Looking to shake up your Halloween routine? Sure, there’s the costumes and trick-or-treating, but what to do beforehand? It falls on a Wednesday this year, so throw together a family dinner or neighborhood bash with our version of this haunted holiday two ways. We’ve got two parties for your perusal: a less-scary version for the kiddos and an eerie grown-up soiree. We also snagged some tips from veteran party planners Nicole Liwienski and Jennifer Rasmussen from White Peacock Styled Events on decorating your space to match your vibe, be it campy or creepy. So pick your poison and enjoy a frightful All Hollow’s Eve. For the youngins THE MENU: Wiggly Worms, Witches’ Brooms, Spiderweb Pizzas, Misplaced Mouths, Frankenstein Pudding Wiggly Worms Makes about 100 worms INGREDIENTS 3 oz. box of raspberry Jell-O 2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin 3/4 cup whipping cream 3 cups boiling water 15 drops green food coloring 100 flexible straws (or enough to fill your container) Tall container with straight sides (a vase or milk carton both work well) DIRECTIONS Combine gelatin in bowl and add boiling water. Let it cool to lukewarm, then add the whipping cream and 15 drops green food coloring. Gather your flexed-out straws and put them in the tall container, making sure the flexed part is at the bottom of the container. It's important the straws have a tight fit so the Jell-O stays in the straws. If you have a bigger container, a rubber band around the straws is helpful—or just add more straws to fill the container. Pour the gelatin mixture into the straw-filled container and let it set until firm. To remove the worms from the straws, hold the straws over warm water for a couple of seconds, dry them off, then squeeze them with your fingers and they will slip right out. Adapted from a recipe found on instructables.com. Witches’ Brooms Makes 12 brooms INGREDIENTS 12 slices of cheese (mozzarella is recommended) 12 pretzel rods 12 fresh chives DIRECTIONS With the help of scissors, cut the cheese slices to make the fringe of the broom. Roll the fringe around one end of the pretzel rod. Use a piece of fresh chive to hold the fringe onto the rod. Adapted from a recipe found on cocinandoconcatman.com. Spiderweb Pizzas Serves 2 INGREDIENTS 1 – 10 oz. pkg. prebaked mini 8-in. pizza crusts 1/3 cup pizza sauce 2 – 1 oz. mozzarella string cheese 3 large pitted black olives DIRECTIONS Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place crusts on a baking sheet; top with sauce. Pull cheese into thin strips; place on pizzas in the shape of a web. Bake pizza for 8–10 minutes until cheese melts. Cool 3 minutes. Cut off one end of 2 olives for spider heads. Halve remaining olives lengthwise. Use one half for body; cut remaining pieces into strips for legs. Assemble spider on each pizza. Recipe courtesy of womansday.com. Misplaced Mouths Makes 8 mouths INGREDIENTS 2 apples 48 mini marshmallows Smooth peanut butter DIRECTIONS Wash and dry the apples, then cut into slices, making sure to remove the core at the center. To make one mouth, take two apple slices and spread peanut butter thinly on one side. Place one slice of apple peanut-butter-side up and lineup six mini marshmallows to form the teeth. Place the other apple slice peanut-butter-side down to hold the “teeth” in place. Continue with the rest of apple slices, marshmallows and peanut butter. Frankenstein Pudding Makes 3 pudding cups INGREDIENTS 3.4 oz. box of instant vanilla or any light-colored pudding 2 cups milk Green food coloring 6 Oreos 10 oz. plastic cups Black permanent marker DIRECTIONS Pour the 3.4-oz. package of instant pudding into a medium bowl. Add two cups of milk, whisk for 2 minutes and then let sit for 5 minutes. While the pudding is setting, decorate three 9-oz. clear plastic cups with Frankenstein faces. In a food processor, process 6 Oreo cookies (two per pudding cup). Once the pudding has set, add green dye until you reach your desired Frankenstein color. Fill all three cups evenly with pudding and top with Oreo crumbs. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and serve within 3 days. Adapted from a recipe found on littlebgcg.com. For the older crowd THE MENU: Buried Alive Muffins, Witch Fingers, Crime Scene Popcorn, Poison Punch Buried Alive Muffins Makes 12 muffins INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. baking powder 1 pinch salt 3/4 cup whole milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 cup mini chocolate chips 1/2 cup chopped pecans 12 plastic doll arms (Hobby Lobby is a great online source for these) DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with baking liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the milk, oil, egg and vanilla, and stir until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Fill each muffin cup three-quarters full. Bake until the muffins spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Insert a plastic doll arm into the center of each muffin. Recipe courtesy of rachelraymag.com. Witch Fingers INGREDIENTS White chocolate Green food coloring Pretzel rods Sliced almonds Toothpicks Melt white chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat or microwave at 50 percent power, keeping an eye on the heat to make sure it doesn’t burn. Add drops of green food coloring to your liking, erring on the side of a light green color. Once melted, remove from heat. Dip each pretzel rod into the green chocolate. Place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Add an almond for the fingernail and use a toothpick to draw lines for the knuckles. Adapted from a recipe found on gandcjohnson.blogspot.com. Crime Scene Popcorn INGREDIENTS One bag of plain, unseasoned popcorn, popped ½ stick of butter or margarine 1 tsp. red Icing Color (available at most craft or cake decorating stores) DIRECTIONS For the topping, slowly heat half a stick of butter or margarine in a small sauce pan, or microwave it on the lowest setting until it is fully melted. Do not allow the butter to boil or burn. Once the butter is melted, remove it from the heat and transfer it into a mixing bowl. Slowly add just enough red paste food coloring, also called Icing Color, to turn the butter a nice shade of blood red. While you could use regular liquid food color, it takes much more to get the desired color and it tends to stain much more. Using a wire whisk, mix the butter and coloring until it is thoroughly combined. Slowly pour a small amount of the bloody butter over the popcorn, then gently toss it with a large spoon, or place all popcorn in a larger paper bag, drizzle with bloody butter and shake. Repeat until the popcorn looks as though it’s been splattered—not soaked—with blood. Serve in an appropriate serving bowl. Adapted from a recipe found on sugarandspice-celeste.blogspot.com. Poison Punch Makes 8 drinks INGREDIENTS 1 cup boiling water 1 cup sugar 2 cups packed mint leaves 6 peeled, quartered kiwis 1 liter sparkling water or club soda 1 cup vodka Ice Chemistry flasks Straws DIRECTIONS In a glass measuring cup, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved; refrigerate until cool. Puree 2 cups packed mint leaves (1 small bunch) with 1/4 cup cooled syrup in a blender. Add 6 peeled, quartered kiwis, and blend until just smooth. Add remaining syrup. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve into a pitcher; discard solids. Stir in ice and 1 liter sparkling water or club soda. (For a cocktail version, add 1 cup vodka.) Pour into flasks and serve with straws. Recipe courtesy of marthastewart.com. Need help taking your party to the next level? Liwienski and Rasmussen share their favorite tips for a spooky soiree, from creative concepting to eerie execution. Brainstorm Get your creative juices flowing! Theme parties are a great idea. It’s always fun to indulge in the experience by having your guests dress the part and arrive in themed attire, like a Glam & Ghoul Vampire Ball, Monster Bash, Little Goblins, etc. Inspiration Once you decide on your theme, start thinking of colors and décor. A Glam & Ghoul Vampire Ball would be red, black and silver. Invitations Adult party: Boo your guests with hand delivered invites 2–3 weeks before your party. Begin their Halloween party experience by ringing the doorbell and dropping off their invite by dipping out quickly so they don’t see you. Kid party: Drop off a mini pumpkin with the invite attached or decorate the pumpkin with a fun character face. Have the little goblin hand deliver the invitations—and in costume could be especially fun! Entry Adult party: Every Halloween bash should include a ghoulish entry. Think dark soundscapes playing as guests enter, an entry lined with candles, cobwebs a-plenty, spooky silhouettes in the yard and a dry-ice in cauldron at the door. You could even hire a live statue model who would come alive at various times while people enter. Kid party: Line your walkway with carved pumpkins and colorful balloons. Music is a great way to get kids excited, so have it playing as they walk up the sidewalk. Use sidewalk chalk to draw scary footprints leading up to the front door. Party decor Adult party: Decor does not have to be expensive! Hit up your local Goodwill for various vases, candle holders and fabrics for your tablescape. Be creative and glitter your candle holders with black glitter, or visit your local craft store for glittered skulls, rubber rats, ravens and bats. And a tablescape would not be complete without some floral. Spray paint carnations black and mix in with an assortment of candles. Kid party: The success of your party will depend on your activities. Keep your decor simple and fun with a candy corn color scheme with balloons, streamers, pumpkins and treats. Hang tassel fringe as a back drop area where you could take pictures of kids in their fun costumes. A photo booth with props or a Polaroid camera is great way to capture costumes and the kids having fun. Add activity stations that are decorated—not only will they look fun but they will be fun, too! Tablescape Adult party: Keep it simple and clean. Incorporating “boo-tiful” bites and easy finger foods are the best way to go. Use props or elevated cake stands to provide some definition to your table. Add food and beverage signs for each item that is served; you can have fun with the names while still incorporating your theme. Kid party: Have festive centerpieces of orange, yellow and white paper flowers in a candy-corn-filled vase. Use candy corn as a table decoration sprinkled down the center. It not only looks great, but kids can eat it, too! Decorate and personalize each child’s chair by tying a balloon to it. Personalized pumpkin cookies are a fun thing to place at each child’s place setting, or have a cookie decorating station styled with cookies, different icing flavors and fun decorative accents to add to the cookies. Carve out a watermelon as a scary face and have fun, bright fruit stuffed in the mouth, like watermelon, grapes, melon. As expressed above, the key to a successful kid’s party are the activities, so decorating activity areas are a fun way to showcase Creepy Crafts & Ghoulish Games. This can include decorate a trick-or-treat bag, design your own pumpkin or make a lollipop ghosts. Have a dance area decorated for a monster mash: Play some fun tunes and have the kids show off their silliest monster moves! Drinks Adult party: A signature cocktail always adds an element of sophistication to any event. (We love the name “Dracula’s Kiss.”) Don’t forget to add consumption-safe dry ice to your fun bubbling Halloween brew. Test tubes are another fun way to showcase a Halloween shot. Kid party: Add consumption-safe dry ice to a root beer cauldron or clean out a pumpkin, add ice and use as an ice cauldron. Freeze fun objects in ice cube trays, like plastic spiders. Special Guests/Contests Add an element of surprise. Hire a fortune teller to come for a couple of hours or have a costume contest. Capture the moment and have a Polaroid camera or photo booth area setup for some snapshots. Favor Adult party: Complete every party by giving a hostess favor. A little nibble to head home with is a great idea! Some of our favorites are themed cake pops, cookies or taffy apple pops packaged with a RIP message. Kid party: You could set up a trick-or-treat bar so the kids can grab a goodie bag and fill it with treats as they are leaving. The bar could be decorated with different shapes and sizes of clear vases that are filled with different yummy treats. If a “decorate your own trick-or-treat bag” activity was done, they could use their decorated bag to fill with candy as they leave. & Looking for even more help? Contact White Peacock Styled Events at 612.251.3017 or visit.
Lake Minnetonka Halloween Party Recipes
Host the ultimate gathering this October for the young and old alike.