Friday, October 30, 2015

“Chocolate Crescent Witch Hats” & a "Boo-zey" Cocktail…To Celebrate Halloween!

A dark Cave… In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder! Enter Witches. 

Three witches speak: --------'tis time! 'tis time! Round about the caldron go; “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.”

If that sounds familiar to all of my readers, it’s because it is a quote from “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare. As Halloween is tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to talk about what is called a “Witches Garden.” Right now you must be thinking that I am a little “witchy,” but everyone has used the items that are grown in a “Witches Garden” at one time or another.

A Witches Garden is an herb garden specifically designed and used for the cultivation of medicinal herbs and herbs used in everyday cooking. For centuries the “Wise Women” and healers understood the “magic” that herbs did for healing. During the medieval period monks, and nuns acquired this medical knowledge, and grew the necessary herbs to heal people. In fear of losing their power the nobility called the Wise Women and healers, “Witches”. They were said to be evil for using these practices to help heal the common people. They were eventually burned.

In today’s world, a “Witches Garden” is the center of her creations. The medicinal qualities from many plants and flowers growing within her scared space are simple in design. They contain a wealth of magical materials that can be used for healing. They were essences, lotions, cures, and some were ground up or dried. Some typical plants and herbs that are found in a Witches Garden are Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, Mint, Catnip, Marjoram, Chives, Thyme, plus Angelica root. They also had Bay leaves, Oregano, Dill, Basil, Mugwort, and wildflowers of all sorts.

"Witches Garden"
Then there is the “Kitchen Witch.” Her garden is also her home as well as her kitchen. She works with the cycles of the seasons and the moon as she nurtures her garden sanctuary. She does this by growing sacred trees, wildflowers, plus harvesting culinary organic fruits and vegetables. The Kitchen Witch will spend time in her garden connecting with Mother Earth, and enjoying nature’s beauty. She meditates in a quiet spot perhaps on a calming chamomile lawn or under a shady tree.

The Kitchen Witch shares her harvest with birds and wildlife. She recycles, composts, and tends to her plants with tender loving care. The Kitchen Witch recognizes that food is sacred, life-giving, and is part of the balance of nature. She uses the freshest ingredients with intent and purpose. She adds a little “magic” as she puts together a nourishing healthy meal using her herbs with her expert cookery skills. Her kitchen usually contains a comfy chair, she has utensils that are blessed and carved with scared symbols or sprinkled with a little “magic oil.” Don’t forget to look in your kitchen, you may see a special witch’s apron hanging on a hook, if you look hard enough!  
Herbs are an important addition in Italian cooking and can be grown easily in pots or in the garden. They should be stored in the freezer or hung up to dry in a cool place away from the heat. Once dry, they should be placed in air tight containers. The list of spices and herbs that Italian’s mostly use with their recipes are too many to mention, so I am going to give you a few of the important ones that my family uses. Basil, Garlic, Oregano, Bay Leaves, Mint, Flat Leaf Parsley, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, and Fennel. Enjoy and remember if you pass an herb garden, know that a “Witch” is not far away…...

My recipe this week is a delicious fun way to celebrate Halloween. If you have little ones or older ones, this recipe can be a fun one for all ages. It’s a fast recipe for you to enjoy as I know you have spooky places to visit this Halloween night. 

Chocolate Crescent Witch Hats

Kids will love these chocolate witch hat-shaped crescent snacks. Easy to make with only 3 ingredients!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 8

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips or Nutella Chocolate Spread
2 teaspoons powdered sugar or unsweetened baking cocoa- optional

Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of chocolate chips/ or Nutella Spread on wide end of crescent triangle, and roll over once to form brim of hat. Form the rest of the crescent triangle into hat shape. Repeat for remaining crescent triangles. Place on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Using fine mesh strainer, sprinkle crescent hats with powdered sugar, cocoa, or chocolate sprinkles; serve warm. 


Pumpkin Spice Halloween Punch

Pumpkin pie spice and apple cider lend autumnal flavor to this Halloween take on classic sangria. Serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin for a dramatic presentation.

2 honey crisp apples
2 pears
1 orange
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar, or more to taste
1 cup bourbon
3 cups apple cider
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 bottles Pinot Grigio, chilled
1 pumpkin, for serving (optional)

Thinly slice apples, pears, and oranges lengthwise, then place in a large bowl. Coat with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add honey, brown sugar, bourbon, apple cider, and pumpkin pie spice, stirring gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or overnight. Top with chilled pinot grigio and serve.

For Serving:
Serve in a pitcher or punch bowl, or give the punch extra Halloween flavor by serving inside a Jack O' Lantern. Cut a circle in the top of a large pumpkin, then completely remove seeds and pulp. Fill with fruit and punch, then enjoy!

Tip: Decorate the exterior of pumpkin using a silver paint marker. Here, the cocktail name lets guests know what's inside.
Source: HGTV                       (Please Drink Responsibly)


Daylight Saving Time 2015 ends on Sunday, November 1 at 2 A.M. Before you go to bed on Saturday night, remember to “fall back” by setting your clocks back one hour. We get that extra hour to sleep. (The exceptions to DST are Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.)

Till Next Time………………

Copyright © 2015 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Great post, Dottie! I've never heard of the Witches Garden before, and this is interesting. Love the hats and punch too. All that good bourbon and wine! :-) Then soon it will be dark here a little after 4:00 p.m.

    1. Dear Pam,
      Thank you for your lovely comment..I did some research and I found out about the Witches Garden..never knew about this either. Glad that you love the Witches Hat snacks and the punch will really put you in the "Spirit"....Enjoy your day and thanks again for stopping over!
      Dottie :)

  2. Replies
    1. Pam....Happy Halloween to you as well!! Have a "Boo-eatiful Day" Dottie :)

  3. Dear Dottie ,
    I really enjoyed this post , never knew about the witches garden , I grow all the herbs you mention , hubby built a small greenhouse for me 4/5 years ago .. I put herbs in the foyer and kitchen and they makes the house smell homey . Hubby carried the girls to the market , they bought a case of crescent rolls , They are baking now and boy do they smell and taste good . I do so hope they have some for their Halloween party tomorrow .
    Thanks so much for sharing my friend .
    Have a very spooky and safe Halloween . :) Nee

    PS: I will give you a shout out on my post tomorrow , I think other bloggers / readers should know about the "Witches Garden ."

    1. Dear Nee,
      Thanks dear friend for your comment...Isn't it so interesting about The Witches Garden?..I would think that you would grow these herbs and yes you are correct that it does make the house smell delicious! Wow, a case of crescent rolls, you do have a crowd for a party..They are so easy and I am sure the girls had fun making there own hats...Nee you can do so many things with these.Peanut butter, caramel, and even jam works good. Then on the outside you can pipe a row of chocolate or use sprinkles, even write the names of each person on the hat. I love this type of project, you can do something that makes it your own. Hope that the kids and you have a wonderful and fun Halloween...

      PS..thanks also for the shout out you are very sweet to do that...I am looking forward to what you are posting next....Enjoy...
      Dottie :)

  4. What a wonderful Halloween post! I am just back from Italy and I have not done much blogging lately. When I am there I use my dad's computer but I just post whatever I have made before the holiday so I can take a break. My mum's complains we don't spend much time together and she is right. I treasure the time we can spend in each other company and it always seems so short! I wish we were closer. I visited my grandmother. Her heart stopped recently but she made a full recovery. She seems well know.
    I love your story of the Witches Garden.. so cute and your witches huts are adorable. Your punch made with pumpkin spice looks fantastic!
    Have a good week x

    1. Dear Alida,
      Thank you for commenting...It must be so lovely to be away for a holiday to see your family. I can understand that you wish you would be closer to them in miles. But your mum is correct, you have to treasure your time and memories with them, especially with your grandmother. God Bless her, I said a prayer for your Nonna. Thank God she is better now. So happy that you loved this post and the Witches Garden. Hope that you have a glorious week ahead...
      Ciao, Dottie :)