We love Halloween at our house, and I often plan a BOO-ffet for friends, neighbors, and especially grandkids who come to visit. I like to serve a variety of dishes with creepy or frightening names. Since I donít have a lot of time to spend on preparing the dishes, I rely on timesaving appliances and some convenience foods to reduce the prep time. There are lots of Halloween cookbooks, booklets, and magazines with fun ideas; most of the recipes in them are very quick and easy. To make my BOO-ffet table eye appealing, Iíve been collecting Halloween serving dishes and decorations which I have fun arranging. You donít, of course, have to prepare a full BOO-ffet; itís fun just to prepare some good dishes for your familyís own Halloween dinner. Iíve added a link to several quick and easy Halloween dishes at the bottom of this article.
I taught a fondue class a few years ago and found that almost everyone loves fondue, especially kids. There are several kinds of fondue pots available, and since I got a little carried away with purchasing several to use in my classes (the actual number that I own is 25, which is totally ridiculous, but since I kept finding good ones on eBay and in discount stores, I couldnít quit buying them), I was able to test the different kinds to see which work best. If you are in the market for a good, all purpose fondue pot, I would recommend an electric one. Not only can you do all the preparation and cooking in an electric pot, you can keep the fondue warm. There are also fondue pots that use fuel or candles; these pots are great, except that the food must be prepared prior to transferring to the pots to keep warm. While great to use on a buffet because no electrical cords are involved, the non-electric pots are not quite as easy to use since it is difficult to regulate the heat, and the food can scorch (especially chocolate fondue) or get too cold to cook the food (oil fondue).
This Monster Mash Fondue has been adapted from a recipe that I taught in my recent fondue classes; I have removed the alcohol so that it is kid-friendly (although any alcohol evaporates when the fondue is heated, kids often donít like the flavor). If you are serving it at an adult party, you can substitute dry Marsala wine for the water; just mix it with the beef bouillon. Both versions are delicious.
Monster Mash Fondue with Severed Fingers
1 batch dough for Breadsticks in the Bread Machine (see link below)
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
80 whole raw almonds or substitute sliced almonds
1 26 oz. jar prepared spaghetti sauce, (your favorite brand)
2 cups grated cheddar jack cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup hot water
2 teaspoons granular beef bouillon
Severed Fingers: Prepare dough in the auto bread machine as directed. When the dough is finished, roll out onto a floured pastry board to a 12 x 12 inch rectangle. With a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half lengthwise, then each half in half lengthwise. Cut the dough crosswise into 20 fingers (80 fingers total). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and place the fingers on the sheets, leaving at least 3/4" between each finger.
Brush the fingers with the egg mixture, then press an almond at the end of each (for the fingernail). Let the fingers rise until double in bulk. Carefully cut three slits across the middle of each finger using a very sharp knife or a razor (for the knuckles). Bake in a preheated 400į oven 12-15 minutes or until brown and crisp.
Monster Mash Fondue: Mix all ingredients in an electric fondue pot (easiest), or pan over medium heat. Stir until the sauce is heated and the cheeses are melted. Serve warm with the severed fingers.
Note: The dipping sauce may also be prepared in a slow cooker. Cook 2-3 hours on low.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 357 Calories from Fat 155
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 43% Protein 17% Carb. 39%
Nutrient Amount per
Total Fat 17 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 52 mg
Sodium 829 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 15 g
Vitamin A 14% Vitamin C 13% Calcium 0% Iron 7%
Purchase a Cuisinart Fondue Pot from Amazon
Purchase a Rival Fondue Pot from Amazon
Purchase a Black and Decker Automatic Bread Machine from Amazon
Purchase a Cuisinart Automatic Bread Machine from Amazon