Why not plan a spooky, original Halloween party for adults?!
On "The Early Show Saturday Edition," Food & Wine magazine's Grace Parisi offered a trick or two for preparing a spooky, original bash with a bit of style and making it a treat for grownups -- and without a scary prcietag.
She had fun ideas for creative food and decorations to make any Halloween party one to remember.
Parisi says, "I love preparing for parties with a theme, and what better opportunity than Halloween. There are so many different ways to be kitschy and creative and have fun at this time of year with basic ingredients straight from the grocery store. There are great tricks to create your own sweet and savory Halloween bash that is affordable, while at the same time still very elegant. Simple, store bought treats are a great way to spice up your food and drink and give it that extra kick that guests of every age will love."
Among her favorite suggestions for making sure your party goes off without a hitch:
Trick: Adding atmosphere brings the spirit out and completes the look for your party
Use thick black ribbon to tie white utensil rollups and pile them in a rustic wood tray. This creates a very dramatic and elegant effect without costing a ton. You can also use black flatware and alternate with a white ribbon, like disposable sets by Kikkerland.com $18
Use decals on glass hurricane lamps with black pillar candles -- these decorations are chic and will cast a moody glow - they are also great to use on glasses. Decals from $10, Jansen + Co Wabnitzeditions.com
Group mini pumpkins around your hurricanes -- We love to use mini white pumpkins and green gourds displayed in ordered rows along the buffet table, as it puts a spin on your typical orange pumpkin.
For bold and modern decorations (that are also delicious), fill tall glass apothecary jars with monochromatic candy. You can go to your local candy wholesaler and buy white, black and orange M&Ms, candy corn, jelly beans, etc.
1. Dry ice -- Dry ice in a bowl creates fog on your table, in addition to the foggy punch
2. Music -- A Must have Halloween Music playlist is also key to keep the party full of Halloween spirit, Monster Mash, Thriller, Devil Inside, etc.
3. White Sheets -- Cover your furniture in all white sheets to create a haunted house vibe
4. Leaves -- Place fall leaves on the floor, on tables and around the house for a windblown, stormy feel.
5. Cobwebs -- Buy store-bought cobwebs and string them along mirrors, bookcases, and tables.
6. Candles -- Add candles everywhere - they are the easiest way to set the tone of the party and are romantic and chic.
TIP #1: SAVORY FOODS MAKE A SPOOKY SPLASH (Think About Colors and Shapes)
Since we're planning a party that is for grown ups, you need to have more than just sweets and candy. You need things that grown ups can eat but that are still fun and keep the Halloween spirit. Savory finger foods are an enjoyable way to give your guests something delicious and fun to eat, while keeping the event sophisticated and chic. They are very striking, easy to make nibbles that everyone will love. If you keep things simple and think about variations on colors and shapes, you will make life easy for yourself. These three suggestions all put a twist on some classic bites for Halloween:
4. Mac and cheese bites - the orange color keeps with the Halloween theme and macaroni and cheese is a dish that kids of all ages love.
5. Batty Tapanade Toast - I love this item because it's a delicious nibble that guests will love, but you can make it Halloween focused by changing the usual shape with a simple cookie cutter. You jut need to take tapenade on toasted white bread, cut out in to fun Halloween shapes with bat cookie cutters, pumpkin cookie cutters, etc.
Tip #2: SCARY SWEETS ARE A MUST (Simple additions will make treats deliciously creepy)
1. Mini Candy Bar Cake: I also love to arrange trick-or-treat-size candy bars in a domino pattern on top of a round or rectangular cake. It's really fun and is a great visual for guests:
4. Meringue Phantom Cookies: using currants for eyes: Again, another simple way to take a basic cookie and make it more exciting and spooky looking by simply adding eyes to them.
5. Graveyard Cake - If you take a plain cakes and pipe a spider web made from icing on top of a it, it takes something very plain and makes it unusual. It's really fun and so simple to make at home.
Tip #3: FRIGHTENINGLY FANTASTIC DESSERTS
Everyone loves dessert, so it's a must -have at any party, especially at Halloween, when the food centers on sweet goodies. We have some fabulous, simple recipes that put a twist on ordinary desserts and really spice up your party, without creating too much work for yourself.
2. Using orange food coloring to transform things like a basic black-and-white cookie
4. Mini Caramel apples --Uusing tiny lady apples, which are delicious at this time of year.
5. Graveyard Cake -- pipe a spider web made from icing on top of a plain chocolate or vanilla cake; it's really fun and so simple to make at home
All of the above are easy and also very inexpensive to make. The colors are beautiful and fall-like, so they will really create a gorgeous Halloween color scheme that truly pops throughout the party.
Tip #4: CREEPY COCKTAILS COMPLETE THE BASH
I feel strongly that serving signature cocktails makes it so much easier for the host - while still allowing you to have fun with your theme and be creative. This way you have only one or two delicious cocktails to serve and they can be very tongue-in-cheek.
1. Bubbling Cauldron Cocktails -- made with champagne and simple melon or pear balls to make eye balls in the glass - people can serve themselves and it's a very chic trick that spices up the drink. The punch can also sit in dry ice for effect.
2. Rouge Dead Guy ale -- Serve buckets with holiday beer and wine.