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A very delicious Halloween party

We’re all about a good braai to celebrate most occasions, but when something as cool as Halloween comes around, we simply can’t resist the urge to go full-on pumpkin and black rice. So on Monday (or this weekend, because, you know, it’s more that way), we think you should host a very spooky, completely delicious, Halloween party. Here’s how:



Paper pumpkins

Make adorable paper pumpkins by cutting out strips of orange cardboard. Punch holes in each end of the strips. Place all the strips on top of each other and feed a green pipe cleaner through both sides, as if you were making a handle. Tie the top and bottom and fan the strips to make the pumpkin round.


Pack a punch

Concoct some deliciously spiked cocktails and serve them with dry ice for a spooky feel. Set up a sign at the drinks station reading: ‘What’s your poison?’

Get your glow on

Set up tubs filled with dry ice and glow sticks as an effectively eerie lighting option.


Starters: Stuffed peppers with chicken and couscous



4 chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
4 orange peppers
250 ml couscous
250 ml boiling water
3 tbsp sour cream
1 wheel feta
Handful parsley, chopped
Handful chives, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
2. Place chicken in a roasting tin and sprinkle with oil, garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.
3. Roast for 1 hour, until the meat falls off the bone, then remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. Meanwhile, cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds. Use a sharp knife to cut out jack-o’ lantern faces.
5. Place the couscous and 2 tsp salt in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over. Cover with cling film and let stand for a couple of minutes, until all the water is absorbed.
6. Shred the cooled chicken.
7. Mix chicken, couscous, sour cream, feta and herbs. Season some more if necessary.
8. Fill each pepper with chicken and couscous stuffing.

Mains: Red-wine lamb potjie



1.5 kg leg of lamb
250g bacon, diced
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp brown sugar
750 ml dry red wine
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp dried rosemary
150g dried peaches
1 tbsp apricot jam
300g baby carrots, peeled
200g Brussels sprouts
10 baby potatoes
Salt and pepper

1. Light a fire.
2. Trim all the fat off the leg of lamb. Make small cuts all over it. Stretch the cuts open by pushing in your finger, and fill with bacon.
3. Rub lamb with the coriander and sugar. Pour the wine over and marinate for 30 minutes.
4. Melt the butter in a potjie over the fire. Lightly brown the lamb all over.
5. Add rosemary and 500 ml wine marinade.
6. Cover the potjie and bring to a simmer. Cook for at least 1½ hours, until lamb is ½ done. Ensure the coals are not too hot and turn the lamb regularly.
7. Add the peaches and jam. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.
8. Add the veggies and season. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.
9. When the lamb is completely done, shred the meat, remove the bone and serve with rice.

Dessert: Cherry-chocolate cupcakes



For the cupcakes
115g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
90g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
125g cake flour
30g cocoa
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
180 ml milk
180 ml black-cherry jam
For the icing
250g unsalted butter, softened
405g icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp pink food colouring
Cherries, to garnish

For the cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, caster sugar, butter and oil until fluffy.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, stir flour, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
5. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk. Begin and end with flour Beat until well mixed.
6. Place 2 tbsp batter in each paper cupcake liner. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Immediately remove cupcakes from tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut a small well in the top of each cupcake. Fill with cherry jam. Replace the top portion of each cupcake.
For the icing
1. Beat the butter until fluffy.
2. Gradually beat in the sugar until fluffy.
3. Add milk and colouring, and beat until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
4. Ice the cupcakes and garnish with cherries.

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