Dead Man Over Worms

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mike and I first saw this recipe while watching a Halloween special on The Food Network. What impressed me most about the dish was its uniqueness; it wasn't like many of the Halloween recipes out there which are just variations of each other. The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup milk and 1 cup cheddar cheese. I eliminated these when I made the recipe to account for some diet restriction but I am sure it will be just as delicious if you added them back. After all, it did win Emeril's Halloween Contest.

Serves: 4
Start to Finish: 2 hours
Recipe By: Nan Slaughter


1 1/2 eggs (be creative, I know eggs don't come in 1/2 a portion; but it was the only way to get it to serve 4 people)
1 slice French bread, torn into small pieces (the french bread gives it nice character but you could use stale white bread if you needed to)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 TBSP chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of dried bay leaves
1 lb lean ground beef
1 sausage link (mild Italian sausage)
1 (16-oz) pkg spaghetti noodles

1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup (I made the recipe with the maple syrup but it was a little too sweet for my tastes, next time I would omit it. However, I think children would love it!)
1/2 cup of your favorite bottled marinara sauce


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs.
3. Add bread and oatmeal.
4. Stir in carrots, onions, parsley, and seasonings.
5. Add beef and sausage and mix well.
6. In a shallow baking dish, shape beef mixture into the shape of a body. Round ball for head, oval shape for body, mounding up for tummy. Shape arms and place next to body (you don't want them sticking out or they will cook too quickly). Shape legs and place next to each other, not apart. Smooth meatloaf so the "seams" are not apparent.
7. Make topping by combining: ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, maple syrup, and marinara sauce into a bowl.
8. Bake meatloaf for 45 minutes.
9. Spoon half of the topping over meatloaf.
10. Return meatloaf to the oven and continue baking for an additional 45 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked thoroughly. (Total baking time about 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil if it gets too brown.)
11. While meatloaf is baking, cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions.
12. Rinse noodles and set aside.
13. When meatloaf is done, remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
14. To serve: put spaghetti noodles on a tray and carefully place meatloaf on top of spaghetti noodles, using two spatulas. Don't worry if an arm or leg falls off, just "reattach" and cover with topping. Place a knife in the "heart" of the deadman and serve with remaining topping.

Haunted Ham and Cheese with Spiderweb Soup

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Haunted Ham and Cheese

A haunted twist on a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. This dinner is very simple but is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Jack-o'-lantern faces cut out from bread add flare to these ham and cheese sandwiches. Dip them into some spicy Spiderweb Soup for a well-balanced and delicious Halloween dinner (Soup recipe to follow).

Serves: 4
Start to Finish:
Recipe By: Grilled ham and cheese is as old as peanut butter and jelly, I am not sure if anyone knows who invented them.


8 slices of bread
4 slice of cheddar cheese
4 slices of ham
Garlic salt


1. Butter one side of each piece of bread.
2. Using a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut jack-o-lantern faces into four slices of bread.
3. Flip the bread over so it is butter side down.
4. Top the bread with ham and cheese.
5. Cover with the other four slices of bread to form a sandwich.
6. Sprinkle garlic salt over the sandwiches.
7. Place on skillet and cook until golden brown.
8. Flip sandwich and cook second side until golden brown
9. Serve with Spiderweb Soup

Spiderweb Soup

This Carrot-Ginger Soup has an incredible flavor that will warm you up on a cold October night. The flavor is strong and ginger can be spicy; so if you are worried your children won't eat it, you can always use a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup. Just make sure to add the spiderweb design for the full effect.

Serves: 6
Start to Finish: 2 hours
Recipe By: Janet Brunson (This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law; she is an excellent cook. I would recommend trying any recipes I post that are from her. You won't be disappointed in the results.)


4 TBSP butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
2 TBSP fresh ginger, finely minced
6 cups chicken broth
8 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped (approx. 2 lbs)
salt to taste
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup sour cream

Spiderweb Garnish:
3 TBSP sour cream
1 TBSP milk


1. In a stock pot, melt butter.
2. Chop onion and carrots; mince ginger.
3. Saute onion and ginger over medium heat until soft.
4. Stir in chicken broth and carrots.
5. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are very soft, about 1 hour.
6. Cool slightly and puree in batches in a blender or food processor.
(At this point the soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen. Sour cream will be added in the steps that follow, which can be neither frozen nor boiled without curdling. Note: the more time the flavors have to meld together, the stronger the ginger spice becomes.)
7. Add the pureed soup back to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer.
8. Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and sugar.
9. Stir in sour cream.
10. Heat the soup gently but DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL!
11. Ladle into soup bowls and add the spiderweb garnish.

For Spiderweb Garnish:
12. Mix together sour cream and milk in a Ziploc baggie (It should be thick).
13. Seal Ziploc baggie and snip a small hole in one bottom corner.
14. Using the Ziploc baggie like an icing bag, draw a swirl design onto the top of the soup.
15. Use a toothpick to drag the design from the center of the swirl out to create a spiderweb effect.

Monster Mouths

Monday, October 20, 2008

This meals comes together very quickly; which leaves you plenty of time to decorate your monsters. Their faces are made from carrots, olives, cheese, and pickles (or any other veggies you think would be fun). As for the meat mixture inside... think Hamburger Helper dressed up for a night on the town. The bacon and tomatoes help add that "grown-up taste", making the dish appealing to all ages.

Start to Finish: 60 minutes
Recipe By:


1 medium onion, chopped
4 slices bacon
1 lb ground beef
1 tomato, seeded and chopped (you can substitute 1 cup of diced, canned tomatoes)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 slices American Cheese Singles, chopped
1/2 package of jumbo pasta shells (about 18 shells), cooked and drained
Decorations: Baby carrots, olives, bell peppers, small pickles or cheese slices for decoration


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly grease 9-in x 13-in baking dish.
3. Cook pasta shells according to package directions.
4. Meanwhile, fry bacon in large skillet until crisp.
5. Remove from pan and crumble.
6. Add onion to pan and cook until tender. (Cook in the bacon grease.)
7. Add beef; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink.
8. Stir in tomatoes, cheese, bacon, salt, and pepper.
9. Spoon mixture into cooked shells.
10. Place in prepared baking dish.
11. Bake 5 minutes or until hot; remove from oven.
12. Decorate as desired with olive and carrot eyes, bell pepper fangs, pickle tongue and cheese teeth.

Witches Hat Calzones

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Finding fun Halloween recipes that appeal to 5-year-old children, teenagers, and adults can be difficult. Because of this, I have found it necessary to adjust the recipes that are only geared towards young children. Let's face it: not too many adults would be happy eating hot dogs in mac-and-cheese for dinner but any child would be delighted at the prospect. Because of that, this recipe is a mix of two recipes. Also, this recipe uses a pre-made, crescent-roll dough (like Pillsbury). It is a wonderful time-saver because it is already made, rolled, and cut for you. However, I have found that crescent roll dough tastes better as crescent rolls than calzones. If you are feeling adventurous buy a pre-made calzone dough and roll it out and cut it into triangle shapes. The crescent-roll dough is still good but it only gets an 8/10, the calzone dough would get a 10/10.

Serves: 8 calzones (4 adult servings)
Start to Finish: 50 minutes
Recipe By: Witch hat idea came from Better Homes and Gardens but the actual calzone recipe came from


8 slices bacon
1/2 small red onion, chopped
3 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2/3 cup barbecue sauce (plus additional for serving)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro (When reading reviews for this recipe, several people commented that the fresh cilantro really makes the filling. Well, I agree with them. So don't skip over this ingredient. It adds that extra flavor that seals the dish)
2 (8-oz) pkg refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water


1. Preheat the oven to 425* F.
2. Grease an extra large baking sheet; set aside. (They stick so be sure you have really coated it.)
3. Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.
4. Remove from the pan to drain on paper towels; crumble.
5. Add the onion and shredded chicken to the hot bacon grease in the pan.
6. Fry over medium heat until onion is tender. (This happens fast, so be prepared for the next step.)
7. Stir in barbecue sauce and cooked bacon, remove from the heat and set aside.
8. On a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent-roll dough. (You don't need to further flatten the dough by rolling it out with a rolling pin, just unroll them. I tried it both ways and it didn't make a difference, so why add more work to the recipe.)
9. Separate dough into individual triangles.
10. Place half the dough triangles on the greased baking sheet.
11. Place approx 1 TBSP of the barbecue chicken mixture in the center of each triangle.
12. Sprinkle the cheese and cilantro over the top.
13. In a small bowl, stir together egg and water.
14. Brush edges of triangles with some of the egg mixture.
15. Top with remaining triangles and press triangle edges together to seal.
16. Brush the top of the triangles with egg mixture.
17. Fold short edges of the triangles up, forming a hat brim. (If you brush on the egg after you form the hat brim they will unfold slightly when cooking.)
18. Prick the dough a few times with a fork.
19. If desired, decorate the hats with additional mozzarella cheese, cilantro, and/or crushed red pepper. Brush on barbecue sauce to form designs and patterns. Or cut shapes from the red onion and press onto dough for decoration
20. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. (I had to bake the full time, the dough is very soggy if you don't)
21. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.