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Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween night
What are you to do?
The kids are in a fright
Over your scary spaghetti squash stew

All they want is candy
Their eyes are set on treats
but you insist on veggies
before they hit the streets

I’ll tell you what I suggest
and geez you might be sorry
Halloween is the theme (you probably rightly guessed)
and these meals are downright gory…

Halloween Recipes

STUFFED JACK-O-LANTERN BELL PEPPERS

Ingredients:

  •  6 bell peppers, any color (pick orange for Halloween!)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.
  2. Lightly mix together the ground beef, egg, bread cubes, onion, tomato, garlic, chili sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Wash the peppers, and cut jack-o’-lantern faces into the peppers with a sharp paring knife, making triangle eyes and noses, and pointy-teeth smiles. Slice off the tops of the peppers, and scoop out the seeds and cores. Stuff the peppers lightly with the beef stuffing, and place them into the prepared baking dish so they lean against each other.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the peppers are tender and the stuffing is cooked through and juicy, about 1 hour.

GHOST OF MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices Bread
  • 4 slices Swiss Cheese
  • 2 slices Oven Roasted Breast of Turkey
  • 2 slices Virginia Brand Baked Ham
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions:

  1. Lay bread slices on work surface. On 2 bread slices, place 1 slice cheese, 1 slice turkey, 1 slice ham, and 1 more slice of cheese; top each with remaining bread slice.
  2. Using a 5-by-4-inch ghost-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a ghost-shaped sandwich; repeat with remaining ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, and salt.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Dip each sandwich in egg mixture to coat well on both sides, and place in skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

SWAMP CREATURES

Ingredients:

  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Sautéed spinach
  • Olive slices

Directions:

  1. Mix up a batch of macaroni and cheese, then spoon it into greased muffin cups and bake until firm, about 25 minutes.
  2. Let the creatures rest for about 10 minutes, then gently remove them from the tins. Place them upside down on a swamp of sautéed spinach and add olive slice eyes.

What do you feed your little trick-or-treaters before they hit the streets on Halloween night?

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It’s the weekend before Halloween. That means that ghosts and goblins will be alive and well across the city attending eerie events and creepy costume parties galore. Did you get invited to Dave’s Devil Dance? Me neither, but I know of a few other places you can go to scare the wits out of yourself. Or have a laugh with your family Frankensteins.

Halloween Hyjinxs In Your Neighbourhood This Weekend

Halloween in the Village:

Wortley Village; October 26 from 4-7 pm. Parade at 7 pm.

The 3rd Annual Halloween in the Village will be held on Saturday, October 26th, 2013. There will be food, drinks, BBQ, Sweet Treats and more! Don’t miss the crafts and games for the kids. And of course join the parade! Make sure to dress up in your most creative costumes for this family fun event. There will be prizes for best costume, group and non-motorized float.

Haunted Mansion:

Grosvenor Lodge (1017 Western Rd); October 25-27 from 7-9 pm. Cost $5 per person

Are you up for an exorcism? Do you feel brave enough to walk with the undead at one of London, Ontario’s oldest homes? The folks from Heritage London Foundation are betting that you’ll be scared witless when you encounter the ghosts, ghouls and witches coven that have taken over Grosvenor Lodge this Halloween. So what do you think? Will you cast your money in the devil’s hat to prove your bravery, or run screaming from the Haunted Mansion this fall?

Beware Count Dracula’s Farm at Fanshawe Pioneer Village this fall

Haunted Village Hayrides:

Fanshawe Pioneer Village (1424 Clarke Rd); October 24-27, 29, 30. Performances at 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm on Thursday and Sunday, 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm, 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. Cost $11 per person. Not recommended for children under 8 years.

We’ve all heard of Count Dracula. You may know that he resided in Transylvania, where he terrorized the locals mercilessly. Well, it would seem that the Old Country is too Oldschool for Drac, so he’s headed to Middlesex county to lie low and take on the personae of a simple farmer. But his bloodthirsty ways haven’t been left behind and the poor peasants around these parts are in danger! Jump aboard the Haunted Village Hayride this Fall at Pioneer Village for Jason Rip’s latest spooky play. If you DARE!

Storybook Gardens Storyspook Village:

Storybook Gardens (1958 Storybook Lane); October 24, 27-30 from 6-8 pm. Cost $12 per child (children under 2 free)

Bring your flashlight and a costume for spooky fun for the younger set. Enter through the haunted castle. Trick or treat around Storyspook Village and spy 20 costumed storybook characters. Dance at the Fairy Scary Dance Party. Listen to tales of the deep dark ocean at the Pirate’s creepy ship. Take a ride on the spotlight train. Discover other spooky nooks and corners around the grounds of Storyspook Village. Don’t forget your treat bags!

Storybook Gardens Trick or Treat Spooktacular

The Storyspook Village isn’t the only fun to be had at Storybook Gardens this Halloween. Head to Storybook Gardens on October 25-26 between 6-8:30 pm for even more Spooktacular fun. There will be a camp fire, roasting of ghost droppings over the fire, scary story time, spooky crafts, a puppet show and more. You must pre-register for the event through Spectrum. Cost is $13, children under 2 free.

Who needs Dave anyway, when there is this much spooky fun to be had in London, Ontario this weekend?!

One more sleep and it will be upon us – Halloween! The day that children everywhere look forward to all year. There will be ghosts, goblins, Monster High Girls and Iron Mans wandering the streets, shouting “Trick or Treat” at the top of their lungs tomorrow. Sadly, with Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc across much of the Eastern US and Canada, it sounds like it will be a rather wet adventure for those that manage to get out though. I know lots of fingers are crossed that there will be a break in the rain at dusk tomorrow, so that the kiddies can get their trick or treating fixes – my kids included.

If you have little die-hard devils willing to risk the rains, you need to make sure that they stay safe when they go out tomorrow. Here are a few tips for your trick-or-treaters;

It's that time of year once again, Halloween u...

TIPS FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS

  • Wear bright colours or reflectors on your costume so that vehicles can see you in the dark
  • Instead of sporting a mask, apply makeup to maximize your child’s vision
  • Never trick-or-treat alone. Always go with a parent, siblings or group of friends
  • Dress for the weather. That means rubber/winter boots, sweaters and/or snow suits under costumes. Mitts will keep those fingers warm enough to keep reaching for a few more treats too!
  • As you wander the streets, use the sidewalk or walk facing traffic, so that you can see any vehicles coming in your direction
  • Always walk up one side of the street, before heading to the other side. Running back and forth across the street puts you at higher risk for accidents to happen
  • Only go to houses that have an outside light illuminated
  • Never go inside someone’s home or vehicle
  • Take an extra bag along to dump heavy pumpkins of their loot and ensure that trick-or-treating fun lasts as long as your kids can handle it
  • When you get home, have an adult check candy before diving in to make sure no packages have been tampered with
  • Have fun!

You also want to make sure that your trick-or-treaters have a good meal before they head out the door for the evening. Since you will be busy getting costumes ready earlier, Halloween is the perfect night for a quick and easy crock pot meal. This Chicken Bake from cdKitchen is the perfect solution to get some warm, healthy food into everyone before they head out into the evening to collect a pile of (probably not so healthy) treats. Enjoy!

CHICKEN & GREEN BEAN BAKE

Ingredients:

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 can (10.75 ounce size) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce size) green beans, drained
  • 1 can (2.8 ounce size) French fried onions

Directions:

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cook until done, approximately two to three hours on high. Drain off any liquid. Return chicken to pot.

Add mushroom soup, milk and green beans. Cover mixture with onions. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer.

 Now get out there and get your scare on!

We have been leading up to it all month. Ghosts and goblins are now perched on front lawns all over the city. Spiderwebs decorate trees and shrubs around every corner. Crooked tombstones mark where fiends have fallen, but beware the zombies that are trying to escape their earthly bonds…

This weekend the Halloween frenzy will be at its height around town. While young trick-or-treaters will still have a few days to wait for the official All Hallow’s Eve on October 31st, the weekend is shaping up to be full of frights all over the place. These are but a few of the scary settings you can check out;

HORRIFIC HALLOWEEN HAUNTS

For the second year in a row, Wortley Village will come alive after dark with the Halloween in the Village 2012. After the scarily successful first Halloween Parade, the Graceful Dead volunteers have decided to do it again, bigger and eviler than last year’s festivities. Get your ghastly get-up on and head down to the Normal School at the corner of Wortley and Elmwood Ave on Saturday, October 27, 2012 for the Carnival at 4 pm. There will be crafts, games, music and food vendors to fill up the tummies of your fiendish family. The parade starts at 6:30 pm at the corner of Wortley and Duchess, but judging for best costumes will be held at 5:30 pm, so make sure you strut your sinister selves on by the judges (one of whom is the notable Natalie Lovie of Fresh FM). Wondering what you will be judged on? Here are the categories;

Scariest Float
Most Humorous float
Best Float
Best Child’s costume
Most Creative costume
Most Spookiest costume
Best Group Costume
Best Puppet costume
Best Pet Costume
Best Teen Costume

The evening is sure to be a freaky and fun affair, well worth clanging your chains at. You will be in the company of other such notables like the Forest City Derby Girls (women’s roller derby team), the London Rogues (Star Wars Fan Club) and YOU!

Other Halloween Happenings around London;

  • Haunted Mansion Tour at Grosvenor Lodge: 1017 Western Rd, London, ON, October 27-29, 2012 from 7-9 pm, cost $5 per person
  • Trick, Treats  & Trumpets – Orchestra London Cushion Concerts: October 27, 2012 at 10 am & 11:30 am (30 minute concerts) at the London Public Library, Byron Branch (1295 Commissioners Rd W) featuring Shawn Spicer and his trumpet. Wear your costume. Appropriate for children 6 and under. Cost is $8 per person.
  • A Haunting We Will Go at Fanshawe Pioneer Village: 1424 Clark Rd, London, ON, October 27, 2012 from 12-4:30 pm, cost $5 per person
  • Halloween in SummersideSummerside Optimist Club: 3155 Meadowgate Blvd, London, ON, October 27, 2012 starting at 5 pm, children’s activities & parade, cost is Free
  • Hilton Halloween Street Party at Hilton Place: Circle intersection of Hilton & Whitney Ave, London, ON, October 27, 2012 from 1-3 pm
  • Fright Night at the Westminster Optimist Centre: 650 Osgoode Dr, London, ON, October 30, 2012 from 6-8 pm, Haunted House & Gross-Out zone,  cost $2 per person
Jack-o-lantern

Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BOO!!!!

Halloween is mere days away. You can feel it in the crisp night air. You can see it in the cobwebs and gravestones that litter neighbourhood streets. There are pumpkins on doorsteps from far and wide. Eerie ghosts flit on the damp breeze from lonely trees. Even ghastly goblins poke out from behind grassy knolls down the street.

And my children cannot wait!

If you are looking for some spooktacular fun in the Frightful Forest City this weekend, you are in luck! Halloween festivities can be found in every creepy nook and cranny around. Here are just a few of the horrifying event over the next few days in and around London, Ontario;

 

FOR FRIGHTFUL FAMILY FUN:

LONDON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: Night at the Boo-seum (Oct 27th) – 5:00pm-8:00pm Explore our haunted caves, trick-or-treat in our Street Where You Live, and make gooey slime. There will be lots of hands on crafts, activities and special treats! Don’t forget to wear your costume, parents too! *The Children’s Museum will close at 4pm today

FANSHAWE PIONEER VILLAGE: A Haunting We Will Go! – On Saturday, October 29th come out and celebrate a historic Halloween! Trick or treat in the Village, bob for apples, hear a ghost story and participate in many other ghoulish activities.

Fanshawe Pioneer Village will be open from 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WORTLEY VILLAGE: Halloween Parade and Fair in Wortley Village (Oct 29th) – Join in the revelry of what is surely the most imaginative and magical time of year when we honour the Cycle of Life by embracing the Darkness which surrounds it. Come celebrate our grassroots, community driven, spine tingling march down the heart of Wortley Village in beautiful London, Ontario. Astound and amaze your neighbours with your wildly creative non-motorized Halloween floats, outlandish costumes or fiendishly clever tricks or treats. All are welcome. This is a family friendly event. Think spooky, not gruesome! If you love Halloween and want everyone to know it…this is your chance. Join us!! You won’t it regret it. Sponsored by: Old South Community Organization (OSCO)

 

AWFUL ADULT ANTICS:

FANSHAWE PIONEER VILLAGE: Haunted Village Hayrides (Oct 27-29th) – The Cultured Criminal: A Play by Robyn Israel

How did a dashing British aristocrat get charged with the murder of a young Englishman in Oxford County, Ontario? Join us as we revisit the 1890 Birchall-Benwell Affair, one of the most sensational cases in Canadian history. From a gruesome discovery in Blenheim Swamp to the trial in Woodstock’s Old Town Hall, this year’s Haunted Hayride promises a thrilling ride! (Not recommended for youth under 10)

SPRINGBANK PARK: Halloween Haunting 10K & 5K Run & 3K Fun Run/Walk (Oct 30th) – The 11th Annual London X-Ray Associates Halloween Haunting 10K & 5K Run & 3K Fun Run/Walk on Sunday, October 30th, 2011. All pledges from this event will go to The London Track 3 Ski School.

DOWNTOWN LONDON: Lost Soul Stroll (Oct 25-29th) – Join us for the 7th annual Lost Soul Stroll, London’s only haunted ghost walk. True tales of murders, disasters and mystery are dramatically conveyed by ghostly guides and a host of creepy characters from London’s past. Bring your friends — you’re going to need someone to cling on to.

And this year another annual celebration on October 30 & 31st The Kennedy’s Pumpkins 2011 – See over 606 lit pumpkins! Come out and view exciting carvings by friends and neighbours in the Northridge Community. Many carvings are done by students from local schools. Every pumpkin will be candle lit. Please bring your non-perishable food items for the London Food Bank. Cash donations accepted for the food bank.

 

But if you want a real horror show, check out the latest happenings at our FOLLOW THE FLIP site. BOO! Scary, isn’t it! From a mountain of junk disposed at TryRecycling (I think I gave them all heart attacks with the load of stuff I dropped off!),

 

 

 

 

to the eerie working of electricity back at Charlotte St. Well, that isn’t THAT scary, but it certainly was before the boys got wiring!

 

Wishing you a very safe and scary Halloween weekend! If you are looking for me, I will be haunting the neighbourhood this weekend!

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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