As this was my sixth annual pumpkin carving birthday bash, no details were spared in creating the perfect ghoulish environment. I mean when you come out the gate with deviled eggs that look like spiders year one, it’s pretty hard to keep out-doing yourself. So this year, I took a couple of past years favorites and added some new more sophisticated eats to the block… because in all honesty, it’s really easy to have food quality suffer when you’re trying to stay on theme.
D E V I L E D E G G S
the name is already just so Halloween appropriate – they’re pretty much a must.
To make them pumpkin style, use some sirracha to achieve an orange hue. Use a fork to create the pumpkin ‘creases’ and use a shaved piece of zucchini skin to create the ‘stems’.
To make Spider eggs, use pitted black olives to create the body and legs!
other options: bloody eyeballs using pitted green olives and sirracha for the blood
P U K I N G P U M P K I N
This is always a crowd favorite. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and hollow out the inside. Put whatever salsa or cheese dip you’d like inside. One year I made a velveta dip and cooked it right inside the pumpkin, it came out great. This year, I just put two cans of Trader Joe’s seasonal pumpkin salsa inside and drew a face on the front that looks like it’s throwing up. For the guacamole, I mixed in my fall favorite pomegranate for a sweet and unexpected crunch.
P U M P K I N C H E E S E B A L L
Start with whatever cheeseball recipe you prefer and roll it into a sphere and cover in saran wrap. Take rubber bands and place them spaced 1 inch apart around the cheeseball to create the pumpkin ‘creases’. Refrigerate until right before serving. When ready to serve, take off saran wrap and use finely crushed doritos to cover the ball. Take the stem off a bell pepper for the top.
Every year I usually make a baked brie with cranberry relish on top that looks like blood falling over the edges!
H O T D O G S
Mummy Dogs are made by wrapping crescent roll slivers around hot dogs and baking at 350 until browned. Use mustard for eye balls. I have also done this with cream cheese stuffed peppers.
Bloody Finger Dogs are so simple. Before boiling the hot dogs, take a knife to cut out a ‘fingernail’ and cut three small lines under the nail and three larger ones in the middle for the ‘knuckle.’ Boil dogs according to package and place in a hot dog bun. Use ketchup to create blood at the bottom of the finger. Take this one step further by using boiled onion slivers as the fingernails.
F A L L S A L A D
I always make a salad for every party I throw (what? I live in LA remember), but I try to keep it on theme by adding sugared pumpkin seeds, apple and a grain like brown rice or quinoa. Of course what really makes it are these epic salad servers. Purchased at the dollar store.
E N T R E E S
I’m always way too frazzled and running around the party to snap photos, but I always make a few fall pizzas. This year I used extra crescent roll for the crust of one and topped it with creme frais, goat cheese, caramelized onions & butternut squash, prosciutto and finished with a honey drizzle. Safe to say there is rarely left over pizza.
I always like to have one heartier dish too. This year I did pulled barbecue chicken in the crockpot with apple pieces slow roasted for 6 hours. Right before guests arrived I put the chicken onto mini hawaiian rolls and topped it with mango coleslaw. These are great because they are still delicious at room temperature. Meatballs in the crockpot one year was another huge hit. You can call them “Zombie Eyes.” I also am a big fan of zombie guts – tomato and pesto baked gluten free ziti!
G H O S T C U P C A K E S
All you’ll need extra is a marshmallow and some decorating paint in red and black to create these poor tortured souls. Tip: use store bought white frosting instead of making your own. Mine always comes out a bit yellow tinted instead of stark white!
P E A N U T B U T T E R S P I D E R C O O K I E S
Prepare peanut butter cookies per usual and add a Reeces or Justins mini candy on top right when they are out of the oven so it melts quite a bit. Use candy eyes and black decorating paint for the ‘legs’. These would be just as good and probably cuter if you used hershey kisses.
S T R A W – B O O – R Y G H O S T S
White chocolate dipped strawberries decorated. Looked a lot better on pinterest, but no one likes a perfectionist, am I right?
C A N D Y C U P C A K E S
What better way to celebrate Halloween then by stuffing reeces, caramel and heath bar bits inside of a cupcake?
and of course putting another Reeces on top for good measure. This would be the best if you used a bunch of different chocolate based candies!
Another easy crowd pleaser that I’ve made a few times is Worms & Dirt. I layer chocolate cake, cool whip, chocolate pudding & crumbled oreos in a trifle dish. Top with gummy worms that are half in the ‘dirt’ (oreos) and use Milano Cookies as grave stones. Write RIP with black decorating paint and prop the cookies up in the ‘dirt’.
D O G S H A M I N G
Why even bother having a Halloween party if you’re not going to dress up your dog in an embarrassing costume?
D E C O R A T I O N S
I replace all of the pictures with on-theme drawings, paintings and pictures. Sculls everywhere, lights off and only candlelight, fog machine, spooky music, those fun ghosts that are motion activated and scare the shit out of everyone… I’ve done it all.
If pumpkin carving isn’t in your skill set, sharpies go a long way to create festive pumpkins!
If you’ve got a favorite Halloween recipe, leave a comment below and I’ll try it out for next year!
Q U I C K & E A S Y
C O S T U M E S
Click here for a DIY Wreck it Ralph + Fix it Felix costume post! Plus a DIY painted pumpkin tutorial and easy doggy costume ideas