Love it or hate it Halloween will be pretty hard to avoid this week. Everywhere I look stores are filled with pumpkin-themed paraphernalia.
A few years back I was vehemently anti-Halloween being introduced to Aussie kids, but I’ve mellowed. The streets surrounding our house have such a lovely community vibe on October 31. Families decorate their houses then organise casual gatherings on their front lawns as kids roam the streets in costume.
The thing I’m not so crazy about is the lollies. Seeing kids staggering along with their huge bags of candy makes me worry for their teeth and their health.
So I’ve decided to have a bit of fun with my weeknight meals to take the focus away from sugar and onto scary treats of a different kind.
Here’s what I have planned …
Monday: Unblinking eye meatloaf
Meatloaf is such an ordinary weeknight dinner. But not this one: A row of peeled hard-boiled eggs inside makes each slice look like a monster eye on the dinner plate!
Tuesday: Pumpkin soup with chilling cheese toasts
Pumpkin is naturally sweet, so the secret to good pumpkin soup is to play up the savoury aspects instead. That’s best accomplished with a nice hit of garlic and sage. Add some cheese toasts trimmed like grinning jack-o’-lanterns. This is one soup that truly does make a meal.
Wednesday: Haunted shepherd’s pie
This casserole of seasoned ground beef and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes and cheese is ideal to have in the fridge for leftovers on Halloween night—it’s a one-dish meal that tastes great reheated if anyone is hungry after trick-or-treating. Instead of spreading the potatoes in a thick layer, dollop them on like little ghosts—your own little ghosts will gobble it up.
Thursday: Spider web pizzas
The Domestic Mama’s crafty, cheesy pizza is a work of art — and delicious! Make it easy on yourself (you’ve got goblins to dress!) and pick up premade dough rounds and jarred sauce. The brilliant web is made with something every mum has in her fridge: string cheese! It’s perfect for carb-loading your little trick-or-treaters before their night out on the block.
Friday: honeyed bat wings
Serve a pile of sticky “bat wings” to gross out your family. But have no fear: After just one bite, they’ll be hooked. These wings are finger-lickin’ good; sweet and spicy, they’ll have ravenous kids devouring every last juicy morsel with their bare hands.
Need more weeknight meal suggestions? Try these: