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Scaring Up Halloween Appetizers

 I am looking for a clever appetizer to serve for Halloween. Any ideas?

 Shocking in this 9,000-cookbooks-on-the-market world that there aren’t a few books just on Halloween appetizers, but there’s still that void to fill (cookbook writers, are you listening?) Still, one book, at least, comes close — Halloween Treats by Donata Maggipinto. In addition to ideas for crafts, decorations, costumes, and other spooky creations, there are lots of recipes, some of which are going to fill your bill, depending on whether you’re entertaining grownups or kids.

For the kids, one choice is a Halloween-inspired version of Party Mix, this one incorporating roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, candy corn, roasted peanuts, a Chex- or Crispix-like cereal, and pretzel sticks. Baked sweet potato chips or hot cocoa with "marshmallow spooks" (marshmallows flattened with a rolling pin and cut out with Halloween-themed cookie cutters) are other options.

There’s a black risotto (with olive tapenade for color and flavor); tuna, apple & cheese melt; and autumn salad with tangerines, avocado, and pumpkin seeds that will please adult palates. And Maggipinto suggests a tomato polenta (comes out orange) with a selection of sausages or hot dogs that might please both groups.


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