Let’s grant that it’s a lot of fun on Halloween to pretend-scare yourself, family and closest friends, not to mention the littlest kids and the dog.
Let’s grant, too, that spooky music, bloody hands, dark corners with spider webs, and a chance to dress up in frightening ways can be cathartic and creative.
But sometimes it’s so been there, done that and hard to find the novel in the routine. So let’s change up Halloween. How about an Anti-Halloween? Just as much fun and even more creative for your party, lunch, block social, charity fundraiser, and etc.
Dress the toddlers as cherubs and puppies instead of little devils. Dress yourself as angel, hero, choir members or vampire slayers. Think Clarabelle the clown instead of evil-face clown; good witch, not nasty, Florence Nightingale, not Jack the Ripper. Change the E-e-e-k! décor to chic and cheeky themes with flowers, happy face signs on the wall, bright and festive candles, upbeat music, and garland lights where spider webs used to hang.
And, of course, choose a menu befitting the anti-Halloween agenda. The five simple recipes below should help spark your imagination and inspiration for a bit of a new and different Halloween.
Oranges, one for each guest
Small, sharp kitchen knife (or an Xacto knife)
Choice of filling: fruit salad, oatmeal, yogurt, chocolate mousse, trail mix, candies, cookies, etc.
Slice the tops off the oranges and set aside. Cut around the insides carefully to remove the orange segments. (Reserve for fruit salad, homemade orange juice, or smoothies.)
Cut out faces as you would for a pumpkin jack-o-lantern, fill and serve. If it fits your purpose, place cut off tops back on the filled lanterns.
11/2 C medium or short grain rice
2 C carrot juice
1 C water
1/2 tsp salt
Black olives for making smiley faces
Green bean tips for garnish, optional
Boil rice with carrot juice, water and salt for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool to room temperature. When cool, form balls of rice using two tablespoons per ball. If the rice is too sticky, wet your hands lightly before making the ball.
Make eyes and mouth from the olives and press into each rice ball. Use the bean tips as a “hat”, collar or other decoration. Should make about 10-12 smileys.
Recipe adapted from GeneralMills.com
1 C cool water, (approx. 72°F)
1 Angel Food Cake Mix, 16 oz pouch
Coconut, shredded 1 lb-10 oz size pkg, or about 8 Cs
Preheat oven to 350. Put water in a clean, grease-free mixing bowl. Add cake pouch ingredients. Mix using a whisk until well blended. In a blender, mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add coconut and fold in until just incorporated.
Use a small ice cream scoop type of spoon to place balls of the dough onto a paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 20-24 minutes, until the coconut lightly browns. Makes about 4 dozen light, airy cookies.
Tip: You can add chocolate or any flavored chips when folding in the coconut. Also, try adding lemon extract or almond flavoring to the water, and spices such as cinnamon when mixing in the coconut.
1 pkg. white chocolate for melting (use genuine chocolate)
wax or parchment paper
Melt white chocolate in a double boiler. Dip strawberries one at a time in melted chocolate, dragging out some of the chocolate on the bottom to make a ghost “tail”. Set on wax or parchment paper. Gently place candy eyes on the front of the strawberry ghost and add sprinkles to form a smile. Let harden on parchment or wax paper. Repeat until you get the quantity of strawberries desired.
Tip: You can make the ghosts out of bananas, also. Follow above recipe but cut a banana in half and use in place of a strawberry. Or make both kinds of happy ghosts!
2 pints almond milk ice cream
1½ C almond milk
½ C candy corn
½ C pumpkin (optional)
½ banana (optional)
Using a high-powered blender, blend all the ingredients for about 3 minutes until smooth. Top with sprinkles and serve. Makes 2 to 4 milkshakes.
By Jean Redstone