How quickly our children grow! This Halloween, I have a teen (who is into non-costumes but eagerly accepts candy), a tween (who makes her own costumes now) and a pre-tween (who delightfully has chosen to be a pioneer girl over something more 21st century).
But, I vividly remember our Halloween seven years ago. I had a radical robot, a precious pink poodle and a tiny toddling Hershey Kiss. They all ran away from me on Halloween night before we even left the house. Why? Because, they had already donned their costumes nine times over the previous two weeks for a multitude of events and THEY HAD HAD ENOUGH!
Eventually, we convinced the kids to take a quick spin around our neighborhood. After my husband and I tackled the chore of putting our "sugar-high extreme edition" little goblins to bed, I had a revelation.
Perhaps nine pre-Halloween activities were a few too many. That night was quite transforming for me because I saw what was important through my children’s eyes. Dashing to every possible event was not desirable. Our bin of slightly worn Halloween decorations was perfect. They did not care if our house was transformed into a spooky masterpiece worthy of a magazine spread. And that pumpkin shaped cake with curly vine details that I had been hoping to bake for the last three Halloweens? My time was better spent cuddled up on the couch reading a big stack of Halloween books with my kids.
It’s the little moments of being together that hold warm memories for us. For the last seven years, I have attempted to follow this more laid-back approach to any holiday. We attend the parties and events that are the most meaningful. Time with family and friends is a priority. We hold traditions dear. Trying one new craft, recipe or decorating idea is manageable. Festive holiday meals are fun and do not need to be elaborate.
The recipe Muenster Monster Buns fits perfectly with my approach for a festive Halloween meal. These hollowed-out hard rolls are stuffed with a warm mixture of coleslaw and deli meat and topped with cheese. They are fun for children to help make and hearty enough to sustain the little trick-or-treaters on their evening haunts. Best of all, this recipe incorporates all the food groups. Plus, clean up is a breeze!
Spooky Halloween tunes set the mood as my 8-year-old daughter and I got started on the Muenster Monster Buns. While the oven heats to 350 degrees F, we placed the ingredients on the counter.
This recipe requires a little prep work. My daughter cut the deli roast beef into thin strips while I chopped the onion.
Except for the rolls and cheese, all the other ingredients get combined in a 10-inch skillet. My daughter, Ella, made sure to add every last drop of the Dijon mustard.
Time to cook the mixture over medium-high heat until the water starts to boil. This takes approximately 2 to 4 minutes. Make sure to stir it occasionally.
Now, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes until the coleslaw is tender. Drain any excess moisture.
While the meat and coleslaw mixture is cooking, the rolls can be prepared. Start by cutting a thin slice off the top of each roll.
Now for Ella’s favorite task: scooping the bread out of the roll. Hollow out each roll until a ½-inch shell remains. The bread crumbs work well for pre-dinner nibbles or later visits to the duck pond.
The cheese is where we changed things up a little to make our dinner more festive. The recipe states to line the bottom of each roll with half a slice of cheese folded in half. We used ¼ -slice of cheese on the bottom of each roll so we could focus on cutting the remaining slices of cheese with Halloween themed cutters for the top of the rolls.
Now the rolls are ready to be stuffed. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to fill the rolls with the hot coleslaw mixture.
Line the rolls up on a baking sheet and they are ready to bake for 8 to 10 minutes. When baked remove the rolls from the oven.
The recipe states to cut 4 slices of cheese into a total of 16 strips. Place two strips on the top of each roll. We wanted to spook things up a little so we used a small cookie cutter to cut pumpkins and skeleton heads from the cheese slices. Our grocery store carries white American cheese, so our pumpkins were a little pale but nobody minded! After my daughter cut out the cheese shapes, we added them to the top of the rolls.
Place the rolls back in the oven for about 2 minutes so the cheese can melt. This is the perfect amount of time to try on purple vampire teeth!
Time to eat! We ate our Muenster Monster Buns with Wacky Witches’ Fingers (sweet potato fries) and Creepy Crunchy Salad (a broccoli and cauliflower salad.) Food is always more desirable with creative names.
Our Halloween dinner hit the spot with the entire family. "Can we make these every year for Halloween?" Ella asked as she ran to change into her costume. Making family memories is of great importance to me and I am delighted that we started a new Halloween dinner tradition with Muenster Monster Buns. Happy Halloween!
Come back in a few days when Liz will show a great way to use cranberries.
Tami is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.