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Mummy Candle Holders  <>  5th Avenue Spiders <>  Sloppy Joes
Italian Hot Chocolate <>  Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake



by Mary Canovas



Mummy Candle Holder and Decoration

At Halloween, candles are just as important as jack o´lanterns or vampires. Our scary mummy decoration and candle holder is essential.  Spooky by day,  but the magic starts at twilight when the candles are lit. This classic monster seems to take on a life of its own. Depending on your glass jars, you can make your mummies taller or shorter,  display them alone or in a centerpiece with other Halloween decorations. To get that really ancient look, dip the gauze in a cup of tea and dry before using.

Materials: Gauze or cheesecloth, glue gun or white glue, plastic googly or moving eyes or black and white cardboard, scissors, candle real or LED tea candle, transparent glass jars.


5th Avenue Spiders

Our spiders wouldn´t be caught dead in any old grimy haunted house, they are the glamorous, chic Fifth Avenue Spiders – with a precious stone body and little glass eyes and sparkly glitter legs. Place them everywhere to decorate all your fantasies on Halloween or any day of the year. Happy Halloween!

Materials: 5 glitter pipe cleaners – any color. 1 large or medium elongated bead 2 smaller beads (eyes)


Italian Hot Chocolate

Of all the hot chocolates I´ve tried, by far my favorite has to be Italian Hot Chocolate – not too light like French Hot Chocolate and not too dense like Spanish Hot Chocolate – just absolutely delicious.  So rich, smooth and velvety, it´s perfect for any time and any occasion.

It only takes a few minutes and you can kick it up a notch with a teaspoon of your favorite liquor.  For when you absolutely need the happiness that only a cup of great hot chocolate can give.

Ingredients for 3 cups:

  • 4 oz (120 g) dark chocolate, grated or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar – or more to taste
  • 2 cups (500 ml) of milk + 2 tablespoons extra
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch (Maicena)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional:1/2 to 1 teaspoon of your favorite liquor (rum, cognac, Bailey’s Cointreau …)


  • Place the cornstarch in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of cold milk. Stir until dissolved. Put aside.
  • Heat 2 cups of milk with cocoa powder, chopped chocolate and sugar on medium high, stirring until everything is well mixed.
  • Add the milk and cornstarch mixture, stirring gently until everything thickens.
  • Stir in vanilla, and Optional: liquor.
  • Serve hot or with a dollop of whipped cream.


Sloppy Joes

What would American moms do without our Sloppy Joes!  If you´ve never heard of them, they are hot sandwiches with loose ground beef in an incredibly rich sauce, served in a bun so full that it overflows from the sides when we eat it. (That´s the sloppy part). We don’t know exactly where they were first created but it probably was Sioux City, Iowa in the 1930s. This recipe is a family favorite across the United States so popular that there is an annual official Sloppy Joe Day – March 18th. Kids love them. Messy yes, but delicious – definitely.

Ingredients for 2:

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil – sunflower
  • 1/2 fat green pepper, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup – 230 g tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 1/2 kilo – 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup – 115 g ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, extra ketchup
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 hamburger buns cut in half and lightly toasted inside
  • Dill Pickles – sliced Gherkin, Polish …


  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Add onion, pepper and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fry, stirring, until vegetables are soft.
  • Add the ground beef. Fry over medium high heat and stir and until the meat is done and is not pink.
  • Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture in the skillet.
  • Lower the heat to medium low and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes.
  • Taste and, if necessary season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fill the bottom half of the toasted rolls with plenty of meat.
  • Put 4 or 5 thin slices of dill pickles on top.
  • Can be eaten, as is, or with ketchup or mustard.
  • Cover with the top of the toasted bun.
  • Serve immediately with potato chips or fries (and a napkin – just in case).


Classic Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

If you like a chocolate cake with lots of flavor, you will definitely want to try this Chocolate Cake made with Mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise is the secret of its rich, wonderfully tender texture. It doesn’t need frosting, but it’s delicious when topped with a smooth, creamy chocolate ganache, or chocolate whipped cream.  Mayonnaise cake became popular during the Great Depression in the U.S, when eggs and oil were hard to come by. Apparently, mayonnaise was more readily available. Hellmann´s Mayonnaise printed this recipe on their jars and the rest is history – making it to this day, a favorite for family cooks and chocolate cake lovers.


  • 250g -2 cups flour
  • 85 g – 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon 5g baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon 5 g baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 340 g – 1 and 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 230g -1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
  • 320 ml – 1 and 1/3 cups coffee, at room temperature

Chocolate Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 500 ml. or 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 100 g – 1/2 cup sugar


  • Preheat oven to 180º C – 350º F.
  • Butter and lightly flour two 8”- 20cm round pans or a 9” x 13”x 3” (23 x 33 x 8 cm) pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with oven or parchment paper.
  • In a bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In another bowl, beat eggs with sugar and vanilla extract, at high speed, until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  • Lower speed and beat in mayonnaise.
  • Alternately add the flour mixture (in three parts) and coffee (in two parts), beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Pour the batter into pans.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before unmolding.
  •  Place the cake on a rack to cool completely before frosting.