Web Design For Demons

If there was ever an opportunity to embrace a more quirky, crafty approach to everyday eats, Halloween is your best bet. When else could you serve up cobwebs on a platter with any sense of success? Spooky Summer Rolls are a whimsical way to eat your veggies and celebrate the holiday all in the same bite. Best of all, it’s not hard to unravel the secrets behind these enchanting entrees, even if you have limited time or means to throw a spooktacular Halloween party.

Get Tangled in these Toothsome Webs

Spring rolls, summer rolls, or autumn rolls; you can call them whatever you want, as long as they start with translucent rice paper wraps encasing a treasure trove of ghostly goodies. At the heart of these Spooky Summer Rolls lies a tangle of delicate cellophane noodles, effortlessly creating the appearance of intricate spider webs.

Adding a pop of protein are meaty planks of baked tofu, accentuated by the salty pop of olives, crawling along on slender spidery legs. Any assortment of your favorite veggies would be welcome here, but my default, foolproof array includes carrot, cucumber, and avocado, for a crunchy, refreshing, and rich combination altogether.

A roll is only as good as its dipping sauce, and the black garlic dressing does not disappoint. Dark as midnight, creamy and rich, it packs volumes of umami, salty, sweet, and gently acidic flavor into a tiny drop. You could skip the food-grade charcoal if you’re less focused on color, or switch it up for butterfly pea tea powder to turn it an unearthly shade of blue instead.

How to Make Plant-Based Spiders

Transforming black olives into cute creepy-crawlies is a fun trick that can be used to garnish all sorts of spooky snacks. Simply slice the olives in half lengthwise, reserving half of those to serve as the bodies. To create the legs, slice the remaining halves into thin slivers horizontally. Arrange the olive slices upside-down on the rice paper to create the appearance of eight spindly legs. In no time at all, you’ll have summoned a legion of miniature olive spiders, ready to crawl onto your plate.

Supernatural Serving Suggestions

Half the fun is setting the scene for All Hallows’ Eve. Turn it into a real show-stopper or a DIY activity for all to enjoy!

  • Cemetery Soiree: Set the stage for a graveyard gala by arranging the Spooky Summer Rolls on a platter amidst edible “dirt” made from crushed dark rice crackers.
  • Witch’s Cauldron: Elevate your presentation by serving the rolls in a cauldron-like bowl, surrounded by a “fog” of dry ice for a dramatic and mysterious effect.
  • Goblin Picnic: Pack these rolls for an outdoor adventure, Halloween-themed picnic, or school lunch. Kids will love the surprise of discovering these eerie delights.
  • Monstrous Make-Your-Own: Lay out all the ingredients and let your guests concoct their own Spooky Summer Rolls. It’s an edible craft project that will also save you time and energy.

As the witching hour approaches and the moon glows brightly, embrace the spirit of the season with Spooky Summer Rolls that are not only a treat for your taste buds but also a feast for your eyes. Gather your friends, family, and other victims for a Halloween feast that’s as hauntingly delicious as it is spooktacularly fun!

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How to Build a Vegan Cheese Board

For any gathering big or small, a well-appointed cheeseboard has always seemed like the height of sophistication. Arranged just so over a distressed wood plank, discrete piles of sweet and savory morsels sparkle like jewels in a treasure chest, waiting to be plundered. Carefully curated selections manage to dance in step no matter the pairing, as if they were all destined for this stage. How is it possible to create such a winning cheeseboard at home, with little experience, limited budget, or particular tastes?

If you’ve ever enjoyed cheese and crackers together, believe it or not, you’re already an expert. Putting together a selection of snacks for grazing isn’t rocket science. Start small and keep building as the occasion demands, breaking it down into five distinct categories for easy execution.

1 – 3 Types of Vegan Cheese

This is the star of the show here so don’t hold back. Plan on at least 1 – 2 ounces per person as an appetizer or snack. For a small party, it’s perfectly fine to focus on just one superlative cheese, but it’s always nice to offer different options to compare and contrast. Think of them in three categories while shopping or cooking:

Something Sweet

Personally, I wouldn’t go with desserts like cookies or truffles, but a more moderate, natural source of sweetness. The idea is to help balance the savory notes of the cheeses, rather than overpower them. That means relying on nature’s candy with no added sugars:

  • Fresh fruit (grapes, sliced apples or pears, berries)
  • Dried fruit (apricots, dates, figs)
  • Jam or preserves

Something Salty

There’s a lot of potential overlap in this category with the following, so you can pick one or the other for a smaller spread. For concentrated pops of salty contrast, I’d suggest at least one of these:

  • Pickles
  • Marinated artichokes
  • Olives
  • Capers

Something Crunchy

Texture is critical! It’s especially important to have something crispy when you have a soft, spreadable cheese on deck. There should be a vehicle for any schmear, and maybe even a crunchy topper to finish it off:

Something Neutral

There’s a whole lot going on with the rest of the board, so it’s nice to provide some blank space as a palate cleanser. These are also great options for those that really want to put the cheese first, but not just shove a whole plain wedge of it in their mouths. Use these as fillers when you have blank space:

  • Soft bread
  • Carrot or celery sticks
  • Cucumber slices

BONUS: Charcuterie

If this was a genuine charcuterie board, you’d want to go heavy on the sliced plant-based meats. That, however, is a whole separate topic in and of itself. Consider it a wildcard addition if you want some extra protein to make it more of a meal.

Don’t Forget…!

There’s plenty of overlap that exists and you shouldn’t let these simplified lists restrict your creativity! Consider candied nuts for a sweet, salty, and crunchy component, for example, or a spicy pepper jam that’s more hot than sweet.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with paring it down to the bare essentials; all you need is a really great cheese and hearty crackers to start a party on the right foot. Perfect for the holidays or everyday entertaining, a plant-based cheeseboard offers a little bit of something for everyone.

Nugget of Wisdom

I’ve never met a plant-based nugget I didn’t like. While the war over fast food nuggets wages on, I’m perfectly content to stay home and indulge my love for these savory snacks quietly, without controversy. No matter the “meat” of the matter, homemade will always win this fight. From nutrition to flavor, there’s just no comparison.

That said, I do have a clear favorite among the multitudes of contenders. Protein-packed organic tofu might seem like an old fashioned choice, but that’s certainly not the case when Hodo is in the kitchen. Slow-cooked in bold spice blends to infuse incredible flavor before frying them up for a chewy texture, both the Chinese 5 Spice and Thai Curry Nuggets are ready to eat right out of the package. Of course, there are even greater rewards in store with a little extra prep work.

These crispy, crunchy, compulsively munchable morsels will convince anyone that Hodo is the only way to go. Simple pantry staples transform into restaurant-quality breading for an amber brown, boldly seasoned crust. Thick and satisfying yet surprisingly light, that exterior coating reveals an impossibly moist and juicy golden nugget within.

Just what makes them so meaty? They’re close relatives to tofu puffs, which have been fried as a way to push excess water out, creating an incredibly chewy, dense structure within. This also makes them incredibly absorbent, which is why the flavors of curry or 5-spice make such a bold impact in any dish, even after they’ve been simmered or stewed with other ingredients, or in this case, encased in a shatteringly crisp shell of seasoned breadcrumbs.

Plus, they’re shockingly low fat. Just a light spritz of olive oil will set the finish like a sheer lacquer will seal in the fine details on a masterful work of art. Piping hot and fresh out of the air fryer, it’s hard to believe but these beauties are baked for a grease-free finish. Aside from just eating them straight up as perfectly poppable finger food, the options for adornment are endless. Consider the following:

  • Dipping options: maple mustard, ketchup, teriyaki sauce, marinara, ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, sour cream and onion dip
  • Serving options: sandwiches, tacos, pizza, wraps/burritos, waffle toppers, salad mix-ins
  • Plated entree accompaniments: rice pilaf, steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, buttered noodles, sauteed greens

That’s just the start! Make them your own with your favorite flavors. There’s truly nothing that doesn’t pair well with a such universally satisfying taste sensation.

Picky kids, tofu-haters, staunch omnivores, and health food vegans alike will be won over with one bite. Who needs takeout when you can much do better at home?

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