Tag Archives: Halloween Recipe

Recipe: Whoa! Make This AMAZING Face-Hugger Chicken

 

It’s gory, it’s creepy, it’s…chicken? Every once in a while we come across a recipe that literally blows our black little socks off. Today we give you this AMAZING “face hugger” (from the Alien movie franchise) feast, direct from the culinary artistry of Eat the Dead. Thanks, fellas – this is true genius!

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Copyright eatthedead.com ~ Reprinted from: Nov. 14, 2017

So, as some of you may know, I made an Alien’s inspired chest burster turkey last year for Thanksgiving…or as I’m now calling it: Fangsgiving…

And while it turned out amazingly delicious, I was also told in no uncertain terms that I would not be able to make another chestburster for this year’s holiday…and because I love my family, I agreed.

But nobody said ANYTHING about not making an Alien’s inspired Facehugger chicken!

BEHOLD!  THE FACEHUGGER FEAST!

Made from a full-sized roasting chicken, snow crab legs, and a homemade chicken sausage tail, this sweet slab of petrifying poultry is smokey, succulent, and has just enough bite from a secret ingredient to make you cautiously come back for more.

In short, it’s damn good.

This recipe is a bit involved.  It takes a good 24 hours and includes multiple steps and a few unique ingredients, but trust me when I say, it’s so worth the effort…both visually and for how good it tastes.

Now, before we get too far into this, let me say that yes, this can absolutely be done with a turkey as well and would make the perfect show-stopping centerpiece to any Thanksgiving meal.  I just didn’t have the oven space for a full turkey face hugger.  Maybe next year?!

To make your own Facehugger Feast, the first thing we need to do is prep the chicken.

24-hours ahead of time, brine your chicken.  To do this you will need:

  • 1 roasting chicken
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar

In a large pot on the stove, mix together your water, salt and brown sugar.  Over medium heat, mix until fully dissolved.  Allow to cool completely.

Place your chicken into a large container and pour your brine over, fully covering the chicken.

Pop the whole thing into the fridge for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.

Now let’s work on the rub.  You will need:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • teaspoons onion powder
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Whisk all these ingredients together and set aside for 30 minutes to really get acquainted.

Let’s also make our honey glaze.

For this you will need:

  • 2/3 cup Ghost Pepper honey*
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • teaspoons lemon juice

*The secret to the sweet heat in this recipe is the ghost-pepper honey.  I found some a few weeks ago on Instagram from a company called The Beecreeper.  Seriously, this stuff is intense!  They’re still working on setting up their website, but you can bug (ha!) them on IG @_beecreeper_

If you can’t snag your own ghost pepper honey, simply add 3 teaspoons of chili powder…but know it’s just not going to be the same.

Whisk all this together and set aside for 30 minutes as well.

While that’s resting, let’s move onto the next step.

For this you will need:

  • Your rub
  • Your glaze
  • Your brined chicken (patted dry)
  • 3 feet of sausage casing
  • Butcher’s twine
  • 1 additional boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • .5 oz (roughly 1/2 teaspoon) transglutaminase** powder.

**Remember our earlier recipe, the Chili Con Carnage?  We discuss in depth there exactly what transglutaminase powder is and where to get it.

We’re going to start out by first spatchcocking our chicken.

Wait…spatchwhat?

Spatchcocking…and before you let your dirty little mind run off into the gutter, let me explain exactly what spatchcocking is.

When you spatchcock a chicken, you remove the backbone (ie: spine) and flatten the whole thing out before cooking.  This is done for a number of reasons.

In normal cooking a spatchcocked chicken roasts in just 30 minutes, which is actually 15 minutes less than a normal roasting meaning tons of saved time.

It also exposes more of the bird to dry heat, resulting in a crispy, crunchy skin.

And while this is all good, we’re doing it for another, more artistic reason.

This is a face hugger:

This is a spatchcocked chicken:

See the similarity?

Okay, true…we’re missing the tail and a few other details need to be adjusted, but it’s the same general shape!

To spatchcock your chicken (quit giggling, I can hear you!) pat your brined chicken dry and flip onto your cutting board, breast down.

Using a pair of strong shears, cut along both sides of the spinal column lengthwise on your chicken, splitting your bird in half from tail to tip and completely removing the spine.

Congratulations, you now have before you a spineless chicken…or as I like to call it: My ex.  

Now we need to remove those pesky wings and legs.

From the INSIDE of your bird, carefully locate the top joints of your legs (aka drumsticks) and slice through those.  Pull the legs up through the skin, basically turning it inside out.  Cut the skin off at the base of the leg bone closest to where the feet would be if they were still attached.

Flip your bird over, breast side up, and carefully remove the wings, trying to ensure that your cuts are as close to the skin and as small as possible.  Now smoosh your bird flat, pressing the breast back into the board with the palm of your hands.  You’ll hear some crunches…don’t worry, that’s normal.

You should end up with something that looks like this:

Save the legs, wings, and spine for another recipe.

Now that that is done, move your chicken to a large aluminum foil lined cookie sheet with high edges and give it a good rubdown with your rub.

In a food processor, combine your boneless chicken breast, 2 tablespoons of your rub (you should have plenty, don’t worry) and your transglutaminase powder.  Pulse until you end up with a thick paste.

Drizzle in enough chicken broth to form a thick milkshake like slurry.  Mmm…meat slurry!  The goal here is to create a mixture that is just barely liquid enough to be easy to jam through a funnel into your sausage casing.

Tie a knot at one end of your casing.  Pull the open end of your casing over the nozzle end of a funnel and pull up the rest of your casing like it’s a sock and your nozzle is a very strange looking foot.

Scoop your meat slurry into your funnel.  Using the blunt end of a wooden spoon handle, jam the slurry through your funnel and into the casing.  Don’t worry if it’s not evenly distributed yet, just fill the casing up until you’ve used all your slurry.

Once you fill it all the way up, tie a knot in the open end of your casing at about the 2 1/2 foot mark.  Gently squeeze your casing, evenly distributing the meat slurry through the whole thing.

Using your butcher’s twine, wrap your casing starting at one end and ending about 6? below the other end.  This will be the crest of your hugger body as well as your tail.

Loosen the skin all along the back of your chicken.  Do this by gently sliding your hand between the skin and the meat of your chicken and lifting upwards. Don’t completely separate your skin from the edges or on the leg section of your roast…you just want to create a large pocket in the back for the crest tube (sausage) and legs (coming soon).

Stuff the unwrapped end of your chicken sausage between the skin and the meat on the back of your chicken, pulling the knotted end all the way through so it sticks out the neck area of your roast.  The rest should be sticking out the bottom as a tail.  I used two toothpicks to pinch the chicken skin closed over the back of the chicken where the tail went in to help keep it in place. Curve the tail back and forth on itself so the entire thing fits on your cookie sheet.  Next, take another toothpick and give the entire tail a few pokes through the casing.  You don’t want to do too many, but a few along the length every few inches or so will allow the steam that will result from cooking escape.  Forgetting to do this can result in a tail that splits or blows up while cooking.

Give the tail a good rubdown with the rub as well.

Now let’s prep your facehugger so you can attach the legs later.

For this, you’ll need 8 holes for your crab legs, 4 for each side.

I’m going to be completely honest with you and tell you that the first time I made this dish, I jammed the legs in before cooking the chicken (hence all these photos).  This ruined the crab legs. If you decide to do it this way, know ahead of time that we’re cooking this beast at a temperature that will dry your crab legs out and make them taste awful.  Trust me, you will NOT want to eat them…so I strongly suggest either getting the cheapest legs you can find that you don’t mind ruining, or stick them in at the end.

All the photos in this tutorial are of me doing it the wrong way…putting the crab legs in before roasting the chicken.  Don’t do this…but for now, just deal with the fact that I made a mistake and you’re benefitting from it.

I picked up a right half and left half set of snow crab legs for $8 total at my grocer.  Get just the legs…you don’t need the claws.

Using a sharp knife, slit your chicken along the “back” in three slices on both sides and two in the front using this template as a guide:

Using your tin foil, twist up 8 tubes approximately the same size as your crab legs and jam them in as place-holders for now.

Size them appropriately to your crab legs, starting with the largest ones in the back and getting smaller as you go.  Save the two smallest legs for the front.

IF YOU ROAST YOUR CRAB LEGS, tuck your legs up so they’re “crawling” and use the edge of your cookie sheet to keep them in place.

A ball of aluminum foil, wadded up, works well to keep the front elevated and in place.

Give the whole thing another rubdown with your rub.

Now let’s add some glaze!  Using a food safe brush, give your entire face hugger (except the legs) a nice thick layer of glaze.

Pop into a 350F/175C oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.

At the 15 minute mark, pull it out and give it another thick basting with your glaze.  Return to the oven for another 15 minutes and repeat the glazing.

At the half-hour mark, pull out, wrap the legs in tin foil to keep them from burning, give it one more good swab with your glaze, and return to the oven for a final 10-minute stint.

All in all, you’ll be roasting it for 40 minutes.  I know I said a spatchcocked chicken takes only 30 minutes to roast, but because we’ve added so much to it, super soaked it with the glaze, and have a chicken sausage tail, we need to ensure food safety by guaranteeing the interior reaches a consumption safe temperature of 165F/73C.  Test for doneness by taking an internal temperature reading at the thickest part of the roast.

when it’s done, pull it out of the oven and remove the foil from your crab legs.

If you haven’t roasted your crab legs (good on you) NOW is the time to insert them into your roast beast.  Gently pull out your aluminum foil place holders and swap in your crab legs.

Gently snip off the butcher twine from your sausage tail now as well.  Allow it to rest for 5 minutes and then transfer to your serving platter.

Bask in the enviable glow that comes from creating something so damn devious looking and so damn tasty!

I mean, come on…  Look at this thing!
 Carve into this beautiful bastard and enjoy!
Happy Thanksgiving and…

Bone Appetite!

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This recipe post was reprinted with express permission from eatthedead.com. PLEASE ask permission from any site if you see a recipe or tutorial you’d like to share. For more information on this amazingly artistic crew, contact them here

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Mummy Meatloaf

Meatloaf is delicious no matter how you slice it (see what we did there?). Add bacon and a sweet, tangy glaze and now it’s a monster of a meal!

This super-fun recipe is one the kids can help with and is simple to prepare, yet it makes a perfect, creepy centerpiece for your party table. Here’s how to make your own bacon-wrapped mummy meatloaf for your Halloween party table.

Ingredients:MEATLOAFmonster meatloaf raw

  • 2 lbs. ground beef OR 1 lb. ground beef + 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (reserve several slices for eyes & teeth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 4-6 slices bacon

GLAZE

  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 T. brown sugar barbecue sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together all Meat Loaf ingredients except for bacon. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Place loaf in baking pan and press into the shape of a face (with lower half narrower than upper half).
  4. Mix together Glaze ingredients. Pour over loaf and spread until evenly coated.
  5. Add onion slices for eyes and teeth.
  6. Wrap bacon across and around loaf as shown. If you wish, tuck the ends of the bacon underneath the loaf. We left a piece or two out so it would give a cool “unraveling” effect.
  7. Bake 60-75 minutes, until loaf has reached an internal temperature of 160F.
  8. Cool 20 minutes before serving.

mummy meat loaf

 
 

Recipe: Creepy Kraken (Sea Monsters) in Seaweed

Image credit: tasteofhome.com

Our youngest has a fascination with sea monsters. He’s afraid of them…yet unendingly curious. (A chip off the old ghoul!)

So when we found these fun “hot dog octopus” goodies, we knew we had to try them out.

They were an instant hit with both our kids and since then, we’ve had this whimsical treat often.

Of course, being Halloween fans, Sir David and I “haunted” the recipe up for the holiday, adding murky-looking “seaweed” and sinister rather than friendly faces for the “sea monsters.” We call these Creepy Kraken, after the legendary tentacled monster of the sea that appears out of nowhere to upend ships in sailor lore.

This is SUCH an easy recipe, and perfect for a Halloween party. Here’s how to make your own tasty creatures of the deep:

CREEPY KRAKEN RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • hot dogs – as many as you’ll need to feed your partykraken4
  • Maruchan or other brand Ramen noodles, 3 oz. per 3-4 hot dog “sea monsters”
  • McCormick Assorted Food Colors (or brand of your choice) – 10 drops of green; 3 drops of red
  • 1 cup water
  • mustard

Directions:

KRAKEN (SEA MONSTERS)kraken2

  1. Cut hot dog in half but only up to within 1-1.5″ of the top of the hot dog, as shown.
  2. Cut the cut pieces in half so that you have 4 dangling “legs.”
  3. Cut two of these pieces in half so that you wind up with 8 legs total.
  4. Boil a pot of water. When a rolling boil is achieved, turn down to medium heat so that you have a simmer to a very low rolling boil.
  5. Place the hot dogs into the water. Cook until “tentacles” curl up slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside, sitting them upright so their curled tentacles will stay in place.

SEAWEEDkraken3

  1. Meanwhile, pour water into a small pot.
  2. Add the food coloring. You should achieve a murky green color. Dip up with a spoon to test the color; you can always add more red for a murkier/browner color, or more green for a more intense color. Add ONLY ONE drop at a time of either color (or other colors of your choice), as color change will happen with very few drops.
  3. Set on high heat, add the enclosed spice packet and bring water to a boil.
  4. Add the noodles. Reduce heat so the water won’t boil over. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Drain. Do not rinse.

ARRANGING YOUR KRAKENkraken5

  • Put the colored, cooked Ramen onto a plate (or plates, if you are serving more than 3-4 people and making more than 4 or so hot dog sea monsters; we find about 3-4 fit onto a dinner size plate, more on a serving plate).
  • Cool the sea monsters slightly in an upright position so their legs stay curled up around them. Now place the sea monsters into the “seaweed” (Ramen). Dot eyes only (no smiling mouth!) onto the hot dogs. Serve.

Enjoy!

Not Just a Gingerbread House… It’s HAUNTED!!

 

Image credit: thehometeacher.org

A big thank you to guest contributor Ruth Randall for this spooky and tasty tutorial!

Decorating gingerbread houses is fun anytime of the year, but at Halloween it’s even better, because the more mistakes the better…. er, spookier it is!

Here’s my method of making a haunted gingerbread house.

Before You Begin

We’re going to make this one from scratch. The good thing about making a gingerbread house from scratch is that the cookie dough obligingly comes out looking decrepit and well used – just like a broken-down haunted house should look.

(Note: if you’re really pressed for time, start out with a basic house kit. You can modify the front gable to be longer/taller, and you’re good to go!)

Plan an entire afternoon for your gingerbread house, and be prepared for a grand time with the kids. Let’s go!

Haunted Gingerbread House Materials

  • Baking parchment
  • Candy pieces (woohoo!) – follow our basics or substitute your favorites
  • Decorating bags and tips 
  • A big apron
  • House pattern on cardboard (an old cereal box will work)
  • A free afternoon
  • A haunted house kit or basic house kit, if you’ll be going this route

Gingerbread:

  • 3 cups basic white flour (whole wheat is not recommended for houses)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten

Icing:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar

Make Your Gingerbread House Pattern

haunted_houseSimple house patterns can be found on the internet, or by browsing through clipart images for Halloween houses to find a shape you like.

To use my haunted house on the right, click on it for the full image. The shape in the guide is for the front and back of the house. Then measure rectangular walls and roofs with the measurements in the document.

Take the house shape you like and enlarge it to fill an 8-1/2” x 11” page. From there you may have to adjust angles or the height/width, by tracing it onto another sheet of paper so that it is just right.

Cut the pattern out of paper and then trace it onto poster board or light-weight cardboard (like a cereal box). Making a pattern out of paper won’t survive the first cut. Do this:

  1. Cut 2 of the shapes for the front and back.
  2. Decide how deep the house should be and mark that out along with the height of the wall to match.
  3. Cut out two rectangles for the roof pieces. Remember to make them large so they overhang, but not so large that the house can’t bear its weight.

Cooking the Gingerbread Pieces

Tips

  • Before baking, decide if this house is going to be eaten or not; the baking time will be different, as well as the appearance of the house. I suggest making additional cookies to eat instead of trying to eat the house.
  • Try to assemble the house before the kids are around. At this point they won’t be interested or of much help. It also means the house will be set and have less chance of collapsing while it’s being decorated.

Baking Instructions

  1. Turn your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients, then mix in the wet. I like the recipe above – it’s a trial and error modification from gingerbread cookies – but the basic cookie recipe is shown at the end of this article. Go with what you’re most comfortable with.
  3. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment. I use parchment because it can be slid right onto the baking sheet- no moving house pieces and risking accidents or shape changes.
  4. Now it’s time to cut out the patterns! Sprinkle flour over the dough before laying down the pattern so that they lift up easier. Place your cardboard shape pieces on top and cut the patterns out right on the parchment. Lift away and clean and use your shapes next year.
  5. Slip the cut dough on a baking sheet and place in a hot oven.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. About 8 minutes through baking, take it out to re-cut the pattern pieces. This helps to keep the shapes the size they are supposed to be as they finish baking. (Or cut and separate them in the first place, but be very careful. Usually I just slowly peel away the dough between the shapes.) When done, remove from oven.

gingerbread-dough gingerbread-shapes

If the pattern is complicated, it is also very helpful in identifying which pattern piece is which. The pattern I used had several different pieces that were very similar. I labeled them with letters and then wrote the letters on the parchment before baking. It was very handy as they cooled!

Once they are done, let them cool.

Icing Your Haunted Gingerbread House

gingerbread-decorationsUsing the recipe above, start by adding 1 cup of sugar to the other ingredients, adding one cup of sugar at a time while mixing. Whip this together for about 5 minutes and voila! Gingerbread house cement. Seriously.

Cover the mix with a damp towel so it does not dry out. You can also use 2 t of water and 2 t of powdered egg whites or meringue if you don’t want to use egg whites.

Then, feed it into a thick plastic bag with a small hole cut at the end.

There are two schools of thought about how to ice a gingerbread house: pre-assembly and post-assembly. I’ve done it both ways, and the only difference is how perfect the house looks.

Last year’s house was iced post-assembly and we were dismayed to see the windows run and drip. But in the end it had a rather eerie effect that we liked. Icing before putting the house together makes details much easier., but young kids may not be as interested, because … well, it doesn’t yet look like a haunted house!

You can also check out Pinterest for decoration ideas. I do!

Our haunted house, built from scatch!
Our haunted house, built from scatch!

What if You Don’t Have Time to Do it From Scratch?

Yes, creating your gingerbread from scratch can take a while, especially if you aren’t set up for cookie decorating with bags and equipment. Luckily, that’s where kits come in.

A kit comes with pre-cooked house shapes, icing, candy, and the decorating bags and tips. The kit I bought this year had bat candy – and it was already assembled. I just needed to decorate it.

It doesn’t get much easier than that!

IMG00598_Small

Commercial haunted gingerbread house
Commercial haunted gingerbread house

 

Banana Brain Cake

Your guests will be delightfully disgusted to see you serving a brain on a platter. Easy fondant icing helps you create a brainy surface that looks realistic. The fun begins, though, when you slice into it and banana pudding oozes out! Bring out your inner cannibal with this tasty idea.

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes white cake mix
  • 8 inch diameter stainless steel bowl
  • 8 inch cake pan (if you’d like to make things even easier, use a brain-shaped mold)
  • spray oil, like Crisco or Pam
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 box instant pudding (banana pictured)

Baking the Brain . . . Cake

Preheat the oven as directed on the cake mix package and mix in a mixing bowl according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Spray the stainless steel bowl and the cake pan with oil.

Pour some batter into the stainless steel bowl, leaving 1-2 inches at the top.

Pour the remaining batter into the cake pan (it’s OK if it’s very thin).

Place the bowl and the pan into the oven and bake until done. You’ll have to check the batter in the stainless steal bowl with a clean knife or toothpick. Insert it in the center and if it comes out clean it’s done. It will take longer to cook than the batter in the cake pan, so check every ten minutes until done.

Cool both cakes completely for at least an hour.

Assembling the Cake

Mix the pudding according to the manufacturer’s instructions and let chill.

Use a bread knife to hollow out the cake that was cooked in the bowl, within 2 inches of the edges of the bowl.

Fill the recessed area with pudding.

Carefully place the flat cake from the pan into the bowl on top of the pudding, sealing up the cake with the pudding.

Invert the entire cake onto a plate and remove from the bowl. You should now have a dome cake.

Making the Fondant

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, corn syrup and vanilla. Use a drop of red food coloring to give it a fleshy peach color. If it looks to pink to you, add just one drop of yellow. Remember, it will lighten a lot when you add the powdered sugar.

Add up to 2 pounds of powdered sugar until it forms a smooth solid ball that stays together.

Roll out and flatten the fondant using powdered sugar to prevent sticking. When it’s 1/4 inch thick, divide in half and lay the first half over the top of the cake (roll further if it doesn’t quite fit).

Take the other half of the fondant and roll several long “snake” rolls by hand and lay them on top of the cake in a squiggly pattern to create brain matter. Be sure to delineate between the two brain halves. If you used a mold, follow the contours.

When the cake is covered, use a wet paintbrush to polish the top surface and give it a sheen

Cake can be served immediately, or store chilled. Mmmm, chilled brains for Halloween!

    

Recipe: Marshmallow Monster Eyes

Credit: http://kimberlystoney.blogspot.com

These sweet, squishy Halloween treats look positively unnerving staring up from a party platter. For the ultimate in gross realism, the eyeballs gush “eyeball jelly” when eaten. Gross… but very tasty!

Kids love these, but they do have a lot of sugar. So, unless you have padded walls, it is probably best to make sure they have an outside activity to do afterwards – trick-or-treating, perhaps?

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of marshmallows
  • 1 jar of strawberry jam or preserves
  • 1 can of cream cheese or vanilla icing
  • Food coloring (either black, or red and green to make black)
  • 20 Gummi Savers (2 packages)

Making Monster Eyes (Here’s Lookin’ at You)

    1. Turn on your CD player and play “Somebody’s Watching Me” from Rockwell 🙂
    2. Grease a cookie sheet.
    3. Cut the very top off of a marshmallow. You can use either a knife or kitchen shears, but kitchen shears are easier to use and make a cleaner cut. Place the bottom piece of the marshmallow on the cookie sheet.
    4. Use your fingers to hollow out the center of the marshmallow.
    5. Fill the center with ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam.
    6. Fit the marshmallow top back onto the marshmallow bottom.
    7. Repeat for remaining marshmallows.
    8. Refrigerate marshmallows for 30-45 minutes. This helps the top and bottom pieces adhere to each other.
    9. Place the cookie sheet in a 250 degrees Fahrenheit oven, and bake for 6-8 minutes. The marshmallows should be puffy and soft, but not brown.
    10. Remove the marshmallows from the oven – they should have flattened out some, as shown in the picture. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect – the icing will fix that.

Enjoy!

Savory Severed Monster Fingers

 

Severed fingers with rotted black fingernails . . . hungry yet? A twist on the traditional pigs in a blanket, these delicious digits are simple to prepare, yet they look wonderfully gruesome on an appetizer platter.

Dig in to this phreaky phalanges with the fun recipe below.

Monster Finger Ingredients

  • 2 cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough (each can should make 8 crescent rolls)
  • 1 16-oz package of cocktail smokies (cocktail weenies)
  • sliced almonds to use as nails

“Digit”al Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, use Pam or olive oil spray in a light mist over entire top surface of pan.
    3. Open one can of crescent rolls and unroll the dough.
    4. Place one triangular piece of crescent roll dough on the cookie sheet.
    5. Put a cocktail weenie in the wide end of the dough triangle. Roll the dough around the sausage. You should have one layer of dough covering it completely with no edges peeking out. This is the base of the finger – you will still have some crescent roll dough left over.
    6. Roll the remaining dough to form the rest of the finger, tapering it at the end and rounding it off so it looks realistic.
    7. Put an almond slice on the end of the finger. Tuck the edges into the dough so that it looks like a fingernail.
    8. Use a knife to score “wrinkles” into the knuckle.
    9. Put the fingers in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Point this platter in the direction of your ghoulish guests, and enjoy!

Brain Dip With Bone Breadsticks

 

Image credit: 4sonsrus.com; (inset) simplybeingmommy.com

Mmm . . . brains! The human brain is the preferred food of zombies everywhere, so why not serve it at your next Halloween party?

This recipe is actually a tasty red pepper hummus dip in a bread bowl. It’s easy to make and delicious. This dip is complemented by a simple bone breadstick recipe for dipping.

NOTE: Pressed for time or just don’t feel handy with “making” your own brain? Get an inexpensive brain mold. Follow directions below, place in mold, and chill.

Dig in!

PART ONE: Brain Dip

4sonsrus.com

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed) paste
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (in a jar)
  • barbecue sauce
  • red and blue food coloring
  • 1 round loaf of sourdough bread OR bone breadsticks (recipe follows below this recipe)

Directions

    1. Place all ingredients (except bread) into a food processor. Process the ingredients for 4-6 minutes, until everything is well-blended. While processing, pause periodically to scrape the sides of the food processor to make sure the spices are included in the mix.
    2. If the hummus appears too orange for brains, add a few drops of blue food coloring and process again. Mix blue and/or red food coloring until you have a nice peachy-pink, brain-like hue.
    3. Chill hummus in the refrigerator for several hours. This will allow the flavors to mingle and the dip to thicken.
    4. While the hummus is chilling, cut the top of off the bread and use a spoon to hollow out the inside of the loaf. Make sure to save the bread pieces – they are great for dipping.
    5. When chilled, spoon the hummus into the bread bowl, smoothing the top to create a rounded mound.
    6. Now, it’s time for a fun anatomy lesson. Using a toothpick, divide the brain into 2 hemispheres – the right and the left.
    7. They say that each time you learn something, a new wrinkle forms in your brain. Use the toothpick to draw squiggly lines in the hummus to create these wrinkles.
    8. Drip a little barbecue sauce for “blood” on your shaped brain.
    9. Serve on a platter with chips, bone breadsticks, or pita crisps for dipping.

PART TWO: Bone Breadsticks

simplybeingmommy.com

These bone-shaped breadsticks are great for dipping in “brain dip.” This recipe uses refrigerated pizza dough for convenience.

To get the bone shape without having a bone-shaped cookie or biscuit cutter, roll each piece of dough into a tube shape, then push in and twist each end.

This recipe makes about 10 breadsticks, but the number of servings will vary depending on how big the breadsticks are.

Ingredients

  • 1 18 oz roll of refrigerated pizza dough
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence or Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • bone-shaped cookie cutter or stencil

Directions

  1. Roll out pizza dough on a cutting board. If you are using a cardboard stencil, brush the dough with olive oil so that it will not stick to the cardboard.
  2. Use either the cookie cutter or a stencil and a knife to cut bone shapes out of the dough. (Or roll each piece into a “snake”/tube shape, push each end inward and twist to get a bone-end shape.)
  3. Place bones on greased cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkles with herbs, garlic salt and parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-8 minutes, until breadsticks are golden brown.

Now, with your bones dipped with brain matter, gnaw away, making sure to smack your lips a lot while making low groaning noises. After all, a zombie doesn’t ask for much. Just your head!

Rat Stew in a Pumpkin

This “Rat Stew” is complete with legs, tails, whiskers, eyes and entrails. This Halloween recipe is actually for a scrumptious Mediterranean stew, baked in a real pumpkin for a stunning presentation.

If anyone thinks they have identified the “rat legs” as chicken, simply give them an evil smile and say, “Well, they say everything tastes like chicken, right?” Even though it may look complicated, this is an easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 lb chicken wingettes (mini-drumsticks, for the rat legs)
  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage links
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 of a 6.75 oz package of maifun rice sticks (these are very thin Asian rice noodles, for whiskers. You could also substitute angel hair)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • Black olives, for eyes
  • 1 8-10 lb pumpkin

Directions

    1. Open the top of the pumpkin. Scrape out the insides.
    2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    3. Mix 1/4 cup flour, salt, pepper, paprika and thyme together. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of this mixture for thickening the stew.
    4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Dredge the chicken wingettes in the remaining flour mixture and brown them in the skillet with the oil.
    5. While the wings brown, slice sausage into tails. To make tails, cut each sausage in half vertically. Then, cut each of these halves in half lengthwise. Cut the sausage halves into thin slices that taper to a point at one end, like rat tails. See the illustration.
    6. Chop bell pepper into long thin strips (think entrails). Also, chop onion and mince garlic.
    7. After chicken has browned, transfer it to the pumpkin.
    8. Heat sausage, garlic, pepper, and onion in skillet until sausage is browned and vegetables are soft.
    9. Put sausage and vegetables into the pumpkin with the chicken.
    10. In a bowl, combine broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Pour into pumpkin.
    11. Place pumpkin on a strong baking sheet and brush outside with olive oil.
    12. Bake for an hour and 45 minutes at 375 degrees.
    13. Remove pumpkin. Break rice sticks into 3-4 inch long pieces and add to the pumpkin stew. If necessary, mix reserved flour mixture into a paste with a little bit of water and add to stew to thicken it.
    14. Return the pumpkin to oven for another 15 minutes.
    15. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, and season stew with additional salt and pepper if necessary. You can either add the black olive “eyes” directly to the stew or serve them on the side as a garnish. When serving stew, make sure to scrape some of the pumpkin meat off of the side.

Yum! Not too much rat in it. Just five or so. Enjoy!

Black Death Punch

 

Credit: meandannabellee.com

Thirsty for something darkly different for your Halloween party? How about an eerie party punch?  We’re grimly glad to deliver this sweet offering (with a little bite!) from guest contributor Sarah Briggs.

Brew Ingredients

  • 1 two-liter bottle of ginger ale, Sprite, blackberry soda, or your soda of choice
  • 1 packet of black cherry Kool-Aid
  • 12 oz of frozen berries (a mix of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries), thawed
  • 1/2 of a 750-ml bottle of Dekuyper’s Pomegranate liqueur*
  • 5 cups of clear rum or vodka
  • 1 packet of Pop Rocks Candy, for special effects (optional)

*For a non-alcoholic punch, simply leave out the alcoholic ingredients. Your punch will still look – and taste – bloody good!

Instructions

Grab a black cauldron (or other eerie beverage server) and begin cackling. (This part is important! Got to have ambiance, don’t’cha know.) IMPORTANT: Thoroughly chill all ingredients before beginning.

  1. For the “scabs,” mash berries using a potato masher or process in a blender for 30 seconds.
  2. Combine soda, cherry Kool-Aid, berries and alcohol in the cauldron … sorry, your punch bowl.
  3. When you are ready to serve, wave your hands over the bowl and recite: “Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble…!”
  4. Pour in the Pop Rocks immediately before the party – they’ll make the punch snap, crackle and pop for the next several minutes!

Mmm. The Black Death never tasted so good!