Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Halloween Party Recap
Every year around September, I become possessed by the urge to have a Halloween party. The pattern of possession is always the same - weeks spent planning the invite, menu, and beverages, followed by the actual making of the recipes and the inevitable panic the night before as I frantically run around cleaning and decorating, thinking to myself 'why oh why God did I do this??? Party planning and hosting is for house wives - NOT for people who work 80 hours a week!!!'
But finally, ready or not, the party commences and I have the time of my life. Each year I'm dazzled by the creativity of my guests' costumes and their own willingness to regress back to childhood for the evening. Take a look at the pics - we had everyone from The Joker to 'Joan' from Madmen to Slash to a Stepford Wife to TGIFridays bartenders (who brought their own kamikazees which they poured for us all evening) to vice pres nominee Sarah Palin!
And by the end of the nigh - or morning as has been the case the last couple of years - I'm already dreaming of next year's party. (Much like child birth, I've already magically forgotten any pain I had endured. See - it really is possession!)
Anyway, I've included most of the food from this year's party and if you're surprised by how white trash/unsophisticated the recipes are - don't be. I promise you that's what people want when they're doing serious imbibing. The Tiki Snack Mix I made from the November issue of Bon Appetit was my most experimental dish and suffered, in my opinion, from the severe humidity brought on by torrential downpours we had that evening. (Notice how the skunk in one of the photos has a towel wrapped around his head - he arrived soaked to the bone as did several other devoted party goers.)
The cheese ball that I put into a brain mold and covered in black poppy seeds disappeared by midnight and as usual, the belles of the ball were my sausage cheese balls which I've included as well.
I wish you all a belated Happy Halloween!
Sausage Cheeseballs (for Halloween, I like to make them with spicy sausage and call them 'Devil's Balls' Hee Hee!)
1 lb ground sausage
1 lb grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 and 1/2 cups Bisquick
2 shakes red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Wousteshire sauce
¼ teaspoon ground Coriander
¼ teaspoon ground dried garlic
½ teaspoon hot English mustard (powder form such as Coleman’s brand)
pinch sea salt or kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in the food processor until well blended. Form into 1 inch balls and bake on a cookie sheet (only greased if you're making them from the freezer) at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until tops are just golden brown and bottoms are a rich, dark brown.
* These are so easy to do if you make and bake them a week or month ahead, then freeze them (after they've cooled) in Ziploc bags. Just pull them out of the freezer and bake them the same way as if they were fresh to heat through on a greased pan.)
Curried Ham Wraps
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 cup peeled, shredded tart apple
4 (6 inch) flour tortillas
8 thin slices Black Forest ham
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, garlic, curry powder and mustard. Stir in apple. Spread about 2 tablespoons over each tortilla. Layer with 2 slices of ham. Roll up tightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut in half on the diagonal and serve stacked onto a plate with chives strewn around as garnish.
White Trash Cheese Ball (or 'The Brain' as it was for the party)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I used white Cheddar, to look more like a brain)
1/2 of 1 (1 ounce) package Ranch-style dressing mix
2 heaping tablespoons sour cream
Blend all in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a cheese mold or using your hands shape into rounded ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (these are great to make the night before.) Cover with poppy seeds, chopped pecans or other nuts if desired before serving.