Shhh… Can you hear that? It seems someone (or something) is coming to the door of your house and is going to knock. You freeze and listen to silence, which will be shattered by a sudden hit at the door in a matter of seconds. Bang, bang, bang! It’s Halloween! Hurry up to welcome it! And don’t forget about the sweets you wisely stocked up on.

Let’s make your Halloween celebration ghoulishly delightful! We will need some startling themed decorations and a fang-tastic festive menu.

After all, the ancient Celts, who are known to be the first to celebrate the festival of Samhain – the original, pagan version of Halloween – believed this October night was magic. It was the night that could tell people’s fortunes and let families get in touch with their dearest and nearest who had passed away.

You never know who will visit you at the time when the boundary between the worlds of people and spirits get blurred. That is why you should be ready to welcome decently every little and adult, or maybe even unearthly guest.

Knock, knock! Trick or treat? Happy Halloween!

Frightfully Delicious Starters to Let the Party Begin  

For you to know for sure who exactly joins the party, put a tiny pumpkin on the plate at each seat and attach cards with the guests’ names to the gourds. So every soul will find its place at your home and enjoy the scrumptious Halloween dinner.

Speaking of, it is a great chance to experiment and serve treats you would never prepare for any other occasion. Yep, that’s what we love this holiday for, right?

This time combine these two really themed appetizers: fried vampire bat wings and creepy crudité cups.

Let’s start with the fried bat wings.

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You will need bat cookie cutter to make this meaty morsel. With the help of the cutter, cut out bat shapes, using as much of the ham steak as possible (1 to 3 lb. meat will be enough, depending on how many souls you invite).  

If it is difficult for you to press down to cut through the ham, you can use a small knife and score around the cutter, while pressing down with your second hand. Reserve the leftover ham for some other dishes. Or make a quick snack for your hungriest helpers.

Pour some olive oil into the skillet and warm the wings over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. Serve them with your favorite tomato pesto or tomatoes and truffles sauce.

Now let’s check what you can pair such treat with. Here are the fresh and crunchy and creepy crudité cups.

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The recipe is horribly simple and healthful.

First, wash the toy eyeballs with soap in warm water and dry them thoroughly. Push a bamboo skewer into each eyeball

Then, slice cucumbers, peeled carrots, and de-seeded bell peppers. Place a full tablespoon of hummus in the bottom of each cup. Arrange the veggies in each cup so you could add a decoration to the middle. That’s it!

And here is a bonus appetizer for the most creative Halloween dinner! What about some stuffed mushroom eyeballs? Absolutely edible.

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You will need to take:

  • 1 lb. button mushrooms, large
  • 1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 10-15 olives    
  • 1 red bell pepper, small
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

You will need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven up to 350°F. Use parchment paper to line the baking sheet.
  2. Pop the stems off the mushrooms gently and set the mushroom caps on the sheet.
  3. In a bowl mix the cream cheese with cheddar and garlic powder. Scoop 1-2 tsp. portions of the mixture and roll into small balls. Press these balls into the mushrooms. Do not overstuff the caps because the cheese filling may run out.
  4. Cut the olives in half and press them flat-side-up into the filling.
  5. Slice the pepper and cut the slices into small cubes. Gently stuff the pepper cubes into the holes in the olives.
  6. Bake mushrooms for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

Fa-Boo-Lous Pumpkin Dishes to Continue the Celebration

Can you imagine Halloween without jack-o’-lanterns, glowing all over the neighborhood? Well, it is as impossible as imagining Christmas without a Christmas tree.

Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, with all possible carvings and decorations, are the bright symbols of our favorite fall holiday. And the ancient Celts believed that eerie faces carved on turnips could protect them from evil spirits.

Still, the pumpkin is not only a lucky charm. It is also a healthful and delicious ingredient in wickedly good Halloween recipes.

Let’s try this manicotti!

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Make sure you have:

  • 1 package manicotti
  • 1 package pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan, grated
  • 2 c. Mozzarella, shredded
  • 15 oz. Ricotta
  • 1 jar garlic pasta sauce, divided
  • 2 large egg yolks    
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

You will need to:

  1. Preheat the oven up to 350°F. Meanwhile, cook the manicotti in accordance with the package instructions. Drain.
  2. Mix all pumpkin, all parmesan, 1 c. mozzarella, all ricotta, egg yolks, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Spoon the mixture into the manicotti.
  3. Grease the baking dish and spread 1 c. pasta sauce into it. Top the baking dish with the stuffed manicotti. Spread the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1 c. mozzarella.
  4. Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheeses melt.
  5. Try a bite, close your eyes, and enjoy.

You may also like this savory stuffed pumpkin.

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Let’s check the ingredients:

  • 1 large pumpkin, obviously (8-9 oz.)
  • 1½ lb. ground beef or pork
  • 1/2 can chestnuts
  • 1 can mushroom puree
  • 1 jar sliced mushrooms
  • 1½ cooked rice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

Your next steps are:

  1. Cook the meat and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. The meat should change the color. Drain.
  2. Add the mushroom puree, jarred mushrooms, soy sauce, and sugar. Simmer uncovered and stir occasionally for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chestnuts and rice.
  4. Cut a 6-inch circle around the pumpkin stem. Remove the top and set aside. Remove seeds and fibers. Fill in the pumpkin with the meat and mushroom mixture. Replace the top.  
  5. Place the pumpkin in the greased baking pan. Rub the canola oil outside of the pumpkin. Bake the pumpkin uncovered until it gets tender – 1,5 hours.
  6. Let the ready pumpkin cool a little and serve.

10-Minute Dessert to Make the Festive Finish Sweet and Memorable

Along with the pumpkin, the apple is another important Halloween symbol. We could try to trace the connection between the holiday and this fruit from the Bible legend. But as Halloween or Samhain is originally the Celtic festival, let’s see what Celtic mythology has to say about apples.

The ancient Celts attributed a lot of positive qualities to the apple tree and its fruits. Among them there are fertility, purity, love, and beauty.

So, it looks like an apple dessert will be a perfect choice for a Halloween sweet treat.

Serve sliced apples, pears, and pretzels with delectable caramel cream cheese spread.

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Just place cream cheese (8-9 oz.) on a dish, pour it with as much caramel as you wish, and sprinkle with toffees, nuts, or dried fruit.

Eat, drink, and be scary!
Marky’s witch-es you a spook-tacular Halloween!