Friday, October 4, 2013

Creepy and Gross Buffet Ideas for Halloween

As a kid one of my favorite things at any Halloween bash was the table covered with bowls of food. Not the food you eat but the food mimicking gross entrails, slimy worms, ooey eyeballs and all sorts of nasties. The food was always easily identifiable as cold spaghetti and jello but it was still engaging enough that I couldn't resist sticking my hand in it. Nowadays, cold spaghetti doesn't stand a chance with all the cool (and sick) ideas out there. I stayed away from some of the more grotesque food ideas, but I did include a few that may make your bile rise up in your throat, so be warned.

 Before the recipes though, here are a few ideas for a gross-out texture buffet for the kiddos.

Dried Apricots - dried up tongues
Peeled Grapes - Eyeballs
Soft Flour tortilla with a little oil on it - flayed skin
Feed Corn - Teeth
Corn silk - Hair
Baby pickles with pistachio shells stuck in the tips for witch fingers
Overcooked rice and raisins for maggots and bugs
Mango slices in pudding - tongues in sauce
Olives in cooking oil - cat eyeballs
Marshmallows with oil - guts
Dried apple slices - ears
Blanched Peeled tomato - heart

Slimy Worms

This beats cold spaghetti any day. It may be a bit more time-consuming but these are very realistic. 

Note: For this recipe, it's important to use a tall, slim container to hold the straws, such as a 1 liter orange juice or milk carton (be sure to use something with a 4 cup capacity). The straws should fit tightly together. If you use too large a container, the gelatin will run right back out before it sets. Also, be sure to buy the straws with the flexible neck, as they give the worms the most realistic "earthworm" appearance. Recipe makes about 100 long worms. 

1 pkg. (6 oz) purple gelatin (
raspberry or grape work well)
3/4 oz. unflavored gelatin
3 C. boiling water
3/4 C. whipping cream
green food coloring, as needed
100 plastic straws

1. In a medium, heat safe mixing bowl, stir together plain and flavored gelatin powders.
2. Pour boiling water over, stirring until gelatin is fully dissolved.
3. Allow gelatin to cool til only slightly warm.
4. Stir whipping cream into the gelatin mixture. Stir in green food coloring (you'll probably need 10 drops or more) until your gelatin gets that purpley-brown-grey color of earthworms.
5. With your 100 straws fully extended and snug in your chosen container, pour the gelatin mixture over the straws, filling the container.
6. Cover container and chill at least 8 hours. You can make them and store them this way up to two days in advance of your Halloween party.
7. Remove straws from their container (cutting or ripping a disposable container away is easiest).
8. With hot tap water running, place batches of 4-5 straws under hot running water for a couple quick seconds.
9. Remove "worms" from their straw casings, pressing with fingers. Set on waxed paper to set up.
10. Repeat until all worms are removed.
12. Chill, covered, on waxed paper at least 2 hours.
13. Serve in a chilled bowl, as pictured. Then watch all the kids gobble up this fun Halloween party food. 

Pureed Cockroach Dip

This is just a Walnut Dip with Garlic, of course. This recipe looks absolutely revolting but tastes yummy. The bit of texture from the pureed walnuts give it the perfect "crunchy bits of roach" character. Want to really gross out your guests (the goal behind all these gross recipes for Halloween, of course)? Stir in a couple of tablespoons of chopped walnuts after pureeing for an extra cockroachy crunch.
Lighten up the garlic if you are not trying to scare away vampires.

3 slices of whole wheat bread, well toasted
1/4 C. walnut pieces
4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 C. water
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste


1. In food processor (or by hand), crumble the toast into fine crumbs.
2. In food processor or blender, combine walnuts, garlic, and crumbs until all is finely ground.
3. Add lemon, oil, and parsley. Process until smooth. Add water as needed until desired consistency.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. This is one of those gross recipes for Halloween that's easy to make ahead of time. As it sits in the fridge, it gets a little darker-- a good thing for cockroach puree. The parsley may darken a bit and begin to look like bits of "cockroach skin".

And since we are on a roach kick......

Tasty Stuffed Roaches


I love dates but I always imagine biting down on a Madagascar cockroach while eating them. Try to eat one without thinking of the hissing sound they make. The little bit of crunch from the walnuts give them the perfect crisp- roach texture.

1/3 C. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. walnuts, chopped semi-fine
20-30 dates, pitted

1. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and nuts til well mixed.
2. Gently fill each date with cream cheese/nut mixture (you may have to split the dates slightly).
3. Serve on a platter decorated with several rubber roaches (if desired). 

(recipes taken from

Marinated Mozzarella Eyeballs



2 (8 oz. each)
 packages mini mozzarella di bufala balls, drained
1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Irises and Pupils:
Unpitted green olives, as needed (about 20)
Black olives, as needed (about 10)
1 disposable plastic straw

1. To make the marinated mozzarella balls, combine the drained mozzarella, oil, sundried tomatoes, herbs, garlic, red pepper, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir gently to mix. Marinate a few hours, up to 24.
2. To create the "iris" of your eyeball, cut the top away from one green olive with a sharp knife. You should end up with a nice round little dome.
3. Using the end of a straw, poke a hole through the middle of your iris and remove the bit of olive. This is where you will place your pupil.
4. To create "pupils," stick the end of a straw into a black olive and pull out a straw-hole-shaped piece. This little round piece of olive is your pupil.
5. Place a "pupil" in the middle of each "iris." Repeat process until you have enough pupils and irises for all of your mozzarella balls.
6. To assemble your eyeballs, drain the marinade away (I re-use mine for pasta or salads) and place your mozzarella balls on a serving platter. I sometimes line my trays with lettuce or cabbage for effect, and to keep the eyeballs from sliding around too much.
7. Place one set of iris and pupil on top of each eyeball. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Be gentle to avoid knocking the irises off of your mozzarella balls! If they don't want to stay, use a sharp knife to cut a small flat area on the mozzarella balls for your olive irises.

Sewer Water Halloween Punch

Be sure to serve this Halloween punch drink in a clear bowl allow your guests to get the whole effect of its gross appearance. Serves about 12.

PS - there are recipes out there for turd cookies, if you so desire to take this to another plane......


7 C. fresh orange juice with pulp
1.5 liters (3/4 of a 2 liter bottle) Dr. Pepper
Vodka (if you are wanting an alcoholic version)


1. In a large, clear punch bowl combine the orange juice, Dr. Pepper, and vodka (if using).
2. Fill a separate container or ice bucket with ice.
3. Fill each punch glass with ice before serving. 

Cannibal Brain


The basic recipe is based off of one from Better Homes and Gardens. Feel free to spice it up anyway you would like. Me? I wouldn't eat this. Ever. Ech.
One will need a Jello brain mold to make this recipe. They can be found online or at major stores.


3 lbs. shrimp, peeled, cooked, deveined
2 small roasted red peppers, julienned
1 green onion, sliced into 2" pieces, then julienned

Gelatin Mixture:
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp. (1 1/2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. tomato paste
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. honey
1-2 tsp. Cajun or other seasoning
Pinch salt

1. your shrimp into the Jello brain mold, tails facing the middle of the brain. It's best if you layer them into the brain mold with the tails facing the middle, according to each "hemisphere" of the brain. This will give you the most realistic look. Tuck the shrimps in close together.
2. Drop bits of roasted pepper and green onion in around the shrimp. These should look like veins and nerves when you're finished.
3. Repeat, alternating between shrimp and vegetables, until you fill your Jello brain mold.
4. Now make the gelatin. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the unflavored gelatin.
5. Stir in the lemon zest, juice, tomato paste, garlic, honey, cajun seasoning, and a pinch of salt.
6. Pour this mixture over the shrimp in your brain mold, filling to the top. Discard any extra. With a rubber spatula, smooth the top of your shrimp and gelatin to create a smooth surface.
7. Refrigerate until firm, at least several hours.
8. To unmold, set your Jello brain mold in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds. Place a serving tray underneath, then flip your mold over. The brain should pop right out. This is one of the easiest gross Halloween foods to make in advance!

A Few More Ideas I found....

(Click on the links for recipes)

Used Q-Tips. Really funny! Stick a mini marshmallow onto either side of a thin, trimmed straw. Dip the end of each marshmallow in warm caramel for "earwax." Let set on waxed paper.

Meatloaf Hand

Pastry Intestines

For all you Zombie lovers out there.....Meat Man.

Dexter blood, suckers.

And finally, a cool way to mark all of your dishes. Paint rocks black and let dry. Using a lighter color, paint on the names of your dishes.