Halloween Week Dinner Ideas

cheese-manicotti

Need a little help with meal planning this week? We’ve planned a week of easy dinners perfect for busy nights that include, recipe remixes and festive Halloween-themed meals. Be sure to follow our Fall Favorites board on Pinterest for even more ideas.

Monday:

Looking to add a bit of holiday flare and excitement to your dinner table? Spend your time outside the kitchen by serving up our Cheese Lover’s Manicotti. This delicious cook from frozen dish helps to keep dinnertime simple. We recommend spicing up your meal with these fun, tasty themed drinks for your family.

family_pizza_nightTuesday:

Keep Halloween full of excitement by remixing our Family Pizza Night.  Whether it is a pumpkin shaped pizza crust or toppings arranged in the shape of a spider, ghost or jack-o-lantern, enjoy fun family memories by having your kids create with food.

autumn_pot_roastWednesday:

For a  quick and easy meal loaded with fall flavors your family will love, try our Autumn Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes. This crockpot dinner is perfect for a busy evening filled with last minute Halloween preparations.  

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Halloween Week Meal Plan

Halloween-meal-plan

Holidays, Recipes | October 26, 2014 | By

Need a little help with meal planning this week? We’ve got a week’s worth of easy dinners perfect for busy nights and festive Halloween-themed meals all planned out. Be sure to follow our Fall Favorites board on Pinterest for even more ideas!

Sunday:
You might need a little extra time to make this Roasted Butternut Squash Spiderweb Soup, but the delicious fall flavors are worth it! Another option is to make your favorite creamy soup and draw a spiderweb on top for an easy, fun dinner.

Monday:
These Halloween Baked Potato Skin Pizzas are easy to throw together with a little help from the kids. Use pizza toppings such as pepperoni and olives to create everything from Dracula faces and mummies to spiders and jack-o-lanterns.

Tuesday:
How fun are these Jack O’Lantern Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Peppers? They’re also deceptively simple to make. Just use a paring knife to carve faces in your orange bell peppers and fill them with mashed potatoes, browned ground beef, veggies and gravy.

Wednesday:
Surprise your kids with this spooky Halloween Spaghetti! A dose of black food coloring takes this recipe from your typical week-night spaghetti to a creepy Halloween treat.

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Have a safe and fun Halloween

kids_halloween_costumesDid you know that our celebration of Halloween actually dates back to Roman and Celtic traditions? The ancient Celts believed that on the day that separates the lighter half of the year from the darker half, spirits could pass through to the living world. To ward off unfriendly spirits, people dressed up in costumes and masks to disguise themselves as one. Nowadays, we don’t worry about protecting ourselves from evil spirits, but there are still many things to keep in mind in order to have a safe and fun Halloween.

Costumes:

  • Avoid all-black costumes or fasten reflective tape to dark costumes to increase visibility.
  • Use face paint instead of masks that can obscure vision. However, test the makeup for allergic reactions by dabbing some on the arm a day or two before Halloween. Make sure to remove all face paint before going to bed to prevent irritation.
  • Keep costume accessories, such as swords or knifes, soft and flexible.
  • Layer extra clothing underneath thin costumes to keep warm.

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Easy DIY Halloween Decorations

Halloween is the perfect holiday to have your kids’ help decorate the house. We found the best DIY projects that will allow kids of all ages to participate. They’ll have a ton of fun making these creepy decorations and you’ll save money with these super simple ideas.

  • Use paper plates, paint and colored paper to make a candy corn garland that would look cute hanging from a mantle or shelf. Learn more here.
  • Add eyes and mouths cut from black paper to white tissue paper bells and drape them with cheesecloth to make an eerie little ghost family. Click here for project idea and pictures.

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Pumpkin Carving Tips & Tricks

Every October for many families brings the tradition of picking out and carving pumpkins. Depending on how many you are carving, between the prep work and finish, an entire evening can be dedicated to just this fun project. Plan ahead for dinner and add some fun music in the background. For dinner, our Maple Glazed Pork Roast or Beef Pasta Bolognese both cook great in your crock pot leaving you more time to prep your pumpkins and less time cooking and cleaning up after dinner.

There is an amazing amount of ideas online for decorating and some pretty impressive templates you can purchase at your local store. However, good carving starts with selecting the right pumpkin. It is best to choose one that is fresh, has a strong, sturdy stem and no bruises or soft spots. Pumpkins with a flat bottom are ideal to prevent them from rolling away. Here are a few additional tips…

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Easy Edible October Centerpiece Idea

Photo Credit: Antonis Achilleos/Woman’s Day

We love elegant simplicity and this super easy edible harvest theme centerpiece idea is perfect. Just pour your candy corn into a clear glass container of just about any shape small or large. Put a white or black candle inside for a little Halloween festival flair. Stagger them with small pumpkins in between the vases and you’ve got a 60-second centerpiece solution!

We really like this whether we’re serving this month’s Mexican Meatballs or the Seared Valencia Tuna Steaks and hearty comfort foods on the menu this October.

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Family fun carving pumpkins

If you’re looking for a great pumpkin to carve this Halloween season, the best place to look is your local pumpkin patch. The best varieties for carving are Connecticut Field, Howden and Baby Bear pumpkins.

Be sure the pumpkin you choose is symmetrical enough to rest squarely on a flat surface. Pass over any with bruises, cracks or broken stems, because they tend to deteriorate quickly and try not to carve your pumpkins earlier than a day or two before Halloween.

Here are a few tips:

  • Flatten a spot in the base of the pumpkin for the candle but avoid digging too deep because the pumpkin becomes prone to rot.
  • Make sure the flame is not too close to the top of the pumpkin.
  • To prolong the life of the jack-o’-lantern, seal in moisture by coating all cut surfaces with petroleum jelly or vegetable oil, or cover it with a damp towel when not on display.
  • Consider giving smaller children stickers, tempera paint, or markers to decorate their own pumpkins.

For  a full list of great carving tips check out:

Perfect Pumpkins on FamilyFun.com