Posted by: Maggie
I feel like a major buzz-kill by admitting this, but I don't really love Halloween. More accurately, I don't love dressing up for Halloween. I love haunted hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin carving, and cute kids in costumes just fine. I don't love that 99% of costumes available in stores for grown ladies like myself are either trampy or matronly, with practically no middle ground.
The last time I really dressed up for Halloween was in 7th grade. Incidentally, it was also the last year I ever went trick-or-treating, but more on that in a minute. My mom had an old gypsy costume that I borrowed, and I piled on the makeup, crazy gold coin earrings, loads of dangly bracelets, and a headscarf. I was past the age of dressing up for school at that point, mainly due to my desire to invisibly walk the halls of Ocean Township Intermediate School without being taunted by the girls who had already figured out mascara, flat irons, and padded bras. Meanwhile, I still looked like the bastard love child of Art Garfunkel and Jan Brady. I'm ok now. May God bless Lancome Definicils, the Chi, and late teenage growth spurts.
Anyway, I got home from school that afternoon, and prepared to go trick-or-treating with one of my equally awkward friends. I have no recollection of what she dressed as for Halloween, but I do remember that she affected a British accent for the whole evening, not breaking character once, even though I'm fairly certain it had nothing to do with her costume. Birds of an awkward feather...
We traipsed through the neighborhood collecting candy, and finally arrived at one of the last houses on our route, which just so happened to be the home of my unrequited middle-school crush. He was blonde, all of his clothes came from Structure, and he was a bit of a troublemaker. Be still, my 12-year old heart. We walked up the pathway, rang the doorbell, and there stood my crush holding a bowl of candy and looking annoyed. I will always remember the eleven words he said to us next: "Aren't you girls a little old to be trick-or-treating?" His response didn't seem to faze my friend, but as I defeatedly walked home that evening, my heartbroken 12-year old self vowed never to trick-or-treat again.
When I went off to college, I tried to get in the Halloween spirit, once by dressing up in angel wings, a halo, and normal clothes, and once by wearing a helmet and carrying a sword. Although, in retrospect I think I may have stolen the sword from someone else's costume.
Those pictures were taken in 2004 and 2005, respectively, and I haven't dressed up since - not even in a half-assed construction worker with a sword kind of way.
Things are changing this Halloween. Who remembers Salute Your Shorts? If you were born in the early to mid-80s like Jeff and myself, and live in the United States, there is a strong chance it was one of your favorite childhood shows. Jeff is going as camp counselor Kevin "Ug" Lee, and I will be going as camper Z.Z. Ziff. My costume consists of a Camp Anawanna tee shirt, a whistle, peace sign/earth earrings (Z.Z. was a hippie, remember?) and a syrup bottle for administering awful waffles (link NSFW thanks to some perverted and inaccurate descriptions of an awful waffle, but it's the only site I can find with a definition. Sorry.) Fun, nostalgic, not trampy, and inexpensive? That is the kind of Halloween costume I can get on board with.
I may be wary of the dressing up side of Halloween, but I can easily get on board with the desserts. I found the recipe for these Halloween cheesecakes over on Gingerbread Bagels. Lindsey's Halloween spirit is infectious, and it's enough to even warm up a Halloween Grinch like myself to the holiday! These are super good, and since they're miniature and portion-controlled it means you'll have more room for Halloween candy!
Here's what you'll need:
15 Halloween Oreos, whole
6 Halloween Oreos, pulverized in the food processor
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Orange gel food coloring
Preheat oven to 275 degrees, and line 2 muffin tins with 15 foil liners. Place one whole Oreo in each liner.
Place cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add in the sugar and beat throughly to combine. Add in vanilla extract and eggs, and beat until combined. Finally, gently mix in the sour cream.
Add in orange gel food coloring until the batter is your desired shade. Stir in Oreo crumbs.
Divide batter evenly among the muffin tins. You can fill these almost to the top since they don't really rise. Bake for 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Chill overnight if you can wait that long!
Source: Gingerbread Bagels