Witch’s Brew aka Cider Smoothie

Witch's Brew aka Cider Smoothie -- A Pinch of Joy
Witch's Brew aka Cider Smoothie -- A Pinch of Joy
Witches Brew tastes like – well, think apple pie and ice cream through a straw – perfect autumn goodness.  Without the food coloring, it is worth serving at a gathering such as a fall shower or small get together. Add red, orange or green food coloring and it’s Halloween without a doubt.  A two son mom is always looking for gross – but not too gross and definitely not gory – Halloween ideas. Food that looks gross but tastes great – that’s a win-win! Hence the choice of green food coloring :-)

Costume ideas – no problem. There are very definite ideas, usually decided weeks in advance. Sometimes it is a challenge to make those ideas come to life, like the cartoon character that must look exactly like the tv show.  Other years, easy peasy, like the soldier which means pulling dad’s Army fatigues out of the closet, pinning to fit and adding an eyebrow pencil beard. Yeah, I know no facial hair, but I’m not going to tell an eight year old that. And I wouldn’t tell him that this isn’t ghost buster ectoplasm or green monster breath either – if that’s what he wants to call it. Halloween is all about suspending reality for a while. Isn’t it?

Witch’s Brew aka Cider Smoothie

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 8 ounces

Witch’s Brew aka Cider Smoothie

Cider smoothie tastes like apple pie and ice cream through a straw – perfect autumn goodness. Color it green -- instant Halloween witch's brew!


  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Green food coloring, optional


  1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and well mixed.
  2. Red or orange food coloring may be substituted for green if desired. Or food coloring may be omitted altogether.

Need more Halloween ideas?  Check these links:  Preschool Party Snacks and Games      How to Make Pom Pom Spider   How to Make a Halloween Wreath  Elegant Halloween    Fun Foods for Kids Halloween Party    Grasshopper Guts     Smashed Frogs    Zombie Brains   Candy Corn Fudge   Dirty Bones 

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Busy Monday 136

Featured Image Busy Monday
The leaves are turning the most beautiful colors.  Our evening walks are like being in the middle of a painting surrounded by gorgeous deep jewel tones of orange, russet, gold, brilliant reds and yellows and shades of green from chartruese to deep emerald.  Mundane errands mean coming over a hill to a breathtaking view of riotous color.  Or driving down a road lined with trees of every hue on either side.  Love it! 

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Featured from last week:  Jewelry Making Journal — Creepy Crawly Spider Earrings   An Extraordinary day — How to Make a Faux Love Letters Box   In Good Flavor –  Chocolate Crepe Cake with Pumpkin Mascarpone Cream Filling  Grandparents Plus – Halloween Harvest Games   Daily Dish — Mexican Hot Chocolate Cinnamon Chip Cookies  Finding Morgan — What I’ve Learned as a New Blogger + Resources to Get you Started  Retired by 40 — 21 Ways to Make Christmas Affordable Pink Heels Pink Truck — Pumpkin Sage Ravioli with White Wine Butter Sauce  Little House Living — Reusable Market Tote Bag  Feel free to grab a Featured Button from the Button Box!  Tab is above my photo upper right.

Thanks  for stopping by to share your projects, recipes and inspiration!

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All features are pinned to my Pinterest Boards  from your website.   Check out Featured RecipesFeatured How-tos,   Featured Kids and Family ,  and Featured on Busy Monday.   I add seasonal features to specific boards, like Halloween, because I think they will get more exposure that way.   Other Busy Monday links that catch my eye are pinned to other boards.   I also share features on facebook.

3 Reasons to Remodel a Kitchen

1aKitchen North
3 Reasons to Remodel Your Kitchen -- A Pinch of Joy

Below are pictures I used to show designers of the old kitchen and the problems I needed to solve.  Using pictures made it easy to compare the designs and to keep the focus on what needed to be done.  Improving storage is the number one reason given for remodeling a kitchen.  It certainly topped my list!  Improving functionality is a second major reason.  Our kitchen was built in the Seventies before microwaves became common in every home!  That’s just one change in lifestyle that has taken place since the neighborhood was built!   An improvement in appearance is a third major reason for remodeling a kitchen. 

1.  Improve storage. 


The Kitchen Aid mixer took up fully half of the storage space available in the peninsula!

Some of the storage wasn’t even in the kitchen!  Cookie sheets, baking pans, crockpot and more were stored in the garage. 

2Corner cabinet
Some of the available storage was not accessible, like this blind corner next the kitchen range. 

2)  Improve functionality


Behind the door with the writing is the Kitchen Aid mixer, pots and pans are jumbled on the other side.  The second shelf was only half the width of the cabinet and you could find a pan only by standing on your head while peering into the black hole. 

1aKitchen North

The upper cabinets especially did not make the best use of the space available.   The soffit did indeed contain plumbing — and heating and electrical.  It was stuffed full of utilities which meant it had to stay! The same was true of the soffit above the stove.  This limited  upper cabinet space to the existing height.  Sure, these pictures were taken in early February. Don’t you have the fall pumpkin hand soap setting next to the sink and a Merry Christmas plate on the cake stand in February? 

7bSouth wall

The cabinet above the refrigerator literally had an old coffee cup and two vases that were never used — nothing else.  It was such a pain to get to it.  The soffit had a four inch heat duct that cut diagonally across one end.  Straighten it out and the whole area was free.  We took out the entire soffit, which gave us lots of space and lots of options! 

3) Improve appearance 

3aBase Corner

When we moved in these cabinets were a DARK brown and the grooves were on the outside of the door.  We flipped the panels around so the smooth side showed and painted the cupboards white.  HUGE improvement, but that was also a long time ago and doors were literally starting to fall apart.  (See that top shelf that uses only half the depth — not a good use of space!) 

10aLazy susan

The lazy susan  was functional.  It was one thing that I actually liked about the kitchen.  Except when it was closed there was a good half inch gap all the way around the doors.  Note the dated hardware.  That was changed.  The  white dishwasher we kept — for now anyway. 

I wanted this wall to look like everything was built in from floor to ceiling, including the refrigerator and microwave. We came up with a different microwave solution.  Sometimes the criteria changes mid project — what can I say.  We also were keeping the Pergo floor that had been laid around the cabinets.  That meant the cabinets had to fill in the original footprint.  Keeping the floor was an easy decision because it was cost effective, the floor is relatively new, easy to take care of and we like it.  Keeping the same footprint was a struggle, because we had hoped to make some changes — for appearance, functionality and more storage.  The more we discussed,debated, drew and worked at things, the more apparent it became that  changes in the existing footprint were just not feasible.  We decided to stuff as much improvement as we could into the same space. 

This corner was a major eyesore with functionality issues.  We discussed all sorts of changes here — again with no real solution for improving functionality without creating more problems elsewhere.  Improving appearance was a different story.

Next — how we solved some of these problems! 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!


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