Friday, 4 November 2016

Halloween birthday lunch with vegan mummy tarts

On Tuesday we had a small gathering of family and friends to remember the birthday of my stillborn twins Alex and Ian.  As their birthday is so close to Halloween, we had some themed food, including mummy pizza tarts.  It delights their sister Sylvia who seems to think it is her party!

I will stop here to reply to a few people who have commented on my conflicted attitude to Halloween.  Halloween is not my tradition.  When I was a young Catholic girl, I celebrated All Saints Day on 1 November.  It was a Holy Day of Obligation.  We prayed for all the saints.  It was followed by All Souls Day when we prayed for the souls of those who had died.

Now the shops push Halloween on us so they can sell lots of lollies.  There is something wrong with that.  And some aspects of Halloween make fun of death in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable.  Fortunately there are other ways to enjoy Halloween with my excited seven year old daughter.

I think that as well as my uneasy relationship with Halloween, I am quite tired this year and felt quite unprepared for a birthday lunch. We kept the food simple.  Sylvia really liked the jack o'lantern face on the pumpkin hummus last year and this year she cut the face out of nori.

I had decided to make mummy pizzas because they seemed easy.  Initially I intended to make mini pizzas but then it was too much work to make the dough so I used some puff pastry that I had in the freezer.  Which was just as well.  The cake (which I will write about soon) took much longer to decorate than I expected.  By the time my parents and then friends arrived, the house was tidy and everything was ready except the mummy tarts.

I spent some time putting the olives and cheese on the tarts while everyone helped themselves to pumpkin dip with vegies and blue corn chips.  At least it was the sort of activity I could do without having to concentrate very hard.  However I would have preferred it all laid out nicely when everyone arrived.

I did love these mummy tarts.  The vegan cheese worked well on them because it keeps its shape when it melts.  No one mentioned the cheese and I never asked if anyone was aware it was vegan cheese.  Sylvia did tell me that she loved the tarts once she picked off the cheese and olives!

As I didn't have a chance to take many photos I made the tarts again yesterday with some of the leftovers ingredients.  They really are quite easy and wonderful finger food.  I also baked the leftover scraps of puff pastry to have as little snacks.  Sylvia gobbled these up.  Sylvia also liked cutting out plain shapes with her Halloween cookie cutters from the puff pastry and baking these.

Dessert was far more organised than the savoury food and by then I was able to relax and indulge.  Here is a sneak peek photo.  I will be back with more on these treats soon.  We had a very pleasant afternoon chatting, listening to E with his ukulele and Sylvia disappearing into the garden with a friend and some umbrellas.

I am sending these to Healthy Vegan Fridays and Meat Free Mondays.

More Halloween treats on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cheese and pretzel broomsticks
Chocolate and pretzel spiderwebs
Franken sushi (gf, v)
Ghost cupcakes with marshmallow frosting (v) 
Owl and spider cupcakes

Halloween mummy tarts
Makes about 12

2 sheets puff pastry
150g Biocheese (or your favourite melty vegan cheese)
8-10 green olives stuffed with piemento
1/4 cup pizza flavoured tomato paste

Lay out the sheets of puff pastry.  Cut out circles with a large scone cutter (about 15cm diameter).  Slice the biocheese into long thin slices and slice the olives to make eyes.  Spread each circle with about a teaspoon of pizza sauce to cover it.  Place olive 'eyes' on the circle and arrange the cheese strips about to represent bandages.  Make sure there are some spaces between 'bandages', but not too much.  Bake until cheese has melted and edge are slightly charred.  I have done this at 20 minutes at 180 C and 10 minutes at 220 C.  Best eaten on day of baking.

On the Stereo:
Doubt: Jesus Jones

This post is part of the Vegan Month of Food (Vegan MoFo) in November 2016.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my 2016 Vegan MoFo posts. 

Week 1 is Treat Yourself.


  1. The mummies are so cute! It's nice to hear that you have found a comfortable way to celebrate.

  2. I appreciate you sharing your feelings around Halloween, I am with you. It is not my tradition too but sadly we are being bombarded with it from every direction. I adore the mummified pizza's , but still remember your spider one from last year too. What a lovely way to honour your boys, I read your posts about Alex and Ian every year and cannot help but be touched.

    1. Thanks Shaheen - how funny that we both have reservations about Halloween and yet love doing fun food! doing pizzas and tarts is a great way of creating an edible canvas for fun designs!

  3. As I think you know, I share your attitude to Halloween but it is still a fun opportunity to make interesting food. These are very cute and I bet Sylvia loved them.

    1. Thanks Kari - Sylvia loved having them and pulling them apart :-) I think she scoffed the pastry shapes quickly though

  4. LOL - your mummy tarts are adorable. I just didn't get a chance to do anything for Halloween this year, which makes me sad as it can be so much fun.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - you manage to celebrate so many significant days that I am always impressed - and I am sure you will catch up with Halloween another year (though as I have commented, it is not our tradition)

  5. These tarts are so cute. I have to remember all your wonderful ideas for next year. I don't really celebrate Halloween, as it's not tradition to me, but some funny foods are always nice.

    1. Thanks VegHog - blogging has a way of drawing me in to the cute food even when not my tradition! And the kids are so into it that I wonder how they will see it when grown up

  6. "And some aspects of Halloween make fun of death in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable." To be honest, I never thought of it this way - but you have a very valid point.
    I think for me (and many Canadians and Americans), it's just something we grew up with, so it's natural for us to enjoy the holiday without giving much thought to it's meaning. I don't appreciate the commercial part that has really taken over in recent years.
    Aside from that, I do really like your halloween themed treats - they are quite cute and turned out well. I had thought of making something like this for Halloween, but was fairly certain they wouldn't turn out as cute looking as yours did ;)
    Thanks for sharing at HVF - I'm pinning & sharing!

    1. Thanks Kimmy - I think grieving at the time that all the Halloween celebrations go on makes it more difficult to find fun in death!

      Interesting that you find it more commercial than it used to be - I have sometimes wondered how it would have been in American a few decades back. I am also wondering if our current generation of aussie kids will grow up feeling Halloween is part of their tradition and hve a very different attitude to it than my generation.


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)