Why I Hate Halloween
Ok, I actually don’t “hate” Halloween. But let me tell you why Halloween is the worst holiday these days. First, let me say that I truly have tons of fun and happy memories around this time of year. I love carving a hand-picked pumpkin from the pumpkin patch every year. I cherish memories of trick-or-treating until an entire year’s supply of candy is hoarded in a pillow case. But my family has been obsessed with Halloween decorations since I was a baby. And I don’t mean the silly pumpkins and the cute witches. I’m talking about the severed heads with the brains and tongues spewing out. The day after Halloween, they are in the stores buying all the half-price decorations to plan for next year. A whole 364 days early!!
Basically, the reason why Halloween is my least favorite holiday (is that a nicer way to say it?) is because of how gosh darn scary it is! Autumn is a magical, marvelous time of the year! Pumpkin-flavored-everything, hay rides, colorful leaves falling like confetti, apple picking, and kitchens being filled with warm foods again, like cornbread and chili!! Why do we have to celebrate with blood splattered on a ghost who’s ready to suck out your soul? (I’ve seen this animatronic in the Halloween store this year – I’m not making this stuff up.)
This year, I decided to make my own happy and cute decorations, and a healthier version of Halloween candy. Cue the sparkles and dancing unicorns! Also, if you want to laugh your face off, watch this adorable four-year-old explain all the reasons why Halloween is so overrated.
I’ll never forget that time I was walking through my dark home in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and nearly had a heart attack because a ghost decoration was lurking in the corner. Or that time I nearly peed my pants because the animatronic outside that was supposed to be turned off was suddenly going off non-stop. Gah!!
So this year, I made cute and funny decorations for Halloween. Say hello to a pumpkin decorated like she’s having a spa day… not like it’s time for a pumpkin blood bath. Just look at that sweet little pumpkin deer! And who doesn’t adore a hilarious and self-deprecating letterboard quote? I love it.
Healthier Halloween Candy
These candied pear slices are delicious. They taste like healthy fruit taffy, or like a more candy-version of a fruit roll-up. They are super simple to make and tasty for the whole family. You can even dye them different colors, using food coloring or natural food dyes, like turmeric, beets and blueberries. I think they resemble delicate stained glass pieces in the sunlight. This version of Halloween candy is way healthier (and cheaper) than what you find at the grocery stores!
Candied Pear Chips
- 2 pears
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- food coloring (optional) you can use food coloring or natural food dye, like turmeric, beets or blueberries
- Slice the pears into ⅛-inch slices on a mandolin or with a sharp knife.
- If you're making all the pears one color (or not coloring them), pour all the sugar and water into one pot and set it on the stove to simmer.If you're making the pears two different colors, pour half the sugar and half the water in one pot and the other half the sugar and water in a separate pot. Set both on the stove to simmer. Add the food coloring to dissolve.
- Once all the sugar is dissolved and once all the food dye (if using) is evenly distributed, add in the pear slices and simmer for 15 minutes.Turn off the heat and let the pear slices soak in the syrup for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Remove all the pear slices from the syrup and lay them without overlapping on a baking sheet.
- Bake the pear slices for one hour. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip all the pear slices over and turn the baking sheet 180° when you put it back in the oven, so the pear slices that were at the back are now at the front, for even baking. Bake for another 30 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how soft & chewy (30 minutes) or harder like taffy (45 minutes) you want your candied pear. Keep an eye on them during this last baking session, to make sure none of the smaller/thinner slices burn.