Skulls and Pumpkins and Spiders, Oh My! 12 Fun Halloween Recipes

spider cookie


The other day, I found a massive spider in the house.

It was so big, it scared the cat.

cat cookie


Since we are preparing for Halloween anyway, I let the spider stay. The cat can stay, too.

We have been carving pumpkins into Pepper Jacks:

Carrot Ginger Quinoa Pepper Jack


We always carve many Jack o’ Lantern Peppers:

Pizza Pepper Jacks


The house is now haunted too, complete with ghosts and bats!

Spooky Cookie Haunted House


…and many of our skulls are the Ginger Wasabi Truffle variety:

Ginger Wasabi Chocolate Truffles


See the Halloween Recipe slideshow here:

Check out Skulls and Pumpkins and Spiders, Oh My!

by Kristina at



or click here to see all recipes at once!





Back To School Comfort Food – A Pasta Recipe Collection

gingered sesame-coconut udon

Gingered Sesame-Coconut Udon with Roasted Broccoli


This time of year is always bittersweet for me – I am clinging to the last shreds of summertime and sunshine, while also craving comfort food, cool crisp days, boots and scarves and sweaters and boots.

Oh. Yeah, I like boots.

Even though I am no longer a student, I still feel that ‘back to school’ excitement. Okay, That might involve wandering down every back to school supply aisle, buying new pens and notebooks. I have a thing.

But it also involves change! In changing my morning drive to avoid school zones the form of new recipes! Warming, comforting, cool weather recipes. Like these pastas. Many are very quick, super easy, with flavors friendly for a crowd.


Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage and Cashew Bechamel


I have collected a baker’s dozen of my favorites for you. Enjoy the slideshow or click here to view the entire collection!


Check out Back To School Comfort Food – A Pasta Recipe Collection

by Kristina at




Mid Week Girls Night In

Are you one of those who always likes to have something to look forward to? A vacation, a fun event, even just the weekend – I always have something coming up in the schedule to keep the normal days going smoothly.

One of my best friends and I are like that – from a concert we have tickets for to a trip we have planned in a few months, we always have that next thing to anticipate. Even if it is a simple night out.

Or night in.

A mid-week Girls Night is a great way to break up the week – and this time of year a fun evening with friends is a must, when the sun is shining and the evenings last longer with extended daylight (my favorite time of year, here in Portland it is light well after 9 pm!). I love to have friends over for a chill evening on the back deck, enjoying the evening sunshine.

To keep things easy, one of my entertaining tips is to have a signature beverage to serve – creating one or two smoothies and easy make ahead small bites. The girls can serve themselves and you can enjoy the party with them!




To see my whole slideshow collection, visit Vibrant Flavors for a Girls Night In.

For more party planning inspiration, see these Ideas for a Girls Night In, which includes mocktails and small bites made with Trop50 Raspberry Acai.

Compensation was provided by Trop50 via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of spabettie and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Trop50.


Sweet 16 – Vegan Valentines Recipes

Those who know me, know I love Valentines Day.

I am pretty sure everyone knows I love pink.

Yeah, I know the argument that love shouldn’t be reserved for a specific day (it isn’t), Valentines is exceedingly commercial (I don’t buy the merch – oh cripes I cannot lie I am a marketers dream), and love should be professed any and all the time.

It is. We do. and for that I am so very thankful and blessed.

I liked Valentines even when single (thanks Vick and Mikey for letting me be the third wheel that year – we had so much fun!).

Even before I was a food blogger, I created pink and red treats for February. I made Cookies On Dowels and sent them to Jason at work. It’s just something I do.

I have some perfectly pink treats to share in the next few days, and today I am sharing a whole bunch of them!

Happy February. Happy Valentines.

If you cannot see the slideshow, click here to see the whole collection.




ciao, Google Reader

Remember in school, those class assignments where you were to get into small groups to complete said assignment?

Were you That One Person who did all the work while everyone else took credit, or… were you the lucky and relaxed everyone else?

I was That One Person. *sigh*    …but somehow in college I turned into that procrastinator person, staying up all night at the very last possible second to get things done.

Cheesy, not at all smooth segue … now!

Here I am waiting until the last minute to talk about this – Google Reader is going away, as of today. Tonight. Tomorrow, it will be gone.

While I waited until the last minute to talk about it here, I didn’t procrastinate with my own favorite feeds (yay, me!).

I have been reading my favorite blogs and articles from Feedly for about a month. Not exactly like G Reader (I love that even with different folders, my true favorites and most reads still came up to the top, regardless of the newer publishings ahead of them. maybe Feedly can get on that.), but the closest I have found. before importing my G Reader feed (it takes mere minutes!), I did briefly try Bloglovin’. I use it too.

Are you a Google Reader, um, reader? Have you moved somewhere else already?

You can follow me on Feedly here, on Bloglovin’ here, and all of these places if you are not already:






Lastly? I miss you all – I miss it here. I will be back with a new recipe tomorrow, and hopefully back to a kinda sorta regular schedule soon. I have a lot to share, and want to hear from you, I miss the interaction. What’s new with you?

I am just now home from a fantastically fun weekend at Fitbloggin’ – I will share with you the fun I had soon – and we’re having people over to grill this afternoon.

This sparkly spiked raspberry granita is sitting in the freezer right this minute, waiting for me to scrape scrape scrape into glasses and top with whip cream:


a few of my favorite things

picking fresh blueberries. from our yard. they are SO good this year!

this video. seriously, the sweetest few minutes you will spend today. the Dandy Warhols music is just a plus.

iced tea. Tejava sent this over recently, and it was perfect on a warm evening sitting by the pool. I like iced tea but have only made it once in my life – not a big fan of making my own, and this is one of the best bottled teas I’ve had. Micro-brewed Tejava is 100% natural, unsweetened and calorie free – simply pure and refreshing black tea. You can find it at Trader Joes and World Market.

Way Too Much Portland – a website showcasing all that is unique and quirky about Portland. like this. LOVE this.

hello kitty “duck” tape. yes, we bought some. giving it as a joke to a friend. who does it remind you of?

midnight snacks. this was blended strawberries and banana. that’s all.

learning all the manual settings. the midnight snack photo was taken in a completely dark kitchen. 😀

Les Schwab. if you are in the Pacific Northwest, you’re familiar with Les Schwab and his awesome tire stores. actually what is awesome is the premium customer service. Jason had a flat tire the other day, and he drove it in to Les Schwab, telling the guy he wanted a set of four tires. the guy joked and said “great!” like, easy sale! after looking at the flat, he told Jason nope, it’s just a nail, he patched it, the tires have another 10,000 miles! no charge. so awesome. this is why we only buy tires from Les.

receiving flowers for no reason at all. which is the best reason.

What are your favorite things lately?


my 7 links

There is an interesting and fun ‘list’ going around called My 7 Links. Thank You to Jenn and Christina for tagging and including me in the fun!

Most Beautiful Post

In a literal sense, the Amorphophallus rivieri and all of my garden posts. I love this aspect of photography – the plants, flowers and critters – all of the beauty around us!

Most Popular Post 

My most popular post by stats numbers is my spinach pancakes. I love these, so that makes me really happy!

Another post that has been very popular is my jalapeno popper sandwich. I can’t imagine why. 😉

Most Controversial Post 

It actually has 250k more views than my spinach pancakes, but I don’t really want to call any more attention to it. I am so very thankful that I am open minded, and I welcome a respectful, meaningful and intelligent debate. Not everyone can be open to more than black and white, and I suppose that’s what keeps things interesting, right?

I like to keep things tasty around here, not controversial.

Most Helpful Post

I cannot tell you how elated I am each time I get a comment or email, just telling me thank you. Readers saying they made my recipe, learned something, laughed, made a connection. This has happened with many posts, recipe and non, so those become my most helpful posts, because they continue my energy and motivation to continue!

How To Cook Quinoa has been helpful, to readers and honestly, helpful to me and my forgetful mind. 😉

Post Which Was Surprisingly Successful 

My Earth Day post still is very popular! I have made other themes of these nut butter cups and will post them soon.

Post That Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved

I have to say I am extremely happy with the attention my blog has been given this year. While I have changed the direction slightly since the beginning, I am having more and more fun with it, and the opportunities are more exciting and fun as well!

Many people have made this recipe, and Jason and I both love my white bean quinoa burgers with basil aioli. This was originally posted when I had a much smaller readership, and want more to know about these flavorful burgers! It’s a recipe I worked a while to perfect.

Post You Are Most Proud Of 

Because I do not sew, am not interested in sewing, I am pretty proud of my Doxie Holiday post, where I signed up at the last minute (because I was talked into it!) for Handmade Christmas gift exchange. I also signed on for the highest number of people to swap with, and made extras for some other doxie friends. We had a lot of fun doing this, and it was one of several ways I learned and stretched and moved out of a comfort zone this past year.

Plus, last holiday season, I had more than 30 little felt dachshunds in my house:

The bloggers I am passing this on to:

Kris, Stephanie, Kath, Heather and Lindsay.

What is your favorite post on spabettie? Have you made any recipes seen here?


the history of rap

I love Justin Timberlake. I know others do too. He is HILARIOUS and when he and Jimmy Fallon get together It Is Genius.

(have you seen The Barry Gibb Talk Show? talking about issues, talking about crazy cool medallions!).

I love music of all kinds, and that includes rap music. Beastie Boys are one of my favorite bands ever, and they are included in this video that I have been playing on a loop all morning.

Click the top photo or watch it here!!

It always makes my day.