MONSTER MUNCHIES

Oct 18 2010 - 10:35pm

Images

(MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner) Zac Williams shows off some of the delicacies from his Halloween-themed cookbook.
(Photo from "Little Monsters Cookbook") Vampire Bites
(Photo from "Little Monsters Cookbook") Mummy Pups
(Photo from "Little Monsters Cookbook") Wolfsbane Elixir
Cover of "Little Monsters Cookbook"
(MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner) Zac Williams shows off some of the delicacies from his Halloween-themed cookbook.
(Photo from "Little Monsters Cookbook") Vampire Bites
(Photo from "Little Monsters Cookbook") Mummy Pups
(Photo from "Little Monsters Cookbook") Wolfsbane Elixir
Cover of "Little Monsters Cookbook"

Coffin Crushers, Spare-Parts Salad, Dusty Old Bones -- these recipes won't appear in any Betty Crocker cookbook.

But you will find them in the "Little Monsters Cookbook" (Gibbs Smith, $14.99). The new book, written by North Ogden resident Zac Williams, features 30 recipes with a creepy theme.

Williams, owner of Williams Visual production company, has spent a large amount of his time photographing food for cookbooks -- more than 175 books and counting. In so doing, he noticed a glaring omission.

"When I was shooting these, and these really have been good sellers, they kind of exclude boys as far as cooking stuff," said Williams. "So I wanted to do something that was more appealing to everybody."

He had worked on cookbooks for princess parties and children's tea parties. Not the most ideal book for boys. To counter that, he chose to go spooky.

"So we did kind of your basic movie monsters," said Williams.

Zombies, werewolves, vampires, swamp creatures and Frankenstein each have their own chapters.

The food is disguised with Halloween names such as Full-Moon Howlers, actually meatball sandwiches, and Frankenfeet, a ham-sandwich-style appetizer.

Williams even uses a creative twist with the ingredients in a couple of recipes. A pizza recipe involves using beast bites and tarantula eggs -- that's code for pepperoni slices and black olives.

The cookbook has meals broken down into entrees, drinks and treats.

"The thing I was trying to do was make (the meals) more balanced," Williams said. "Obviously, there is a lot of sweet stuff, because kids like that. But it's well-rounded, so kids can make a whole meal."

The goal was to keep it simple. Some recipes require only two or three steps. It was important for him, since he wanted to encourage younger cooks.

"There are lots of cookbooks that have Halloween recipes for moms," Williams said. "But a lot of them are more complex. So these recipes are really designed for about a 6- to 12-year-old."

The recipe-creating process did not come easy. He wanted recipes that kids would enjoy. And he needed to create entrees that did not frustrate his future cooks.

"I wanted to make a gumbo," Williams said. "But gumbo is traditionally really complex. I just looked at it and thought: How can we simplify this? So we combined some of the steps."

He said he was surprised when he heard from a mother whose boys were experimenting with the recipes. They added spinach to a bloody sundae to give the meal a gross-out factor.

Although the book is filled with Frankensteins and one-eyed spiders, Williams hopes it won't just be reserved for the haunting time of the year.

He wants this cookbook to be used all 365 days.

"The cookbook really is not specific to Halloween," Williams said. "Obviously, that's where most of the interest is in it. It's mostly just something that kids, especially boys, can get a kick out of."

 

RECIPES

Vampire Bites

2 medium Red Delicious apples

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup slivered almonds, blanched

Chocolate syrup (optional)

Core the apples, but don't peel them. Slice each apple into 8 wedges.

Spread peanut butter onto half of the apple wedges. Press slivered almonds into one side of each apple wedge to create scraggly teeth.

Place an apple slice with the peanut butter side up and top with another apple slice without peanut butter to form a mouth with red lips and teeth.

Drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired. Makes 8 bites.

Mummy Pups

16-ounce package cocktail wieners or mini hot dogs

8-ounce can refrigerated breadstick dough

Mustard

Ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Open the refrigerated dough and roll it out on a smooth surface. Cut each breadstick into thirds. Wrap each mini dog several times with a strip of dough to make mummy bandages.

Place mummy pups on the baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.

Cool slightly and then add two drops of mustard to each for the eyes. Serve with more mustard and ketchup for dipping. Makes 18 to 20 pups.

Wolfsbane Elixir

Blue decorating sugar

Crushed ice

1/2 cup blue raspberry-flavored Italian syrup

1 liter sparkling water

1/4 cup half-and-half

Prepare two glasses by wetting rims and dipping them into the blue decorating sugar. Fill each glass three-fourths of the way with crushed ice.

Add 1/4 cup blue raspberry syrup to each glass. Then fill each glass almost to the top with sparkling water.

Add a splash of half-and-half to each glass and enjoy!

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