Simpatico: Party Time... Halloween Style

Simpatico

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Party Time... Halloween Style

I am a wee bit disappointed as my fall picnic menu doesn't get to be used today. My friend has an interview for a new job. As jobs are scarce, I do not mind waiting for a picnic with him if he can find a good job!! Best of luck to you!!

So instead I will spend today preparing for my Halloween party tomorrow night. Ok, so it isn't a true Fall Festival/Halloween party with bobbing for apples, cake walks, and trick or treating, but it is going to be fun nonetheless!!

I am not a planner of activities. I have been told that board games and cards shall be the entertainment prior to a good old scary movie fest. **And I promise myself there will be a showing of "Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" at some point during the evening!!

Halloween Party Menu
Savory
Onion-Bacon Dip
Salty Bones with Marinara Sauce
Cheesy Jack-o'-Lantern
Mummy-Face Pizzas
Spooky Eyeballs Tacos

Sweet
Pumpkin Fudge
Lollipop Cookies
Candy Corn Cookies
Crunchy Peanut and Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Drink
Green Ghoulade

Take Home Gift
Caramel Apples with Coconut & Chocolate Drizzle


Savory recipes**********************
Onion-Bacon Dip
1 large leek
6 bacon slices
1 large sweet onion, minced
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (2-lb.) acorn squash
Assorted multigrain and vegetable chips
Garnish: chopped fresh chives

Remove and discard root ends and dark green top of leek. Cut in half lengthwise, and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove grit and sand; thinly slice leek.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
Sauté onion and leek in hot drippings 15 minutes or until tender and golden.
Stir together onion mixture, bacon, cream cheese, sour cream, and salt. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Cut about 1/2 to 1 inch from top of squash; remove and discard seeds.
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Place squash, cut side down, in skillet, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until cut side is golden brown and caramelized. Serve dip in squash with assorted chips. Garnish, if desired.


Salty Bones with Marinara Sauce
1 tube of refrigerated breadstick dough (we used an 11-ounce tube to make 12 bones)
Coarse salt

Unroll a tube of refrigerated breadstick dough and separate the rectangular pieces.
Working with one piece at a time, stretch the dough to lengthen it a bit and then use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut a 11/2-inch slit in the center of each end.
Roll or shape the resulting four flaps of dough into knobs that look like the ends of a bone.
Place the dough bones on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them a few inches apart, and sprinkle on a little coarse salt. Bake the bones until they are light golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Cheesy Jack-o'-Lantern
3 green onions, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped red peppers
2 slices pepperoni

Cut 4-inch length from green end of 1 onion; slice remaining onions. Beat cream cheese and 1-1/4 cups Cheddar with mixer until well blended. Stir in sliced onions and peppers. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Shape into ball; roll in remaining Cheddar. Cut pepperoni into shapes for the jack-o'-lantern's eyes, nose and mouth; press into cheese ball to make face. Insert green onion piece into top for stem.
Serve with RITZ Crackers.

Mummy-Face Pizzas
1 plain bagel (3-1/2 inch), cut horizontally in half
2 Tbsp. pizza sauce
2 sticks KRAFT STRING-UMS String Cheese
4 slices black olives

Heat oven to 400ºF.
Spread bagel halves with sauce. Pull cheese into thin strips; place in random criss-cross fashion on tops of bagels to resemble mummy bandages. Trim ends with kitchen shears. Add olives for the eyes.
Place on baking sheet.
Bake 10 min. or until bagels are crisp and cheese is melted.


Spooky Eyeball Tacos
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (1-1/4 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Seasoning Mix
12 TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Shells
3/4 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
3/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 can (2-1/4 oz.) sliced black olives, drained

Heat oven to 350°F.
Mix meat and seasoning mix; shape into 36 (1-inch) balls. Place in 15x10x1-inch pan.
Bake 15 to 20 min. or until done (160ºF).
Fill each taco shell with 1 meatball; drizzle with salsa. Top with 2 meatballs dipped in sour cream. Garnish with olives to resemble eyeballs.

Sweet recipes**********************
Pumpkin Fudge
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow crème
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together first 6 ingredients in a 3 1/2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234° (soft-ball stage) or for about 12 minutes.
Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into a greased aluminum foil-lined 9-inch square pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool; cut fudge into squares.
Notes: Line pan with aluminum foil before you begin to cook the fudge. Once the candy thermometer reaches 234° and the remaining ingredients are added, quickly spoon the fudge into the pan.


Lollipop Cookies
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Colored sanding sugar or sprinkles (preferably black and orange)
24 wooden ice-pop sticks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; mix just until combined (do not overmix).
If using two colors of sanding sugar, place each in a separate shallow dish (or combine them in one). Roll dough into balls, using 1 1/2 tablespoons for each. Roll in sanding sugar, pressing lightly to coat completely. Insert a wooden stick in center of each ball; place on baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart, with wooden sticks lying horizontally. Lightly press down on each ball with the bottom of a glass to flatten slightly.
Bake until edges are golden and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer cookies immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.


Candy Corn Cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
About 36 candy corns

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter and sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Add flour, and mix until a dough forms.
Scoop out level teaspoons of dough, and roll into balls (chill dough briefly if it becomes too soft to handle). Place balls on baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and cookies are dry to the touch (do not let cookies color), 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from oven; gently press a candy corn into center of each cookie (surface of cookies may crack slightly). Cool on sheets 1 minute; transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Variation: Reduce the amount of flour given in the recipe to 1/2 cup. Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder along with the flour in step 1, and proceed.


Crunchy Peanut and Pumpkin Seed Brittle
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts
3/4 cup (4 oz.) pumpkin seeds
2 tsp. butter, softened
1 square BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Cover surface of cutting board with parchment or waxed paper; lightly spray paper with cooking spray. Set aside. Cook water and sugar in large heavy saucepan on high heat 8 to 10 min. or until sugar turns a dark amber color, stirring frequently. Swirl pan and brush down sugar crystals on sides of pan with wet pastry brush just until sugar comes to boil.
Remove saucepan from heat; quickly stir in peanuts, pumpkin seeds and butter. Immediately pour mixture onto prepared parchment; spread evenly with wooden spoon. While hot, cut into 24 pieces. Cool completely.
Drizzle or spread thin layer of chocolate over brittle.


Drink recipe**********************
Green Ghoulade
2 (6-ounce) cans limeade, frozen concentrate, thawed
3 cups lemon-lime soda
3 1/2 cups green sports drink
Green food coloring
Ice
Whipped cream, for topping
Candy sticks or sipping straw, optional

In a pitcher, combine limeade, soda, and sports drink. Add 5 drops of food coloring, or until desired color green, and stir. Add ice and pour ghoulade to each glass. Place whipped cream in a piping bag and pipe it on top of each glass. Garnish with a fun straw or candy stick.


Take Home Gift Recipe**********************
Caramel Apples with Coconut & Chocolate Drizzle
5 apples (1-1/2 lb.), washed, well dried
1 pkg. (14 oz.) KRAFT Caramels
2 Tbsp. water
1-1/2 cups BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted
2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Insert wooden pop sticks into stem ends of apples. Microwave caramels and water in deep microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 min. or until caramels are melted, stirring every minute.
Dip apples in caramel, turning to evenly coat; scrape excess from bottoms of apples. Roll apples in coconut; place on greased tray. Refrigerate 15 min.
Microwave chocolate in separate deep microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. to 1 min. 15 sec. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min.; stir until completely melted. Drizzle chocolate over apples; return to tray. Let stand until chocolate is firm. Keep refrigerated.

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