Halloween festivities have become so popular that there are ways for everyone to celebrate. Here are some new twists on Halloween treats.
Bewitching Breadsticks: Prepare one can (11 ounces) refrigerated breadsticks according to package directions. Dip sliced almonds into red food color. Press an almond into one end of each bread stick to resemble a fingernail. Spread with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Bake and serve.
Spooky Sandwiches: Pick out a few Halloween pictures such as pumpkins, ghosts, or bats. Take two drops of food color (orange, dark blue, or purple Neon from McCormick) and in separate cups, mix each color with two tablespoons milk. Next, paint white bread slices with the haunted characters and lightly toast to help the paint dry. Use for sandwiches.
Bread bowls: Make a jack-o'-lantern bread bowl filled with a tasty dip, advises Hidden Valley Ranch. Use a round loaf of hearty bread (unsliced). Hollow the loaf, leaving the bottom one-inch thick. Cut one-inch cubes from the bread that was removed from inside; set aside. Use leftover top of the bread for a stem. Place the loaf on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and cool; fill with desired dip. Place two olive slices near the top of the dip for the eyes and position triangle orange peppers for the nose and mouth. Serve with reserved bread cubes and fresh veggies for dipping.
Halloween parties: Cookies by Design Cookie Decorating Kit has 10 Halloween-shaped sugar cookies, decorating bags with festive sprinkles, and colored frosting for kids to decorate. Cost is $25. It is available at 15 locations in Ohio including Cookies by Design at 5700 Monroe St. in Starlite Plaza. Order 24 hours in advance; cookies are baked to order.
Braces-friendly: It's a tricky time of year for orthodontic patients. To make the holiday sweeter, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends alternative goodies that are fun for parents and kids to make together. Those with braces should avoid foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy, all of which can damage braces.
Make a Hobgoblin Mud Pie with a prepared nine-inch graham cracker pie crust spread with 1 1/2 pints of orange sherbet mixed with mini chocolate chips and then frozen. Decorate pumpkin cake and brownies with candy pumpkins and orange decorating gel.
Jack-Oat-Lantern Cookie Pops: These oatmeal cookies (recipe on Page 2) can be made up to three days before a Halloween party. If you can't find wooden ice cream sticks, look for sticks at stores that sell cooking and baking supplies, or craft stores. On the day of the party, bring adults and children together to decorate oatmeal cookie pops for dessert. Set up the decorating station in the kitchen with ready-to-spread frostings, decorator tubes of icing in several colors, and assorted candies. Provide plastic knives, spoons, and forks as decorating tools. It's a fun activity for the party.
Low sugar: From Every Day's A Holiday Diabetic Cookbook (American Diabetes Association, $16.95) comes Creamy Pumpkin Mousse. Beat one 16-ounce can pure pumpkin, one package (six-servings size) instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix, 1/4 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon until well blended. Fold in two cups frozen light whipped topping (thawed). Spoon into a serving bowl, cover loosely, and chill until ready to serve. Serves 10.