Although Halloween has never been important to me, and apart from one Halloween top I bought for Nicholas last year which amazingly still fits him (having gone from a chubby baby to a slimmer toddler), I’ve had no urge to dress Nicholas up or celebrate in any way. I figure the day he asks for a costume will come very quickly so I plan on taking it easy till then!
But, as you’ve noticed, Halloween has been a great creative inspiration to me, at a time when I was feeling quite bored with cooking for the family. I’m sure you have those ups and downs too, times when you’re inspired to make new dishes and then those other times when you’d quite happily stay out of the kitchen for the unforseen future.
One of the blogs I love reading for food inspiration is Meet the Dubiens. Jill makes the cutest bento boxes for her kids and can turn what could be a boring sandwich into something I can imagine must bring enormous smiles to their faces. No matter what age, who wouldn’t smile opening a lunch box to see this?
I wanted to make Nicholas a fun and healthy lunch. There are some amazing food ideas for Halloween on the Internet, but a lot of them involve decorating sweet things with even more sugary things (not food I want Nicholas to be eating as part of his regular diet). It took me a while to decide what to create, but the effort was definitely worth it. As soon as Nicholas saw the plate, he started oohing and aahing. He looked at everything in detail, growling at the pancake ghost, laughing at the cheese bat and kissing the banana ghosts (obviously not as scary as pancake ghosts!) before deciding what to taste first (the sultanas).
HALLOWEEN TASTING PLATE
Ghost pancakes (sugar-free)
I used my sugar-free apple pikelet recipe, using half wholemeal and half plain self-raising flour. I poured the batter into a lightly oiled stainless steel cookie cutter, and added sultanas for eyes and a mouth just before flipping to cook the other side.
These came straight from Jill at Meet the Dubiens. Cut a banana in half and press in chocolate drops for eyes and a mouth.
Black grape spiders
An adaptation of the olive spiders I used to decorate my spider web soup, just cut two black grapes in half. Use a half for each body and slice the other halves into legs.
I used a bat-shaped cookie cutter for the bread and cheese, and an edible black ink pen to draw the bat faces (I need more practice!). I also used some small star cutters on the leftover cheese.
Fun food doesn’t have to be complicated. Sultanas in a bat cupcake case are much more fun if you call them bat droppings!
Why not try creating a fun tasting plate for your little ones? I’d love to see your efforts. And your little ones’ smiles!