Guests will certainly work up an appetite while they create clever jack-o-lanterns at your pumpkin carving party, so offer a delicious menu of all-American food that’s sure to please even the toughest crowd. Serve chips shaped like bats, ghosts, and pumpkins with store-bought green salsa and a homemade nacho cheese dip that's hot and bubbling. Set out bowls of spiced mixed nuts and purchased marinated olives. Round out the menu with mini hot dogs wrapped in a puff pastry crust. For these tasty recipes,
Plain or butter-flavored vegetable-oil cooking spray
24 assorted large flour tortillas, such as plain, whole wheat, and sun-dried tomato
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Using a few Halloween inspired cookie cutters, cut shapes from tortillas. Arrange as many shapes as can fit in a single layer on oiled sheet.
- Coat tortillas with cooking spray, and season with salt.
- Bake until slightly darkened and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining tortilla shapes, using a clean, cooled baking sheet.
1 can refried beans
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup coarsely chopped jalapenos
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced scallions
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread beans over bottom of baking dish. Spread softened cream cheese on top.
- Layer tomatoes, jalapenos, red onion and cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
- Top with scallions and serve with chips.
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups unsalted mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
- Mix spices and reserve.
- Heat the nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 4 minutes.
- Add the butter and cook, stirring, until the nuts begin to darken, about 1 minute. Add the spices, the sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and the salt, and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed, about 5 minutes.
Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating them with a fork. Let the nuts stand until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 4 cups.
Mini Hot Dogs
From Instyle magazine
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup grainy Dijon mustard
1 (12-13 oz) package your favorite cocktail sausages
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Unfold pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Cut each into 6 rectangles, than each of these into four long triangles (there may be dough leftover).
- Spoon a small amount of mustard onto wide end of pastry and top with sausage; roll, pressing gently to seal. Place rolls 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Makes 13 hot dogs.