As much as I love the pageantry of trick-or-treating on Halloween night, I dislike the trick of managing the chaos involved before we actually get to the treats! Between completing homework, making last minute costume additions (or finding missing items!) and generally just trying to keep everyone in the house until dusk, it can be a challenge. Add in the photo opps and coordinating with friend’s schedules, and it’s enough to make a mom want to quit Halloween altogether. And, during that same time frame you still have to find time to feed everyone something reasonably healthy for dinner – in order to counteract the parental guilt about allowing the mass sugar intake, of course.
A few years back, I instituted a “go-to meal” – one I would use repeatedly so that I didn’t have to rethink the menu every Halloween. I needed something that would be fun, could be made ahead (so I had one less thing to do) and still achieve the illusion that we were eating “real food” amidst all the treasures that would come out of the pillowcases later. I found this one in a cherished Church cookbook and it has been a keeper. We use it often, especially when the kids were small and we had grandparents and neighbors over for dinner before going trick-or-treating.
Here it is:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground round
1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix
6 slices America Cheese
1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm party rolls (20 in a pkg.)
Dill pickles (as desired)
Mix together first 3 items and press in a 9×13 inch pan. (Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated till cooking time) Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
After baking, place 6 slices American cheese on top to melt. Slice rolls in half, placing top half of roll over cheese. Cut according to size of rolls. Put dill pickle slice on bottom part of roll. Scoop out of pan and put bottom of roll on bottom of hamburger.
Try a “go-to meal” for dinner this Halloween – it will at least take the trick out of your dinner plans – so you can enjoy the treats all the more!