Tricky Treats!

Looking for a fun Halloween-themed snack? Look no further! These origianally appeared in The Friend magazine in 1982.

Tricky Treats

It’s pumpkin season! Halloween fun and fall harvestcelebrations wouldn’t be complete without thepumpkin’s toothy grin or scary scowl. Whether you’replanning a special family dinner, a holiday party, ortrick-or-treat sweets, you’ll want to include thesepumpkin creations.

Decorating with Pumpkins

With a little ingenuity and time, you can turn an ordinary garden pumpkin into a spooky party decoration or a beguiling table centerpiece. Here’s a tip for carving jack-o’-lanterns: When you cut the top off the pumpkin, cut a triangular notch on the back side.The notch makes it easy to match the edges when replacing the lid.

Spooky Jack-O-Lantern

1 large pumpkin

1 #10 can (such as a shortening can)

1/2 cup salt

3 pounds dry ice, chunked

Flashlight (optional)

Cut off the pumpkin top and clean out the seeds and pulp. Carve a face on the pumpkin. Place the # 10 can inside the pumpkin, add 1/2 cup salt, then fill the can 3/4 full of hot water. If your pumpkin is large enough,place a flashlight behind the can to add drama to the decoration. Drop two or three medium-to-large chunks of dry ice into the can of water. (Be sure to wear gloves when handling dry ice.) The dry ice will send steam filtering from the jack-o’-lantern’s face. When the fog begins to diminish, remove the can and replenish the water. (The dry ice cools the water and causes ice to form around the dry ice, stopping the action. Adding hot water will melt the ice and start the process again.)

Pumpkin Punch Bowl

A jack-o’-lantern punch bowl doubles as a centerpiece.Clean out the inside of a large pumpkin, wiping and rinsing until all fiber and pumpkin strings are gone. Use acrylic paints or marking pens to draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin. Refrigerate the pumpkin until you’re ready to use it, then pour in cider or punch. The cool pumpkin will keep your drink cold throughout the evening.

Pumpkin Treats

These goblin goodies include foods made with pumpkin, as well as foods made to look like jack-o’-lanterns. Each treat is quick and easy to make.

Jack-O-Lantern Dinner

1 small-to-medium pumpkin

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 to 2 tablespoons margarine or cooking oil

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 4-ounce can mushrooms, drained

1 10 3/4-ounce can cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Cut off the pumpkin top and clean out all seeds and stringy pulp. Use a black marking pen to draw an appropriate jack-o’-lantern face on the pumpkin. Sauté onions in margarine or oil in a large skillet. Add meat and brown. Drain off grease. Add soy sauce, sugar,mushrooms, and soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally,for 8 to 10 minutes.  Add cooked rice and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Pour mixture into pumpkin. Replace pumpkin top.

Place the filled pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake in a 350° F. oven for 1 hour. The pumpkin itself should be tender when removed from the oven. Place on serving platter and cover with a large napkin. After the blessing, select someone to uncover the special dish. Serve the pumpkin as a vegetable along with the delicious meat mixture.

Jack-O-Lantern Bundt

You’ll need three cake mixes and two bundt pans for this decorative cake. White cakes tinted with orange food coloring or dark-colored cakes work best.Thoroughly grease and flour the pans so cakes slide out easily. Prepare the cake mixes according to package directions. Pour half the batter into each pan, and bake as usual.

When cakes are done, remove from pans and cool. Cut and remove the rounded tops from each cake so that the top edges are flat. Place one cake, cut side up, on the serving platter. Place the second cake on top, cut sides together, matching ribs to form a jack-o’-lantern.

With frosting or gumdrops placed in toothpicks, make the pumpkin’s face. Fill the cake’s center hole with plastic wrap or waxed paper to hold the stem. To make the stem, blend 3 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature) with 3 cups powdered sugar, and tint with green food coloring. Mold into stem and leaf shapes,and attach to the top of cake with the stem set in the center hole.

Ghost Pumpkin Pie

This ghostly figure transforms your favorite pumpkin pie into a Halloween treat. Use whipped topping in pressurized can, or place regular whipped cream in cake decorating bag. Outline the ghost’s form on top ofthe pumpkin pie with whipped topping, and then fill inthe outline. Spread the topping with a knife to makesmooth.

Jack-O-Lantern Sandwiches

These Halloween sandwiches will delight young and old alike. Use a dark bread such as rye or pumpernickel. Cut jack-o’-lantern faces in one slice of bread for each sandwich. Make sandwiches with desired filling. Place slice of cheese over the filling, and position pumpkin face on top. This sandwich will add a special touch to Halloween party or lunch.


These tiny jack-o’-lanterns make good party favors or treats. Decorate oranges by drawing jack-o’-lantern faces on each with dark marking pens. If you’re using orange-o’-lanterns as favors, let each guest decorate his or her own.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds, well washed

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon salt

Boil seeds in a small amount of salted water for 10 minutes, and then dry on paper towels. Combine Worcestershire sauce, butter or margarine, and salt. Pour mixture over seeds, and stir until seeds are well coated. Bake on a baking sheet for 1 to 2 hours in a225° F. oven, stirring often. Seeds should be crisp and not burned.

Highlands Ranch Ward Trunk or Treat

Last week the Highlands Ranch Ward hosted a wonderful Trunk or Treat! Thank you to everyone who helped organize such a wonderful event- it looks like a great time was had by all!

As always, if there are any pictures you would like removed, please e-mail us at and we will remove them. And, if you have pictures you would like to add, feel free to send them our way as well!

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Missionary Monday: Elder Chase Serving In California, Long Beach

Here are some recent letters from Elder Chase:


Elder Chase is second from the right


Elder Chase is on the far right



August 31, 2015

So this week was really, really busy, but not so much of missionary work, just a bunch of meetings. haha. We had meetings and different things that we had to take care of every single day of the week, which didn’t allow us to work in our area as much as we wanted. It’s really great being a zone leader and really great being a trainer, but put them together and there is almost no time to work as a missionary.

Despite all of the busyness that we had to take care of, Elder Redd and I were able to see some success this week in those whom we visited with. This week we had the opportunity to start teaching a man named Joucef, an immigrant from Algeria. He’s really cool and we’ve enjoyed teaching him so far. He’s really knowledgeable and has already read the Bible, the Torah, and the Quran. When we introduced him to the Book of Mormon he jumped all over it and expressed his excitement to read from it. He also attended church with us this Sunday, which was great because the entire Sunday was focused on missionary work. At church all of the speakers were converts or recently returned missionaries, and they shared their testimonies of conversion.

Two of the Recent Converts we are working with right now (both were baptized about 1-2 months ago) were asked to give talks about there conversions and it was amazing! One of them, Stephanie, shared her perspective of the conversion process. She talked about how happy the Gospel makes her and how she’s eternally grateful for receiving it. Hearing everything from her perspective really hit me hard. In the words of Jeffrey R. Holland: “These people are not lifeless objects disguised as a baptismal statistic. They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and they need what we have.” Her powerful testimony reinforced this point to me! Her story and her testimony are amazing!

Love you! Thanks for everything you do! 🙂

Elder Chase


September 8, 2015

This week was good for myself and Elder Redd. It’s been really, really slow since the start of the transfer. It was essentially a Zone-Leader, White Wash, Train. haha you probably have no idea what that is. Basically it means I’m a Zone Leader, so there is always some random thing we have to do. White Wash means you get two new missionaries into an area who weren’t serving there before. Me and Elder Redd opened up this side of the HBYSA ward which meant there was almost no work to do at the beginning of the transfer. And then of course we are in the midst of training, which is time consuming. Anyway, this week was probably the most productive of the transfer so far. The best part was when our mission president, President Tew, called and asked to go teaching with us. We had a set lesson with Stephanie and Ruben (pretty sure I’ve told you about them), but 10 minutes before we get there we received a text from them saying that one of Ruben’s friends in the hospital just passed away from cancer. This completely changed everything, but thankfully we had our mission president there. Elder Redd and I just sat back and watched him do his thing. President Tew did an absolute amazing job of helping them while also inviting the Spirit to comfort them. President Tew is the best.

The other highlight of the week was when I went on exchanges with Elder Albrecht, the assistant to the president. It was by far the best exchange that I’ve ever been on and I learned so much from him. Elder Albrecht and I have served around each other for a vast majority of our missions (in fact, he was the third missionary that I met while here in California) so we’ve known each other for a while. I really respect and appreciate all that he does, and had a blast while on the exchange with him.

The last thing I want to talk about is our lessons with Joucef. He’s the immigrant from Algeria who knows a bunch about different religions. In one of our lessons this week we taught him about the Plan of Salvation. I was super excited to teach it to him and he grasped it extremely well. The thing that drew him in the most was when we taught about the Spirit world, and how it’s a place where people have the opportunity to learn about Christ even if they didn’t have the chance here. This made complete sense to him and it’s always a great experience for a missionary when those we teach have an “ah ha” type of moment.

Well, I love you as always. Thanks for everything!

Elder Chase

September 14, 2015

So I’ll update you on Joucef’s progress. We had a couple of interesting lessons this week with him. In one of them, we were teaching him the Word of Wisdom and it was going really well. As we were teaching him though, we got a bit sidetracked and began teaching him how God has a body of flesh and bone and also taught him how we pray to God, not Jesus. Apparently he thought we were praying to Christ because we closed by saying “in the name of Jesus Christ”, which led to a pretty interesting discussion. It’s one of my favorite – teaching people doctrines that we like to consider super basic. It’s amazing to me how these doctrines are so simple and yet so important to know.

Another big thing that Elder Redd and I have been trying to implement is a bunch more member missionary work. It’s difficult to work a YSA ward because we can knock doors all day and find new people to teach, but most of the time we’ll just pass them off to the family wards and it won’t benefit the ward in which we are serving. Because of this we have been doing a bunch more member missionary work than I’ve done in past areas. We go and meet up with these members, hoping that as we invite the Spirit into their homes, they will be awakened to the great blessings the Gospel has given to them, and thus desire to share it with their YSA friends. One one specific example, we wen’t by a YSA who still lives with his family. His dad answered (a really great and solid member in one of the family wards) and invited us in right in. We had a short nice discussion with him and his struggling YSA son, which allowed to Spirit to enter into their home. That Sunday, we saw the father at church and he thanked us profusely for the Spirit and the message which we brought. It’s moments like that which remind me how important it is to continually invite the Spirit into our lives. I think as a missionary I can take for granted the Spirit which is with us throughout the day, but when people point it out, it makes me so grateful that God has trusted us to be missionaries, and has given us His divine help with his Spirit.

Well, thanks again for everything! Love you all!

Elder Chase

Conference Was Great: Now What?

October 5, 2015

Original article can be found HERE.

I say this after every general conference, “That was amazing!” The historic nature of this particular conference with the calling of three new Apostles seemed to make it even more so. Now what? I went to bed on a spiritual high and woke up with a resolve to try a little harder to be a little better—starting today.

Make the feelings you felt count. Make the messages that resonated with you most matter. Counsel with your family to make sure conference isn’t forgotten. Try out one of these conference-themed activities for your next family home evening.

1. Explore “Conference at a Glance”

When I was little, the first family home evening following general conference always started with the question “What did you learn at conference?” Knowing that that question would come, I always tried to take good notes or remember the gist of at least one story told during conference so that I could report back to my dad.

Now there’s a new resource on that takes the pressure off of perfect note-taking. The Conference at a Glance page, which is published during general conference weekend, contains 200-word snippets of each of the talks that were given, focusing on the central message of each. It’s a great tool to jog your memory and jump-start gospel conversations at FHE, especially since it takes a few days for the full text of the talks to be made available online.

2. Make the Messages Visual

I’m a visual learner, so something usually sticks with me longer when there’s a picture to go along with it. My kids are no different.

After last October’s general conference, we made paper boats at FHE to visualize the important principles of holding fast to the gospel as outlined by Elder M. Russell Ballard in his talk, “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!”

My kids loved it. Six months later, my girls still had their boats, and when I asked them what we talked about when we made those paper boats, they both replied, “Stay in the boat,” or stay in the Church.

This time around, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf showed us how powerful an image can be in teaching a lesson when he told the parable of “A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose” during General Women’s Session.  He showed the image of a pioneer girl during his talk, and then shared it on his official Facebook page following the session.

Since then, tens of thousands of people on social media have shared and commented on this image. They remembered the story associated with it. They resonated with its message. And, most importantly, they connected with the gospel truths that were shared. (If you didn’t hear the talk live, watch it here.) Showing this image and other visuals used in general conference talks at FHE is a great way to spur conversation and to help “liken” the stories told by our leaders to our own lives to help make the messages stick.

3. Get Answers to Your Questions

When it comes to the gospel, we all have questions. Through the Spirit, we can receive answers. General conference addresses are filled with inspired answers to some of life’s toughest questions. For an upcoming family home evening, invite family members to share some of the questions that they have, look through the most recent talks to see if those questions were answered, and then pray for the Spirit to confirm the truth. As part of this activity, you can visit the Answers to Personal Questions page on to see some of the most commonly asked questions and the accompanying answers that were given by Church leaders at the most recent general conference.

4. Memorize a Conference Quote

One of the coolest things to see during conference weekend is the sharing of thoughts and testimonies relating to the different talks on social media. Use your FHE to read some of the “goodness” that was shared over the weekend with the hashtag #LDSconf. Take special notice of the inspiring picture and video quotes that were shared by the official social media accounts of the Church. Those quotes are short. They’re sweet. And they’re perfect to memorize.

Consider spending time at an upcoming FHE pulling up these quotes in the Media Library and picking two or three of your favorites to memorize that night. Committing quotes like “God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy!” to memory might be just what you need to make it through a hard day.

5. Make a General Conference Quote Jar

After the general women’s session, my 10-year-old daughter turned to me and said, “I want to make a quote wall so that I can remember conference every day.” Not a bad idea.

Following her lead (and integrating it with an idea from the Youth Activities site) my family plans on making a general conference quote jar this year. We’re going to wait until the transcripts are available for all of the talks (check for them here), and then we’re going to print out our favorite talks, highlight the quotes we like the best, and then write each of those quotes on individual sheets of paper to fold and put in a glass jar. As part of our family prayer and scripture study each night, we’ll pull a quote from the jar and talk about it. It’s a great way to remember conference and to receive daily inspiration from our Church leaders.

6. Make Your Own Conference Poster

For those of you who are creative, or who have family members who are, making your own conference poster might be a good post-conference activity.

The Church’s Media Library has a gallery of dozens of images for members to use. To create a poster to share on social media, download the image you want from the Media Library into a word-processing or photo-editing program or mobile app and add your favorite quote from general conference. If you want a physical reminder, create your poster the same way, but instead of sharing it digitally, print, frame, and put it in a place where you can see it every day.

7. Turn Your Recap into a Game

At family home evening, you can never go wrong with playing a game. Be creative and make a game that best suits your family situation. It can be as simple as a “Who Said It?” game of matching quotes with the pictures of the Church leaders who said them (see example of printable here) or as complex as a scavenger hunt.Read how some youth implemented their own conference-themed games.

The objective of these games should be the same as everything we do after general conference—to help us be better.

President Thomas S. Monson put it best at the close of general conference last October, when he said, “May the Spirit we have felt during these past two days be and abide with us as we go about those things which occupy us each day, and may we ever be found doing the work of the Lord.”

Irinna Danielson graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in print journalism. She is a wife and mother to four beautiful children and serves in her ward Primary in Bluffdale, Utah, teaching the Valiant class.