A SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN DINNER


Jack-O'-Lantern Chicken Taco Cups

INGREDIENTS
~8 slices (3/4 oz each) American cheese
~1can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
~1container (20 oz) refrigerated taco sauce with seasoned shredded chicken
~1 1/2cups Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ Niblets® frozen corn
~1can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles1/2cup sour cream
~1medium tomato, cut into 8 thin slices
~Shredded lettuce

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. With top edge of custard cup as a pattern, cut out round from each cheese slice. In each round, cut out small triangles for eyes and nose, and small shape for mouth to resemble jack-o'-lantern. Set aside. Spray outside bottom and sides of eight 6-ounce custard cups lightly with cooking spray.

2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Roll or pat each biscuit into 4 1/2-inch round. Place biscuit rounds over outside of sprayed cups; press to fit over bottom and part way down sides of cups. Place cups, upside down, in ungreased 15x10-inch pan with sides.

3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.

4. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, cook taco sauce with chicken, corn and chiles over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, just until thoroughly heated.

5. Remove pan from oven. Carefully remove biscuit cups from custard cups; place biscuit cups, right side up, in same baking pan. Spoon chicken mixture evenly into each biscuit cup. Top each with tomato slice and jack-o'-lantern cheese slice.

6. Return to oven; bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle tops of cheese with shredded lettuce to resemble hair.

Click here for more recipe ideas from Pillsbury!


AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT DESSERT!

This is a fun treat from Kellogg's that only takes about 30 minutes and the kids will love it!

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies®
6 pretzel rod sticks, broken in half or 12 wooden ice cream sticks
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon shortening
Multi-colored sprinkles

DIRECTIONS
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add KELLOGG'S® RICE KRISPIES® cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using 1/2-cup measuring cup coated with cooking spray divide warm cereal mixture into portions. Using buttered hands shape each portion into ball. Push one pretzel piece into each. Cool.

4. In small saucepan combine chocolate morsels and shortening. Cook over low heat until melted, stirring constantly. Dip tops of balls into chocolate.Decorate with sprinkles. Place on wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Individually wrap in plastic wrap. Best if served the same day.

Microwave Directions:
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. In small microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate morsels and shortening. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 15 seconds. Continue with recipe as directed above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

For best results: Use fresh marshmallows.-One jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme can be substituted for marshmallows.-Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.-Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in single layer on wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 12 servings.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


FRANKEN-RONI AND CHEESE

Before all of the frightful sugary treats, fill your little one’s bellies with wholesome goodness of Macaroni and Cheese. This simple stovetop recipe can be whipped up as fast as a cauldron of goo and it’s the perfect night to coerce kids into something green. While pasta is cooking, make your sauce and assemble when ready to serve. It’s just that simple! A faithful follower found this recipe from the Dairy Farmers of Canada and says it's a favorite all year long with the kids. Check it out....


Ingredients
~3 cups macaroni or other small pasta
~2 tbsp butter
~2 cups broccoli florets
~¾ cup chopped onion
~½ tsp nutmeg (or to taste)
~1-½ cup 2% milk
~1 cup 35% whipping cream
~2 cups packed spinach or Arugula leaves
~3 cups shredded extra sharp white Cheddar cheese
~1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
~Salt and pepper
~Green food coloring

Directions
1. In large pot of boiling salted water, add several drops of green food coloring, and cook pasta for 8 min or according to package directions, until tender; drain well.

2. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook broccoli and onion until softened, about 3 min. Stir in nutmeg. Add milk and cream; cook stirring often, for 8 to 10 min or until slightly thickened and broccoli is tender. Stir in spinach and remove from heat.

3. In a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender, puree until smooth or desired consistency. Stir in macaroni to coat; stir in Cheddar and Parmesan cheese until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 min before serving.

For more fun for the kids, just add cooked hotdog slices (about 3-4 regular size hot dogs) before stirring in the cheese in the final step. Makes 6 servings.

EYE POPPING (tomato) SOUP


Ingredients
~2 tablespoons unsalted butter
~1 onion, finely chopped
~3 garlic cloves, minced
~1/2 cups dry white wine
~2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
~1 quarts homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
~3 sprigs oregano or marjoram
~1/2 cups half-and-half
~Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
~6 pitted black Kalamata olives
~2 sprigs fresh rosemary
~4 fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
~1 pounds (about 30) bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella balls)
~1 jar small pimiento-stuffed olives

Directions
1.Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.

2.Add wine and cook until most liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock, and oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until thickened, about 45 minutes.

3.Using a slotted spoon, remove herbs. Puree soup in small batches until smooth. Return to pan and slowly pour in half-and-half, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper.

4.Meanwhile, make the bugs: Use a toothpick to pierce each Kalamata olive 4 times (all the way through to other side). Insert a rosemary leaf into each hole to make eight legs. Insert two pieces of chive into the small hole at the end of the olive to make antennae.

5.Make the eyeballs: Using a small melon baller, scoop out a hole from each bocconcini. Halve each pimiento-stuffed olive crosswise. Place a half, cut side out, in the hole in each bocconcini to make eyeballs.

6.Ladle hot soup into shallow bowls. Float 4 or 5 eyeballs in soup and place a bug on rim of each bowl.

Once again, another great recipe from Martha Stewart!

DEVILED EYEBALLS

Here's a twist on the classic deviled eggs recipe for your upcoming party! Why not make them gruesome BLOODSHOT deviled eyeballs. You can do it in a few easy steps... Start off with the Deviled Eggs Recipe:


INGREDIENTS:
~6 large hard boiled Eggs
~3 tablespoons mayonnaise
~1 tablespoon sugar
~1 teaspoon honey mustard
~1/2 teaspoon vinegar
~1/2 teaspoon salt
~1/4 teaspoon pepper
~1/4 teaspoon paprika
~sliced black olives

DIRECTIONS:
1. Put eggs in a pan and add water enough to cover eggs completely.
2. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water. This will prevent the whites from running if a shell breaks during cooking.
3. Bring water to a boil, and cook eggs at a MEDIUM BOIL for about 12 minutes.
4. Chill eggs in ICE WATER.
5. Remove shells from eggs.
6. Cut each egg in half lengthwise.
7. Carefully remove the yolks, and place them in a medium bowl.
8. Mash yolks with a fork.
9. Add remaining ingredients, blending until rather smooth.
10. Very carefully spoon mixture back into the egg whites.

TO MAKE THE DEVILED EYEBALLS:
Step 1: Follow the recipe for DEVILED EGGS.
Step 2: If desired, add a drop of blue food coloring (or a dollop of guacamole), to give the eyeballs a greenish appearance.
Step 3: Slice some green or black olives crosswise.
Step 4: Place an olive slice in the middle of each egg.
Step 5: Give the eyeballs a bloodshot look by dripping beet juice onto the white of each egg, starting from the center and moving outward toward the edge.
Step 6: Enjoy your bloodshot eyeballs!

This recipes makes 1 dozen eyeballs.

JUST DESSERTS

Well I was hoping to show off a fabulous cake with many layers of orange and black frosting with a cake topper of dancing skeletons......but... it didn't quite work out that way. I'm so disappointed.

Since we are entertaining the in-laws at the Manor, this pre-Halloween weekend, I decided to go the "quick and easy" route, that I've bragged about so many times before.

With the Manor needing a good dusting and cobwebs that needed to be hung.....I just opted for a store bought cake and dressed it up with some drizzled chocolate and a nicely placed yummy skull on top!

HOW SWEET IT IS

Keeping with my pumpkin theme today, I saw this idea from Martha Stewart and I think it's great! What fun to greet the little goblins at the Halloween party this year. Add a candy station at the party!

Grab a few glass mason jars and glass containers (so you can show off all the treats and pretty colors) and decorate different sized pumpkins for the lids. (Make sure the pumpkins all have "stems" so little hands can lift the "handle" to get to the goodies)

All you'll need is some candy to make faces on your pumpkins, and your hot glue gun!

Who wouldn't want to dig into this fantastic candy bar?!
Way to go Martha!

HEADS UP!

My in-laws are coming for a visit this weekend (a little pre-Halloween celebration) so I decided that I wanted to make something memorable. Well, here's my attempt at candy making.

My friend Amy (Amy Cakes!) is a fabulous cupcake and candy maker, so she inspired me....and here's what I did so far. With a little help from Wilton and the candy-making section at Michael's..... it was a snap!

Here's what you need to pick up..... and just follow the instructions! Ok, I'm working on the design today and tomorrow, and baking on Friday. Wish me luck! I'll keep ya posted!

GOBLIN GRUB

Here's what I did over the weekend..... I decided to really get in the "spirit" of the Halloween season, while I was in the kitchen whipping up some Goblin Grub (a.k.a. queso dip)!

Here's what you'll need:
~1 lg. lean ground chuck
~1 regular size package of Velveeta
~1 car of Pace Picante sauce
~1 cup of milk
~green food coloring

Here's what you do:
1. In a skillet, brown the ground chuck, cook well, drain off excess fat. Set aside.
2. Pour milk into large sauce pan.
3. Slice Velveeta in to cube size, put in sauce pan.
4. Cook on medium-high, stirring as the cheese melts. (Do not let sit, stir to keep cheese from sticking to bottom of pan)
5. Once cheese has completely melted, add ground chuck, mix well.
6. Turn heat down to low.
7. Add picante sauce, mix well.
8. Add several drops of green food color (to desired shade of green)
9. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a scoop of picante on top and serve with tortilla chips!

CHEEZY ZOMBIE

This Halloween party recipe is just too funny for words-- and with a minimal amount of work. You can put him together out of whatever ingredients you like. Soft goat cheese, plain cream cheese. With this silly Halloween recipe, it's all about presentation. Just place this poor cheese guy on a festive Halloween tray and watch your guests crack up, and feel guilty for digging in!

Ingredients:
~3 (8 oz.) packages soft goat cheese or cream cheese
~1/3 C. chopped parsley or chives
~1/3 C. finely chopped nuts
~2 tbsp. poppy seeds (optional) 2 small button mushrooms
~3-4 broccoli florets
~1 slice from a narrow red bell pepper

Instructions:
1. On your serving platter, form your cheese into a man shape, like that pictured. If the legs and arms are at odd angles, it's gives the impression that he's writhing in pain.
2. Gently press chopped parsley or chives into cheese from the "waist" down to make pants. Make poppy seed "shoes" if desired.
3. Press the finely chopped nuts from the waist to neckline, to make a nut shirt. Leave "hands" bare.
4. Chill until firm, 2-3 hours at least.
5. Decorate the head with button mushrooms for eyes, broccoli hair, and a screaming red pepper mouth.
6. Allow to soften slightly before serving. Surround with your preferred combination of cheese, meats, veggies, and crackers.

This is one of the most easily adjustable easy Halloween recipes you can make. Want to make a smaller Zombie for a small dinner party? Use less cheese. Want a larger one? Simply buy more cheese. Since the rest is just decorating, it's easy to adjust your ingredients. This recipe makes a medium-sized Zombie, enough to feed about 15 people.

Click here for more freaky recipe ideas!

MUMMY MEATLOAF & CHEESY SWAMP CREATURES

Here's a great dinner idea from the same people who brought you the original "Haunted Mansion".  Nobody does it better than Disney! So before heading out with your kids for a night of trick-or-treating, put a chilling spin on some classic comfort foods. Serve our Mummy Meatloaf and a side of cheesy Swamp Creatures, and your little tricksters won't be able to stop ogling their food! (Or will it be ogling them?)

MUMMY MEATLOAF

Ingredients:
~Meatloaf from your favorite recipe (ours used about 2 pounds of meat)
~American cheese
~Olive slices

Instructions:
Make your favorite meatloaf recipe and shape the loaf to resemble a mummy's body with crossed arms. Bake the loaf until it's cooked through.

Let it rest about 3 minutes, then lay 1-inch-wide strips of American cheese across the body as shown, leaving a narrow space on the head for the olive slice eyes. Trim any overhanging cheese with scissors and return the mummy to the still-warm oven to slightly melt the cheese, about 1 minute.

SWAMP CREATURES

Ingredients:
~Macaroni and cheese
~Sautéed spinach
~Olive slices

Instructions:
Mix up a batch of macaroni and cheese, then spoon it into greased muffin cups and bake until firm, about 25 minutes.

Let the creatures rest for about 10 minutes, then gently remove them from the tins. Place them upside down on a swamp of sautéed spinach and add olive slice eyes.

Check out more creeepy-yummy ideas from Disney Family Fun!

CHEESY SNAIL STEW

Well, almost....it's really Hot Dog Mac & Cheese Soup. You'll need a few ingredients, and it only takes about 20 minutes, start to finish! I promise the kids will love it!

Prep Time: 10 min. Cooking Time: 8 min.

Ingredients:
~4 - ounces ( 1-1/2 cups) uncooked dried small macaroni shells
~2 - Tablespoons butter
~2 - Tablespoons all-purpose flour
~1 - teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
~1 - can (14-ounces) chicken broth
~1-1/2 - cups Fat Free Half & Half or milk
~1/2 - pound slice (1 inch thick) Deli American Cheese, cubed 1-inch
~1 - cup chopped or sliced hot dogs
~Salt and pepper, if desired

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

In a 3-quart saucepan, you want to melt butter until sizzling and stir in flour and mustard.

Add broth and half & half. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese until melted.

Next, stir in macaroni and hot dogs.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

COOKIE PIZZA

Try this cookie pizza recipe made with refrigerated sugar cookies, it'll only take you about an hour and I think the kids will go bonkers over it!




INGREDIENTS:
~1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
~1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
~1cup candy corn
~1/2 cup raisins
~1/4 cup vanilla ready-to-spread frosting (from 1-lb can)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil with shortening. Cut cookie dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices; arrange in pan. With floured fingers, press slices to form crust.
 
2. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
 
3. Use foil to lift crust from pan. Carefully remove foil from crust; place crust on serving platter or tray. Spread peanut butter over crust. Sprinkle candy corn and raisins evenly over top.
 
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave frosting on High 10 to 15 seconds or until thin and drizzling consistency. Drizzle frosting over cookie pizza. Cut into wedges or squares.
 
Check out the Pillsbury site for more recipes!

HERE'S LOOKIN' AT YA!


OGRE EYE COOKIES
Ingredients:
~1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
~1/2 cup sugar
~1 egg yolk
~1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~1 1/4 cups flour
~1/2 teaspoon salt
~Green sugar
~5 long strands black licorice, cut into 1-inch lengths
~36 white-chocolate chips
~36 brown mini M&Ms

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer. Mix in yolk and vanilla, then flour and salt, well. Roll into balls (size of a large marble). Coat in green sugar. Bake on 2 baking sheets for 12 minutes; rotate pans halfway through.

Remove from oven. Lightly indent centers. Push licorice "eyelashes" into cookies; bake for 2 minutes. Push tip of whitechocolate chips into centers. Bake for 3 minutes. Immediately press a mini M&M in center of each chip. Cool.

Makes 3 dozen cookies. Yummy! Click here for more recipes!

TRANSYLVANIAN "GOUL"ASH

With Halloween around the corner, why not set the theme with a big batch of Transylvanian Goulash?

INGREDIENTS:
~1 lb. ground beef
~1 med. onion
~1/2 c. chopped green pepper
~2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce or 1 (1 lb. 13 oz.) can undrained tomatoes and 1 can tomato sauce and omit juice
~2 c. water
~2 c. macaroni noodles (6-8 oz.)
~2 tbsp. sugar
~2 tsp. salt

INSTRUCTIONS:
In Dutch oven, brown ground beef. Drain excess fat. Add onion and green pepper. Continue frying until tender. Add rest of ingredients. Cover; reduce to simmer 20 minutes or so until macaroni is tender. This Transylvanian Goulash recipe serves 4-6.

FACE IT

This recipe was e mailed to me from one of our faithful followers...she said she found it on the world wide web a long time ago, and she's loved it ever since. I wish we knew who to give credit to for this fabulous idea...it's awesome! This lovely grotesque "cheese head" appetizer has been a hit at Halloween parties for several years now. It's tasty, and disgusting all at the same time! It's also quite easy to make, and will make a great impression on your Halloween guests... if you can just get them to take that first bite!

Tools:
~Face Mold (You can find the ones used to make masks at an art supply store)*
~Wide straw (McDonald's ones work well)

Ingredients:
~Cheese ball mixture - may need a double recipe, depending on the size of your mold. **
~Thin Sliced (Italian ham) Prosciutto (3 oz should be plenty)
~Several Olives (At least 2 colors. Get a variety big ones with pits, black & green, and already pitted if you want to play around with what works best. See Step 3 for details)
~Crackers for serving
~2, 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
~2-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
~3 Tbl. mayonnaise
~1 Tbl. horseradish (or cajun seasoning to taste)

*If you can't find a mold, you could try this with a hard plastic halloween mask--just line with plastic wrap to cover the eyeholes. But a mold will work better.

**Use any cheese ball recipe that features cream cheese and will hold it's shape.

HALLOWEEN SPIDER BREAD

This recipe comes from a faithful follower, who swears by it! She found it on on of her favorite cooking sites, so I though we'd share it!

Spiders are scary. I guess that’s why spiders seem to be featured everywhere on Halloween. And if you're having a Halloween buffet or just making a special dinner for family, you can make a delicious edible one which will elicit oohs and aahs from everyone. Black sesame seeds are available in the Asian aisle of larger grocery stores.

This giant spider is great at a buffet; the legs serve as breadsticks and the head and body can be sliced. You can also hollow out the body and fill it with your favorite dip. I have also included instructions to make the dough into four individual spider bread bowls for your favorite soup, stew, or chili.

Dough:
~1 1/2 cups warm water
~1 tablespoon olive oil
~3 1/2 cups flour
~2 teaspoons salt
~1 tablespoon yeast

Topping:
~1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
~2-3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
~2 raisins

Place the dough ingredients in the order given into the pan of the bread machine. Set the cycle on dough. After the machine has mixed for a minute or two, check to make sure there is enough flour to make a soft dough; if it is too stiff, add a few tablespoons more water; if it is too soft, add a little more flour. When the cycle has finished, transfer the dough to a lightly floured pastry cloth.

Form the dough into a ball. Cut 1/3 of the dough from the ball. Pat that 1/3 into a rectangle; with a pizza cutter, cut the rectangle into four strips, then cut each strip in half (legs). Take the remaining dough and cut 1/4 off; form into a ball for the head. Make a ball from the remaining dough to form the body. Brush the pieces with the egg white mixture, place them to form a spider on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle liberally with black sesame seeds. Press 2 raisins into the head for eyes.

Let the spider rise until doubled in bulk. Spray with water and place in a preheated 425° oven. Bake until browned, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool thoroughly.

MINI SPIDER BREAD BOWLS

Prepare the dough as above in Halloween Spider Bread. Divide the dough in four pieces and shape each into a miniature spider according to the directions for the large spider. Bake at 400° 20-25 minutes or until browned and crisp. Cool thoroughly.


When ready to serve, cut the top of the body off and hollow out each spider; fill with chili, soup, or stew!

FINGER FOOD

Halloween party finger food....literally. Form cookie dough into creepy witch fingers and use a blanched almond for the fingernail (recipe below). I've done this recipe sooooo many times, but everyone loves it! There are so many variations of this recipe, you just need to find one you really like. If you want to make "witch" fingers, just add a few drops of green food coloring when mixing the dough. This recipe makes about 48 cookies.

Ingredients:
•1 Cup butter, softened
•1 Cup(s) powdered sugar
•1 egg, lightly beaten
•2 Tsp lemon juice
•2 2/3 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
•1 Tsp baking soda
•1 Pinch of salt
•1 Cup whole, blanched almonds

Directions:
•Add butter and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and lemon juice. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt and stir into mixture until combined. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

•Preheat oven to 325F. Spray baking sheets with light coat of nonstick cooking spray.

•Form fingers from 1 tablespoon of dough, by rolling dough with clean hands. Use a knife to score lines for the fingers knuckle. Press an almond firmly into the dough for a fingernail.

•Place cookies on prepared baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool for five minutes and place cookies on a rack to cool completely. Arrange on a spooky platter and serve.
 
MORE FINGER FOOD
These ghastly little nibbles are rich with cheesy flavor, and a real snap to make. It'll take about 55 minutes, and you'll need to be sure to keep the dough cool as you work with it to prevent stickiness.
 
Ingredients:
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound (about 1 cup packed) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 large egg
Kosher salt
30 sliced almonds

Preparation:
1. In a food processor or bowl, whirl or rub together butter, cheese, flour, and cornmeal until the mixture has the texture of wet sand. Add egg and whirl or stir with a fork until dough holds together.

2. Scrape dough onto a sheet of cooking paper or parchment, 12 to 14 in. wide and about 14 in. long. Top with another equal-sized sheet of paper and pat dough into a 1/2-in.-thick circle. Wrap in plastic and freeze 15 minutes, or refrigerate up to 3 days.

3. Roll dough into a rectangle about 8 in. wide and 10 in. long, working carefully to avoid creases in paper. Return to freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°.

4. Peel off top paper and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 30 strips, each about 1/2 in. thick and 5 in. long. Place each strip on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt to taste, then use your fingers to round the top of each strip into a fingertip shape. Use a sharp knife to score shallow "knuckle" lines in each finger, then press an almond "nail" into the tip. If you like, bend each finger in places to make it look knobby.

5. Bake the fingers until an even light brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

BOIL AND BUBBLE SOUP CAULDRON

Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake, in the caldron boil and bake.
Eye of newt, and toe of frog.
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog..... sounds like some good ingredients... or you could just follow this recipe:

Ingredients
~1 tablespoon salad oil
~2 pounds raw turkey Italian sausages
~1 onion (8 oz.), chopped
~1 red bell pepper (8 oz.), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
~2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
~1 tablespoon chili powder
~2 teaspoons cumin seed
~1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
~2 quarts fat-skimmed chicken broth
~2 pounds banana or Hubbard squash
~3 cans (15 oz. each) hominy, drained
~1 box (10 oz.) frozen peas
~Salt and pepper

Preparation
1. Place oil in an 8- to 10-quart pan over medium-high heat. Squeeze sausages from casings into pan; discard casings. Break sausage into bite-size chunks. Stir occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir over high heat until onion is limp, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in chili powder, cumin seed, and oregano. Add broth, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.

4. Meanwhile, peel squash and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to broth. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add hominy. If peas are frozen in a block, whack container against counter to separate, then pour peas into soup. Turn heat to high and bring soup to a boil, about 3 minutes.

6. Pour soup into a tureen and ladle into mugs or bowls. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Suggestions: Be sure to have lots of bread on hand to go with the soup! This would also be a great idea for chili, if you're not a hominy fan.  Also, if you want to give this recipe a try, it looks really cool because the hominy can pass for teeth and the green peas as beady little eyes. If making soup ahead: don't add peas; cover soup when cool and chill, then add peas when reheating. For a tureen: use a rustic pan, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven. Or you can use a pumpkin shell. You'll need a pumpkin at least 12 to 16 inches tall and wide. Cut off top and scoop out seeds. About 10 minutes before serving, fill shell with boiling water to warm. Drain and fill with hot soup. Use top as lid for the pumpkin tureen. Yield: Makes about 5 quarts; 10 to 12 servings

Click here for more awesome Halloween recipes!

BARBECUE BAT WINGS

What party wouldn't be complete with some really good appetizers? And who isn't a fan of hot wings? You can do it really simple and buy them in bulk, and just throw 'em in the oven...or you can do it from scratch! They're so easy to make and the presentation really completes the special effects!

INGREDIENTS:
~24 chicken wings (3 to 4 pounds)
~1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
~3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
~1/2 cup beef broth
~1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
~1 cup ketchup
~2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
~2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
~1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
~1 tablespoon sesame oil
~1 teaspoon hot sauce


PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Stretch out each chicken wing to resemble bat's wing. Arrange wings, skin side down in single layer in large roasting pan.

Combine soy sauce, molasses, broth and ginger in small saucepan; heat over low heat until mixture is smooth and well blended. Pour evenly over wings. Bake wings 30 minutes; turn and bake 30 minutes more or until sauce is thick and sticky.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly before serving.

Makes 8 servings and 1-1/3 cups sauce

GOBLIN GRINS

Ok.... did your little goblins forget to tell you that they signed you up to bring food for the class party? No problem..... so we need to whip up something spooky and spectacular for the kids.

Grab some frozen "smile" fries, make flour tortilla ghosts (be sure to use your Halloween cookie cutters) and devilish dip (add a few slices of red pepper to make your "devil") and you've got an instant party!

See how easy that was?

I-SCREAM

Or should it be "eye" scream? Be sure to keep an "eye" out for cute gummy eyeballs, this Halloween season, because you can make the perfect topping for an "I-SCREAM SUNDAE"!

Make your ice cream sundae, add chocolate syrup and whip cream. Then top it off with a gummy eyeball and some red licorice. What a perfect dessert to complete your dinner party.

PUMPKIN FONDUE BOWL

I saw this idea on Everyday with Rachel Ray and had to share it!
Whether you're throwing a Fall dinner party, a chic Halloween bash or Thanksgiving cocktails, this pumpkin bowl is the perfect decor feature for your table.

Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin, large enough to fit a bowl. Use it to hold dip, or pour melted cheese or chocolate in it for a fondue set up!

So very chic.

GHOSTLY LOLLIPOPS

Want to really impress the trick-or-treaters this year? Maybe your craft skills are a little rusty? Then Ghostly Lollipops are the thing for you! They will certainly make your house the fun place to be on Halloween night!!!!


Things You’ll Need:
* Bag of lollipops
* Ribbons (black and orange would be perfect) or rubber bands
* Tissue paper or white fabric
* Black marker
* Possibly scissors

Step1:
Take one lollipop at a time and place a piece of white tissue or fabric over the top of the lollipop.

Step2:
Secure it just underneath the lollipop with a rubber band or ribbons.

Step3:
Draw a spooky face with your marker!

Step4:
Place them all in a pretty basket by the front door to give away to the trick-or-treaters!

JELL-O BLOOD WORMS

Ingredients:
~1 pkg. (6 oz) purple gelatin (raspberry or grape work well)
~3/4 oz. unflavored gelatin
~3 C. boiling water
~3/4 C. whipping cream
~green food coloring, as needed
~100 plastic straws

Instructions:
1. In a medium, heat safe mixing bowl, stir together plain and flavored gelatin powders.
2. Pour boiling water over, stirring until gelatin is fully dissolved.
3. Allow gelatin to cool til only slightly warm.
4. Stir whipping cream into the gelatin mixture. Stir in green food coloring (you'll probably need 10 drops or more) until your gelatin gets that purpley-brown-grey color of earthworms.
5. With your 100 straws fully extended and snug in your chosen container, pour the gelatin mixture over the straws, filling the container.
6. Cover container and chill at least 8 hours. You can make them and store them this way up to two days in advance of your Halloween party.
7. Remove straws from their container (cutting or ripping a disposable container away is easiest).
8. With hot tap water running, place batches of 4-5 straws under hot running water for a couple quick seconds.
9. Remove "worms" from their straw casings, pressing with fingers. Set on waxed paper to set up.
10. Repeat until all worms are removed.
12. Chill, covered, on waxed paper at least 2 hours.
13. Serve in a chilled bowl, as pictured.

Then watch all the kids gobble 'em up!

CASPER COOKIES

Nutter Butters are naturally ghost shaped, which make them perfect for dipping! Give them a bath in some melted white chocolate and put on a couple of mini chocolate chips for eyes. And might I add that white chocolate covered Nutter Butters taste really yummy!


Click here, to check out more great recipes from this site!

SIMPLE AND SPOOKY

Ok, so you think that you have to go all out for this Halloween party with exotic food and table-scapes. Well, I have to tell you.... you couldn't be more wrong. Here's a good example of easy and fabulous!

If you don't have time to plan a large menu, just do a dessert table, instead. (you can even buy all the goodies and decorate them, if you're even more pressed for time!)

Add a few spooky props, sparkly dishes, some candles and some spiderwebs. Dim the lights and wait for the guests to arrive!

MORE SWEETS FOR THE SWEET

Looking for something to take to the neighbor’s Halloween party or to send to your kids away at college? Or perhaps you want to mail your grandkids a gift for the spooktacular holiday ahead? Whatever you crave, these delicious chocolate covered candy apples are sure to be a home run.

There’s just something about autumn, apples, and candy—that I never get tired of! Each confection is handmade with a combination of festive orange and dark chocolate drizzle (No bobbing required).I think they're a pretty sweet gift for nearly every Halloween happening.

I thought these were so incredible, I wanted to place an order! But it seems that they 're temporarily out of this product.

So that got me to thinking.....I bet that we could make a pretty cool variation of this pretty candy apple. I bet if you dipped them in (orange) chocolate or carmel, (let them dry) then drizzled them with chocolate, and tied 'em up all pretty with some orange and black ribbons... they would look this great too!

But maybe you'll get lucky and they'll be back in stock soon! Click here for more information!

SCARY BERRIES

Is this a tick or a treat? I say “treat” and you will too when you make these fa-boo-lous hand-dipped "Scary Berries".

You might want to pratice your candy making skills on this one. A dozen fresh strawberries just dipped in nuts and Halloween colored icing for a festive finish. And  you can even make some to look like mini jack-o-lanterns!
Add festive luxury and spook up any table, or give them as a Halloween hostess gift!  These berries aren't so scary after all.

CEREBRUM COCKTAIL

Forget that pretty cocktail glass that your shrimp cocktail usually hangs from and try something a little uuumm… gorier! It's another great recipe idea from Woman's Day. If you want to serve up some scary brain food for your All Hallows Eve party, this is perfect. This recipe takes about 25 minutes to complete, and needs to chill for about 4 or 5 hours before serving.

Ingredients
~3 pounds frozen cooked medium shrimp (with tails), thawed and drained well
~1/4 cup roasted red sweet peppers, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
~1 cup chicken broth
~1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
~1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
~1/4 cup lemon juice
~3 tablespoons tomato paste
~1 tablespoon honey
~3 cloves garlic, minced
~1/2 teaspoon salt
~1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
~1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
1. In a 1-1/2-quart glass bowl (3-inches high, 7 1/2-inches in diameter), begin arranging shrimp, tails toward the center, in a circle to make 1 flat layer in the bottom of the bowl. (Only the round backs of the shrimp should be visible from the outside of the bowl.) Repeat layers until bowl is full, pressing down every couple layers. As bowl fills up, tuck strips of the roasted red pepper in and around shrimp forming "blood vessels". (It helps to peer through the sides of glass bowl to adjust as necessary.) When bowl is full, press down firmly with a plate that fits inside the bowl. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan combine chicken broth and unflavored gelatin; let stand 5 minutes. Cook and stir over medium heat until gelatin has dissolved. Whisk in lemon peel, lemon juice, tomato paste, honey, garlic, salt, ginger, and cayenne pepper until combined. Pour mixture over shrimp in bowl. Cover and chill at least 5 hours or overnight.

3. To unmold, set bowl in a sink filled with warm water for several seconds. Invert a large plate with sides over bowl. Invert plate and bowl together and remove bowl to unmold. Cover and chill until needed (up to 24 hours). Makes 12 appetizer servings.

Bon Appetit!

MORE SPOOKY SPAGHETTI

I just can't help myself even when I'm in the kitchen, I still have Halloween on the brain! This was a favorite dish for the kids when they were little. If it was a birthday, special occasion or  especially during the month of October, they'd love to feast on "Spooky Spaghetti".

So over the weekend while I was cooking spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, I found myself thinking of when the kids were little, and how much they loooooved "Spooky Spaghetti".

It's really simple. It's just tomato sauce, with Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, sliced black olives and some red and green peppers. If you don't have all day (and who does?) to make home-made meatballs, frozen ones work great! Just add them to your sauce, and let them slow cook for about 2 or 3 hours. Then cook your pasta according to package instructions.

When you're ready to serve your "Spooky Spaghetti", just arrange pasta in bowls or on plates with meatballs on top, and use the sliced black olives for eyes. Add some sauce or a little chopped spinach for hair, green peppers for lips and use a sliced red papper for a tounge!

The creepier the face, the better! Don't forget to spell out "BOO" with a spaghetti noodle on top....I'm betting your little goblins will gobble it up!

BABY CAKES

How funny is this? Want to spice up the breakfast muffins or make some creepy cupcakes? I think this would really make the kids squeal and giggle. All you need to do is stop by the craft store and pick up a bag full of doll making accessories, and stick 'em right in the middle.
Arms, legs and baby feet, oh my!

If you're limited on time before the party, swing by the bakery, get some cupcakes, and decorate with little appendages. Yummy.

SSSSSSSSEA SSSSSSSSERPENT SSSSSSSSSANDWICHES

Thisssssss recipe would sssssssurely be a sssssssshow ssssssstopper at the kidsssssss party!

Recipe Ingredients
~1 lb frozen or refrigerated bread dough, thawed if frozen
~3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed olives
~3 Tbsp olive oil
~1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
~1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
~1 pkg (7 oz) sliced smoked turkey
~2 oz sliced Genoa salami
~4 oz sliced provolone
~2 roasted red peppers (from a 12-oz jar), cut in strips
~1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
~1 cup baby arugula

Recipe Preparation
1. Heat oven as dough package directs. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Roll dough 20 to 24 in. long. Place on baking sheet; form into an S shape. With scissors, snip at regular intervals along top to create scales. Bake dough as package directs; cool on wire rack.

2. Set aside one olive; chop remaining. Mix oil, vinegar and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Cut bread in half lengthwise. Brush cut sides of bread with oil mixture; spoon olives over bottom half of bread.

3. Top with turkey, salami and provolone. Reserve one strip of red pepper. Put remaining pepper strips, red onion and arugula on top. Cover with top bread half. Cut reserved olive crosswise in half; place on top of bread for eyes. Add pepper strip for tongue.
 
Click here to see this recipe from Woman's Day!

SLOPPY GOBBLIN PIE

Here's another one of our faithful followers favorite recipes. Jackie says  everyone needs a good hot meal before going trick or treating and this is perfect! Thanks, Jackie!

Ingredients:
~1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
~1/2 cup chopped onion
~ 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
~ 1 cup salsa
~ 1/2 cup chili sauce
~ 1 cup frozen corn
~ 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
~ 2 tablespoons brown sugar
~ 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
~ 1 egg
~ Orange paste food coloring

Directions:
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salsa and chili sauce until blended; stir into skillet. Add the corn, chilies and brown sugar.

Transfer to a deep-dish 9-in. pie plate. Unroll pastry; place over filling. With a sharp knife, cut out a face to resemble a jack-o'-lantern; flute edges. Beat egg and food coloring; brush over pastry.

Bake at 450° for 9-11 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Yield: 6 servings.

BLOODY BRAIN SHOTS

Ok, this recipe is for the adults only! Want to spice up the grown-ups party? How about a Bloody Brain shot? Soooooo easy to do, and sooooooo yummy to sample. Need some more ideas? Check out this cool site for some fabulous food finds!

Ingredients:
1-1/2 oz. peach schnapps
1-1/2 oz. Baileys Irish cream
Dash of grenadine

Directions:
Pour peach schnapps into a glass.
Slowly add the Baileys Irish cream.
Top with a dash of grenadine

Cheers!

BARBECUE TAPEWORM SANDWICHES

While I think just about anybody would find these "Barbecue Tapeworm Sandwiches" sufficiently disgusting to be funny for Halloween, this is a particularly fun Halloween recipe for kids. They're ridiculously easy to make, but you get a lot of bang for you buck-- they look really gross when you're done. A great addition to any Halloween party food table. Want to save time? Slice the hot dogs up ahead of time, and boil when you're ready to eat! This recipe serves 8.

Ingredients:
8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1/4 cup of barbecue sauce or ketchup

Instructions:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2. Slice each hot dog into long, worm-like strips.
3. Dump hot dog strips into boiling water and cook until they begin to curl a bit.
4. Drain.
5. Return cooked hot dog worms to pan and toss with barbecue sauce or ketchup until thoroughly mixed.
6. Serve in hot dog buns.
7. Watch all the kids gross out!
 
For more awesomely gruesome recipes, check out this site!

FUNERAL PIE

Being a Pennsylvania native, a friend of mine sent me this recipe, because they knew how much I would enjoy it, so I want to share it with you all.

According to online resource The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, funeral pie is a classic in Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, which — especially in Amish country — relies on locally available and/or shelf-stable, preserved foods through the winter months. Raisins become the main ingredient, and the dessert’s odd name derives from its convenience. A neighbor has died, and you want to bring the traditional form of solace — fresh baked goods — to the grieving family. No fresh fruit? No problem. Whip up a funeral pie, and you’ll have slices of sweetness to share in a crisis, regardless of season.

With all due respect to the dead, and to ideals of pioneer self-sufficiency, the Halloween potential here is obvious. At seasonal spookfest dinner parties, fans of the macabre graze on mashed potatoes molded to look like brains, sip fizzy-blooded punch, and nosh on black-food-colored “bat wings” tasting of chicken. In this social settings, a well-decorated funeral pie might be the pièce de résistance. Raisins are tasty, but the unscrupulous chef of a ghoulish meal could play up their resemblance to plump, swollen bugs.

This recipe dates from 1936 and is a masterpiece. The latticework top is key; it allows enough water to escape in the oven for the custard to set.

Get fancy with your pastry cutouts and tart up your funeral pies with bats, spiders, gravestones, skulls or creepy faces.

Basic Pie Dough
From The Joy of Cooking (first Plume printing, November 1997), p. 640. This recipe will make enough pie dough for a double-crust, 9-inch pie.

Sift together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Measure and combine:
2/3 cup chilled shortening (I used canola-oil shortening)
2 tablespoons chilled butter

Cut half of the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or work it in lightly with the tips of your fingers until it has the grain of cornmeal. Cut the remaining half coarsely into the dough until it forms pea-sized balls. Sprinkle the dough with 4 tablespoons ice-cold water. Blend the water lightly into the dough. You may lift the ingredients with a fork, allowing the moisture to spread. If needed to hold the ingredients together, add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon water. When you can gather the dough up into a tidy ball, stop handling it. Divide it in half and roll out the crusts.

Funeral Pie
From The Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book — Fine Old Recipes (Culinary Arts Press, 1936)

Ingredients:
Pastry for two-crust pie (recipe above)
1 cup raisins
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons lemon rind, grated
1 lemon, juice of
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Wash raisins and soak in cold water for three hours. [Note: Skip this step if your raisins are already soft.] Drain. Combine the 2 cups water, the raisins, sugar and flour that have been mixed together, salt, lemon rind and juice, and the egg. Mix thoroughly and cook over hot water (in a double boiler) for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Pour into pastry-lined pan. Cover with narrow strips of crisscrossed dough. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Click here to read the full article from Meghan Dewald

WITCHES BREW

I found this recipe so many years ago, in Woman's Day, I think.

It really looks amazing at a party and actually tastes pretty good. Keep in mind, this recipe uses dry ice for the "bubbling effect" and many people aren't sure how to work with it.

First of all, handle it properly and you CAN have it in a punch bowl or cauldron that's holding punch, but you can NOT use it as ice cubes in your drink, understood? This recipe will fill a 12 quart cauldron.

Here's what you'll need:
~four 48 oz cans pineapple juice
~one 96 oz bottle orange juice
~four 2 liter bottles lemon-lime soda
~one liter bottle of vodka
~one liter bottle of rum
~one package of dry ice (you can get at your local grocery store)
~four cups  of ice
~plastic gloves

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients together (except of the dry ice)  in a large bowl. Mix well.
2. Wearing gloves, break up dry ice according to package instructions, place in cauldron. (Be sure to follow handling instructions properly)
3. Pour into a clean cauldron, with several baseball size chunks of dry ice, to create the bubbling steam effect.
4. Use a ladle to serve the brew.
All measurements are approximate. Adjust to your own taste.

WARNING: Be careful NOT to drink, eat or in any way come in direct contact with skin with any chunks of dry ice. It can cause an extreme burn.

BOO BERRIES

Kids will gasp in delight at these adorable ghosts from Nancy Mueller in Bloomington, Minnesota. Juicy strawberries, chocolate and a lick of almond flavor make these little bites a howling success!

Ingredients
~30 fresh strawberries
~8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
~1 teaspoon shortening
~1/8 teaspoon almond extract
~1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth. Stir in extract.

Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts' tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for 5 minutes.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each face.

Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

HALLOWEEN PARTY PUNCH

This Halloween punch is a perfect Halloween party food because it's tasty, kid-friendly and easy to make. We call this Halloween party punch 'Vampire Blood' so serve up a glass and watch your guests delight in it's ghoulishly good taste!


Ingredients:
~2 quarts cranberry raspberry juice, plus 1/2 cup extra for garnish
~2 cups orange juice
~1 quart seltzer water
~1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar, to taste
~1 orange, for garnish
~1-2 bottles red sugar, for garnish

Preparation:
In a large punch bowl, combine 2 quarts cranberry raspberry juice, orange juice and seltzer water. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and mix until dissolved. Taste, and add more sugar if desired.

Cut orange into 5 slices, then cut each slice in half. Float orange slices on top of the punch.

To serve in sugar-crusted glasses, pour the remaining 1/2 cup of the cranberry raspberry juice in a shallow bowl. Spread red colored sugar on a plate. Dip the rim of each glass into the cranberry raspberry juice, the into the red sugar. Ladle punch into glasses.

Makes 16-20 servings of Halloween punch.

BRING ME MORE CAKES!

What more could you want on your birthday than to have the coolest birthday cake in town?! I think these would fit the bill....