We had a hurricane, and we’re still here!
Floridians are funny about hurricanes. Those of us who have been through one before tend to turn up our noses at storms all the way up until a hurricane reaches about a Cat 4, and then we panic. As opposed to those who are new to Florida, who hear “hurricane” and turn pale while planning immediate evacuation.
As with pretty much everything in life, the truth is somewhere closer to the middle. People living on the beach where the storm will hit, for instance, should (and mostly did) evacuate. People living 50+ miles inland, like us, are in more danger of losing power for a couple of days, or losing the occasional tree.
We were prepared to be without electricity: we had bread, canned tuna, peanut butter and chocolate chips (to go with the peanut butter, of course). But we never did lose power. The storm took a “wobble” a few extra miles out to sea (“wobble” being the buzzword of this hurricane season, or the Deadliest Drinking Game word if that’s your hurricane coping strategy), which spared us more than some strong wind. Now that power’s back in most places and the tree branches are out of the yard, we can exhale and turn back to the more fun parts of fall.
Halloween Party part 2 is hors d’oeuvres! We had drinks, like last week’s Chilled Dragon’s Blood punch, and now tons of fun snacks. This Spidery 5 Layer Nacho Dip feeds a ton of people, is reliably delicious and has plenty of opportunity for creativity, both in flavor and decoration. It’s 20-30 minutes of prep (depending on how fast you are) for a dish that will last all night. It also gives you the opportunity to purloin some plastic spiders from the Publix bakery and then leave them on the kitchen table, causing you–I mean your guests–to jump every time you–I mean they–walk by.
Also, you can totally treat this as a nacho entree. This is what might happen:
This recipe is adapted from Woman’s Day. Missed the rest of the party? Here are the links to Chilled Dragon’s Blood punch, Monster Meatloaf, and Chocolate Pretzel Mummies! Plus, some other awesome foods for your RL party!
- 27 Fun Snacks for a Halloween Party, starting with a brain-shaped shrimp cocktail for those who love the truly gross-looking stuff that only comes out this time of year.
- 15 Wickedly Good Appetizers–including a pumpkin-shaped cheeseball! so cute!
- Halloween Appetizers & Snacks: I love the deviled-eye-of-newt eggs.
P.S. On a serious note, this hurricane was anticlimactic for us, but parts of the East Coast are pretty battered. Even worse is Haiti, where almost 900 people died in the storm, over 60,000 lost homes, and there are fears of a cholera outbreak, which could kill thousands. Increasingly, I find myself aware that tragedy happens, and asking what I could possibly do to help.
If you’d like to donate to relief efforts in Haiti, here’s links to World Vision and Doctors Without Borders, and Mission of Hope: Haiti. If you’re local and want to donate time, try local charities: Feeding Children Everywhere, Clean the World, and 3 to 5 Days. These organizations are focused on getting food, clean water, and hygiene supplies to Haiti and other hard-hit areas as soon as possible; and on helping provide long-term shelter so that the next natural disaster doesn’t hurt so much.
2 cans refried beans
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
Optional: 3 plum tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups chunky salsa
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 recipe of _Perfect Guacamole_
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
Clean plastic spiders
Mix all ingredients together. On a large plate or serving platter, smooth bean mix into a 10-inch circle using a rubber spatula.
Optional: Drain the salsa in a colander to get rid of excess juice.
Spread over beans, leaving some of the bean mix just showing around the edges.
Spread cheese over salsa, repeating the layered look.
Cook ground beef with taco seasoning, breaking it up as you go. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain grease.
Layer over cheese.
Make guacamole (if you haven't already). Spread over meat layer.
Fill a piping bag (or ziploc with one corner cut off) with sour cream. Pipe concentric circles over the platter, then add the straight lines (you might want to practice this on a spare plate or piece of plastic wrap first).
Decorate with at least one toy spider. Add tortilla chips around the edge of platter.