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Saturday, October 2

Halloween - Gross, Yet Yummy Party Foods!!

Aiight, everyone...the holiday season is beginning!!  Of course, what comes first?  Halloween!!  Now, you ALL have seen some of those cookie-cutter cakes and stuff you can buy pre-made for your ghoulish evening, but why?  Today, I'm going to give you 4 recipes sure to make your friends squeal with squeamishness, even while they scarf the food down!! 

What's going to make this page so much fun is I will post a pic of each treat so you can see just what these really look like!!  The recipes are called Slimy Gelatin Worms, Panna Cotta Brain MouldKitty Litter Cake, and Sticky Black Bat Wings.  I promise you folks...you'll get rave reviews of these recipes, and no one will forget your Halloween party for quite some time!!  I guarantee it!!

SLIMY GELATIN WORMS

1 pkg. (6 oz) purple gelatin (raspberry or grape work well)
3/4 oz. unflavored gelatin
3 C. boiling water
3/4 C. whipping cream
green food coloring, as needed
100 plastic straws

 
Note: For this recipe, it's important to use a tall, slim container to hold the straws, such as a 1 liter orange juice or milk carton (be sure to use something with a 4 cup capacity). The straws should fit tightly together. If you use too large a container, the gelatin will run right back out before it sets. Also, be sure to buy the straws with the flexible neck, as they give the worms the most realistic "earthworm" appearance. Recipe makes about 100 long worms.
 
1. In a medium, heat safe mixing bowl, stir together plain and flavored gelatin powders.
2. Pour boiling water over, stirring until gelatin is fully dissolved.
3. Allow gelatin to cool til only slightly warm.
4. Stir whipping cream into the gelatin mixture. Stir in green food coloring (you'll probably need 10 drops or more) until your gelatin gets that purpley-brown-grey color of earthworms.
5. With your 100 straws fully extended and snug in your chosen container, pour the gelatin mixture over the straws, filling the container.
6. Cover container and chill at least 8 hours. You can make them and store them this way up to two days in advance of your Halloween party.
7. Remove straws from their container (cutting or ripping a disposable container away is easiest).
8. With hot tap water running, place batches of 4-5 straws under hot running water for a couple quick seconds.
9. Remove "worms" from their straw casings, pressing with fingers. Set on waxed paper to set up.
10. Repeat until all worms are removed.
12. Chill, covered, on waxed paper at least 2 hours.
13. Serve in a chilled bowl, as pictured. Then watch all the kids gobble up this fun Halloween party food.

PANNA COTTA BRAIN MOULD

Now, if you've never tried Italian panna cotta, you're missing out. Sort of like an ultra-creamy Italian version flan, it's a heck of a lot better than any gelatin brain recipe you've tried in the past, I promise. This recipe is based on one by Alton Brown (but with some changes to make it easier), and is good for a 6-cup capacity gelatin brain mold. The whiskey is optional, but there's not much of it so I wouldn't suggest leaving it out-- it tastes wonderful in this. But if you really want to make this Halloween party food kid-friendly, it's also good whiskey-free.

3 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk, divided
4 (1/4 oz.) pkgs. unflavored powdered gelatin
1 1/2 C. whipping cream
1 C. sugar
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 oz. whiskey
Black paste food coloring, as needed

For Cranberry "Gore" Glaze:
8 oz. cranberry juice
2 tbsp. cornstarch

 

1. In a medium heat-safe mixing bowl, stir together 4 envelopes of gelatin and one can of evaporated milk. (This mixture needs to sit at least five minutes.)
2. Pour remaining evaporated milk and whipping cream into a heavy sauce pan. Slowly bring to a boil.
3. Add sugar, salt, and whiskey to boiling milk mixture. Stir til dissolved.
4. Remove from heat and pour boiling milk mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the gelatin-evaporated milk mixture.
5. Stir in vanilla extract. Add a touch of black paste food coloring for a realistic "grey matter" color.
6. Following the manufacturer's directions for your gelatin brain mold, pour mixture into your brain mold and refrigerate overnight.
7. Top with cranberry "gore" glaze just before serving.
 
Cranberry Glaze:
1. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine cranberry juice and cornstarch.
2. Bring gently to a boil. Boil, stirring, until thickened.
3. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature. Stir with a wire wisk.
4. Spoon over set, unmolded brain.
5. Mixture will get slightly lumpy and strange-looking upon cooling-- this is just what you want and makes the final product look that much more gory.

KITTY LITTER CAKE
For many, the Kitty Litter Cake is a sort of Halloween party food classic. It tastes great, it looks gross, and just watching your guests try to decide whether or not they should try it is great for a laugh. It takes a little while to assemble, but this Halloween cake recipe is one of the best...and you'll be surprised at how good it tastes. It's also pretty flexible...you can use just about any cake mix you like. You know, I never thought I'd write the word "cat poop" so much in giving out a recipe. I guess there's a first time for everything.

1 pkg. (18 oz.) German chocolate or devil's good cake mix
1 pkg. (18 oz.) caramel cake mix
1 pkg. (6 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
1 pkg. (16 oz.) vanilla sandwich cookies
1 pkg. small-sized Tootsie rolls (as needed)
Green food coloring, as needed

To serve:
1 new medium sized litter box
1 new litter box scooper

 
1. Wash clean, new litter box and pooper scooper with soap and water and set aside to dry.
2. Prepare both cake mixes per directions on box, in separate pans. Let cool to room temperature.
3. Prepare pudding and refrigerate until needed.
4. In a food processor, crumble vanilla sandwich cookies, filling and all. You'll need to scrape the container often to keep them from sticking.
5. Remove 1/4 cup of your cookie crumbles and place them in a small bowl. To the 1/4 C. of cookies, add a few drops of green food coloring at a time, mixing with a fork. Set aside.
6. In a large mixing bowl, coarsely crumble the cooled, prepared cakes. Add about half of the uncolored cookie crumbs. Stir to mix.
7. Gently add pudding in several batches, until a moist mixture results. You will probably not use all of the pudding; you just need a moist mix, not a soggy one.
8. Scoop cake mixture out into a clean, dry litter box.
9. Create 7-8 tootsie roll "poops" and place them (burying some slightly) in the cake mixture. To make Tootsie Roll poops, cook several Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until nicely softened. Shape into small poops, curving slightly and pulling out blunt edges.
10. Cover "poops" and cake in almost all remaining uncolored cookie crumbs (save a tiny portion for the very end). Sprinkle green cookie crumbs on top.
11. Make several more, softer Tootsie Roll "cat poops" by microwaving Tootsie Rolls until almost melted. Scrape off onto cake. Placing one softened Tootsie Roll on the side of the box like a poorly aimed cat poop.
12. Sprinkle exposed "poops" lightly with a small amount of cookie crumbs.
13. Serve this Halloween cake recipe with the pooper scooper.

STICKY BLACK BAT WINGS 
With black food coloring added, these "bat" wings look really gross, but taste absolutely wonderful. Based on a recipe for 5-spice chicken wings, they're moist, crisp, and full of flavor. They're also baked instead of fried, making these tasty little Halloween finger foods healthier than you might think. If you make these as snacks for a Halloween party, be sure to make plenty-- they go fast.  Also, be sure to use food coloring paste instead of liquid to avoid a bitter aftertaste. Serves 10 as a Halloween party food, or 4-5 as a main meal.

4 lbs. chicken wings
Marinade/Sauce:
4 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. black bean sauce
2/3 C. ketchup
4 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
2 tbsp.sesame oil


Coloring: Black, blue, and green PASTE food coloring, as needed

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
2. Add black, blue, and green paste food coloring as needed to make a dark black sauce.
3. Place cleaned wings in a large ziplock bag. Pour marinade over.
4. Marinate wings 3-24 hours. Longer is tastier, of course.
5. Remove wings from fridge, line a large baking sheet with heavy-duty foil, and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
6. Remove "bat wings" from marinade and bake one hour, till cooked through. Baste occasionally with marinade. Finish under broiler for extra crispness, if desired.

Ok, folks, that's it for today!!  After seeing those pictures, you're probably thinking the same thing...haha!  But, these treats will really make for a memorable Halloween party!! ENJOY!!

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