Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

A lot of the Halloween-themed foods I made this year really don't require a recipe. It just revolves around making ordinary things look spooky. Very easy to do!

I will include all of the instructions and recipes in here as soon as I can. However, for now, I just wanted to get this post up. So, I have provided a link to the recipe/instructions, but some of the recipes/instructions aren't typed up in this actual post yet. I'll do it soon though!

Above: Meatball eyeballs. I made these with my favorite Greek meatball recipe, which you can find here. Here is the non-spooky version for my little boys.

Above: Meatballs Floating in Blood. The spookier version for adults. I made some Three Ingredient Marinara (here) and added about 1 teaspoon of oregano to match the Greek meatballs. I served it with Greek potatoes (you can find that in the same link as the Greek meatballs above). Another way you can use the meatball eyeballs is to make meatball eyeball tacos by filling taco shells with cheese, lettuce, refried beans, etc. and flavoring your meatballs with taco seasoning in place of the other seasonings and serving the taco shells with two meatballs apiece. Simply put a dab of sour cream on each meatball and then top it with a sliced black olive.

Above: Taco Stuffed Monster Shells with Jack-o'-Lantern Cheese.

Above: Who couldn't love this little monster? My two boys, that's who. They wouldn't eat them until the olive eyes were removed...and it's not because of the olives, because they like olives. They just have overactive imaginations!

Above: I used a cookie cutter for the pumpkin shape and then carved the face with a sharp knife.

Above: Here are the shells without their eyeballs. They looked cuter before the cheese was melted...but they tasted better with melted, you make your call on whether to melt the cheese or not!

Above: I placed the majority of the shells in a bed of bottled red salsa and a few in a bed of bottled green salsa (because my husband prefers that kind). I created my own recipe for this (found below), but you could simply use your favorite stuffed shell recipe and add the sliced cheese and green olives for the teeth and eyes.

Above: They just have so much personality!

Taco Stuffed Monster Shells


1/2 box jumbo baking pasta shells (22-24 shells)
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
1 cup sour cream
1 can (7.5 oz) sliced black olives
1 square piece of cornbread, crumbled (about 1 cup cornbread crumbs), optional
2 cups salsa (red, green, or a combination)
Cheese slices (Cheddar, Pepper Jack, etc.)
Green olives with pimentos
Shredded lettuce, sour cream, additional salsa, and cornbread for serving, optional


Prepare pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, place large skillet over medium-high heat and brown ground beef until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and stir. Add shredded cheese and stir until combined. Turn heat down to low and stir in sour cream and olives. If using cornbread, crumble one piece (to equal about 1 cup of cornbread crumbs) and stir into mixture. Heat through.

Pour salsa into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread evenly to coat bottom. Stuff cooled pasta shells with meat mixture and place in baking dish. Place baking dish in oven for 10 minutes.

Cut cheese slices to look like teeth. To do so, I cut each cheese slice in half, and each half into thirds. I then used a knife to cut a jagged line in the middle of each third.

Remove baking dish and carefully place cheese teeth onto each shell. Return to oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Remove shells from oven and using toothpicks or thinly sliced carrot sticks, poke two holes into each shell. Poke the toothpicks or thinly sliced carrot sticks into the shells half-way. Poke two green olives onto each toothpick or thinly sliced carrot stick to resemble eyes.

Serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and cornbread, if you like.

Notes: I was inspired by an old cookbook of my mom's...but I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand to follow that recipe, so I decided to simply wing it and create my own recipe. I threw in the crumbled cornbread simply because I had it on hand and I wanted to bulk up the meat mixture a little bit. It was a great addition, but it still tasted great without the cornbread (I was tasting as I went since I was pretty much creating this as I went).

This would go great with cornbread, however, so if you wanted, you could bake some cornbread to serve alongside this dish beforehand and cut out one piece to crumble into the beef mixture. Here is the cornbread recipe I always use.

Above: They kind of remind me of Muppets...and I have always been a huge fan of the Muppets, so that is fine by me!

Above: Donut vampires. A friend of mine posted a picture of these on Facebook and I just had to try them! I believe they originally were found on Pinterest. You can find the picture here. Here is a recipe for pumpkin spice vampire donuts, made from scratch. I didn't make my donuts, however, I simply bought them. The donuts I bought weren't as uniform in shape as the donuts that the original poster used, but who cares? I think it gives each donut its own little personality. Simply place a pair of plastic vampire teeth into the donut hole and place two chocolate chips (pointy side down into the donut) into the donut for eyes. Voila! Breakfast is served!

Above: See what I mean about the shape of each donut giving it its own personality?


Above: Then it dawned on me that a donut hole was just perfect for a single plastic eyeball to make a little cyclops or alien donut. So since I had some on hand, I decided to try it out!

Above: I see you!

Above: Some people's eyes are too big for their stomach.

Above: Cute and scary! Besides, how fun to combine a party favor with a treat.

Above: We tried to find some purple make-up for my son's costume, but couldn't find any. So, I found a recipe online and we tried it. It worked great...except my son freaked out mid-way through the application and decided that he did not want to wear purple face paint after all. Here is the recipe I used.

Above: I made this dragon cake for a family get together where we were celebrating my nephew's birthday and I was assigned to bring the cake for dessert. Since it was a birthday for a little boy turning 6, I figured that it should be a fun cake. I have a gem mold for hard candy and I used this recipe. For the rest, I used Rolos for the dragon's gold, a plastic dragon toy from the dollar store, and a package of cake mix and a can of chocolate frosting.

Above: These pancake spiders and spider webs took a little bit of practice, but once I got the hang of it, they were pretty easy. Here are the instructions.Use your favorite pancake batter. It is a little easier with a thinner batter though, so if it is a thick batter, you might want to add a little extra water or milk.

Above: Here are some easy cake mix cookies. The chocolate ones were made using Devil's Food cake mix. The orange ones were made using a white cake mix, white chocolate chips, and orange food coloring. You can find the recipe for cake mix cookies here.

To end, I am going to share some pictures of our pumpkins that we made this year. Enjoy! Oh, and Happy Halloween!


Above: Glitter pumpkins. I have been making these for years. I originally found the idea on the Martha Stewart website. You can find the instructions here.

Above: I saw this in a magazine years ago. I just love the look of these pumpkins. They just look like little goblins to me. You can find the instructions here.


Above: Undead/Zombie Pumpkins. These were so quick and easy to make! I just love the look of them. They are so fun! You can find the instructions here

Above: Vampire Pumpkin. You can find the idea here. Next year, I am going to try this with mini white pumpkins. This is with a white squash.

Above: My happy pumpkin family!

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you had a great holiday!

1 comment:

  1. Your stuff always looks so good. So much fun. Pete is the King of Halloween!