Recipes and potions for Halloween

Halloween Potions

by Jill Cooper

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Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. That isn't surprising since I feel candy should be placed at the top of the food pyramid.

So of course when I was expecting with my first child I had wonderful visions of all the fun things we would do on Halloween. (Those thoughts ranked right up there with what color to paint the nursery.) With my first child I spent hours hand sewing sequins on yards and yards of tulle envisioning how proud my fairy princess would be when everyone would say "my what a lovely costume your mom made you". Instead she burst into tears and said she wanted to be a Smurf in a store bought costume like everyone else.

Then comes along child #2 who announces at 8:00 p.m. he has to have 5 dozen cookies in the morning for his Halloween party. Piece of cake! Why, hadn't I seen Martha whip out a dozen elaborately decorated pumpkin cookies in just 10 minutes that very morning? Ten hours later I add my last pumpkin nose and crawl into bed with visions of pumpkins cookies dancing in my head.

Of course, if you live in a drought ridden area, the last rule of Halloween "Murphy's Law" is that when you put all of your Halloween decorations out, you will be assured the opportunity to sit back and watch it rain. This works especially well if you hung out 20 cotton sheet ghosts and mistakenly forgot to use permanent markers for their faces - You thought you had problems when your mascara runs!

All joking aside, the kids and you can really have fun with some of these Halloween recipes and potions from Living on a Dime. Visit for more tips and ideas.


  • 1/2 cup white glue
  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • food coloring
  • 1-4 tsp. Borax
  • 1-4 Tbsp. water

Mix the glue, 6 tablespoons water and food coloring until it is dissolved. In a separate bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon borax into 1 tablespoon water. Add to the glue solution. You will get a very thick clump of slime when the two mix. Pull the clump of slime out of the glue mixture and put it in a separate bowl. Mix another batch of the borax solution and add to the remaining glue mixture. Repeat until all the glue mixture is used (about 3-4 times). With clean hands, knead the slime to mix. This will take about 10 minutes and is not very difficult as the slime easily separates between your fingers. If a looser, more slimy texture is desired, knead in a bit more water. The more water you add, the slimier it gets. The slime does not leave a residue and does not get stuck on anything. Store in an airtight container. This can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.

Face Paint

  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. cold cream
  • food coloring

Mix all ingredients together in an old muffin pan and you are ready to paint. Repeat for each color.

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour

Cream shortening, sugar and pumpkin in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Drop by small spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with milk. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Top with frosting.


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4-5 tsp. milk

Melt butter and blend in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and 4 tsp. milk. Stir until well blended. Add one more teaspoon of milk if needed to make smooth.

Jill Cooper is the inspiration behind her daughter Tawra's frugal cookbook Not Just Beans: 50 Years of Frugal Family Favorites. Not Just Beans is a frugal cookbook which has over 540 recipes and 400 tips.

Take the Next Step:

  • Ghoulishly cheap! Check out the TDS Guide to a Frightfully Frugal Halloween.
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