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special Issue


special Issue

MAG about FOOD the MTChallenge Magazine Publisher and Editor Alessandra Gennaro Deputy Editor Eleonora Colagrosso Food Editor Francesca Geloso, Ilaria Talimani, Silvia Zanetti Art Director Mai Esteve Web Manager Lara Bianchini Contributors: Camilla Assandri, Anna Calabrese, Valeria Caracciolo Francesca Carloni, Therese Caruana, Sonia Conte, Francesca Cordioli, Annalena De Bortoli, Francesca Geloso, Elena Guadagnini, Mai Esteve, Fabiola Palazzolo, Nicol Pini, Chiara Picoco, Claudia Primavera, Susanna Scarola, Ilaria Talimani, Manuela Valentini, Silvia Zanetti Copyright by MTChallenge Magazine Design by Mai Esteve Cover Design by Mai Esteve, Claudia Primavera English Translation : Iris Mae Manlapaz

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Web: mtchallenge.it E-mail: mtchallenge@gmail.com

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Halloween “Fear” and “wonder” is a classic combination in Anthropology. This intriguing connection, aside from scientific developments, is the key to understand the real reason for Halloween in becoming a global phenomenon over the last 20 years. No doubts that it is also the umpteenth triumph of consumerism. But, let’s face it, which celebration of ours is not immune to it? As for the adoption of traditions that do not fully belong to our culture, are we sure that the best way to cope with the global world is fencing ourselves up? To avoid any misunderstanding, honestly, I do not like Halloween. I even hate it! Despite all the boxes packed in my attic full of fake spider webs and memories of the parties my daughter forced me to organize in her younger years. But at the same time, I admit that it is wrong to reduce Halloween to a mere party or a fad of passing. Halloween is much more than this. It is due to its indefinite and obscure background, in which “fear” and “wonder” stroll together, hand-in-hand. Each one of us reacts in different ways. Someone runs away, someone goes through while the others in the middle will try to exorcise the fear by filtering it with a fiction, a mask, a ghost story and so on. The horror-movies for the adults, as well as the monsters for the children, are only the faces of our fears. They, paradoxically, begin to be more reassuring when they take a definite shape as a known enemy to fight against. This is the reason why, despite the cold sweats, Stephen King’s novels are all best sellers and The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the most beloved cult-movie of all times. Because they allow us to be terrified, even we are aware that they are just fiction. Then, on the night of October 31st, we can lose up to the fear, get in touch with our ghosts and try to defeat them or, at least, to be less and less scared. Hence, the choice of talking about Halloween from a different point of view, more in-depth and more critical, without losing sight of what is going to happen in many homes and on many tables, all ready to host terrific parties is an amazing cover of the second and scariest issue of MAGaboutFOOD. With 42 pages filled with ideas, suggestions, recipes, and treats that await you!

Want to tell me your views? Email me at: lettori@magaboutfood.it

So enjoy… and don’t be scared!

Alessandra Gennaro

All rights reserved

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Cheese platters and grazing tables are the trend of this 2019: small party, big party, lunch potluck or gathered dinner, cobbled-together dinner, any time is perfect to indulge in one of the modern symbols of the conviavility,a joy for the sight and for the palate. So why do not turn them out in a smart solution for your Halloween Party?


Silvia Zanetti- officinagolosa.it

Bloody Dip (Serving 4) 3 Red Bell Peppers 2 sun dried Tomatoes 1 Shallot, peeled and cut in shanks 1 Clove Garlic, peeled ¼ tsp Caster Sugar 1 Tsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Salt Pepper Roast the peppers in the oven to 190°C for 30-40 minutes. When their skin is charred all over, take them out and let cool into a plasticbag. Remove the peel, the seeds and the white membrane. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Mummy Mia! (Serving 4) 200 g minced Beef 100 g minced Pork ½ Onion, finely sliced a pinch of powdered Garlic 1 tsp Tomato Ketchup Salt Pepper To garnish 1 store bought rolled Pizza Dough 1 Cheddar Cheese Slice Black edible Ink Pen

Skull Egg (Serving 4) 4 small boiled Eggs 1 tbs Mayonnaise 40 g canned Tuna Fish 2 tsp fresh Chives, chopped ½ cup Corn Chips, roughly crushed Salt Pepper Cut eggs in half lenghtwise: remove the yolks, pour them in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Stir in tuna, mayonnaise, chives, salt and pepper. Using a small and a large straw, decorate each egg white to make a skull with eyes, nose and mouth. Spoon the filling into the egg white, cover it with crushed corn chips and store in the fridge until serving.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to a thick paste. Roll out the pizza dough and using a pizza cutter cut into thin stripes, about 5 mm wide. Using your hands, roll the meat into small sausages and wrap a strip of pastry around each, leaving a space for the mummy eyes. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Using a small and a large straw, cut the eyes from the cheese slice and draw the pupils with the black edible ink pen. Take the mummies out of the oven and let them cool before adding the eyes on.

Pumpkin Pie Pockets  (Serving 4) 1 store bought rolled Pie Crust 8 Cheddar Cheese slices 4 Ham slices 1 tsp English Mustard 1 Egg 2 tbs Milk A Pumpkin Cookie Cutter (3’’)

Crazy brooms (Serving 4) 8 Pretzel Sticks 4 slices Bresaola or Parma Ham 2 slices Scamorza (or String Cheese Sticks) Fresh Chives

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Roll out the pastry to 5 mm thick, then cut out 16 small pumpkins with the pumpkin cookie cutter. Using a sharp knife, decorate 8 pumpkins with eyes and mouth (see the picture). Spread the other 8 pumpkins with mustard, put a small piece of ham and cheese in the centre and place the pumpkin faces on top. Pinch the edges or use a fork to seal them. Brush the top with a little egg and ,milk wash and bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden.

Cut each Scamorza slice in half (in thirds, if you use string cheese sticks). Lenghtwise, make cuts around the slices, to about half way up. Insert the Pretzel stick into the top of each cheese slice to resemble a broom handle. Wrap each string cheese stick at the top and form a knot with fresh chives. Fold in half Bresaola slices, insert Pretzel stick into the top of each and do the same.

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Cheesy Spiders (Serving 4) 150 g Cream Cheese 100 g Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola a small Pear, peeled and diced 50 g Walnuts, roughly chopped Pepper 100 g Gouda Cheese, roughly grated Pretzel Biscuits 1 Cheddar Cheese Slice Black edible Ink Pen

Pumpkin Sushi  (Serving 4) 200 g Sushi Rice 100 g Cucumber, diced 100 g Smoked Salmon 1 Nori Seaweed Sheet Olive Oil Cook the rice according to the instructions and let it cool. Using your hands lightly greased with olive oil, put 1 tbs rice in the palm. Set 1 small cube of cucumber in the middle of the rice and shape into a ball. Make 8 rice balls. With a round cookie cutter, cut out 8 round salmon disks and place them over the rice balls. Cut eyes and mouth shapes out of the seaweed and stick them on top of the salmon. Serve immediately

In a large bowl smash Gorgonzola cheese with a fork. Stir in the cream cheese, the pear cubes and the walnuts. Season with pepper. Scoop 8 small balls and roll each one in the grated Gouda. Using a small and a large straw, cut the eyes from the cheese slice and draw the pupils with the black edible ink pen. Tuck small pretzel sticks into the cheese ball to create the legs and add the eyes.

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Chiara Picoco- chicchedikika.blogspot.it

Apple-monster smiles 2 Granny Smith Apples, quartered 2 fresh Strawberries, sliced (or 2 fresh Figs, sliced) 50 g White Candy Coating, melted 1 tbs Pinenuts 2 tbs Dark Chocolate Drops , melted

CREEPY-LYCHEE EYEBALLS Canned Lychees Fresh Blueberries Strawberry or Raspberry Jam Scoop the jam into the hollow lychee with a teaspoon. Gently insert a blueberry (choose the ones that fits into the lychees’ hole). Spread the jam over the lychees with a toothpick to simulate the veins of an eyeball.

Using a paring knife, make a cut in the middle of the quartered apples to make the mouths. Spread the mouths with a little bit of melted candy coating and stick the pinenuts into to create teeth. For the tongue, place a strawberry slice into the mouth (or a fig slice, halved). Melt the chocolate drops, pour in a parchment paper cone, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe on the mouth and the eyes. Let them set upright.

Bat-krispies (Serving 4) 100 g Chocolate Rice Krispies 50 g Dark Chocolate, melted 50 g Caster Sugar 50 g Unsalted Butter, melted 25 g unsweetened Cocoa Round Chocolate Cookies, like Oreo small White Chocolate Chips Assorted Candies

Oh, my scaring Clementine! (Serving 4) 8 no-seeds Clementines Celery Stalk 2 tbs Dark Chocolate Drops , melted

In a medium-size bowl combine rice krispies, sugar, butter and chocolate. Scoop out small balls onto a tray and let them chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Using a sharp knife, cut in half the cookies (if you use Oreo cookies, split each one in half and remove the cream) and gently stick them into the balls with some melted chocolate to make bat wings. Press two white chocolate chips into each “bat” and dot the eyes with melted chocolate or a black edible ink pen. Make the teeth with candies. Keep chilled until serving.

Slice the celery into some skinny strips. Peel the clementines, pull out their central part and poke the celery into the top of each to make the pumpkin stem. Melt the chocolate drops, pour in a parchment paper cone, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe on the mouth and the eyes. Let them set upright. Spider web-panna cotta (Serving 4) 250 ml Whipping Cream 50 ml Whole Milk 50 g Persimmon or Apricot Jam 20 g Honey 4 g Sheet Gelatin, soaked in cold water and squeezed 50 g Dark Chocolate, melted Chocolate coated Grapes Chocolate Vermicelli

FRANK-KIWI-STEIN (Serving 4) 4 kiwi 2 Tbs Dark Chocolate Drops, melted 2 Tbs Dark Chocolate Chips

In a medium saucepan mix milk, honey and cream and bring to boil. Stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Remove from fire and stir in the jam. Pour the panna cotta into 4 individual glasses, let them cool at room temperature and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Pour the melted chocolate into a cone of parchment paper, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe the spiderweb on the surface. Make the spider with the chocolate grape and chocolate vermicelli.

Halve each kiwi widthwise. Cut out the bottom of each part, so that the kiwi sits upright. Using a vegetable peeler, reel the kiwi, leaving a little skin to make hair. Pour the melted chocolate in a parchment paper cone, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe on the mouth. Make eyes and ears with chocolate chips. Chocolate Date Spiders (Serving 4) 8 pitted Dates 60 g Almonds, finely grated 1/2 tsp Orange Zest 1 tbs caster Sugar 1 tbs Grand Marnier a splash of Orange Juice 150 g Dark Chocolate, melted 8 tsp Raisin Fresh Raspberries

In a large bowl roughly crumble the cake, using your hands. When finely crumbled, add 3 tsp apricot jam and mix by hands until the mixture is moistened. If the mix is too dry, add some more jam. The mixture should be easy to shape but still with a firm texture. Scoop out small balls onto a tray (lined with parchment paper) and shape in little ghosts. Freeze until firm (at least 1 hour). Melt the candy coating and stir well. Poke a hole in the bottom of the ghosts with a skewer, dip each deeply into the melted coating, take it out and tap the skewer on the edge of the casserole, so that the excess coating drips off. Let them set onto the tray. Melt the dark chocolate drops, pour in a parchment paper cone, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe on the mouth and the eyes. Let them set upright.

Stuff the dates with the mix of grated almonds, sugar, orange zest and Grand Marnier. Dip them in the melted chocolate and let set on a wire rack. Break the toothpicks in half, put on each 2 raisins and dip them in the chocolate too, to make the legs. Once set, stick 4 legs on both sides of the dates. Create the eyes with small pieces of raspberry.

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Ghost-cake pops 1 Pound Cake (9x13’’) 3-4 tsp Apricot Jam 100 g White Candy Coating 2 tbs Dark Chocolate Drops, melted


Scary Platters

l l e H m o fr

The success of Platters is based on a clear winning formula. A platter meets the view of the guests, teases their palate and, more importantly, does not turn the host crazy in preparing the table and arranging serving trays, individual dishes and bowls. The general rule is to prepare just a big one platter, two would be a godsend. For the rest just follow our advices, even if it is just for Halloween.

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Do not prepare your platter too early, especially when it contains fresh fruit and vegetables. Take the perishable food out of the fridge and arrange them on the platter right before the guests arrive. Because it’s okay, it’s Halloween. But you want a still life, not a spoilt one.

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Do not stack food: this is not just to meet the view of guests, but also due to hygiene. Your guests will help themselves from the platter with their bare hands, neither serving spoons nor pliers will be used. Therefore, arrange the food so that the guests can easily reach what they want without having to go elbow deep into a mountain of food. Because it’s okay, it’s Halloween. But hygiene still applies.

Do not leave empty spaces. Platters are meant to convey hospitality and opulence. Every inch of the platter must be covered with food. Keep some dried fruits aside for last-minute touch-ups and garnishing and do not forget to stock on additional portions in the fridge, to be added gradually as food is consumed. Because it’s okay, it’s Halloween. But even keno-phobia has its dignity.

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Be mindful of food intolerances. In case of food intolerance, it is always better to prepare the different food separately and to keep meat and dairy products away from the vegetables. You can separate them using dried fruit, seeds, cherry tomatoes, pickles, bowls with hummus or other sauces, so as not to ruin the harmony of the composition. Above all, avoid putting them in direct contact with food allowed to vegetarians. Because it’s okay, it’s Halloween. But hospitality is sacred.

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Splatters are perfect by themselves to provide either snacks for children than aperitifs for adults. However, if you have invited your guests for lunch or dinner, you necessarily have to add, at least, a hot main course and a dessert. Because it’s okay, it’s Halloween. But letting our guests starve is excessive (too much).

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es, we know: treats for Halloween, cookies for Christmas. However, something tell us that we can bend the rules and these spooky shaped biscuits will delight our little ghosts and ghouls!


Nicol Pini- colcavolo.it Makes 30 400 g all purpose Flour 80 g bitter Cocoa, sifted 250 g unsalted Butter, cold and diced 2 medium Eggs + 2 medium Egg Yolks 200 g caster Sugar 1 pinch of salt ½ tsp White Pepper, grounded ½ tsp chili powder For the Royal Icing: 120 g Icing Sugar 1 -2 tbs water Red Powder Food Coloring a gingerbread man cookie cutter Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips to coarse breadcrumbs. Add sugar, cocoa and eggs, working quickly, just to bind the dough together. Divide it in two, add white pepper to one half and chilli to the other one. Wrap separately in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Roll out the white pepper dough on a slightly floured surface until 4-5 mm thick. Cut out cookies with a gingerbread man cutter and place on the baking tray; bake for about 10-12 minutes, until slightly brown. Knead again the leftovers and keep on cutting cookies till no pastry is left. Roll out the chili dough and make other biscuits. Make sure your cookies are completely cool before starting any decoration. Sift the icing sugar in a large bowl and stir in ½t tbs cold water. Add some other drops, few at a time, always stirring: the royal icing must be quite thick so that if you drizzle it from the spoon, the ribbon will hold for a few seconds before falling down. Divide the royal icing in two bowls and add the red powder food coloring to one. Pour the royal icings in 2 separate piping bags with a small tip and decorate the white pepper monstermen first and then the red ones. Allow cookies to fully dry at room temperature before serving.

Makes about 30 200 g Butter, softened 150g Caster Sugar Zest of 2 organic Oranges 1 tsp Orange Blossom Water 2 large Eggs 300 g All Purpose Flour 150g Fine Polenta Flour 1 pinch of salt

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To garnish: White icing Mini Smarties 20 g Dark Chocolate, melted Black edible ink Pen

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Katia Zanghì- katiazanghi.blogspot.com makes 20 Per la frolla 300 g all purpose Flour 150 g unsalted Butter, cold and diced 150 g caster Sugar 3 Egg Yolks Organic Lemon Zest For the Icing: 300 g Icing Sugar 2-3 tbs cold water Orange Food Coloring Powder few drops of Lemon juice 200 g Dark Chocolate Drops For the filling: 150 g Orange Marmalade Sift flour in a large bowl, add butter and rub together with your fingertips to fine breadcrumbs. Add sugar, yolks and the grated lemon zest. Work quickly, just to have the dough together. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 30’ before using. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line up 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out cookies with a round cutter. Arrange them on the baking tray and bake for 12/14’ until light golden. Make sure your biscuits are completely cool before icing. Mix the icing sugar with a few drops of lemon juice and some food coloring. Add some other drops, few at a time, always stirring: the icing must be quite thick so that if you drizzle it from the spoon, the ribbon will hold for a few seconds before falling down. Set aside. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave. Spread the orange icing evenly onto one half of the cookie, then spread the melted chocolate onto the other half. Place all cookies on a wire rack and allow them to full dry at room temperature before filling with marmalade.

Valeria Caracciolo- murzillosaporito.azurewebsite.net

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Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Beat butter, sugar and orange zest with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time (the following when the previous has been absorbed) and the orange blossom water at last. Sift flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, then stir in polenta. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and beat until combined. Knead lightly for 1-2 minutes and shape into a ball. Wrap it in cling film and chill for 30 minutes to firm up. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick and cut out cookies using a 7 cm round pastry cutter.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden. Cool on wire racks. In the meanwhile, roll out the icing and cut it into 3-4 mm thick stripes. Brush the stripes with some water and cover the biscuits, overlapping  them to create the bandage and leaving some space for the eyes. Use the melted chocolate to glue the smarties for he eyes and draw the pupils using the pen. If you don’t have the pen, you can draw the pupils with chocolate using a  toothpick or a small brush. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a week.


Francesca Cordioli acquolina-francesca.blogspot.com makes 10: 110 g all purpose Flour 50 g unsalted Butter, cold and diced 50 g caster Sugar 1 Egg Yolk a pinch of salt To garnish: Blanched Almonds Cherry or Raspberry Jam Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line one baking tray with parchment paper. Shortcrust pastry: sift the flour in a large bowl and combine all the ingredients together working as quickly as possible. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutest before using. Scoop out 1 tablespoon from the pastry and roll and shape into a finger. Place an almond on the tip of each finger to make the nails. Using a toothpick or the tip of a knife, make some horizontal cut (the wrinkles). Arrange the fingers on the baking tray and bake or about 20’, until light golden. Leave to cool down, then brush them with the jam.

Therese Caruana- fornelliprofumati.it

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MAKES20: 1 pack Oreo Double Cream (or other similar biscuit with double cream filling) 150 g Milk Chocolate White and Black Sugar Paste Licorice Candy Strips 20 Lollipop Sticks Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Dip one end of the lollipop stick in the melted chocolate then place in the cream layer of the biscuit. Arrange biscuit lollipops over a tray lined with parchment paper. Spread onto the cookies a spoon of melted chocolate, make legs on both sides with 4 pieces of licorice strips and eyes with the sugar pastes (see picture). Allow to set at room temperature. 14 MAG about FOOD


Elena Guadagnini - dolcipassioni.eu/blog makes 30 : 250 g all purpose Flour 200 g unsalted Butter, softened 75 g Potato Starch 40 g unsweetened Cocoa Powder 65 g Sabayon (see recipe below) 60 g Icing Sugar a pinch of salt

5 medium Egg Yolks 160 g caster Sugar 160 ml Marsala Wine 20 g Rice Flour ½ Vanilla pod organic lemon grated zest

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Bring some water to a simmer in a shallow saucepan. In a heat-proof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. When the yolks are pale yellow and the cream is fluffy, add the rice starch, vanilla and lemon zest. Heat Marsala wine, without boiling and pour it over the eggs, using a hand-whisk. Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk vigorously the Sabayon for 5-7 minutes, until it’s thick and ribbony. Set the bowl in a larger one, filled with ice or iced water, to prevent over cooking, and let it cool, always whisking. Cover with cling film and chill before using.

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To garnish White chocolate drops Orange Food Coloring Black Sugar Paste Sift flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter together with icing sugar, salt and Sabayon, using an electric whisk at low speed. Add the mix of flour and cocoa, stir well with a spatula, then pour the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead as quickly as you can. Shape it into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface to 4 mm thick. Cut cookies using a 3’’ round cutter. Arrange them on the tray and bake for 15’. Make sure your biscuits are completely cool before you start any decoration. Melt the white chocolate drops in a bain-marie, color it with the orange food coloring, spoon a little in the centre of each cookie and spread it. Shape the sugar paste into small witch hats and place them in the center of the melted chocolate. Allow to dry at room temperature and serve.


Cinzia Martellini Cortella- cindistarblog.blogspot.com

makes 20 : 4 medium Egg Whites ½ tsp Cream of Tartar 200 g Caster Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla Extract Pinch of Salt Preheat the oven to 100°C. Make a 6’’ bone template and then draw multiple bones onto 2 large sheets parchment paper, leaving 1 inch space between each other. Line 2 large baking trays with the paper, stenciled side down. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch salt until foamy at medium speed. Add cream of tartar. Beat again at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, always beating, until meringue is glossy and stands in stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla extract. Pour the meringue in a large piping bag, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe the bones, using the stencil as a guide. Switch off the oven. Place the trays into the oven 1 hour, then remove and let the meringue bones cool completely at room temperature.

Francesca Geloso-121gradi.blogspot.it

makes 15-20 : 50 g butter 180 g rice krispies 120 g marshmallow (white, red, pink) 1 tbs Prune or Raspberry Jam Red Food Coloring Gel

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In a saucepan at low heat, melt together marshmallows and butter, stirring constantly. Once melted, pour it all over the rice crisps and mix first with a spatula, then with your hands, lightly oiled. Shape the mix into 12-16 balls (it depends on the size of each ball). With a toothpick, draw vertical lines to shape the veins of the brain. Allow to cool and set, then complete the decoration with red food coloring and prune jam.

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Silvia Zanetti- officinagolosa.it

makes 8: 250 g Marshmallow 50 g unsalted Butter 150 g Rice Krispies Orange Liquid Food Coloring To garnish: 2 tbs Sunflower Oil 50 g Dark Chocolate, melted 8 Chocolate-coated Biscuit sticks Green Sugar Paste Brown Sugar Paste In a saucepan at low heat, melt together marshmallows and butter, stirring constantly. Once melted, add the food coloring, mix well, then pour it all over the rice kris pies and mix first with a spatula, then with your hands, slightly oiled. Shape the mixture into 8 balls. With a toothpick, form vertical lines to shape the veins of the pumpkin. Cut in half the biscuits sticks, spread the inner part with some melted chocolate, stick them together and let set up in the fridge for a few minutes. Stick them on the top of each pumpkin, as the stem, with more melted chocolate. Garnish the pumpkins with leaves and curls made with sugar paste.

COOKIES TIPS AND TRICKS The best dough for decorated cookies is a simple pastry made with flour, butter, sugar and eggs, in different proportions depending on the hundreds of successful recipes. It is impossible to choose just one. It is better to suggest some tricks that will allow you to churn out the perfect cookie dough. 1. Choose a not so sweet recipe. To begin with, reduce the sugar amount to 20% less. The decoration will make up abundantly for that loss.  2. Use icing sugar instead of caster sugar. It reduces the processing time of the pastry.  3. To ensure that the cookies do not lose their shape when baked, it is necessary to work the dough as much as needed and let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours before rolling and cutting it out. Another trick is to keep the cookies already cut in the fridge or freezer and put them in the oven still cold or frozen. So remember to lay them on small trays that fit in your fridge. 4. The cookies must not darken. Bake them little and let them cool down without touching them. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool at room temperature then decorate. 5. No decoration will hold if applied to a hot or warm cookie. You can prepare the cookies a day in advance and store in a tightly sealed tin box before decorating.

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6. Once decorated, the cookies shall be left to dry completely at room temperature. After that, they shall be kept in tightly closed tin boxes. In case of elaborate decorations, arrange them side by side, without overlapping them, protecting each layer with parchment paper.


Halloween, like other modern festivities, is the result of a long series of transformations and mixing of various

elements of different origins. Halloween, over time, has lost much of its original heritage, gradually becoming a

pretext for partying rather than a cultural tradition. It is estimated that US citizens spend about $ 9 billion a year

on Halloween, making it the second largest commercial festivity in USA after Christmas. However, Halloween also has ancient roots and a cultural heritage involving some of its most famous rituals. Come, discover them with us!

Ilaria Talimani – sofficiblog.blogspot.it

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The origins of Halloween Halloween is considered one of the most typical festivities of the United States and there is no doubt that today this is the real case. However, it is one of the most ancient celebrations in human history, the roots of which lie in the culture of the Celts, particularly in the celebration of Samhain (pronounced “Sow-In”, the Lord of Death), the night before Celtic New Year. The Celts predominantly populated present-day Ireland, Scotland, England and part of northern France. The Celts celebrated New Year’s Day on November 1st. This day marked the end of summer and harvest time and the beginning of the dark and cold winter that brings food scarcity, survival difficulties and, often, death. It was not by chance that the Celts believed that on the night before the new year, i.e. October 31, the border between the world of the living and the world of the dead became very blurred, allowing the ghosts of the dead to return to earth. To celebrate this event, the Druids, the guardians of knowledge and ancient traditions, lit massive sacred fires for sacrifices and disguised themselves in animal skins and heads to blend in nature and to avoid being recognized by ghosts. To avoid the anger of the ghosts and to prevent them from entering homes, tables with food and drink were laid outside the front doors together with bowls filled with food and vegetables and engraved with frightening expressions, often with a candle inside, to light up the night. Signs and symbols were also used to foresee the future, an effective consolation to face the isolation and the harshness of winter at the gates.

From Samhain to Halloween With the Roman conquest first, and with the advent of Christianity later, all these rituals were absorbed by new cultures. November 1st was designated as the day dedicated to the commemoration of the Saints (All Saints’ Day) and November 2nd for the dead (All Souls’ Day). During these festivities, the ancient rites like lighting bonfires were still practiced, but they were disguised to match the Christian iconography of Saints, Demons or Angels. All Saints Day was also called All-hollows and the previous night was called Allhallows Eve, which finally became Halloween. How did Halloween get to the USA? During the great 1850 migratory wave, millions of Irish men and women migrated to the USA bringing with them their traditions and culture. Initially, Halloween was celebrated in the neighborhoods. People danced, sang, foretold the future and narrated ghost stories. Already at the beginning of the 1900s, Halloween had become a holiday, although it remained a community-related holiday, with parades and parties taking place in every corner of the city, mainly focusing on entertainment. Parties were all about games, food, masquerading and jokes. Community leaders and even newspapers encouraged parents to buy candies to be given to children, as well as scary gadgets. By this process, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious traits and its aura of magic and mystery. The great success of Halloween as we know it, however, is a post-war phenomenon, when masquerading and, above all, the trick-or-treat ritual began to spread. The first trace of the original nursery rhyme “trick or treat, trick or treat, give me something good to eat!” dates back to 1951, from a Peanuts comic strip (Linus’s Great

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Where does Jack O ’Lantern tradition come from? Jack O ’Lantern comes from an Irish legend that featured a miserly drunk, Stingy Jack and the devil. The latter - who wished to seize that sinner’s soul - was fooled several times by the drunkard up to the point that when at last Jack died, the devil, out of spite, refused to take him to Hell. He gave him a burning ember instead, to illuminate the darkness in which he would be forced to wander for eternity. Jack strove to make that light last longer and he placed it in a carved-out turnip, thus making a lantern. The turnips, which very common in the Irish countryside, were replaced in the USA by pumpkins, which were and are very common in the USA. And Jack O ’Lantern became one of the main symbols of Halloween. As early as 1856, an article in a children’s magazine mentioned that for that year’s Halloween celebration a massacre of pumpkins had been carried out, so many pumpkins had been

“sacrificed” to be carved. For many years the cultivation of a particular pumpkin variety, suitable for being carved, has been introduced. And it is not by chance that the most popular pumpkin variety is in the USA. Where else is Halloween celebrated, aside from the USA? The country that has kept the strongest bonds with the ancient tradition is, obviously, Ireland. In rural areas, bonfires are lit, just as the Celts did, and throughout the country, masked children knock at the doors of neighbors asking for trick-or-treat. Many games of ancient origin are also organized, including the snap apple, (biting the apple hanging from a jamb or a tree) or bobbing apples (apples floating in a bucket of water). A traditional Halloween food in Ireland is the barmbrack, a particular fruit cake that can be bought in stores or cooked at home. Inside the cake, there is a candy wrapped in muslin which it is said, grants the one who eats to foresee the future. If a ring is found in the cake, it means that the person who finds it will soon marry. While a piece of hay means a prosperous year is coming. Children also play tricks on their neighbors, like knock-a-dolly, where children knock on their neighbors’ doors, but escape before the door is opened.

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Pumpkin). The big USA candy companies seized that moment to launch nationwide advertising campaigns to conquer the customers, considering that today a quarter of the US candy production is for Halloween. Why “trick or treat”? During the Middle Ages, disguises became increasingly disturbing and fearful, frightening legends spread, including the fear of black cats, as they were associated with witches and black magic. In All Souls’ Day, poor people went to visit the homes of the most affluent to ask for alms and received a cake, the Soul’s cake, in exchange for prayers for the souls of their dead. This practice, known as “souling”, was mainly carried out by children who, in exchange for prayers, received not only cakes but also coins, food, and beer. In its evolution “souling” was enriched by masquerading and songs, dances, sleights of hand or divination on the future were offered in exchange for food. And this is the origin of the trick-or-treat.


Susy May – coscinadipollo.blogspot.com

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“One, two: Freddy’s coming for you…” and the dark night becomes scary too, no place is safe and there is nothing else you can do, but stay awake, or as the top Vincent “Price” van Ghoul said: Darkness falls across the land The midnight hour is close at hand Creatures crawl in search of blood To terrorize y’all neighborhood Scary, isn’t it? On the other hand, this is the very purpose of the horror genre. And the more a horror movie succeeds in its intent, the more it deserves the appellation of “beautiful”. No matter how awkward this adjective may sound when dealing with flowing streams of blood. And yet, in the history of world cinema, there are true horror genre masterpieces. So iconic that they crossed the boundary of “horror” to contaminate, influence and inspire many other movies that had nothing in common, as well as becoming references for all subsequent production. The reason is that at the very base of the horror genre is the irresistible challenge against fear. Evoked in all its worst aspects to bring out our phobias from the most hidden recesses of our psyche, and to exorcise them with an adrenaline rush. Assuming that horror movies can indeed have a therapeutic aspect (even if having Freddy Kruger as a shrink is not exactly at the top of anyone’s wishes) here is our list of the 10 most frightening horror films in the history of cinema. Those which presented, in random order, the psychopaths / demons / undead, sometimes masked or emaciated or burnt who populate all mass-produced horror B movies using clichés and copycat plots, in the worse cases and in addition to countless of good movies. Thanks to the spine chills of genuine fear that made us feel alive, in spite of all the creatures from the world of the dead evoked on the screen.

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The Ring (2002)) Verbinski The Remake of the iconic Ringu (1998), Nakata. The vengeful ghost of Samara crawls out of the TV and kills its viewers. The Thing (1982) Carpenter The horror / Sci-Fi movie that changed the universe, and with a terrific soundtrack.   Hellraiser (1987) Baker Who is not familiar with the Cenobites and their endless torture?   The Conjuring (2013) Wan Paranormal activities within the domestic wall will prove very unsettling.    Suspiria (1977), Argento Horror becomes a psychedelic kaleidoscope for the first time.

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The Night of the Living Dead (1968) Romero The founder of the zombie movie genre, because Zombies never die. Just deal with it (and with them!) The Exorcist (1973) Friedkin Step back Satan! 2 Academy Awards welcomed!   The Shining (1980) Kubrick The horror genre myth, nothing else to add.   Friday the 13th (1980) Cunningham The most disturbing and bloody mask ever.   The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) Hooper The sound of the chainsaw will scare you for the rest of your life.   A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Craven Those razors sharp claws will kill you both in your dreams and in real life.   


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Halloween is not just about pumpkins. Apples are also a major Halloween hit, thanks to their dark and sinister legacy. From Genesis to the Brothers Grimm, from Zeus banquet on Mount Olympus to the garden of the Hesperides, apples have always been an ambiguous delight. A temptation that we know to be dangerous but we still always fall for, even more so at Halloween. Once upon a time, a grocer had invented a Christmas recipe of red cinnamon candy. Unfortunately, business was slow because his shop was a little more than a small room, with only one small window overlooking a secondary road in Newark. One day, while walking by the stall of a gardener, he was struck by the beauty of a basket of shiny red apples and he decided to use them as a promotion for his new candies. He went back to his shop with an armful of apples, prepared the liquid caramel, stuck a stick in each apple and dipped them in the liquid. In no time the shiny and enticing red caramel apples were on display on the windowsill, winking and luring clients. Within a few days, the Candy Apple Mania started. Then on the next year, red candy apples were sold on all street corners to the delight of the less and less depressed Mr. Kolb who, despite

not being rich (the first apples were actually sold for only 5 cents), enters by right in the list of benefactors of humanity, for the invention of a real delight, for the palate and for the eyes. The caramelized apple, originally born as a Christmas candy quickly became one of the symbols of Halloween. It is aided by the favor of the calendar (at the end of October, apples are at their best), by the lust and sinful allusions of the red color and flavor - sweet at the first, pungent later, which makes its ambiguity stand out. The origin of candied apples in the West is a historical fact. Mr. Kolb did exist and so did is candied apples. However, most likely, he was not the first. As a matter of fact, in China (as well as in all Chinese communities outside China) it is customary during the period preceding the Chinese New Year, to prepare and sell “bing tanghulu”. It is hard caramelcoated fruit skewers similar to small apples (actually they are berries of the hawthorn family, that looks like our small annurca apples). The recipe dates back to the Middle Ages, during the Song dynasty, when China began sending

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Rinse 3 red apples and dry well. Stick 3 bamboo sticks to them and dip in a caramel made with 400 g caster sugar, 100 g glucose, 200 ml water and a little red coloring powder. Coat them well and drain on the edge of the saucepan, then lay on a sheet of parchment paper to dry for 5’. Transfer the apples to a clean sheet and let the caramel get hard at room temperature for about an hour.

caravans to India to import sugar. The red color is however given by the fruit and not by cinnamon. On the contrary, caramelized apples are a more recent invention and its origin has no agreement. It is commonly believed that they were invented by Kraft in the ’60s although a Chicago candy factory which produced caramel toffee claims their paternity. What is certain is that caramelized apples were immediately thought of as a Halloween candy and, unfortunately, were also the cause of many serious and tragic consequences. There were many cases of wounds related to razor blades, pins or nails hidden in caramel. And in 2014, they were the cause of as many as 35 cases of listeria including 7 deaths, following bacterial contamination linked to the lack of refrigeration or proper conservation of the product, which we shall recall is pierced by the stick. While there seems to be no remedy for human stupidity, a few, elementary advice should suffice. Buy healthy apples, work in clean environments, use new sticks and, above all, keep it refrigerated minutes before consumption. 23 MAG about FOOD

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Claudia Primavera-lapagnottainnamorata.it


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Cakes: preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease the baking pans and line the bottom with parchement paper. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In another larger bowl mix eggs, oil, apple sauce and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients using a spatula, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Add also the hot coffee and stir: the mixture will be rather fluid, but not liquid. Divide into equal parts in the three pans and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out the cakes and let cool on a rack.

cakes: 3 baking pans 20 cm diameter 2 ¼ cup flour 2 ¼ cup caster sugar 1 ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 ¼ tsp baking soda 2 1/4 tsp baking powder 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp allspice 3 eggs, room temperature ¾ cup seed oil 1 ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce 1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract 1 cup + 2 tbsp strong hot coffee (or warm apple cider) salty caramel: 2 cups sugar 1 cup honey or corn syrup 1 glass apple cider 2 cups fresh cream ½ cup butter 1 tbsp vanilla extract ½ tsp kosher salt + flakey salt for dusting 3 small red apples 6 rosemary sprigs or wooden sticks   peanut frosting: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 cups icing sugar ½ cup creamy peanut butter 1/3 cup salty caramel set aside 2 tsp vanilla extract ½ cup chopped peanuts + more for garnish   chocolate frosting: 8 ounces 50% dark chocolate, chopped ½ cup fresh cream

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Caramel: pour sugar, honey and apple cider into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil without stirring until the caramel gets an amber color (8-9’). Meanwhile, heat the cream without boiling it. Add it to the caramel along with butter and vanilla and, stirring frequently, thicken the sauce at medium flame: if you have a thermometer, bring it to 98°C, otherwise cook for 10-15’. Remove from fire and add salt. Take a ladle of caramel, put it in a bowl and let it cool. Cover the rest of the sauce with cling film and set aside for decoration. Icing: whip butter, cream cheese and icing sugar until creamy. Add peanut butter, vanilla and 1/3 of the caramel and whip again for 2’ more, then combine with chopped peanuts. Place a cake on the serving plate, spread the surface and the edges with 1/3 of the cooled caramel and 1/3 of the peanut icing and cover with the second cake. Proceed in the same way and place then the third cake. Sprinkle the cake with all the caramel left and spread the top and sides with the remaining peanut frosting. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Melt dark chocolate and cream in a bain-marie or microwave, stirring to a smooth sauce, then cool for 3-5’. Take the cake out of the fridge and sprinkle with the choco icing, starting from the center and letting drip along the sides. Store the cake in the fridge at least 2 hours but better overnight. Get the caramel set aside and heat to 105°C (about 15 minutes from boiling), then remove from heat and let it cool, stirring occasionally to keep it fluid. Meanwhile, stick the apples with the rosemary sprigs and line a baking sheet with parchement paper. Remove the cake from the fridge and pour over half of the caramel sauce, letting it fall along the sides. Dip the apples in the remaining caramel and place them onto the middle of the cake. Sprinkle with flakey salt and peanuts and put it back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Leave the cake at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

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Manuela Valentini- profumiecolori.blogspot.it


A few years ago a high prelate of the Roman Catholic Church termed Halloween as a pagan festivity with demonic implications.This sparked a huge controversy between the supporters of the “trick or treat” and its detractors. Is Halloween really scary for the Catholic world? We asked this question to Don Lucio Greco, a pastor of the mother church of Galatina, Italy, who is a front-line member of the Catholic Church, with a long commitment between the Parish and Catholic Youth Group.

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with the collaboration of Sonia Conte Giocasorridimangia.wordpress.it

Halloween as an evil festivity? Let us not offend the devil, let me tell you. Evil hides behind other masks, much more subtle and ambiguous than those worn on the night of All Saints. It is not Halloween that we must be afraid of, Don Lucio quenches the fire. It is consumerism, on one hand, and the superficiality of the message, on the other, which, if anything makes Catholics look at this festivity with little sympathy. Even in USA, where it has a much stronger tradition than here, Halloween has long since taken an alarming consumerist character which is exactly what it made a success also in Italy. Basic, it is yet another lost opportunity to suffocate every reflection on central issues such as death - a key topic in the Christian message .

Don Lucio Greco, a priest since 1994, is the pastor of the Mother Church of Galatina and the assistant of Catholic Youth Group. For years he has been involved in the spiritual assistance of both young people and adults, he is the first non-Galatian priest to hold the parish since 1663.

Correct me if I am wrong: originally, in the Celtic festival of Samhain, considered being the “mother” of Halloween, the dead returned to earth not by virtue of dark forces, but out of the love and memory of the living. Instead of fear, which was absent from these celebrations? There was, if anything, the joy of a true communion between the dead and the living, from which the lanterns are derived to illuminate their path, sweet food as befits a party and so on. Halloween, on the

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Until a few years ago, in Italy, the day of the dead was indeed an occasion for family reunification, both with the living and with the dead. Families traveled the peninsula from north to south to meet where their beloved ones had been buried, celebrating their memory in moments of very strong sharing (above all, lunches and dinners, with “ritual” dishes). Now the cemeteries are abandoned. Forgive me for the frankness of the question. Do you think the Catholic Church has made any mistakes? And if so, how to amend? Our spiritual dimension is hampered by the whirling rhythms of today’s life. Having said that, the Church educates, like a mother, to live as taught by the Gospel, but we know very well that the evangelical message seems extremely difficult to be

received. We should recall that even the disciples of Jesus themselves found it hard to believe in His Resurrection, this is the level of the challenge to which we are called, each and every day. At the same time, the Catholic Church has always tried to adapt its language to the times, from the Second Vatican Council to the use of social media today, so as to bring the Word of God to everyone. It is obvious that on these issues things are even more difficult because personal experiences come into play. The fear of death hides many other fears, many other weaknesses. It is the night of All Saints and you hear knocking at your door. You open the door and face a group of young witches, ghosts, skeletons and other monstrous creatures who threaten you (jokingly) with “trick or treat”. What do you do? I playfully yield to the threat and offer sweets, of course.

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other hand, is the triumph of the dark forces, of the fear of the unknown and the dead are understood as distant, monstrous, fearful creatures. A closer look, however, seems to be two sides of the same coin, one in a confident and positive relationship with the cycle of nature, the other in a distressing relationship, confirming that death is, in any case, one of the focal themes in the history of humankind. Between these two poles, where does the Church stand? What is the true meaning of the commemoration of the dead? For us Catholics, it is in the Eucharistic celebration that true communion takes place between these two worlds. In the mass we always remember the dead, also, in the liturgical calendar, the feast of All Saints immediately precedes the commemoration of the dead. But we do it from another perspective, more optimistic, more comforting. Because we see death as a rite of passage to true life. The prophets spoke of it (Ezekiel above all), Jesus taught us, dying on the Cross to redeem us from our sins and giving everyone the opportunity of entering into the Kingdom of Heaven. For Christians, death is not the end of life, but the transition to real life and this is a concept on which we insist, from the earliest times, with the iconography of the skull present alongside the image of some saints, of “Our Lady Mount Carmel” at whose feet are depicted the souls in need of purification and so on. Alongside this official message, however, there has always been a popular response that is certainly simpler and more folkloristic. But genuine in its attempt to bring the divine into the human and vice versa. In this regard, I would like to share with you what I have read on the FB bulletin board of a friend of mine, Simone Esposito, who narrated the many celebrations of the dead that are celebrated here, in Puglia. Some of which have really surprising points of contact with Halloween. In Orsara, for example, it is customary to put carved pumpkins, lit by candles, outside the front door to symbolize the souls in Purgatory, while at Sannicandro Garganico the children go from house to house shouting “damm an’ma ‘i mort ca s’no t’sfasc la port”, a local version of “trick or treat”. If there is something ambiguous or dangerous about Halloween, it lies in identifying oneself with the thoughts of the evil, which is very different from wearing a mask, as frightening as it might be.


Francesca Geloso – 121gradi.blogspot.it

Q

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uaWhen Carlotta landed on the front lawn it was the first time she jumped from the window. The little thud her feet produced when she touched the ground, no matter how little noisy, was the signal that she was coming. Finally, their great adventure was about to begin. Gianni and Pietro were already waiting for her outside the small red gate, in the same spot where they had met in the morning before going to school. This time, instead of heading straight to the driveway, Carlotta went around behind her house and she surprised them with a thunderous “Bhuuuuuuuuuu”, making their heart skip a beat. “You are really stupid! Why would you ever scare us? And before we even leave?” said Pietro, trying not to scream and tucking under his hood the fear that had caught him by surprise. Gianni instead burst out laughing. He always spoke very little, but at the same time, he knew how to laugh at the right time. Carlotta looked them in the eyes, more amused than sorry, and replied “Okay, the next time before a joke I will warn you! And now, shall we go? Is it Halloween or what? We have a mission to do, and we best hurry up. Also because tomorrow we’ll have math examination.” For a moment Gianni thought that the frigging mathematics was more unbearable than meeting any ghost or monster that very same evening. Then he took his place in the single file together with the other friends. They began to walk quickly, the nervous step betraying their emotions. They had gone over the plan for a whole month, they had talked about it while sitting on the wooden planks of the tree-house they had built in the summer, with their fathers, in Pietro’s grandfather’s garden. They had decided, sitting in crossed legs and munching pumpkin-shaped biscuits and meringue ghosts, that on Halloween night, after some nice “trick or treat” through the streets of the neighborhood, they would head, without hesitation, to the old uninhabited house at the top of the hill. And so they did. They walked in the pitch-black night, broken only by the light of an unusually gigantic and luminous fool moon. Casting their long and disturbing shadows on the path, in spite of their small stature of children and their fresh and clean faces. All three of them had been inseparable from kindergarten, they knew they would remain friends forever. The house on the hill had been uninhabited for years and haunted by ghosts since the night of the times, or so were the rumors, and ghosts, you know, well, they are scary.

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There were many wicked stories on the house on the hill, and they all ended up with the categorical prohibition to approach it. The three of them had decided, for once, to disobey and they were very determined to do so. In addition to the team spirit that binds them together, each had a personal motivation to undertake that adventure. Pietro, despite being a bit of a coward, had a tendency not to believe in what could not be proven. This had already given him problems with his grandmother (if his grandmother tells you so it is so, full stop!) And with his religion teacher (if the religion says so it is so, period!), but his primary interest, this time around, laid in the ghosts. Did they really exist, as I sincerely hoped, or were they another childhood hoax? Carlotta, instead, was a curious soul, and always quite reckless. Ghosts or no ghosts she wanted to prove that there was no difference between “females” and “males”, or between “adults” and “children”, for all that mattered. Gianni’s motivation was completely different. His father had passed away almost a year before. And for almost a year he had missed him dearly. He would have given anything to be able to see him again, to be able to hug him again. And, perhaps, to ask him also how to manage with Alice. The girl sitting on the third row, who had the power to make his tongue stick to the palate, or how to fix his bicycle, or how to face the older boys, who sometimes frightened him much more than ghosts. Gianni, in the secret of his heart, just hoped to find his father in that house. That was the night people remembered and sought out their lost beloved, the answers to meaningless questions, the triumphs of small and tough blondes who, for once, would show everyone that they were made of. When they arrived in front of the imposing and rusty gate of the house they all looked at each other and suddenly stopped breathing. They needed to charge themselves up and find the courage to climb those three broken steps and to open that worn wooden door. They decided to dive into the booty they had collected along the road, gobbling down a dose of sugar that Pietro’s mother would have called “wicked”. Gianni’s mother would have called “shameful” and Carlotta’s mother would have considered “adequate to the situation”. Their sticky hands grabbed the flashlights, lighting the chocolate mustache upon their faces. They closed ranks, holding their breath, and they set off along the path, among the weeds and the gloomy sounds of nocturnal animals, up to the door, closed, threatening and lopsided. “Education, above all!”, cried Carlotta peremptorily. “We cannot enter without knocking! Sometimes I wonder where did you two grew up! Then, if no one opens it, we will kick it open”. Adrenaline filled the air, and so did fear. In that silence, Gianni drummed a piece of Bohemian Rhapsody on the cold damp wooden door. The door burst open and from the dense and deep darkness, it appeared...  Find the ending!

B. A puppy, softened and scared, immediately became the fourth member of the group. That for Gianni, is a faithful friend, always ready to protect him, console him and play with him.

C. The new issue of MAGaboutFOOD. Because the best sweets can be found only here.

ullustration by Francesca Carloni – ricetteevignette.blogspot.com

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A. A horrible old woman armed with a broom, who introduced herself as the old owner of the house and forced them to clean all the rooms. And since then Pietro decided to obey more and Carlotta to venture less.


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Dark Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Meringue Frosting Francesca Geloso- 121gradi.blogspot.it

A 7’’ round cake pan For the Dark Chocolate Cake: 150 g 70% Dark Chocolate 400 g caster Sugar 250 ml Condensed Milk 250 g Demi-Salted Butter 200 g all purpose Flour 2 ½ tsp Baking Powder 100 g unsweetened Cocoa Powder 3 medium Eggs For the topping: 3 Egg Whites ¼ tsp Cream of Tartar ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract a pinch of salt 250 g caster Sugar 80 g Peanut Butter, softened To garnish: Sugar Paste (different colors) Meringue Ghosts (see recipe p. 37) Cake: preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease the pan and line with parchment paper. In a saucepan at a very low heat, melt chocolate, sugar and milk, always stirring, without bringing to a boil. Take off the heat and set aside. In a large bowl, sift the flour with cocoa and baking powder. Pour in the melted chocolate and whisk at low speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat the batter until smooth and glossy. Transfer to the pan and bake for 45-50’. Remove from the oven, let cool 10’, then pass a knife around the inside edges of the pan and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Meringue: in a large bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla at medium speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and start to add sugar, in three batches, always beating: the mixture shall be glossy and thick. Take out one third of the meringue, pour it in a bowl and add the peanut butter, all in once: with a spatula run down along the bottom of the bowl and lift up to the center and over the top as you rotate the bowl. Once the peanut butter has been evenly distributed, the buttercream is ready to be used. Spread the cake with the meringue buttercream and bake at 160°C, until lightly gold. Make the decorations with the sugar paste and arrange them over the cake, along with the meringue ghosts.


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Fabiola Palazzolo- olioeacetoblog.it

2 store bought Puff Pastry sheets 300 g fresh Raspberries 50 g Caster Sugar 1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice 1 tsp Corn Starch

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For the filling 230 g Cream Cheese 1 tsp Almond Extract 60 g Caster Sugar 1 Egg Preheat the oven to 210°C. Line one square baking pan (8x8’’ or 9x9’’) with parchment paper. Arrange the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface, cut each one in thirds, lenghtwise. Join one to the other to create a stripe, 60 cm long and 8 cm wide. Brush a small amount of water on the short end of each strip to stick better. Pour raspberries in a small pan with lemon juice and sugar and cook at low heat, always stirring, for about 10’. Add the corn starch, previously melted in 2 tbs cold water, and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the sauce has thickened, then set aside. Whisk cream cheese with almond extract and 50 g caster sugar until fluffy and smooth. Scoop the cream in the center of the long pastry stripe. Carefully add 2-3 tbs raspberry compote. Turn the sides of the pastry over the filling and pinch together to seal: you should make a long pipe. Brush it with beaten egg, then arrange onto the baking pan and twist into an intestinal shape. Brush the remaining raspberry compote all over. With the tip of the knife or a razor blade, score the “intestine” wherever you wish, so that the filling can get out while baking. Bake for 15’ or until gold. Allow to cool before serving.


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Anna Calabrese- lacucinadianisja.blogspot.it

To garnish: 6 big white Marshmallows 3 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped 1 tsp green sugar 230 g Marzipan 5-6 oval-shaped Biscuits (langues de chat or similar) 2-3 Lollipops 2 tbs Dark Chocolate Drops, melted Black Food Coloring Green Food Coloring Chocolate coated Sticks

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Cupcakes: preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the pan with paper muffin molds. Sift the flour with the baking powder. Beat together sugar and eggs for about 5-6’, until pale and fluffy. Stir in the flour, gradually and gently, using a spatula: with a spatula run down along the bottom of the bowl and lift up to the center and over the top as you rotate the bowl. Pour in the melted butter, stirring gently. Evenly fill the muffin molds about two-thirds full, then bake for about 20’ (a toothpick in the centre of the cupcakes must come out clean). Take the pan off the oven, let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes and allow them to fully cool down before frosting. Frosting: beat the butter with the cream cheese for 1 minute at medium speed. Add sugar, a spoon at a time, and vanilla, always stirring until the cream comes out fluffy and smooth. Add the crushed cookies and keep on beating, until the frosting will be spotted and greyish. Decoration: arrange the cupcakes in 3 rows on a large serving plate. Fill a marshmallow in the gaps between each cupcakes and spread the frosting over the surface, in an even layer. Sprinkle with the cookie crumbles and the green sugar. Melt the dark chocolate drops, pour in a parchment paper cone, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe on the oval-shaped biscuits to make the tombstones. Let them set at room temperature then place on the cake. Ghosts: dust your working surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan in a thin sheet. Cut into some rounds using a 4’’ cookie cutter and drape them over the lollipops. Color some marzipan with black food coloring and dot eyes and mouth on the ghosts. Let them dry at room temperature overnight. Color some other marzipan in green and pass through a potato ricer to make the grass. To make a border, break unevenly the chocolate stick and insert them around the cake. Decorate the cemetery with tombstones, ghosts, marzipan bones and pumpkins.

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a 12-cup Muffin Pan . For the cupcakes: 240 g all purpose Flour 240 g unsalted Butter, melted 240 g caster Sugar 4 medium Eggs 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder For the frosting 450 g Cream Cheese 115 g unsalted Butter, melted 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 10 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped


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Camilla Assandri- lacascatadeisapori.it

a non-stick 8’’ round removable loose bottom quiche pan For the shortcrust pastry: 400 g all purpose Flour 250 g unsalted Butter, chilled and diced 1 tbs caster Sugar 80-100 ml Cold Water ½ tsp Salt For the filling : 1 can Pumpkin (or 400 g roasted pumpkin) 200 g light Brown Sugar 120 ml evaporated Milk 1 tbs Whipping Cream 3 medium Eggs 30 g Corn Starch 1 tsp ground Cinnamon a pinch of Salt For the Meringue Ghosts: 150 g Egg Whites 300 g caster Sugar

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Cake: sift flour and salt in a large bowl, add butter and rub together with your fingertips to fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and 80 ml water, give a quick mix to form a soft dough, then pour the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead as quickly as you can. If the dough should be too dry, add some more water. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes. Grease and sprinkle with flour the pan. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 5 mm thick then line the pan. Trim the edges and chill for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut a square of parchment paper a little bit larger than your tin, place it over the pastry and pour a layer of dry beans. Bake for about 20’, then take the tin out of the oven, remove the parchment paper and the beans. Return to the oven and bake for 5’ more. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Filling: in a large bowl beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Pour in the pumpkin, cornstarch and cinnamon, always beating at low speed. Mix together evaporated milk and cream and add to the filling (you can not need all the liquid: pour it in little by little, always beating). Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake at 220°C for 10’, then at 180°C for 20-25’, until the center is almost set (it should be a little wobbly anyway). Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Meringue ghosts: in a large bowl whisk egg whites with 75 g caster sugar at medium speed until foamy. Add 115 g sugar, always beating. Keep on whisking until the meringue is glossy and stands in stiff peaks. Beat for 10 minutes more at low speed. Pour the meringue in a large piping bag, cut the end off close to the tip and pipe the ghosts on a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 160°C for 10 minutes, then at 120°C for 2 hours, with the oven door slightly open. Once the meringues have cooled down, make eyes and mouth with melted chocolate and let them dry at room temperature before placing the ghosts on the cake.


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di Annalena De Bortoli-acquavivascorre.blogspot.it

T

he rituals that emphasize the bonds with our ancestors are present in all the civilizations of the world. Whether on our daily gestures, funeral rituals or feasts for the dead, they all have food as an integral part. Either as an offering to those who no longer exist or to indicate the continuity of their presence as members of the family. And also as a form of consolation for those who remain and exaltation of earthly pleasures to exorcise the fear of death through the appetites of the living. In the West and the English-speaking world in general, sharing food on these occasions is a demonstration of solidarity, a confirmation of social ties and a consolation to anger, sadness, tiredness and loneliness - the basic components of the pain of those who mourn the deceased. But unconsciously, one eats as a gesture of extreme love for those who are from their graves as a sort of symbolic transfer. And for an induced “hunger of the survivor” being unacceptably glad to be still alive. Typical examples of “funeral recipes” are the Irish wake cake or the Mormon funeral potatoes pan and, above all, the sweet jelly of wheat (or other cereals), blessed during the Orthodox funeral ritual and consumed once back at home. It is called “kolyva” in Russian, “kolliva” in Greek and “kutzià” in Ukrainian. But popularly known as the Sicilian cuccìa of Santa Lucia and the Pugliese Colva, also known as “Wheat of the Dead”. It is served on the 2nd of November, all originating from Ancient Greek and the Byzantines!

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In the Far East, these comforting foods are generally offered by the family to symbolize the generosity of the deceased and are a way to honor him. Two examples are the glutinous rice cakes, white or green, from the

Confucian culture or the Indian pindas (rice balls, barley flour, and black sesame) which are used both as spiritual food for the soul of the deceased and for Brahmin (a member of the highest caste or varna in Hinduism) as honorary material nourishment. The same meaning is very strong in the Jewish culture. It is customary to commemorate the “chesed” of the deceased (i.e. the set of his virtues) in a funeral meal starting with bread and boiled eggs. Boiled eggs are also typical of Chinese funerals, as their round shape resembles the circle of life. Although a festivity for the dead is not properly contemplated in the Jewish tradition, the dead are remembered in many celebrations. Such as in Sukkot or the commemoration of the 40 days in the Sinai desert or when the ancestors are also symbolically invited to the table.   The Anzac Day, the civil commemoration of the war dead in Australia and New Zealand, has also a more intimate continuation in some families, where the dead, their “domestic heroes” who are no longer there is also commemorated.   Mourning in Australia is considered a private matter and there is no public and codified way of expressing pain. But the large Mexican community has imported the “Día de los Muertos” along with more superficial phenomena such as gaudy costumes and tons of tex-mex food. Coming into contact with rituals related to death appears to be helping the most sensitive layer of the Australian population to find mechanisms to support the processing of pain. And it has stimulated quite a debate between anthropologists and sociologists on the importance of mourning rituals as a social function.

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The recipes for the dead, an ancient and important strand of our gastronomic tradition, will be back on our tables in the upcoming festivities. But what happens outside our borders when dealing with death? In our short journey we will discover that at different latitudes, gestures and foods are more similar than what we could imagine.

The Shiite cultural influence arrived in Morocco through the Berbers and makes this day a “mixed” occasion along with the consumption of a festive meal full of sweets and nuts. It also calls to remember and visit the dead, allowing women and men to go to the cemetery together. They also believe that the traditional image of the dead from their graves stretch empty plate to the living. This request is fulfilled by giving bread and two handfuls of figs to each of the beggars crowding the cemeteries. Some even bring jugs of tea or coffee with milk and serve them to the beggars and those praying close to the grave of their own loved one. African religions do not have a day specifically dedicated to the dead. This is because the dead are already present in all their rituals and feasts. Sacrifices for the deities are accompanied by offerings of food and drink to the dead, to seal a deep union with the living. An exception is the Famadihana, a Madagascar festivity. This ceremony revolves around the periodic exhumation of the body of the deceased, which is then wrapped in new silk as a sign of respect. It is a happy occasion, celebrated in families, villages, and communities, with music, ritual food, drink, zebu and rum. In this regard, it is customary to throw the cap of every newly opened bottle of rum into the north-east corner of the room, so that the ancestors can also get a sip.

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The Mexican way to face death is capable of effectively mediating sorrow by celebrating life. In Mexico, it is believed that, at the beginning of November, the dead return to visit the living. This event is celebrated with gaudy costumes, parades, and banquets. The ofrenda, a shrine with food, drinks, and gifts is arranged either at home or on the graves to welcome the spirits with all the due honors. There are regional differences but the common traits are colorful flowers, candles, fruit, sweets and objects in the shape of skulls or bones, sweetbreads either in with human shapes or decorated with candies or crosses (the famous pan de muertos), glasses of mezcal (or milk, for children) and various objects and foods loved by the dead. Quite strong regional differences are also present in the Islamic world, where there is no festivity for the dead because they are honored every day through acts of charity and the transmission of knowledge and prayers. The Egyptian asha’al-mayyit deserves special mention, it is “lunch for the dead” that the family offers on the 4oth day after the burial. It is in addition to stewed meat with rice or bread, halva and other homemade sweets that are always present.   Islam rigidly regulates funeral rites and visits to cemeteries, separating men from women. After the mourning following the funeral, the tombs are generally left to family devotion. The exception is the Moroccan festival of Ashura, which is celebrated on the tenth day of the first month of the lunar new year - a sort of New Year. It is an occasion for joy and celebrations for the Sunnis, and the commemoration of the death of the son of the Prophet with rituals of mourning for the Shiites.


Claudia Primavera - lapagnottainnamorata.it Ingredients 300 g Light Brown Sugar 110 g Caster Sugar 380 g unsalted Butter 10 g ground Cinnamon 25 g ground Ginger 90 g Eggs 325 ml Whole Milk 620 g All Purpose flour 100 g bitter Cocoa 2 g Salt for the Cocoa Royal Icing: 1 Egg White 25 g bitter Cocoa, sifted 125 g Icing Sugar

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In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the two sugars, the butter, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix with the K whisk. While still mixing add the eggs, one at a time, then the milk and at last the flour, the cocoa and the yeast. As soon as the dough is set, turn off the mixer and pour it on a lightly floured surface and knead it a little more with your hands, just to shape into a ball: the dough will be very soft and slightly sticky, but do not add flour. Wrap it in cling film and put in the fridge to rest for at least 3 hours (better overnight). While the dough is resting in the fridge you can “plan” your haunted house as you please, eventually taking inspiration from those found on the web. If you decide to make your own template from scratch take a cardboard, quite thick, and draw on it all the pieces you need for the house (central body and two wings), including doors, windows and construction details, if necessary; then cut them out. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out (between two sheets of parchment paper) to 3-4 mm thick. Put the cardboard shapes onto the dough and cut along with a sharp knife. Arrange all parts on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put in the fridge to rest for at least 30’. Bake at 160°C fan for about 20’. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before assembling the house. Royal Icing: mix egg whites, icing sugar and sifted cocoa to a very thick mixture. Add more icing sugar if necessary.

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Pour the Royal Icing in a pastry bag with a smooth nozzle, 2 mm diameter: this will be your glue to assemble the house. Combine the central body of the house in two pieces, the facade plus a side wall, the back and the other side wall. Place the base on a stable surface, spread the Royal Icing on the perimeter and glue the first part of the central body, then the second one. Keep the walls in place with your hands until you feel that the Royal Icing is set and firm (if the Royal Icing is runny, you can use glasses as helping supports). Once the center body is ready you can add the wings, one at the time, in the same way.  Let all dry very well, even overnight, covering the house from the dust with a light cloth. When the Royal Icing will be fully dry the house will be quite solid. Add the working as for the house. Let it dry for a few hours (or better overnight) and then proceed with the decoration. Now just let your imagination fly. Use candies of so many different kinds and shapes (especially those related to Halloween - so pumpkins, ghosts, sugar skeletons... ) and recreate both the elements that make up a house (such as tiles, window sills, benches leaning against the walls... ) as well as fantasy ones. Use Royal Icing as glue. Complete with the cobwebs: melt some white marshmallows in the microwave and spread the cobwebs on the roofs with your fingers.


Apple Monster Smiles..........................................................................................................

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Bat- Krispies..............................................................................................................................

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Bloody Dip...................................................................................................................................

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Haunted House ....................................................................................................................... 40 Rice Crispies Brain ................................................................................................................. 16 Dat- Spider ................................................................................................................................

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Witches Fingers Cookies.................................................................................................... 14 Frankiwistein ............................................................................................................................ 9 Ghost Cake Pops ...................................................................................................................

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Grape Bloody Eyes ................................................................................................................. 9 Half-and-Half..oween............................................................................................................ 13 Halloween Pumpkin Pie ..................................................................................................... 37 Icky Intestine Bread.............................................................................................................. 33 Poisoned Apples ..................................................................................................................... 23 Monsterbread Man ............................................................................................................... 12 Mummy Mia! .............................................................................................................................

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Meringue Bones ...................................................................................................................... 16 Poison Apple Cake ................................................................................................................. 25 Cheesy Spiders .......................................................................................................................

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Crazy Brooms ...........................................................................................................................

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Skull Eggs.....................................................................................................................................

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Spiderman Lollipops.............................................................................................................. 14 Spider web Panna Cotta .................................................................................................. 9 Witches Hat Cookies............................................................................................................ 15 Cupcakes Pull Apart Cemetery ..................................................................................... 35 Witch Dispatcher Cake....................................................................................................... 31 Yummy Mummy ...................................................................................................................... 12 Sabayon ........................................................................................................................................ 15 O My Scaring Clementine................................................................................................... 9 Jack o’ Lantern Treats......................................................................................................... 17 Pumpkin Pie Pockets........................................................................................................... 8

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Pumpkin Sushi............................................................................................................................. 9

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MAGaboutFOOD- HALLOWEEN ISSUE  

It's Halloween time! Time for scare, time for scream... and time for reading the Special Issue of MAGaboutFOOD, with recipes, suggestions,...

MAGaboutFOOD- HALLOWEEN ISSUE  

It's Halloween time! Time for scare, time for scream... and time for reading the Special Issue of MAGaboutFOOD, with recipes, suggestions,...

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