Hyper kids. Face paint that simply won’t come off. A costume that has been worn so many times before the big day arrives that it is already falling apart.

Isn’t Halloween with kids a blast? But hey, Halloween isn’t just for kids! Grown-ups can dress up too, and one of the best ways of getting into the Halloween mood is to cook Hallween-themed food.

My family and I love this holiday, and we have some traditional things that we do each Halloween that help us come closer together, have fun, and stuff our faces! Here is a menu for a Halloween dinner that we had last year, along with ingredients and preparation tips. At the end of this article, keep reading to see some other fun things we have tried for snacks and desserts.

Maggot stew
This was my wife’s idea, and let me tell you that I was not interested. I like my food to look appealing, and the image that came to mind when she suggested this was not pleasant. Imagine my surprise at how much I liked it!

This is one of the simplest things you can make. Simply make your favorite stew, or open a couple of cans of quality stew from the store.

When your stew is hot, add about two cups of rice. You can actually use brown rice to keep the stew extra healthy and also to make sure the rice doesn’t completely dissolve. Let the rice soften up, and voila! Maggot stew.

I looked this up online and actually found that some people use orzo pasta to simulate the maggots, so we might try this next time.

Side dishes
Along with our maggot stew, we had pumpkin rolls and a fruity dish that we simply call ‘Brains.’

Pumpkin rolls are easy, but you must make them from scratch. Simply make roll dough from your roll recipe of choice and let it rise once. After the first time the dough rises, knock it down and knead in some orange food coloring. You may need to do this with yellow and red food coloring if you cannot find the orange. Remember to wear sanitary, powder free gloves when you knead in the food coloring.

Then just form your orange rolls and let them rise. Bake and serve hot!

The other side dish is ‘Brains.’ You will need:

Jell-o (any flavor is good, we like lime for the color and flavor)
Cottage cheese (small curd is better for the nasty look of the dish)
Blackberries and/or blueberries (I like both)

Prepare the Jell-o the way the package says and let it set fully. While you wait for it to set, mix the berries with the cottage cheese and chill this mixture. When the Jell-o is set, vigorously mix the berry and cottage cheese mixture with the Jell-o. You will soon see why it is called ‘brains.’ The texture is hilariously nasty, but the flavor is tart and tasty. I’ve seen other people make similar dishes, so this is a common Halloween dish.

Snacks and desserts
For Halloween snacks, you just need to use your imagination. Try combining chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered raisins, candy corn, dried cranberries and dried blueberries. Call it your ‘Bug Mix.’ The textures, smooth surfaces and crunchiness of this mix will get any Halloween imagination going. It’s a bonus if you get a raisin stem, because that’s a leg.

You can also try, and this is just delicious, not nasty-sounding at all, adding candy corn to your marshmallow crispy treats.

Finally, our family favorite. Serve up some of those crunchy chow mein noodles and call them ‘deep fried worms.’ Absolutely no work required with this idea, but hilarity will always ensue as kids and adults alike get into the fun.