Halloween Ideas as seen on WCIU

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Halloween is not just for kids, it falls on a Saturday this year so why not throw a party! Food needn’t be scary but rather festive and sophisticated. And remember the devil is in the details!

RECIPES

Black Magic Cocktail
1/4 cup ice
1/2 cup orange juice/strawberry, mango or sparkling blood orange juice
1 1/2 ounces black vodka (Blavod Vodka)
black licorice for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, add orange juice over ice. Shake well, and strain into a glass.
Using the back of a spoon, pour black vodka slowly into a glass so that the vodka sits atop the orange juice.

Savory Gruyere Pumpkin Puffs
All-purpose flour, for parchment
1 standard package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
paprika
1 egg beaten
2 Tbls. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously flour two pieces of parchment paper; on each, roll out an unfolded pastry sheet to form a 15-by-13-inch rectangle, about 1/16 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove pastry from the refrigerator, and brush off excess flour. Spread a rectangle of pastry with mustard; sprinkle with both cheeses. Season with pepper. Lay a second pastry rectangle on top.
Place a sheet of parchment on top of the stacked pastry; using a rolling pin, roll until smooth and pastry layers are sealed together. Remove parchment, and brush top of pastry with butter mixture. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
With a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, cut into 18 to 24 shapes. Immediately place the shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a sharp paring knife, score each shape four or five times to make pumpkin ridges. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with paprika. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stuffed Mushroom Eyes
1/2 lb. Italian sausage spicy; cooked and drained
1/4 diced onion (cook with sausage)
1 tsp, dried Italian herbs
6 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dried
Green olives with pimentos
about 24 mushrooms, take stem out and with a pairing knife trim a bit off the bottom so they sit flat; slightly on an angle so they are looking at you. Fill mushrooms and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Top with slice of green olive; set on plate in pairs.

Faux Mini Taffy Apples
1 4oz. bar white chocolate
Bunch of red grapes
Halloween sprinkles
Decorative toothpicks

Melt chocolate in a double boiler (simmer water in a small pot and place stainless bowl over the pot), do not have too high or it will seize. Dip grapes in ¾’s of the way, then dip in sprinkles, let set and skewer. Makes about 2 dozen.

Out of Your Gourd Chili
1¼ lb. ground beef
1/3 cup sweet onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 clove garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbls. chili powder
1 Tbls. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin
3 c. butternut squash; diced
1 can black beans
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 cups beef stock
⅓ cup cilantro
Chihuahua cheese
Sliced fresh jalapeños
Chipotle Sour Cream

Chipotle Sour Cream
1 container sour cream
1 tsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce or chipotle hot sauce
1 Tbls. fresh lime juice
Stir together sour cream, chipotle and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook beef until beef crumbles and is no longer pink, drain. Sauté onion and pepper in olive oil, add garlic at the end. Add chili powder and next 2 ingredients and cook 1 more minute. Stir in squash and next 5 ingredients.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with cheese, jalapeños and Chipotle Sour Cream.
*For the Chili Cookoff I sautéed jalepenos with onion and added chipotles right to the chili.

Chocolate Orange O’Lanterns-chocolate and orange are a delicious combination.
Easy Chocolate Mousse
4-6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
¼ tsp. pure vanilla
2 Tbls. Grand Marnier or Kahlua
1 cup heavy cream
6 oranges
Cut out oranges to make the face of a jack o’lantern, scoop out inside and set aside..

Melt chocolate in a double boiler (stainless bowl placed over a pot of simmering water), remove from heat and set aside.
Beat whipping cream with hand mixer until stiff peaks form, add vanilla and Kahlua.
Fold (with rubber spatula) chocolate into whipped cream. Spoon or pipe into prepared oranges.

Serves 6.

Sources: Staub Cast-Iron Pumpkin Cocotte and mini pumpkin ceramic coquettes available at: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-1748698/Staub+Burnt+Orange+Pumpkin+Cocotte

Orange picks used for chocolate grapes available at: http://www.pickonus.com
I attached a little washi tape on the pick.

DIY’s:
Plate (Pick Your Poison) –Used chalk board paint & gold liquid gilding, glued on spider
Michaels- washi tape, vials for drink, plastic mini hands, cardinals on a wire used as black crows
Food tags, cut off branches attached spray painted (black) cardinal, glued on food tag
Wrapping paper for runners from Paper Source
Scattered branches painted branches from my yard and sprinkled on craft glitter while still wet, had little cardinals from Michaels that I spray painted black and gold. Vase layered reindeer moss and garlic (to keep vampires away). Scattered (real) mini pumpkins and gourds that were spray painted gold.

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