Halloween is a great time to get crafty but your creativity doesn’t need to stop at the decorations and costumes. You can get really imaginative with the party food too!
Kids just love being presented with bugs, blood and guts and other gruesome looking food at the table and you’ll be amazed at what most of them will try when it’s dressed up as something ghastly. And the great thing is, unless you really want to, you don’t have to work too hard to create a fabulous Halloween spread!
Why not serve up some blood and guts when the kids first sit down at the table to eat. The guts are just a jacket potato cut in half with the middle mashed up a little – why not add some meatballs to complete the effect – and then we pop some tomato sauce over it and mix it all together. Simple and very eye-catching!
We also love to see Mummies (he bandaged kind of course!) on the table and these are really easy. There are lots of recipes for creating these on the web. You need some hot dogs for these and some pastry or dough. Then simply roll out the pastry, cut it into strips and wrap it around the hot dog. Cook them in a medium oven until the pastry is golden brown. Dot with a little mustard or tomato sauce if you prefer red eyes and serve them up! See one of the many recipes for Mummies here.
Bananas make great ghosts too. Chop around 4 ins from the top of the banana and then simply push in chocolate chips to give it two dark eyes and a small chocolate button to give it a mouth. Now how easy is that?
But actually the party food can become part of the Halloween entertainment and you can get the children to make their own food.
Make or buy pizza dough (this recipe uses muffins) and then roll it out cutting it into saucer sized rounds. Now take some tomato perhaps tinned chopped tomatoes with much of the juice drained and get the children to spread that over their pizza base. Tell them this is blood and guts. Now cut some thin slices of cheese into strips and get the children to spread these over their pizza like mummy bandages. Bake the pizzas and then it’s time to add the eyes and these are simply olives sliced into circles! They look fantastic and the children will not only enjoy eating them they’ll love making them too.
We also love the idea of letting the children decorate their own biscuits while the pizzas are cooking. Choose a favourite biscuit recipe and cook the biscuits in advance to allow them to cool before the children get their hands on them. You can use cookie cutters to give them different shapes or simply make round biscuits. Then invite the children to spread white icing over their biscuit and give them chocolate chips or coloured writing icing to create monster faces or spiderwebs or anything else their imagination can create on their biscuit.
It might make a mess when you’re getting the children to make their own Halloween Party food – so be prepared for lots of clearing up – but it will certainly make lots of fun too!
Halloween is also a time when the sales of pumpkins rocket, so why don’t you make some lovely pumpkin soup too? Here’s a recipe:
4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1kg pumpkins peeled, de-seeded and chopped into chunks
700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
142ml pot double cream
4 slices wholemeal seeded bread
handful pumpkin seed from a packet
1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook 2 finely chopped onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured. Add 1kg peeled, de-seeded and chopped pumpkin to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.
2. Pour 700ml vegetable stock into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the squash is very soft. Pour the 142ml pot of double cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency you can now push the soup through a fine sieve into another pan.
3. While the soup is cooking, slice the crusts from 4 slices of wholemeal seed bread, then cut the bread into small croutons. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp. Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins more until they are toasted. Season then serve scattered with croutons and seeds and drizzled with more olive oil, if you wish.