A Great Halloween Menu
Why should kids have all the fun on Halloween? Whip up your own petrifying party – for the adults. Take one haunted house, add ghoulish guests and stir in the following ingredients to yield hours of eerie enjoyment.
Halloween is all about atmosphere, so dim the lights or use black or red bulbs to set the scene. Line your walkway with Halloween luminaries to lure your "victims" inside. Cover the furniture in white sheets and rent videos of old black and white horror movies, like Dracula or Frankenstein, to play on the VCR. To complete the nightmare, crank up the creepy tunes. The Monster Mash CD is frightfully fun or buy a scary sounds CD.
Don't forget the bathroom. For a touch of the theatrical, spatter fake blood in the bathtub and around the sink. For entertainment, tuck a fortuneteller behind a black curtain and give each guest a 15-minute date with destiny.
Fiendish Finger Food
Show you're a gruesome gourmet with this menacing menu.
Make sandwiches on white bread using pimento cheese, chicken salad, ham, turkey or roast beef. Trim the crusts from sandwiches and cut into long, narrow "fingers." Carve a slice of tomato skin into a fingernail and attach it with mayonnaise. Place cuts at the bottom of the "finger" sandwich with a serrated blade that's been smeared with red food coloring.
A Pumpkin Pot:
For a heartier snack, hollow out a medium-sized pumpkin and use it to hold melted jack cheese. Use Halloween-shaped cookie cutters to cut chunks of French bread and cubed Del Monte new potatoes. Serve with other fun foods for dipping, like sweet midget gherkins, figs, pretzels and ridged potato chips. Turn smaller pumpkins into serving bowls, and use them to hold trail mix, orange and black M&Ms and candy corn.
Caramel Apple Dip:
Here's the adult version of bobbing for apples. Serve a big bowl of sliced green/Granny Smith apples alongside a bowl of caramel dip or caramel ice-cream topping and a bowl of chopped nuts. Guests can make their own bite-size caramel apples.
Fire up the cauldron. Any of these potent potions will have your most bloodthirsty guests gushing.
Whip up a bubbling batch of brew by mixing lime gelatin and Mountain Dew or Canada Dry ginger ale in a pitcher. Add a vicious volt with a spike of vodka. Place a block of dry ice in a plastic cauldron and set a punch bowl inside the cauldron, on top of the dry ice. (Cauldrons are available at your local party or crafts store, and you can find dry ice at ice cream shops or ice companies. Dry ice will burn skin, so be sure to handle it with gloves and tongs and keep it away from kids and pets!)
Entrap a sterilized rubber hand (available at party stores) between the cauldron and the punch bowl, squeezed tight so that it appears to be reaching out of the mist for help! Pour the pitcher of brew into the cauldron's punch bowl, and grab your guests a drink – or two!
To create a quick bar, drape a table in black fabric or paper and lean a chalkboard with "Specialties of the Haunted House" against the wall or on an easel. List spirited concoctions, such as Bloody Marys, Zombies and Monster Margaritas, as well as fun cranberry and orange juice drinks garnished with gummy worms or Grenadine drizzled down the side of the glass to look like dripping blood.
Chill drinks with creepy cubes. Simply freeze small plastic spiders in ice cubes. (Be sure to sterilize the bugs by placing them in a pot of boiling water for five to 10 seconds.) For blood cubes, fill an ice cube tray with water, drizzle in Grenadine and freeze. (Make sure not to mix the water and Grenadine, as this will diminish the "spattered blood" effect.)