Halloween is always a crazy day in our house. Regardless of how much early planning goes into effect, the giddiness of the holiday takes hold making it difficult to sit down for a focused meal before goblins and ghouls arrive (and mine go out candy-seeking). Historically I’ve found it best to assemble quick eats so tummies are lined for the long night of adrenaline and sweets (or for the ‘Trick or Drinking’ some of the neighbors host).
Many of the recipes I’ve shared this month line a festive table for family and friends to dip into between outings. We always have ‘drop in’s’ who welcome a quick nosh before setting out Trick-or-Treating again.
I’m a bit bent on sticking with a Halloween color theme which honestly DOES amplify the excitement of the evening. These two recipes hold true to that also allowing wiggling in some healthier food in the form of crudités, black sesame rice crackers and carrot and sweet potato chips. The dishes are simple to make and quick to eat.
The flavors of this cheese ball are definitely Mexican with some spice without being overwhelming. I opted to coat this with black sesame seeds for the Halloween color but you can use other coatings such has corn chips ground into crumbs or nuts (spiced nuts would be great). Kid approved too!
- 1-8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup prepared Mexican cheese blend, finely grated (or make your own of Colby, Monterey Jack and Cheddar)
- ¼ cup butter, unsalted and room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons pickled canned jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
- ½ cup black sesame seeds
- In the bowl of a freestanding mixer (or using a handheld mixer) beat the cream cheese, Mexican cheese and butter until fluffy and fully combined. Scrap sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in the milk and Worcestershire sauce until fully combined.
- On low speed beat in green onions and jalapeno peppers to combine. Put mixture in a sealed container in a refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- When fully chilled, shape the mixture into a ball. Place sesame seeds on a plate and gently roll the ball in the seeds to fully cover. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving with crackers or flatbread.
Note: Total time dependent on how long cheese ball is refridgerated.
This dip is light and great with chips or vegetables. For Halloween I opted for orange bell pepper slices, dragon carrots (purple on the outside and orange on the inside), and carrot and sweet potato chips.
- 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese), sliced into large chunks
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)
- ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped
- ¼ cup Italian or flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup chives, chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a medium, heavy saucepan over low heat combine the Neufchatel cheese and milk. Stir frequently and constantly as the cheese begins to melt. Continue stirring until cheese is fully melted and combined with the milk. Whisk at the end to break up any chunks making it a smooth mixture. Remove from heat.
- Add the crème fraiche, onion, parsley and chives; stir to combine. Using an immersion/stick blender, blend to fully combine all ingredients in to a smooth mixture (note: the mixture can be blended in a traditional blender as well).
- Chill dip fully in refrigerator before serving.