Looking to make this Halloween memorable in a food sort of way. Read on for ideas for a dessert, snack, and one-dish meal that are sure to please your little ghouls and goblins. (Bonus: they are all really, really easy.)
Looking to make this Halloween memorable in a food sort of way? It’s not enough to just put out bowls of our candy favorites like Snickers and candy corns (although I confess, I do love that it’s perfectly acceptable to buy extra large bags of candy in the grocery store right now). Consider some of these seasonal suggestions to bring out the BOO in you and your food. No need to get fancy — these easy-peasy ideas to help your table feel a bit more seasonal.
Bake your favorite cake (from scratch or a box mix) and cover it in chocolate icing (my favorite recipe follows). After icing the cake, take a little extra and inscribe a few Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies with names, dates, “RIP”, and so forth. Stick half of the cookie into the cake (writing side up) and boom, you’ve got headstones.
For the icing you’ll need…
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then add milk. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Sift together cocoa and confectioners sugar. Blend into butter mixture and add vanilla. If consistency is too stiff, add more milk. Spread quickly over cooled cake, as frosting will set up very fast.
Spiced Up Popcorn
No matter what’s going on, a big bowl of popcorn is a solid snack. I abandoned microwave popcorn years ago and never really looked back. Popcorn is dirt cheap, and once you know how to correctly make it on the stove you can experiment with all kinds of interesting toppings. This spiced up version is great to serve to friends or even to bring to a Halloween party.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Melt the butter in a small pan, add spices, stir, and pour over just-popped-popcorn, and mix well.
I can’t very well leave out a pumpkin recipe this time of year, now can I? This recipe caught my eye because it’s made from canned pumpkin which has been already cooked and mashed. The canned stuff tastes great and it is a huge time saver! Plus, aside from the pumpkin, you are likely to have the other ingredients already at home.
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of applesauce (plain or cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 16 ounce of pumpkin
- 8-12 ounces of evaporated milk
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pot. Add the onions and cook them until they are soft, about 7-10 minutes. Give them an occasional stir. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and applesauce and cook everything for about 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin and chicken stock, and stir everything together. It will be pretty thick. Bring the pot to a boil. Turn the temperature down to simmer and cover the pot. Set the timer for about 20 minutes. Be sure to give the soup an occasional stir. Pour in enough evaporated milk until the soup reaches your desired thickness. Pour in enough evaporated milk until the soup reaches your desired thickness. Add some freshly grated black pepper and serve hot.
What are some of your favorite homemade dishes to make this time of year?
Editor’s note: After tirelessly contributing to RVANews since May 2009, Kelly Blanchard is stepping down from her regular food writing duties to focus on other aspects of her very busy life (including a thriving career as a real estate agent, so if you need to buy or sell a house, let her know). Hopefully she’ll pop back in for a visit every now and then. Thanks for all of your hard work, Kelly. You’re a peach.
What are some of your favorite homemade dishes that you make this time of year?