Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Dinner Ideas

Halloween is such a fun holiday. It's so fun to plan themed meals, especially when there are kids involved. I live in the greatest neighborhood where every year we block off our whole neighborhood and everyone brings chili, baked pastas, and every type of treat imaginable.The adults chat and eat while the kids jump in the bounce houses and visit the cotton candy machine.
I still try to do a Halloween breakfast or some type of festive lunch or dinner close to Halloween just for fun. My sister always has her in-laws over for fun Halloween meals. Whatever you do I hope you find something below that you will enjoy and have a fabulous Halloween!

Taco Soup
Ezra Pound
2 pounds ground beef
1 to 2 diced onions
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) can RO*TEL® diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
1 (1-ounce) envelope taco seasoning
1 (1-ounce) envelope ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
Garnishes: Corn chips, cheese, sour cream, green onions
1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onions over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Drain, using a slotted spoon, as you transfer browned beef and onions to a Dutch oven, stockpot or slow cooker.
2. Add tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, corn and green chiles. Stir in the taco seasoning and ranch salad dressing mix.
3. If you’re cooking on the stove top, cover the pot and simmer soup over low heat for 30 minutes up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If you’re using a slow cooker, cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
4. Garnish individual servings with corn chips, cheese, sour cream and green onions, if desired.

Jack-O-Lantern Quesadillas
My Recipes
Ingredients :
16 (8-inch) flour tortillas, preferably red or orange
8 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 cups grated pepper Jack cheese (12 oz.)

Preparation :
Preheat broiler to high and place an oven rack about 5 inches from heat source. Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with nonstick cooking spray. Stack 8 tortillas on a cutting board and use a sharp paring knife to trim away some of top, leaving a 1-inch "stem" so tortillas are shaped like pumpkins. Repeat with remaining 8 tortillas. Use a knife to cut two triangles for eyes and a crescent for a mouth into 8 tortillas.

Warm 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tortilla without eyes and mouth, sprinkle with a scant 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with cutout tortilla. Cook until underside is golden, 1 to 2 minutes, slide onto baking sheet, and repeat to make three more quesadillas.
Place baking sheet under broiler and broil until tops are golden. Slide onto a serving platter and loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas and cheese. Serve immediately.
Dinner In A Pumpkin
All Recipes
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork sausage
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken stock
1 1/2 cups long grain and wild rice mix
1 sugar pumpkin
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 (4 ounce) cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 (14.5 ounce) cans French cut green beans
In a large skillet over medium heat, mix ground beef and sausage. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Mix in salt and pepper, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar. Drain meats, and mix in chicken stock and rice. Cover, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, until rice is tender. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Remove and reserve top of pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp. Mix cream of celery soup, cream of mushroom soup, mushroom stems and pieces, and green beans into the beef and sausage mixture. Spoon mixture into the pumpkin, and replace pumpkin top. Place pumpkin on a large baking sheet, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until pumpkin is tender. Scoop out portions of filling and parts of the cooked pulp to serve.
Pumpkin Dip
All recipes
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon frozen orange juice concentrate
In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in the pumpkin. Stir in the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and orange juice until smooth and well blended. Chill until serving. Serve with ginger snaps, fruit, graham crackers, etc...

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Cider Cream
Williams Sonoma

4 baking pumpkins or kabocha squash, each about 2 lb., quartered and seeded
Olive oil as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
6 shallots, thickly sliced
2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbs. minced fresh sage
12 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup apple cider, reduced to 2 Tbs. and cooled
Directions:Position 1 rack in the upper third of an oven and 1 rack in the lower third, and preheat to 425°F.
Divide the pumpkins among 2 baking sheets. Drizzle the pumpkins with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkins, cut side down, on the baking sheets. Roast, turning the pumpkins occasionally, until they are tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes; rotate the baking sheets halfway through the roasting time. Let the pumpkins cool, then scoop the flesh into a bowl.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the carrots, shallots, celery, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, nutmeg and sage and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin flesh and broth, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
In a bowl, whisk the cream until slightly thickened. Whisk in the reduced apple cider until blended. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle with the cider cream. Serve immediately. Serves 12 to 14.
Pumpkin-Shaped Chocolate Cake
2 package(s) (18.25-oz.) chocolate cake mix, plus additional ingredients as directed on package
1 1/4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon(s) (light) corn syrup
4 teaspoon(s) milk
red and yellow food coloring , or orange, if available, optional
1/3 cup(s) chocolate frosting
1 wafer ice cream cone
1 small tube green decorating icing , optional
edible leaf or petal sugar decorations, for garnish, optional
Mist two standard 12-cup Bundt cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare cake mixes as package label directs for 2 Bundt cakes. Bake as directed. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. You can also prepare cakes one at a time using the same pan. Meanwhile, prepare glaze: In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup and 4 tsp. milk together with a fork until smooth. Blend in remaining 1 tsp. milk, if necessary, for desired consistency. If you like, use food coloring to tint glaze orange, or just leave glaze white. Trim the flat side of each cake with a serrated knife so it’s even. Place one cake, rounded side down, on a serving plate. Spread chocolate frosting on top (not a thick layer, just enough to hold the two cakes together). Position second cake on top of the first, flat side down. Stir glaze again and drizzle over cake. Invert ice cream cone into hole in top of cake to make the pumpkin’s stem. If you like, use green icing to decorate the cone and arrange edible leaf decorations around it.

Slithering Snake Sandwich
Better Homes and Gardens

1 16-ounce loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
4 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese, diagonally cut in half
4 ounces sliced cheddar cheese, diagonally cut in half
1 3.5-ounce package sliced pepperoni
1 8-ounce can
pizza sauce
1/2 cup red, green, and/or yellow sweet pepper strips
1 strip roasted red sweet pepper
2 pimiento-stuffed olives
1. Place thawed bread dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 22-inch long rope. Place on a large greased baking sheet forming a "snaky S" shape. Let rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until double in size. Bake in a 350F oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature.
2. Hollow out the center portion of the loaf about 1-inch deep and 1-1/2-inches wide, leaving about 2-inches on each end of the loaf. Layer cheeses down the center of loaf, pressing cheese slices down into the hollowed portion of the loaf. In a medium bowl, stir together the pepperoni and pizza sauce. Spoon atop the cheese. Top with the strips of sweet pepper. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
3. Make a slit in the front of the loaf and insert a roasted red pepper strip for a tongue; insert two pimento stuffed olives with toothpicks for eyes. Makes 8 servings.

Jack-O-Lantern Sloppy Joe Pie
Taste of Home

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
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.

*You could easily do this with a pot pie too*

The Ghost of Monte Cristo Sandwiches
adapted from Martha Stewart
4 slices Country Potato Bakery Bread or any high quality white bread
4 slices Baby Swiss Cheese
2 slices Oven Roasted Breast of Turkey
2 slices Sliced Baked Ham
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Lay bread slices on work surface. On 2 bread slices, place 1 slice cheese, 1 slice turkey, 1 slice ham, and 1 more slice of cheese; top each with remaining bread slice.
Using a 5-by-4-inch ghost-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a ghost-shaped sandwich; repeat with remaining ingredients. Set aside.
In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, and salt.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Dip each sandwich in egg mixture to coat well on both sides, and place in skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately, dusted with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

*I think I am going to make this as French Toast for a fun Halloween Breakfast.*
Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cakes
Paula Deen
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Fresh whipped cream, for topping
Candy for toppings (recommended: M and M's, Reese's pieces, crushed Snickers, Heath bars, mini chocolates, peanuts)
Special Equipment: 10 (5-inch) removable bottom tart pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Divide the mixture into 10-equally sized balls. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand and gently press into the bottom of each tart pan.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, vanilla and butter. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spoon a scant 1/2-cup of the pumpkin mixture over cake batter in the tart pans and bake for about 40 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing.
Serve with fresh whipped cream and candy topping.
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Jamie said...

I hope this comment isn't a repeat, I tried to send it a bit earlier, but it doesn't look like it worked. I wanted to say.....Oh my happy heck, that snake is darling! I will be giving the old guy a try. Thanks for posting these!

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