Friday, November 2, 2012

Our Halloween Open House and Easy Appetizer Recipes

Every year I host a Halloween open house, I make up a crock pot full of steaming hot mulled cider, and a spread of snacks and appetizers for whoever might stop by.  Sarah and Joe and a group of their friends met up here before going out to trick or treat through the neighborhood, we have a very nice community to trick or treat in, lots of friendly family homes, and everyone seems to get into the spirit of the evening.  For Sarah and her other senior friends this was their last year of trick-or-treating, they will be graduating this year, so it was fun for them to go around to neighbors homes one last time.

We were ready for passing out lots of candy as well. :)

Before and after their walk around town they had fun watching Halloween shows, playing Apples to Apples (always fun), and snacking on appetizers.

This year I wanted to try some new appetizer recipes, and I found some yummy and easy recipes.

The favorite of the night where Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots.  I saw a picture of these while I was looking for different bacon appetizer ideas, Bacon and Tater Tots, yum!  Such and easy recipe.

Slightly thaw a bag of tater tots (I microwaved mine for a couple of minutes) until they are thawed enough that you can push a toothpick through, but not so soft that they will fall apart.   Open a couple packages of bacon, cut the bacon in half, wrap each tater tot with half a slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick stuck through.  Cover a baking sheet in foil, and place an oven safe cooling rack on top of the foil, and put the wrapped tater tots on the rack.  Bake at 400 F. until bacon is crispy and tater tot is cooked through.  Time varies based on thickness of bacon, just keep an eye on them so they don't over cook.

Here they are just out of the oven, you can see the rack above the foil lined baking sheet, this is the same way I oven bake bacon for breakfast as well, the rack keeps the bacon out of its fat and keeps them uniformly shaped.

Here are the bacon wrapped tater tots ready to serve, everyone enjoyed them, these would be amazing at a breakfast buffet as well.  This is going in my list of go-to appetizer recipes!

I also wanted to make an appetizer that didn't require last minute use of the oven.  So I came up with mini Roasted Brown Sugar Pineapple Kabobs.

First I emptied three cans of drained pineapple chunks into a roasting pan that was drizzled with a little cooking oil.  Then I sprinkled the pineapple with brown sugar, probably a little more than a cup, enough so all the pineapple had a little brown sugar topping.

Then I roasted them at 375 F. for about 30 minutes, checking them frequently, and giving them a stir so the sugar didn't burn or stick, and long enough to evaporate some of the liquid from the pineapples.  Heres how they looked when they were done.

I transferred the pineapple with a slotted spoon to another container, and cooled them in the fridge until they were about room temperature.  Then I rolled up ham slices, and cut the rolls into bit size pieces, skewered a pineapple chunk on a frilly toothpick, then the roll of ham.  The salty ham went perfectly with the sweet roasted pineapple, great little refreshing tidbit!

I made a batch of the classic sweet and sour meatballs, I baked two bags of frozen turkey meatballs, while they were baking I heated in a saucepan one jar of chili sauce and half of a large jar of grape jelly (probably around a cup or cup and a half of jelly), until the jelly and chili sauce were combined and let it come to a low boil, stirring constantly, then simmer, stirring frequently until meatballs were done baking, and sauce had thickened a bit.  I transferred the meatballs to a large stainless steel mixing bowl, poured the sauce over the top, and gently tossed until they were coated.  I transferred then to a large casserole dish, and kept them covered in a low oven until I was ready to serve them.

Here are the sweet and sour meatball with serving skewers ready to eat.  A smaller batch would be a wonderful meal served over rice, definitely a classic favorite.

I baked a batch of pumpkin doughnuts, but they didn't rise, I had tried a new recipe that I found online, and I'm not sure what went wrong. I usually use my own recipe, like my Maple Spice Doughnuts or my cranberry orange doughnuts and they are yummy, so I will have to work on this pumpkin doughnut recipe to work out the kinks, although it was too moist and not risen enough it did have a good flavor.

Sarah and Joe had a fun Halloween, we came up with some fun costumes this year, Joseph was an Indiana Jones type explorer with a rope and compass and hat.  Sarah was a Lumber "Jane" with flannel shirt, suspenders, a black stocking cap, and a painted cardboard ax.  My camera was being persnickety about taking low light indoor pictures, I will add a better picture from my hubby's camera when he gets home today.  I love costumes made from items that can be found around the house.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  Halloween is always the kick off into the holiday season, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving in a few weeks, and am getting excited for Christmas as well!


  1. I love all of these recipes - especially the bacon wrapped tater tots and pineapple kabobs. I'm going to have to try those!! Thanks so much for sharing with the Afterschool Linkup!

  2. Those appetizers look really delicious - especially the sweet pineapple with the salty ham - yum!

  3. Mmmm, I should have been at your house! It sounds like a fun night.

    I thought of you this week. Little J's class is doing a literature unit on fairy tales and they had a special project day this past week. I've loved your fairy tale projects.


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