42°F
weather icon Clear

DIVAS ON A DIME: Having fun while staying safe this Halloween

When you consider Halloween usually consists of people wandering about outdoors wearing masks, this might be less different than we anticipate. However, since conventional trick-or-treating isn’t on the agenda, here are some ideas to make the most of the Quarantine-o-ween.

Look for outdoor events organized with safety in mind. Be sure to bring supplies you’ll need such as hand sanitizer and extra masks. Keep contact to a minimum and sanitize your treats when you get home.

If you’re giving goodies at a trunk or treat or other Halloween event where you don’t personally know the recipient, be sure to give candy wrapped in the manufacturer’s original packaging. And pre-portion individual servings as this keeps little ghouls and boys from digging their grubby little hands into the candy bowl.

Alternatively, you can stay home and enjoy a virtual Halloween. Plan online video chats with friends and family to show off costumes and decorations. You could arrange to enjoy a meal, tell scary stories, have a dance contest, even carve pumpkins “together”.

For adults, the cool part about this scenario is you’re all home so no one is driving. This year you can imbibe some Halloween spirits while you eat, drink and be scary.

Plan a spooky movie night. Pop the popcorn, plump the pillows and gather the family to enjoy a marathon of Halloween-themed movies. Alternatively, you could set up a projector in the yard and invite friends and neighbors to bring lawn chairs or blankets and share the movie – at an appropriate distance, of course.

Deliver “Scare Packages” to friends and neighbors filled with Halloween-themed treats. Ordinarily I’d suggest doing it anonymously but this year for comfort’s sake, we need to know who’s supplying the boos. This is where you can share some stellar homemade goodies along with other treats.

Here’s an idea for delightfully dreadful cookies so simple I can’t bring myself to call it a recipe. So, we’ll call it a “technique”. In this “technique” we bake some sugar cookies. Use your favorite family recipe or buy a tube of ready-to-bake cookie dough. When they come out of the oven, we squish some toy bugs into them to make an imprint that will stay as the cookies cool and harden.

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it’s a riff on an old Martha Stewart recipe for Fossil Cookies. So, hats off to Martha! Of course, Martha’s look like they’re actually made of stone and I’ll bet she didn’t find her bugs at the dollar store. But I did and everyone loves these cookies!

A word about the bugs – be sure to thoroughly wash the bugs prior to using them on food. I also recommend you purchase new bugs for this purpose, no matter how tempting it may be to scrounge around the kiddies’ rooms looking for the bugs you bought last year.

Also, some bugs make better impressions than others. I found centipedes, spiders and cockroaches worked beautifully. (Now, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)

CREEPY CRAWLY COOKIES

What You’ll Need:

Sugar cookie dough – store bought or homemade

Plastic bugs

Here’s How:

Prepare the cookie dough according to your recipe or package directions. Be sure to portion the dough so the cookies are large enough to accommodate your plastic bugs after baking. Bake cookies according to your recipe or package directions. For the next step, you’ll need to work quickly and use caution due to hot cookies and cookie sheets. When the cookies come out of the oven, give them only a moment or two to barely cool before you press the bugs into the surface of the warm cookies. Don’t be afraid to really press them in there. Use a toothpick to press details like legs and antennae. Carefully remove the bugs and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet until firm, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining cookies.

If you wish to give these cookies away, you can package them with chocolate kisses and label them “Bugs and Kisses” or attach a bag of cookies to a jug of apple cider and label them “Spiders and Cider”.

This Halloween may look different from years past, but that doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy it. In fact, this year may start new traditions we’ll enjoy for years to come. You can still be the ghostess hostess with the mostest, you’ll just have to get creative and adjust to accommodate our current situation. Happy Halloween!

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
DIVAS ON A DIME: Pumpkin gives classical bread pudding a seasonal twist

In a season traditionally filled with good things to eat, let’s add another entry to the dessert table, shall we? I’m talking about bread pudding. Now, here is a dish that radiates nostalgia. Once eaten mainly by the poor to use up stale bread, bread pudding is now considered comfort food extraordinaire.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Nov. 7 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $25 million.

A make-ahead meal to make your holidays easier

Well folks, the season of giving is upon us. So, I’m suggesting you begin by giving yourself a gift. Prepping meals ahead and storing them in your freezer is an excellent way to relieve some holiday stress and that’s a gift we deserve.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, Oct. 28 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $22 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: This Halloween cookie is so easy it’s scary

Oh, the crisp night air, the warm apple cider, the pumpkins. Don’t you just love this time of year? For most families Halloween means the first big festivity of the holiday season. While all the kiddies love the creepy, spooky side of this holiday, I’m all about the food. You, too?

DIVAS ON A DIME: Simple tricks to make stuffing squash a treat

This time of year, I can’t go grocery shopping without coming home with at least one squash. This week I bought acorn squash and I’m in autumn comfort food heaven. Squash are in season, delicious, versatile, frugal, and fabulous!

Shortcuts give this seasonal pumpkin dish a twist

Is it time for all the pumpkin things? I hope you said yes, because I have a scrumptious pumpkin recipe. Let’s make pumpkin ravioli! But let’s make it easy. Rather than make fresh pasta, let’s use wonton wrappers, and we’ll use canned pumpkin and a two-ingredient sauce.

DIVAS ON A DIME: How to get your salmon fix on a tight budget

A well-stocked pantry is a wonderful thing. Here’s a stellar pantry staple I don’t write about often enough, so let’s dive into some canned salmon.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Sept. 26 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $13 million.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, Sept. 23 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $12 million.