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Spook-tacular treats

Bridgett Taylor Green fondly recalls her first cooking memory. She was 6, and it involved her mother, buttermilk cornbread and The Beatles.

“I sat on the counter top,” she said. “‘Hey Jude’ was on the record player, and she let me put in all the ingredients and mix it up

“She didn’t measure any ingredients. She would just toss stuff in until it looked right. And it was always fabulous. We always wore aprons when we cooked.”

Today, Green, 38, who just earned certification as a family nurse practitioner from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, still wears an apron her granny made when she cooks. Lately, she’s been focused on scary Halloween treats for her son, Cooper, 13, and daughter, Swayzie, 10.

“I have always loved the holidays, but Halloween in particular,” she said. “As a kid, it meant that I could be anyone or anything I wanted, even if for just one day. What kid doesn’t like dressing up and play-acting?

“I do it now because I love making memories with my kids. They’re the reasons I make such a fuss and decorate every inch of the house. I want them to have happy childhood memories, always know where home is, and remember me when I’m gone.”

Green begins prepping for Halloween in August. The kids help her plan recipes.

“I love to watch their faces light up,” she said.

Many of her ideas come from Pinterest or Southern Living magazine.

Green said don’t let scary treats scare you.

“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “Ha….see what I did there? Include the whole family. It’s a fun way to get everyone involved. Food is very forgiving and, even if it doesn’t look exactly like you want, it will still taste great and give you something to talk to your kids about.”

Green said she and her children always dress up at Halloween. This year, Cooper will be a zombie. Swayzie will be an Egyptian princess. She and her husband, Graham Green, will likely become Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

halloween treats

The following are Bridget Taylor Green’s favorite Halloween treats to make:

Zombie Eyes

Ingredients: Oreo cookies, M&Ms, writing icing and red sprinkles

Instructions: Separate Oreos and use half of the cookie with the cream filling. Save the other cookie half. Apply red sprinkles to the white cream to resemble bloodshot eyes. Apply a dime-size glob of icing, which will be the iris. Place a brown M&M on the icing to make the pupil. “Place them on a McCarty Pottery tray, and you have very sophisticated Zombie eyes,” Green said.

Witch Hats

Ingredients: The cookie half you saved while making Zombie Eyes. Orange icing. Hershey’s Kisses.

Instructions: Using the other half of the cookie, place a glob of orange icing directly in the center of the cookie. “Unwrap a Hershey’s Kiss, and place the flat side down in the center of the orange frosting to make the cutest little witch hat,” Green said.

Mummies

Ingredients: Hot dogs. Candy eyes and mustaches found in the baking aisle at Kroger. You’ll “glue” them to the hot dog with mustard after baking. Crescent rolls.

Instructions: Cut the crescent rolls into thin strips, and wrap the hot dog, making sure to expose some of the hot dog along the way. Bake about eight minutes at 350 degrees. Once cooled, place a dot of mustard on the back of each candy eye and mustache to “glue” them in place.

Zombie Teeth

Ingredients: Red apples, peanut butter and miniature marshmallows

Instructions: “I use an apple slicer because I’m obsessive compulsive and need things equal,” Green said. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the bottom “lip.” Line up mini marshmallows in the peanut butter. Spread peanut butter on the top lip and place on top of marshmallows.

“I’m making them because the kids get so excited to come home and see what I have made that day,” she said. “I love talking to them about their day while they have a homemade snack.”

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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