This Halloween, we were lucky enough to attend a friend’s annual “Nightmare before Christmas, (aka Halloween)” party. It was a costume required event, which is great because otherwise the hubby and I wouldn’t have dressed up, with no other events to attend. They go all out with this party, each guest bringing an appetizer or dessert to share, all usually with a Halloween theme (picture on the left). I saw witches hat cookies, creepy bloody finger cookies, “mummies” in a blanket, cookies with marshmallow teeth-making it look like they could be monster dentures, a taco dip with a pumpkin face and my most favorite (not to eat, but creativity-wise) was the ear wax on a stick. They had taken lollipop sticks and placed a mini marshmallow on each end and then drizzled caramel over each one. They were awesome! The Anderson’s had their house completely decked out as well. Starting with the spooky music, lighting and fog as you walked up the sidewalk to the front door. The picture above right is from one of their bathrooms. It was so cool, with all the bloody things it truly looked like someone was brutally murdered in there! Their other bathroom was decorated too, with black lighting & other creative decorations making it creepy as well.
They also had a creepy beverage station set up, along with a make your own drink bar. The picture directly above is of one of his drink menus. I have attached all three for your enjoyment! 🙂 (thank you Cameron!) I had a few of those creative libations that night!
For our appetizer, I decided to make something I haven’t made in quite awhile; Rustic Onion Tartlets. This recipe originated from the Kraft foods website, but I have changed it so much over the years, it’s pretty much my own now. I’ve made this recipe for weddings as well, when you make them in the tartlet form, they are so elegant and perfect for fancier occasions. They are a little fussy & time consuming, but SO worth it! The recipe was originally made in a pie shape, which is fine as well, but can be somewhat messy if you are trying to feed a bunch of people all at once. (click on the link to view a picture of the pie)
Rustic Onion Tart (Tartlets):
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 large onion (I prefer to use Vidalia or other sweet) thinly sliced
8oz. bacon, cooked & crumbled
8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream (more if needed)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (or you can try Jack, Parm etc.)
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (more if you like)
1/4 cup apricot preserves (can use cherry, etc.)
1 ready-to-bake pie crust
So here is where you have to make a decision; are you going to make a tart, or tartlets? I am going to give you directions for both….
Begin by taking a large sauté pan and heating it to medium-high. Add the olive oil & butter. Once the butter has melted into the oil, add the onions and cook until they’ve started to turn opaque. Turn the heat down to medium low. Stir every so often, and the onions will be done when they are deep golden brown. This usually takes around 15-20 minutes.
While the onions are caramelizing, and If making a tart, you’ll need to grab a pie dish. Unroll the crust into the pie dish, making sure you’ll have enough to make a 2-3 inch crust for the top. If making tartlets, you’ll need a mini muffin pan (I also used mini muffin cups, just to help cut down on the mess at the party, but it’s not required) & you’ll want to roll out the pie crust a bit, and then either using a round cookie cutter or using a knife-cut into 3×3 inch squares, and you should have enough to make 24 tartlets.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the cream cheese mixture, you’ll want to grab a medium-sized bowl and mix together the sour cream & cream cheese. (For this party, I added some squash I had baked the day before and put the whole mixture into the food processor until smooth. I then added some Indian spices right into the crumbled bacon-brilliant!!) If making the tart, spread this mixture to the bottom of the pie crust. If making tartlets, I find it easier to place this mixture into a pastry bag or large baggie and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe this mixture into the bottom of each tartlet.
Once the onions have caramelized, remove from the pan and mix with the preserves. On top of the sour cream mixture, you’ll place the onions & preserve mixture, spreading out evenly. Then add the blue cheese first, and then the crumbled bacon. Top with the Swiss (or other) cheese. You’ll want to bake this until the crust is light golden brown-usually around 12-15 minutes but cook longer if it’s only pale in color.
You are gonna love this recipe! It’s so versatile and addicting!! Of course you can use lower fat cream cheese & sour cream, but I never do…which is probably why I am fighting with my weight at the moment! 🙂
Thank you to the Anderson’s for inviting us this year! We really had a blast…can you tell?!?!
All my best,