Get Ready for Halloween 2011

Halloween 2010 - Spane as a Dragon,and me as a Good Witch

Halloween 2010 – Spane as a Dragon,and me as a Good Witch

I love the Holidays, and for me, they start at Halloween and end at Easter, with a couple of summer stragglers.   I love decorating, I love that the weather is usually a little chillier.

My favorite holiday is Halloween.  Spane asked me today if Christmas wasn’t my favorite, and I said that Christmas and Easter were very separate Holidays.  Although Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day (All Hallowed), it is a celebration for those who are young at heart.    Children dressed in their most frightening, or most ingenious costume, have fun knocking on doors and asking for a trick or treat.  Adults have fun decorating their homes and get a kick out of some of the children’s costumes.

My friend, Amber, called me on Sunday and said she had taken all the Halloween decorations out of storage and was putting them up.  That inspired me to get my decorations, too, but I had to clean out the garage for two and a half hours before I could get to the decorations at all.  It’s a good thing though, I consolidated a lot of stuff, and donated books and clothing to the Vietnam Veterans.

In light of that, I decided that The Good Plate should dress up for the occasion, too. I found this lovely theme at Holiday Nook.

As the holiday gets closer, I’ll be posting more recipes and craft projects.  But, I can give you a sneak peak at what we might be doing:


Shabby Chic Country Apple Raisin Crostata

A few weeks ago, I bought a package of dried apples at the local Armenian store, just to have as a snack for Spane. It’s beginning to get cold again, so I’ve been thinking about baking. I already made Apple Brown Betty that turned out a little too brown because I should have removed one of the racks in Bertha. I thought of making a Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting, but it got too hot to do that. So, today, I’m still thinking about baking something when I remember about the dried apples.

I also had one single pie crust left over from when I made the Scrambled Burger Quiche.

Chef Farion was visiting today, so I laid the apples and the pie crust on the counter, and I said, “I’ve got this and this. What do you think?” He gave me the inspiration for a Crostada .

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We Moved!

Spane sticking his tongue out

Spane having fun with the web cam

The Good Plate, has now moved to its new home with a new domain name.  We have arrived!  We have our own domain name now, and that will make things easier for search engines and people.

It was a harrowing two days to move The Good Plate from its former home over at, and at one point I even got frustrated.  That will now me never to try to move a Word Press blog when I have not had enough sleep the night before.  You tend to forget things, and then get your panties in a wad because something isn’t working the way you think it should.

For any of you who might be wanting to do this in the future, here’s the recipe for doing it pretty simply:

  1. Make a folder on your computer that is the name of the old word press site, eg. oldsite
  2. Make a folder on your computer that is the name of the new word press site, eg. example
  3. Download ALL the files in the wordpress files from the old site to the oldsite folder on your computer
  4. Get to the old database files, and save all the word press tables as one big sql file to your computer.  You will probably be doing this in phpmyadmin.  Save the file in the oldsite folder.
  5. Open the sql file in a text editor.  DO NOT TRY THIS IN WORD  – USE NOTEPAD.
  6. Lets say the old web site was http://example.ORG and the new site is http://example.COM (I am using the example domain name because it is reserved for this purpose.  I don’t want to use up someone else’s bandwidth).
  7. Replace ALL with
    1. If you had a structure like and the new structure is the same, just change to
    2. If you are going to have the blog in the root directory, then you want to replace with
  8. Change the database instructions on the wp_config.php file which is in the root of the oldsite directory.
  9. Upload the files from the oldsite folder to the new domain.
  10. You should be able then to point your browser to the new domain.
  11. Make changes to any of the Google, Facebook, etc. account that use the old domain
  12. Put a 301 redirect in the htaccess file to send visitors with the old address to the new address

There are other ways of doing it, but this way worked for me.  Good luck!

Salmon Croquettes and Martini Caper

Martini Shaker and Glass

Recipes in this Post

Every once in a while, I make too many mashed potatoes.  Yes, it’s true, even Spane and I cannot eat as many as I made the other night with liver and onions!  A long time ago, I discovered that salmon croquettes were particularly good using a left over baked potato as binder.  I had left over mashed, why not I thought?

These turned out so good I didn’t even have chance to take pictures!  Amber and I munched on them while we sat and talked over a Caper Martini.

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Oreo Rum Balls

I am sorry we have no pictures of the Rum Balls. It was really hot in Glendale on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, that as I formed the balls, they immediately started to flatten, so I had Rum Pancakes instead. I’ll make them again when it’s cooler and take pictures.

On Tuesday, my local Ralph’s had Oreos on sale, 2 packages for $5.00, so I bought one to eat with milk, and one to make rum balls. I also got a package of Duncan Hines Fudge Frosting.

Oh, the humanity! Some of you are saying this I am sure, but that’s okay. Rum Balls are made at bakeries from cake remnants, so using packaged cookies and packaged frosting I think is still okay. Even though my Rum Balls got flat, after they were refrigerated, they were still very rich and good.

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Shrimp Stuffed Wontons

wontonsIn this Post

I Love Shrimp!

I wanted to make wontons for dinner tonight and stuff them with cream cheese and jalapeño, like I did with the Pope’s Hats. Since they have no meat, they are perfect for Fridays. But, on my way home from dropping Spane off at school, I stopped in at the local Hispanic market, where they had some lovely raw shrimp. So, I got some of that, and when to the local Armenian store to buy fresh cilantro, and fresh spring onions.

When I was a little girl, I had a severe allergic reaction to something, and I was tested and no one could figure out what it was. When I was in my twenties, I went to Encinada, Mexico and I again had a severe allergic reaction. Finally, a few years after that, I had one more allergic reaction. I thought about it, and realized that every time I had had a severe allergic reaction, I had eaten shrimp. But, I had been eating shrimp all my life, what was so different about those times? Then I realized each time that the sand vein had not been completely cleaned – I had eaten some of the sand vein. What is the sand vein in a shrimp? It’s their digestive tract, in other words, that’s where their poop is. There is also the “blood vein” (a euphemism for the ventral nerve cord) along the inner curve of the shrimp’s body that also has some nasty black stuff. I finally figured out after all those years that I was not allergic to shrimp itself, I was allergic to the sand vein, or to be more precise, the poop. I’m pretty much convinced that people who are allergic to shrimp are allergic to shrimp poop, not the shrimp itself, just like I am.

Why am I telling you all this? I am telling you this because, even if you are not allergic to shrimp poop like I am, there is still no excuse to leave the nasty digestive insides of shrimp intact. It may take a few seconds to clean, but it is well worth the effort, now that you know what that dark stuff is.

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