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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



  •  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


  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.



  • 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)


  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.



  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Sautéed spinach
  • Olive slices


  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?


One week til Christmas
And I’m going crazy.
There’s shopping and wrapping
And I completely forgot a present for Aunt Daisy.

I’ve sent Christmas greetings
To all and sundry,
But was just reminded that the babysitter
still needs her bonus before Monday

So it’s back to the mall
To fight for a da#@ parking place
Just to find that the last gift card
Was sold to the previous guy who came through all-crazed.

Argh! Is this a time of holiday cheer?
More like orchestrated chaos,
Softened by one too many rum and eggnogs,
Or maybe that last Christmas beer.

Well, the tree is still sparkling
Despite the near-disaster when it hit the floor.
Can I just tell you, there won’t be any catnip
In the cat’s stocking anymore…

But I still have my health,
Despite a brush with the Norwalk virus.
That’s the last time I get coerced to go carolling
At a nursing home full of miasmas

Now my children are home
Making plans for the big day
Did I hear them just remark
“Shall we open stockings first or the new Wii Play?”

Well, peekers or not , I love them
And my wife is pretty special too
Plus, my in-laws are on the way (already!)
So I better refresh my eggnog, while I’m  making this fish stew.

Without time left for baking
I’m now off to the grocery store
So dinner is in the crockpot
And you are welcome to the recipe to save time for your own chores.

Merry Christmas, one and all!
May the last week before the holidays
Find you healthy, (probably not so) wealthy, but
Full of good cheer in your decked halls.



  • 2 small potatoes (quartered and thinly sliced)
  • 1 large carrot (quartered and sliced)
  • 1/4 head cabbage (cut to bite size)
  • 1/2 large onion (coarsely diced)
  • 2 large fish fillets (cut to bite size)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered coriander
  • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes (with sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock or 2 cups bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


Place potatoes on the bottom of crock pot. Add carrot, cabbage, onion, fish, garlic, basil, thyme, cayenne, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock.

Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. One-half hour prior to serving stir in corn starch until reach desired consistency.

Serve over rice and garnish with fresh parsley.


There’s twelve days till Christmas
and what should you do?
You’ve decorated the lawn,
plus the roof too.

If you haven’t trimmed the tree
you’re running out of time.
So grab a garland & the tinsel
Here’s the angel – up you climb!

Mama’s in her apron
baking cookies with rosy cheeks
While Papa’s fixing the railing
that he’s been promising to do for weeks

He better finish fast
as the in-laws are on the way
with lots of toys for Junior
and disparaging looks at granddad’s DIY parquet.

It’s time to polish the silver.
Don’t forget the fireplace hearth
As the bigger guest will notice
and tick naughty against your worth

So excuse me as I retire
to finish my Christmas wrapping
Who took the last roll of paper?
And what’s in the present that’s dripping?

Well, it looks like I’m back to the store
to pick up a few things forgotten
Good thing that I checked my list twice
As Christmas Eve would be too late, I reckon.

Before I drive out of sight
I leave you with this reminder
Happy Holidays is alright
but its always better over mulled apple cider.*

Ho, ho, ho!

*Poem written by Katherine Krige

Lest We Forget…

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. On November 11th, 1918, the Germans signed the Armistice agreement, which officially ended World War I.  At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, in the 11th month, peace was finally won, but at a heavy loss. Many lives were lost and over the years, many more have died in the continued fight for freedom. Valiant Canadian men and women have stood up to protect what we define as right and good, and for that we give thanks. While the number of veterans from the great wars is dwindling, there are still many more who serve this great country that I call home and we should all be grateful for the sacrifices that they make.

That is why tomorrow I shall make sure that my poppy is placed over my heart, as I observe a moment of silence and remember. I shall add my voice, as “O Canada” is sung and pause to reflect during “The Last Post”. It is the least that I can do to show respect for the lives lost and the privileges that I am blessed with today. Don’t just read about it though. Stand up and offer your thanks as well, as we remember together.



You too can show your respect this Remembrance Day. In London, Ontario a Remembrance Day service will be held at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park. There will be a Parade of Veterans that will march from the Delta Armouries to the Cenotaph at 10:35am, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony. The service will begin  sharply at 10:57am. If you go, remember to wear your poppy and perhaps see if you can find a veteran to thank. It is not an easy task that our soldiers undertake and they deserve our respect for all that they do. One local man’s story can be read here, but there are so many others whose stories are now lost.  That is why the Royal Canadian Legion still holds its annual Poppy Campaign. And if I have to buy a poppy every day during their campaign, it is still a drop in the bucket compared to what our veterans  have given to us.

In closing, I want to share “The Last Post”, written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian soldier, on the front lines in the Battle for Ypres, Belgium on May 3rd, 1915;


The Last Post

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

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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