Try these spooky recipes this Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, which means it's time to show off your cooking skills with some spooky treats that will get you and your friends in the Halloween spirit. There are plenty of ways to turn your favorite foods into replicas of ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and other signature characters the festive day focuses on. 

After you've filled up your bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters, why not treat yourself with a tasty snack? Whether your friends at your assisted living community are throwing a Halloween gathering and you need to bring a dish, or you simply love whipping up delicious foods to celebrate special occasions, consider trying these recipes. 

Main courses

Jack-O-Lantern stuffed peppers Put an exciting twist on the standard stuffed pepper recipe with Jack-O-Lantern versions. As the estimated cooking time can take up to 1.5 hours, make sure that you leave yourself enough time to perfectly craft your meal. You'll need these ingredients:

  • 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.
Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern peppers will add a festive feel to any meal.Fill your stuffed Jack-O-Lantern peppers with your choice of ingredients to cater to your diet and taste preferences. 

The cooking directions are the same as they usually are for most stuffed pepper recipes. The only difference is that you cut out a small face on the front of the peppers as you would with a pumpkin. These spooky creations will look so festive you might even have a hard time eating them.  

Deviled ham eyeball sandwich For a meal that's sure to attract attention from your friends, create these ham sandwiches made to look exactly like eyeballs. Not only are they tasty and easy to make, the appearance will surely top any other dish on the table. The following list of ingredients will make 20 sandwiches:

  • 20 slices white bread
  • 2 cups smoked cooked ham, chopped (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pickled relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Ketchup
  • 10 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced in half.

Follow these instructions to ensure that your eyeball sandwiches are as delicious as they can be. Serve each sandwich without folding them to make sure that you don't interfere with their scary look. 

Snacks and desserts

Tangerine pumpkins and banana ghosts ​Provide a fruit platter at your party without making your dish boring. Tangerine pumpkins and banana ghosts are a popular treat that make a Halloween gathering fun. You don't need many ingredients and the instructions are quick and easy. Gather these ingredients:

  • 4 bananas
  • 24 chocolate chips, regular sized and/or mini
  • 4 tangerines
  • 1 stalk celery.
A tangerine pumpkins and ghosts platter will be the life of any Halloween party.A tangerine pumpkins and ghosts platter will be the life of any Halloween party.

The first thing you have to do is peel your bananas and cut them in half down the center. The side that was cut should be placed down on the plate so that the banana is able to stand. Get creative with your chocolate chips and make spooky faces on your bananas to transform them into ghosts. Next, peel the tangerines and cut you celery lengthwise into thirds and across so that you have 1/2 inch pieces. These will serve as the stems of your pumpkins, so place in the top of each tangerine to get the pumpkin look.

Festive popcorn balls Your grandchildren will love the look and taste of these sweet and salty popcorn balls. A tray of these spooky snacks are the perfect addition to any Halloween party and don't take long to make. Here's what you'll need to get started:

  • 18 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Gummy worms, candy corn and other Halloween candies.

After you've popped your kernels, place them into a tray and roast them in the oven and start making the syrup that's going to hold the balls together. For instructions on how to create the syrup, click here. Once the syrup is made and the popcorn has heated for about 20 minutes, poor the mixture over the warm popcorn, adding in your candy. When the pan has cooled, you should be able to grab portions of the popcorn and roll them into 2-inch diameter balls. 

Even if you don't want to get dressed up in a costume this year, you can still join in on the lively Halloween celebrations with these tasty meals and snacks. Impress your family and friends this year by preparing these creative and festive dishes.