Show me a hundred Halloween recipes in magazines or online, and I’ll show you a hundred of my crafty fails . So, you can imagine how nervous I was trying to come up with something cute or creepy for Halloween. I’m crossing my fingers you won’t be afraid of these Halloween recipes.

As usual, I let necessity be the mother of my inventions. I picked up a pretty little butternut squash and some orange peppers at the farmers market, their beautiful color a jump-start to get the ideas flowing. Next, I found a bag of squid ink pasta at a local grocery store, and I had my black-and-orange theme. The slightly salty flavor of the pasta pairs well with the sweet squash and peppers.

Still missing the creepy element, I was glad to find a nicely priced bag of chicken feet (there’s something I never expected to say).

My wicked plan came together rather quickly after that.

Some people love chicken feet in soups or even on a stick, so you can eat them — just be careful to avoid the small bones and talons. Or, you can use them as an unsettling garnish. I won’t judge you either way, as long as you don’t judge me for going out on a limb here — I really can’t help myself.

Once I made the “trick” dish, I thought I’d better make some cute little candy bark as a treat.

Still keeping it as local and seasonal as possible, here’s a Halloween meal that will either fascinate or frighten your guests. No crafty projects were harmed in the creation of this column, although I can’t say the same for the chicken feet.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at