Bwahahahaha! Halloween--my very favorite holiday! And a family favorite as well. No matter how old "our" kids get, this will always be our tradition: get together at Aunt Gonnie and Uncle Gene's house, eat great creepy food, dress up or dress down, take any little ones trick-or-treating the neighborhood and just hang out..
This year our creepy food was all eyeball in theme. We didn't really plan it that way but as the eyeballs piled up we just kept running with them it: Gummy Eyeball Rice Cereal Treats, Devil's Eye Eggs, Blood Clot Cranberry Dip, I See You Meatballs, and just for fun, the un-eye-ball Mexican Villa Cheese Dip and Chips. There was also two crockpots full of chili and a few others goodies on the table like spinach dip, witch's pretzel/candy fingers, etc.
And now for recipes....
Quick and easy to throw together and can be made a day or two ahead: that's a win-win! Just use your favorite Rice Krispy Treats recipe with two exceptions:
1) After the marshmallow/butter mixture has melted, quickly stir in a pea-sized amount of purple (or other) paste food coloring such as Wilton cake decorating colors.
2) After the bars have cooled and been cut, use a small amount of frosting to "glue" the gummy eyeballs and worms to the tops of the treats.
These were very popular. I think there were two left by the end of the night and when I got up the next morning those two were gone. Hmmm...Gene? Or is there a mouse in the house?
Devil's Eye Eggs
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
- 18 eggs, hardboiled and cooled
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- dash of salt
- 2 tsps brown mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- blue (or other) paste food coloring
- 12-15 black olives, sliced into 3 slices each
- small jar of pimentos
- Pastry bag with small and large round tip
1. Split hard-boiled eggs in half through long-way and separate the yolks into a medium mixing bowl and laying the whites out on platter.
2. Thoroughly smash yolks with tines of a fork until completely crumbled. Add next five ingredients and stir well to combine. Using a spoon or a pastry bag with a large round tip, fill the eggs. (For ease in filling pastry bag, fold edges over your hand, fill, and then twist top to close for flow control--see the two pictures above.)
3. Lay an olive ring on top of each filled egg, smashing down slightly to embed olive a bit.
4. Add food coloring to mayo to desired shade and fill pastry bag fitted with small round tip and pipe color into middle of olive.
5. With tweezers (trust me, will save you time, effort, and cussing), arrange pimentos as bloodshot veins around the olives. Chill and serve.
Blood Clot Cranberry Dip
- 1 12-ounce package of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 T. orange zest
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded
- 2 T. fresh cilantro leaves
Cook's notes: 1) I have to thank "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" blog for this recipe--THANK YOU! Click on her blog name to see the original version of this recipe as a salsa--yummy! 2) Auntie Miranda did the honors of making this one for feast. We tried it both the original recipe way and then Auntie Miranda's version which was to make as outline and then bring to a bubbling simmer in a saucepan for about 5 minutes to mellow out the flavors and put a high gloss on the cranberries. She then poured it over a block of cream cheese and served it with Triscuits. Yummy! We decided we personally preferred the cooked version but both versions were very good and each had their own unique qualities.
Recipe by Auntie Miranda
- 3 lbs ground beef, extra lean
- 2 egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or crushed crackers
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, minced or grated
- small jar of green olives stuffed with pimentos, each sliced into 2-3 rings
- 1 10-12 oz can Coney or Hot Dog Sauce (like Castleberry's brand)
- 1 12 oz jar of apricot preserves
1. Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, and onions until mixed well. Form into approx 30--2 oz meatballs. Place an olive (and pimento) onto the meatbal. and press it flat into the meatball.
2. Place the meatballs on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until centers reach 160 degrees.
3. In the meantime, heat jelly and coney sauce together on high in crockpot until jelly melts. Whisk togetherr. When meatballs are done, add to crockpot. Can then turn down to warm. Allow 30 minutes before serving for flavors to meld.
Makes approx 30 meatballs.
Mexican Villa Fake-Out Cheese Dip:
First, the sauce:
- 8 TBSP butter (I stick)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 32 oz can beef broth
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 TBSP Williams chili seasoning
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour until thoroughly combined. Cook, continually whisking, for 2 minutes. Slowly add beef broth, continually whisking until all is mixed in. Add brown sugar, and chili seasoning. Continually whisk until sauce bubbles and thickens.
To make cheese dip, continue to stir while adding 6 cups of shredded Monterrey Jack, White American, or Queso Blanco, 1 cup at a time and stirring until cheese melts and dip is smooth.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes about 1 1/2 qts.