Due to time constraints this year, I scaled down my Halloween party food plans to basic quick and easy offerings – classic recipes with a twist in the presentation to fit the season.  Here are a few simple ideas to turn cheese, meat or fruit trays and dips into themed fare.

meatheadMeathead: This was the second year for the meathead platter.  I cheated and used a skull I had, wrapped it in foil and then smeared cream cheese on it to hold the ham and pimento stuffed olive eyes in place.  But, you could also form your skull out of any cheese ball recipe you prefer.  This year I bought Italian ham instead of the regular cooked ham used in the past.  The extra marbling in the meat really set off the sculpture.

eyesEyeballs:  These are the best looking eyeballs I’ve found to date that actually taste decent.  I saw marinated mozzerella balls used for eyes last year on Divine Dinner Party but really liked the addition of Prusciutto di Parma I found later from Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen.  The outer layer of meat really seemed to set them off.  Next year I may spend a bit more time and use black olives for the pupils. But, there is no easier eatable pupil/iris combo than a stuffed olive – I used them for years when the kids were young to turn spaghetti and meatballs into worms and eyeballs.  I also add them to deviled eggs for cows eyes.  I didn’t actually make Nadia G’s blood sauce, nor did I make the marinade from Divine Dinner Party.  I merely bought marinated mozzarella balls and added the olive and meat wrap.  Done!

cheeseCheese Graves: The cheese tray was created by simply using some Halloween tombstone cookie cutters on various types of cheeses.  This picture unfortunately does not show off the brie coffins behind the first row of tombstones.

Dips &  Chips: Finally, what party is complete without a variety of chips and dips?  For these you can use your favorite recipes and serve them in Halloween dishware or you can add black or orange food coloring.  Scissors or cookie cutters can be used to cut tortilla shells into bone shapes for dipping.  These can be fried or baked and can be made with either flour or corn tortillas.

guac

Homemade or store bought guacamole (or any chunky dip) can be displayed with a mini pumpkin to look like vomit.  Or any cheese ball could be rolled in black sesame seeds.  The one below is a putrid log made from cream cheese and blue cheese.

putried

Other tips would include serving dip in a witch’s cauldron made from a hollowed out round rye bread loaf or adding a bit of tonic water to dip to make it glow under black light.  Labels can also help add to the theme.  You could call your deviled eggs trolls eyes or add black food coloring to your chicken wing sauce and call it bat wings.   So there’s no need to find brand new recipes if you just give some thought to a slight twist on your old standbys.

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