Thursday, October 15, 2009

Frugal Halloween Meal

This year, with Halloween on a Saturday, Nick and I have decided to host a party before Trick or Treating for the kids and some of their friends. For the party, instead of a bunch of sugary treats, we are going to serve dinner type foods. When Halloween falls during the week, I always feel so rushed- pick the kids up, get them home, make sure they are fed, get them into costume, get makeup done for them, and get them out the door again. Rush! Rush! Rush!

The appeal of a weekend Halloween is that I don't have to Rush! Rush! Rush! to get the kids from one place to another. We can take our time, eat, get ready, and head out later in the day.

Our menu for the party is going to revolve around kid favorites- pizza and bread sticks. My first idea was to make individual pizzas out of English muffins. However, I just stumbled onto a recipe that looks great, and festive for the spooky holiday- a Pizza Snake! As I have yet to try this, the recipe is from the website, Divine Dinner Parties.

Pizza SnakeThis is one of those Halloween recipe ideas that's fun to have the kids help with. If you're making this for the first time, I'd suggest buying an extra can of crescent rolls to have on hand in case you need to patch your dough in places. Any openings in the snake will split and leak during cooking.

Serves 10-12 as an appetizer. (I think I'll make up 2-3 of these, as it'll be used more as a dinner food!)

2 (8 oz.) cans crescent rolls
flour, for dusting
1/2 C. prepared pizza sauce
10 oz. thinly sliced pepperoni
10 oz. thinly sliced ham, chopped
10 oz. Italian sausage, cooked, crumbled, and drained
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 C. fine, freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Liquid food coloring, your choice of colors
4 egg yolks, divided
2 peppercorns
2 pimento-stuffed green olives
1 roasted red pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. On a lightly floured surface, spread out your two batches of crescent dough end-to-end lenghtwise. Be careful not to let the sections separate.
3. Pinch all the seams together until you get one block of dough.
4. With a flour-brushed rolling pin, roll your crescent dough into a large, long rectangle. Don't roll it too thin, or it will split.
5. Spoon pizza sauce on top of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough on all four edges.
6. Sprinkle meats on top of sauce, followed by any other optional toppings.
7. Sprinkle with cheeses.
8. Fold one side of the dough lenghtwise over the topping, up to the half-point of the rectangle.
9. Fold the other side over to meet it. Pinch and press the dough together on all sides to seal.
10. With a pastry brush, brush the beaten yolk of one egg onto the top of the dough.
11. Fold your filled dough in half lengthwise. The egg yolk should help it stick. A seam should be created lengthwise along the dough. Pinch this seam together to fully seal and make a sort of cylinder. Be sure all seams are well closed. Any open seams will open further during baking.
12. Gently manipulate ends into a snake shape-- one end should be tapered for a tail, and the other shaped for the head. Don't curve it into a snake yet. You'll do that right before baking.

Decorating Instructions:

1. Beat each of your remaining three egg yolks in a separate bowl.
2. Add the food coloring of your choice to each bowl to make three separate "paints."
3. With a pastry brush or a food-safe paintbrush, decorate your snake as desired.
4. Transfer painted snake to a foiled-lined, greased baking sheet.
5. Gently shape as desired, into an "S" or other snakey shape.
6. Stick two peppercorns into the front of the snout for nostrils.
7. Slice your roasted red pepper into a forked tongue. Insert into front of head.
8. Bake your snake about 20 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
9. Remove from oven. Attach olive "eyes" to the top of the head using toothpicks. Pimento centers should face forward.

To go with our Pizza Snake, we'll be serving "Hairy Witches Finger Bread Sticks"

I found this recipe online a year or two ago, and it works out great!


Tubed bread stick or pizza dough
Green food coloring
Shredded cheese (we use Mozzarella)
Almond slivers
Pizza Sauce (for dipping)


  1. Preheat the oven according to the package.
  2. While wearing plastic gloves, knead green food dye into the dough, until the dough is a witchy green color- not to bright!
  3. Form the dough into small thin bread sticks, creating a lumpy middle for the knuckles.
  4. Insert an Almond sliver into one end as a finger nail
  5. Bake for half the time the package states, then remove. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and continue baking. You want the cheese melted enough to stay on top, but to retain it's shape and look like hair. You can also sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for some added flavor, before adding the shredded cheese.
  6. Serve on a platter with "blood" (Pizza sauce) as an appetizer!
I was able to luck out a few weeks ago, and found a large glass punch bowl, complete with 12 tiny glasses, for only $.79 at my local Goodwill! I'm excited to use it for the party! We are going to just make green punch, and float frozen creepy crawlies in it.

Green Punch

Green Hawaiian Punch
Squirt (or a generic Grapefruit Soda)
Ice cubes with plastic spiders in them- you can also add gummy worms, plastic bugs, and anything else creepy crawly. Just make sure the plastic is clean, and there is no glitter that can come off in the punch as the ice melts!

Mix the punch & soda, and add the spider ice cubes to the punch before serving!

No comments: