The Pumpkin King

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Welcome to the 13 Days of Halloween

So, today’s theme is Nightmare Before Christmas. Shut up, I know! This movie is so many things to so many people and it is loved. I mean, who can forget the moment when Sally poisons Dr. Finkelstein for the 50th time and escapes by flinging herself from the tower. Good times. What’s your favorite scene? Everyone has at least one. In my house, we watch it every Halloween and Christmas Eve. Actually, we watch it whenever we feel like it, but whatevs. What I’m trying to get around to is that there’s an age-old debate about whether Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC) is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. I mean, the first half of the movie is dark and Gothic and very much Halloween. Yet, the second half of the movie definitely has a Christmas feel what with the sleigh and delivering presents, even the snow, but even with the Christmasy feel, Halloween is still prevelant. What do you think–Halloween or Christmas? I say it’s a Halloween movie all the way. Read here to find out Henry Selick’s answer. Whether you agree or not this day in the 13 is all about it, so let’s get to it.

In this post:

  • NBC trivia
  • Song of the day
  • Tonight’s movie
  • Dinner, Beverage, and Dessert
  • Food for Thought

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NBC Trivia

  1. Zero’s nose is actually a tiny glowing jack-o’-lantern.
  2. In 2001, Walt Disney Pictures began to consider producing a sequel, but rather than using stop motion, Disney wanted to use computer animation. Tim Burton convinced Disney to drop the idea. “I was always very protective of [Nightmare] not to do sequels or things of that kind,” Burton explained. “You know, ‘Jack visits Thanksgiving world’ or other kinds of things just because I felt the movie had a purity to it and the people that like it,” Burton said.
  3. Tim Burton has said the original poem was inspired after seeing Halloween merchandise display in a store being taken down and replaced by a Christmas display. The juxtaposition of ghouls and goblins with Santa and his reindeer sparked his imagination.
  4. The names of the 3 children in Halloween costumes are Lock, Stock and Barrel; the three parts of a firearm.
  5. Oogie Boogie was originally intended to be Dr. Finklestein in disguise. Reportedly, Tim Burton was so infuriated by this idea that he literally kicked a hole into the wall.
  6. It took a group of around 100 people three years to complete this movie. For one second of film, up to 12 stop-motion moves had to be made.

Song of the Day

Turn it up, peeps. This is the best of the best right here.

Bonus Tune

I have 3 kiddos, and yeah, I called them Lock, Shock, and Barrel for a time. Good times.

Tonight’s Movie

BAHAHAHAHA! Not what you were expecting? OK, I was just sharting you. Here’s what we really watched:

Dinner, Beverage, and Dessert

Jack-o-Lantern Chicken Taco Cups

cups

This recipe comes from a cookbook in my vast collection, but it can also be found here.

Ingredients

8 slices (3/4 oz each) American cheese
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 container (20 oz) refrigerated taco sauce with seasoned shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 medium tomato, cut into 8 thin slices
Shredded lettuce

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. With top edge of custard cup as a pattern, cut out round from each cheese slice. In each round, cut out small triangles for eyes and nose, and small shape for mouth to resemble jack-o’-lantern. Set aside. Spray outside bottom and sides of eight 6-ounce custard cups lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Roll or pat each biscuit into 4 1/2-inch round. Place biscuit rounds over outside of sprayed cups; press to fit over bottom and part way down sides of cups. Place cups, upside down, in ungreased 15×10-inch pan with sides.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, cook taco sauce with chicken, corn and chiles over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, just until thoroughly heated.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Carefully remove biscuit cups from custard cups; place biscuit cups, right side up, in same baking pan. Spoon chicken mixture evenly into each biscuit cup. Top each with tomato slice (I make this optional) and jack-o’-lantern cheese slice.
  6. Return to oven; bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle tops of cheese with shredded lettuce to resemble hair. (I don’t do this. Jack doesn’t have hair.)

Frog’s Breath

For this one, I basically took some Green Berry Rush Hawaiian Punch, threw some Sierra Mist in it and called it Frog’s Breath. It’s tasty and the kiddos enjoy saying that they’re drinking frog’s breath. The way I see it, you’ve gotta cut yourself some slack sometimes in the creativity department. Otherwise, you could become stressed trying to dazzle them with shizz or go broke buying a butt load of ingredients. They’re kids, chances are they’re already impressed that you’re even attempting something as cool as Halloween-themed dinners.

Brownie Pumpkin Cheescake

cheese

This recipe comes from a cookbook in my vast collection, but it can also be found here.

Ingredients

Brownie Base:
1 box (1 lb 3.9 oz) dark chocolate fudge brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
Filling:
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Make brownie batter as directed on box for basic recipe; spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean.
  2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in pumpkin until well blended. On low speed, beat in eggs 1 at a time, just until combined. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Reserve 1/2 cup filling in small bowl. Pour remaining filling over baked brownie base.
  3. Stir melted chocolate into reserved filling; place chocolate in large resealable food-storage plastic bag. Seal bag; cut off 1 corner of bag. Squeeze bag to pipe jack-o’-lantern face on cheesecake.
  4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 30 minutes. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool 30 minutes longer. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.

OK, so this dessert looks totally kick ass and sounds really yummy, however, it’s a real bitch to make. My daughter isn’t too keen on pumpkin flavored foods, so I actually bought the ready made cheescake filling by the Philadelphia cream cheese peeps and plopped that on top of the brownie crust (which is the only easy thing about this damn recipe). Then I did the melted chocolate chip pumpkin face (which was hard as feck to do, as you will see by my meal photos). Also, if you don’t have a springform pan–join the club–I used a regular pie plate/pan so don’t sweat it.

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So, now that I’ve uploaded my photo, I realize that my dismembered fingers in the chili bowl look more like 2 dicks in a bowl. Wow. That is unfortunate. I guess you’ll just have to believe me when I say that arrangement looked much better live than photographed. Feck.

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Here’s my pumpkin cheesecake. In my haste, I forgot to add the food coloring to make it orange, although looking at it now, I doubt it would have made it more impressive. Let me just say that the melted chocolate chip technique sucked. I think I might have cut the hole too big in the zip lock bag as well. The lines came out really thick and it was hard to work with because the chocolate started to cool. My daughter said it didn’t look that bad, but she’s cool like that. Think twice before making this one.

And now that I’m done with the whole food and bevy part of this, I’ve got a little bonus for you NBC diehards (you know who you are and I’m right there with ya).

Food for Thought: NBC Fan Theory

All of Tim Burton’s Original Films (Frankenweenie, Vincent, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Nightmare Before Christmas and, Corpse Bride) are Connected. The hell. You say. Read here and then come back and let’s discuss it in the comments below.

Until tomorrow . . .

Happy Haunting

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12 thoughts on “The Pumpkin King

  1. This movie is quite simply my favorite of ALL TIME. Thank god for no sequels, they only tend to muddy the waters in my opinion. To this day I catch myself humming “Kidnap the SandyClaws” whenever I’m… Well… Humming. (Guffaw)

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