Archive for September, 2011

Halloween Press Release

posted by Karen Jean Matsko Hood
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Whispering Pine Press International, Inc.
Your Northwest Book and Gift Company

For Immediate Media Release

Halloween Delights Cookbook
A Collection of Halloween Recipes
Cookbook Delights Series

For this fun and festive time of the year, author Karen Jean Matsko Hood presents a unique cookbook that is full of tasty and satisfying recipes. Inside are page after page of mouth-watering recipes that will certainly be a hit with family and friends during this special time. Written for the novice cook as well as the accomplished chef, Halloween Delights Cookbook will be appreciated by all.  The ingredients for each recipe can be found at your local market throughout the year. Halloween Delights Cookbook is sure to be a valuable addition to your kitchen library and a great gift idea for the chef on your giving list.

Please visit our websites at,, and 6×9 inches, 328 pp., featuring a durable, full-color cover in a variety of bindings. Whispering Pine Press International, Inc. Your Northwest Books and Gift Company.

Inside You Will Find:

  • Halloween-Themed Recipes
  • Halloween Folklore
  • Halloween-Themed Poetry
  • Halloween History
  • Festival Information
  • Author’s Commentary
  • Index and Glossary
  • Tips on Preserving
  • Halloween Facts


Halloween Delights Cookbook – Paperback $19.95


LCCN: 2011923151 BISAC 1 CKB04200 BISAC 2 CKB077000 BISAC 3 CKB101000 BISAC AUD 01

ISBN: 978-1-59434-181-6 case bound $ 29.95
ISBN: 978-1-59434-182-3 perfect bound $ 19.95
ISBN: 978-1-59434-183-0 spiral bound $ 21.95
ISBN: 978-1-59434-184-7 comb bound $ 22.95
ISBN: 978-1-59434-185-4 3-ring binder $ 29.95
ISBN: 978-1-59434-051-2 large print edition $ 29.95
ISBN: 978-1-59434-186-1 printable cd $ 15.95
ISBN: 978-1-59434-187-8 E-PDF $   9.99
ISBN: 978-1-59434-079-6 E-PUB $   9.99


About the Author: Karen Jean Matsko Hood is an internationally published author of numerous cookbooks, children’s books, poetry, and more.  A woman of wide interests, she, her husband, sixteen children, and foster children make their home in Greenacres, Washington.  Ms. Hood is currently working to complete her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University., and

Author’s Availability: Washington State and nationwide by arrangement.
Contact: Marketing and Sales Department
Phone: (509) 928-8700 or Fax: (509) 922-9949,

Whispering Pine Press International, Inc., 507 N. Sullivan Road Suite LL-5, Spokane Valley, WA 99037-8576 USA

Spokane Mourns the Loss of a Landmark

posted by Karen Hood
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle, a beloved restaurant and landmark in Spokane’s Garland District, burned to the ground on the night of September 25. The fire also destroyed Ferguson’s Café next door, and was so large and difficult to contain that it took 50 firemen almost two hours to put it out. Both restaurants were featured in the 1993 movie Benny and Joon, and the Milk Bottle in particular has come to be nationally known as an iconic location in Spokane.

The Milk Bottle was built in 1935 as a retail store for the Benewah Dairy. At 38 feet tall and 15 feet wide, it is one of a handful of giant milk bottle buildings scattered around the United States—and one of the most famous. The dairy closed down in the early 70’s, leaving the Milk Bottle unused until 1994, when it reopened as Mary Lou’s restaurant, serving some of the best local burgers, thick-cut fries, and delicious homemade ice cream. Mary Lou’s has been a favorite among North Spokane residents ever since, and their ice cream became so popular that it was served in other local restaurants around town. The restaurant had an old-fashioned charm to its décor, with black and white checkered tile floor, historic photos displayed on the walls, and 50’s style bar stools at the front counter. At first, the Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle was open only for lunch, but the past two summers their hours were extended into the mid-evening so that locals could grab an ice cream cone to cool down on a hot summer night. Many people around Spokane have fond memories of both the Milk Bottle and Ferguson’s Café and have been devastated to learn that they are gone, describing it as a heartbreaking loss for the city.

Update: Although the Ferguson’s building has been deemed a total loss, the Milk Bottle is still structurally intact. The owners of both restaurants state that they have plans to rebuild. The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.

Halloween Delights Delivers No Tricks, Plenty of Treats

posted by Karen Hood
Thursday, September 22, 2011

It’s that time of year again! The weather is turning crisp and cool, leaves are changing to vibrant autumn colors, and the holidays are just around the corner. First up is Halloween, a favorite for the child in each of us, a magical and spooky night filled with delicious goodies, fun costumes, and frights galore. To help make the most of the holiday, pick up a copy of Halloween Delights by Karen Jean Matsko Hood. More than just a cookbook, Halloween Delights is a treasure trove of creative ideas to make your fright night celebration one to remember! The book is also packed with extras, like information on how to grow your own pumpkins, interesting facts about the history, folklore, and symbolism of Halloween, and a helpful glossary of cooking and baking terms.

I’ve been impressed with each entry in Hood’s Cookbook Delights series that I have seen so far, but this one honestly blew me away. From the clever to the creepy to the downright ghastly, each recipe is a masterpiece of ingenuity that will delight, scare, and gross out your Halloween guests in the best way possible. The variety of recipes is staggering, enabling you to choose just how ghoulish you want your party to be. The Halloween Haunted Forest Platter, for example, is a really creative way of dressing up the ordinary vegetable platter that will entice even kids into nibbling on healthy treats, and it’s a really cute idea. (Imagine a forest of broccoli trees haunted by egg ghosts and other creepy, edible creatures.) If you’d rather horrify your guests, there are recipes like the Boogers and Slugs Halloween Cake and Chocolate Slime, foods that may sound or even look disgusting, but are guaranteed to be delicious. The Bleeding Human Heart, a heart-shaped gelatin that oozes thick grenadine blood when cut into portions, is one of my favorites–there’s no doubt it’ll make an impression!

Halloween Delights is so full of fun and creative ideas that my kids literally could not stop poring over it. They had a blast helping me try out some of the recipes in the kitchen and have been begging to try out more ever since. We made Witch’s Hat Chocolate Cupcakes, Creepy Crawly Spider Cookies, and Jack-O-Lantern Cheeseburger Pie. All of the recipes were easy to follow and turned out fabulous, not just in taste but in visual impact as well, which is at least half the fun with a holiday like this. I was also pleased to find a number of recipes that are designed for feeding large crowds, which will make planning a party all the easier. This is the ultimate Halloween cookbook, crammed with enough ideas to see my family through all the spooky parties we will ever throw. Now the only problem is picking which recipes to use–and how to prevent my kids from wanting to celebrate Halloween all year long!

Halloween Delights Cookbook – Paperback ©2008