Happy Halloween Week! I love Halloween, mostly because it’s an excuse to invite folks to our home, even if it’s only for a “trick-or-treat” cocktail. Let’s face it…no matter how old you are, everyone wants to do something fun on Halloween! Don’t you agree?
Recently, we have been in the mood for pasta. In the colder months, pasta has always been our comfort food. I love pumpkin and pasta together, it’s such the Italian classic. Plus, how could anyone go wrong with serving orange food on Halloween? Émilie suggested; “Why don’t we make pumpkin ravioli?” Too hard…you, as my readers, would boycott me, as the task of making ravioli is not in keeping with Entertaining is Easy. Back to the drawing board, which really means, back to the grocery store. I was scouring the pasta aisle, where I spied a package of…black pasta? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found Explore Asian Black Bean Spaghetti! No way…a package of black pasta staring at me straight in the face. Problem solved! How could anything be better & more in keeping with Halloween than to serve black pasta? Especially with orange pumpkin? How perfect would that be! This was more than I could handle…I was counting my lucky stars.
Have you discovered Explore Asian products? I sure hope someone from their company reads this blog because I am their fan for Life. Seriously. If you haven’t tried this product, now is the time. First of all, all their pasta products are gluten-free, vegan & organic. Secondly, each serving contains 25 grams of protein. Lastly…& most importantly, the pasta is delicious! Because the pasta is made with 92% black beans & 8% water, it has a slightly different texture, which reminds me more of whole wheat pasta. Anyhoo, I cooked the pasta & tossed it with roasted pumpkin, baby kale a smidge of garlic, lots of Parmesan & Six-Cheese Italian Blend, pine nuts & a hint of heavy cream…ooh, & nutmeg…All I can say is yummy!
You have to try Pumpkin Parmesan Black Bean Pasta with Baby Kale & Pine Nuts! This dish is sophisticated yet kid-friendly, & it’s so easy-to-make! Have all your ingredients ready to go ahead of time, & throw together the dish last minute. I personally like the pasta with a little hot pepper flakes, but you decide. The best part, though, about this dish is…it’s a one-pot-wonder! For Halloween, that’s perfect, because you do not have time to hand out out candy & entertain guests while trying to make dinner. You want to have fun, too.
For starters, I like to serve cocktails & mocktails with dry ice…the dry ice creates a spooky effect, which everyone loves! This year, I created Witches’ Brew Martinis, a concoction of Williams-Sonoma Pomegranate-Blueberry Cocktail Mix, Absolut® Apple & Wild Tea Vodkas, unsweetened tea & a squeeze of fresh lime juice..add a piece of dry ice & you are set! Even though I like my proportions, experiment & see what type of potion you create…then she them with me? I always like to know how my readers use my recipes & change them to make them their own.
With the martinis, I thought a little more orange food would be fun. I recently discovered how incredibly delicious Asian persimmons are…in my mind, they are the ultimate IT fall fruit! Put them in salads, desserts, anything you can imagine…I diced the persimmon, added a little orange marmalade, & spooned this deliciously tart yet sweet duo over cranberry walnut bread toasts generously spread with goat cheese. Sprinkle a smidge of sea or finishing salt for the ultimate final touch. The combination of textures & flavors will make your senses go wild when you bite into Persimmon Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostini. Watch out…these little Halloween appetizers are kid-friendly, too…Émilie devoured the first plate I made! I love how the orange of the persimmon “pops” against this new serving piece by Calaisio…be sure to check out their website…I think this is the IT serving piece for Fall…& the Holidays!
Along with the crostini & martinis, I am also serving Nutty Bacon Caramel Corn…can you think of anything better to serve on Halloween? This stuff is addicting. I only make the caramel corn this time of year, otherwise we would have some serious weight gain…not good. Be sure to make 2 servings if you have big and little kids at your house…otherwise, you’ll have some major arguments over who gets the final handful!
I cannot wait to share my favorite part of this Spookalicious Halloween Menu with you…dessert! Halloween Ice Cream Sandwich Spiders are fun, cute & so yummy! We combined pumpkin ice cream, my fall favorite with chocolate chocolate chip cookies…if, however, you want to go the route of total decadence, try Nestlé® Toll House® Salted Caramel Cookies with the pumpkin ice cream. Get your kids involved by having them roll the ice cream sandwiches in Halloween sprinkles & inserting pieces of black licorice to create the spider legs…how fun is that?
I hope you have a great Halloween & I especially hope you’ll try this Spookalicious Halloween Menu! Please let me know what you think…your feedback is so important! Be safe & have fun this Halloween Weekend! Cheers!