We asked readers who love this holiday to contribute their recipes and ideas for treats to satisfy tricksters. We got a wonderful response and want to thank everyone who took time to write.
Of course, we had to give your ideas a try. Here are some of grossest and grandest.
Cynthia Petryszak of Cooper City says her favorite Halloween dish is so easy she's not even sure it's a recipe. She takes store-bought Moon Pies. Then she melts some chocolate chips in a small zip-seal bag in a microwave. She cuts a small piece from a corner of the bag. She then inserts an ice cream or craft stick into the marshmallow between the cookies in the pie. She uses the melted chocolate to "cement" the stick. Then she gives the "pops" to kids to decorate with frostings and a variety of colorful holiday candies.
For parties, she ties orange ribbons around the sticks and places the pops in a tin bucket filled with floral foam covered with moss. "The kids can help themselves," she says. She also recommends this as a classroom project.
The eyes have it
Trim both ends of a radish. Scoop a hole in one end and insert a small, stuffed green olive. It'll look like a "bloodshoot eyeball." Freeze these in ice cubes. "They are great for scary cocktails," says Colleen Brangan of Pompano Beach.
We tried it: The tool you use to core zucchini or eggplants, which is available at Middle Eastern grocery stores, works great for coring the radish. Use tiny manzanilla olives that fit perfectly into the hole. The longer the radish freezes in the ice cube, the more red and "bloodshot" it looks. You can leave some of the radish sticking out of the ice cube. It looks particularly bloodshot and scary.
What's in a creepy name
When Phyllis Petrella of Tamarac makes a Halloween party (it's also her birthday), she offers a menu of "bloody stew" (chili), "gargoyle eyeballs" (meatballs), "pus dip" (guacamole), "baked skin" (potato chips) and "witches brew" (punch).
"We do it up right," she says.
A juicy idea
When the trick-or-treat candy ran out last Halloween, Colleen Brangan of Pompano Beach passed out juice boxes. "The kids loved them," she says. Their parents probably did, too.
Loretta Badder of Davie works at the Hollywood Beach Reading Center Library and takes Witch Hats to her customers. She makes them by attaching a Hershey's Kiss to a chocolate-covered graham cookie with a squirt of orange icing. "Happy Halloween is my favorite holiday," she says.
We tried it: These very cute, tasty hats are made by taking Keebler Fudge Shoppe Deluxe fudge-covered graham crackers and topping them with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss. Choose the flavor Kiss you want (we went for the dark chocolate). If you use marshmallow creme instead of icing to hold them together, these Witch Hats taste like s'mores.
The mother of four children, Tracy Petik of Fort Lauderdale makes some monster munchies. Think bat wings: whole chicken wings (all three pieces) hanging on the edge of a bowl with dip in the bowl. Or Lumberjack's Fingers made from hot dogs, crescent dough wrapped around them for knuckles and radish slices for the nail. And don't forget the ketchup blood.