Do you like black olives? We LOVE them! Like, a lot! They’re a must-have on the relish tray at every family holiday get together. Yes, every. Really. The kids love them too. They’re SO tasty, and seriously what other food can you put onto all 5 of your fingers & pop off to eat?! Fun!
And, if you’ve been around the blog, you know that I also love making “fun foods”/”edible crafts”! So, when the California Olive Committee contacted me and asked if I’d create a “spooktacular” Halloween recipe/craft with their California Black Ripe Olives, I couldn’t say no! 🙂 My mind was immediately full of ideas as the black color is PERFECT for Halloween!
Given my love of the spider web pretzels and the spider theme we have going on this year, I immediately knew I wanted to attempt a giant spider with the olives. And, I LOVE the way it turned out! At first, I wasn’t sure what I’d do for the body, but a cheeseball seemed like it would be perfect.
*Recipe adapted from A Southern Fairytale (if you like football, you should totally check hers out!!! 🙂 )
- 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 C shredded cheese blend (I used a mix of sharp, colby jack, and monterey cheddar)
- 3/4 C fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 C mayonnaise
- 2 T garlic & onion chives, chopped (you could do green onions instead, but we had chives in the garden)
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3-5 cans black olives (depending on cheeseball size & olive size)
- wooden skewers (I used 4, each cut into smaller pieces)
- pimento (for eyes)
First up, make the cheeseball.
1. blend together all the cheeses using a hand or stand mixer. Then, add in chives (or onions), seasonings, and mayo. 2. Once creamed together, shape into a spider (head & abdomen) onto a platter (I didn’t use all of it, because there was something else I wanted to try too). 3. Halve olives and begin covering the spider. Then begin construction on the legs. 4. For the legs, cut segments off a skewer (size determined by the size of your spider). Stick the cut skewer into the cheeseball (where the head and abdomen meet). Then, lace the olives onto the skewer (through their holes), leaving a little bit of the end of the skewer open. For the bottom part of the leg, lace the olives onto the skewer leaving the top part of the skewer open. To attach the two skewers, place one olive such that both skewers will stick into it (and connect). Repeat the process until the entire spider is complete. For the eyes, slice an olive so that you have open rings. Inside each opening, place a pimento for some creepy red eyes!
As a former biology teacher, it’s no surprise that I like the creepy creatures right?! And, bats definitely qualify (although, they actually are really good to have around!) And, ever since last year, when I saw these little bat bites, I knew I wanted to try them. But, the outside is cracked black pepper–and that would NEVER work in our house. So, what to do?! Well, why not black olives?
You’ll just need some of the remaining cheeseball mixutre to make small balls with.
While you’re at it, you could also make a veggie jack ‘o lantern (full directions, here)
Did you know that California olive growers produce more than 95 percent of the black ripe olives grown in the U.S.?! Crazy! These growers operate multi-generational family farms from the inland valleys of California from San Diego County to far north of Sacramento County.
And, did you know that there is a whole site devoted to all these awesome California olives? You can get information on recipes, history, nutrition, and industry on www.CalOlive.org. Pretty cool, huh?!
What Halloween “fun foods” have you been making?
Disclosure: The California Olive Committee provided me with a package of Halloween-themed goodies and a gift card for my olive-creation supplies. My love of olives and fun foods are all my own! 🙂