With the help of Bitchin’ Kitchen’s Nadia G. and Once Upon a Vine, prepare yourself for the classiest and tastiest Halloween you’ve ever had. The comedian-chef gives us her tips on being the hostess with the most-ess this holiday season, incorporating the spooks and thrills of Halloween into your festivities without the typical cheesiness that comes with it.
Featured on the Cooking Channel and Food Network, Nadia has boozy and delicious treats you will definitely want to try. And as far as packing on a few LBs this holiday season? She says food correlates with sex… so eat up. Check out our interview with the Italian firecracker, including her input on revealing costumes and the perfect party playlist, followed by some of her best Halloween recipes.
VH1: What do you have planned for Halloween this year?
Nadia G.: I prefer throwing a Halloween party at my place, then going out. You tend to be surrounded by a bunch of twits in polyester suits and when you have a Halloween party at home, granted, you may still be surrounded by twits in polyester outfits, but at least they’re your friends.
As a host, how do you go about making party snacks?
The issue is [food at Halloween parties] tastes as scary as it looks. So you want to create something that’s got a good Halloween vibe, but still tastes great.
Any favorite ways to incorporate candy?
You can use candy to infuse alcohol which is tasty. Or, you can pair candy with alcohol and create bacon chocolates. Very easy: You fry up the bacon, get rid of the fat, put it into some melted chocolate, and you can serve that up with a glass of red wine.
Are you a fan of sexy costumes?
Yes, but it’s got to be scary, too. You can’t just be slutty without any scary, you know what I mean?
What are you planning on being this year?
Dead Martha Stewart.
What are your recommendations for creating a perfect Halloween party environment?
Don’t spend a bunch of money on super, cheap pharmacy Halloween decorations. It’s just so tacky and not in a good way. So find some vintage dolls, like decapitated doll heads. Try and think of what creeps people out — maybe it’s clowns, maybe it’s your STD test, just figure out what’s scary. [For music], The Cramps are awesome, Rob Zombie is great for Halloween. You need the traditional “Monster Mash,” “Ghostbusters.” That’s fun, too.
Do you have any advice for maintaining your figure during the holiday season?
I gotta say, there’s no magical unicorn you can fondle for that. Essentially, if you wanna stay thin, you gotta suffer and that means not eat what looks good and not drink too much. Just enjoy the holidays and then get back into tip-top shape afterwards because the holidays are a pain in the butt; you got to hang out with your family, it’s enough stress. You should at least be able to stuff your face while having to listen to grandma’s bunion story and stuff.
What do you think about people being too shy to eat in front of each other?
Appetite is so correlated to sex, and honestly, if I were to go on a date with someone who’s picking at a salad, I’d be like, “You know what, I don’t think this person has enough passion in them to make it happen.” I translate that being Italian, it’s like one in the same. Eating is sex, so if someone doesn’t know how to get in there, I’d be like, “No.”
In addition to Nadia G.’s flawless party tips, we’re taking scary movie recommendations from none other than Daniel Radcliffe this holiday season.
Check out some of Nadia’s Halloween recipes:
Coffin-shaped Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Melted Taleggio Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Apples
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 red onions, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large loaf sourdough bread
- 1 McIntosh apple, sliced thinly
- 4 wedges Taleggio cheese
- Sufficient quantity butter
Making caramelized onions: Heat a non-stick pan on medium. Add olive oil, onions, separate them, and salt. Sauté for 10 minutes, then turn down heat to medium-low and cook for another 35-40 minutes, until onions are deep amber in color.
Making the sandwich: Cut sourdough into 1/2 inch slices, then into coffin shapes. Heat a pan on medium low and melt enough butter to coat the pan. Lay down a slice of bread, a cheese wedge, caramelized onions, 3 apple slices, and top with another slice of bread. Press down and cook for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Remove grilled cheese from pan, and serve.
- 2 oz Pear nectar
- 3 Sprigs of thyme
- 1 oz Lime juice
- 1/2 oz Simple syrup
- 4 oz Once Upon a Vine®Fairest Chardonnay®
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled glass.
Milk Chocolate Chip and Maple Syrup Glazed Bacon Witch Finger Cookies
- 12 bacon slices, minced
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup unsalted butter, large dice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Maldon salt, to taste
- 1 1/2 cup quality milk chocolate, in chip sized chunks
- Raw skinless almonds
- Medium frying pan
- Wooden spoon
- Small bowl
- Electric mixer
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheet
- Wire rack
- Witch finger mold
Preheat oven to 350˚
Making the bacon: In a medium frying pan, sauté the bacon until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp. Drain the fat from the pan, and add the maple syrup. Stir to blend, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until maple syrup becomes thick. Transfer immediately to a small bowl, and let cool.
Making the batter: With a standing or handheld mixer, blend the butter and sugars for 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat for 1 minute or until well blended. Add the vanilla, and beat for 30 seconds more. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Add the maple syrup glazed bacon, and chocolate. Stir to combine. Place almonds into the fingernail part of witch finger molds. Scoop dough into the molds, filling them 3/4 of the way, and bake in the center of oven until golden around the edges (about 9-10 minutes). Remove from oven. Pull the cookies out while still warm and with a paring knife cut off the excess cookies around the finger to shape it. Handle carefully so cookie doesn’t break.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
[Photo Credit: Once Upon a Vine]