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Halloween Potluck Help - must be EASY and kid-friendly

  • jboeke Oct 28, 2010 01:35 PM
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As a new mom, I am starting the parent/kid party circuit this year. Our neighborhood does a children's party/parade every year, which I have never attended before due to lack of child! But we're going this year and I need to bring a dish, but all of my recipes are really adult-oriented foods or require lots of prep time. Here are the details:

1. Party is outside, so no electricity for crock pots, etc.
2. Expect 100 people (50% kids), but don't have to feed all...say enough for 10-20?
3. I have other commitments all week & weekend that prevent any advance prep. I need something that can be made that day with only about 2-hrs before the party available to cook.
4. Due to the number of children, I'd like something kid-friendly but still adult pleasing.
5. Can be a protein, side, or dessert, but others have already signed up for hummus, salsa, crudites, fruit salad, ham-biscuit-sandwiches, and other obvious choices.

I'm on the verge of picking up a tray of Chik-fil-a nuggets, so any ideas are welcome!!
Thanks in advance!

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  1. I know this is an easy fix - but since you are a new mom, and until you get this first one under your belt, how about trying some rice krispie treats with butterscotch chips? You can make them the day ahead and be less stress for your first time. And/or some brownies with chocolate frosting and orange m&m's or sprinkles on top?

    1. Boyzomas got a great idea just above this, but if you want something fairly substantial, why not make wraps and cut them into pinwheels? Large flour tortillas spread with herbed cheese of some sort, maybe plain for the kids, e.g. cream cheese; good sliced roast beef, turkey, or ham, or even pbj. Done in a snap, and kids tend to like them as long as nobody's gone waaaaay out there with the fillings. Ham, cheese and a dill pickle spear is a good filling, or turkey/pesto, or, or, or. Have an awesome Halloween, and now that you're having kids, get ready for the time of your life. ;-)

      1. A big round tray of assorted nuts, made into a jack-o-lantern face by using the dark and light colors of nuts, pumpkin seeds, etc. No cooking, last minute. Can be elaborate, or as simple as 2 triangular eyes and a grin.

        You could put it in a big round aluminum pizza pan.

        1. I've done chicken drumettes tossed in falafel mix and baked. Call them bat legs. You could also do a rub or a sweet and spicy glaze. Leave some plain for the less-adventurous kids.

          1. Halloween Children's buffet is right up my alley.

            Each year my menu is different; chicken quesadillas, hamburgers, cheese and pepperoni pizzas with salad (shockingly enough some of the little kids love salad with ranch or Italian dressing).
            Then there are chicken fingers with different dipping sauces
            BBQ pork buns and baby back ribs - they loved these. Chicken drummies with dipping sauce
            I've found these last 6 years, I can never tell what all kids like. Some like only cheese and pizza, but others are quickly becoming as educated about food as their parents or at the least more open to foods. I never have food left over.
            Asian menu is always fun and the food eaten by all the guests.

            1. I am surprised that no one posted these. Not very chowish, but delicious none-the-less, as well as darn easy!

              Here's the recipe for a favorite (and easy) Halloween treat...Mummy Dogs!
              http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/cres...

              I suggest ketchup instead of mustard, as it looks a little like blood, which makes it more fun for the kids to eat! :)
              Good luck!

              Edit: Oh and to save money/make more, you can always cut the hot dogs in half, and make mini-mummies!

              1. Since you've nowhere to keep things warm, I'd go with a tray of sandwiches; you could poach a chicken & make chicken salad. Chix can be poached a couple of days ahead, then boned & made into salad the day before. You could buy loaves of french or italian bread & cut thin slices lengthwise then use holloween cookie cutters for interesting shapes. Other breads and fillings would work also and you could go with just cutting the sandwiches into quarters. Also, a tray of cubed cheese & ham on picks with maybe a cherry tomato is quick & easy to eat.

                Easy snacks include savory chex mix (I have about six recipes I created, would be happy to share if interested) and if you go on their website, you'll find a ton of different mixtures. It would be a snap to bag these up in cellophane bags and tie with Holloween inspired ribbon (Dollar tree stores sell paks of 18 Holloween snack bags for a buck that come with a twist tie).

                I like to make mini popcorn balls to package up as well. You could use raisins or any host of decorations to make faces on the balls. Another favorite is to make a pan of orange blondies; frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with orange sprinkles. Also make a pan of chocolate brownies/frost with orange frosting and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Cut small squares out and onto a tray. Everyone loves these and it looks like Holloween.

                1. Please note, OP said she cannot do advance prep, has 2 hours only, immediately preceding the party.
                  And no electricity for heating or cooling.

                  1. really easy, you could do a couple of "trifles" in big serving trays... layer cake cubes or cookie pieces, then fruit and/or marmalade, a layer of orange tinted cream cheese blended with butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, lather rinse repeat and garnish with whipped cream, and desired candies or more cookie crumbs or graham crumbs...

                    bonnie's buffalo chicken dip with celery and bread... it's even orange... and is good at room temp.

                    1. I find that there are many wonderful times in life to flex your cooking muscles and go outside the box, preparing a dish that is out of this world!

                      HOWEVER....an outside party on halloween when most of the guests are going to made delusional by the vast amounts of candy is not one of those times!

                      make your life supremely easy by ordering a few pizzas to be delivered to you at the party site...as for them to be cut into 16ths or 'party squares'

                      it's not chow-ish but i guarantee you they will go in a hot minute!

                      1. Sausage balls (made with bisquick, cheese, sausage, etc). Smash a half of a green olive into each - and it becomes a monster eyeball. They're very substantial (to counteract all the candy) - and they taste just as good as they cool to room temp.

                        1. Thanks to everyone for the ideas! Since other party-goers have already claimed pizza, rice krispie treats, pigs in blankets and wings, I am leaning towards the pinwheels. I like that they're cold and I can do both a child and adult version. I'm thinking turkey with fresh mozzerella, roasted red peppers (jarred) and pesto, a basic ham & cheese with mustard for the kids, and maybe a roast beef with arugula and horseradish sauce. Great suggestions from everyone!!