I have to confess something: I`ve never been one to get all excited about Halloween. I see it as being a marker for when I start counting the days, in particular shopping days, until Christmas, but other than that, I don't get what all the fuss is about. But, I am the mother of an 11 year old and in this tech-savvy, fast-paced world, I will do just about anything to preserve her childhood innocence for as long as I can and I therefore embrace Halloween to make it as much fun as I can for her. The house has been decorated, costumes all ready to go, treats to give out at the door picked up and homemade treats all taken care of with Graveyard Brownies, Banana Ghosts, Popcorn Hands and Strawberry Monsters, Ghosts and Pumpkins. But what about her packed lunch for school? No sooner had I put my thinking cap on than ideas started to come to me, starting with sandwiches cut in Halloween shapes. I used large Halloween cookie cutters, cut out the bread slices and made regular deli shaved turkey breast sandwiches on white and whole wheat bread. These whimiscal little sandwiches were simple to make but sure to bring a smile to any child's face when they open their lunchbox.
Halloween shaped sandwiches were easy enough, but what else could I do? My daughter happens to really like dill pickles so I wondered what I could do with them to Halloween-them-up. Looking at the dill pickles, I thought of a character from a show that was on tv when I was a little girl called 'H.R. Pufnstuf', and more particularly, about the character 'Witchy Poo', with her gnarly nose. (I fashioned every witch I ever drew from the time I was about 5 years old after Witchy Poo, with particular emphasis on her nose!). From there, I came up with Gnarly Dill Fingers, ('cause not even the bravest kid would be much interested in eating a witch's nose...just saying). I took one large dill, quartered it, cut off just the outer peel at the tip of each quarter, and placed little red pepper triangles where the peel had been removed and voila! Gnarly Dill Fingers!
Next, I thought some sort of green goo would be perfect for a Halloween snack. Spinach? Zucchini? Green Peas? Nope! Guacamole! I often pick up Yucantan Guacamole's 4 x 2 oz. pack of organic guacamole which I really like for lunch from time to time. By simply adding some monsterly sticker eyes to the little 2 ounce container and adding blue corn tortilla chips for 'hair', simple guacamole and tortilla chips was transformed into Guacamonsters! (These little critters were my personal favorite).
Feeling energized by my Guacamonsters, I had a peek in my refrigerator and saw a package of Pillsbury Jumbo Size Crescent Rolls and Maple Leaf Naturals All Beef Wieners. Dogs in a Blanket is a little treat I make from time to time but I had a better idea....Mummified Wieners! I rolled out two of the crescent rolls, pinched them together and then cut them in thin strips. I wrapped the wieners in the strips, leaving a little opening for where the eyes would be. I then baked them according to the package instructions at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 17 minutes. When they were cooled, I squeezed on a couple of dots of mustard on each one for eyes, and placed them with a small container of Vampire Blood, aka. ketchup. These were definitely Mackenzie's favorite Halloween snack treat.
Quite pleased with how my Mummied Wieners turned out, I reached a little further and decided to try some sort of pizza treat. Inspired by the crescent roll triangles, I rolled out some more crescent roll dough, spoon on some pizza sauce, a little diced pepperoni and a pinch or two of shredded skim cheddard and mozzarella cheese. I folded the crescent roll up into a triangle shape, pressed the edges together and then shaped the triangle to look like a witch's hat, added little pepperoni diamonds on the brim and sprinkled the entire hat with grated parmesan cheese and dry Italian seasoing before baking them for 17 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. My little four year old food tester, Grace, LOVED her Witch Hat Calzone for lunch yesterday and that, let me tell you, is some pretty high praise!
Having a little bit of the crescent roll dough left, I twirled them up like I would breadsticks and then shaped the ends to look like the ends of a bone. I then sprinkled these breadsticks with grated parmesan cheese and dry Italian seasoning to make Parmesan Bread Bones, which I baked at the same time as my Witch Hat Calzones.
To make three Mummified Wieners, three Witch Hat Calzones and approximately 6 Parmesan Bread Bones, you'll only need one package of Pillsbury Jumbo Crescent Rolls ad all the treats can be baked at the same time, for the same duration, at the same temperature....pretty darn easy if you ask me! From sandwiches to Parmesan Bread Bones, these Hauntingly Delicious Halloween School Lunch Snacks took less than 45 minutes from start to finish and my test kitchen of 4 year old Grace, 11 year old Mackenzie and 13 year old Cassidy gave each snack 6 thumbs up!
Although these little treats were made with school lunch in mind, I'm thinking they'd go over well at an adult Halloween Party too which makes them even more versatile and I do love versatility! Pumpkin and Ghost Sandwiches, Gnarly Dill Fingers, Guacamonsters, Mummified Wieners, Witch Hat Calzones and Parmesan Bread Bones....easy, healthied-up, inexpensive AND delicous!