Candy Corn Martini

Happy Halloween! Let’s celebrate with this Candy Corn Martini I whipped up for Food Fanatic!

Don’t get scared – you don’t have to layer it. You know me I’m all about the presentation, but honestly, it’s amazing if you just shake it up.

There are so many versions of Candy Corn Martini’s out there, I really didn’t try and make it my own – I just wanted to make it taste good.

And I did.

Even if you don’t like candy corn, you’re going to love this martini!

I’m always trying to make Halloween more fun for the adults. The kids need to have their fun but so do we. My in-laws tell stories about how they used to pull their kids (my wife and her sister) around in wagons trick-or-treating with their glasses of wine and beer to drink as they were going along. Actually I think it was scotch – yep, they’re pretty hard core. And they would stop at all their friends’ houses to fill up thier glasses. What a great neighborhood! And I have to say, It’s kind of like mine…

So it’s pretty much what happens at my house. Everyone comes trick-or-treating and we throw a beer at them, a martini, or a glass of bourbon. I mean everyone’s walking so it’s all good, right?

And this year along with my vampire tequila, I’ll be busting out these candy corn martini’s that I made for Food Fanatic. 



Come on – how good do these look?? Make up a batch and be festive. Even if you don’t feel festive about Halloween, these martini’s will definitely get you in the party spirit!


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Vampire Tequila

 vampire tequila top


How about some Vampire Tequila to serve at your Halloween party? I wanted this drink to be festive -and festive it is. With “Blood” dripping down the rim and vampire fang ice cubes.

Fang ice cubes are totally optional.

Today is Halloween and I have to admit that it’s not my favorite holiday. Which is why we need drinks!

I know it’s for the kids, I get it. But it’s a lot of work for the adults.

Decoarting (yes, I’m the one who decorates) and buying all the candy.

All the walking around…and it’s a lot of walking where I live. We live in a neighborhood where the houses are really far apart. To walk the whole neighborhood and back takes a long time.

But I do know that it’s short lived, soon my little guy will be able to go with the big kids by himself, but for now…I walk.

So to make all that waking and hot dog cooking more fun I came up with this Vampire Tequila.

I used PAMA liqueur which happens to be a favorite in my house – especially with the wife. It’s a pomegranate flavored liqueur that you can use to make lots of drinks, but normally in our house it’s pomegranate martinis. It’s a lot better than using pomegranate juice because…well for one it’s not as sweet, and for two, it’s adding more booze to the drink instead of just juice.

To make this this Vampire tequila I combined tequila with the PAMA liqueur and topped it off with a little seltzer.

It’s almost like my version of a tequila sunrise.

Except there’s no fruit juice.

And no sunrise, more like a sunset.

But you get the idea – most importantly, it’s really good.

I had a little fun making this drink, bloody grenadine dripping down the sides and vampire fang ice cubes…but in all seriousness, it’s a really good cocktail. Definitely one I’m adding to the mix.

Have a great Halloween, be safe, and remember to drink lots of tequila to get you through all that trick-or-treating!

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Vampire Tequila

Vampire Tequila


  • 2 shots white tequila
  • 1 shot PAMA liqueur
  • seltzer for topping
  • For Rimming the glass
  • corn syrup
  • red food coloring


  1. Put some corn syrup in a shallow dish and add in a splash of grenadine. (You can also use red food coloring)
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Dip in the rim of your glass and let drip down the sides.
  4. Add the tequila and PAMA to a shaker filled with ice.
  5. Shake well and strain into a short glass filled with ice.
  6. Top with seltzer.
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Spaghetti & Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce


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I’m trying to stay in the Halloween spirit by cooking with pumpkin…and I’m glad because you guys have to try these Spaghetti & Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce!

At first I thought about making these into a bite-sized appetizer. Mini food is always fun and it’s definitely appeals to the kids, but it was hard to get the spaghetti to fit in that tiny muffin pan and actually form a cup.

So I went to a regular muffin pan and called it dinner instead. You have to be willing to adjust when things don’t work out…I’ve got lots of experience with that so far!

I started with a basic meatball recipe that uses a combination of beef and pork. My meatball “recipe” is really me asking the wife how to make a good meatball. Then I added in the basics – an egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. But instead of parsley I added fresh sage to go with the pumpkin sauce.

This recipe will get you about 18 golf ball sized meatballs which are going to fit perfectly inside your spaghetti cups.

I do think a good meatball needs to be pan fried to get nice and crispy on the outside – so I did.

When the meatballs are done, wipe out the skillet and start the pumpkin sauce.

When the sauce is put together and simmering you can add the meatballs back to the pan and let cook until your spaghetti cups are ready.


meatballs in sauce


Cook up some spaghetti and  mix it together with some parmesan cheese, an egg and 1/4 cup of the pumpkin sauce. You’re almost done now…

Time to fill the muffin tins – this is a lot easier than it looks, trust me.

I threw a handful of spaghetti in the muffin cup and then pushed it out of center towards the sides.


spaghetti cups


They’ll pop out of your muffin tin pretty easily when they’re done and then all that’s left to do is put them together.


spaghetti cups cooked


Spoon some pumpkin sauce in the center of the spaghetti cup and then put a big meatball on top.

Crazy good.

The clean plate club won’t be a problem when you serve these Spaghetti & Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce – so it’s a good thing the recipe makes a lot!


spaghetti and meatball cups


Spaghetti & Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce

Spaghetti & Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce


    For the Meatballs
  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 8 oz. ground pork
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3-4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • For the Pumpkin Sauce
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 14 oz. can of chicken broth
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • For the spaghetti cups
  • 8 oz. spaghetti, broken into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 3 T. pumpkin sauce


  1. Start a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
  2. Once it comes to a boil, add in the broken spaghetti and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Drain and set aside to cool.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl for the meatballs.
  5. Using a 2 T. scoop, portion out 18 meatballs.
  6. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet, then add the meatballs being careful not to crown the pan. (you might have to cook them in 2 batches)
  7. Once the meatballs are browned on all sides, remove to a plate to cool.
  8. Wipe out the skillet and add the onion.
  9. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened.
  10. Add in the chopped garlic and cook for a minute more.
  11. Add in the wine, the bay leaf and the sage and let reduce for 2 minutes.
  12. Stir in the chicken broth and the pumpkin.
  13. Next add the cream, stir to blend and then return the meatballs to the skillet.
  14. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  16. While the sauce is simmering, add the parmesan cheese, the eggs and the pumpkin sauce to the spaghetti and stir well to mix.
  17. Divide the spaghetti into 12 muffin tins, then push the spaghetti out from the center to form a hole.
  18. Place in the oven to bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
  19. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and pop the spaghetti cups out onto a board.
  20. Spoon some sauce in the center of a spaghetti cup and then top with a meatball.
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Fireball Whiskey Cheesecake Shots


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Need a party shot? Or an easy dessert? How about both!

These Fireball Whiskey Cheesecake Shots are the best of both worlds – and they are totally delicious.

These cheesecake shots ate the perfect Mantitlement dessert recipe. It’s a no-bake cheesecake recipe, thank god since I don’t bake, with a boozy cherry topping.

I’m talking about opening a can of cherry pie filling and adding in some Fireball Whiskey. Stir it together and your topping is done.

It definitely doesn’t look like these Fireball Whiskey Cheesecake Shots came out of a can does it? They’re pretty amazing looking, you’re guests will be floored.

It seems like everywhere you go people are drinking Fireball. In case you haven’t heard of it – it’s a cinnamon flavored whisky that burns a “little bit” going down but for some reason it’s pretty addictive. The cinnamon is spicy but somehow mellows out the whiskey and keeps you going back for more.

And it also goes perfectly on top of my no-bake cheesecake shots.

The crust starts with graham crackers crumbs mixed together with melted butter.

You scoop some of that into the bottom of your shot glass and press it down with your finger so it forms the crust.

Next it’s time for the cheesecake. 

In a mixer add in 2 packs of softened cream cheese with some lemon juice. I broke the rules and used the stuff from the bottle.

Then add in heavy cream and whip together until it’s smooth and thickened.

Add in sugar and 2 shots of Fireball Whiskey. Yes, 2 shots.

Mix together again and set aside.

Now it’s time for that cherry topping – open the can of cherry pie filling, add it to a bowl. Stir in 2 shots of fireball.


cherry topping


Don’t worry about it being too strong, it’s perfect. Perfectly strong. I mean, you want to be able to actually taste the whiskey right? Well, I do.

Now to assemble. Take a spoon and fill the shot glasses up until they’re about 3/4 full. Spoon on that boozy cherry topping. And repeat.

You can make this in a pie pan if you want and serve it as dessert, it’s up to you.

But shot glasses make everything more fun!

 fireball whiskey cheesecake


Fireball Whiskey Cheesecake Shots

30 shots, depending on the size shot glass you use

Fireball Whiskey Cheesecake Shots

If you're using this recipe to make shots, you can easily cut the recipe in half so you'll end up with about 15 shots. Or you can make the whole recipe, divide it in half and freeze it for next time!


  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/3 c. white sugar
  • 1 21 oz. can cherry pie filling
  • 4 ounces Fireball Whiskey


  1. Combine the cherry pie filling and 2 shots of the whiskey into a bowl and stir together well.
  2. Combine the graham crackers together with the melted butter and cinnamon, stir together until all the graham crackers are coated with the butter.
  3. Add 1-2 T. of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each shot glass, pressing down to make a crust at the bottom.
  4. In a mixer, add the cream cheese and lemon juice and mix together until the cream cheese is smooth.
  5. Add in the cream and the whiskey and mix together.
  6. Add in the white sugar and blend until smooth.
  7. Using a teaspoon, scoop out enough cream cheese mixture to each shot glass to fill 3/4 of the way up.
  8. Place a tablespoon of cherry pie topping on top of the cheesecake mixture and place in the refrigerator to chill until your ready.


Adapted from Allrecipes, Best No-Bake Cheesecake

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Apple Bourbon Slush

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I know this Apple Bourbon Slush is a frozen drink, which I guess are typically served in the hotter weather, but it has bourbon and cider in it so that makes it a Fall drink in my book.

I first tasted frozen cider at an amusement park that we took the kids too. It was so amazingly good – my first thought was, of course – to add some alcohol and make it an adult beverage.

We literally stopped at the grocery store on the way home and grabbed a gallon of cider to test it out.

And there’s really no freezing involved, you just blend it up in the blender with some ice and it turns into a cider slush beverage right in front of your eyes. Our blender is my new favorite tool in the kitchen, especially when it comes to mixing drinks. I never knew that there could be such a difference in how blenders work until we got this Breville Hemisphere Blender. It will actually turn ice into a fine powder like you’d use to make a snow cone…or a frozen boozy slush drink like the Apple Bourbon Slush.

I used the Berentzen Bushel & Barrel Apple Bourbon again in this drink and some Smirnoff Caramel Vodka. The caramel vodka makes this Apple Bourbon Slush not only taste like a boozy apple drink, but a boozy caramel apple drink.

If you’re a bourbon drinker, definitely try some of Berentzen’s new Bushel & Barrel Apple Bourbon. It’s perfect for sipping neat, added to hot cider, or any drinks that you would normally mix with bourbon.

Caramel dipped apple as garnish totally optional. But you know I always try to serve a snack with my drinks! You could just steal some slices from that Bourbon Caramel Apple Dip you’ll have out – because there’s never too much bourbon!


Apple Bourbon Slush1

Apple Bourbon Slush

Apple Bourbon Slush


  • 2 ounces apple bourbon
  • 1 ounce caramel vodka
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • crushed ice


  1. Add the bourbon, caramel vodka and cider to a blender.
  2. Add in a cup of crushed ice then blend until smooth.
  3. If the drink is too thin just add a little more crushed ice.
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