Finger Food (Zombie Halloween Party)

Finger Food

After five months of rehearsals, my concert came and went (successfully, whew!) but now there’s a huge vacuum in my brain where Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart previously took up residence.  Let’s just call it creative space.  The serious side of me was also in desperate need of fun.

Enter Catherine Hackman.

“Would you like to contribute a recipe to my Zombie Halloween Party?”

Of course!  It sounded quirky and amusing, plus I enjoy her stories tremendously.  (You can read her latest short story here.)

The last time I did anything Halloween-like was a few years back when we were invited to a party at a friend’s house.  My hubby preferred not to go.  When I showed up at the door all by my lonesome, the hostess inquired, “Where is he?”

I gestured to my side and replied, “Right here.  He’s The Invisible Man.”

In the spirit of fun, I’m bringing a few “no brainer” appetizers to Catherine’s party — food fit for zombies — or for folks who recently worked their fingers to the bone.

Finger Food

Bony Fingers (String Cheese Appetizers)

(Recipe credit:  Spoonful)

Mozzarella string cheese sticks

1 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened

1 yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded

Cut string cheese sticks in half.  With a paring knife, shape each stick to resemble fingers.  Cut an indentation for the fingernails and carve “knuckle wrinkles.”

Spread a small amount of cream cheese in each indent.

Cut fingernail shapes out of the bell pepper; affix a “nail” to each fingertip.  Chill, covered, until ready to serve.

These are yummy all by their lonesome, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try dunking them in Blood Curdling Scream Dip.

Blood Curdling Scream Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Pesto)

(Recipe credit goes to my Mom, who cut it out of a magazine and sent it to me.  Holler if it’s yours and I’ll give credit where it’s due.)

1 c. roasted red peppers (I used jarred ones due to my zombie-like state)

1/4 c. walnuts

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (see note)

Drain peppers.  Place ingredients in a blender or food processor; pulse to desired consistency.

Note:  The original recipe didn’t call for cayenne, but in my opinion it’s a scream-worthy addition.

Chill, covered, until ready to serve.

For a spooky presentation, serve “fingers” and dip on a blood red plate… or in a ghoulish light.

As for the lil’ zombies lurking about, the credit goes to my Sis.  Her skill with a needle and thread rivals Dr. Frankenstein.  (Thanks, Sis!)  She credits her inspiration to Zombie Felties.

Zombie Halloween Party

For additional party ideas, please visit Catherine’s Zombie Halloween Party post… and while you’re there, be sure to haunt her latest short story.  It’s a thriller!

Catherine has a gift for connecting with teens and young adults through her writing.  She also throws a great Halloween party!  I guarantee the serious side of you will smile.

Enjoying creative space,

~ Kimby

Orange & Chocolate Treats for Halloween

With Halloween-related recipes making the rounds, I figured it was time to celebrate two of my favorite colors and flavors… chocolate and orange.  (Chocolate qualifies as a color and flavor, yes?)  First up, orange…

I grew up (or came of age) in an era when dessert drinks were popular.  The Brandy Alexander.  The Grasshopper.  Basically anything booze with ice cream!

It seems incredible now that we often ordered them after a substantial dinner.  Of course, there were “lighter” dessert drinks, too — The Pink Squirrel and The Golden Cadillac, to name a few.  (Booze and half & half… not quite as “dessert-y” to me, though.)

Clearly a compromise is needed to solve this dessert drink dilemma! ;)

Recently, I found myself with a leftover shot of Jose Cuervo.  (Bear in mind, I started with one of those teeny, tiny bottles — not the whole shebang.)  Anyhow…

What does one do with an ounce of pure Gold?

The first thing that came to mind was a Tequila Sunrise — or an orange-flavored Margarita.  (The contents of my fridge voted for the latter option.)  So, I spent the better part of a lazy Sunday afternoon messing around with a simple syrup infused with orange peel.

Ta da… The Orange-arita!

I took a sip… hmmm… close, but not quite.  (It was really sweet and I was out of limes or I would’ve rendered some sourness promptly!)

It needed… something.

Hmmm again.  (Opens fridge.)  Aha!

Heavy cream… the perfect compromise between ice cream and half & half.  (I love “aha” moments!)  After a gentle stir and a tentative sip, I deemed it creamy… dreamy… and much better than the traditional (vodka) versions I’ve tasted, in my opinion.

No trick — it was a treat!

The Tequila Dreamsicle

1 oz. Jose Cuervo Gold (or to taste…)

1 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 oz. orange-infused simple syrup (recipe to follow)

1 1/2 oz. heavy cream

1 orange peel twist, for garnish

In a shaker over ice, combine Cuervo Gold, simple syrup, and orange juice; shake until combined.

Strain mixture into a chilled Margarita glass.

Stir in heavy cream until smooth.  Enjoy!

Orange Infused Simple Syrup

1/4 c. water

1/4 c. sugar

Orange peel (including pith) from 1/2 an orange

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; add orange peel.

Simmer several minutes until orange essence is infused.

Remove from heat; cool mixture to room temp.

Remove orange peel before adding syrup to shaker.

Note:  These quantities make one drink.  Feel free to multiply. ;)

And now for the chocolate… actually, chocolate and orange!

Trick or Treat!!!

Wish I could take credit for this delectable dessert, but it’s a photo of the beautiful chocolate-orange cake that my son surprised me with when I was in the middle of care-taking in August.

Thoughtful young man that he is, he invited me to a “night off” from cooking, including picking out a dessert from a local bakery that he knew would tickle my fancy.  (It did!)  He also treated me to his signature burgers hot off the grill (a recipe I hope to share with you one day) and garden-fresh potatoes sauteed to golden goodness.

I love thoughtful treats, don’t you? xo

Wishing you a Happy Halloween.  Be safe and have fun!

Enjoying a lil’ dreaminess in moderation,

~ Kim