Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!! So what are you getting dressed up for this Halloween? Are your kids excited? Mine are. They adore Halloween. And I adore watching them.
I also love carving the Jack-o-lantern and seeing it all lit up. Part of the fun of Halloween is getting dressed up in a costume and pretending to be someone or something else for the evening.
Lately, I’ve been noticing allot of messages about “authenticity.” To be “authentic” means to be “genuine” or “real.” Isn’t it ironic that on the eve of the one night of the year when we’re allowed to put on a mask and pretend to be someone else that this message of authenticity has me pondering?
I recently attended IFBC*, a food blogger’s conference where almost every speaker at the event had something to say about finding authenticity. As I look back on my notes, there are many instances where the message of finding your “inner voice,” your “niche,” your “tribe” and “being meaningful” pop-up. Once you find this authentic voice, you tap into an energy that others can relate to and trust. Being relatable and trustworthy is key; because without it, others will not truly understand your message, nor will they act.
This sort of advice isn’t new, but it is a lesson we often forget. We can all learn from this no matter our occupation or role in life. At times, we all fall away from being “authentic” and from truly listening and understanding our audience. Our best leaders know that not only must our words inspire, but they must be relatable and trustworthy. Only then can they move people to action and change. Our motivation must be authentic.
So, in the spirit of Halloween and the spirit of authenticity, behold the SPIDER COOKIE! This might be the scariest and most AWFUL thing I’ve EVER made!! DO NOT TRY THIS at home.
This cookie started out with enthusiasm. I was inspired by all the Halloween treats I saw on Pinterest. Truth be told, I consider myself to be a pretty good cook, but baking is scary to me.
I kept it simple and baked Betty Crocker peanut butter cookies. (Yes, I used a box cookie. Don’t judge. Sometimes, it’s easy to just let the experts handle things. These cookies turned out very good. Moist, delicious, the perfect amount of peanut flavor, easy to read instructions… thanks Betty. It’s where I started messing with it that things went terribly wrong.)
What’s even SCARIER is the state of my baking sheets – BLACK AS NIGHT. (And yet this is another lesson from IFBC I’m happy to share – “show the technique” and find the “sexy” moments in the recipe. In all serious, I’m laughing at myself and I hope you are giggling too. My black baking sheets are pretty real and I’m betting many of you can relate. In fact, I think Betty knows that the best cooks have black baking sheets because it says right in the instructions what adjustments to make if you have black (ok, dark) baking sheets. I prefer to call them “seasoned.”)
I attempted to create a spider with a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup. I tried frosting for legs and also gluing chocolate chips onto the cookie with frosting. Unfortunately, the store was out of cookie frosting and I had no way to get melted chocolate onto the actual cookie. So, this was where our experiment goes wrong. Oops. Eyes were a problem. I couldn’t find the perfect Wilton sugar eyes. I tried pieces of marshmallow…terrible mess. I tried just frosting. Ummn, no! The kids refused peanut pieces. Ughh! I’d had it.
Anyways in the end…the kids LOVED these. What?! (They did!) They were WAY too sweet and they turned lips and mouths a disgusting black color that took nearly TWO days to go away. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I’m so glad my kiddos loved them.
So, what have I learned and what message do I want you to take away from this chaos.
- I will never attempt to make spider cookies again. We are all genius at something. Clearly baking unique delicious and easy Halloween treats is not my forte.
- Every recipe I post on this blog will be real, authentic and homemade by me. It is my hope that you will see these things and be inspired to try something new, make something fresh and cook with love.
- And finally…my last and most inspiring lesson from IFBC…a quote from Julia Child –
“You can never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
In other words, trust in yourself. Be authentic. You will always be learning. Then, and ONLY then might you help or inspire someone else. Let’s laugh at ourselves and have a Happy Halloween!!!
*The International Food Blogger’s Conference was held in September 2015. In exchange for a reduced rate to attend, I agreed to write three blog posts which could be about anything from the conference. This is the 3rd post.