Play with your food
Play with your food
By Katie Scarvey
“Don’t play with your food!”
How often did you hear that as a child?
I must admit I didn’t hear it much because I was more often inhaling my food than playing with it. (My mom was a good cook, and I had a healthy appetite, shall we say.)
Halloween, however, is a wonderfully appropriate time to play with food, especially if you have kids. Some kids will be drawn to cute food — like Magic Wands, for example. Other kids will gravitate to the gross (Eyeball Subs — which are really quite tasty, if you’re not staring them down).
You can find lots of great ideas for Halloween party food online, with photos to show you what your dish should look like.
I couldn’t resist the Mint Milano cookies as tombstones in the following recipe for Fudgy Graveyard Brownies (from The Picky Palate). I didn’t really follow the recipe exactly — I made smaller brownies, which I didn’t frost to save some time.
Also, instead of using melted chocolate to write on the tombstones, I cheated and bought one of those gel tubes, in black.
Fudgy Graveyard Brownies
A box of brownie mix
6 Milano Cookies (for tombstones)
5 Oreo Cookies, crushed
6 pumpkin candy corns and 6 normal candy corns
1 C. melted chocolate for frosting and piping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake brownies in an 8-inch by 8-inch pan lined with foil, sprayed with cooking spray. Let cool completely then cut into 6 rectangles.
Frost with melted chocolate reserving two tablespoons for piping the cookies. Pipe RIP onto the Milano cookies then press into the back of each brownie. Top with a candy corn pumpkin and candy corn. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos for the “dirt.”
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The following recipe for Magic Wands (from allrecipes.com) is simple, and who doesn’t like the salty/sweet combination once in a while? I don’t like canned frosting, so I made my own buttercream frosting, and I used a butter knife to spread it on the pretzels. I also melted some semi-sweet chocolate morsels and painted some of the pretzel rods with that — much more to my husband’s taste than vanilla frosting.
1 (15 ounce) package pretzel rods
1 (16 ounce) container prepared vanilla frosting (or make your own; can also use melted chocolate)
1/2 C. sprinkles or colored sugar for decoration
Dip each pretzel rod into frosting, not quite half way. Roll in sprinkles to coat the frosting. allrecipes.com
• • •
Mummy Dogs are a quick and festive Halloween dinner that most kids will enjoy. I wasn’t expecting much with these, but with a good quality beef hot dog, the result was surprisingly good. Next time, however, I’d go with a low-fat chicken sausage.
1 package breadstick dough, such as Pillsbury (12 count)
12 hot dogs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll all 12 breadsticks from package. Cut each into three equal strips. Take three strips, one at a time and wrap around one hot dog starting from the top of the hot dog. (Each hot dog has three thin breadstick strips around it). Leave a small space towards the top of the hotdog to make mustard eyes. Continue wrapping all dogs then place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Use mustard or ketchup for the eyes.
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If you’re looking for a healthy dinner for your trick-or-treaters that will get them into the proper spooky spirit — and not weigh them down with too much fat — try this Eyeball Sub recipe from The Food Channel (thefoodchannel.com).
I made mine with chicken instead of turkey, and I will definitely make these meatballs again (minus the eyeballs), experimenting with seasonings.
1/2 C. drained canned cannellini beans or other white beans
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbs. apple butter
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
8 pitted colossal green olives, cut in 3 round slices
2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce with Italian herbs — or use a jar of any kind of spaghetti sauce you prefer)
1-2 small black olives, cut in 1/4-inch dice, you will need 24 pieces
12 small club rolls (about 5-inches long), split
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mash the beans with a fork, potato masher or food processor until completely smooth.
Mix with egg, apple butter and soy sauce. Mix into the ground turkey using your hands until completely incorporated.
Wet your hands with cold water and form into 24 1-1/2-inch meatballs, and put on 2 sheet pans leaving plenty of space in between.
Push a green olive ring deeply into the center of each meatball, with the circular side facing up. Mold the meat around the olive into a football shape so that each meatball looks like an eye. Bake for 10 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
While the eyeballs are cooking heat the sauce in a saucepan until simmering, and keep warm.
Remove eyeballs from the oven. Dab away any juice from the top with a paper towel and insert a piece of black olive into the hole in the center of each green olive giving each eye a dark pupil.
To serve: Spoon 1/4 cup sauce in each roll, top with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, if desired, and insert 2 eyeballs side-by-side staring out from each roll.
1 large apple of choice
Core then cut the apple into fourths. Cut out a small wedge on the skin side of the apple. Blot inside with a paper towel then spread lightly with creamy peanut butter. Cut mini marshmallows in half (or quarters) and place over peanut butter to make the teeth.
• • •
This recipe is kind of labor-intensive but would be a fun project to do with kids, as long as they’re old enough to have decent hand-eye coordination.
— adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe
1 regular-sized bag semi-sweet morsels
1 (1-lb.) package peanut butter-filled sandwich cookies
64 tiny pretzel twists
4 tsp. miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces
Melt chocolate morsels in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
Using a bread knife or other implement, paint the cookie in chocolate. (I left the bottom bare.) Place cookie, coated side up, on wax paper-lined cookie sheets.
Cut pretzels into curved pieces for legs. Dip one end of each leg piece in chocolate; place 3 legs on each side of each cookie.
Cut two short pretzel pieces for antennae. Dip one end of each antenna piece in melted chocolate; place on top of cookie. Place chocolate pieces near antennae for eyes. If desired, decorate bugs with additional candies. Let stand about 10 minutes or until chocolate is set before storing.