Our Best Halloween Recipes: Pumpkin Pie, Cookies & Cocktails

Recipes plays a utilitarian role in Thanksgiving; we expect to have certain dishes – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce – as a matter of historical tradition. But for Halloween, recipes get cloaked in gimmicks, a phenomenon that is not only tolerated …

Recipes plays a utilitarian role in Thanksgiving; we expect to have certain dishes — turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce — as a matter of historical tradition. But for Halloween, recipes get cloaked in gimmicks, a phenomenon that is not only tolerated but embraced. Scary Eye Cookies? Why sure! And you can pair them with Zombie Slime cocktails while you’re at it. Below, we round up some of our favorite Halloween recipes in three key categories: pumpkin, cookies, and cocktails.

Halloween Pumpkin Recipes

pumpkin-black-walnut-pie

Black Walnut Pumpkin Pie

cinnamon-swirl-pumpkin-cream-bread

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Cream Bread

spanish-pumpkin-and-bean-soup

Spanish Pumpkin & Bean Soup                    

 

Halloween Cookie Recipes

chewy-halloween-cookies-square-2

Chewy Halloween Monster Cookies

creepy eye cookies-square

Gluten-Free Scary Eye Cookies

monster-mash-cookies

Monster Mash Cookies

 

Halloween Cocktails

zombie-slime cocktail

Zombie Slime Cocktail

hi-res-bloodsucker

The Bloodsucker

halloween test tube shooters

Halloween Test Tube Shooters

 

What to Cook Now: Our Most Popular Video Recipes

Which recipes are most popular? The mix includes fried chicken, salsa, Cajun fries, pork chops, cocktails, cookies, and a vegan dish.

People always ask us: Which recipes are most popular? Well, we looked at the data (video views, site traffic, comments) and found a diverse mix that includes fried chicken, salsa, several sides, a souffle, potatoes, pork chops, cocktails, cookies, and an alternative vegan recipe of a popular seafood dish.

Louisiana Southern Fried Chicken

“Down south we do that double batter,” says chef Ace Champion, revealing some of the secrets behind this tasty fried chicken dish. The other keys? Buttermilk and a deep fryer set at 350. The best part? That crackling sound at 4:36.

See the recipe

Best Vegan Ceviche Recipe

Don’t like seafood? Won’t eat fish? Carolyn Scott-Hamilton demonstrates how to make vegan ceviche with mushrooms (oyster or portobello) and hearts of palm.

See the recipe

How to Make Salsa

What kind of tomatoes do you need? What else goes into salsa? And how can you preserve it in a jar for long-term storage? We’ve got the info in the video below.

See the recipe.

 

Maple Bourbon Pork Chops

How can you not love a cooking video that starts with a giant pour of bourbon into a pan? This Maple Bourbon Pork Chop recipe maintains a balance between salty and sweet.

See the recipe

 

How to Make a Tampa Bay Cuban Sandwich

This Tampa Bay Cuban Sandwich recipe video clocks in at under 1 minute long. What makes it Tampa Bay? We’re using salami, which is not usually in a Cuban sandwich.

See the recipe

90-Second Hasselback Potato

Chef Cari Martens demonstrates the ingenuity of this Hasselback Potato recipe; you slice the potato to create more surface area and then add seasoning. Where’s the name from? “Hasselback” was a restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden, where this dish was first introduced in the 1940s.

See the recipe

How to Make Dill Pickles

This is an ideal recipe for newbies; the video employs the simple “cold pack” method. No piping hot foods and you can course correct if you don’t like how it’s turning out. End result: whole or spear dill pickles. The only downside: You’ll need to wait four to six weeks to eat ’em.

See the recipe

Crispy Oven Baked Cajun Fries

Chef Ace Champion grew up in Louisiana and has developed dozens of popular recipes on Food Channel. Here’s the full Crispy Oven-Baked Cajun Fries recipe. Forward to 1:23 if you just want to cut immediately to him pouring a massive amount of seasoning over his sliced potatoes. The final touch: sriracha ketchup.

See the recipe

Easiest Spinach Souffle

Believe it or not, this is one of Chef Roni Proter’s weeknight meals, which means it’s not super-hard or time-consuming (45 minutes bake time).

See the recipe

 

Diabetic-Friendly Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are for everyone, as they are diabetic-friendly and gluten-free, and still manage to have a rich and perfectly sweet flavor. Just five ingredients required.

See the recipe

 

15 Fantastic Gluten-Free Dishes: Apps, Mains, Sides, Desserts

We rounded up our best gluten-free recipes for soups, dips, donuts, pizza, pies, and more.

Once upon a time, gluten-free dishes were hard to find or else poor substitutes for “the real deal.” Those days are long gone, but you might be surprised to learn what can be made gluten-free these days. We rounded up some of our favorite gluten-free recipes for soups, dips, donuts, pizza, pies, tacos, and more.

The dishes below include the following appetizers, side dishes, main courses, and desserts.

 

Gluten-Free Maple Walnut Bread

MAPLE WALNUT BANANA BREAD by GlutenFree.FollowMe
MAPLE WALNUT BANANA BREAD by GlutenFree.FollowMe

Gluten-Free, Chocolate-Filled, Coconut-Crusted Pie

This recipe for creating a Nest Pie is shared by the Pie Queen of Bowling Green, Brie Golliher.
Nest Pie. Photo: Brie Golliher.

Gluten-free Quinoa Indian Mac and Cheese

From the Quinoa Mac and Cheese cookbook: "Enjoy this savory, Indian-style Mac and Cheese with grass-fed lamb kabobs, cucumbers with yogurt, and deliciously grilled turmeric cauliflower. Namast-asty!"
Indian Mac and Cheese from Vibrantly Delicious.

Gluten-Free Seasoned Popcorn

Gluten-Free Seasoned Popcorn.
Gluten-Free Seasoned Popcorn. Photo: Ashley Pettit.

Gluten-Free Patatas Bravas Hash Brown Potato Pizza

Patatas Bravas Hash Brown Crust Pizza by Idaho Potato
Patatas Bravas Hash Brown Crust Pizza by Idaho Potato

Gluten-Free Wild Rice and Water Chestnut Stuffing with Sausage

For this stuffing that’s anything but traditional, chef adds the wholesome flavor of all-natural pork sausage to a base of wild rice. The result is a savory, delicious, unique, gluten-free stuffing or side dish.
Wild Rice and Water Chestnut Stuffing With Sausage. Photo: Jones Dairy Farm.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Squares

The average slice of pumpkin pie can weigh in at 350 calories and 13 grams of fat. These Light Pumpkin Pie Squares get their body from lite organic tofu and weigh in at about half the calories with about 3 grams of fat.
Pumpkin pie squares with fresh whipped topping. Photo: The Fit Foodie.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Donuts

These Pumpkin Spice Donuts are incredibly simple and so delicious, even for those who don't consider themselves the best 'bakers'! These donuts are also a healthier alternative than those made with a standard cake mix. Baking the donuts, instead of frying them, creates less mess. This is especially important if you're cooking up these sweet treats with your kids and family.
Pumpkin Spice Donuts by Roni Proter

Gluten-Free Pecan-Roasted Beet Dip with Sage

This vegan and gluten-free Pecan Roasted Beet Dip with Sage is pureed with sage and pecans for a warm, flavorful side dish. Serve with crackers, toasted bread or vegetables.
Pecan Roasted Beet Dip with Sage by American Pecan Council

Gluten-Free Green Pea and Edamame Dip

These 13 plant-based and vegetarian dishes and appetizers are still packed with all of the big taste necessary to fuel you through supporting your team with no regrets the next morning! So dig in, relax and enjoy.
Green Pea Edamame Hummus via Ritual Wellness curated by Project Juice

Gluten Free Fish Tacos

Gluten Free Fish Tacos

Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti

Simple Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti//Explore Cuisine
Simple Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti//Explore Cuisine

Gluten-Free Granola

Mesciua (Garbanzo bean Soup)

Mesciua

Food TikTokers You Should Know: The Crazy Comedian Vintage Recipe Tester

It’s not unusual to find people on TikTok or Instagram putting old recipes to the test – often with great trepidation. It is unusual to find someone who combines the zinging one-liners of Rodney Dangerfield with the oddball charisma of Ed Grimley …

It’s not unusual to find people on TikTok or Instagram putting old recipes to the test — often with great trepidation. It is unusual to find someone who combines the zinging one-liners of Rodney Dangerfield with the oddball charisma of Ed Grimley (Martin Short circa 1984) or Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens circa 1983). 

Meet B. Dylan Hollis, a man who may not need much introduction based on the size of his followings: He has 8.2 million TikTok followers, 1.1 million subscribers on Youtube, and 396,000 followers on Instagram (no recipe testing here, just pics and videos, sometimes playing the accordion). His recipe-testing videos are universally short and generally follow the same template:

  • screaming recitation of the recipe name and era when it was created
  • joke about said name of dish or concept
  • jiggling pompadour a la Conan O’Brien
  • incredulity when reading certain ingredients
  • sour face when tasting the abomination he’s made

But Hollis is not just making fun of old recipes. He clearly knows his subject; he’s finding these arcane recipes somewhere (he collects them apparently) and he’s genuinely taking the time to test them out, one by one  — since 2020 as far as we can tell. It’s hard to deny his charisma; his eyebrows have a life of their own, the double entendres fly, and the pace is rapid-fire.

Below, I’ve selected three recipes that demonstrate his skills. You’ll get the idea 10 seconds into any of them. But I bet you’ll click to see a second one too.

 

Who: B. Dylan Hollis

https://www.tiktok.com/@bdylanhollis

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDkEssvZ2uu_ntlIGy64GIg

https://www.instagram.com/bdylanhollis/

 

What: Vintage Recipes

 

Jellied Meatloaf from 1931

@bdylanhollis

What could go wrong? #baking #vintage #cooking #jello

♬ original sound – B. Dylan Hollis

0:08 “Who’s mooing now,” he screams at a pan of ground beef.

0:18 “You know what stings more than a knife Mr. Onion? Rejection!”

0:51 “It’s a cat food recipe!”

 

Ration Cake from 1942

@bdylanhollis

I have no words for what came out of the oven #baking #vintage #cooking #cake

♬ original sound – B. Dylan Hollis

0:02So it’s the ‘40s and we don’t have any butter, sugar, milk or eggs and we need to bake a cake!”

0:29Looks like barbecue sauce, smells of death.”

0:54 The sour face he makes at the end of many of his videos.

 

Water Pie from 1929

@bdylanhollis

Hands down the worst so far #vintage #baking #cooking #recipe

♬ original sound – B. Dylan Hollis

0:02 “Can you make a pie with 4 ingredients? Yes, I could also eat my mattress.”

0:21 “Add 3 gills of water… is this written for a fish?”

0:36Finished a bit early… like my ex.”

 

 

Cooking in a COVID-19 Crisis: Day Four

Photo by Benjamin Ashton on Unsplash Cooking in a COVID-19 Crisis: Day Four This is No. Four of this somewhat unusual recipe series, but we recognize it’s been weeks of #stayhome for many people. It’s time for a break. It’s also likely time for a …

Photo by Benjamin Ashton on Unsplash

Cooking in a COVID-19 Crisis: Day Four

This  is No. Four of this somewhat unusual recipe series, but we recognize it’s been weeks of #stayhome for many people. It’s time for a break. It’s also likely time for a trip to the grocery store, assuming you haven’t been for a week or more. The good news is your local grocery stores are probably still operating their meat or deli counters, with even more attention to safety and health than ever before.

This is the time to take advantage of the skills of those behind the counter. One of my  favorite things to pick up to bake at home is stuffed pork chops. My store has a bountiful selection of stuffings, already bound up inside a nicely butterflied  chop. Raisin and apple, mushroom and sage, wild rice, even plain—something for just about any taste buds. Choose yours, take it home and bake it, and you are good to go!

Pork Chops

This is a deli-ready dish that will make you feel like you spent hours in prep. Serve it with a side of pork gravy if desired, and something out of the everyday like canned cranberry sauce.

Step 1: Pick up stuffed pork chops from your grocer’s deli counter.

Step 2: Put the chops in a casserole dish, cover it with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes—taking the  foil off for the final 15. You can dress it up by adding canned cherries if you  want.

Step 3: Prepare your  sides—something like cranberry sauce, applesauce, and a green veggie.

Step 5: Serve, add a drink and dessert, and put up your feet while you watch whatever is in your queue.

Ingredients needed from your pantry (or the grocery store):

  • Stuffed porkchops from the deli/butcher counter
  • Packaged mix or canned gravy mix if desired
  • Canned cherries (usually found with the pie ingredients, but look for the non-jellied kind)
  • Side dishes such as vegetable and fruit

The price point on these is cheaper than you’d think, and they know just how to do it without the pork chops falling apart—trust them. Of course, you can always do the alternative of buying butterfly chops and stuffing them with your own creation (or packaged, such as StoveTop).

Be sure to plan ahead so you can limit your trips to the grocery store, and be safe out there!

 

Cooking in a COVID-19 Crisis: Day Three

Shortcut cooking at its best!

We don’t live on baked goods alone, but apparently baking has a new fascination. People who have never made bread before are trying it, putting packaged yeast in the endangered column. Cinnamon rolls, banana bread, even hot cross buns have all crossed my feed from everyday cooks.

Perhaps it’s a primordial need for carbs, and bread feels more virtuous than baking cookies. However, not everyone has the baking gene, and the desire for something comforting and yeasty doesn’t necessarily have to be fulfilled with hours spent waiting for something to rise before  baking.

Enter biscuits and gravy. My grandmother can be credited (or blamed) with my love for this  dish. She’d roll out fresh biscuits, fry up the sausage, and use the remaining grease to make the most delectable gravy my childhood heart could imagine. She’d bring it all to the table with flour smudged up her forearms and, often, in her hair. The smell throughout the house was tantalizing, and just the memory makes me salivate just a little.

Last year we had a big family event where 16 of us ended up in one house, sharing the cooking and clean up and having a wonderful time, with other family members nearby. At one point I suggested biscuits and gravy, and the next thing I knew we had 26 coming for breakfast. I took the shortcut of open-and-bake biscuits, but did the quick gravy from scratch—and the method below shortens it even more. In our theme of supporting local restaurants while still cooking, try this out on your carb-craving family.

Shortcut Biscuits & Gravy

Sure, you can make biscuits from scratch, or pop open a can (which is my usual go-to shortcut). However, times like these call for a quick drive through your favorite biscuit breakfast place. The easiest thing to do is drive-thru a Brahm’s, if you have one in your  area. Trust me, we’ve tested a huge sample of biscuits and gravy, and while Another Broken Egg Café has the best, Brahm’s is a good back up  found in more places.

For biscuits alone, though we tend to favor Hardee’s biscuits, but you may have other great choices in your  town. If you aren’t going to take the easiest road  and just pick up the full meal, the following is  about as easy as we can make it!

Step 1: Send someone to pick up the hot biscuits, as many as you need (and don’t fear the leftovers). If they don’t sell the biscuits by themselves, ask for them deconstructed. OR, pop open and bake a tube of Grands.

Step 2: Meanwhile, fry up one tube of Jimmy Dean regular/mild sausage in a frying pan.

Step 3: Add ¼ cup flour to the cooked sausage.

Step 4: Add 2 ½ cups whole milk and stir quickly.

Step 5: Add a little salt and a LOT of black pepper.

Step 6: Serve with coffee and juice. Leftovers, if any, microwave just fine.

Ingredients needed from your pantry (or the grocery store):

  • Grands Homestyle biscuits (if baking at home)
  • Jimmy Dean sausage
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coffee
  • Choice of juice

As always, be sure to plan ahead and limit your trips to the grocery store, and be safe out there!

 

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

 

Cooking in a COVID Crisis: Day Two

If you are tired of cooking or running out of recipes here’s day two of our solution, complete with an easy recipe for your family during this crisis.

Photo of Chick-fil-A

This  is Day Two of our somewhat random series of recipes and other food ideas that might take the pressure off cooking right now. After all, you are likely working from home, fitting in classroom lesson oversight, keeping things reasonably clean and not really sure how many more meals you can make without help. These recipes are specifically designed to rely on a little outside help—giving you the benefit of helping local restaurants AND staying home.

Mom’s Chicken & Stuffing

This is a recipe that came from my much-loved mother-in-law, with a shortcut or two from her version. Part casserole, part fancy dish, it is perfect for everyday or company (not that you are having any company, but you know what I mean). You can prepare it at any point when you need a break throughout the day, or even the night before, and bake it just before ready  to eat.

Step 1: Order chicken strips or nuggets from your favorite drive-through or delivery spot. We like Chick-fil-A (who doesn’t) and are also fans of Slim Chickens, if you have one of those in your area. Get enough to fill the bottom of your casserole dish with one layer.

Step 2: Cover the chicken with one can of Cream of Mushroom soup mixed with half a can of water. If you have a large casserole dish, adjust your quantity as needed.

Step 3: Prepare a stuffing mix, such as Stove Top and mound the stuffing over the top of the chicken and soup.

Step 4: When ready to bake, put it in the oven and bake uncovered at 325 degrees for one hour.

Step 4: Add sides such as green beans, canned pears, or a salad.

Step 5: Serve, add a drink and dessert, and pull out a family  board game for the rest of the evening.

Ingredients needed from your pantry (or the grocery store):

  • Cream of Mushroom soup
  • Stuffing mix, with the butter required to make it
  • Side dishes such as vegetable and fruit

If you prefer to do this the “hard way,” which isn’t that hard, just get some fresh chicken tenders at the grocery store, dip them in a series of flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, and fry until done. Layer these into the bottom of your casserole dish and follow the rest of the instructions from there.

You  can also use a package of herb seasoned bread crumbs, such as Pepperidge Farms, instead of a prepared stuffing. This recipe is so versatile—you can even use different soups, such as Golden Mushroom or Cream of Celery, if your family isn’t into the mushroom flavor.

As always, be sure to plan ahead and limit your trips to the grocery store, and be safe out there!