Friday, October 14, 2011

A Spooktacular Halloween Dining Experience!

Entertaining is so much fun, and even MORE fun when there is a pre-set theme to work within! I’ve been researching my Halloween Dinner, and I believe I’ve come up with the perfect menu!
  1. A Pumpkin Soup Appetizer
  2. Jack-O-Lantern Bell Peppers
  3. Spider Web Bread 
  4. Pumpkin Bars dessert.

The table decor will be fun, also! I’ll be sure to post a photo! Here is the entire menu, with recipes written out for you. What other additions would you make? Any comments?

Savory Pumpkin Soup
I found a recipe that I’m altering just a bit to suit my tastes.  Hollow out 4 small pumpkins, saving the seeds and discarding the membrane. Bake the pumpkins in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until softened.
I will use 1 can of pumpkin as the base, add 1 can of vegetable broth, 1/2 cup of fat free creamer and bring this to a slow simmer. Add 1 tsp of curry powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, a dash of cayenne pepper, a little cinnamon and some nutmeg. Let this cook down for about 30 minutes. Ladle into the pumpkin bowls and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Main Dish
 Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Bell Peppers from


  • 6 bell peppers, any color
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.
  2. Lightly mix together the ground beef, egg, bread cubes, onion, tomato, garlic, chili sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Wash the peppers, and cut jack-o’-lantern faces into the peppers with a sharp paring knife, making triangle eyes and noses, and pointy-teeth smiles. Slice off the tops of the peppers, and scoop out the seeds and cores. Stuff the peppers lightly with the beef stuffing, and place them into the prepared baking dish so they lean against each other.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the peppers are tender and the stuffing is cooked through and juicy, about 1 hour.
I will more than likely do some deletions/additions to the stuffing, but I love the idea of making the bell peppers look like Jack-O-Lanterns! So fun!
Spiderweb Bread
I found a very easy recipe on the Pillsbury site for “Spider Web Bread” using a can of Pillsbury breadsticks, cutting them into pieces, rolling them into smaller sections to make individual spider webs. This will be visually fun! I plan to craft a “spider” from a dollop of butter. These will go beside each plate.

Paula Dean's Pumpkin Bars from  

Ingredients - Bars
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
 Ingredients - Icing
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.


If you are like me, when you entertain, you will search for specific recipes that can be made up ahead of time and prepared in advance. This way, serving is a breeze and presentation is easy! I hope that YOUR Halloween Dinner is a smash hit! I can’t wait to post photos of this one!

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