Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days Of Halloween: Party Treats!


If you're gearing up to throw your own halloween party next weekend or on the actual night, you most likely may still be trying to figure out what types of party foods to have for your spread.

Just a quick note that it helps to have foods that won't interfere too much with your guests' costumes and makeup. I can't tell you how many parties I've been too where I wanted to eat but really couldn't do so without messing up my face because the food was either too messy or required plates and silverware which isn't always the greatest idea when you have a house full of people running around bumping into each other. So in my opinion , it helps to have bite size finger foods that can be placed on a tiny napkin so guests can still walk around and mingle without worrying about balancing food on a plate.

Now of course if you have the time and cash to burn, you can get really creative by making things super creepy by adding edible spiders, fingers, eyes, etc to your presentation but if you are pressed for time and need quick and simple then I got you covered.  Based on some fun foods I've either made or had at past parties, here are a few suggestions you can spook up your table with.

*For healthier options, you can substitute veggie oils and butters with olive oil, grain sugars for honey or agave nectar, milk/creme for Greek yogurt, goat or skim, etc!

Main Dishes

Mini Sweet Potato Quiche
*This recipe is based off of cooking in a casserole dish, however, the filling can be placed in mini pre made shells for easier handling or shell crust can be made and molded into cupcake tins


INGREDIENTS
  • Crust
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • Filling:
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2-3 large onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½-1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 2½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • pinch nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. To make crust, combine dry ingredients into bowl and cut in butter with your fingers (or a pastry blender.) Once butter is broken down to the size of peas, add water to the mix and stir/knead until the dough comes together. Roll out onto a flour surfaced and gather into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill. Pre-heat oven to 425˚. Roll out dough and crimp into an 11″ quiche pan. If you have dough left over, store in the freezer for later use. Parbake the crust for 10-15 minutes, until crust gets a little brown color. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. To caramelize onions, slice onions into an even ¼” slice and heat a medium pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Start cooking onions, stirring occasionally. After onions have cooked for 15-20 minutes, add salt. Continue to cook and stir onions until golden, soft, and cooked down- usually 60-75 minutes. Set aside.
  3. To prepare sweet potatoes, peel and cut into ¼” slices. Toss with one tablespoon of olive oil and place on a covered baking tray. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and begin to brown. The crust, onions, and sweet potatoes can be done all at the same time.
  4. Reduce or preheat oven to 375˚.
  5. Once these three elements are ready, layer the sweet potatoes in the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle caramelized onions and gorgonzola cheese on top. Finally, whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together. Pour over filling ingredients. It is at this point you can cover the quiche, place in the refrigerator, and let sit for up to day before baking.
  6. To bake, carefully transfer quiche to the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the filling domes up and barely jiggles. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Mini Stuffed Crescent Rolls
*With this option, you can have several vegan and meat varieties of fillings for your guests to choose from.

Buffalo Chicken

Traditional

Many great recipes for this option can be found on the Pillsbury website!

Cocktails
What would be a Halloween party without the spooky drinks to creep your guests out with?

Ghostini

Recipe here.


Black Widow

Recipe here.


Frankenstein Reviver

Recipe here.


Desserts

The Traditional: Pumpkin Pie Bites

I made these one year and trust there were none left by the end of the night! Although you can find the basic Pumpkin Pie recipe on the back of any canned pumpkin, I always put a little extra kick in mine by adding extra pumpkin pie spice, honey, or condensed milk!


Candy Corn Fudge
Creamy chocolate and vanilla fudge

INGREDIENTS

3 cups sugar
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow crème
3 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white baking chips or 2 (4oz) bars chopped
Orange gel or paste food color
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, if desired
Orange or yellow decorator sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Line 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil; set aside.
2. Combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6-7 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture comes to a full boil. Continue cooking, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in marshmallow crème and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Remove from heat.
3. Spoon 1 1/2 cups hot mixture into bowl; stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips until smooth. Spread into prepared pan. Place into freezer 5 minutes or until set.
4. Add white baking chips and remaining vanilla to remaining marshmallow crème mixture in saucepan; stir until smooth. Spoon 1 cup mixture into another bowl; add enough food color to for desired orange tint. Stir in orange zest, if desired.
5. Remove chocolate mixture from freezer; spread orange mixture over top. Return to freezer 5 minutes or until set.
6. Remove fudge from freezer. Microwave remaining marshmallow crème mixture in bowl on 10 seconds or until soften, if necessary. Spread over orange layer. Sprinkle with decorator sprinkles. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set.
7. Remove fudge from pan using foil ends; place onto cutting surface. Carefully peel off foil. Cut fudge into 36 squares. Cut each square in half diagonally.

Tip: Gel or paste food color is concentrated and will give you a deeper color. You can also use red and yellow liquid food color to tint the fudge orange.


Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

INGREDIENTS
Yields 24

Muffin:
2 cups self rising flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
2 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup oil

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
7 1/2 tsp milk
1-1 1/2 tsp butter 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the egg, sweet potatoes and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm muffins.
* As a substitute for each cup of self-rising flour, place 1-1/2 teaspoons baking
powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup. 

Enjoy!

XOXO
-M

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