My fantasy Halloween basket

Candy pumpkins

Now that we’re living in an apartment complex (which sometimes feels like hotel living), this is actually my first Halloween without trick-or-treaters.

Which means I totally could not buy candy and pass it off as “for the kids,” then down pack after pack of Twizzlers with my feet up watching “Hocus Pocus.”

Not that I’ve done that.

It’s kind of strange, being in a kid-free zone. As I have no children, don’t live in a neighborhood and have no nearby cousins or nephews or nieces to coddle and prod and take pictures of, this year’s celebration feels oddly . . . dull. Plus, you know, it’s a Thursday; not too much good times chaos happening over here.

All the same, it’s a holiday I have so many fond memories of as a kid — especially when I think about all the carefully-crafted costumes my mom made over the years. It’s still a day I look forward to (and we’re having a Halloween party at work!).

But let’s get serious: it’s really all about the candy.

Everyone has their favorites, and I am certainly no exception . . . though my recent weight loss and commitment to healthy eating have meant detouring far, far away from the coveted candy aisles at Target.

But if I could create my perfect Halloween candy basket now, right this minute, I’d have that baby assembled quicker than you could say “sugar rush.”

Come, come . . . gaze into my witch’s cauldron . . .

Halloween candy

Meg’s Fantasy Halloween Basket
(Because She’s Too Old and
Also on Weight Watchers)

• Twizzlers. They kind of taste like plastic — if plastic tasted awesome.

• Candy corn. It’s not Halloween without some of that waxy goodness — especially in the form of miniature pumpkins! Would you believe I couldn’t find a pumpkins-only mixture this year? Blasphemy.

• Twix. I had a friend in high school who ate a Twix bar every single day for lunch (oh, teenagers), and I can’t think of that delicious candy without remembering her. (Hi, Mallory! Also, you have fantastic taste in candy.)

• Jolly Ranchers. I used to fight for the apple and cherry varieties, but really any will do.

• Tootsie Pops. You can’t have just one — and don’t bite it.

• Marshmallows. Do people give out marshmallows? I don’t know. But this is my candy fever dream, and we’re going with it.

• Snickers. And really anything with peanuts.

What you won’t find in this magical pot of awesome?

Good and Plenty. Because really. One of my earliest memories of childhood is of gagging on one and spitting it out a car window (always a lady), and my opinion hasn’t changed much over the years.

Pretzels. So boring.

Toothbrushes. Just mean.

And . . . that’s about it. Because I love most candy, and I’m pretty equal-opportunity about sweets.

And now I’m starving.

Happy Halloween!

Making our own Halloween magic

We all know that as we grow up and enter the “adult” world, the magic of the holidays begins to fizzle out a bit, lost in the shuffle of e-mails, requests for time off, paperwork and crazed schedules . . . at least until we have our own children. Considering I’m not quite at that stage of life yet, I’m forced to enthuse as much of my own holiday joy into my usual, everyday life as I can!

This Friday, Halloween, I’ll put these skills to the test. Since I’ll be at work until early evening, I’ll be dressing up with my co-workers — probably as a witch — and fueling up on as much sugar as possible. We’re having a Halloween party, too — and this is where my next food dilemma comes in.

As I frequently blog, I’m trying (sometimes vainly) to learn how to cook. So rather than going for all of my old pot luck standby foods — brownies, pasta salad — I’m going to branch out and try something . . . different. Something fall-ish. Something with a Halloween theme!

I know, I’m talking crazy. But I found this recipe on, and I’m going to try it:

Candy Corn Bark

• 16 Halloween-colored chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
• 1 1/2 cups broken small pretzels
• 1/3 cup raisins
• 1 1/2 pounds white chocolate, broken into squares
• 2 cups candy corn
• orange and brown sprinkles


1. Spread the cookies, pretzels and raisins evenly onto a lightly greased small baking sheet. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from the heat while there are still a few chunks, and stir until smooth. White chocolate burns easily.

2. Drizzle chocolate with a spoon over the goodies in the pan, spreading the top flat to coat evenly. Top with candy corn and sprinkles. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Several folks on the website suggested using peanuts instead of cookies, so I think I’m going to do that — and I plan on tripling this recipe to make enough for all my snacking co-workers! And so I can have an extra batch for my snacking family — especially me. I’m off to get all my ingredients after work tonight.

If you’re looking for other goodies to make for Friday, check out the rest of their Halloween recipes and concoctions. Making my own hot spiced cider sounds pretty awesome, too . . . I love the fall!