Join us on Wednesday for a Facebook chat with Food Network Kitchens about Halloween recipes and entertaining. Bring your spooky-food questions and let us help you take the fear factor out of hosting a memorable Halloween bash.
It kicks off this Wednesday, October 24 at 1pm/12c on Food Network’s Facebook page.
There has always been something deliciously spooky about wire baskets. Even the quaintest Victorian type conjures up memories of my Connecticut childhood when small groups of us ventured out on Halloween, letting the owls guide our way down seemingly endless and dark winding drives to the trick-or-treat prize.
Now I love placing something orange (but not too bright) or a dulled red fruit in a wire basket as a nod to the Halloween palette. Something with an irregular shape, a root vegetable perhaps, also looks great in a black wire basket, especially when it’s sticking out through the wire.
I’ve seen black wire baskets in stores and on many websites this season, and am quite fond of the vintage pieces from any century or style: Victorian, art deco, midcentury or shabby chic. Any of these will do.
Since they have a common denominator of black wire, the styles mix well. With their various shapes and sizes, they create a wonderful focal point, either in a row or clumped together on a coffee table, or by the entrance or front steps, where trick-or-treaters or party guests will be sure to spot them.
Keep reading for DIY tips
Kids who ring Alton Brown’s doorbell on Halloween don’t get the usual fun-size candy bar. Over the years, the Browns have handed out homemade taffy, candied apples, headless marshmallow bunnies — you name it. But of all of Alton’s Halloween creations, nothing tops his candy corn. As usual, Alton and the Good Eats team approached the project as a science experiment: They created the recipe in April but used a dehumidifier in the kitchen to mimic crisp fall air. Alton also tested every imaginable food coloring before choosing gel paste. The resulting recipe, which appears in his latest cookbook, Good Eats 3: The Later Years, is easy — and super impressive, Alton says. “When you tell people you’ve made candy corn, they say, ‘Holy cow, you made your own?!’” Plus, a lot of candy corn haters realize they actually like the stuff when it’s homemade. For the record, Alton will take his candy corn any which way. “I’m not a snob,” he says. “I won’t turn down the store-bought stuff.”
Alton says the candy corn tastes better after a few days: It dries out a little and becomes chewier, and the flavor intensifies. Find out how to make it with this step-by-step.
It’s no secret that Sandra Lee is the queen of Halloween. Year after year, we watch as this semi-homemade maven redesigns her kitchen into a themed masterpiece and cooks up ghoulishly simple eats and drinks to celebrate this spooky holiday. But perhaps most impressively, Sandra dons next-level Halloween costumes that all but transform her into the timeless characters she portrays. Some of her most-memorable outfits include Alice in Wonderland (pictured above), which she sported in last year’s Sandra in Halloween Wonderland; Audrey Hepburn, complete with a sky-high bun and signature sunglasses; and a sword-yielding Lady Marian.
This year we’re asking you, the fans, to relive Sandra’s top Halloween moments and vote for her best-ever costume. Check out all 18 of Sandra’s costumes here, and then cast your fan vote for your favorite look up to 10 times per day.
For more Halloween tricks and treats from Sandra, watch this collection of videos in which she shares no-fail tips and recipes to help you host a hauntingly easy Halloween bash.
Visit Food Network’s Halloween Headquarters to find recipes for scary-good sweet treats, party-ready munchies and more Halloween must-haves.
Halloween Wars returns for a second season on Sunday, October 7 at 9pm ET/PT with five new teams, each consisting of a pumpkin-carving artist, a cake decorator and a candy craftsman, battling it out over the course of four episodes to create the ultimate Halloween-themed display that will feature heart-pounding creations. One team will be eliminated each week by the judging panel, made up of renowned cake decorator Shinmin Li and award-winning special effects, makeup artist and horror movie actor/director Tom Savini. The last team standing will wind the grand prize of $50,000. Hosted by Justin Willman (Cupcake Wars), each episode will also have a rotating guest judge that is no stranger to scary situations: Shawnee Smith (Saw, Anger Management), Rutina Wesley (True Blood), Chaske Spencer (the Twilight saga) and Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries).
Premiering Sunday, October 7 at 9pm ET/PT
Evil Clowns: In the first of four battles, five teams, each made up of a pumpkin-carving expert, cake artist and candy craftsman, must combine their talents to create the most terrifying clown imaginable. At the end of the battle, one team will be eliminated.
Special guest judge: Shawnee Smith
Read more »
It won’t be too tough to go meatless today, as your diet will likely consist of just chocolate and candy corn. However, if you want to squeeze in a good-for-you meal in between your sweet indulgences, we have a ghoulishly good meatless menu for you this Halloween.
Robin Miller’s veggie-friendly chili (pictured above) is full of protein-packed beans, fresh bell pepper and heaping spoonfuls of hot sauce, chili powder and pickled jalapeno. Simply combine the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it do all the work, so you can enjoy trick-or-treating and have dinner waiting at home.
Ladle the chili atop mashed potatoes, polenta or rice, or serve along with Gina’s Cheddar and Herb Biscuits, ready in less than 30 minutes.
Get the recipe: Robin’s Vegetarian Chili
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
Trick or treat, smell my feet, can I have a homemade sweet to eat? This year, skip the usual store-bought candies and whip up some Halloween classics in your own kitchen. Perfect to pass at a Halloween party or hand out to eager trick-or-treaters, our devilish decadences below are quick to make and feature your favorite sugary flavors.
It takes just four ingredients to make Food Network Magazine’s ghoulishly good Caramel Puffs (pictured above). Dip large marshmallows into creamy caramel, set atop crushed pretzel sticks and drizzle with decadent chocolate sauce. Once dry, put two of these salty-sweet concoctions in a cellophane bag for an easy gift.
Homemade Peppermint Patties and Baby Ruth’s »
The trick of October is for the monster mishmash of kids’-soccer watching, family apple-picking and pumpkin-patch prowling to lead up to a calm, cool finale: Halloween. For months my three boys, ages nine, seven and three, have plotted their costumes: a Harry Potter Quidditch player, a wizard — not Harry! — and a superhero dinosaur (whatever that is). My plans for what to serve while we carve pumpkins is less set in stone.
Inspiration for last-minute Halloween party treats, Harry Potter-style, came during a quick trip to Florida this week. After all, little wizards need food and drink for fruitful spells. At Hog’s Head, a pub at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, executive chef Steven Jayson told me Butterbeer, a drink the characters in J.K. Rowling’s now-classic series loved, is a favorite among the park’s Potter fans. Count my kids as part of that crew — after riding the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster, not before. ”Butterbeer is nonalcoholic and is served either cold or frozen; both versions are frothy and reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch,” he said. Sweet. He’s right about the taste given the thousands of drinks they pour daily, but I’d include cream soda in my description too; with each sip I tried to pull apart the components, knowing I’d want to stir up some at home.
Recipes for Butterbeer and more »
When there’s a chill in the air and a jack-o’-lantern on the porch, it’s time for wine that’s spooky in every place but inside the glass. Here are five wine options that will have you laughing like Vincent Price:
1. Wine for Candy:
A sweet-seeming red like an oaky Shiraz, Zinfandel or Cabernet will pair nicely with mini-Snickers or a fist-full of Jujubes.
2. Hard Cider:
If your Halloween will include bobbing for apples or caramel apples, ask your local wine merchant for their best hard apple cider. Recently fashionable among wine hipsters, hard cider has a delicious, farm-fresh taste joined by a light sparkle and a low alcohol content.
Wine with scary names »
The Halloween season practically requires us to consume unusual amounts of sugary treats. This year, whether you are hosting a Halloween party or simply entertaining trick-or-treaters, offer homemade sweet snacks in addition to the community candy bowl. Our top five recipes for spooky Halloween treats are go-to classics that kids and kids at heart will enjoy.
5. Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes — Sandra’s 30-minute recipe utilizes store-bought cupcakes, which she tops with rich, dark-chocolate frosting and shaped orange fondant.
4. Pecan-Caramel Spiders — Homemade caramel and pecan clusters become the spider bodies while licorice acts as legs and melted and shaved chocolate toppings add realistic color and texture.
Get the top three recipes »