My readers and students are really into Halloween. Here’s some of their favorites, which they are sharing with me, and you!
Meat face cheese ball
For the adult party!
Favorite cheese ball recipe enough to fill mask (check out my video on my blog for a good one)
1 skeleton like Halloween face mask
1 pound very thinly sliced prosciutto or other deli meat, cut into small pieces
2 slices pimento-stuffed green olives
Line mask with plastic wrap. Layer lunch meat all around. Press cheese ball mixture into mold and make sure you press firmly so that you fill the mold. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold and remove wrap. Place olives in for eyes. Serve with crudités or crackers.
Easy candy coated caramel apples
Adapted from Cook’s Country magazine. What a great way to make caramel apples a bit different for the little goblins. Freeze the caramels for 10 minutes to make them easier to unwrap. Or use those caramel sheets. Follow directions and proceed with recipe.
2 cups crushed Kit Kat, Twix or heath candy bars
6 small apples
14 oz caramels
1/4 cup cream
Line baking sheet with parchment, sprayed foil or waxed paper. Put crushed candy in shallow bowl. Insert craft stick into stem ends of apples. Heat caramels and cream over medium low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Holding 1 apple with stick over pot of caramel, spoon sauce over to coat, allowing excess to drip back into pot. Roll in candy, pressing to make candy adhere. Place, stick up, on baking sheet. You can refrigerate these for several days
Nose Blow Burritos
2 medium tomatoes
1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 can (30oz) refried beans
8 or 10 burrito size soft flour tortillas
2 packages (8oz) guacamole
1 package (16oz) sour cream
Dice the tomatoes into small pieces and place in a bowl. Place the ground beef in a frying pan, sprinkle with the burrito seasoning and saute on medium heat until it’s well browned. Cover and set aside. Cook the beans in a saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally. when the beans are hot, gently combine them with the ground beef in a clean bowl.
To build the burrito beaks: Set one tortilla on a dinner plate. Spoon an approximately one and one half inch wide strip of guacamole dip (rancid mucus) down the center of each tortilla. On top of that, spoon a strip of sour cream (fresh mucus), a strip of guacamole, beans and beef. Tightly fold the left and right sides of the tortilla over your ingredients, then tuck the lower third of the whole burrito under itself, making a nose shape. Use a knife to cut out two large holes for nostrils. Gently squeeze the nose.
Cat Litter Casserole
To make dumps:
1 C. Bisquick
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. ground beef, turkey or pork sausage
To make litter:
2 C. long grain rice
3-3/4 C. water
2 t. salt
2 T.. butter or margarine
Large mixing bowl
Rectangular baking pan
Deep saucepan with lid
New stainless steel “pooper scooper”
With an adult’s help, preheat the oven to 350°F. Using clean hands, mix together the dump ingredients in a large bowl. Mold pieces of this mixture into various size/shape “dumps”. Place so they don’t touch each other in an ungreased baking pan. Use two if they don’t all fit. With an adult’s help, bake the dumps for about 20 minutes or until they are all brown, firm and slightly rusty-colored.
While the meat cooks, put all four litter ingredients into a large saucepan. Then with an adult’s help, heat on high until the water comes to a boil. Stir, turn heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer without lifting the cover for fourteen minutes.
With an adult’s help, remove the saucepan from the stove and carefully (to avoid having your face melted away by the steam), lift off the cover. Break apart, or “fluff” the rice with a fork and set pan aside.
When “dumps” are done, carefully transfer them onto paper towels to drain.
Spoon the rice and “dumps” into the now empty baking pan, leaving some “dumps” partially uncovered, the way Kitty does when he/she is in a hurry! Use pooper-scooper to serve.
Yields: 8-10 servings
Snakes in the Grass
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa
6 (7 1/2-inch) breadsticks, sliced in half lengthwise
8 (1-ounce) slices Deli American Cheese, each cut into 3 strips
Chopped black olives
Cream cheese, softened
Sliced red bell pepper or pimiento
Sliced stuffed green olives
Combine sour cream and salsa in small bowl. Spread cut-sides of each breadstick with 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream mixture. Place 4 strips cheese onto bottom half of each breadstick; cover with top half.
To decorate each snake sandwich, attach 2 pieces chopped black olive to one end of top of sandwich with dot of cream cheese for eyes. Cut a piece of red pepper into tongue shape; place it between breadstick halves for a tongue. Attach slices of green olives to the top of sandwich with dot of cream cheese for snake skin design.
Place shredded lettuce onto platter. Set snake sandwiches onto lettuce.
Yield: 6 sandwiches
Bugs in the Bed
4 green apples
1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup of chopped peanuts (optional)
1/2 cup of rice Krispies
1/4 cup of raisins
Cut the apples into quarters and remove the core, leaving it hollow for the filling. Mix the peanut butter, chopped peanuts, cereal and raisins. Spoon them into the apple hollows. Looks like bugs, but kids just love it.
Caramel Peanut Eyeballs
3 cups finely chopped dry roaster peanuts
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 lb. chocolate confectioners’ coating
red M n M’s
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine nuts, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Over medium heat, cook and stir 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture forms ball around spoon and pulls away from side of pan.
2. Cool 10 minutes. Chill if desired.
3. Shape into 1-inch balls.
4. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt confectioners’ coating .
5. With a wooden toothpick, dip each ball into melted coating and place on wax paper. Immediately press 1 red M n M into center of each ball.
6. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 teaspoon grated chocolate
1 cup raisins
2 cups thin pretzel sticks, broken into 1-inch pieces
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 2 minutes. Stir. Continue microwaving in 15-second increments until chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from microwave and stir grated chocolate into melted chocolate. Stir in raisins and pretzels.
Drop mixture by tablespoons onto wax paper. Let stand until firm.
Makes about 35 clusters.
1/4 C. butter, cubed
8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 C. heavy cream
2 bags 3 Musketeers Bars, chopped into small pieces
Melt butter. Remove from heat and add the semi-sweet chocolate. Cover and let rest for about 3 minutes to melt the chocolate, then stir until smooth. Add the heavy cream gradually, stirring until totally incorporated and chocolate loses its shine. Refrigerate until slightly firm (approx. 20 – 30 minutes).
Roll into balls and then into chopped candy bars, pressing gently to adhere.
Yields about 60 warts.