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Halloween arrives tomorrow and you still have time to prepare some ghoulish Halloween treats for a celebration you may be planning. Your family and guests will be delighted with any of the following specialties you can put together to serve.

These grilled chicken strips are wrapped in biscuits and resemble a mummy to serve to your family on Halloween. Using refrigerated biscuits and chicken strips that are already grilled, which you can find in the frozen meat section of the grocery store, cuts down on your preparation time.

Chicken Mummy Wraps

(makes 8)

Ingredients:

1 (1.3 oz.) can Pillsbury Grands! Refrigerated Flaky Biscuits

2 tablespoons oil

1 (1.0 oz.) envelope ranch salad dressing mix

1 (22 oz.) pkg. fully cooked refrigerated or frozen grilled chicken breast strips

2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Dipping Sauce: ½ cup sour cream and ½ cup mayonnaise

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Thaw chicken strips if using frozen chicken strips. In small bowl combine oil and 1 tablespoon salad dressing mix; mix until well blended. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press or roll each biscuit to a 6-inch oval. Spread scant teaspoon of salad dressing/oil mixture on each biscuit. Arrange about 3 chicken breast strips on center of each biscuit. Bring long ends of biscuit oval up; overlap and pinch well to seal. Brush each biscuit with melted butter; sprinkle tops evenly with 2 teaspoons ranch salad dressing mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown. Meanwhile in a small bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and remaining ranch salad dressing mix; blend well. Serve as dipping sauce with mummy wraps, or serve pizza or barbecue sauce as a dipping sauce instead. Resource: “Come & Eat! Great Food for Busy Families,” The Pillsbury Company, 1998.

It is fun to use bread dough to form into a variety of sculptures for the different holidays. Use your favorite bread recipe or to make it really simple, form the sculptures using frozen bread dough. For Halloween you can shape a pumpkin, witch, skeleton, or in this case, a spider. Cut off the top of the body of the baked spider, hollow out, line with lettuce and fill the opening with salsa or dip if you wish. For other bread sculpture ideas, check out the Rhodes Bread Dough web site.

Bread Sculpture Spider

Ingredients:

2 loaves Rhodes Bread Dough (thawed, but still cold)

1 egg beaten

2 raisins

Directions:

Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Form one loaf of dough into a round ball for body; place on cookie sheet. With other loaf, cut off end and form a small round ball (about one-eighth of loaf) and place above body. Horizontally, slice remaining dough into 8 strips and roll into ropes for legs. Place under head and upper body, forming 2 legs on each side to curving up and 2 on each side curving down. Place raisins on head for eyes. Brush dough with beaten egg and cover with plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray. Allow to double in size. Remove wrap and bake in 350-degree oven for 25–30 minutes. Allow to cool on rack. Source: “Rhodes Bake N Serve Dough Sculpture 1”, Rhodes Bake N Serve Co.

Popcorn always makes a good addition to your Halloween party, but rather than making popcorn balls, try this recipe. Sweetened condensed milk and flavored gelatin combine to make the syrup. Let the kids pick the flavor and color.

Choose-A-Color Popcorn Treat

(Makes about 16 cups)

Ingredients:

12 cups unseasoned or lightly salted popped popcorn

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

1 (3-oz.) package orange-flavored gelatin or other flavored gelatin

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large shallow roasting pan with heavy foil, extending foil over edge of pan; butter foil. Remove all un-popped kernels from popped popcorn. Pour popcorn into prepared pan. Keep warm in oven. In medium-size saucepan combine sweetened condensed milk and dry gelatin. Heat and stir over medium heat until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly, 4–5 minutes. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn; with long-handled wooden spoon, stir gently to coat. Bake 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Carefully turn out onto large sheet of lightly buttered foil; cool. Break into pieces or clusters. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Source: “Eagle Brand Holiday Magic, 90 Shortcut Recipes.”

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Serve this warm and tasty punch to your guests as they come in from the chilly outdoors. If desired, the punch can be made in an electric percolator with spices placed in the top basket of the percolator. If desired, rum can be added to the brewed nectar.

Mulled Witches Brew

(Servings: 14 (1/2 cup each)

Ingredients:

1 (46 oz.) can apricot nectar (5¾ cups)

1 cup orange juice

4 cinnamon sticks

¼ teaspoon whole allspice

1/8 to ¼ teaspoon whole cloves

1 lemon, sliced (if desired)

Directions:

In a large saucepan, combine apricot nectar and orange juice; mix well. Tie spices in a piece of cheesecloth (break cinnamon sticks if necessary); add to juices. Simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove spice bag. Serve hot in mugs with lemon slice in each. Source: “Festive Autumn Recipes," Pillsbury Classics #11.

Eyeballs (meatballs) swimming in a bloody (tomato) broth will be a special addition to your evening meal, especially when served with the spider sculpted bread.

Pasta Eyeball (Meatball Soup)

(Servings: 4)

Ingredients:

10 oz. (95% lean) ground beef sirloin

5 tablespoons tiny rice-shaped pasta, divided (acini di pepe)

¼ cup finely ground bread crumbs

1 egg

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, divided

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, divided

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cans (14½ oz. each) fat-free reduced sodium beef broth

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

1/3 cup chopped onion

Directions:

Combine beef, 2 tablespoons pasta, bread crumbs, egg, 1 tablespoon parsley, ½ teaspoon basil, salt, pepper, and garlic in medium bowl. Form into 28 to 30 (1-inch) meatballs. Bring broth, tomato sauce, onion, and remaining ½ teaspoon basil to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Carefully add meatballs to broth. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add remaining 3 tablespoons pasta; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Garnish with remaining parsley. Source: “Back-to-School Lunches,” Easy Home Cooking, August/September 2005.

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Bernie Mason writes the Local Flavor column for Lee Montana Newspapers. She was a Yellowstone County extension agent for 24 years. Mason grew up in Sidney in a family of German and Danish ancestry.

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