Hot Dog Mummies
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut eight hot dogs in half. Cut a slit in each hot dog piece and stuff with a thin slice of your favorite cheese. Thaw 8 sheets of phyllo dough (look for it with the frozen fruit at stores). Working with one sheet of phyllo at a time (and keeping the rest covered under a damp towel) lay a phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or counter and lightly brush with melted, unsalted butter. Lightly sprinkle with some fresh thyme or sundried tomatoes finely chopped, and fold in half lengthwise. Brush the top with more melted butter and cut into ½-in. Strips. Wrap half of the strips around each piece of hot dog to create a mummy look. Leave a small section of hot dog exposed towards the top for the face. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and hot dogs. Bake until the phyllo is crisp and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Use ketchup or mustard for a face or spot the mummy with ketchupy blood. Makes 16 mummies.
Ghost Personal Pizzas
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide 1 lb. Of whole wheat pizza dough four ways (try Trader Joe’s). On a lightly floured surface, roll and stretch each piece into an 8- to 9-in. Oval. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and pull the end of the dough to one side into a tapered end to create a ghost shape. Mix 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 crushed garlic clove together and evenly brush over the four dough ghosts. Sprinkle each with a touch of salt and pepper. Bake until the crusts are golden and set, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Mix 1 cup ricotta, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, and ½ tsp dried Italian seasonings together in a small bowl. Spread over the ghosts, leaving a ½-in. Edge of crust. Sprinkle with 1½ cups shredded mozzarella and return to the oven until the ghosts are hot and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Place 2 pieces of black olive rings on each ghost for the eyes and 1 piece on each for a mouth or decorate with marinara sauce. You can also make little eyeball pizzas using pepperoni or sausage rounds for the center of the eye and marinara for the veins. Makes 4 personal pizzas.
Drain a can of lychee fruit, reserving 6 Tbsp syrup. Insert one or two fresh blueberries into the cavity of each lychee. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and freeze, about an hour. Stir together in a bowl or pitcher: lychee syrup, 3 cups of pomegranate or cranberry juice, and 1/3 cup lime juice in a bowl or pitcher. Stir in 2 cups sparkling water and add the lychee eyeballs. Serve in a tall clear glass, add “eyeballs” as you pour.
Fun Carrot Fingers
Place a bit of plain cream cheese on the end of a baby carrot and place an almond slice face down on top. The almond should look like a fingernail on the carrot finger. Repeat until all carrots are finished. Pour your favorite dip, dressing or salsa in a bowl and stand a few of the carrot fingers upright. Nut allergies? Replace the almond with a piece of tortilla. Used flavored tortillas to look like painted nails.