Happy Halloween Weekend! What are your plans for the spookiest time of the year?
Whether you’re hosting or attending a Halloween Party this weekend, or even on the big night itself, I have a Halloween Party Menu to share with you that makes preparation quick & easy…& fun!
As tradition would have it, I’ve created a special Halloween martini for you, which I know will be a Halloween Party hit! Do you like pears? If so, you will LOVE my Sparkling Cranberry Pear Martini! It’s spookaliciously good! The cocktail is a blend of hard pear cider, pear vodka, pear juice, light cranberry juice & fresh lemon juice, which is then topped with a splash of Prosecco! As a word of caution, shake the martini without the pear cider, then add & shake once or twice…the cider is carbonated, & vigorous shaking will leave you with a mess on your hands…just sayin’. As you serve the martinis, add small pieces of dry ice, which creates bubbles & smoke. I love using dry ice in my cocktails for Halloween! Most grocery stores carry dry ice. I may also serve this martini for Thanksgiving…just no dry ice 😉.
When I plan a menu for a Halloween party, I like to serve dishes that allow for grazing. I want my guests to be able to mingle & nosh all evening long on colorful dishes that embrace the theme of Halloween without being morbid or scary…I hate scary! No spiders or skulls, that’s for sure! I also like to serve dishes that everyone can enjoy…
…such as Émilie’s Salsa Guacamole! Émilie created this appetizer when she was 10. I’ve always allowed her to experiment in the kitchen, & she has become quite a chef over the years. Kids of all ages love this! For Halloween, I added a little neon green food coloring, & bought these great black & orange tortilla chips from The Fresh Market! By the way, have you ever eaten guacamole with shrimp? The combination is fantastic, & serving shrimp provides a little protein for my guests, which is a good thing! Plus, I think the presentation is fun, don’t you agree?
In keeping with the concept of cool presentations, what do you think of my Roasted Cheesy Pumpkin Fondue? This one-dish-wonder gets everyone’s attention! Serving a beautifully roasted pumpkin, full of melted, creamy cheese, bread & roasted pumpkin seeds, gets everyone’s attention, trust me. Guests simply scoop of of the soft, roasted orange pumpkin with all that gooey deliciousness & enjoy! The roasted pumpkin remains hot for a long time, which is great at a party. The dish is also vegetarian. What I like best about this dish is how quick & easy it is to prepare…
…these ingredients are all you need to make the Roasted Cheesy Pumpkin Fondue! These days, it’s easy to buy an heirloom pumpkin. Locally, I buy mine at Rudd Farm. Just scoop out the seeds, then fill with your ingredients…roast in the oven…serve. Seriously, how easy is that?
What’s even easier are my Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts! I love this dish because the brussel sprouts can be prepped & seasoned earlier in the day, then roasted last minute & served either warm or at room temperature. I cut the precious little cabbages in half, then drizzle with honey & balsamic glaze, which caramelize during roasting. That’s it. Just before roasting, I sprinkle a little sea salt. These little veggies are better than candy! For a little heat, use Mike’s Hot Honey instead. Serve the brussel sprouts with toothpicks for easy serving.
I think it’s fun to experiment when throwing a party with at least one dish. That sounds a little risky to some of you, but for me, that’s the real fun in hosting a party, especially a Halloween party! This year, I wanted to make Halloween Spaghetti Pizza. Have you ever eaten pasta & pizza together? It’s insanely good! I’m not quite sure why more people don’t do this. I easily found black squid ink linguine both online & at Williams-Sonoma in Greensboro, but I was unable to find orange pasta. I had to have orange pasta!
Here’s where I experimented. I will share my secret with you….
I added yellow & red food coloring to my pasta water before I cooked the pasta. You can also use orange food coloring, but orange food coloring wasn’t available in the grocery store, so I had to improvise. As the pasta cooks in the water, it absorbs the food coloring & turns that color! How cool is that? You can use the same method to make black pasta by adding black food coloring. I then tossed the black & orange pastas together in a garlic & sage butter-olive oil sauce & arranged the pastas over the pizza, which had layers of gooey cheese & pumpkin pasta sauce studded with fried sage. OMG. You could add a little bacon or pancetta to this pizza, & I think that would be really tasty. This pizza is definitely Halloween Party-worthy!
For less sophisticated palates, just use marinara & mozzarella, then toss the pastas in garlic butter & olive oil…you will still hit a home run with this Halloween Party pizza!
We now need something sweet. Nothing complicated, definitely chocolate as the main ingredient. Does a dessert with only 3 ingredients appeal to you? How do Chocolate Espresso Truffles sound? Trust me, these are the best! I promise that these truffles have only 3 ingredients…dark chocolate chips, instant espresso & heavy cream…that’s it. For Halloween, roll the truffles in orange glitter sprinkles. All your guests will adore you for making these! I’ll share another secret with you…your kids can make these…Émilie did!
Happy Halloween! I hope you’ll make this entire Halloween Party Menu…everything is quick & easy…& delicious…& fun! Most of all, have a safe & fun holiday weekend! Cheers!
A Quick & Easy Halloween Party Menu
Émilie’s Salsa Guacamole
served with Shrimp & Halloween Tortilla Chips