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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: No Fall Festivals? Make It Happen At Home

By Sherrie Norris

Fall and all its traditional festivities “usually” add a bit of excitement to our cool, colorful mountains. We “usually” are in the midst of a fun football and tailgating season here in the High Country. There are “usually” countless fall festivals and Halloween parties on every corner — and then we barely catch our breath before preparations begin for Thanksgiving.

We all agree that very little is ordinary this year. It saddens many of us for various reasons, but by now, we’ve learned to adapt and have learned to make the most of a very trying situation.

While we might not be able to gather in traditional settings, we can still make the season count with those in our close circles.

Let’s try to carry on the best we can and enjoy our lovely autumn in the hills. Kids (big and little!) are still kids and we all need to have a little fun.

For this week and next, we will share some of the more traditional fall/Halloween treats we can all enjoy during this very unique season of life in which we find ourselves.


Pumpkin Krispie Treats

3 Tbs. butter or margarine

1 pkg. (about 40) regular marshmallows or

4 cups miniature marshmallows

Red and yellow food coloring

6 cups Rice Krispies

Canned frosting or decorating gel

Assorted candies

In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Mix red and yellow food coloring and stir into the butter/ marshmallow mixture. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.

Divide warm cereal mixture into ½-cup portions and with buttered hands, shape each into “pumpkins.” Decorate with frosting and/or candies. Best if served the same day, but can be made in advance and frozen for up to six weeks in an airtight container, on single layer on waxed paper.

Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.


Ham and Cheese Delights

1 pkg. mini party rolls

1 pkg. deli ham

1 pkg. Swiss cheese

1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce

3 Tbs. Dijon mustard

3 Tbs. poppy seeds

1 stick butter (melted)


Mix Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and poppy seeds with melted butter. Slice pack of party rolls in half (top/bottom). Spread mixture on bottom half; add ham and cheese and cover with top half. Bake on 350 until cheese is melted.


Savory Scarecrow Scramble

3 cups. small pretzels

3 cups. shoestring potatoes

3 cups peanuts

½ cups. seasoned croutons

4 ½ oz. can French fried onions

½ cups. margarine

½ cups. Parmesan cheese

Mix well. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring often.

Store in airtight container.


Simple Apple Dumplings

1 (10 oz.) can refrigerator biscuits

5 medium apples, peeled, cored and quartered

1½ cups sugar

1½ cups water

½ cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. cinnamon


Roll each biscuit into large circle. Cut in half. Place 1 apple quarter on each piece of dough. Moisten edges and bring to center, pinch and seal. Place each in casserole dish.

Combine sugar and other ingredients; bring to boil. Pour over dumplings. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Baste frequently.


Seasonal Cookies

1 (12-oz.) bag (white or regular) chocolate chips or seasonally colored candy coating/ melts

1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (if using regular white/chocolate chips)

Ritz crackers

Creamy or crunchy peanut butter

Orange candy sprinkles or those for any holiday/seasonal theme


In small, heavy saucepan, melt chocolate/shortening together OR candy coating over low heat, stirring until smooth.

Make sandwich cookies out of the Ritz crackers, using peanut butter for filling.

Dip each cookie into the melted/chocolate mixture and place on waxed paper. Sprinkle with the candy. Allow to dry at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.