Witchy Kale Hummus with Tomato Garlic “Snake” Sticks

Halloween and October is always a fun time for me, and I love to get fun with the spooky theming of the holiday. While last year Amanda and I made something sinfully sweet to celebrate the day, this year we wanted to go “Spooky savory.” Amanda went incredibly brave with a scarily unfamiliar protein to our kitchens, but I decided to go a different route. I’m not sure if I would have had the access to such a disparate delicacy, but I certainly did not have the enthusiasm or fortitude to seek it out. Instead, this dish is a much more accessible in terms of grocery availability and friendliness of flavors to all palates.

This white bean and kale hummus is as easy to make as it is crowd-pleasing. The green color, while also packing a nutritional punch throughout the year, is easy to incorporate into an Halloween party plans as a very appropriate, on theme, munchie. The breadstick snakes, while a bit more time consuming, really accent this dip with both visual and flavorful contributions. The tomato and herbs in the bread, while also making these “snakes” more colorful, pair excellently with the lemony-garlic flavors of the hummus. Whether you’re dressed as Frankenstein or Wonder Woman, this appetizer is sure to keep the horrors of “Hanger” away.

White Bean Hummus:

  • 1 can of great northern beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • juice from one lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups packed kale (stalks removed–about 3 stalks)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Hummus Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until the kale is incorporated to your liking, and the mixture is smooth. I did mine for at least 5 minutes, so settle in.
  2. If you like room-temperature hummus, this is ready to serve immediately. However, I prefer mine chilled and allowed it to sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Could be made up to 3 days in advance and will last in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Serve with “Snake” sticks or any hummus accompaniment of your choice.

Snake Breadsticks Ingredients

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • Black sesame seeds for eye garnish
  • 1 egg+1 tsp water

Snake Bread Stick Instructions:

  1. Add the lukewarm water and the yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Allow the yeast to sit with the water for 2-3 minutes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  2. Add the flour on top of the yeast/water. then the salt (be sure it does not touch the yeast), tomato paste, garlic powder, basil, and rosemary. Turn the mixer to low speed for 1-2 minutes everything is mixed together. Then, mix on medium speed for 4-6 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 45 minutes at room temperature.
  4. After those 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 300°F and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 25 equal portions and roll into long strips. Make one end taper slightly to form the tail and keep the other end wide and flatten slightly to form the face. Repeat with all portions and place on a baking sheet in your preferred pose (slithering waves, coils, etc).
  5. Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl and brush the egg wash over the prepared breadsticks. Add two black sesame seeds to the snake faces to form the eyes after the egg wash is applied.
  6. Bake at 300°F for 50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy with the Witchy Hummus or as a spooky accompaniment to any dinner.

Wine Pairing: With the Mediterranean flavors of both the hummus and the bread, a refreshing Sangiovese would be a nice choice, but if you want to go all out, check out this “I’m Ready for Fall” cocktail that would be a great addition to any Halloween party.

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Frog Legs in Tomato Sauce

Merideth and I decided to do spooky recipes for Halloween time, and well…I’m not a fan of frogs. This recipe was a personal challenge not only because of the unfamiliar protein, but also because of my irrational fears  (Merideth: “you look like a Fear Factor contestant!”) Nevertheless, it was pretty tasty! Snails next! …maybe.

Ingredients

  • 4 pairs frog legs (I found them frozen at a seafood market)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (optional)
  • Oil for frying
  • 2tbs olive oil or butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tbs Herbs de Provence (can substitute equal parts thyme and rosemary)

Instructions

  1. Whisk eggs and milk, if using, in a medium bowl. Fill another bowl with the bread crumbs.
  2. Dip frog legs into flour, then the egg mixture, and then coat in bread crumbs.
  3. If using a deep fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees and fry frog legs for approximately 5 minutes. If using a stove top, heat a layer of oil in saute pan and fry frog legs on each side 2-3 minutes or until the bread crumbs have browned. Set aside.
  4. In a cast iron pan or other deep skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil (or butter) and cook garlic and shallot until golden and fragrant, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the white wine to deglaze. Add herbs and tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add frog legs and simmer until sauce slightly thickens, about 7-10 minutes. Serve with rice!

The “I’m Ready for Fall” Cocktail

While it might not feel like it to Amanda right now, or me for that matter, Fall is here! Alright, I might be feeling it a little bit more than Amanda (yay for 60° nights!) but I’m not really there quite yet (ugh, 85° days…). If I can’t bust out my knee-high boots and box of scarves just yet, I at least want to sip some flavors of Fall while I light my “Scents of Fall” candle and pretend my nose is a little chilly.  This cocktail did just that.

With cinnamon, nutmeg and notes of ginger, this yummy adult beverage leaves the familiar comfort of Fall desserts on your tongue and the rum sure does help to make your tummy warm, even if it is too warm outside for something more of the Hot Toddy variety. This is also a great way to utilize that delicious, seasonal, apple cider hitting the shelves right now. Feel free to make yours a little cider heavy, it’s always a tasty choice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts spiced dark rum
  • 1 part ginger beer
  • 1 part orange juice
  • 1 part apple cider
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together* and pour over ice. If you want to get fancy, rim a glass with some cinnamon sugar and stick in a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

*Note: I did use my cocktail shaker for this one, and it does work but just be warned that ginger beer has bubbles and will expand when agitated as my kitchen floor soon found out. I’m sure you all knew that but I’m not good at carbonation. okay?