If you happen to be in Louisville and are planning a Halloween party, I highly encourage you to stop by our darling Wild and Woolly. I went in there the day of my party, consulted with one of the employees on some good horror films that had a decent Halloween party soundtrack and an uncomplicated plot, and I came home with an armful of incredible movies. I was recommended Carnival of Souls (a Criterion Collection choice that had a spooky organ soundtrack), The Blob, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Night of the Living Dead. I couldn't have asked for anything better...I really love this city, and places like Wild and Woolly make it beyond awesome to live here.
Allow me to show you our menu! I'll give you a couple recipes today and we'll continue on for a couple days this week. If you're throwing a Halloween party, I highly recommend these recipes...they were very fun, not too labor-intensive, and of course Halloween-themed!
Savory: Ghostly Bruschetta, Mummy Dogs, Hot as Hades Chips and Salsa, Witch's Concoction Dip and Crudités, Sausage Balls, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Deviled Eggs.
Sweet: Jack's Sinfully Sweet Sandwiches (Whoopie Pies), Slasher Cupcakes, Chocolate-covered Apricots, Edible Arachnids
Drinks: Glühwein and Philadelphia Fish House Punch
Today I think I'll share the Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Chocolate-dipped Apricots, and Mummy Dogs. Here we go:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chili powder (I use Chimayo chili)
Roasting pumpkin seeds is a yearly ritual during Halloween. Not to mention that eating pumpkin seeds is really healthy for you, providing quite a dose of fiber and other essential minerals that I won't bore you with--just know that they are fun to eat and not bad for your health either! You may have seen dark green pumpkin seeds for sale in the store, and these are the seeds without the hull. However, the hull, or shell of the pumpkin seed is actually edible, and that's how I eat them because I don't want to go peeling all of those already slippery suckers after I just mutilated a pumpkin to harvest them! Oh, by the way, I did a Día de los Muertos pumpkin this year :) check him out!
Try to get as much of the pulp off of the seeds as possible. It would behoove you to rinse them off as well--a step which I skipped and I was okay with. Then you make a spice mixture to taste with about 2T of olive oil. Toss the seeds in them to coat and put them in a 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes. You can toast them as golden as you want...I like mine well done, but 15 minutes is probably the least time you want to dedicate to it. Allow them to cool, and DIG IN! I would say that these pumpkin seeds are the ideal reward after creating your jack o'lantern--then just light him up and munch away.
Dried apricots (as many as you want to serve)
3 Chocolate candy bars (Cadbury Royal Dark is my favorite)
Special equipment: Parchment paper and a wire rack
This is a piece of pie, but so elegant and delicious at the same time! Added bonus: the make up the Halloween colors! A gorgeous addition to any Halloween party table, and I daresay more classy than a bowl full of that fun-sized noise... I digress.
You don't need to buy fancy melting chocolate to dip your favorite food in, just use your favorite chocolate bar (I recommend using dark chocolate because milk chocolate probably won't set as well). I set up a double boiler with about an inch of water in the bottom pot. Bring it to a rolling boil, set your other pot on top with the chocolate inside. You should break the chocolate into squares to ensure even melting. At this point you can take turn the heat of or turn it to low, depending on how much steam is escaping. This method keeps the chocolate from burning and gives the chocolate all the time it needs to evenly melt. Don't stir too often because you will be punished with bubbles :( but you shouldn't be afraid to check on it and give it a few stirs to even it out. When the chocolate has melted, you are all set to dip your dried apricots in them, as far as you want to (I did mine about half way, or to the point where my finger was), and let them cool on a wire rack with parchment paper under it to catch the drips. If you want them to set and be shiny you can put them in the fridge for about a half hour.
I served this in a clear bowl to accentuate the orange and dark brown as Halloween colors. It rounded out the dessert table nicely.
This recipe is not my typical choice for party food, but it is so adorable, I had to jump all over it! I halved the hot dogs both vertically and horizontally to have more little mummies, but you can just cut the hot dogs in two if you want something more substantial. It's finger food, so I figured I would make it go as far as I could.
The idea is this: Cut off strips of the breadstick dough. I took both ends and did a little jumprope motion to twist it up and lengthen it, then I wrapped it around the hot dog, leaving a little spot where the eyes would go, and mummifying it. It's like a Halloween version of pigs in a blanket. You put them in a 350º oven for about 20 minutes or until they get as golden as you want them, and then you can choose to dab some mustard eyes on them or leave them eyeless, which I guess was my approach. Everyone loved them, and they were a great fit for the theme.
We will continue with this menu throughout the week so keep on the lookout!
As for the great news... Louisville Lady Gourmet is going to be writing a couple of columns for the Insider Louisville publication! I am so excited!!!!! I will keep you posted for my first published articles! I can't believe this is happening--I get to write about my favorite city, its food culture, and what's going on in my kitchen. There couldn't be anything better!
I hope you enjoy today's Halloween treats!