Halloween Gift for Guys

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I like Halloween even more than Christmas, which means I give Halloween gifts! Guys can be tough to buy themed gifts for, so rather than waste money on Halloween junk I chose to go with orange and back snacks and some Halloween themed and Oktoberfest beers.  It's amazing what you can find when you look outside the holiday aisle for holiday treats--jerky in a dark charcoal and black packaging looks creepy if you want it to!

Halloween Dessert Cake

Sunday, October 25, 2015

 When serving an entire Halloween dinner, make one portion easy on yourself and buy a round cake from your favorite bakery with white icing and draw a spider web on the top using a tube of black icing. Simple and done!

Halloween Appetizers

Thursday, October 22, 2015

We served these 'Stomach Turning Appetizers' at spooky dinner  last year.  Not only are they spooky, but they taste great too!

Stomach Turning Appetizers:
-DEVILED Eggs -Deviled eggs with an olive on top to make them look like eyeballs
-Giant Lice with Blood Sauce-Cocktail shrimp with cocktail sauce
-Witch Finger Bites -Not pictured, but a frozen Trader Joe's Pesto flatbread cut into long strips to create the 'witch fingers'

Presentation can also help make ordinary foods into great Halloween apps. Drape Halloween cloth over a serving stand, put plastic spiders on the serving tray, or serve next to candle light with the lights turned off.

Halloween Bar Cart and Drinks

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Creating a Halloween themed bar or bar cart is easy and fun to put together whether you're entertaining or not! Here are a few details to help bring an average bar to a haunted bar.

Themed napkins in an elegant holder helps takes the cheesiness out of halloween for an adult bar cart

Labels easily transform ordinary beer and wine into festive beverages

Small lighting accents help guests navigate the bar area with main lights off

These crystal wine gobblets from Goodwill help add a 'haunted mansion' feel without being 'Halloween themed'

Fake bugs on a serving tray make everyday entertaining pieces scary

A few small strategically placed Halloween accents allow guest to discover something spooky in ordinary places

DIY Scary Halloween Branch Decor

Thursday, October 15, 2015

This Halloween branch decor not only looks spooky and has a big impact, but it's basically free to make and doesn't need to be stored--just throw it away and make a new one next year!

I got the twigs from some brush in our backyard and spray painted them black with some paint we already had and put them in a vase
......added some fake spider web
...added some fake spiders
.....added this fake raven from the $ store and that was it!
Here it is on our Halloween bar cart. Is that spooky or what?!?

Fall Snack Mix

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This peanut/candy corn snack mix is perfect to set out for company during the Fall, and it's so simple to make!  Just mix a bag of candy corn with peanuts (I use honey roasted).  It's festive and is great to munch on while watching football games.

Happy Fall!

How to Decorate for Halloween

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I LOVE Halloween, partly because it is such a fun holiday to decorate the house for. Our entire living room transforms, to the point that it echos when we take the decorations down!  Decorating for Halloween is great beacuse it's easy to create a large impact using just a few inexpensive items.

Fake spider web is a must for creating a lot with a little during Halloween.  I put it over our entire brick wall, but also look to add it to existing items in my living room including vases and candle holders.

I don't like a lot of little Halloween nick-knacks around, since they take-up a lot of storage space and start to look cluttered to me after a while. I do add a few accents here and there for Halloween guests to 'discover'. To me, a single skull left behind somewhere has more impact than a row of halloween figurines on a shelf.

Fake spiders are great to toss in unexpected places including the inside of lamp shades and on chargers and other flat surfaces.

My favorite item to use is this Halloween cloth that I get from the dollar store. I drape it over everything: serving stands, stair railings, candle holders, chandeliers, and I'll even take down our artwork and drape it on the nails to create a spooky wall.

There are a ton of great Halloween images to print out yourself and add to existing frames.  I even take them over the glass rather than taking the time to open up the frames.  The best part is that they take up almost no space to store!

Also, look for fun ways to make ordinary and cheesy halloween items fresh and exciting, like these window clings strategically placed under a slanting blind or a skeleton that looks up at you from under the sofa.

Halloween Chili Bar

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Last year we chose a 'Creepy Chili Bar' theme for our annual Spooky Dinner which was a huge hit! Not only does chili make the perfect fall food, but it's easy to make and can be made in advance so entertaining is easy.

We served two chili's, a classic red chili with beef and a creamy white chili with chicken.  To spook them up I made description cards changing all of the ingredients to their creepy look a likes:

I served the chili with cornbread skulls using the skull pan I purchased to make Zombie Head Meatloaves
'Breadstick Bones' are made by taking a can of refrigerated breadsticks, tying a knot in the end of each breadstick and baking as directed

The toppings for the chili also had fun names bringing them from ordinary to spooky.
Fritos and Sante Fe Salad topper chips were 'Mummy Toe Nails' and 'Witch Finger Nails'.

I tried to include every possible topping for the chili and give them a fun name, while touching on all of the classic Halloween characters. Below is the list of toppings with their Halloween name:

Snake Skin Chunks
(Green Onions)

Witch Nose Hairs
(Cheddar Cheese)

Ghost Boogers
(Feta Cheese)

Zombie Wound Oooze
(Seasoned Sour Cream)

Witch Fingernails
(Tortilla Strips)

Mummy Toe Nails

Frankenstein’s Scabs

Monster Skin

Click Here to view Spooky Dinners from previous years.
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