Recipes: 10.17.13

Spooky Halloween Snacks

Old Fashioned Caramel Apples
5 crisp apples
1 lb. soft caramels
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup chopped peanuts, optional
5 thick wooden skewers or craft sticks


    In a double boiler, melt caramels with water, stirring occasionally. Wash and dry apples and skewer them through the stem end. Dip each apple in melted caramel, roll in crushed peanuts if desired, then place in paper muffin cups or on lined cookie sheet. Chill briefly to set.

Devilled Ham Eyeball Sandwiches
    Makes 20 eyeballs.
20 slices of white bread, cut into rounds with a 21/2-inch round cookie cutter
2 cups good smoked ham
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. pickle relish
10 pimento stuffed olives, sliced in half
Ketchup


    Line up bread rounds on cookie sheet or platter.
    Grind up ham, mayo, Dijon, Worcestershire, and pickle relish in food processor. It should be the consistency of, well, devilled ham. Roll the mixture into 20 little balls. Place each ball onto the bread rounds and top with olive halves. With the ketchup, squirt little squiggles to mimic veins of the eyeballs. Spooooooky.

Pumpkin Soup
    Serves six to eight.
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cream
Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish


    To make pumpkin puree, cut a medium-size pumpkin in half, scoop out fibers and seeds, lay cut side down on lined cookie sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes to one hour at 350 degrees, until soft. Cool, and scoop out pulp. You may have some extra.

    Combine stock, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in stockpot. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Puree mixture with immersion blender or in food processor or blender. Return to pot and simmer again for about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Stir in cream at last minute if desired, or it can be drizzled over each portion. Do not return to boil once cream has been added. Top with toasted pepitas, a k a pumpkin seeds.