It’s still October? You mean Halloween hasn’t happened yet and I still have stuff to post???
Today’s post is all about simple stuff for maximum impact.. which is basically the unofficial motto of this site. Is it working smarter not harder? Absolutely not; I don’t feel smart when I’m running on no sleep, TMJ pain and a kid next door dragging something over the wooden deck, all while I attempt to type something remotely coherent.
Aside from all that, we’re going to make a spooky party platter with some props, a lot of ready-made stuff, a few healthy things and – surprisingly – homemade stuff!
The platter consists of mostly ready-made snacks, so we don’t have to worry about them unless we want to ‘Halloween’ them up, but I made three items so we’re going to look at them.
I’m going to say that if you have Halloween themed cookie cutters, I-
- Envy you.
- Think you’re at an advantage, therefore,
- Please see #1.
I had to work around it which wasn’t too hard, but if you’re making this on a big scale you are going to hate making chips in two seconds.
Enter, the butter knife and straw…
I wanted to get the wettest thing on a role before turning to the longest-cooking item, the sweet potato.
I sliced my zucchini diagonally to get long chips as these will be our little ghost faces! After slicing them I transferred them to a paper towel to start getting the moisture out and came back to them after the sweet potato was done [in hindsight I would have salted them now to get more additional moisture out now]. If you don’t have that long, at least 20 minutes should be okay, but I left mine for about an hour (and could easily leave it for longer).
After preheating the oven at 200C, I peeled, washed and cut my sweet potato slices as thin as I could before tossing them through some oil with a high smoking temp before forgetting I’m making ‘pumpkin’ faces.. so don’t forget like I did. Again, if you have COOKIE CUTTERS they would be great right now.
If you’re like me and couldn’t find any, grab a butter knife and cut yourself some holes. When you’re sick of it after three slices, do a few more.
Return them back to your oil bowl and season how you wish. I went with onion and garlic powder along with some hamburger seasoning before whacking them in the oven on my now sizzling rack tray. Depending on your slices and oven, you should have something promising around 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it because those little suckers turn fast.
Once done I put them on another tray and immediately slapped some salt on them, then let them rest.
Back to the zucchini. I hate zucchini but I try to incorporate it into things or dull that gross smell down as low as I can. After pressing out eyes and mouths out with a straw, I popped them back in our oil bowl with cumin, paprika and garlic before assembling in on our handy rack tray-
but we have another contestant!
The last homemade item is cream cheese and bacon fangs. I don’t have cookie cutters, but I whimsical ice trays, including the ghosts I used last year for drinks and fangs. Before we go into the bacon, right now is the best time to bring the cream cheese out and put the tray in the fridge so it’s nice and cool for when the mix goes in.
Since I was already baking and didn’t want to dirty anything else, I slapped some streaky bacon in with the zucchini and baked them for about 20 minutes on 200C again. After the bacon is done I let them cool while leaving the zucchini in for a further 10 on a fan grill.
Bacon. We’re back to it. Once cool and patted down it’s time to cut them up into little bits and put them in a bowl with cream cheese and some optional herb, combining for a tasty mix.
Next, grab our your fang tray and liberally coat the molds with a light oil (I used olive) before filling them all in before putting them in the fridge until the cheese has firmed back up.
Now it’s just down to however you wish to assemble your platter (if you have a large chopping board or anything that’s flat and looks cool, use it). If there’s too much of one (or just not enough) colour, get some food colouring and ‘splatter’ some colour on like I did with some marshmallows and popcorn. I’ve popped some examples in the above picture.
All done! Now if you have friends you can serve whenever you wish or if you’re like me, you start eating as you’re plating it only to continue eating until you’re staring down at a toy skeleton. Enjoy!