Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Haunted House Party - Recipe Rendezvous

Now that we have our own home, I have grown to love Halloween. I see it as another opportunity to get our friends together for a night of cocktails, snacks and good company. This year we took on the theme of "Haunted House". We went for an abandoned, run down vibe, decking the house out in spider webs, old black and white photos, and black lights. We set our TV to play "The Twilight Zone" for hours, thanks our Amazon Prime subscription. Creepiest of all was our menu.
We served stuffed intestines, lady's fingers, old deviled eggs, monster boogers and a bloody red velvet cake. Of course, you can't forget the cocktails...we served a hot apple cider with Fireball whiskey...with shrunken heads. Keep reading to see how we made it all happen. Check out my inspiration on my Halloween Pinterest board.

Ground Turkey Taco Intestine Filling

I spent a lot of time searching Pinterest for Halloween recipes. I ran across this Halloween Puff Pastry Intestines recipe and created my own variation. This recipe is pretty generic, leaving you with tons of options. We went with the ground turkey taco filling below. Ground turkey is much lower in calories and fat than ground beef. Adding corn was a nice veggie burst, and lentils add some fiber without changing the flavor profile.

  • 1/2 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1/2 cup Lentils, Cooked
  • 1 packet Taco Seasoning
  • 1/4 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Canola Oil
In large skillet, heat canola oil over medium high heat for about 1 minute. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in ground turkey, cook thoroughly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in taco seasoning and water as directed on packet. Stir in frozen corn and lentils. Simmer until sauce reduces and corn is warm, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before stuffing puff pastry. Follow directions for Halloween Puff Pastry Intestines by Fabulessly Frugal. Once baked, remove from tray and splatter with taco sauce to look like blood. Serve warm.

Old, Green Deviled Eggs

Eggs are a great budget item at the grocery store. 1 dozen at our local Aldi costs $.89 and yields 24 deviled eggs. The recipe for deviled eggs uses items already in the pantry. This is a great, budget friendly appetizer. Despite their wallet-friendly ways, The deviled eggs were the most intricate recipe we made. They involved several steps, with wait times. The day before our party we hard boiled the eggs and let them cool. That night we dyed them, to give the eggs a shattered, old look, by breaking the shells and placing them in a mix of black food coloring. The day of the party we peeled them and made them into traditional deviled eggs.
  • 1 dozen Eggs, Hard Boiled
  • 1/2 cup Low Fat Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp White Vinegar for Deviled Eggs + 1 tbsp for Dying
  • 2 tsp Yellow Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste, More Pepper for Garnish
  • Food Coloring
Find the recipe for Lady's Finger Pizza here.
I opted to use a pre-made pizza and cut it into strips BEFORE baking.
This sped up the plating process once everything was cooked.
Hard boil 1 dozen eggs ahead of time. I followed the recipe from Food Network for timing. Let the eggs cool in an ice bath. Once cool, break shells in several places against hard surface. Mix 1 cup boiling water, 1 tbsp white vinegar and 6 drops each red, yellow, and blue food coloring. Let eggs sit in colored water mixture for 5+ minutes, the longer the better. Let eggs dry fully. Peel shells. Cut eggs in half, scoop out the yolks and set whites aside. Mash the yolks and mix in vinegar, mayo and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in several drops of yellow and green food coloring until a muddy green color is achieved. Pipe back into egg whites. Crack pepper over tops and serve chilled.

Fireball Spiced Apple Cider with Shrunken Heads

Apple cider tends to run on sale during this time of year and is a great seasonal drink. A gallon runs about $4 and the fresh taste just can't be beat. We were lucky enough to have some Fireball around the house, leftover from a past party. Apple cider pairs well with many different flavored alcohol. Caramel and cinnamon vodkas have been popular and are easy to find on a budget.

  • 1 gallon Fresh Apple Cider
  • Fireball whiskey
  • 8 Granny Smith Shrunken Heads

Follow the recipe for making Shrunken Heads by All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. Be sure to leave enough time to dehydrate your apples - this takes about 2 hours! I got up early on party day and did this so that my oven was clear in the afternoon for our appetizers. About 1 hour before party time, pour apple cider into crock pot and turn onto low heat. Drop in shrunken heads. Serve warm with 1 shot of Fireball.

Murderously Good Bloody Red Velvet Cake

Inspiration: Bloody Good Cheesecake

  • 1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 12 oz Low Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks Butter
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1/4 cup Corn Syrup
  • Food Coloring
Prepare red velvet cake as directed on box in 2-8" pans or 2-9" pans. Let cool completely, overnight is ideal. To prepare frosting, cream together cream cheese and butter until blended together fully with electric mixer, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tbsp milk. Mix until fully incorporated on low setting. Continue adding remaining 5 cups of confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time. If frosting is too thick, add more milk. Using a serrated knife, level off the tops of the cakes and assemble and frost. In a small bowl, combine corn syrup with 12 drops of red food coloring and one small drop of blue. Stir until coloring is incorporated fully. Pour over top of cake. Stab cake with knife as decoration.

The whole Benjamin family got into the Troll mood with our
homemade costumes this Halloween! Need a last minute costume for yourself?
Check out my Halloween Haunted House Party - DIY Troll Costumes post!

Halloween Pinspiration

Overall, Pinterest was a great source of inspiration. I was able to find a lot of great recipes and twist them to suit my needs and what was already in my pantry. For more inspiration and the original recipes, check out my Halloween Pinterest board. Happy Haunting!

Troll Booger Popcorn will leave your guests
grossed out. Make a bath of regular popcorn.
Melt butter to pour over the top. Add 6+ drops
green food coloring to melted butter and
stir into popcorn. Inspired by Zombie Booger Kettle Corn.
Serve powdered sugar "spire eggs" to your guests.
Store bought donut holes make a simple
dessert, no baking necessary.