Friday, October 15, 2010

Holiday Prep: Halloween Menus

Halloween is coming up very soon. I love using upcoming holidays to inspire my meals. It is fun for me to cook, and fun for the kids. Here's a few things we really like that are Halloween-inspired:

This recipe for "Blood and Guts and Monster Eyeballs."

"Witch's Brew Salad"
-Cut Carrots and Cucumbers (or other vegetables, if you like) into triangles. (peel, slice length-wise into long strips, then cut at angles to make triangles). You can also cut broccoli with long stems to look a little bit like broomsticks.
-Mix together 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/4 cup honey, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce. If it is too stiff to mix together, warm in the microwave for 20 seconds and try again.
-Pour Peanut Butter dip in a bowl and arrange cucumbers and carrots around the edge to look like hats coming out of the dip.
Note: if you don't like peanut butter dips, you can just use ranch dressing or any favorite dressing.

Pumpkin Pancakes (a huge favorite of mine!)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin or squash
1 3/4 cups bisquick baking mix
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Beat eggs in a bowl on high for 5 minutes until thick and lemon colored. Stir in remaining ingredients--no need to beat it smooth, just bring it together. Pour batter by tablespoonfuls onto griddle. Cook until puffed and bubbles just begin to set. Flip and bake until golden brown. Makes about 5 dozen 2 inch pancakes. Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar, if desired.

For fun, you can arrange chocolate chips on the un-baked side in cute faces to make them into jack-o-lantern pancakes.

Leftovers freeze really well and can be toasted in the toaster for a quick and easy breakfast later! (Keep that in mind for hassled days in November...)

"Oscar the Grouch"-shake (aka green Orange Julius)
1/2 can orange juice concentrate
1 tray (14 cubes) ice
2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
tiny pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
3-6 drops green food coloring (optional, of course)

Blend everything in a blender for about 1 minute, until smooth and frothy. Makes about 4 cups full. Great for a little breakfast treat instead of orange juice or milk, or a quick snack.

One thing I love about the above recipes is that they are all healthy. On Halloween I try to keep my meals as healthy as I possibly can so that we can enjoy the candy. I also try to have my meals be quick and easy so that we can get out the door early and on to our Halloween night adventures.

Do any of you have fun Halloween-inspired ideas--be it meals, decorations, or activities--that you love? Please share!


Laurie/Mom/Grandma said...

I love those pumpkin pancakes too.

Crystal said...

Can't wait to try some of this with my kids...It was great to see you guys even if it was for a little bit. Found out on our way home that the corn maze was open 10am-11pm for UEA weekend so we played for a little while. It was fun to come up.