Growing up, my family never really celebrated Halloween. But, as I got older and started my own family, I have gravitated to anything that gives me an excuse to decorate around a specific theme. After living in New Orleans for five years, I learned how to really love holidays that require you to go all out when it comes to costumes! My toddler loves dressing up, and she loves when we make and create food, so I knew I could not disappoint this Halloween. However, this is a day known for tons of candy and sweets, so I wanted to create a dinner that was fun and tasty, but still allowed for some healthy and quality foods like fruit, veggies, and Tetons Waters Ranch meats.
If you caught my blog post a couple of months ago, you’ll know that I have a few hacks for a dinner #momwin. One of them is to use pre-made foods like Teton Waters Ranch meats to cut down on dinner time and another is to do a board for dinner! For holidays and special occasions, I usually combine these two concepts because I want to minimize my time in the kitchen and a board never disappoints. Not only is it pretty, it gets my toddler to try new foods, and it allows for all of us to sit down at the table and enjoy dinner together, rather than me getting up 20 times to get milk, refills, or whatever else.
When I started thinking about this board, I knew the star of the show would be Teton Waters Ranch Hot Dogs! They’ve been my go-to company when it comes to all things hot dogs and sausages since I discovered them on a Costco trip about four years ago. This is one of the few meats that my toddler eats, the flavor is unmatched and I know that quality ingredients are always used so I feel good about eating them myself and giving them to my family. I’ve always loved pigs in a blanket, so I figured a Halloween variation of those were in order. It was so easy to buy crescent roll dough, cut it into thin strips, wrap it around the hot dogs, and throw it in the oven per the package instructions to make “mummy” hot dogs. For the rest of my board pieces, I browsed Pinterest for a little inspiration and then got to work. So, here’s what I added to make the board complete.
- Pumpkin Oranges: I happen to keep Cutie oranges and Reese’s Pieces in my house at all times. The oranges are perfect snacks and the Reese’s make a nice little treat at the end of the day. To make my pumpkins, all I did was peel the oranges and put a piece of chocolate on the top.
- Spiders on a Log: This is a take on a childhood favorite, and again, I used the mini Reese’s Pieces from my pantry. I cut celery into smaller pieces, filled it with some peanut butter and added a couple of Reese’s on top to make spiders. For the legs, I melted some chocolate chips from my pantry, by putting a handful in a microwave safe container for about 30 seconds and used a toothpick to draw them on.
- Caprese Salad Eyes: This one is for us parents! I used a piece of basil for the base, cut the round sides off of cherry tomatoes, and placed them on top of the basil. Then, I added a piece of mini mozzarella and topped it with a black olive, and boom! You have a mini caprese salad that looks like an eyeball.
- Sweet Potato Pumpkins: Y’all! This one is SO easy. All I did was slice a large sweet potato, draw out two triangles and a mouth (I didn’t fully get rid of the extra pieces until after it was cooked to make it easier) and drizzled each piece with olive oil before putting it in the oven for 20 minutes. That’s it!
- Banana Ghosts: Last but not least, I threw a couple banana ghosts on the board. I cut some bananas in half and used the same melted chocolate from the celery to draw eyes on it.
Just like with any board, the ideas and possibilities are endless! The best boards are truly the ones that are empty at the end of the meal, so think about what foods you and your family love and make it work with that in mind! For us, a good quality protein like Tetons Waters Ranch Hot Dogs are the perfect base to build off of so I made that the center of the show and then added some items around the hot dogs to fill up the board. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and I bet you have some items on hand that you can use to cut down on trips to the store. All of this took me under half an hour to do and, as always, it was a winner. I hope it provides some inspiration for a festive dinner for you and whoever you’ll be with on Halloween night.