It’s Halloween!

This is a wonderful time of year, and Halloween is one of the best excuses for partying ever invented!  So in that spirit, we offer a couple of ideas for spooky entertainment.

First for the drinks (have to keep our priorities straight).  Halloween specialty drinks tend to be, shall we say, “yuck.”  Some really look cool, but the flavors are not so much.  We prefer to take a standard cocktail, rename it and put it in a costume.  For instance, a chocolate martini in a glass rimed with melting chocolate and a chocolate spider web.  Or a “Dark and Spooky” with a black sugar rim.



For an eerie green drink try equal parts Midori, vodka,  simple syrup  and lemon juice, (aka Midori sour.)

You can also add a little dry ice for that smoking fog effect – just be very careful. Dry ice will burn you and can break glassware.  The safest way is to drop a small amount into a punch bowl.  By “small,” I mean a chip or two.  Also, don’t use dry ice in any drink with eggs, milk or cream.  The dry ice won’t smoke, it will foam.

While a smoking drink is fun, nothing beats a drink on fire!  Choose any Tiki drink or sour.  Name it something ghoulish like “Mr. Hyde.”  Serve it neat in a large round wine glass, filling it less than half way.  For the flame, float an inverted lemon or lime hull with a little piece of toast soaked in 151 proof rum.  Light the rum and serve the drink – with a straw.

Severed Arm

Severed Arm

In the past we have prepared various Halloween themed foods: mozzarella “eyeballs”, “severed arms” and pot sticker “brains.”  This year we served roasted “fingers” and meatloaf “coffins.”

Fingers 1

Meatball logs with almond slivers for “nails”

For the severed fingers, we used a meatball recipe, rolled them into finger sized logs and inserted sliced almonds for the “nails.”

Fingers 2

Severed fingers with their “skin,” ready for the oven.

We then used prosciutto for the “skin.”Fingers 3

After roasting in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes, we put them on bamboo skewers and served them with marinara.

The meatloaf “coffins” are simply individual meatloaves shaved into a coffin shape:

Meatloaf Coffins

Fish Tacos

This is our version of the iconic street food.

Fish TacosThese are great with whatever fish you have on hand.  We usually use tilapia or mahi mahi.  The tacos can be made with flour or corn tortillas or with lettuce wraps.

Serves  4


  • 2 cups Shredded white cabbage
  • 3+ Tbls  Gary’s Everyday Cajun Mix or your favorite brand
  • 2 tsp Malt Vinegar
  • 1 Tbl Cider Vinegar
  • 2 + Tbls Bottled Chipotle sauce such as Fontera
  • 2 tsp Adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo – optional
  • 15 oz jar prepared Tartar sauce such as Zattaran’s
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 1 Tbl canola oil
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 4 strips cooked turkey bacon
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican Style or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Tortillas or lettuce for wraps

Cole Slaw

In a mixing bowl combine cabbage, vinegars and 1 Tbl of the Cajun mix.  Salt and pepper to taste and add additional Cajun mix if desired.  Set aside.

Chipotle Tartar Sauce

  • 2 + Tbls Bottled Chipotle sauce such as Fontera
  • 2 tsp Adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo – optional
  • 15 oz jar prepared Tartar sauce such as Zattaran’s

In a small bowl, combine tartar sauce with chipotle sauce and optional adobo sauce.  Be careful here.  The heat factor in the chipotle sauce varies so adjust to taste. Set aside.

  1. Season fish fillets with salt, pepper and Cajun Mix.
  2. In a heavy skillet over med high heat, melt butter and oil. Sauté filets until cooked through.  Cut filets lengthwise in 4 pieces each.
  3. Spread about 1 Tbl of chipotle tartar on a warm tortilla.  Top with 2 pieces of fish.
  4. Break bacon in half then again in half lengthwise.  Put 2 pieces of bacon on the fish.  Add 1 Tbl cheese and 1-2 Tbl slaw.
  5. Will make 8 tacos.

Serve with Chipotle Tartar sauce on the side.

I Hate You Gary Bar Nuts

I like this recipe because you do not roast the nuts with a sticky coating.  The nuts are roasted plain and the topping is added.  Thus, they don’t clump as badly.  By the way, it’s not my fault if you can’t stop eating them!

  • 1 cup each plain, unsalted pecans, walnuts, cashews and almonds
  • 2 1/2 Tbls unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or brown WheyLow
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbl. honey
  • 1 Tbl. Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Tbl. course sea salt or kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350oF
  2. Spread nuts in a single layer on a full sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the brown sugar, butter, cayenne, cinnamon, honey, and bitters.
  4. Add the warm nuts to the sugar mixture and stir to evenly cover the nuts.
  5. Sprinkle the salt over the nuts and stir again.  If you think they need more salt, try stirring them more before adding additional salt.
  6. Serve warm.  Any leftovers will keep on the counter top in a sealed container for a few days before they completely glue together.