I am so excited today because I have a super special treat for you guys!!!
It’s nearing Halloween. One of my favorite holidays!!! I absolutely adore it!
So with that in mind I have brought over my partner in the Halloween Heat III Anthology Antonia Van Zandt! She’s here to talk Halloween, her love for Vienna and some out of this world recipes and a secret spell!!!
Take it away girl!
Halloween with Antonia Van Zandt
As some of you may know, while I was born inEngland, I now live in Vienna, Austria– a city I regard as my spiritual home as well as my physical one.
Vienna is a city steeped in tradition. Every season has its own defining characteristics and none more so than Autumn. The days are turning chilly and the nights more so. On street corners, braziers burn and vendors sell hot, sliced fried potatoes and chestnuts, their aromas mingling in the crisp air.
In the parks and leafy streets, trees turn wonderful hues of gold, scarlet and amber, while in the fields outside the city and in the street markets, seasonal produce abounds. Most notably – pumpkins.
Austrian adore pumpkins. The best pumpkin oil comes from here (OK, I’m biased!). The seeds are great to chew on and the flesh makes wonderful, hearty soup, just right for the chilly days and nights. It’s easy to make as well. (I’ve included a recipe further down).
Of course, in common with everywhere else, we love Halloween and no Halloween party would be complete without a special, spooky cocktail. If you’re coming to mine, expect to try these favourites:
Satan’s Whiskers (per serving)
½ oz gin
½ oz sweet vermouth
½ oz dry vermouth
½ oz fresh orange juice
2 tsp Grand Marnier (straight)
1 tsp orange bitters
orange peel twist for garnish
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to mix
- Add crushed ice and shake vigorously again
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with an orange peel twist and serve
Black Martini (per serving)
3½ oz gin or vodka
½ oz blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur (e.g.Chambord)
lemon peel twist for garnish
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with crushed ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with a lemon twist.
Once we have a couple of these inside us, it will be time to settle around my cauldron and cast a Halloween spell. Situated in a surburb of Vienna, my home dates back to the era of the Dual Monarchy (or K u. K – Kaiserlich und Königlich) ofAustria andHungary. I am never more aware of the ghosts that share my rooms than at this most bewitching of festivals. I would like them to continue to watch over me and be friendly, so, please join hands with me in a modern Wiccan Samhain Spell:
Be unafraid of Shadows dark
And to their whispers
Do Not Hark
You do Not hear
No worry, trouble
Loss or Fear
No Shadow falls
Upon your Heart
We Stand Together
We Stand Together
All our spells
For Every End
A New Beginning
If this your Will
So Mote It Be!
(Attributed to Maurice of Coventry Greens, 1994)
May the spirits that surround us be ever friendly ones! Bright Blessings to all!
Now, here’s that recipe I promised you:
Kürbiscremesuppe (Cream of Pumpkin Soup)
1 small onion
1/2 cup of white wine
1 and 1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup of heavy cream (plus extra for garnish)
butter (for frying)
salt, black pepper,
black pumpkin oil
(Heat the oven to 350 degrees)
1. Remove the flesh and seeds from the pumpkin
2. When oven is hot, scatter some seeds on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and fragrant
- Meanwhile, chop the pumpkin roughly into small pieces and boil until soft. Drain and keep hot.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion into small pieces and fry in butter for a few minutes until soft and golden. Remove from heat
- Mix the onion with the boiled pumpkin.
- Mash the vegetables using a blender
- In a warmed bowl, add wine, cream, soup and nutmeg and add salt and black pepper to taste. Pour into individual bowls
- Once in the bowls, add a drizzle of black pumpkin seed oil and a flourish of cream. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds and serve with warm, crusty bread.
Oh my goodness, those recipies sound so delicious!! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with us Antonia!
Antonia van Zandt is a Paranormal Erotic Romance author, born in the ancient cathedral city of Salisbury, Englandand related to deposed European royalty. She now lives in Vienna, Austriain a rambling, haunted house, surrounded by old family portraits and a menagerie of cats. Her short story, Serena, is featured in the recently published sizzling anthology, Halloween Heat III.
You can buy Halloween Heat III at:
She is currently working on two new novellas – both strictly for broadminded adults!
Antonia loves to meet new people and can be found here:
I love the sound of that Black Martini!
I do too! I love pumpkin so I will be trying ALL of these!
Thank you for letting me invade your blog today Milly! Kiran – you’d better watch those Black Martinis. They sneak up on you when you least expect it
Everything looks amazing! Thank you for sharing with us!!
Forgot to say I can’t wait to read the book, I’m in the middle of good book but,after that ill be getting it!!!!!!
Thank you for dropping by, Carrie
Love the cream of pumpkin soup. Thanks for the black martini..wicked, sinful and I want to try.
What a wonderful post! I could smell the chestnuts and see the crisp air and falling leaves. Thank you for sharing your recipes and a magical spell ;)
Thank you guys. Your comments are much appreciated. Carrie – enjoy the book! Susan – once you try it, you’ll come back for more. Nishi – come to Vienna and you’ll smell those chestnuts everywhere you go. Soon the Christmas markets will be starting and, as you wander around the hundreds of stalls, you’ll smell cinnamon and hot, mulled wine. If this link works, have a look http://www.christkindlmarkt.at/News-Events.3.0.html?&L=1