10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut

This post first appeared on Cricut’s blog where I'm a contributor. With Halloween fast approaching, we’ve got 10 last minute projects you can make with the help of your Cricut machine!

10 last minute Halloween Projects with Cricut

Halloween is in TWO WEEKS! How did that happen? I know I can’t be the only one running around making last minute preparations so today I’ve got ten last minute Cricut projects that are going to make you the hit of the neighborhood this Halloween. Many of these projects can be made on both the Explore machines and the Maker machine so let’s get crafty!

10 LAST MINUTE HALLOWEEN PROJECTS WITH CRICUT

Mantel looking a little bare? In just ten minutes you can create this gorgeous boo banner from Frog Prince Paperie.

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

Who has time for carving pumpkins at the last minute? This no-carve project from Sweet Rose Studio can be color coordinated for any theme and can be made again next year!

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

 If you haven’t tried Cricut Window Cling it is PERFECT for last minute décor ideas – easy on, easy off! Check out these spider web window clings from Hey Let’s Make Stuff.

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

These DIY felt masks from Tastefully Frugal are not only a quick and easy solution for Halloween, they are great for play time all year round!

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

 These faux spider earrings from Hey Let’s Make Stuff would be a cool accessory for your costume, but would also be fun to wear to work or if you aren’t big on dressing up for the holiday.

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

With these cut files from Liz on Call the possibilities are endless! Make them smaller for cupcake toppers, use them on cards, or make them larger than life for fun wall or table décor.

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

Having a Halloween party this weekend? These bat napkin rings from Creativities Galore and this spider serving bowl from Laura’s Crafty Life will make any table festive, and just take a few minutes to create.

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts
10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

The best part about Halloween? The snacks! With your Cricut Explore or Maker you can customize sweet treats in no time. Check out these witch cupcake toppers from 100 Directions and these purple people eater treats from I Love My Disorganized Life!

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts
10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts

Have a fun and festive Halloween – can’t wait to see what you create! Oh, if you want one more bonus last minute Halloween project, then check out my own Last Minute Halloween Home Décor with Cricut!

10 Last Minute Halloween Projects with Cricut - Kingston Crafts
10 last minute Halloween projects with Cricut

Pinterest Pantry - Second Edition

I'm visiting my folks this week - so have spent the last few days eating all of my favorite comfort foods. Which means I won't be able to fit in to my pants next week. ;)  So in the second edition of Pinterest Pantry I'm sharing a few recipes that still have that cozy warm comfort food vibe but are a lot better for you! And...two things that were a failure. Hey. They can't all be green chicken enchilada cauliflower casserole!

GREEN CHICKEN ENCHILADA CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE

Sweet Mother of relatively healthy comfort food!! We made this casserole from I Breathe I'm Hungry because we had a bunch of frozen cauliflower in the freezer and all the other ingredients already - all I needed was a rotisserie chicken (because I was too lazy to cook a couple of chicken breasts) and HELLO!!!!! I plan to make this 769 times in the next month because it is AMAZING and surprisingly healthy! SUCH a great substitution for those rich pasta or rice casseroles...I promise you won't miss a thing.

GRADE: A+++
HOW HEALTHY: At first glance it doesn't seem super healthy - but is only 311 calories per serving and is low carb and gluten free.
DIFFICULTY: VERY easy and took less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
RECIPE CHANGES:  We used rotisserie chicken out of sheer laziness, and the only thing we did different from the recipe was we chopped the cauliflower up a bit after we microwaved it so it would be in smaller pieces.
 

SLOW COOKER KIELBASA AND WHITE BEAN CASSOULET

Another winner! I first found this recipe from Real Simple in their magazine. We make this at least twice a month because it is easy, doesn't require a bunch of special ingredients and it is perfect for leftovers for lunch. 

GRADE: A+
HOW HEALTHY: We think it is relatively healthy...it is dairy free, gluten free, no added oils/butter, and we used turkey kielbasa to cut back on the calories. See our recipe changes - we skipped the bread altogether and didn't miss it one bit!
DIFFICULTY: SUPER easy - just cut up the kielbasa, dump everything in to the slow cooker and come home to a delicious meal (and a great smelling house)!
RECIPE CHANGES:  We skipped the bread - cut back on the carbs, made the meal a bit healthier, and was one less step to get the meal on the table. We also used minced garlic and dried thyme to make it even easier!
 

WALNUT AND ROSEMARY OVEN FRIED CHICKEN

We haven't had fried chicken in a hundred years, and we are pretty leery of recipes that claim that oven baked is just as good...but this one from The Recipe Critic was pretty darn close! The toasted panko and crushed nuts make a nice crispy crust with tons of taste.

GRADE: A
HOW HEALTHY: Another one that doesn't seem super healthy at first glance - but it is under 300 calories per serving so if you combine it with a simple salad it is a nice light healthy meal and has tons of protein!
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy - the hardest part was making sure the panko didn't burn when we cooked it on the stove. :) We put our chicken on a rack, so if you do that trust us when we say to ALSO line the pan with foil or parchment paper prior to cooking - otherwise clean up is a pain!
RECIPE CHANGES:  We used dried rosemary instead of fresh.

BRAISED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH MUSTARD AND THYME

First of all...am I the only person in the world who did not know the correct name for this vegetable is brussels sprouts - not brussel sprouts? Clearly I need to get out more. Secondly - Don and I like our brussels sprouts roasted and a little "drier", this recipe from Cooking Light was too mushy for our taste. If you love mushier vegetables you might love this one!

GRADE: C
HOW HEALTHY: Pretty damn healthy. You only add 1T butter for the entire recipe.
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy - the whole thing only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
RECIPE CHANGES:  None.

BACON AND EGG BREAKFAST CHILI

It is funny - I forgot that this recipe from health-bent.com is called bacon and egg chili because 95% of the time we skip the bacon and eggs and just eat the chili plain! This is our go-to recipe for weekday breakfasts. We cook up a batch (it makes a TON) on Sunday afternoons and then eat it throughout the week - it is hearty, healthy, and easy to make! If you DO add the bacon, egg and avocado it ratchets this up to an A++ - it is SOOOOOOO good!

GRADE: A
HOW HEALTHY: VERY - it is paleo, gluten free, dairy free, and you can use ground turkey or turkey sausage if you prefer.
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy - the whole thing only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
RECIPE CHANGES:  As I mentioned - 95% of the time we skip the bacon, egg and avocado, just to save time. Be sure you dice the sweet potatoes VERY small, and be ready to let the chili simmer for an hour or so. Those sweet potatoes take a while to get soft!

CREAMY CARROT AND CAULIFLOWER SOUP

I LOVE soup - and I am forever on the search for a rich creamy soup that is still good for you. This recipe from Cooking with Curls is VERY healthy, and if I was on a very strict diet I would eat it (it tastes fine), but otherwise it isn't a recipe we'll make again.

GRADE: C
HOW HEALTHY: VERY. Dairy free, gluten free, low calorie, chock full of veggies.
DIFFICULTY: VERY easy - hardest part is chopping all of the vegetables.
RECIPE CHANGES:  We used minced garlic.

If you've got a relatively healthy Pinterest recipe that you make over and over again - I'd love to see it! We are always on the lookout for easy, healthy, delicious food! Looking for more recipes that we've put in to our bellies? The first edition of Pinterest Pantry has some favorites!

Pinterest Pantry - First Edition

They say you should write about what you love. I am THE luckiest girl in the world because I love what I do for a living and crafting is my life, but my real love is food. I love to buy it, I love to talk about it, I love to make it, I love to eat it. I research it, I pin the heck out of it, I plan road trips around it, and I will eat just about any of it. I like easy and (mostly) healthy cooking at home, and Don and I try at least three new recipes a week. Did I mention we love food? So I'm kicking off a new feature on the blog - Pinterest Pantry! Twice a month I will share some of the recipes we've tried and link to them on Pinterest. We'll talk about taste, healthiness (is that a word?), difficulty and things we'd do different. We hope you'll join us - and we hope you'll find a few recipes to add to your menu!

CRACK SLAW

We've been overindulging a bit lately (see my Cadbury Mini Egg problem at the end of this post) so I found this recipe from Laa Loosh one afternoon when I was desperate for something SUPER healthy. Honestly - I didn't even pin it because I thought I would hate it. SURPRISE! We made it two days in a row - the first time to have for dinner and the second time for Don to take to work as leftovers for a few days.

GRADE: A+
HOW HEALTHY: SO HEALTHY!! This is a Weight Watchers recipe and each serving is only 2 points. High in protein, low in sugar and carbs.
DIFFICULTY: SO easy - especially once we made two slight changes in the recipe (below).
RECIPE CHANGES:  Instead of shredding our own cabbage (no thank you) we just bought a bag of pre-shredded cole slaw mix when we were picking up our broccoli slaw. The second time we made it Kroger was out of broccoli slaw so we just doubled the cole slaw mix and it was still delicious! We use squeeze ginger instead of grating it (again - no thank you), and we also used ground turkey instead of chicken just because we already had it on hand.

PERFECT ROASTED BROCCOLI

Keeping with the "clean eating" theme - when Kroger had broccoli crowns on sale I found this recipe from A Spicy Perspective and thought it would be the perfect easy and healthy side dish. And I was right!

GRADE: B+
HOW HEALTHY: VERY healthy. Gluten free, low carb, vegetarian.
DIFFICULTY: RIDICULOUSLY easy - especially if you use broccoli crowns. Less cutting!
RECIPE CHANGES:  Don likes his veggies "mushier", I like them crispier, so when the cooking time was done we took half of the broccoli off the baking pan and put the rest back in for another few minutes to make it a little extra crispy for me.

GARLIC BUTTER BAKED CRAB LEGS

The photo is horrible - but the crab legs? AMAZING! Our Kroger fairly often has crab legs on sale - so when they do we stock up and treat ourselves with a date night "in" rather than going out. This recipe from food.com makes it a one-pan meal, and we literally take the pan out of the oven, cover our kitchen island in towels, and eat straight out of the pan soaking up the buttery juices with the meat as we go.

GRADE: A+
HOW HEALTHY: well...crab meat is pretty healthy, but ummm...you are baking it in butter.
DIFFICULTY: RIDICULOUSLY easy
RECIPE CHANGES:  Rather than using fresh garlic we use minced garlic, and lots of it. Makes the recipe even easier!

ATLANTA FALCONS RICE KRISPIE BITES

Rather than try to explain what happened when we made this recipe I'm just gonna leave this little video from my Instagram Stories riiiiiiiiiiight here. They were damn tasty though. They had that going for them!

GRADE: B+ (total failure appearance wise - but they are rice krispie treats. how bad could they be?)
HOW HEALTHY: Again. Rice Krispie Treats.
DIFFICULTY: You know it's time to give up when you are bested by a dessert that has been around a hundred years.
RECIPE CHANGES:  Ummm...pretty much all of it.

LOADED WEDGE SALAD (aka How to Make Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing)

I pinned this one night looking for a great "healthy" salad recipe - and instead uncovered a homemade blue cheese dressing from Tasting Table that is SO easy and amazing that I've made this THREE TIMES in the past two weeks.

GRADE: A+
HOW HEALTHY: Don't do what I did and drench your salad in the dressing, and you'll be ok. Also take note of the recipe changes below.
DIFFICULTY: VERY easy - the hardest part is dicing and cooking the scallions and that takes five minutes
RECIPE CHANGES:  We cut WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY back on the oil for cooking the shallots, we used three (3) tablespoons (instead of one cup) and that was PLENTY. We omitted the green onions altogether, and just added the Tarragon and the olive oil right in to the dressing rather than putting it on the salad at the end. AND - we actually cut the blue cheese in half - from 4oz to 2oz.

CADBURY MINI EGGS - CHOCOLATE CRUNCH & CREME

cadburyeggs.jpeg

This isn't a Pinterest recipe - but it IS food, and IS the reason why I have been frantically looking for healthy recipes. HAVE YOU TRIED THESE????? If you love Cadbury Mini Eggs and you love Oreos then you MUST GET THESE IN YOUR MOUTH ASAP!!! Here is where I admit something I don't tell many people...I don't really like chocolate. I don't HATE it, but generally I can take it or leave it. I ate an ENTIRE BAG of these. For BREAKFAST. That is what is happening around here. This Chocolate Crunch & Creme version is available exclusively in store at Target - I mean, you CAN get them for $12 a bag on Amazon, but we're not QUITE there yet.

Gift Idea for Him - Infused Bourbon with DIY Tag

Looking for a last-minute gift idea for the men in your life (besides some Paper Hatchet cards - wink wink)? You've still got time to make a delicious apple and cinnamon infused bourbon! The best part? Besides the fact that it is bourbon? We've hacked a printable tag from Southern Living so you can use regular mason jars instead of needing to buy special bottles.

You just need a few ingredients:
1 chopped apple (we used honeycrisp)
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (750-milliliter) bottle bourbon
1/4 cup simple syrup (which is just water and sugar - you can make your own)
8 oz mason jars (this recipe will fill three with a little left over - you can always use bigger jars!)

Follow this easy recipe and let your concoction sit at room temperature for four days, then pour in to the mason jars and seal. Then you are ready to make your tag! {FTC Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post of my own free will. ;) There are some affiliate links included which means I may make a few pennies if you buy something!}

The Southern Living tags required smooth jars to adhere to - we've made a tag you can tie on to any size/shape jar with just a few quick changes.

SUPPLIES:
Southern Living free printable tags (you get four of the apple/cinammon tags)
trimmer (I am OBSESSED with my Fiskars Rotary Trimmer. OBSESSED. I rambled on about it on FB just this morning!)
scissors
Xyron 1 1/2" Sticker Maker
patterned paper (we used a wood pattern)
twine
crop-a-dile or hole punch

Print tags and trim 1 5/8" of the right edge of the entire page, then trim tags on the cut lines and make a pennant cut on the other end of each tag

Run all of the tags (printed side up) through your Xyron Sticker Maker.

Cut patterned paper in to 1 3/8" x 4 1/4" strips, then center tags on to patterned paper and make a pennant cut on one end to match the shape of the tag. 

Punch a hole on the flat edge of the tag, string through twine and wrap around the lid of the mason jar, then tie to secure.

This is a great gift idea for friends, neighbors, coworkers - and would also make a great Father's Day or birthday gift for that hard to buy for man in your life. Happy bourbon infusing and Merry Christmas!

Cricut Explore Gold - Easy Party Projects

One of the best things about Cricut is the ability to turn any image in to a variety of projects using different materials. Using this hooray image from TomKat Studio I've created two projects that are perfect for any party - a cake topper and a customized serving plate!

CRICUT EXPLORE GOLD - EASY PARTY PROJECTS

I love a quick party project, and each of these took less than 15 minutes. Which is perfect since I pretty much wait until the last minute to prepare for any occasion. ;) {FTC Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with affiliate links - so I may make a little money if you buy something!}

CAKE TOPPER SUPPLIES NEEDED:

TUTORIAL: HOW TO CREATE EASY PARTY PROJECTS WITH THE CRICUT EXPLORE GOLD

1. Select hooray image in Cricut Design Space and cut one each from chipboard and gold specialty paper (resize if needed).

2. Run gold hooray (gold side up) through Xyron machine.

3. Lay chipboard hooray right side up on your work area and lay lollipop sticks on the h and the y as shown.

4. Remove gold hooray from backing and gently adhere to chipboard, matching up edges as you go.

5. Stabilize lollipop sticks with liquid adhesive and let dry.

6. Add your topper to your cake...and get ready to paaaaaartay!

To create the serving plate, simply cut the same image using Cricut Gold Window Cling. Easy to apply, easy to remove, now you can have customized serving dishes for any event!

Cricut Gold Partyware-129.jpg

Check out some of my other favorite Cricut projects - I just can't get enough of this machine!

Rice Krispie Treat Poop - and other Gross (but Delicious) Halloween Treats

Yep! This is happening. I made these for a Halloween party and was so giddy about it (see video below) that I wanted to share the recipe and the hilarity - your kids will LOVE to help you make these and LOVE to help you eat them even more! Seriously. They are delicious. I almost didn't have enough to take these photos because I kept eating them. Soooooooo good.

INGREDIENTS:
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
3T butter
1 pkg (10oz) mini marshmallows
1 pkg (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2T shortening (I use Crisco Baking Sticks because they are easy to measure out)
OPTIONAL: candy corn - if you want to get REAL gross

Make a batch of Rice Krispie Treats - do NOT press them in to a pan.

While Rice Krispie Treats are still warm divide them in to 3-4 sections and roll them out in to oblong "tubes". Or...ummm...poop. There are several ways to do this - you can press the treats on to a piece of wax paper then roll and lengthen the "tube", or you can roll it between your hands. Like we used to do with playdoh back in the day!

Shape the tubes in to whatever "poops" your little heart desires and let cool. I made piles and individual pieces. Aannnnnnddd...this is officially the weirdest blog post I've ever written. :)

Put chocolate chips and shortening in a glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until just melted.

Dip each "poop" in to the chocolate until covered. I used a slotted spatula to lower the pieces in to the chocolate and and then spooned the chocolate on top until covered.

Set on wax paper and refrigerate to set.

If you want to get really gross - while the "poop" is still warm use a knife to cut off the yellow sections of the candy corn and press in to the chocolate. Get it? Its corn. In poop. I can't make this stuff up!

Looking for some other gross Halloween snack ideas? Lay your eyes on these beauties! WARNING: Some of these are grosser than rice krispie treat poop. Don't say I didn't warn ya!

 Shrimp Cocktail Brain from  Martha Stewart

Shrimp Cocktail Brain from Martha Stewart

 Vampire Blood Lollipops from  Instructables

Vampire Blood Lollipops from Instructables

 Puff Pastry Intestines from  Fabulessly Frugal

Puff Pastry Intestines from Fabulessly Frugal

 Dirty Earwax Q-Tips from  She Saved

Dirty Earwax Q-Tips from She Saved

 Stuffed Cockroaches from  Nerdy Mamma

Stuffed Cockroaches from Nerdy Mamma

 Jellied Eyeballs (non alcoholic) from  Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

Jellied Eyeballs (non alcoholic) from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen