Spooky and Delicious

Bridgette Pendleton-Snyder SWQ Autumn 2018

When I say Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday all year I’m not at all exaggerating. Cooler weather, jack-o-lanterns and being able to wear one of my many Witch hats - what could be better? On Halloween night we get dressed up and invite a few friends over to help hand out candy to the trick or treaters. I entice them to help by cooking a hearty dinner. With so many wonderful fall flavors, it’s hard to choose what to serve for this festive celebration.

Our feast begins with some Devilish Eggs topped with Edible Spiders and a Spicy Nacho Cheese Ball that looks like it came right from Charlie Brown’s great pumpkin patch! Both are super simple to make and will please even the hungriest of werewolves.

Now, to all of you pumpkin spice latte fans out there I dare you to try these pumpkin recipes. A nice piping hot bowl of Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili is a perfect meal for a chilly autumn evening. This recipe is done in a slow cooker which makes it super easy to prepare. Replacing ground beef or ground turkey with chopped pumpkin gives this chili both hearty texture and a wickedly delightful sweetness. Chopped butternut squash also works just as well as the pumpkin. This is a recipe you will want to make all season long.

If you don’t overdo it by eating too much candy, a warm slice of Pumpkin Crumb Cake is sure make your evening of haunting complete. Let your inner child have fun this Halloween, and may you and yours have a Wicked good time......Cackle, cackle, cackle!

Cheese Ball

16 oz cream cheese, room temp
2 cups cheddar cheese
3 tbsp. minced onion
3 tbsp. salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups nacho cheese chips, crumbled
top of 1 bell pepper for stem garnish


With a mixer, combine cream cheese, cheddar, onion, salsa and cumin. Mix until creamy. Scoop mixture onto plastic wrap and use wrap to form a ball and chill for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, roll ball into the crushed nacho chips and place bell pepper stem on top. Serve with chips, vegetables or pretzels!

Spooky Spider Devilish Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs, halved
3 tbls mayo
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp white vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Whole Black olives


Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Slip out yolks and mash. Stir in mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cut whole olive in half lengthwise. Put one half on mashed yolk for the spider’s body. Thinly slice the other half of the olive for the spiders legs. Put four legs on each side.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili (Serves 8-10 Ghouls and Goblins)

1 lb chopped fresh or frozen pumpkin (substitute chopped butternut squash)
1 onion, diced
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz) cans corn, drained
2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
.5 cup Del Diablo Merlot (or other red wine of choice)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
.5 teaspoon pepper
.5 teaspoon salt
Vegetable stock or water to thin chili if desired
Optional (for serving): corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheese,or green onions


Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Check consistency of chili when it’s done. If you prefer a thinner, more soup-like consistency, stir in some broth or water, as desired and heat through. Top individual bowls of chili with corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions, as desired.

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1.5 teaspoons baking powder
.5 teaspoon baking soda
.5 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
.5 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 (15 oz). can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1.5 cups sugar


Step 1 Make topping: In a bowl, stir together our, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add butter and combine with fingertips until mixture is crumbly. Refrigerate while making batter.

Step 2 Make cake: Preheat oven to 350.F. Butter and our a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, pumpkin, vanilla and both sugars until well mixed. Whisk in eggs. Add our mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined; do not over mix. Pour batter into cake pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with reserved topping.

Step 3 Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack at least 20 minutes.