Weeknight Cooking

15 Recipes for Staying in on Halloween

October 31, 2014

There's nothing like Halloween to make you feel old and washed-up. Because as much as your inner child wants to be outside collecting candy like it's your birthright, if you're over 20 and you follow social norms, you're trapped at home or at a lame party. And this confinement makes you shake your fist at all the rascals wreaking havoc, ringing your doorbell, and making your dog bark uncontrollably.

So how can you avoid hating Halloween? Invite some friends over (costumes optional), put on Hocus Pocus, and make a couple of festive recipes that will remind you of the joys of being a kid and of the perks of being an adult.

Here are 15 reasons (and 15 recipes) why it's not so bad to stay in on Halloween:

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1. Because you can eat giant chicken fingers under the name "Parmesan-crusted chicken breasts":

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken, Caponata, and Pesto Sandwich by sdebrango



2. Because you know that cabbage can actually taste good:

Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Miso-Ginger Dressing by Weird & Ravenous


3. Because pumpkins are for more than carving: 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds by Marian Bull


4. Because you no longer call beans "the magical fruit":

Slighty Smoky Mixed-Bean Chili by creamtea


5. Because you developed a taste for Sriracha:

Spicy Thai PB&J by Natalie


6. Because you're no longer scared of brussels sprouts: 

Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Thyme by Cassie Jones


7. Because sometimes you'd rather have alcohol than candy:

Mother's Ruin Punch by Kenzi Wilbur


8. Because you can use a mandoline without adult supervision:

Autumn Root Vegetable Gratin with Herbs and Cheese by Merrill Stubbs


9. Because trick-or-treating can be kind of cold and miserable:

Delicately Fragrant Mulled Cider by ody


10. Because you can have as much ice cream as you want:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream by Phyllis Grant


11. Because you can make your Crunch Bars as crunchy as you want them:

Homemade Crunch Bars by Marian Bull


12. But you can also appreciate dark chocolate: 

Alice Medrich's House Truffles 4.0 by Alice Medrich


13. Because you're creative enough to make candy without a recipe:

Chocolate Bark by Ben Mims


14. Because it's at least a little more likely that you have intricate cake-decorating skills:

Halloween Spider Cake by Yossy Arefi


15. Because you feel comfortable impaling apples:

Chocolate Caramel Apples by Alice Medrich

What are your Halloween traditions? Share with us in the comments below!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • aargersi
  • AntoniaJames
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


aargersi October 31, 2014
Open house with our neighbors! This year - giant vat of Monkey Mom's pozole, tortillas, all the condiments, chips and salsa, wine, beer, rum, and candy. Pie pumpkin luminarias. And Ginger dressed as a one-eyed pink cowgirl that bites. (Only the cowgirl bit is actual costume). We hand out candy to the kids and go-cups of wine or beer to the parents. It's fun!
AntoniaJames October 31, 2014
When I move to Austin, I'm buying a house on your block. Love you. ;o)