Happy Halloween!


What are you doing tonight?  More importantly, what are you eating?  Here’s what’s on the menu chez nous.

Slow cooked pork that I rubbed with Thomasina Miers chipotles en adobo.  The recipe is available in her book Mexican Food Made Simple.  After searing the pork, I put it in the slow cooker and kept it on low for 10 hours.  Here is what I added to the pot: lime zest, orange zest, lime juice, orange juice, 1 onion quartered, 4 large cloves of garlic grated, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 cinnamon stick broken in half, 1 tsp allspice berries, 4 cloves, 1/4 cup fresh oregano, 2 tbsp fresh thyme, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1 cup brown beer.  The plan is to drain the pork, crisp it under the grill, and reduce the stock to a gravy to serve with homemade tortillas, salsa, and guacamole.  The recipe for tortillas is also in Thomasina’s book.

chilies processor processed chipotle chilies en adobo marinade pork spices after-meat

Ratatouille for the vegetarians

Mr. Scott Peacock’s coconut cake.  I love this cake.  It never fails me and the marshmallowy frosting seemed so perfectly fluffy for Halloween.  Like an edible ghost.  The only changes I make to his recipe are that I use coconut milk in place of the whole milk for the cake recipe, coconut water instead of plain water for the syrup, 2 tbsp dark rum and no vanilla, and both toasted and freshly grated coconut.

fresh coconut toasted coconut coconut rum marshmallow cream cake


Soft chewy salted caramels using a recipe from The Kitchn.

1st boil 2nd boil basket of caramels in a jar

Pepitas. Just rinse your pumpkin seeds and bake them with some salt at 350ºF/Gas 4 for 10 minutes.

pumpkin seeds pepitas


Rum from St. Lucia thanks to the kind folks at Admiral Rodney who sent these bottles to my husband, Henry.

Admiral Rodney rum

And plenty of sweets!

chocolate eyeballs lindtt ghosties jackolantern candy display

Whatever you have planned, I hope it’s fun and delicious!  Now here’s some Vincent Price to get you in a spooky mood.


A Mexican Piggy Cookie By Any Other Name

would taste just as sweet.  And indeed they do.  Cochinitos.  Marranitos.  Puerquitos. Cerditos.  It doesn’t matter.  Whatever you want to call them, they are always delicious.

These pig shaped pan dulces are a cross between cookies and cake.  They are lightly spiced with Ceylon cinnamon sticks and sweetened with molasses or dark brown sugar.  In Mexico, they are traditionally sweetened with cones of piloncillo which is a form of raw sugar cane, but as that was unavailable to me, I used soft dark Muscovado.  They are baked with an egg glaze and dusted with powdered sugar and emerge from the oven as fat and soft as can be.  Excellent with coffee, or even better, a mug of champurrado.  It will make you feel like a Mexican princess.

The recipe I used belongs to Patti Jinich.  You can view it here on NPR’s website as well as listen to an interview with her about Mexican piggy cookies.  I highly recommend you check out both.

Cochinitos just baked cochinitos 016 018


And if you need some baking music to get inspired, try this: