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Halloween Fun with Black Olives

Halloween Fun with Black Olives

Olives have always played a role in my holiday experience. As a child, I remember standing next to my mom as she opened the cans of black olives on Thanksgiving, antsy to get the first ones and toss them into my mouth before she shooed me away. Sitting at a rickety old card table that was the designated “kid table,” we’d descend upon the white bowl of olives in front of us, poking our fingers into the little holes and waving at the adults.

When I moved to Texas and we started having Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, black olives weren’t included at the dinner table, and they were sorely missed. When we started hosting Thanksgiving at our home I made sure to stock up. It turns out my kids have as much fun sticking them on their own fingers as I did as a child!

California Olives Creative Veggie TrayOlives are addicting. And they’re also perfect for the holidays (and not just because they are woven into the fabric of my holiday memories!). Normally, I save my olive addiction for Thanksgiving and Christmas, although I am known to buy random cans of California Ripe Olives throughout the year and eat them in one sitting. This year, though, we have *so* much going on…I thought it would be fun to break out the black olives for some Halloween fun!

Call me crazy, but one evening a few weeks ago, we decided with the neighbors that we’d host a Halloween party for our street. Perfect idea for someone who’s a terrible hostess. Right?!

I’m not fancy when it comes to parties, but I did think it would be *so* fun to do something just a little bit creative and out-of-the-norm for this one. Veggies trays are boring. Veggie trays that look like pumpkins on a dark night are fun. So, I decided I’d make just that, showcasing one of my favorite treats – California Black Olives.

California Olives Fall Veggie Tray IdeaYou don’t need to be crafty to make this. You don’t even need a cute serving tray – a cookie sheet will do just fine!

Here’s what I used to make this:

  • 5 cans of California Black Ripe Olives, drained (my serving tray is huge…you could probably cut that number in half with a smaller tray)
  • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into little circles
  • 2 broccoli bunches
  • 1 zucchini, sliced, for the stem (you could also use celery or even broccoli)
  • Tray or cookie sheet 
  • Optional: wax paper or foil to line tray

I also made some Spooooky Ghost Dip for dipping. If you want to make the dip too, you’ll also need:

  • 16 oz of Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet of ranch dip mix
  • 3 black olives for the spooky ghost face

Making this was as simple as could be. I started by placing the broccoli at the bottom of the tray for my “grass.” I used carrot slices to map out the size of my pumpkin, and then just filled it in with the remaining slices. I used a slize of zucchini for the stem and surrounded the pumpkin with olives to create a nighttime effect.

We haven’t had our neighborhood Halloween party yet, but I took this to a friend’s birthday party and it was a hit (also, I learned that I am not the only one seriously loves black olives!). This was so easy to make, it will be simple to throw another one together for Halloween. 

Jack even suggested using olives to make a Jack-o-Lantern face…so we might try that, too!

California Olives Veggie Tray

California Olives VeggiesOlives provide texture, flavor, and variety when compared to more traditional foods. They are the perfect compliment to standard veggies or boring dips – they brighten it right up and add some serious flavor! Also? They are super fun to make food art with – and even more fun to eat! 😉

Are you an olive lover, too? What is your favorite way to eat them?


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This is so clever and I love the way it looks, plus the foods you used are healthy choices. I think children would willingly help with this project. And we know that if they help prepare it, they are more likely to eat it. A great idea!

So cute – perfect for those of us trying not to indulge in too many Halloween/fall candies.

Love love this great idea!! Pinned and serving this weekend for a party!

What a creative idea! It makes such a pretty presentation too. The ghost dip is awesome too. Pinned, stumbled and following on Google.

Oh HOW much I enjoy foodie fun. This is just adorable! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck. Would love to have you link back to our party within your post (or on a linky party page)…it makes you eligible to be featured. Please come again soon.

What a great idea! Super cute. Thanks for sharing your link at Totally Terrific Tuesday Link party.

I love this idea! Thanks for sharing it at “Best of the Weekend” so that I could discover it! Pinning and sharing!

SO FUN!!! Thanks so much for sharing at The Wednesday Roundup! We love having you and your fabulous creations! Have an awesome week!

Just shared this on our FB page – super idea! Love the sky especially.

Love this! Being a vegetarian it is always nice to have stuff to try (and serve!)

Such a neat idea! The colors of the veggies look amazing and it’s simple enough to do. Stopping by from Party Time.

cute idea. I will have to make one for my kids school halloween parties.

Olives are not my favorite but I do love how pretty your tray looks. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

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