Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Decorating #2 Food!

One of my favorite parts about Halloween is probably something that everyone can appreciate and relate to!  The food! Maybe it's just me, or the Italian in me that gets me excited about this subject or maybe it's the designer in me that loves the idea of a festive spread of orange and black food on the table waiting for your guests. Whatever the case, Halloween is a great excuse to be a little edgy with your food and maybe even a little disgusting!  This is probably the only Holiday where one can celebrate with a plate of "Eyeballs" and actually have excited guests anxiously waiting to try them!

Whether you are expecting to have an adult Halloween party this year, a birthday party for your kids, or just a night in with the family, I have something for everyone in this post!
One of my favorite Halloween/Fall ideas that I recently saw was leaf tortillas.  This is such a colorful and fun way to turn an ordinary chips and salsa dish into something your guests will be talking about all night long!

Here is what you will need:
Leaf-shaped cookie cutter
2 or 3 flour 8-inch tortillas (each one will yield 3 leaves)
Cookie sheet
Pastry brush
Olive oil or Olive oil spray

  1. Preheat your oven to around 400 degrees. 
  2. Cut out the leaf shapes using your cookie cutter.  It's sometimes easier to layer the tortillias on top of eachother (5-6) and cut all together. 
  3. Set the "leaves" on a cookie sheet and dust with a layer of olive oil.  You can use the olive oil spray or real olive oil with a pasty brush.
  4. Bake the leaves until the edges just begin to brown (about 4 minutes). Then remove them from the oven and sprinkle on salt. Serve the leaves with salsa or another favorite dip, or enjoy them plain
Another food that is sure to be a hit is the traditional cupcake (with of course a Halloween touch). With this particular item, the sky is the limit!  You bake any flavor cupcake your little heart desires and then decorate it however you want!

There is a great blog at http://howtoeatacupcake.net/ (photo above) that has some great ideas for any kind of cupcake, or pastry you can imagine.  This photo is pretty self explainatory and a great example of what you can do on your cupcakes.
Since there is a variety of designs, I will show you how to make my favorite cupcake, the spider web cupcake.

Here is what you will need:
White icing (or any color but black)
Black icing/gel in a small tube
Plastic Spider (you can purchase these just about anywhere)


1. Let your cupcakes cool all the way and then add your base icing
2. After your base icing is applied, create 3 rings (like a target) with your black icing/gel around the top of your cupcake.
3. Take your toothpick, starting from the inside ring and gently pull the black icing downward to the outer ring.  Repeat around the whole cupcake!
4. Add your spider and put on a festive plate and you are done! 

    photo from McCormick blog

I could seriously go on and on but will narrow it down to one more item today!  Speaking of serious...this is a desert that I don't take lightly.  One of my favorites and probably soon to be one of yours as well...Gelato! 

Gelato, or the plural Gelati, is the Italian regional variant of ice cream. As such, gelato is made with similar ingredients as most ice-creams around the world, with milk (and cream), sugar (and other sweeteners), flavorings (fruits, nuts, essences, etc.) and air as the main ingredients. It's smooth, buttery texture is not only sure to please your taste buds, but also your tummy!

Because this is one of my favorites, I was of course ecstatic to find a recipe for Pumpkin Gelato on RecipeZarr.com.  Click here for the recipe link (try not to look at the nutrition content on the left hand side!!).

After you have made your Gelato, there are some fun ways to showcase your newly made masterpiece!  One of my favorite ways to do this is to serve the Gelato in a small pumpkin.  All you will have to do is cut the top off the pumpkin, scoop or carve out all insides and add Gelato!

There are so many options out there for even the picky eater.  I challenge everyone to try something new this year and maybe you will start your own Halloween tradition!!!

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