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Halloween Dinner

The rule in our house is that dinner comes before Trick or Treating.  Because the majority of Halloween’s fall on a weekday, dinner is a fun themed event that doesn’t take a lot of time or thought to put together.

Some years we go for our traditional spaghetti and eyeballs while other years we branch out because there are fun products on the market, such as the year I made sweet and sour sauce using green ketchup.

One year, I threaded raw spaghetti through bites of hot dog to make a sort of octopus creature.  This actually tasted better than it sounds.  Served with marinara sauce, it was rather good.  Not a dish you want to make if you have a lot of people eating.  The hot dog bites were not as filling as I had expected.

Last year, since my son was coming home late for Halloween, I opted to make pretzel stuffed pizzas so the kids could grab them and go.  This year, I am purchasing some black bean pasta because it just sounds like fun.  Haven’t figured what sauce but I’m thinking alfredo so you have that white creamy contrast with the black pasta.

Whatever you plan, make it fun.  It should start the holiday not be one of those things that just delay getting to the good stuff.  It should be simple because you don’t want to be frustrated and tired before taking the kids trick or treating.

Don’t forget fun side dishes such as witch’s finger breadsticks (just use a breadstick or pretzel dough, shaped into a finger, add a sliced almond for a nail and bake) or use a Halloween shaped cookie cutter to make toast or cheese slices.

We have a bone shaped cookie cutter that we use to make crackers for dipping in red goo (depending on sweet or savory – strawberry syrup or sweet and sour sauce).

Thursday, I will share some fun desserts we have made over the years that aren’t overly sweet and give a little more fun to the party.

Spaghetti and Eyeballs
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp. ketchup
2 eggs (this was pre-no egg days)
1 tbsp. fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
1 7-oz. jar pimiento-stuffed olives
1 26-oz. jar prepared pasta sauce
1 lb. spaghetti
1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, ketchup, eggs and basil in a large bowl. Using the meat mixture, form about 30 small meatballs.
To make the eyeballs, press an olive into each meatball, pimiento side out. Place the eyeballs in a baking dish, cover with the pasta sauce and bake for
45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse the spaghetti, and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent strands from sticking together. Put it on a platter or in a large serving bowl.
Spoon the eyeballs onto the spaghetti, irises up, and spoon the pasta sauce around them.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 onion, diced
1-2 green peppers, diced
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup vinegar
4 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
4 tbs. cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
Heat all sauce ingredients in saucepan, stirring occasionally. Serve with meat (or not) over rice.