Spooky Halloween treats, meal ideas
happy Halloween! Looking for ways to satiate your little monsters before and after their adventures this evening? Let us offer some spooky ideas:

Pumpkin quesadillas: Get creative with your quesadillas, shaping them into fun jack-o'-lanterns or other spooky shapes and filling them with beans and cheese. Check out the video above for a quick how-to.
Spiced hot chocolate: Warm your little ghouls up after their adventures with rich hot chocolate, or champurrado, lightly spiced with fragrant cinnamon and thickened with masa. Simple to make, be sure to whip up a big cauldron -- er, pot -- you'd be amazed how quickly it magically disappears.

Tomato soup with ghost toasts: Serve the little monsters this creamy tomato soup with cheesy ghost-shaped toasts before they go out into the night. You can find the recipe below.

Hungry for more? Here are 24 great food-related Halloween projects for kids — easy-to-make treats based on familiar recipes that you can adapt for your own family fun this holiday (many recipes can be found online in our Halloween recipe database). No matter your children's ages or ability, there's something for everyone, with dishes both sweet and savory. Use the ideas for inspiration, whether you're planning special treats, simple snacks or an entire Halloween-themed meal. There's even a Halloween graham cracker house that can be as simple — or intricate — as you care to conjure up.

TOMATO SOUP WITH GHOST TOASTS

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Use bread slices large enough to give you 8 (2-inch) croutons.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced small

2 carrots, diced small

2 stalks celery, diced small

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

3 cups chicken stock

2 slices white bread

3 ounces white cheese, such as Gruyere, Cheddar, Jack or Swiss, cut in 4 slices

12 whole peppercorns, optional

1/2 cup whipping cream

Salt, pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, using a cookie cutter or scissors, cut the bread slices into ghost shapes. Cut the cheese slices into the same shape. Toast the ghosts in a toaster oven. Place them on an oven-safe tray, then place the cheese on top. Use 3 peppercorns to make eyes and a mouth for each ghost. Put them back into the toaster oven and toast again to melt the cheese. (If you don't have a toaster oven, you can broil the cheese toasts about 4 inches beneath the broiler element until the cheese is bubbly, 2 minutes.)

3. Puree the soup in a blender in two batches. Return it to the pot. Add the cream and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Heat, then serve in bowls with the ghost toasts on top.

Each serving: 364 calories; 1,198 mg sodium; 44 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 4.35 grams fiber.

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