Happy Halloween everyone! As I sip my first cup of coffee on this beautiful October morning, I survey what was once my kitchen prep table, now buried beneath a mound of candy. With several days to go for Halloween, I am so grateful to have a dining room to eat in.
As always, Hubby has gone overboard in the candy department. You want to have enough candy to pass out to all the little gobbles that come knocking at your door, but when is enough enough? It’s so hard to gauge. Some years the trick or treaters seem to come by the bus load, other years there are barely any at all. I don’t know what is worse – running out or having too much left at the end of the night. Worse yet, having candy left over that no one wants in the first place – which is why we always spring for the “good” stuff.
One Halloween a few years back, we had a Halloween Pot Luck Party at work. There was food galore – banquet table after banquet table filled with all sorts of Pot Luck favorites. As Hubby tends to go overboard in the candy department, I tend to go overboard in the pot luck department. Ask me to contribute a dish, and I’m just as likely to make four or five.
Whenever I go a little nuts in the contribution department, I am always grateful for having such a wonderful team. Kiddo is so talented in the kitchen, and Hubby has cleanup detail down to a fine art. By the time the final touches are on the plates, the kitchen shines and you would think it all just magically appeared.
Barbecued Bat Wings aka Chicken Wings
Dead Man’s Bones aka Ribs and Cocktail sausages
Deviled Spider Eggs aka Deviled Eggs
Spider Web Taco Dip aka 7-Layer Dip
Witches Broom Platter aka String Cheese, Pretzels and Salami
Barbecued Bat Wings
1 Large Bag Frozen Chicken Wings, defrosted
1 cup Honey
1/2 Bottle Favorite Barbecue Sauce
Thaw chicken wings in the refrigerator. This may take a day or two.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. This will prevent chicken from sticking and make clean up a snap.
Spread wings on pan in a single layer. Depending upon the size of your pan, you may need to work in batches. Brush wings with honey for a light glaze, turn and brush other side. Place into the oven and bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Transfer wings to a crock pot. Pour barbecue sauce over wings, toss to blend and coat well. Cook on low for about 2 hours, then turn pot to warm until ready to serve.
Baking the wings first give them that lovely “roasted” flavor, continuing to cook in the crock pot will give you wings that are falling of the bone tender.
Note: I put a tag on the crock pot letting people know it was a pot of bat wings.
Dead Man’s Bones
2 Package pre-cooked ribs
1 large package cocktail sausages
1 jar barbecue sauce
1 skull, party store
Warm pre-cooked ribs, brush with barbecue sauce. Cut into individual ribs for ease of serving.
Warm cocktail sausages in barbecue sauce.
On a rectangle serving platter or foil-lined baking tray, center skull at the top. Lay ribs to resemble rib cage. (You will only use 1 package of ribs at a time, keep remaining ribs warm to replenish as necessary). Spoon cocktail sausage to create entrails.
Deviled Spider Eggs
18 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Can Jumbo Black Olives
To Boil eggs, place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 12-14 minutes. Drain, then plunge eggs into ice-cold water to cease the cooking process. The results will be a perfectly cooked egg with a sunny yellow yolk.
Place eggs in a bowl of cold water and refrigerate for at least an hour, until eggs are fully cool. Remove from water and gently roll eggs on counter to “crack” the shells. Return eggs to the bowl of water and let “steep” for about 20 minutes. The water will work its way into the cracks and peeling your eggs is super easy.
Split eggs, placing yolks into a food processor, the whites onto serving platter.
Mix/chop yolks until fluffy and are fine grade resembling bread crumbs. Add red wine vinegar one tablespoon at a time until mixture is moist. Add mayonnaise and sour cream and mix until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. For these eggs, you’ll want to keep the filling smooth and only slightly rounded to make it easier for the “spiders” to sit on their eggs.
Drain olives. Cut an olive lengthwise. This is the spider’s body. From the other half, slice spider legs. Place legs on a deviled egg, and place the body over the legs, allowing most of the leg to be exposed. Press gently to secure. Repeat until you have as many eggs with spiders as you desire (all or a few, depending upon the look you desire). Any remaining olives can be placed in the center of your platter.
Spider Web Taco Dip
1 Can Black Refried Beans
1-2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1-2 tablespoons Taco Sauce
1 Tub Medium-hot Salsa
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Chorizo
1-2 tablespoons Dried taco seasoning
1 Tub Zesty Guacamole Dip
6 oz Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
4 Green Onions, Chopped
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, chopped
In a microwave safe bowl, warm refried beans for 3 minutes. Add bacon drippings and taco sauce to the beans. Continue to warm another minute or 2, stir to blend.
Spread bean mixture over evenly over the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ glass casserole dish. Top bean mixture with a layer of salsa. Set aside.
Brown ground beef and chorizo meat together in a large cast iron skillet, allowing flavors to blend. Add taco seasoning BEFORE meats are drained. Once cooked and seasoned, drain well. Spoon taco meat filling over the top of the salsa. Using the back of a spoon, spread out evenly and smooth.
Place large globs of Guacamole all over the top of the meat mixture. Spread smooth. Set aside.
Place sour cream into a zip-lock sandwich bag. Snip off one end. Draw a spider’s web in the center of the dip. Spread remaining sour cream along the outer edge.
Pile edge with grated cheese. Sprinkle green onions and tomatoes over the cheese border. Serve with chips for dipping.
Note: Another nice touch would be to put an assortment of spider rings in the center of the web.
Witches Brooms Platter
1 Package String cheese
1 bag Mini pretzel sticks
1 bunch Chives
1 package Salami
Cut the string cheese half. Each string cheese stick will make two brooms.
Carefully cut slits into lower half of the string cheese stick to form the “broom”. Insert a pretzel stick into the opposite end for the handle. Repeat until all the brooms are formed.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and blanch chives until they are limp. This will make tying the chives easier and lead to less breakage and frustration. Once the chives have cooled enough to handle, tie toward top of broom for a nice finish.
Layer salami down the center of serving platter, leaving about an inch or so around the rim for the brooms to lay. Place brooms on platter and serve. If desired, crackers can be served alongside the platter.
Note: I’ve seen this same concept with the brooms standing up and crushed crackers in the center to look like dirt. I chose to lay mine down for easy transport and no need for attention to detail when ready to serve. Use your imagination and get creative.