And a Hocus Pocus to you….

I love Halloween.  It’s just fun.  And I love my neighborhood at Halloween.  Unlike some of the more expensive, uptight neighborhoods, a blue-collar neighborhood such as mine really gets into the spirit of the season.  People come out, they decorate like mad, they turn their garages into haunted houses, the laugh and socialize with their neighbors.  Fun.  We are no exception.

For many years (so many that my kids now consider it a ‘tradition’) we have cleared our driveway and set up our laptop and projector to show a Halloween movie on the garage door.  Nothing scary (as there are always little kids around) but still fun.  People come by with chairs and drinks and we laugh and talk and watch and celebrate the end of the most lovely month in Texas.

I also make food.  Usually something very simple like hotdogs and then I throw in a few Halloween treats just to make things fun.  This year we’re doing hotdogs, “brain dip”, halloween candy bark and just your basic chips and dip.  And of course there will be candy.  For drinks, we have an assortment of soft drinks, koolaid and my favorite, hot spiced Concord grape juice.  Yum.

So stop by, if you’ve nothing else going on.  The kids will be trick or treating and the adults will be enjoying The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Which has never been a Christmas movie…..

BRAIN DIP

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve in a hollowed out head of cauliflower.

HALLOWEEN CANDY CORN BARK
14 whole Oreos, broken up (use Halloween Oreos if you can find them)
1 1/2 cups pretzels – any shape, broken into pieces
16 ounces almond bark or white chocolate melts
1 cup candy corn
brown and orange-colored sprinkles

Directions

Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Spread broken cookies, pretzels and about 3/4 cup of the candy corn onto the prepared cookie sheet in a 9×13 shape. Place almond bark in a container and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth.

Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with spatula if needed to coat evenly. It may seem like it’s not enough but just try to evenly spread it. The ratio of chocolate to toppings will be off if you add more almond bark/white chocolate. Sprinkle remaining candy corn and colored sprinkles over the almond bark/white chocolate while it is still wet. Do not let it harden. Place cookie tray into refrigerator until set and firm. Remove and gently break bark into small pieces – it’s really rich. Makes around 20-24 pieces. Store in air tight container.

 

HOT SPICED CONCORD GRAPE JUICE

  • 1 gallon Concord-grape juice
  • 8 whole cardamom pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated (1 to 2 teaspoons)

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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