Halloween Dinner Ideas for Normal People…With Children…Because Pinterest Has No Place in That Interminable Wait For Dark

Halloween is tomorrow, and if you are a big, fat procrastinator like me, you may still have time to figure out your pre-Trick-or-Treat dinner. In the hectic after-school wait until dark, I usually strive for a very easy meal that doesn’t make me feel like too much of a slacker-mom. I don’t care what those supermoms on Pinterest say…I certainly do not have time to craft a cute, themed, labor-intensive dinner that I know in reality, my kids won’t remotely care about. They are simply watching the clock until they can be unleashed on our poor neighborhood like candy-starved fiends. During this hyperactive waiting period, my kids are already pinging off the walls from excitement, so making them sit down to a big dinner would be an epic fail. Here’s some of my favorite ideas for Halloween dinners that your brood may actually eat:

Caramel Apple Bacon Panini’s

I know these sound bizarre, but they are awesome! To help balance the flavors, I added a little bit of the rendered bacon fat to the butter that I spread on the outside of the sandwich, just prior to grilling. If you just HAVE to cut them out into shapes, more power to ya sister. I skip that step.

Pioneer Woman’s Tomato Soup

This is, hands down, my favorite tomato soup recipe. I serve it with bacon grilled cheese sandwiches. In fact, this is what I’m making tonight for our pumpkin carving session. Don’t skimp on the basil.

My Chicken Tortellini Soup

You can have this one ready in 20 minutes flat, and that’s if you are a slow poke.

Smokey Mac and Cheese

This one requires a little more effort, but you can make it ahead of time and then just toss the casserole in the oven when you are ready. Carbs and protein…what more could they want?

So, these are a few ideas in case you are getting down to the wire. I understand last minute Halloween stress, because I actually had to go to three stores today to find pumpkins. Apparently in retail land, Halloween ended a week ago, Thanksgiving has been booted off the table, and Christmas is next week….sigh.

As for me, I have to confess that, this year, I got lucky. No last minute dinner scramble! Our new neighborhood rocks, and we’re are having a cul-de-sac block party. All I have do to is bring an appetizer, and other neighbors are grilling for all the families around us. I’ll whip up some Bourbon Meatballs, grab a folding chair, and let the Heathens run wild. And monitor my husband and his dry ice, special effects antics…but that’s a story for another day.

Snapshot of a Not-So-Fall Week

Recent days have been far too busy, but I’m not complaining…much. I am always amazed at how Fall makes me want to slow down, but life seems to get busier than ever. That’s usually when my husband inconveniently reminds me that maybe I shouldn’t volunteer or overcommit so much (School Halloween carnival…cough…cough). Despite our delayed reaction to the supposedly changing season, we did manage to start the Halloween decorations:

And so far, my husband has only electrocuted himself twice. I’d call that progress.

I also finished my first knitted Christmas gift, so maybe I’m not such a bum after all:

Mostly, I’ve been hunkered down, doing my freelance work to boost the holiday funds, and ignoring the fact that it’s still 90 freaking degrees outside. Not that I’m bitter or anything…