It’s coming up again to that spooky time of year. The shops are full to the brim with devilish delights, creepy costumes and ghostly goodies to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve on 31st October. There’s no end to all of the creative ideas out there to make your Halloween party a success, whether you enjoy pumpkin carving (which usually ends up being an incredibly messy job!), fun with face-painting and fake wounds, stories of things that go bump in the night, and of course, trick or treating – hopefully with more treats than tricks! As usual of course, all of my thoughts turn to food and coming up with a Halloween party plan to make sure that children and adults alike experience an eerie evening to remember.

The best way forward is to start with simple recipes and give them a little Halloween makeover that won’t require supernatural skills in the kitchen. First of all, get some spine-chilling soup on the go.  Any autumn vegetables on offer can be roasted up with the ‘blood’ red of tomatoes, and blended up with a swirl of cream to provide the perfect pre-party snack. Or, try something with a little chilli, ginger and garlic kick to fend off the vampires, such as this party squash soup.

For something a little different, you could also have a go at making some spicy broad bean fritters with lemon-minted yoghurt. With a little imagination, you could shape them to look like witches fingers, adding some almonds as gruesome fingernails.

The one-pot supper is your next spooky saviour, because once you’ve been out freezing your fingers and toes off knocking on neighbours’ doors, you’ll want to come home to something that been prepared ahead and that is ready to reheat in a flash. A ghastly goulash is just what Dr Frankenstein would order, so have a look at Jamie’s spicy pork and chilli pepper goulash, and don’t forget to let your guests know that the slow-cooked shredded pork is the meat from the bones of your latest victim…

For pudding, a sticky and seductive treat, this tray-baked meringue with rhubarb, cream & toasted almonds can easily be shaped to resemble a coffin, with bright red rhubarb fingers, oozing blood and almond slithers depicting chilling fingernails. You could even make a quick ruby-red strawberry coulis or sauce to drizzle over for added effect and extra sweetness.

Stay tuned for more Halloween-inspired recipes and ideas. I hope these recipes will start to whet those bloodcurdling appetites!


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