my Halloween Puppy Chow!!!!

Picking out the perfect little pumpkin :-)

Thanks to my friend Latasha for hosting our cooking party at her gorgeous home!! She went above and beyond by laying out a great spread of food to compliment our recipes along with providing these cute masks we decorated for our trip to the pumpkin patch!

The Real Working Women of Nashville.......TV show coming soon to BRAVO! LOL!

Yummy Halloween Punch!

Operation "Make Puppy Chow" begins.........

I start with basic Rice Square cereal such as Chex Cereal

Measuring out my brownie mix

A Sampling of all my ingredients

Measuring out the Chocolate chip pieces

After I've mixed everything together (See below for the Ingredient list and instructions), I added the Candy Corns followed by the Reese's Pieces for accent......


Yield: 8 Cups
Total Time: 30 Minutes

8 Cups Rice Cereal Squares (Chex Cereal)
1.5 Cups Chocolate Chip melts
3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
3/4 Cup brownie Mix
2.5 Cup Reese's Pieces
2.5 Cup Candy Corn
2 - 1 Gallon size plastic bags

■ Place Chex Cereal in a large mixing bowl.
■ Pour brownie mix into 1 large gallon bag. Pour Powdered sugar into the other 1 Gallon Bag.
■ Pour Chocolate Chips into a saucepan or pot over medium heat and begin to stir in slowly until all chocolate is completely melted.
■ Pour melted chocolate over Chex mix and stir until all Chex mix is coated with chocolate.
■ Pour 1/2 of the Chocolate Coated Chex into the bag containing the brownie mix and the other 1/2 into the bad containing the Powdered sugar. Seal each bag and shake until the mix is covered with the respective coating.
■ Empty the mixes onto a cooking sheet to cool for approximately 15-20 minutes then place in a bowl, adding Candy Corns and Reese's Pieces throughout for garnish/accent

 And here is the finished product - Halloween Puppy Chow!

 The colors are just gorgeous and SCREAM Halloween!

Arranging the candy corns on my Puppy Chow while Nita, The bRUNcher is making her Pumpkin Soup in the background

 I'm very picky about my presentation LOL!

 All smiles because I got it the way I want it :-) :-)

While Juanita and I were cooking, the rest of the ladies were carving these fun Pumpkins! 

Juanita actually made the Pumpkin Soup and seeds from these very Pumpkins! Look at those gorgeous fall colors!

 Nita preparing the fresh pumpkin seeds for roasting.....

Nita, The bRUNcher, with her completed dish

Presenting our Autumn-Inspired Recipes :-)

I decided to paint my Pumpkin instead of carving it :-) Shout out to my Mississippi State University Bulldogs...Go DAWGS!!!!

And yes, our host for the evening, LaTasha, is an Alabama "Roll Tide" Alumni LOL!

Do you have memories of eating Puppy Chow or visiting Pumpkin patches as a kid? If so, leave a comment....I'd love to hear about it!

--Dr. April

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Celebrate Nashville Festival 2013

Celebrate Nashville Festival

Nashville, TN is a growing melting pot of cultures from all over the world and once a year these cultures get an opportunity to share their native food, dress, music and entertainment at the Celebrate Nashville Festival held at Centennial Park. Of course you know I had my eye on all the great ethnic food, but took in many of the other sights and sounds as well!

I took a lot of pictures at this festival so I will let this be a pictorial review of what I experienced more than a commentary on each and every thing I saw and ate....Enjoy!

BB's Gourmet Pretzels

Great Live music was flowing all day! Brandon Bailey is an awesomely creative Harmonica player! Check out his website HERE!

Kernels Gourmet Popcorn

The Nashville Mix is Fab!!

Proceeds from the sale of this coffee go to support the programs of Conexion Americas and the Casa Azafran Community Center in Nashville

Cupcake Loca had a cupcake decorating station as well as great cake pops!

Fattoush - This is one of my Favorite Greek & Mediterranean Restaurants in Nashville!

Making my Shawarma Pita.......

And the final product was delicious!!!

Very nice family who owns and runs Fattoush :-) 

Spin Wheels Cotton Candy

Pretty colors!


Nashville Caribbean Connection

I love myself some Caribbean Rice & Beans

Jerk Chicken

Indo-Chinese Fusion

What a variety?!?

Que Delicias - authentic Colombian, Caribbean and International Cuisine


Love this flavor of Caribbean Soda

Gotta Love those Fried Plantains!

Goha Ethiopian Café & Restaurant

They told me that this meat dish was only a "little spicy", but let me tell you that it was " A lot Spicy" and my mouth was on fire! This is not for the faint at heart :-(

Taste of Serbia

Delicious Tiramisu


Some local Nashville Food Trucks like Big Staxx were on hand to serve up so local flavor as well!

Gateway to Africa

Fried plantains are very common in African and Caribbean diets and I LOVE them!


The line was extra long here because it was quite toasty outside this day....somebody bring me a fan!

Bombay Place - Indian Cuisine

Flava Catering - African & Caribbean Cuisine

Nelly's Handmade Sweets

Alfajores  - I enjoyed these tiny desserts with a subtle sweetness

Beef Empanada

Egyptian Food

Falafel - Falafel is a deep fried ball or patty made of chickpeas, fava beans or both

I needed a couple of these Guava juices to keep me hydrated on this warm and toasty day

Adding some sauce to my Falafel Pita........


El Arepazo

Chez Lama Haitian Cuisine

This meal was delicious! The owner/chef told me to stay away from the slaw if I can't stand "heat". If you are a regular follower of my blog you know that I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy foods so I took his advice and ate all around it :-)

Unique Funnel Cake House

Patagonia Asados Argentinian BBQ

Check out this stone oven!

Columbian Cuisine

The Celebrate Nashville Festival occurs annually and usually on a Saturday in October. Be on the lookout for it in 2014!

--Dr. April