Tag Archives: halloween food

Nostalgia: McDonald’s retro Halloween

31 Oct

Gah! Spied these darlings on Pinterest and was immediately transported to childhood. How adorable! Remember getting these McDonald’s gift certificates in my Halloween bag. Oh, for a hot caramel sundae right now! The sweet taste of Halloweens past!



Brain Food

27 Oct

Finally found a brain-shaped mold after seeing them online for years.

It is sturdy! And perfect for shrimp mousse, in all its glistening, shrimp-filled glory. Perfect for a Halloween party. We forgot to bring along a serving plate, and think this would looked better on a glass platter, or have been extra funny on stainless steel: more medical!

Note: to release mousse from brain, press the front and back of the mold upside down and it pops right out.
halloween brain

Ruby Fooooos

29 Sep

Memories of a Halloween spent in Gotham City — erm, Manhattan — are motivating us to cast a Pan Asian spell on this year’s gothic gourmet menu.

Walking the streets of the Upper West Side on a warm and breezy autumn evening gave us a chance to spy on New York kids trick or treating at Columbus Avenue shops and on the steps of brownstones.

With iPod variously playing Autumn in New York and Danse Macabre (playlist for the occasion) we sashayed past the glowing red lanterns of Ruby Foo’s on Broadway and 77th, a friend’s former favourite haunt.

For this year’s Halloween dinner and a moooovie, we’re thinking of a tip of the witches hat to Ruby’s now-closed UWS location.

How about lychee blood orange martinis and a delectable selection of dim sum offerings (more bones!).

Each year, we like to hunker down with classic spooky movies (no slashers, pleaz) and some Halloween themed nibbles.

We leave the grossout grub for the kiddies, and instead choose a menu evocative of the season’s spirit.

To relive our Manhattan Halloween, we’re happy to take on Kung Pao or sweeter General Tao chicken wings, tamarind glazed spare ribs, and shrimp dumplings or steamed shrimp balls.

No New York-themed Halloween celebration would be complete without a screening of Ghostbusters, right?

And speaking of New York themes, how about this adorable candy corn pizza;

1 oz. (or equal parts) super-premium vodka
1/2 oz or 1 oz plum sake
1 oz. cranberry juice

A splash of lemon juice and a splash of pineapple juice (a splash is equal to 1/8–1/4 oz.)

Shake well with ice and strain into chilled martini glass; garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wheel.


Chicken Wings
24 chicken wings
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup sugar
1 green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
Chicken Wings
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a 30 x 43-cm (12 x 17-inch) baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the wings through the joints into 3 pieces. Discard the wing tips.
Place the chicken pieces in a bowl. Coat them with the oil and season with salt. Arrange them on the cooling rack so they are not touching. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn and bake until the meat pulls easily from the bone, about 20 minutes. Finish by broiling until the skin is crisp and golden-brown.

In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, water, fresh ginger, garlic, sambal oelek and paprika. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Cook without stirring until the mixture turns gold. Add the mixture. Simmer until the caramel has dissolved and has become syrupy.
In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chicken in the sauce, turning the pieces until completely coated and well glazed. Garnish with green onion.

To prevent the wings from becoming soft, serve them on a plate or platter instead of in a bowl.

Fright Night

31 Oct

Heeeeeere’s dinner!

After a month’s worth of Halloween recipe posting, we unveil our Halloween night boofet of horrordoeuvres:

Japanese Bat Wings and Steak Bites with Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce.

Perfect for our horror movie night.

We’re lazy, so we’re buying Cost-co wings and just baking them with the sauce, which is a childhood fave.

Japanese Chicken Wings
The Best of Bridge
Great for crowds and kids! Tastes good warmed up if there’s any left.

3 lbs. chicken wings, tips removed 1.5 kg
1 egg
1/3 cup flour 75ml
1 cup butter 250ml (or half butter and half oil.)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce 45 ml
3 Tbsp. water 45ml
1 cup white sugar 250ml
1/2 cup vinegar 125ml

Cut wings in half. Dip in slightly beaten egg and then in flour. Fry in butter until deep brown and crisp. Place in shallow roasting pan. Mix all sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken wings. Bake at 350 F (180C) for 1/2 hour.
Baste wings with sauce during cooking.

Can resist including another version for glazed wings I have been meaning to try:

8 chicken drumsticks (we’ll try 16-20 wings)

1 cup water
1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
2 1⁄2 tablespoons sugar
1 garlic clove, peeled and bruised
1 small hot chili pepper, slit open, seeds removed

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes Remove any scum that rises to the surface. Increase the heat, turning the drumsticks frequently in the liquid, and cook until the liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter, remove the garlic clove and chili from the liquid, and spoon the glaze over. NOTE It’s a glaze rather than a sauce, so there’s not a whole lot of it.

Steak Bites with Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce

Recipe Rachael Ray
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup vodka
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 rounded tablespoon prepared horseradish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 pounds beef sirloin cut into large bite-sized pieces, about 1-inch squares
Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper
6 to 8-inch bamboo skewers
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and saute 5 minutes. Add vodka and boil to reduce by half. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and horseradish. Stir to combine the dipping sauce and return the sauce to a simmer. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.

Heat nonstick skillet over high heat. Coat meat bites lightly in oil. Season with steak seasoning blend or salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the meat until caramelized all over, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer dipping sauce to a small dish and place at the center of a serving platter. Surround the dip with meat bites and set several bamboo “stakes” or skewers alongside meat.

Witchy finger food…

26 Oct

We’re getting to the end of our Halloween recipe series. We may have overdone it… we’re a little indecisive about our upcoming Halloween night dinner. Too many choices!

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups aged Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 large egg white
10 pitted black or green olives, halved
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat the butter and cheese until wellcombined. Mix in the flour, mustard, cayenne and egg white just until a dough forms. Take about 2 Tbsp. of the mixture and shape into a finger. Make a knuckle shape in the centre and slash a few wrinkles into the dough. Place on a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Make an indentation at the end of each finger. Place a half olive into each indentation. Bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom and cooked through.

thifty foods
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus some to sprinkle around the outer edges of the dip
1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 250g pkg. hard cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup salsa
1 ripe, medium avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. sour cream
Pinch sugar
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Sprinke the 1 cup grated cheese, red pepper and green onion into the bottom of a shallow sided dish about 10-inches wide. Place the cream cheese and salsa in a food processor; blend until almost smooth. Spoon cream cheese mixture into the serving dish; spread it out with a spatula until it touches the sides. Place the avocado, lime juice, the 1/2 cup sour cream and sugar in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Carefully spread over the cream cheese ixture, leaving 1/2-inch border. Place the 2 Tbsp. sour cream in a piping bag fitted with a small, plain tip. Pipe the sour cream in a spiral shape over the avocado mixture. Drag the tip of a sharp knife from the centre of the spiral to the edge of the dip. Wipe the knife clean. Move about 1-inch to the left or right and repeat the process. Continue until the whole dip looks like a spider web. Sprinkle outer edges of the dip with remaining cheese.

Jack’o’lantern Patties

15 Oct

Halloween inspiration from a silly 80s Seventeen recipe page for babysitter’s supper of jack’o’lantern carved cheese slices melted on Lipton Onion Soup burgers.

For a lark — and to celebrate Halloween early — we are going to surprise a friend by putting these goofy cheeseburgers on the grill. But instead of the old dried onion soup mix, we may opt for turkey burgers with chipotle avocado mayo or maybe these turkey cheddar sliders.

Or something like the amazing burger we just had: a pork and wild boar patty with roasted apple and garlic jam, Quebec Oka, a roasted garlic & grainy mustard mayo on an onion bun. *loves*

I Want Candy

15 Oct

Half the fun of Halloween is getting your hands on the goopy pumpkin seed guts. Nothing transports you back to childhood like the aroma of roasting pumpkin seeds. A classic happy memory.

Here are two versions of pumpkin seed candy. The first, a sophisticated cumin-scented version. The second, good old Martha’s bon bon style.

Adapted from a recipe by Guy Reuge
This recipe makes a beautiful brittle that tastes as good as it looks. You can omit the cumin, but you’ll lose the slight smoky note that provides an ideal contrast to the sugar. Chef Guy Reuge served the brittle at the Beard House as one of the mignardises, alongside macaroons and candied orange peel.

1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 3/4 cups shelled pumpkin seeds, also know as pepitas

Generously grease a cookie sheet or cover it with a silicone mat. Set aside.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and water in a medium pot. Stir the sugar with your fingers to moisten so that no lumps remain. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it caramelizes, about 15 minutes. It’s done when it’s medium brown; be careful not to let it burn, which can happen in the blink of an eye.

Take the pot off the burner and immediately whisk in the salt, baking soda, and cumin. Quickly add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they are coated with the liquid caramel. If the mixture hardens too fast to allow you to stir in the seeds, return the pot to the heat for several seconds. Working quickly, pour the mixture on the baking sheet you prepared earlier and spread it with a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thickness.

When the brittle has cooled and hardened, break it into pieces. Store it in an airtight container.
Martha Stewart
Makes 30 pieces.

1 cup hulled pepitas
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup good quality honey
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted for brushing

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepitas; toast, stirring constantly until seeds pop and become slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Place sugar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, about 3 minutes. Add pepitas, and continue cooking until temperature registers 285 degrees.on a candy thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cold butter.

Let the mixture cool to 240 degrees. about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, brush the inside of fifteen 1-inch-diameter black paper cups with melted butter, reserving 1 tablespoon. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the honey mixture into each cup. Brush a clean work surface with the remaining butter, and spoon the remaining honey mixture on it so mixture will continue to cool.

When remaining candy is stiff and cool enough to handle, about 6 minutes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces with a greased knife. Put one piece of candy in center of each of fifteen 4-by-4-inch pieces of orange cellophane wrap, gather cellophane at the top, and secure with a twist of a 4 1/2-inch piece of floral wire. Wrap the ends of floral wire around a skewer to form tendrils.

Heart Beet Pate

12 Oct

From Mark Bittman’s twitter:

“Try boiling beets, then peeling and processing them smooth with goat cheese (and seasoning). Shocking purple beet pate. So good.”

We’ve been looking for an interesting filling for chicken breasts coated with crushed pumpkin seeds and bread crumbs.

We think we’ve just found it: how good would that beet/goat cheese mix look oozing from the chicken? Add some chives, some fresh mint, a squeeze of lemon.

“It’s alive!”

We lined Siljins with goat cheese, topped with beet mixture, cucumber and fresh dill. A hit.



Beatnuts Pate
Adapted from The Coup cookbook

Add this to goat cheese:

½ cup mixed unsalted nuts
¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
3 tbsp unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 medium sized beet, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons needed)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt (might try a shake of za’atar one time)
Fresh dill (2-3 tablespoons snipped)

Toast nuts and seeds and allow to cool. In a food processor, process the seeds and nuts until fine. Set aside in a bowl. Place chopped beet, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil into the processor. Process until smooth. Add nut/seed mixture and stir well. Add salt to taste.

We’ve had this mounded on top of goat cheese and we’ve tried mixing it in with goat cheese.

Top with dill. Serve with gourmet crackers and cucumber sliced like crackers.

We’ve also been hoarding an overly complex Emeril recipe for “vampire chicken with blood braise.” We just can’t commit to the recipe, but we’re interested in the sauce to pour over garlic chicken:

In saucepan, combine 2 cups of red wine, 3/4 cup beet liquid, 1/2 cup cream, and 1 tbsp Dijon and reduce by 1/2, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Taking it even further, how about this amazing looking creamy roasted garlic and beet sauce for pasta? Gorgeous!
You have to click on these pics. We’re smitten!

from burprecipes.blogspot.com

6 medium beets, roasted and peeled*
3-4 large cloves garlic, roasted*
2 T olive oil (or to taste)
1 T lemon juice
4 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
8 oz pasta
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Whizz beats and garlic in the blender until a rough paste forms. Add olive oil until well blended. If using already roasted beets, warm the sauce over a medium low flame. Add goat cheese and stir to combine. Add lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Toss sauce with cooked pasta and top with fresh basil.


*To roast beets & garlic: Wrap each beet in a sheet of aluminum foil and place onto a large sheet pan. Wrap heads of garlic the same way. Roast beets and garlic together in a 400º oven for about 40 minutes. Check for done-ness. Remove garlic when soft to the touch. Remove bets when they can be pierced easily with a fork. Continue cooking for an hour or more, until beets are thoroughly cooked.

Molten lava

12 Oct

This is more autumn than Halloween, but it would make a great dinner before a movie night.

Fondue dippers can include cooked chicken and apple sausages, chorizo, cubed ham, or mini smokies; sliced baguette or black bread, roasted shallots, roasted mushrooms or small fingerlings or baby potatoes, pears, apples, or pretzels. Cornichon are a must.

Remember not to drink anything too cold, and no guzzling water: that cheese will turn into a cannonball inside your tummy!

This is very rich and best shared with a small crowd.

From Food Network Kitchens

1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider
3/4 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound Gruyere, grated
1/2 pound sharp Vermont or New York yellow cheddar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Bourbon, whiskey or apple jack, optional

Fondue Dippers:
Heat cider, broth, Worcestershire, and garlic in a medium pot over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Toss the cheeses together in a medium bowl. Sift the corn starch over the cheese, and toss to coat lightly.

Using a wooden spoon, sprinkle some cheese mixture into the warm liquid and continue to stir in small amounts of cheese until it is all incorporated and the fondue is smooth and melted, about 15 minutes. Stir in cayenne, salt and Bourbon, if using.

Transfer to a fondue pot or double boiler and serve with desired dippers.

Decaying dinner

8 Oct

On Halloween, we think of vampires (garlic), witches (wine, beer, spirits), darkness (tapenade, beef fondue, chocolate), and decay (roasted eggplant!).

Continuing our love affair pairing eggplant and bowtie pasta — mimicking Turkish dumplings — this would be a perfect Halloween dinner.

Nothing gross-out about it, but something wicked implied with withered eggplant…

(Reeni) click on her amazing photo…

1 eggplant (weighing about 1 to 1.5 lbs). Peel it and slice into finger sized slices.
Olive oil
8 oz bowtie pasta
1 cup seeded and diced tomatoes
Pumpkin-Arugula Pesto (recipe here)
Romano or Parmesan

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and saute until browned. Add a bit of oil as you go. The eggplant soaks it up.

Cook the pasta, drain and add it back to pot. Add pesto to coat the noodles.

When the eggplant is a dark it is ready. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the pasta with veggies, adding pesto until everything is well coated. Serve hot or chilled with shredded cheese.

Pumpkin-Arugula Pesto

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 clove garlic
2 cups baby arugula
1 cup good olive oil
¼ teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet til lightly toasted: about 10 minutes mixing every minute or two. Set aside to cool.

Add seeds to food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add everything but the cheese. Pulse until smooth. Add cheese and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if needed.