Here’s a little known fact about me: I hate trick or treating.
I’m not morally opposed. I’m not concerned about health risks (well, aside from the bucket full of gluten-filled candy my girls can’t eat). I’m just not the least bit interested in trekking up & down the street in the cold to collect candy I could have bought myself.
We used to do the grand family tour—our families loved seeing the girls in costume. When the timing worked out, we even drove to my parents’ house for a weekend to trick or treat family in my hometown. As our family grew, and our food allergies were discovered, the process became more & more complicated.
Several years ago, we ended up home the actual night of Halloween—my girls loved answer the door, greeting our visitors & handing out candy. We ordered pizza, in our pre-gluten free days, and made a fun night of it.The next year, we hosted a Halloween open house, for family & friends to visit us for treats & fun rather than schlepping house to house.
I want to stay home so badly that I created an entire set of traditions around it, including Halloween themed recipes, just to convince the girls it is fun! I make a ghostly dinner, they watch for the firemen to drive down our street passing out candy and take turns answering the door. I’m still working on this year’s menu, but they have a few favorites:
- Mummy Dogs: These are like pigs in a blanket, but the sausage is wrapped in a breadstick like a mummy, rather than a crescent roll.
- Peanut Butter Spiders: Round crackers, filled with peanut butter, and dotted with raisin eyes. Don’t forget the pretzel stick legs!
- Bloody Brains: Um, it’s just meatballs. I serve my aunt’s recipe for dinner fairly regularly, but give it a gross name on Halloween and suddenly it’s the greatest dinner they’ve ever eaten.
- Zombie Hand Veggie Dip: Slice off the tip of 5 carrot sticks at an angle. Attach a sliced almond with your favorite dip as fingernails. Then, arrange the 5 fingers so they come out of the bowl of dip. Eerie, but healthy!
- Ghost or Frankenstein’s Monster Pudding Cups: The first year I did these, I found tiny green plastic cups. Fill 3/4 with pudding, top with mini chocolate chips for hair and draw a face & bolts onto the cup with a Sharpie. I haven’t found the green for awhile, so I’ve had to make ghosts. Still yummy, and a big hit with kids!
- Strawberry Ghosts: Dip strawberries in white chocolate, then place stem side down on wax paper. Add mini-chocolate chip eyes to complete the look.