In Chapter 2 of The Call to Love I tell the story of how I created our first Halloween Dinner in 2011 in an effort to have a fun family meal. Over the years I have created some flops and some fantastic meals that have become fun memories for our family. For this week's post I'm getting away from the clinical and sharing some of the fun ways we connect as a big modern family.
Ladies & Gentlemen, as voted on by our family,
these are our best Halloween Recipes!
I have created a few of these over the years. They are pretty fun. I have made a mummy face (see the picture to the right) as well as a severed hand. The link will take you to my favourite bacon wrapped meatloaf recipe. Mix up your meatloaf and then just shape it as you'd like.
For example here I shaped it into a skull, used some ricotta to place some eyes and a mouth. Then I used some cut up pieces of onion for the teeth.
For the hand, you can do the exact same thing by shaping the meatloaf and then use a chunk of the onion for the wrist bone and some small slices of onion for the fingernails. Follow the above link for my fav bacon wrapped meatloaf recipe to get you started.
This was one of my favourites that I have cooked up over the years because it tasted delicious as well as looked disgusting. The link above will take you to the beef version I used. You can also follow the link for a vegan version. I have also seen online ideas to fill the pastry with berries and cream cheese or other sweets to make it more of a breakfast or dessert option. Let me know what you try!
3. Vomiting Pumpkins
Looking for a simple snack idea? This one will only take you a few minutes. Cut up an orange bell pepper, cut out some triangle eyes and a little mouth. Cut off the to make it look like a pumpkin top. Take your favourite guacamole and put a little in the bottom of the pepper and arrange the rest so it looks like it is coming out their mouth.
Looking for an easy dinner idea? Do the same thing with spaghetti. Arrange one pepper on each dinner plate so everyone has their own vomiting pumpkin.
These are super cute and tasted great! Cut up and carve out some jalapenos (I used a melon baller) and then fill them up with cream cheese, jack cheese and a green onion. Wrap up those mummies with dough (the recipe calls for cut up cresent roll dough). After you have baked them for 10min put on some candy eyes and they are ready to pop!
5. Take out Ribs with Mac n Cheese
Are you a bit busy without time to cook a full dinner this year? No problem. Grab some take out and decorate the table. One year I picked up some ribs & sides from our fav local restaurant and then dressed up the table.
Another day when I had a bit of extra time I threw together some bacon mac n cheese and added some green food colouring and called it the skeleton's guts. But a box of your kids' fav stuff will also work just fine for those needing a gutsy side dish.
Yup, rats. Basically decorated meatballs, but it will be a lot of fun watching your kids bite into these little guys. To be honest, the first year I didn't cook the rice properly so they were a bit crunchy and I convinced the kids they were rat bones! Haha!
My kids used to not like spaghetti so the year I made this we just ate them plain, but they do look "cute" on a scoop of pasta.
(Yes, in the corner you can see a gummy worm. I usually grab a package and scatter them around for added fun.)
7. Witches Brew
You will need a beverage! There are a lot out there but I find this one simple so I have used it a few years in a row now. I took a picture for you this year, but just keeping it real... I spilled a bit and although I have the cool jars, I couldn't find the chalk to write on them!
In some of my other pics you might be able to see the eye ball ice cubes I use each year. I didn't get them in the pitcher right away as Roy brought them for a dry ice punch he made for work and I was waiting for him to get home to throw them in at the last minute!
8. Bloody Breakfast
One morning last October I surprised my kids with disgusting breakfast. This was super easy. Break open a tube of cinnamon rolls but instead of arranging them neatly in your baking dish, you gently pull them apart a bit. Then coat them with red food colouring before baking. Once they are done, add some more red colouring to the icing and splash a bit on the side for effect. Don't tell the kids what they are but aggressively stab a fork in them and encourage them to take a bite!
I haven't tried it, but if you want to put in a bit more effort here is a recipe for Red Velvet Cinnamon Roll Guts.
I made these this year and they were unbelievable. Marinating them in hot or bbq sauce with black food colouring for a few hours made them super dark and gross. Then, you use a flavour injector to add more amazing sauce with red food colouring that makes them ooze when you bite in that really grosses out the teens. They were delicious and disgusting and the kids voted them the best Halloween dish I have ever made!
The recipe says to grill them, I just baked them for 30min at 425. Also, I would suggest two injections per wing to get all the red sauce you need.
Now time for some Sweets!
10. Dirty bandaids
This one is pretty quick and simple, you simple take some graham crackers and top them with cream cheese & strawberry jam. I toss a couple of band aid wrappers on the tray to enhance the look, haha.
11. Dirty Qtips
Prep time takes a minute but these are pretty gross yet yummy. Simply snip off the ends of some qtips, replace them with mini marshmallows, and dip the ends in melted caramel.
Not as gross, and cute for little kids! Dip Nutter Butters in melted white chocolate and give them mini chocolate chips for eyes.
Some of these ideas are gross and some are cute. Maybe you could see yourself putting one of them on your table tonight. I would encourage you to take a moment this week and bring some fun back into your home. No matter what drama is going on, no matter who hurt your feelings yesterday, creating some laughter and memories is essential in any home, but especially in those of us parenting kids from hard places. For more on the healing role of laughter check out my blog on Chapter 16 of The Call to Love where I address this concept.