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Foodie news: Halloween on a budget

Chef Heather Hunsaker
Special to the Sun
Foodonthetable.comWho knew soup could be so deliciously gruesome? Watch this eyeball soup get devoured lickety split.
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212;-October means cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and tons of tricks and treats. A home-brewed Halloween party will have every ghoul and goblin screaming and laughing in fun delight.

Host your kiddie Halloween party on a ghostly budget with the following tips.

Decorations: Keep things simple with a classic orange and black color scheme. Plates, napkins, tablecloths, balloons and streamers can be bought at a fraction of the cost not in the seasonal isle, but where other colored decorations are found.

Entertainment: Go for a pumpkin theme and play pin the nose on the pumpkin. Afterwards, have children decorate small pumpkins using stickers and markers. Or, simply host a Halloween movie night and watch some kid-friendly and#8220;horrorand#8221; films.

Make it a neighborhood event: To help keep costs low, organize a Halloween block party. Ask each neighbor to bring and#8220;scaryand#8221; treats. After tummies are full, allow all the children to go from house to house as group trick-or-treating.

and#8220;Scaryand#8221; eats: Simple party food can easily be transformed into an imaginative Halloween dish. Slice hot dogs and place in boiling water and watch them curl into worms. Add dry ice to a classic green party punch to make an instant witchand#8217;s brew. A few Halloween shaped cookie cutters can transform sandwiches into instant Halloween art. For dessert, top chocolate pudding cups with crushed chocolate wafer cookies. Add gummy worms and instantly you have dirt and worms. Other themed party foods is black bean chili with pumpkin corn bread or movie trail mix with pumpkin seeds, candy corn or black and orange chocolate candies.

Party goers will want to gobble up this tasty but fun Bloody Eyeball Soup!

Bloody Eyeball Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoon tomato paste

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 (28 ounce) cans diced Italian tomatoes

1/3 cup fresh parsley

1 1/2 cup half-and-half cream

1 batch meatball eyeballs (recipe below)

In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Stir in tomato paste, broth, diced tomatoes and juice, and parsley. Allow soup to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let soup cool slightly.

Working in batches, carefully puree the tomato soup mixture in a blender.

Add pureed soup back to sauce pan. Stir in half-and-half cream and heat through. Serve topped with eyeball meatballs or other toppings such as cheese or croutons.

Eyeball meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Serves: 6

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper

12 green olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients, except olives, in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix together and form into 12 meatballs. After meatballs are formed, press one green olive into the top of each meatball.

Arrange meatballs in large baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. Serve meatballs in tomato soup.

and#8212; Chef Heather graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but has been developing family friendly meals since she was 9-years-old in her motherand#8217;s kitchen. She is an avid crockpotter and knows how to get food on the table in a pinch. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site http://www.foodonthetable.com.


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