***Disclosure: As a World Market Ambassador, I received promotional items to facilitate my post. Regardless, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Halloween is creeping up on us more quickly than a witch can cackle and zip by on her broom! Okay, so that was cheesy, but you know what I mean. Halloween is only a couple of short weeks away. I'm sure everyone is running around grabbing costumes, candy, and Halloween Décor, right?
We have our costumes ready to go, and trick-or-treating is on the brain. Sophie is going to be a fairy princess, Xander will be a squirrel, and Kyle will be a "Purple Pimp". (Don't ask.) My husband? Well, considering he's a big kid, too, he will be dressing up as Count Chocula. I will be the woman in jeans and a sweater, pretending not to know him.
Before we hit the streets to load up on Halloween candy, we will be having a little get-together here at our house. We're trick-or-treating with a couple of neighborhood families, and the kids will all be getting ready here. Of course we will have some fun, spooky surprises in store, for the kids and grown-ups, alike!
We went on a little Halloween shopping spree at World Market, and found some awesome, seasonal fare, perfect for Halloween! We picked up a spiderweb tablecloth, some ghoulish treat jars, including the skull you see here, and we even scored some seasonal wines, complete with creepy, skeleton-themed labels. I know the other parents will be absolutely thrilled to have a glass of these spooky spirits before heading out with the kiddos!
Of course we got some great things for the kids, too. No one wants to haunt the neighborhood on an empty stomach, right? To keep the little ghouls and goblins at the top of their game, we will be having a nice spread of Halloween cupcakes, served on these adorable Dia de los Muertos plates from World Market . I put some gummy candy corn on top, for more of a Halloween look.
But the real star of the show? Worms for Brains! I know Halloween is best known for its sugary treats, but I like offering a hearty, spookified entree as well. One of our favorites, Worms for Brains, is a simple take on stuffed peppers that kids LOVE. They're really easy, too!
These peppers are left raw, and act as edible bowls for the pasta and meat sauce. Of course you could cook the peppers first, but it's really not necessary. In fact, my feedback from the kids indicates that they prefer the crispness of the raw peppers over "mushy" cooked peppers. Either way, they're delicious and sure to please those hungry trick-or-treaters.
If you'd like to try my Worms for Brains recipe, here's what you'll need:
The first things you'll want to do are cook your pasta according to package instructions. I chose to use the Bucatini rather than spaghetti because it's hollow in the center, giving it a more "wormlike" feel. Plus, the tasty sauce really penetrates these noodles very well. The kids call the Bucatini "special noodles", since it's definitely a change from the norm.
Once your pasta is cooked, drained, and set aside, it's time to cook the ground chuck. I break it up while browning with a wooden spoon, making sure that the beef chunks are uniform in size.
After your meat is cooked through, drain off the fat and add it back to the pan. (I actually use my wok for this, since it has ample room for the meat, sauce, and pasta.)
Return your pan to the burner, and make sure it's set on medium. Add your minced garlic and pasta sauce to the mix, stirring often to make sure all of the meat is coated well.
Now it's time to taste! Take a little spoonful of your sauce mixture, and then add salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese till it suits your family's tastes. If you're feeling brave, you can even add some hot sauce to make a spicier sauce. Feel free to experiment! After all, cooking should be fun!
Once the sauce is to your liking, add in the cooked noodles, stirring to ensure everything is mixed together well. Doesn't this look delicious?! Hang on tight...Here's where the real fun begins!
Now it's time to turn those inconspicuous looking peppers into zany Jack-O-Lanterns! Don't worry. It's easy!
Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut off the tops of the peppers. Set them aside. Make sure to remove all seeds and membranes, leaving the inside of the peppers free of any inedible debris.
Next, it's time to make your faces! Cut out eyes and mouths using the same sharp knife. I am no artist, so I stuck with simple shapes like triangles, since they're easy to cut. If you have crazy carving skills, feel free to be a bit more adventurous!
Once your faces are done, it's time to fill the peppers! Just scoop some of the pasta and sauce mixture into the peppers, and then add the pepper tops like little hats. One fun thing to do is pull some of the pasta through the mouths or eyes of the peppers, making it look like worms oozing out. Kids absolutely LOVE this!
I served my peppers in stoneware baking dishes, surrounded by a mountain of pasta and sauce. Since I use a lot of meat, it looks like a huge mound of earth, with worms crawling about. Pretty creepy, and the kids happily gobble it up. Now talk about a great way to get little ones to eat their veggies! And they're so easy to make, too!
Enter the World Market Book of Life Sweepstakes :
The folks at World Market love spooky fun, too! In celebration of the October 17th The Book of Life release, World Market is giving away some fantastic prizes inspired by the the film!
The Grand Prize winner will receive the following:
Hurry and ENTER HERE for a chance to win the trip of a lifetime! This amazing sweepstakes ends October 24, 2014.
PR Friendly Mama!
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