Every Halloween, I cook a big pot of pumpkin chili and put a bunch of easy appetizers on the table. Most of them are simple and healthy, to counteract the candy: chips and salsa, carrots and a bowl of ranch dressing, maybe a bowl of grapes. We usually have cornbread, either homemade or from Lizard's Thicket, a local meat-and-three. This year, I may experiment with an all pumpkin menu.
Our Halloween drop-in is ridiculously casual, first come, first serve, and we may even ask you to hand out candy if we want to take a break. We are lucky enough to live in one of those neighborhoods where people love to come trick or treat. The other day, my 12-year-old son said, "If Yelp had trick or treating reviews of neighborhoods, we'd be number one." True. People drive from miles away to trick or treat here and we get the pleasure of seeing tons of cute kids in costume. I love it! But every now and then, I have to leave the porch to go grab another bowl of chili, so it's nice to have a crowd of helpers.
Now that everyone knows our pumpkin chili, I want to add some new dishes to the menu. And I'm totally including pumpkin, because I'm on a roll and I love a gimmick. Some recipes I'm considering...
- Pumpkin Cornbread - The New York Times
- Mini Pumpkin-Sage Balls - Vegetarian Times
- Fast and Easy Pumpkin Fries - YumSugar, adapted from O, The Oprah Magazine
- Pumpkin, Bacon and Goat Cheese Crostini - I'm sure there are hundreds of variations out there, but I don't really need a recipe for this one.
- Sikil P'ak (Pumpkin Seed Salsa) - Saveur
- Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad - Bon Appétit
- Pumpkin Patch Cheese Balls - Southern Living. These amaze me, so seventies, and I want them.
- Pumpkin Cheese Ball - Southern Living. Technically, this is not made of pumpkin. But it looks like pumpkin. And it's a cheese ball. Who doesn't love a pumpkin shaped cheese ball?
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - The Kitchn
What are your favorite pumpkin snacks? And what will you be doing on Halloween? Want to stop by for come chili?
(Image credits: Faith Durand)