There is no childhood thrill that quite matches up to the week of Halloween — when friends compare costume ideas, the classroom partakes in a huge party and the merriment culminates with a night spent trick-or-treating. Is there anything better than running through the neighborhood and loading up on candy as a child … or as an adult, for that matter?!
Halloween may not possess that same sugar-induced hysteria as it did when you were in elementary school but it still manages to be one of our favorite holidays, even today. So, how do you throw a Halloween party that’s fun for the littlest ghouls and goblins yet still manages to be cool for the older witches and wizards in your crew?
First off, candy is a no-brainer, as anyone with a sweet tooth — old or young — appreciates this sacred night of Butterfinger binging. But think a bit outside the box when it comes to actual substantial food you may serve. Just remember B.O.O. when it comes to creating your menu: Bewitching. Odd. Oh so delicious.
Keeping the B.O.O. angle in mind, you can either go super cutesy with your planning for Halloween and stalk Pinterest for some great ideas. Or you can go highbrow-ish Halloween with clever names for some filling, savory dishes. We decided to go route No. 2 and asked food writer and The Cardigan Kitchen blogger Lia Picard to come up with some great recipes that are tasty, substantial and something that eaters of all ages will enjoy. Lia shared with us — and now with you — three great recipes that will kill (figuratively) at your next Halloween party.
In regards to finger foods, Lia has two great recipes that totally fit the theme and are super delicious. The “blood hummus” is that good ol’ Mediterranean standby with a Ghostbusters twist: using beets to create the bloody hue. The other appetizer is Lia’s “witches’ toes” — her version of stuffed jalapeños —straight from the underworld! This cheesy app will fill bellies, entertain guests and always satisfy because let’s be honest — you can’t go wrong with bacon.
Killer Halloween Recipes From Lia Picard
- 2 small beets or 1 medium/large beet, roasted
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- ¼ cup tahini (found in the peanut butter aisle of most grocery stores)
- 1 teaspoon Sultan Papadopoulos salt by Beautiful Briny Sea (or blend turmeric, salt, chili powder and coriander)
- lemon juice from 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
DIRECTIONS: Place beets, chickpeas, tahini, salt mix, lemon juice and garlic in food processor and blend. When thoroughly combined, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until consistency is creamy and smooth. Serve with pita and/or veggies and an extra drizzle of olive oil on top.
*To roast beets, wrap individually in foil and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes until fork tender.
- 12 jalapeños, halved and seeded (use gloves to ensure no skin burns)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (If short on time, microwave for 30 seconds to help speed up the softening process.)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whichever cheese you prefer)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 slices of bacon, halved
- 24 toothpicks
Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with foil. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic and spices. Scoop a heaping teaspoon (a little more or a little less, depending on personal preference) into each jalapeño half. Wrap a piece of bacon around the jalapeño, securing with a toothpick. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the cheese mixture is bubbling. Turn the oven to broil and cook for a final 5 minutes. Let cool. If you want to get rid of excess fat, place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
To throw a Halloween party with the best of them, you need something delicious brewing in your cauldron — enter the Poisoned Apple Cocktail! This concoction is only for fairies and ogres over the age of 21. However, as we said earlier, our B.O.O. menu has been created for party guests of all ages. We suggest serving the Poisoned Apple Cocktail as is and also have a mocktail version.
Poisoned Apple Cocktail
- 1.5 ounces bourbon
- 3 ounces apple cider (try Georgia’s own Mercier Orchards)
- squeeze of juice from a lemon
- sugar and cinnamon combined
- apple slices for garnish
DIRECTIONS: Place cinnamon and sugar mixture on a plate. Wet the rim of an old fashioned glass and coat in mixture. In a shaker filled with ice, combine bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Strain into old fashioned glass and add ice. Add a few apple slices as garnish.
When you’re throwing a Halloween party this month, keep B.O.O. in mind to ensure a fun time is had by all! Have a great time and cut a rug with Leatherface, swap mom stories with Norman Bates and reminisce about childhood memories with Chucky. Happy Halloween!