If you’re anything like me, Halloween has a tendency of sneaking up on you like Freddie Kruegar in a nightmare. One minute, you’re installing your air conditioner in May and all of the sudden —BOOM— there are trick-or-treaters at your door. I have no idea how this keeps happening to me (early-onset dementia, perhaps?), but when October 31st rolls around, I often find myself sans-costume and sans-plans. So—if Halloween (two days away, you guys!) has snuck up on you this year, but you still want to get a little festive—don’t worry, y’all! Design*Sponge gotchu covered.
Using a few simple (but insanely delicious) comfort food recipes from Annette Joseph’s new book, Picture Perfect Parties, we assembled a pretty darn impressive last-minute Halloween party with just a few household supplies. With “no-carve” pumpkins decorated with black Sharpie markers and spider-web “doilies” made from cut bits of newspaper, these are decorations and treats that can be whipped up in a day—great for a quick, festive dinner party while greeting those trick-or-treaters. Continue after the jump for all of the recipes and our quick-n-easy decoration ideas! Happy Halloween! —Max
Giveaway: Annette Joseph and the wonderful people at Rizolli have allowed us to give away 3 copies of Picture Perfect Parties! To enter to win your own copy, tell us one of your favorite Halloween decorations in the comments section below! We’ll choose our favorites! Last date for entries: 11/5/13.
Above image: Brie, Bacon, and Apricot Grilled Cheese sandwiches, from pg. 187 of Picture Perfect Parties.
Above image: White Bean Chili from pg. 188.
Above image: Devil’s Food Cupcakes from pg. 190.
Above image: We created a flower “vase” by wrapping a tin can in newspaper and drawing vertical lines on it with a black marker.
Above image: we whipped up three decorative “no carve” pumpkins by drawing designs directly onto pumpkins with black Sharpies. Spider web “doilies” were created by cutting irregular circles out of newspaper and drawing webs on them with black marker.
Above image: A fringed table skirt was made by cutting strips into a folded newspaper page and coloring in every other strip with black marker. Simply attach the “skirt” to your table edge with double-stick tape.
GRILLED CHEESE WITH BRIE, CRISPY BACON, AND APRICOT JAM
- 1 loaf challah bread
- 6 pieces bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 12 oz. wheel brie cheese
- 6 tablespoons apricot jam, 1 tablespoon per sandwich
- 6 tablespoons butter softened 1 tablespoon per sandwich
Cook bacon until crisp in the oven at 400 degrees F, drain set aside.
Slice challah into 12 slices. Assemble the sandwiches. Place crumbled bacon , thin slice of brie, and apricot jam on the bread, place another slice of bread on top forming a sandwich. Butter the top and repeat until you have made 6 sandwiches.
In a heated sauté pan place sandwiches butter side down, butter the top half. Cook until golden brown, flip and cook the other side. Continue until all the sandwiches are done. Let set for 1 minute and cut bsgb sandwiches into quarters.
Serve at room temperature
WHITE BEAN CHILI
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups canned cannellini white beans
- 2 cups canned pinto beans
- 2 tablespoons dried coriander
On the Side
- Tortilla chips
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Sour cream
In a stockpot, sauté sirloin and turkey, with a slotted spoon remove cooked meat and set aside. Pour out any excess oil.
Place olive oil and onions, garlic into the stockpot, heat on medium and cook until translucent. Add cooked meat, chili powder, salt, pepper and cinnamon and stock, simmer for 1 hour, add beans and coriander Cook for 3 hours.
Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and sliced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro tortilla chips.
DEVIL’S FOOD CUPCAKES
Makes 36 cupcakes
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup high quality cocoa powder
- 3 sticks butter softened (1 ½ cups)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Frosting Ingredients
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 7 tablespoons high quality cocoa
- 1 stick of butter softened
- 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
In the microwave, place water, then place cocoa powder in hot water, set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle blade place butter and sugar combine until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla and oil and sour cream add cocoa mixture, beat on medium speed until combined.
In a bowl mix flour and baking soda and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture on slow speed until combined, and add chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into muffin tins, lined with cupcake liners fill liner until ¾ full. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until a pick is inserted and comes out clean cool and then frost.
Sift sugar and cocoa together in a bowl set aside
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle , cream butter, add sugar cocoa mixture slowly to the butter alternately with the evaporated milk, until fluffy.