Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DIY Halloween Party

Happy Halloween! I know there are a ton of differing opinions on this "holiday", many of which are religiously charged, but lets put all the away for a little while and have some fun! I love Halloween, not because I like to be scared... in fact I literally detest being scared.... I love it because it's an opportunity to spend time with friends, family, and people you need to catch up with, all while being silly and dressing up in the process. Not to mention, Halloween calls for some really great cooking and crafting! :)

Today I'm featuring all the things involved in the Halloween Party the official taste tester and I hosted last night. Get ready, this post is going to be packed full of fun things! The graduate program I am involved in is a cohort model which means we all go through the same classes together at the same time. Every year a new cohort comes in so, this campus organization we have works to unite all of us in this crazy journey. Trust me, it's always good to have a support system! Last night, everyone came over in the first and second year cohorts to enjoy some food and fun together.

As yall know, I love to cook AND I love Pinterest so this party was my opportunity to marry my two loves. As someone at the party said, Pinterest was all up in that party last night!! Don't worry about time either, most of these snacks take barely any time to make and can be made tonight before your Halloween party. :)

The first snack I had was the Monster Cake Pops from yesterday's post. You can find the recipe for that here. I decided to go with some variety and make some Ghost Pops too. These are made the same way, except they use white chocolate instead of green. To make these extra special, wrap a Styrofoam block in some black scrapbook paper, preferably one that looks "Halloweeny".

Next, I wanted to make some broomsticks I saw on pinterest here. These are SO cute and SO easy to make. I turned on the TV and had these done before the first commercial break. All you need for these is a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a Bag of stick pretzels. To make them, you just unwrap the Reese's and stick the pretzel in the top. Here is a picture of them:


As you can see from the picture above, my broomsticks shared a tray with the creepy eyeballs I made. You can find those here.Out of everything at the party, these eyeballs were the biggest hit. By the end of the night that side of the tray had been demolished! To make them, you need white chocolate baking disks (same ones you use for Cake Pops), square or round pretzels, and chocolate chips. An optional ingredient is the brown or red sprinkle sticks (I used brown because I couldn't find any red). To make these, simply lay out your pretzels on a baking sheet and place one chocolate disk on top. Heat your oven to 350, and then cook your eyeballs for about 3-4 minutes (they are done when the chocolate is shiny). Once you take your eyeballs out of the oven, immediately put a chocolate chip in the white chocolate, pointed side down. Then, if you are using the sprinkles, add those on to look like eye veins. Here is what your finished product looks like:

The next thing I made were some witch hat cookies that you can find here. Out of everything at the party, these were my personal favorite. These are really easy to make too (theme here? I think so!). For these you need some Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies, Orange Frosting, and some Hershey's Kisses. You can make your own frosting, but I was in a hurry and couldn't find orange food coloring so I just bought some. The time it saved was totally worth the extra $2 to me. Take your cookies and put them chocolate side up. Then unwrap your Hershey's kiss, add some icing to the bottom and stick  them together. These were quick to make too and were fabulous. Here are some pictures:

The final thing I made were some Bones. To make these, all you need are some mini marshmallows, pretzel sticks (I bought 1 bag for both the broomsticks and the bones and still had over half the bag left), and some white chocolate (I used the same white chocolate disks from the cake pops and the eyeballs). To make these, stick one mini marshmallow on each end of the pretzel stick and then dip in white chocolate. Then, place them on some white chocolate to dry for about an hour. Here is a picture of the finished product:

To finish everything off, and so we would have something to drink, I bought some orange Hawaiian punch and put it in a beverage dispenser. I highly recommend a beverage dispenser if you do a lot of entertaining. They are easy to use and make the presentation of your party look so much nicer. We got ours at Walmart for $20. I also, bought some blue Hawaiian punch and put it in a punch bowl with a frozen skull in it. I bought the ice mold at Target for $4 and it really made the punch look cool. I added a few gummy worms into the water before I froze it and it turned out very colorful! Also, you can use the mold year after year if you are careful removing the ice! Here is a picture:

For our main dish, I picked up a 6 ft sub from Walmart and some chips. These are fairly affordable at $28 for 30-40 people. That's less than $1 per person! Not to mention, it's a great conversation starter when people first get there and notice it. The table we had would only fit 4 feet of sub at a time, so we just kept the other part in our fridge. All the veggies you see in the picture come with the sub when you order it, and then I picked up some chip bags to go with it.
So, to put it all together I have included pictures of the whole thing at the bottom along with pictures of our guests. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the snacks!
The spread
Poor Jeremy, he was the only guy there from the whole program!
We had a costume contest and my friend Nancy won in her Frog costume. I picked up her trophy at Target for $2.50. I would highly recommend doing the costume contest, it really gets people into the party for not a lot of money!
Maggie, although not thrilled about her costume, was a cat getting eaten by a shark.

I was a peacock and the official taste tester was Brutus. Here is a picture of the back of my costume, which I am proud of because I made it!
Happy Party Planning
& Happy Halloween!!



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