Last year, Brandy showed me her deviled eggs with ripe olive spiders on top. I knew at that time that I wanted to try this idea for Halloween this year. There is quite a bit of work in making these; Brandy said that her twin 11 year old daughters had helped her, so maybe this is a good project at the family level.
I tried to make them on Halloween morning for a party that afternoon, and got myself into a little bit of trouble without realizing it. The hard cooked eggs didn’t peel cleanly; pieces of egg white stuck to the shell causing pits in the egg whites. So after Halloween, I decided to review and research what I knew and didn’t know about making hard cooked eggs. What I learned is that you should not try to peel the eggs as soon as they are cool, but should wait for a couple hours, or even overnight. I guess the egg white shrinks a little and pulls away from the shell. As a result, I have updated my original article concerning deviled eggs-Green Eggs and Ham- Deviled Eggs– to reflect the need to wait longer between cooking and cooling the eggs, and shelling them. (I notice that I left the wait time down at 15 minutes, but I think that is still pushing it, and would go with a couple hours minimum).
In the Green Eggs article, I suggest pushing the egg yolk mixture through a sieve to eliminate any tough pieces. I was going to try to skip that step, but when I saw what I had, I felt I had to sieve the mixture.
The spider is made by cutting a ripe olive in half length-wise, and then cutting one half into 6 legs; I used two cross cuts, and then cut each of those three pieces in half. You could go for 8 legs, but I felt the work of getting 6 small pieces on the deviled egg was enough. (There is one spider in the photo with 8 legs- second one in on the third row).
So plan a few spider eggs for next year. Between Spider Cookies, and Spider Eggs you have both an appetizer and a dessert for that Halloween party.
Not only is a cheese log tasty, but it is also attractive. If you have a simple party coming up, this is a real treat that you can serve with crackers of almost any kind. It takes only a few minutes to make, and you can make it ahead of the guests arriving. I think the up-coming Super Bowl would be a great time to have these Logs and some crackers ready. And it is still good if your party size is only two.
I have to admit that daughter Mindy does a much nicer rolling of the logs in the chopped nuts. I may need to take another lesson from her.
Deviled Ham Cheese Logs
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheeese, shredded
- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 4 1/2 oz. can deviled ham
- 1/2 cup pitted chopped ripe olives
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Have cheddar cheese at room temperature. In a small
mixer bowl, beat cheeses together until well blended.
Beat in deviled ham; stir in olives and chill.
Shape into two 8″ logs. Wrap in cling wrap and chill
until ready to serve. Then unwrap and roll in pecans.
Serve with crackers or small breads
This dip has a Mexican taste; it starts with Beans, contains Avocado, and ends with with Salsa, and we suggest serving it with Corn Chips. It is big in size, and your problem might be finding a dish on which to assemble it. I would suggest a 12 inch platter as a starting point. And it is bold, with lots of opportunity for spicing it up.
I purposely built my version of the dip in a pyramid so that the different layers would show; that is not necessary, and you should bring each layer out to the edge of the serving platter. A lot goes into the dip, and you need all the surface you can use for each layer.
8 Layer Dip
- 3 Avacados
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 2 cans bean dip or 16 oz refried beans
- 1 cup green onions, chopped
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 3 chopped tomatoes
- 1 (4-6 oz.) can sliced ripe olives
Mash avacados with lemon juice, salt and pepper
(You may use commercial guacomole instead.)
Assemble in layers on a large round or oblong dish:
- spread bean dip
- Avocado mixture
- sour cream
Serve with corn chips for dipping
I made my version of the dip with the bean dip that is usually in the aisle with the chips; I feel the dip could use a little more spice at that level, and might try one of the refried beans that are sauced up to medium instead of mild. You could also add a little spice in the guacamole (Avocado mixture) with a couple shakes of hot sauce. The sour cream acts to cool the hot tastes down, but if your crowd isn’t into spicy food, you can do just as well with the recipe as given. The only heat I detected in my version was in the salsa.