Last-Minute Halloween Recipe: Deviled Eyeballs

Looking for last-minute Halloween recipes to make for your little monsters this Halloween?  These Deviled Eyeballs from my friends at Avocados from Mexico are cute and spooky, and oh so easy to make!  And they would be perfect served aside Sloppy Worm Sandwiches

Deviled Eyeballs


  • 8 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 fully ripened Avocadoes from Mexico, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) 
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish, drained (optional)
Peel the hard-boiled eggs; cut in halves lengthwise. Remove yolks to medium bowl; arrange whites on serving platter. To bowl with yolks, add avocados and lemon juice; mash until smooth, mixing well. Season with salt and peppers.  For extra flavor, stir in the tablespoon of grated horseradish, if desired.  Fill each egg white half with heaping tablespoon of mixture, piling high; sprinkle with herbs, if desired.

To make devilish eyes: Thinly slice roasted red peppers to create veins on eyeballs, or drizzle tops with bottled red hot sauce.  Top with sliced black olives.  Enjoy!!!  

Have a safe and very Happy Halloween!


*Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. Recipe & photo courtesy of Avocados from Mexico.  I was not compensated for this post.  

Sloppy Worm Sandwiches for Halloween #SundaySupper

I am so happy to be hosting the Trick-or-Treat #SundaySupper Halloween Party today!  It's like I finally get to host the Halloween party of my dreams.   I've loved Halloween since I was a little kid.  Dressing up as whatever TV or movie character I idolized at the moment, going to all the fun Halloween festivals and haunted houses, and trick-or-treating through the neighborhood with my pillowcase full of candy.

It's because of these fond memories that I continue to celebrate Halloween with my kiddies, here in Small Town, Mexico.  My kiddies love Halloween just as much as I do, even though they've never experienced a real Halloween in the States.  As soon as October 1st rolls around, the kiddies are the first to bring out the few Halloween decorations I have left.  And the only thing they want to talk about all month long is what they're going to dress up as for Halloween.  Of course, each of the kiddies changes their mind at least a dozen times.

One of our family Halloween traditions, is to watch our favorite family friendly Halloween movies, like "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown",  the week leading up to Halloween, to help get us in the mood.  Another family tradition is to eat fun Halloween themed foods, with super spooky names like Monster Mash and Spicy Vampire Bat Wings.

One of the kiddies' favorite Halloween dishes is Sloppy Worm Sandwiches.  Now, I know I've shared an exotic dish or two here in my Cocina, but I assure you, I've NEVER cooked with real worms.  The "worms" in these sandwiches are actually salchichas (hot dog sausages), that are cut into quarters to resemble worms.  Clever, right?

So, if you're looking for a fun Halloween dish to feed your little monsters this Halloween, these Sloppy Worm Sandwiches are slimy, yet very satisfying!

What are your family's Halloween traditions?

Sloppy Worm Sandwiches
(Inspired by Taste of Home magazine)

  • 2 pounds salchichas (hot dog sausages) 
  • 3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano chilies, finely chopped (optional) 
  • 1-1/2 cups bottled BBQ sauce
  • Hot dog buns
  • Shredded lettuce (optional) 

Cut each salchicha into quarters, lengthwise.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the salchichas and let cook until slightly brown.  Gently stir in the chopped tomato, onion, serrano chilies, and bottled BBQ sauce. (Important note: If you have little ones at home who aren't used to eating spicy food, please omit the serrano chilies. If you still want the flavor,  use chopped green bell peppers instead.)   Reduce heat to low.  Cover skillet and let simmer until the salchichas are soft and pliable.

Serve on toasted hot dog buns spread with mayonnaise or Mexican crema.  Enjoy!!!  

Sloppy Hot Dog Worm Sandwiches for Halloween -

For more Halloween recipe ideas, be sure to check out the rest of the #SundaySupper line-up:

Bewitching Brews

Ghoulish Gruel: 

Haunted Snacks: 

Spooky Sweets: 

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day, this Sunday (October 28th) during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about all things Halloween.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your favorite Halloween recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.


Mini Pumpkin Empanada Bites {She Made / Ella Hace}

I can't remember if it was Girlichef's idea or mine to make empanadas for She Made/Ella Hace this month, I just know that I was more than happy to oblige.  I'm always looking for an excuse to make empanadas, mostly because there are only two kinds of empanadas sold in my small town: Empanadas de Piña (pineapple) and Empanadas de Leche (vanilla custard).  That's it!  Well, sometimes you can also find strawberrry jam filled empanadas, with a crumbly cookie-like crust, which I love.  But for She Made/Ella Hace, there was really only one kind of empanada I wanted to make...Pumpkin Empanadas!

Pumpkin Empanadas have been my absolute all-time favorite empanadas since I was a little girl.  They were the only kind I chose at the Mexican panadería (bakery).  But as much as I enjoyed the Pumpkin Empanadas from the panadería, they were nothing compared to the ones my grandpa used to make.  The dough was buttery and tender.  And the filling was only slightly sweet, but bursting with flavor.  You could taste each of the spices as soon as the filling touched your tongue.

I really think my grandpa missed his calling.  He was an expert baker.  About once a month, Pappy would make three or four different kinds of empanadas.  My favorites were calabaza (pumpkin), manzana (apple), and ciruela pasa (prunes).  But like most Mexican cooks, he never wrote anything down, and never bothered to measure ingredients.  I wish I would have paid more attention to how Pappy made his dough, because to this day, I haven't been able to recreate it.  Thankfully, my go-to cream cheese empanada dough works perfectly with this recipe.

The important thing is that I've got the filling down perfectly.  As I was cooking the pumpkin filling for the empanadas, the aroma of the spices floated through the air, making my house smell like Christmas.  So warm and inviting.  Even Hubby and a couple of his customers commented about the intoxicating aroma in the shop.  If I closed my eyes for just a second, it felt like I was standing in my grandparents' little kitchen for Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Empanaditas de Calabaza
(Mini-Pumpkin Empanada Bites)

For the Pumpkin Filling:
  • 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree (or canned)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon butter
For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 oz. butter, room temperature
Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree with the sugars and ground spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Cook over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the pumpkin puree is heated through.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter; set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Prepare the dough, combine the flour and salt.  With the help of a potato masher, add in the cream cheese and butter to the flour, until no trace of flour is visible.  Press the dough together to form a ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half.  Return one half of the dough to the refrigerator, while you work with the other half.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, or between two sheets of plastic wrap, to about 1/8-inch thickness.  Cut out circles with a 3-inch round cookie cutter or empanada mold.

To make the empanadas, spoon about a teaspoonful of pumpkin puree into the center of each circle of dough.  Using the tip of your finger, lightly moisten the outer edge of the dough with water.  Gently fold the dough circle in half, pressing the edges together with the tines of a fork to seal in the filling.  Pierce the center of each empanada with a fork.  (This allows for the steam to escape.)  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Continue with the remaining dough.  Refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for about 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.  Brush the uncooked empanadas with the slightly beaten egg, then sprinkle a little of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.  Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove the empanadas from oven and let cool for about one minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Serve with coffee or Mexican Hot Chocolate Enjoy!!!

Recipe yields about 24 to 30 Mini Pumpkin Empanadas.

Now head on over to Girlichef's blog!  She's made TWO different kinds of empanadas: Apple w/ Almond Paste AND Pumpkin with Piloncillo & Cinnamon.

What's your favorite kind of empanada?


Trick-or-Treat #SundaySupper Halloween Party Announcement

Halloween is one of my favorite holiday celebrations.  It's also one of the things I miss the most from the US.  That is why I am so happy and excited to announce that I am hosting a Trick-or-Treat Halloween Party for #SundaySupper this week.

I hope you’re ready for a howling good time, because this Sunday, October 28th, my #SundaySupper friends and I will be conjuring up some magic in our bubbling cauldrons to bring you everything from Ghoulish Gruel to Haunted Snacks to Spooky Sweets, and of course a few Bewitching Brews!

Witches, ghosts, goblins, vampires, zombies, monsters...  Everyone is invited.  You don't want to miss this hair-raising party.  It's sure to be a real scream!      

On the menu for our Trick-or-Treat #SundaySupper Halloween Party:

Bewitching Brews

Ghoulish Gruel: 

Haunted Snacks: 

Spooky Sweets: 

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day, this Sunday (October 28th) during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about all things Halloween.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your favorite Halloween recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.


October: Food of the Month Club Announcement

For month's I've known what ingredient I wanted to be October's Food of the Month, but I had to wait to make sure I'd actually have some to cook with when the time came.  I don't usually find them until a little later in the season.  But this year, I got lucky!

Last week, my favorite vendor came walking through the neighborhood with his wheelbarrow full of these little beauties...


Okay, these are Calabazas (Mexican pumpkins).  They're the closest thing I can find to the big, bright orange pumpkins that you see in the US.  But they are just as delicious.

I'm so excited to actually get to cook with pumpkin while it's still fall.  I've got a list of things that I want to make that is at least a mile long.  And the first things on that list are of course, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and Pumpkin Pie Atole.

What pumpkin goodies are you looking forward to eating this fall?

How to participate:
1.)  Visit La Cocina de Leslie the 15th of each month to find out the Food of the Month.

2.)  Cook up something delicious using the Food of the Month as one of the main ingredients.

3.)  Post the recipe(s) on your blog.  You may submit more than one recipe, but no more than 3 can be included in the round-up.  All posts must be current.   

4.)  You must link to this page in your pumpkin recipe blog post(s).  You can also add the Food of the Month Club badge to your post and/or sidebar.  You can find the code for the badge here

5.)  Email your pumpkin entries to me at no later than November 14th to be included in the round-up.  Be sure to  include:
~your name
~your blog name
~permalink to your post
~a photo of your recipe or permission to pull one from your post

6.)  Visit La Cocina de Leslie on November 15th for the pumpkin recipe round-up.   


Apple Recipe Round-Up #FOTMC

I love apples and think they are synonymous with fall.  Sweet, tart, and oh so colorful! Add a little cinnamon to the mix and it's almost too much to resist.   That's why I chose apples as the ingredient for September's Food of the Month.  If you're looking for something new to make with apples, check out these wonderful apple recipes from a few of my friends.

To start things off, my friends from Peru Delights, who just finished writing their first cookbook "The Everything Peruvian Cookbook" which will be available for sale in February 2013, share this creamy and moist Apple Cakethat really is bursting with apples.

Sarah from What Smells So Good? shows us how easy it is to make this vibrant Crab Apple Jelly.  I think this would make an amazing gift this holiday season.

Jenna from Little Kitchen Big Flavor made an all-American classic: Apple Pie with Oat Crumb Topping.  I'll take mine with an extra scoop of ice cream, please.

Heather from Malice in Dunderland made us a sweet and savory Fruit Picadillo sweetened with apples and pears.

Corina from Searching for Spice baked up a fluffy Oven-Baked Apple Pancake filled with apples, spice and everything nice.

My contribution to this Round-Up is a creamy Apple-Cinnamon Arroz con Leche, that tastes like fall in a cup.

And lastly, my friend Nicole from Presley's Pantry has a very special treat for all of us...Halloween Caramel Apples!  Watch this awesome video to see how easy they are to make.

Thank you to all who participated this month!  It's a pleasure to cook with you each month.  If you would like to be included in the next Food of the Month Club Recipe Round-Up, check back a little later today for October's announcement post for more details.


Comfort Food Classics: Creamy Chicken & Biscuit Dumplings {#SundaySupper}

My mom didn't cook much when I was growing up.  When she did, it was usually outside on the grill.  But every once and a while she'd surprise me with what to this day remains to be my all-time favorite dish ever...Chicken & Dumplings.  Whenever I saw my mom take out a can of Cream of Chicken soup and the box of Bisquick, I knew I was in for a treat.

When I grew up and got married, I continued to make Chicken & Dumplings the same way my mom did.  But then we moved to Mexico.  No canned cream of chicken soup to be found here.  And no Bisquick either.  So, I was forced to learn to make Chicken & Dumplings from scratch.  This was before there was internet access in our small town.  And without the help of a cookbook.  Remember, I gave away all of my cookbooks before we moved down here.

The most important part of any Chicken & Dumplings recipe is of course the actual dumplings.  There are two kinds of dumplings that can be used for Chicken & Dumplings: fluffy biscuit dumplings that puff up once they hit the broth, and the flatter noodle-like dumplings that are rolled out with a rolling pin before adding them to the hot broth.  Both are quite delicious, but I'm partial to the biscuit dumplings, because that's the kind my mom made.

Before I share the recipe, there are a few things I need to point out.  The first thing you might notice is the celery.  It's on the ingredient list and in the directions, but you won't see it in the bowl.  For some strange reason, my Hubby and kiddies do NOT like celery at all!  I love the stuff and use it anyway, because it's what gives the broth it's great flavor.  I cut the celery ribs in half, which makes it easier to fish them out of the broth before serving.  (I remove the onion too!)  But if you love celery, you can thinly slice it or chop it.

Another little thing I do differently from the more traditional Chicken & Dumpling recipes is that I don't use canned cream soup, nor do I use a roux to thicken my broth.  My secret to a silky smooth and creamy chicken broth is Mexican crema!  If you can't find Mexican crema at your local grocery store, you can substitute sour cream or heavy cream.

I've told you mine, now tell me yours.  What is your favorite Comfort Food?

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (from scratch) -

Creamy Chicken & Biscuit Dumplings

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 5 to 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4-in diagonal pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut in half or thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 6 to 8 cups water 
  • 3/4 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream) 
For the Dumplings: 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

  1. In a large (4 to 6-quart) stockpot, combine the chicken, carrots, celery, and onion with 6 to 8 cups of water, depending on how much broth you want/like.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let chicken soup simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and the carrots are tender.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
  3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, stir the Mexican crema into the broth. (Important note: If you have picky eaters like I do, remove the celery and onion BEFORE adding the Mexican crema.)  
  4. Finish making the dumplings, by mixing the butter into the flour mixture using a potato masher or a fork, until no large pieces of butter are visible.  Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir to combine.  Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dumpling dough into the hot broth.  DO NOT STIR!  Let the dumplings cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, then cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Ladle into bowls.  Enjoy!!!

Homemade Chicken & Biscuit Dumplings (from scratch) -

For more Comfort Food recipes, be sure to check out what my #SundaySupper friends are serving up in their kitchens!

#SundaySupper Comfort Food |Soups
#SundaySupper Comfort Food  | Main Dish
#SundaySupper Comfort Food | Desserts
Pairing Wine with Sunday Supper Comfort Food Favorites! by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog 
Don't forget to join us tonight at 7pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper Twitter chat.  This week, we have a very special guest: Lee WoodruffCBS This Morning contributor and  founder of   If you join us, you could win one of five copies of Lee Woodruff's book, Those We Love Most.