By ADAM STRONG
It’s time for the scariest day of the year (if you don’t count those Lindsay Lohan paparazzo shots from earlier in 2012—talk about a fright fest), and even if you plan on taking part in the October 31 Wicked Wilton or any of the other cool and creepy events going on across Greater Fort Lauderdale and SoFla, lots of your guys may be throwing a pre-party before taking to the streets this weekend or on All Hallows Eve itself.
The Monster Mash
Black lights and dark accoutrements are the easiest way to evoke Halloween. You can hit any crafts store (or Publix and CVS, for that matter) to get items that spook-up your crib, from fake cobwebs to giant plastic spiders.
Back in the days (sometime between the Civil War and the “Hunger Games”) when people used cassette tapes, I made a 1-minute “endless loop” cassette of that most familiar of Hallow-seasonal musical selections, Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” which played continuously as the guests entered. Depending on the mood of your party and your guests, you can enjoy such candy faves as Bobby “Boris” Picket’s original “Monster Mash,” and the must-play “Thriller” by the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Or you can go the whole “Vampire Club” route, and invite your guests to Goth-up, while you play the soundtrack from “Queen of the Damned,” and the deliciously bloodsucker-themed disc, “Bloodletting,” by Concrete Blonde (which includes the single “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song),” and don’t forget Sting’s memorable and much-praised children-of-the-night-evoking “Moon Over Bourbon Street”).
These delicious treats are fun to make and easy to prepare.
This is a visually-fun variation on deviled eggs. Slice a pitted olive in half, and place one half—rounded side up—in the center of the deviled egg. Cut the other half into eight pieces to create the legs.
These delicious and easy-to-make snacks look cool (and creepy).
½ cup of salted butter, softened
¾ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
¾ cup of wheat gluten
1 cup of almond flour
2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
Green or brown food coloring
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Add several drops of food coloring, until the mixture looks gross. Add almond flour and gluten, ¼ cup at a time, kneading the mixture as necessary. Divide the dough into 16 pieces, each shaped like a finger. With a knife, carve the “knuckles” into each “finger,” bending each one slightly at the curve. Scoop out a place for the “fingernails,” and insert one almond slice into each “finger.” Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.
Graveyard Dirt Cake
This thing is so sinfully-good, you should go to Purgatory for 1,000 years at minimum for every bite.
1 package of Oreos, or other chocolate sandwich cookies, crumbled
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
½ cup of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
3 cups of milk
12 ounces of whipped topping
8 ounces of vanilla pudding
2 packets of True Lemon or True Orange
1 package of gummy worms
Mix butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and True Lemon (or Orange) flavoring, and set aside.
Combine 2 cups of milk with vanilla pudding, and fold in the whipped topping. Add butter/cream cheese mixture, and mix well. Layer mixture with crumbled Oreos, and continue layering until all ingredients are used and the bowl is full. Decorate the top with gummy worms and plastic tombstones and other graveyard-themed cake toppers. Chill for two hours before serving.
The Walking Gingerbread Dead
Zombies are all the rage in my house, especially AMC TV’s “The Walking Dead.” Let’s “zombify” a classic, and go undead on some unsuspecting gingerbread men. After “birthing” your standard, “breathing” gingerbread men, turn them into zombies with red colored icing on their mouths, as if they are oozing blood (and other human vitals), and cut off some “limbs” and dab the “stumps” with red food dye and icing. Use little pieces of green or yellow candy to give weirded-out eyes to some of your “Walkers,” and black food gel to paint “X’s” over the eyes of other members of the “unbread.”
½ cup of margarine
½ cup of sugar
½ cup of molasses
1 egg yolk
2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of ginger
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar together until smooth, and then stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, and blend into the molasses mix until smooth. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼-inch thickness, and cut them into desired shapes using cookie cutters. On ungreased cookie sheets, place the cookies two inches apart, and bake for approximately 10 minutes, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets, and cool on wire racks, and then frost and decorate when cool. Makes about 30 “Gingerbread Undead.” Chomp!