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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Our Halloween & Day of the Dead Celebration

This year has been unconventional, to say the least, so we didn't dress up and go around with our friend's kids for trick-or-treating, or threw a party, or even handed out candy. Instead, we watched a live stream of Rocky Horror Picture Show benefiting the Wisconsin Democrat efforts and had take-out. Here's how we, officially, celebrated Halloween.

I've been wanting to do something around the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, called Dia de los Muertos. We didn't do traditional foods, but instead, we had a theme of skulls and then learned a bit more about the holiday and how people remember their dead. Please don't @ me telling me that these two holidays are not similar and we didn't do either of them right. 

We had this great backdrop with a skeleton mariachi band and banners that I added a traditional marigold swag. It gave a really jovial feel.

I had a cool spread that I planned and not all the things I had on my list even made it onto this platter or the other. Some of the things you'll see here:
  • Skull deviled eggs - I used my own recipe, but I also want to tell you that this is not as easy to cut out faces and mine were very sad, but I tried. 
  • Beet tahini dip (the pink) - I used cooked beets available in the salad section at Trader Joe's. 
  • Cinnamon sugar snakes - I used Hawaiian crescent rolls for these. 
  • Humbolt Fog goat cheese - this is the white cheese that has an edible layer of vegetable ash.
  • Purple Moon cheese - Clearly, this is the purple coffin-shaped cheese. It gets this color by being soaked in red wine. 
  • Cucumber skulls
  • Salami
  • Cornichon/gerkin pickles
  • Pumpkin gouda (the bone-shaped and cubed cheese) - It has flecks of peppers and pumpkin seeds in it. It doesn't taste much different than regular gouda.
  • Sweety drop peppers - These are hard to find, but they have them right now at New Seasons. 
  • Kalamata olives
  • Blackberries
  • Seedless black grapes
  • Avocado dip (see below)

This was my skull board with hot items. The large skulls are just pizza crust from a can filled with cheese and chili. I love this fun pan I used though.

Here's a closer pic of these two fun food items: 
  • Shrunken potato heads - These are just little potatoes baked with faces cut into them. These go with the avocado dip above. 
  • Bread of the dead - This flatbread features little mushroom skulls. I happened to do my own thing here by using canned pizza dough that I brushed with black food coloring and olive oil. I also didn't find any pesto gouda, so instead I used pepper gouda I found at Trader Joe's that is white, orange and green. I substituted baby bella mushrooms for white mushrooms, so they weren't as easily recognizable, but I think it came out well anyway.

Here's our whole spread with our Mexico Mayan pyramid backdrop. I also picked up these two little pumpkin dip bowls at Michaels, along with the little Catrina skull, and this sugar skull votive luminary at Target. 

You gotta toast with something, too, so I made this Spiced Cider (minus the marigold petals, because, no thanks, and I was too lazy to look for it). I pulled out some Halloween sprinkles I had and rimmed my mugs using honey as a "glue". Hint: use more honey than you expect to need. 

There's plenty more you can do to enjoy a cool Mexico Day of the Dead celebration, including creating an ofrenda to remember each of your lost family members and friends, watch Coco on Disney+, watch some things about traditional celebrations (here's my YouTube list with a bonus Halloween house in New Orleans), and a fun backdrop or two. I bought this Dia de los Muertos one and this Mayan pyramid one, which will make another appearance.

How did you spend this past weekend? Did you celebrate either Halloween or Day of the Dead? 

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