5 Coffee Treats for Adults This Halloween

Who says that only kids can get treats for Halloween? Instead of raiding your child’s trick-or-treating stash while they sleep off their exciting night, you can indulge in your own Halloween treats for adults that contain the ultimate grown-up ingredient: coffee.

Most of us are familiar with chocolate-covered espresso beans, which have a satisfying crunch and give you a burst of energy. But today’s culinary masters really kick it up a notch. Some of the following treats can be found at specialty stores and chain supermarkets while others can be crafted at home. No matter if your dessert tastes lean more towards cookies or candy, spoil yourself this Halloween with these five delectable Halloween coffee treats and recipes.

  1. Amaretti s’mores

    You’ll win points at the office by handing out little Halloween treat bags that contain a couple of these marvelous cookie treats. Containing only five ingredients, these amaretti s’mores from Living The Country Life are simple to prepare and oh-so-good. The following recipe will make 16 treats, perfect for sharing.


    • 6 tablespoons hazelnut/chocolate spread
    • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
    • 32 amaretti cookies
    • 16 large marshmallows
    • Optional: 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted hazelnuts


    Thoroughly mix the hazelnut spread and coffee powder in a small bowl. Spread the mixture onto the flat sides of the amaretti cookies, and sprinkle with hazelnuts if desired.

    Using metal skewers, toast the marshmallow over a gas grill or the hot coals of a charcoal grill until golden brown and soft, rotating the skewers occasionally. Carefully place a roasted marshmallow between the spread sides of two cookies and allow to cool before serving.

  2. Krispy Kreme Coffee Thins

    Because their reputation for making the very best in fatty fried dough apparently wasn’t enough, Krispy Kreme introduced their satisfying Coffee Thins earlier this year. The amazing little squares are available in three flavors, and you don’t even have to go out of your way to get your hands on them. You can find original glazed, cappuccino or caramel macchiato-flavored coffee thins at many national chain stores, including Walmart and Circle K.

  3. Coffeemallows

    Coffee-infused marshmallows for Halloween? Yes, please! Many cafes carry their own version of the coffeemallow, but these mini flavor bombs can be prepared in less than an hour at home, and you can let your creativity go wild by topping them with swirled caramel or chocolate drizzle.You can find the recipe to this homemade coffee treat at Pine and Crave, and you’ll need the following ingredients to get started:

    • 3 packages gelatin, unflavored
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • Brewed coffee or espresso, chilled

  4. Coffee-Flavored Popcorn Balls

    If you’re looking for coffee-flavored treats that are rich in flavor but not in calories, you’ll love coffee popcorn balls. These popcorn balls are an adult-inspired twist on the perennial Halloween favorite. Made from popped corn, sugar and your favorite brand of instant coffee, there are plenty of recipes available, many of which feature optional add-ons such as chocolate and peanuts for added flavor and texture.

  5. Spicy Aztec-Inspired Brownies

    Chocolate is said to have originated with the Aztecs, who held both it and coffee in high regard, and these delicious treats are all about the spice. Basically a boxed brownie mix that is jazzed up with coffee or espresso powder, cayenne pepper and cinnamon frosting, even novice chefs will get excellent results from this easy-to-follow brownie recipe by Cookie Madness.

    So this year, skip the basic packaged candy and enjoy coffee-inspired decadence instead. Happy Halloween!

Going Back to School with a New Cell Phone

A multi-ethnic group of high school teenagers are sitting outside and are texting on their cell phones before class.

The moment I have been dreading is here.

My oldest is starting high school. He will be leaving our neighborhood every day to further his education, end his childhood and begin preparations to leave his loving mother for an independent life. This, while perhaps neurotic, is not the source of my dread.

As far as parenting transitions go, this one is similar to when he started Kindergarten…except he’s taller than I am and a lot more expensive to maintain now. Just when parents think they are about to realize the savings of having all their children out of diapers, poof! The next moment they’re in the middle of a growth spurt. They have to eat every twenty minutes and need bigger clothes every other day. Somehow, that seemed more manageable than being suddenly presented with a teenager who needs a cell phone.

This particular transition requires a major re-think of the household budget.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons why no teenager really needs a cell phone. Generations of young men and women have managed to finish school, get on the bus, stop at the library, the mall or friends’ houses without cell phones. None of them were expected to text their parents at work to tell them where they are and what they are doing every moment between the last bell of the day and the return of parents after office hours.

And then, there is the forgetful clumsiness that comes with adolescence. They misplace their most precious possessions, they trip over their own feet climbing up the stairs, and they wander around in a half-aware daze brought on by a mix of tiredness and a refusal to go to sleep at a decent hour. Teenagers are not people one should instinctively trust with a hundreds of dollars-worth of brand new technology and a monthly connection fee.

“Stereotype much?” my son would say if he were ever to read that last paragraph. In real life, it would be accompanied by an eye roll and a dismissive shrug. Imagining the reaction is enough to make me crave the warmth and distance of a text message composed just for me. Even if it uses emojis instead of words.

I have bought into the “peace of mind” constant connection has sold me. If I know where he is, my thinking goes, he is not doing something dangerous or stupid. If he sends a text to say he’s joining a club or trying out for a team, or even just playing Pokemon Go with some friends, I am still part of his day…even if I’m a work, cooking dinner, or playing Pokemon Go while I walk the dog.

Naturally, my research-mind knows the sense of security a cell phone brings to parents is as mythical as a Mew or MewTwo sighting. Owning a cell phone can actually put teens at greater risk as targets for theft. And, then, there are the risks to health associated with carrying a cell phone on one’s body instead of in a purse or backpack. These are not risks to be dismissed.

But, if he gets into a spot where he needs assistance, I want him to be able to call for it. It’s that simple. If he spots an Articuno across town and calls to tell me, well, that’s just payback for the massive expense a kid’s cell phone entails.

Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer whose work spans from experimental fiction to technology journalism. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories.

Top Five Ways to Have Summer Fun Without The Kids!

Shot of a young woman relaxing with a beverage in the backyardhttp://

My kids are going to camp this summer. For a week each. For most of that week, they will be at their respective camps at the same time.

What am I going to do without them?

Seriously, I had no idea.

I generally go to bed at 10PM, unless the spin cycle takes a little longer than normal and I have to wait for it to finish before starting the dryer.

Being a modern mother, I took my query about “Summer Fun Without the Kids” to Facebook and was reminded just how dumb I am really quickly.

Here is the top five list of how to fun without the kids in this summer:

  1. Sleep

Given that sleep is the third most important thing in my life (after the kids and the dog), it’s amazing that I did not see summer camp as an opportunity to sleep more. There will be no lunches to pack, no breakfasts to prepare, no days to organize except my own. I can probably lie around until 7:30 every single work day.

  1. Drinking

Alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Study after study confirms that a glass of red wine every evening, or a pint of vitamin-rich beer, can add years to one’s lifespan. And yet it’s often hard to fit in time to drink when you’re a parent. I don’t mean during those few, precious years when younger elementary school children are in bed by 9:00 and you have a full hour to sling back a glass while the washer is running. By the time kids are 9 or 10 years-old, getting them into bed is harder and harder. Not only is there the forgotten homework assignment, but the worried re-count of an argument with a friend, or tales of the brat in class who is disrupting everyone’s learning, can only be told immediately before it is time to close the book and shut off the light. And 12 to 14 year-olds with their constant campaigns to stay up until 11PM? They make you need that drink all the more while making it less likely that you will be awake and aware long enough to even find the corkscrew.

Plus, and this is the part that bothers me most, kids are so judgmental. One bottle of wine between four adults at the dinner table and suddenly you’re listening to a grade five health class lecture about the dangers of drinking, the importance of making healthy choices and the perils of peer pressure.

  1. Meeting friends

“We should do lunch,” and “we’ll meet for coffee” are both phrases that we throw about with the complete knowledge that we will never have time to actually act upon them. Except, I will have a whole week. It means, instead of sending a text or a Facebook message to my friends, I could actually call them.

Except, I might not because of point 4.

  1. Spend time alone

YOU WILL GET TO BE ALONE, was the all caps shout that appeared on my Facebook post.

“What do you think books were meant for?” several other friends asked.

I used to read. I used to be able to do all kinds of things by myself that aren’t the dishes or laundry.

  1. Enjoy the quiet

Time alone is such an impossible achievement for so many parents, that it is quite forgivable to forgot that it exists. As for this thing called quiet, there is something unicorn-like about it. I will report back this autumn to let you know if it is a myth or not.

Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer whose work spans from experimental fiction to technology journalism. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories.

Fathers’ Day Ties, Complexities & Hearts


Ties? Still? Why are ties the go-to symbol for Fathers’ Day?

Most men of my generation go to work in funky t-shirts and jeans. Or, if they are very formal, khakis and button down shirts with no tie. And, on those rare occasions where I have seen men in ties, there have been jokes about choking and strangulation.

I know the tie harkens back to an old idea of fathers dressing up in suits for the office, to go to church and dressed down to a cardigan and collar only to cut the grass and do home repairs. A tie would have been a good gift for my grandfather. If he were still alive, he would be 90 this year.

But for my own late-father who came of age in the 1960s? For my children’s father whose life is cutting-edge technology and modern convenience personified?

It’s not that we’re completely without symbols for modern fatherhood. For dads who coach their kids’ sports team, teach their kids to play electric guitar and take their kids out fishing, there are plenty of coffee mugs, t-shirts, key chains and other forms of giftware to tell them that they’re number one. My own dad wanted notepads and pens, chocolates or caramels, a cup of coffee and a Sunday donut to celebrate any occasion, whether it was Fathers’ Day, Christmas or his birthday. My kids don’t have anything that simple to fall back on.

Like many families, ours is not perfect. Impending- divorce, distance and disagreement are still fresh wounds among us, but the kids get on with their daily lives with happy activity and comforting routines. Among their friends and broader family, there is no fathering standard for them to envy or admire or despise. Fatherhood is in a state of social flux and every man is doing it his own way in a way that meets his own needs. Or, to be fair, in a way that meets his children’s needs.

It makes for a greater sense of individuality in what it means to be a father, and to be fathered, in this day and age. My children’s father is theirs. His role in their lives, and their roles in his, are matters that pump through their own veins like the bloodlines they share. It’s rich and real and too complicated to be something any of us can tie up in a knot at our throats.

No, the tie is definitely not the right symbol for celebrating a modern Fathers’ Day. Like any other loving relationship, whether it’s easy or difficult, the best symbol for that is the heart.

Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer whose work spans from experimental fiction to technology journalism. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories.

Making Out Like Bandit: Mothers’ Day Presents

Girl hiding greeting card for mother behind back

Bean plants growing in cups as they wind their way up disposable chop sticks. Portraits done in oil pastel. Sculptures holding tea lights. Carefully printed testimonials to superior parenting skills both traditional (excellent cooking) and non-traditional (re-configuring the wireless router).

These, are true treasures and, every year since my children started school, I have made out like a bandit on Mothers’ Day.

But, here’s the confessional: I have not kept any of those presents. I will not have a portfolio of drawings, a collection of Number 1 Mom plaques, or painted ceramic molds made by my loving children to show my grandchildren. Although, if my grandchildren have the search skills I suspect they might need, they’ll find the pictures of the gifts I posted to Facebook for documentary purposes by the time they finish kindergarten.

As a family, we just accumulate too much stuff to keep it all. Without regular recycling and garbage pick-up, my family would be diagnosed as hoarders in week. There even came a time when the little container of milk teeth just seemed to take up too much valuable space in our crowded house (milk teeth are compostable, by the way).

Besides, I fear that if the presents from previous years were still around, the kids might not perform the ritual of Mothers’ Day present making and giving with the same sense of occasion. Keeping previous year’s gifts in view gives them the chance to say, “Oh look! See, I proved how much I love and appreciate you last year! I don’t need to do it again.”

Except, they do need to do it again. Every year, I want to hear rushing around in the kitchen that fine spring Sunday morning. I want to know the table is being decorated with the very best art projects Madame B and Mister L have been able to transport from the Pinterest screen to the elementary school classroom. I want proof that my children remember the small preferences and practices that mark out a unique personality in the many universal acts of parenting. Every child of a certain age should know if their mothers take strong steeped tea, with just a spot of milk, or coffee sweet and black. They should know if their mothers prefer toast dry, with butter, with jam, or with both jam and butter. They should know, when composing annual odes to their moms, to balance out the lines that’ll bring a tear to the eye with the charming memories that will bring laughter to their mothers’ lips.

Mothers’ Day, it’s true, is a test. It is not a test of how much children love their mothers, but of how well they know them. And they do not have to pass it every year. They just have to try. With mothers, all the points are for effort and the wonder inspired by the demonstration of that effort. And, when you’ve finally passed, children no longer have to write poems or draw portraits or make sculptures. My mother now makes it extremely easy for my sibs and I. She makes “helpful suggestions” for plants and flowers she wants from the local greenhouse for the spring garden beds. And, we can trust that list because we really know our mother and what she likes. Learning that lesson, really, is what Mothers’ Day is all about.

Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer whose work spans from experimental fiction to technology journalism. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories.

Rainy Days & Fashionable Adventures


Technological innovation has made the indoors truly great. Between our fear of unhealthy rays of the sun and mosquitos, there are more reasons than ever to just stay home and read blogs. Except when it rains. There are always good reasons to go out in the rain.

First, and I am not basing this on any scientific facts, rain is good for your skin. Have you ever noticed that people who live in Vancouver or Seattle look younger than people who live in Texas or Arizona? There is clearly an elixir of youth in every drop that falls on your face.

Second, rain has become the weather that enables the maximum amount of style. The most fashionable among us venture out to dance in the puddles. Seriously, you might dress your five year-old in a yellow slicker with a nor’wester hat to keep them visible with some vintage appeal, but there is no reason for you to look like a fisherman (although a good cable knit sweater still has its place in any wardrobe). The rain-look is a classic one. You can pull any trench coat in a solid colour — with a belt that nips the waist just-so — on over your pajamas and be instantly ready to walk the kids to school through the April showers.

And rain boots, everyone’s second favorite rubber, have come so far in recent years. Tartan patterns are especially popular as you may have guessed from friends who were afraid you’d forget they are indeed Scottish for five minutes. Most important from the fashion perspective, however, are the rain boots with heels. They’re called wedge wellies and if you haven’t looked them up yet, you want to open up a new tab right now.

Saving the most controversial point for last, it’s time we talked about the effects of rain on hair. When I was a little girl, all the women my grandmother’s age and older wore clear plastic rain bonnets as soon as the first cloud appeared in the sky. They were the last of the generation who had their hair washed and set at the salon every week and, bless them all, that was probably the only hour of peace and quiet they got to themselves.

Now of course, most hair is protected during the dash from the house to the car with product of various kinds. Both product and hair, I suppose, are less predictable when exposed to rain. That’s especially true if air-drying is going to be a factor. Personally, while beauty and style editors might change their opinions from season to season, I am pro-unpredictability when it comes to hair. It’s the free your frizz and your mind will follow ethos. Besides, trying to control my temper takes so much of my energy that letting my hair go to the wind – or the rain – is the only way to have time for life.

Into every life a little rain must fall, the old saying goes. I think it unfairly suggests that rainy days are always unwelcome, even if venturing out into a challenge is exactly what we might need. Besides, where’s the pleasure in staying inside to look at wedge wellies online, if we never venture out to jump in puddles?

Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer whose work spans from experimental fiction to technology journalism. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories.

Give Me A “Spring” Break!

Give me a spring break!

What Ebenezer Scrooge is to Christmas, I am to spring break. Except, instead of being visited by three ghosts, I am haunted by the three stereotypes of spring break: Girls Gone Wild, that 80s movie set in Fort Lauderdale and reports from Cancun. Bad movies and even worse direct-to-DVD filmed product, these three stereotypes have taught me that where there’s a drunk young woman with breasts she’s still proud of, there is a predator with a camera waiting.

It bothers me now that I’m a parent. There must be, at some point in our lives, a happy medium between a road trip with the parents and the absolute expectations of bacchanalia when young “adults” have a week off college or university. These are among the seasonal musings of my late afternoon tea or coffee break. Imagine what a Debbie downer I’d be without caffeine. It sucks to be a mother who worries, but I find it helps me stay a step ahead of parenting problems.

Clearly, I have missed the happy medium—if it exists—and headed directly into dread. I blame this on the fact that children grow up too quickly. One minute, you’re at the pharmacy buying your new teenager his first tube of acne medicine, the next, he’s asking for a notarized letter of consent to go to Florida with his buddies. Well, mine hasn’t asked yet, but I know it’s imminent. And, when I say no, I just know the fact that I’ve never taken the kids to Disney will be thrown in my face. As if any group of 17 year-olds with drivers’ licenses are heading for Disney World. Or Cape Canaveral to see a rocket launch.

And really, I don’t have any faith that a spring break trip to the ski hills would be any more wholesome or intellectually enriching.

Yes, spring break is just another week off school. Yes, it is another child care issue when you have school age children and no vacation time. Yes, it is another thing to feel guilty about when the kids’ classmates hit the airports and the open highways while we might compromise with a night at a hotel at the extreme off-season rate. Not everyone has a snow-bird grandparent with a condo in the sun. Not everyone has a relative with a time-share in Tahoe they just must gift to someone else.

As much of a downer as I can be about spring break, I am not completely against it. Where I live, spring break can be a celebration of newly sprouted crocuses, or it can be a total snow-in hosting the last blizzard of the season. Our climate is as unfamiliar with happy mediums as I am.

There are day camps for the kids to go to. Local libraries, museums and swimming pools set special hours and programs during the week everyone is off school. Plus, we don’t always stay home. We’ve done our share of travelling and seen a lot of the world.

And, if we did have a grandparent with a condo or a time share, we probably would have joined the hoard of Canadian and Northern American families who invade Florida every March. And really, who doesn’t want to visit the Kennedy Space Centre? I even like the idea of visiting an all-inclusive resort with an open bar. As long as I don’t have to go there at the same time as a bunch of wild students with a week off…especially if those students are my own kids.

Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer whose work spans from experimental fiction to technology journalism. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories.