Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Southern Girls' Guide to a Halloween Party without Breaking the Bank!

I love fall, I love Halloween! It's such a fun holiday. I remember back when I was little for a short time we didn't celebrate Halloween. My kids love dressing up and getting candy...The real meaning to the holiday! : )

We don't normally do Halloween parties, but when we head to the pumpkin patch up in Bama in a couple of weeks we are going to throw a small little family bash.

So what sorta things can you do for a Halloween party that won't break the bank?

~ Go with black, purple, and orange....I would say a black table cloth, purple cups and plastic ware and orange bowls and napkins...Put your table cloth down put out the plates and sorta stick the napkins in the cups with the corners sticking up and put your forks, spoons or whatever in! Super spooky colors! Instead of the orange (if you don't like that color) go with silver!

~ Stay away from streamers, instead buy some of those spiders webs and plaster them on the walls and hang them from the light overhanging the table. Don't forget those spiders. You can usually get them all in a pack for super cheap.

For a center piece I would go with a carved pumpkin with one of those battery opearted candles or you could do a witches hat sitting on some curling ribbon in the colors of your plates and napkins.
For your chairs take white sheets and make them look like ghosts! You can use a shapie to drawer some cute or not so cute eyes and mouths. Tie them around the base of the chair with some twine.

Line your walk way with little pumpkins or you can make some milk jug or white paper bag luminaires. Hang a witches broom on your front door and your set for your party!

If your feeling fun go with a spooky musical cd in the background.
If you have the money on hand you can always rent a smoke machine!

Party Food ~ You can get really creative with this...
*all these recipes came from foodnetwork.com*

Snake Bites

1 can crescent rolls
Flour, for dusting
4 tablespoons spicy mustard
10 ounces thinly sliced ham
10 ounces thinly sliced salami
10 ounces bologna
12 ounces Monterey Jack, grated
Liquid food coloring
3 egg yolks
2 whole cloves
Toothpicks
2 small pimiento-stuffed olives
1 (1-inch) strips jarred roasted red peppers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Grease the foil and set aside.
Dust a flat surface lightly with flour. Spread out the crescent dough - do not separate. Pinch together the seams so that you have 1 piece of dough. Roll out to make a large rectangle. Make sure the dough is not stuck to the surface at all.
Brush the dough with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Layer the meats down the center of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on either end. You can feel free to use your favorite cold cuts.
Top the meats with the cheese. Fold 1 side of the dough over the filling, lengthwise. Then, fold the other 1/2 over and press the seal the filling inside. Take 1 egg yolk, and beat lightly with a fork. Brush the egg yolk over the top of the dough. The yolk will act as the glue to hold. Fold the dough in 1/2 again lengthwise. Pinch the seam with your fingers to seal. Press the outside of the dough to make sure everything is sealed tight and to make an even thickness for the body of your snake. Taper 1 end of the dough to form a tail shape. Form the other end into a head shape.
Beat the 2 remaining egg yolks together. Transfer to 3 separate small bowls. Add some food coloring to each bowl - whatever colors you like! Using a clean paintbrush, "paint" the snake with the egg yolk/food coloring mixture.
Transfer the snake to the foil lined sheet tray. Form into an "s" shape so it looks like the snake is slithering. Insert 2 cloves into the head to look like nostrils and 2 stuffed olives for eyes. Create a mouth or tongue with the roasted red peppers. Bake the snake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Spiders Nest Dip

2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese


1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 (16-ounce) can black refried beans

1 (12-ounce) package shredded Mexican cheese

1/2 cup fresh chunky salsa (from your grocery's deli section)

1 (2.25-ounce) can chopped black olives

1 cup guacamole (from your grocery's deli section)

1 (15-ounce) can whole black beans, drained and rinsed

4 to 6 bags blue tortilla chips


In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1/2 packet of taco seasoning with 1 cup of the sour cream (hold the rest of the sour cream to decorate). Set mixture aside.
Spread a thin layer of refried beans in the bottom of a microwaveable serving dish. Add a layer of shredded cheese. Heat dish in microwave for 1 minute, until cheese is slightly melted.
Drain the salsa and layer it over the cheese. Drain the olives and layer over the salsa. Add a layer of the sour cream mixture. Add a layer of guacamole.


To decorate the top, spoon a medium sized dollop of sour cream in the center. This is the spider's "nest."
Spoon the rest of the sour cream into an air-tight bag. Cut a very small piece out of 1 of the bottom corners of the bag and, starting at the outer edge of the dip, pipe a thin circle around the perimeter. Create another circle half way between the perimeter circle and the center dollop, creating 3 circles.
Using a knife blade, toothpick or skewer, drag a thin line of the sour cream from the "nest" outward toward the edge of the dish. Continue making lines all around the "nest" to complete the spider web design. Position whole black beans onto the sour cream "web."
Embellish with plastic decorative spiders. Serve with a bowl of blue tortilla chips, and watch your guests scurry to get a bite!



Brain Cookies



Brain cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts, or pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

About 5 drops red food coloring

About 9 drops blue food coloring


Blood Glaze: 2 cups confectioners' sugar 35 to 40 drops red food coloring 2 to 4 tablespoons milk, as needed for thinning glaze


Peheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.


In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Into a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Alternating with the eggs, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating well after the addition of each. Fold in the nuts, vanilla, and red and blue food coloring, being careful not to overmix the dough. (The food coloring will make the dough a grayish color, resembling the color of brains.)


Place the dough in batches in a potato ricer and push the dough out onto the prepared baking sheets in long tubes of dough. With your fingers, loosely pat and arrange the dough strands into clumps resembling brains, pushing to form 2 hemispheres and shaping into a walnut-like shape. Bake until golden brown on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.


To make the "blood glaze," in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar with the food coloring to make a thick glaze, whisking together. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is a good consistency for drizzling. Drizzle the "blood" onto the cookies and serve either warm or at room temperature.

Wicked Cupcakes

Cupcakes:


1 1/2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cups prune juice

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

4-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 cups confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 drop food coloring (green), optional
Chocolate wafer cookies

Licorice strips

Toasted coconut

Small candies


Special equipment: 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners


For the cupcakes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees F. Set liners in muffin cups.


Put the chocolate and prune juice in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on low power, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and yolk with an electric hand mixer at high speed until slightly thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Slowly add buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.


Divide the batter among muffin tins, filling them 1/2 of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed gently, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.


For the frosting: Beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and milk mixing until the frosting is smooth. Add food coloring as desired. Refrigerate the frosting until firm.
To decorate the cakes: For the witches hat, score a circle in the middle of a cupcake. Cut a deep cone-like shape with a knife held at an angle. Rotate the cupcake to complete the circle and remove the center. Repeat with all the cupcakes. Generously scoop or pipe enough frosting into the center of each cupcake to fill the whole and to come over the cake to make a face. Top with a chocolate wafer cookie. Put a dot of frosting in the middle of the wafer cookie and invert the cone shaped piece of cake on top to make a witches hat. Use skinny licorice, toasted coconut or cereal flakes for hair and candies for eyes and/or nose. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes before serving.


Punch


Pick your favorite recipe...I would go with a classic green (lime flavor) or red (cherry) and buy some gloves and fill them up with water. Freeze those and when your ready to serve your punch, instead of ice, use these instead. Just cut the gloves off the hands and you have creepy hands floating around! You can serve this in a black caldroun and be witchy! <[:) For your goody bags if this is a child friendly party stick with black tulle and tie it up with ribbon a color from your palatte. Inside the tulle add glow sticks, spider rings, halloween wrapped chocolates, pencils and or erasers and any other little spooky item you find at your local dollar store!


Get creative and have fun! What are your ideas for a Halloween party?

5 comments:

Darlene said...

Those are some great ideas for a Halloween party and some great food too!!! Thanks for sharing.

Rambling Girl said...

Oh wow now I don't have to figure out how to do my daughters birthday party...We are having it on Nov. 1, Halloween weekend so now I have printed your blog out today and going to get ready for a party...Thanks this was so easy...hehehe

Self Confessed Lamp Tramp said...

Those are the cutest Halloween yummies! How fun!

Amber said...

I love the brain cookies!! What neat ideas!!! TFS!!

the undomesticated wife said...

Love!!! Great ideas, especially the snake crescent rolls. I may have to pinch that idea! ;)

A few years ago at work, I was in charge of a meeting that happened to fall around Halloween. Here's some of the things a coworker and I had for the party. I see you did the glove trick.

1. I made "witches fingers" cookies. Regular sugar cookies rolled to look like a finger, then use a fork to make lines for the knuckle wrinkles. A piece of sliced almond was used for her finger nail.

2. We made red punch, then froze water in a rubber glove. We put the frozen hand in the red punch. Very ghoulish!

3. Bloody popcorn (red food coloring on popcorn).

4. Skull caps (ruffles chips) and brains (some sort of textured dip)

5. Spider nests ("haystacks"...melted chocolate over those Asian noodles..can't remember what they are called).

Wish I could remember what else, but it's been a few years.