I’ve always loved celebrating Halloween. I love the costumes, the eerie temper of the holiday, carving Jack-o’-lanterns and trick-or-treating.

Growing up, my sisters and brothers and I created Halloween costumes from our extensive collection of dress-up clothes. Long, swirly skirts were the building blocks to transform us into gypsies, witches and princesses. Oversized men’s jackets could make us into scarecrows or businessmen.

But nights at the end of October in our hometown of Klamath Falls are pretty chilly, and so no matter how wonderful a costume you had created, the effect was spoiled by the fact that you had to wear your winter coat on top to be outside for any length of time at all.

There were rules to trick-or-treating.

My mother insisted we eat dinner before going out. We couldn’t begin trick-or-treating until 6 p.m. and had to be home by 8:30 p.m. It went without say that we were not to enter houses of people we didn’t know and couldn’t eat anything until the candy haul had been inspected at home.

Fair enough — who wanted to waste time eating candy when you could be going to more doors? Still, trick-or-treating was fun: It was dark, the wind would be blowing and things just felt spooky.

Fast forward to the Halloweens of my children’s growing-up years. We have pictures of our older son Dave costumed as an elephant, complete with big floppy construction paper ears and a trunk. One preschool year he wore a graduation cap and gown.

My son Cole always had a hard time deciding exactly what he wanted to wear as a costume. He often made a selection early in October and then a few days before the big night would decide that wasn’t the right choice. He had a preference for costumes that required pitchforks, swords or scythes — the scarier, the better.

My part in the celebration was to create as spooky and appealing a Halloween feast as possible. I wanted to be sure the boys had something substantial in their tummies before the candy hit. Over the years we ate Transylvania Goulash, Bloody Fingers, Candy Corn Pizza and Bat Wings.

For your trick or treat I am sharing some favorite Randall family Halloween dishes. They are guaranteed to be kid-friendly, fun and easy to prepare.

In fact, these have all been prepared by children in Halloween-themed cooking classes I’ve taught over the years. So enlist your little goblins and ghouls to help prepare a Halloween feast.

Happy Halloween! Eat something wonderful!by: SUBMITTED - These ogre teeth, made of apple wedges and almonds, are a fun and festive food to serve for Halloween dinner and parties.

Bloody Fingers

I used to make these for my sons to eat before they went out trick-or-treating. It was easy.

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped onion (optional)

A few drops of Tabasco

1 1/2 pounds miniature smoked link sausages or cocktail franks

Place ketchup, brown sugar, onion and Tabasco in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the franks and heat through, about 15 minutes. If serving as part of a buffet, transfer to a chafing dish and serve with toothpicks.

Chef’s note: You can make these into spiders by cutting the frank the long way about halfway up, then roll the frank 90 degrees and cut again. Put into the sauce and watch the frank become a spider.

Bat Wings

Makes 8 servings

24 chicken wings (3 to 4 pounds)

1 cup low sodium soy sauce

6 ounces molasses

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Rinse and pat chicken wings dry. Stretch out each wing so it resembles a bat wing. Arrange wings, skin side down, in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate them in one layer.

In a small saucepan, heat soy sauce, molasses, stock and ginger over low heat. Pour evenly over wings and bake 30 minutes. Turn wings over and bake another 30 minutes or until sauce is thick and sticky. Serve with Drip Sauce — recipe follows.

Drip Sauce

1 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Tabasco

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Heat the sauce over medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Skeleton Crudite

1 hollowed-out head of cabbage (purple is spookiest)

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise

1 radish

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

2 cauliflower florets

2 broccoli florets

10 baby carrots

2 mushroom caps

1 large carrot, sliced into 4 pieces

2 cherry tomatoes

4 green beans

2 yellow beans

10 snap peas

Build your skeleton on a large platter. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash into round slices and then cut the slices in half.

Arrange the zucchini and yellow squash down the center of the platter as the spine. Cut two long slices of cucumber and place as the shoulders.

Arrange green beans from the shoulders as the arm (one as the top section of the arm and another as the lower arm). Place the yellow beans by the lower green beans for the second forearm bone.

Place a cherry tomato as the elbow. Use a cauliflower floret for each hand and arrange five baby carrots as fingers on each hand.

Place rows of celery stalks for the rib cage. The hip bones are two slices of red pepper. The legs are two long carrot slices each with a mushroom cap as the kneecap.

Place a broccoli floret for each foot and use 10 snap peas as toes. Fill the hollowed-out cabbage head with dip and place it at the top of the skeleton. Place a radish on the celery ribs as the heart of the skeleton.

Green Goblin Dip

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt or sour cream

1 green onion, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic

2 parsley sprigs

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext 101, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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