Don’t let the junior set have all the fun on All Hallow’s Eve. Grown-ups should have a wicked good time too. With that in mind, I ‘ll skip the tricks and ‘ll go straight for the treats with a sophisticated party for 20. As a macabre twist on the usual costume attire, why not ask guests to come in the outfit they’d like to be buried in? Then strategically I’ll scatter some rubber spiders and snakes and ‘ll serve up orange satin cosmos and devilishly tasty buffet. I hope my guests will be positively bewitched.
Orange snacks: toasted orange pecans, black and orange caviar toasts, sweet potato chips
Coctail buffet: mustard-crusted mini lamb chops, autumn salad, wild rice with almonds, artichokes and grapes
Setting the scene- the décor: of course orange palette. Near the front door, I’ll create a lantern garden to welcome guests by dangling paper lanterns on fishing line at multiple levels. I ‘ll clear away unnecessary furniture. I’ll make bouquets of rust and mango coloured calla lilies for instance, the stems with raffia, I will scatter orange votive holders.
The menu: I’ll set out bowls of chocolate espresso beans, orange M&M, candied mango, orange pecans, sweet potato chips, and a tray of toasts points with créme fraiche and black and red caviar. I’l set up a self serve bar. The buffet menu will include ready-made tamales, so that guests can simply untie the husks and eat the filling topped with some ready made salsa. I think my mini lamb chops, wild rice and the autumn salad will be also easy to eat.
The music: Michael Jackson Thriller CD, Siouxsie&the Banshees, the Cramps and Bauhaus (Bela Lugosi’s Dead) The Monster Mash, I put a spell on you (my fav film was Beth Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker from the Hocus pocus) Dusty Springfield’s Spooky
Ingredients: 5 cups fresh bread crumbs, 1/2 cup mixed chopped parsley, thyme, oregano, 5 large cloves of garlic, minced, 10 racks (6-7 bones) baby lamb chops, trimmed, salt and pepper, 5 tbsp olive oil, 5 tbsp unsalted butter, 10 tbsp mustard
Heat oven 450 F. In bowl combine bread crumbs, herbs, garlic. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Workingin batches add oil and butter as necessary, sear racks on all sides, let sit 4-5 min. Spread 1 tbsp mustard on each, press bread crumb coating over meaty side of lamb. Roast on baking sheet 15-18 min. for medium -rare. Let sit 5-10 min. before carving.
Wild rice with almonds, atrichokes and grapes
10 tbsp unsalted butter, divided, 4 1/2 cups wild rice, 6 1/4 cups chicken broth, 3 cans artichoke hearts, drained and diced, 3 cups small, seedless, green grapes, 1 1/2 cups toasted silvered almonds, salt and pepper to taste
In large skillet melt 5 tbs butter over medium-high heat. Add rice, toss to coat. Add broth, increase heat and bring to oil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered, 50 min. or until rice is cooked through and liquid is gone. Meanwhile heat remaining butter in separate large skillet over medium-high heat. Add artichokes and grapes, sauté until hot. Add to rice along with almonds. Season with salt and pepper, stir well.
Mini carrot cupcakes for 12
Ingredients: 2 oz white chocolate, 1 pkg cream cheesem 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2 tbsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tbsp orange extract, 4 cups confectioner sugar, 2 tbsp heavy cream, 2 eggs, 11/2 cups white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups shredded carrots, (pineapple) 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ginger
Heat oven to 350 F. In small saucepan melt white chocolate over low heat. Stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. In bowl beat together cream cheese and butter. mix in white chocolate, 1 tsp vanilla extract and all orange extract. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar. mix in heavy cream. In large bowl, beat together eggs and sugar and mix in oil and 1 tsp of vanilla. fold in carrots and pineapple. In separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix flour mixture into carrot mixture. transfer to greased muffin cups and bake 25 min. Cool completely before topping with icing. Garnish with plastic spiders.