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A “Death Becomes Her” Inspired Dinner

For those of you who haven’t seen Death Becomes Her, stop reading this and go watch it. The stunning Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn bring us one of my personal favorite, less traditional Halloween movies. Madeline, played by Meryl Streep, is a famous performer in her more youthful days and steals her longtime friends Helen’s (Goldie Hawn) fiancée. We see Helen spiral gain all this weight, then 20 years later we see her transform into a beautiful woman. Helen with a vengeance is determined to steal her ex-fiancée back from Madeline. Madeline, in awe of Helen’s beauty finds out she had in fact taken a potion that prevents her from aging. Obsessed with her appearance, she too seeks out the woman who gave her the vile and takes it for herself. However, immortality has a price and from here the movie takes off. I created a three-course vegan meal inspired by the youth, beauty, and immortality throughout the movie. This dinner is not typical Halloween dinner, but it is fabulous. The appetizer I came up with is mini red bell peppers with a sun-dried tomato white bean dip inspired by the vile that the women drink. The main course is a delicious Arugula Salad inspired by the dinner Madeline is eating when she is poisoned by Helen. Finally, for dessert a red velvet and cayenne pepper cupcakes. The cupcakes with sweet like youth and immortality, but the cayenne offers a bit of punch which represents the attempts at one another’s life.  

Bell Pepper Poppers


10 Mini Red Bell peppers (Cut in half)

For the Dip:

1 can of White Beans

1 jar of Sundried Tomatoes

1/2 lemon

3 Garlic teeth (diced)

½ tbsp salt 


In a blender: Put the can of white beans in a blender with ¼ cup of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Then add ½ squeezed lemon, salt, and the finely chopped garlic. Then dice ¾ cup of the sun-dried tomatoes and add into the blender.

Place your dip in a small serving bowl, chop some of your remaining sun-dried tomatoes to garish on top. Then place your dip in the middle of a serving plate and assemble the mini bell peppers around it.

Strawberry Arugula Salad


3 Handfuls of Arugula

1 cup of strawberries

¼ cup candied or raw pecans

1/8th cup vegan feta

Here is how to make homemade vegan feta!


Optional: 1/8th cup dried cranberries

For the Dressing:

3 tbsp Tahini

3 tbsp water

1 tbsp orange juice

½ tbsp maple syrup

½ tbsp Harissa Seasoning

Pinch of Salt


Combine the arugula, strawberries, pecans, vegan feta, and cranberries into a large serving bowl.

For the dressing, use a container with a lid and combine the Tahini, water, orange juice, maple syrup, harissa, and salt. Then shake until combine. (This recipe makes quite a bit)

Pour your desired amount of dressing on top of the salad, personally I love this dressing so I will use a good amount of dressing.

Finally serve with a glass of red wine.

Red Velvet Cayenne Cupcakes

My two-favorite type of cakes are Red Velvet and German Chocolate Cake. I love the rich flavor of Red Velvet especially the butter cream frosting, but as most know Red velvet is just chocolate cake with food coloring. For this Death Becomes her inspired dinner I wanted that red color and buttercream frosting, but also the kick of spice from Cayenne and Cinnamon found in German chocolate cake. I spent a few hours baking varying types of these cupcakes until I found one that tasted the way I wanted while still staying true to my veganism. Also just because they are vegan and gluten free does not mean they any less amazing than a more traditional cupcake.




2 cups of GF all-purpose baking flour

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp cayenne powder

1 tbsp (100%) coco powder

Vegan Buttermilk

1 cup soy milk

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1 flax egg

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

3 tbsp hot water

1/3 cup neutral flavored oil

3 tbsp vegan red food dye


3 cups powdered sugar

1/3rd cup Vegan Butter

1 tbsp soy milk

1 tbsp vegan red food dye

1 tbsp coco powder

1/4th tbsp cayenne powder


Set oven to 350 degrees

Sift flour, add sugar, baking soda, salt, coco powder, cinnamon, & cayenne into a mixing bowl.

Add the cup of buttermilk, vanilla extract, flax egg, oil, and red food dye to the mixing bowl and whisk until all combined into a smooth batter.

Spray PAM or use the oil on to a 12-cupcake sheet and add the batter (note- you can use cupcake liners; I just choose not too!)

Place in the over for 25 minutes.

While that is in the oven let’s make the frosting!

In a medium size mixing bowl add all the ingredients above and whisk until mixed well (you don’t want any powder sugar clumps). You can tinker with this until it a consistency you like!

Once your cupcakes have cooked and cooled you can add you icing.

If you want the pipped icing look, I suggest avoiding plastic bags, to wrap the re-usable beeswax instead of a bag! (you can look up a video that will show this better than I can explain)


I am a Senior here at Purdue, studying Political Science and History with a minor in Economics. I am an avid environmentalist, vegan, and exercise enthusiast. I practice yoga, power lift, cycle, and play club soccer here at Purdue. I love reading, painting, and crystals.
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