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Archive for October, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Bloody Brain Shooters

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

When it comes to Halloween night, entertaining is a “no brainer”: It’s time to mix up a chilling beverage to go with the candy, caramel apples and spooky snacks. Satisfy your lust for blood with these Bloody Brain Shooters, an appropriately creepy, grenadine-laced concoction that’s enough to lure in brain-eating zombies.

For this bloody-good Halloween shooter, mix chilled strawberry vodka with lime juice and top with the bloody “brains,” a mixture of Bailey’s and dripping red grenadine. The results are positively spine-tingling.

This powerful potion is sure to liven up your Halloween night (but those zombies will stay positively undead).

Happy Halloween, folks!

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Fall Fest: Caramel Apples for Halloween

Happy Halloween! You might be full of mini candy bars already. But since these are mainly made of crispy fruit, there’s always room for candy-coated apples. The decadent apples (pictured above) from Zoe Francois are dipped in easy-to-make caramel that’s rich, creamy, gooey and not over-the-top sweet. For a bit of contrast to the caramel, you can dip the bottoms in salted peanuts.

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Happy Halloween!

Get creepy in the kitchen.

Hump Day Snack: Day of the Dead Cookies

It’s the day before Halloween and children everywhere are gearing up for a full-day sugar spree and plenty of costumed chaos. But let’s not forget the other celebratory holiday that follows directly on the heels of Halloween – El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Beginning at midnight on October 31st and lasting through November 2nd, this Mexican holiday commemorates the lives of the deceased with a gathering of friends and family in graveyards. Its origins are not associated with the eerie backstory of Halloween, but the festive sugar skulls, atole and Pan de Muertos that are served on the holiday do fit right in during the spooky season. These sugar skull-inspired brownie cookies are a simple way to celebrate the two holidays in one fell swoop, and decorating them at a Halloween party is a sweet alternative to pumpkin carving if you’re trying to avoid the combination of knives and large groups of intoxicated people. Colored with extra dark cocoa powder, these vegan treats are spiced with cayenne and cinnamon as an homage to Mexican flavors. Bake a big batch, mix as many shades of icing as you can muster and let your friends decorate until dawn.

Read on for Devour’s previous coverage of El Dia de los Muertos and have an epic double holiday this week:

This New Wristband Actually Tracks What You Eat

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It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of wearable technology merely conjured up an image of a regular old wristwatch. Times have changed, however. Smart watches, smart glasses and, uh, smart other things are now all the rage. Here’s a smart wristband that can actually tell what you are eating as you eat it. Technology!

It’s called the AIRO and it works by analyzing minute spikes in your heart rate along with sensing the amount of light that passes through your blood. It’s packed with infrared sensors. Different types of calories react to the sensors in unique ways. The result? It can shame you when you’ve just downed an entire order of disco fries.

In addition to all of this food tracking, the AIRO also keeps an eye on your sleep, physical activity and stress level. All of this tech sound too good to be true? It is, for now. The unit is not expected to be on store shelves until fall of 2014.

3 Hidden Food Gems in Los Angeles

On Log On & Eat with Eden Grinshpan, Eden travels the country to meet the most outrageous and original food bloggers and social media stars who invite her to devour their favorite dishes. We connected with them to pick their brains and score some exclusive advice and tips.

SusieCakes will become your new favorite spot the second you take that first bite. Susan Sarich is making everything from scratch, inspired by both her grandmothers’ recipes. These cakes, cookies and cupcakes are remarkable — we will go so far as to say the best cupcakes in town. Their dedication to making everything from scratch using the finest ingredients is appreciated in every bite. You know the old saying, “a cupcake a day…”? Okay, there’s no such saying, but we just want a cupcake from SusieCakes EVERY DAY.

Honey’s Kettle-Fried Chicken is serving up some of the best fried chicken in town. They’re frying it up in a kettle! What the hell does that mean, you ask? Well, that’s what we said. It’s basically an old-school technique that allows them to fry the chicken at crazy high temperatures to ensure a beautifully crisp outside with a moist nongreasy inside. Oh, and the biscuits are NOT to be missed. In fact, pick up a few extra for home — trust us.

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Dinner Rush! Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese with Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup

I remember being a kid and revering Halloween like it was the holiest possible day of the year. Sure the pumpkins and hay bales and fallen leaves were charming, but let’s get to it and bring on the candy, yo! Nothing says fall to a fourth-grader like the hazy sugar-coma afterglow of a well-guarded trick-or-treat haul (there’s just no WAY anyone will find this under my bed).

I also remember the 90 minutes or so before trick-or-treating commenced: complete pandemonium. Mom’s just getting home from work. Costumes need last-minute tailoring. Those darling but equally annoying toddlers dressed as insects or vegetables are getting the jump on the crowd with a 4:57pm door knock, and we know we’re supposed to have dinner but are just too freakin’ excited to get on with the candy hauling. Enter the old soup-and-sandwich standby. It’s simple, satisfying and lets everyone in the house just get on with what’s really important about October 31st: knocking on strangers’ doors and demanding free sugar.

Of course, growing up in Northern New York, it was mostly for naught anyway. I can count on two fingers the number of Halloween evenings that weren’t blanketed with snow. The impact and mystique of being a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger (the red one, duh) is somehow lost underneath a winter jacket so thick that you can’t put your arms down.

Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese with Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup

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Healthiest Halloween Treats

Not to spook you, but Halloween can be a diet and health disaster if you don’t keep your wits about you. The hallmark of the holiday is artificial dye- and sweetner-filled candy, and a lot of it. If you’d like to escape the season without a sugar high — and some extra pounds under your belt — stick to one or two fun-sized candies from the office bowl. Then, if you’re hosting a Halloween party or just want to have healthier treats around, consider these festive items:

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Philly’s Deep-Fried Twinkie Burger

Our long national nightmare is over. For a while there it looked like Twinkies were gone forever. Hostess went kaput and with them went everyone’s favorite cream-filled treat. Then, thanks to some corporate canoodling, Twinkies came back. File that under “we dodged a bullet.” One Philadelphia eatery is celebrating the feat in artery-clogging style.

Philly’s PYT, who are no stranger to novelty grub, have just unleashed their Deep-Fried Twinkie Burger. This beast boasts deep-fried Twinkies for buns and the meat comes topped with a whole boatload of bacon. Speaking of meat, the patty is comprised primarily of pork belly.

This sandwich may seem like something out of a state fair, but Philadelphia residents can chomp down on one without having to play a weird dunking game. Just don’t tell your doctor you had one.

5 Awesome Halloween Cocktails

It’s a spooktacular time of year — around a shadowy corner, in a moonlit orchard or down a leaf-littered path in the dark, a spirit might overtake you! Or you could just sit at home and have a spirit overtake you via a boozy beverage. Might we suggest one of these five creepy libations? They’re eerie and mysterious and sure to send icy chills to your bones, particularly if you spill them down your pants. Don’t do that. But drink up and happy, happy Halloween.

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