2011Directions for re-creating my Halloween Dinner Party with a limited time schedule:
I really enjoy crazy food ideas for Halloween, but especially this year, I seemed to be running behind. We didn't even get the Halloween decorations down from the attic until the 23rd. I usually do a haunted house with my youth group, but I have semi-retired from Sunday School (I hope I have retired, but I have trouble saying no . . .), so without that deadline, I think we just let time fly. I had sent out a family newsletter inviting everyone to come to dinner on the Thursday before Halloween, when our town traditionally holds trick or treat. Well, this year it has been moved to Halloween, Oct 31, the first time I can remember this happening, not withstanding years when Oct 31 falls on a Thursday. So we had a "pre" Halloween dinner.
So, the "make it work" schedule. Leave work at 5 on Wednesday, leave grocery stores at 6, start cooking at 6:30. First I mixed a packaged brownie mix and baked it on a large pizza pan. Subtract 10 minutes from suggested baking time and check with a toothpick (it should come out clean). Let it cool. On Thursday, after I arrived home at 5:20, I put a spoon full of store-bought frosting in a sandwich bag, cut a small hole in a bottom corner (mine was a little too small) and try to draw circle from the middle to the outside. Then draw the knife through the frosting, from the middle to the edge in pie wedges. If you use more frosting - this will look more like a spider web. You could even decorate with plastic spiders!
Now that I look at the photo - it really doesn't look like a spider web at all. Please check my archives for last October - I have a better example posted there!
Next I got to work on the chicken. I buy enormous marinated boneless chicken breasts at my butchers. This year I bought (are you ready?) 20 pounds. Yikes. Two Halloween dinner party and more for the freezer. You don't HAVE to cut them into hands :) - Any way. I usually cut them in half and eyeball where a thumb could be and then cut in the fingers. Stick them under the broiler until done. I save the extra trim pieces and freeze them for future casseroles. By the way you are looking at saved broth from Wednesday night. I was re-heating them at 5:30 on Thursday.
New this year: Mummy Meatloaf. One of the salesman where I work had brought me a magazine for yuppers (those are those from the U. P. in Michigan) last October and the issue showed a mummy meatloaf. I kept the memory and recreated. I actually formed the mummy on a cookie sheet, put a sheet of foil on top, flipped in on the foil and put the foil back on the cookie sheet to bake it. I was thinking it might give it some "air" to help lift it off the foil when I tried to remove it after baking. Whether it helped or not, I don't know - but it came right off the foil!
Wednesday night (are you wondering what time I went to bed on Wednesday night, let me share that I really enjoy the reruns of the black and white Perry Mason episodes at 11:30 p.m.-12:30 p.m. on the MEtv Network). Anyway, Wednesday night I also made deviled eggs. I had planned to turn them into deviled eyeballs, but remembered at work the next morning that I really like the black olive spiders, too. So in between putting pans in and out of my oven (thank heaven for convection ovens) I made the spiders.
And these are my treats for Halloween!
And here they are in disguise!