With less than two weeks to go, before Halloween, it’s about time to get a delicious theme menu planned. There is an abundance of great recipes out there for holidays, ranging from easy (yes, please!) to over the top. I usually scope out about a dozen or so ideas/recipes and narrow down my choices, once I know my guest list. For example, if you are having a small and spooky dinner part with six guests, you might be more willing to try new, complicated recipe like Martha’s Spinach Ricotta Skulls…
Or Ladies Fingers for dessert…
For a casual get together with about 20 people, the easier the better! Plus, it’s great to be able to make most of the items the night before, so you aren’t slaving away in the kitchen while your guests enjoy the party. Our party is closer to the latter, so here is the menu :
Finger Foods & Appetizers
Guaca-Moldy and Bat Chips
Petrified Cheese and Crackers
Candy Corn Colored Veggies with Ranch Dip
Twice Dead Potatoes
I don’t think any of these require much of a recipe other than the twice baked potatoes Hello Betty Crocker!, but more so entail construction of the food. **NOTE** Be sure to consider food that kids like, if they are included, because some can be picky eaters. BH&G has a great recipe for a Whoo-hoo Hooty if you need some interactive food fun. Plus, don’t forget to have plenty of non-meat options for the vegetarians.
When our friends gather we usually partake in an adult beverage, like wine or beer. But after finding some really great cocktail mixes I couldn’t wait to try one. But with fear of the daunting task of trying to keep up with all the ingredients needed to stock a full bar, I decided to pick a Signature Drink and just get those items. Turns out you can make 2 festive drinks with just 3 ingredients and some accessories.
We are hosting the Screwed-Up Screwdriver and the Berry Scary Martini…though I’m not sure how available cherry juice would be, so I suppose another scary berry might be making an appearance.
You’ll notice that the dessert will be “Guest’s Choice” and that is because I have wonderful friends who hate to show up empty-handed I know the feeling! So when I send out invitations I usually make a suggestion as to what they might bring. Sometimes it’s an appetizer, sometimes we each bring pickies to share, sometimes it’s a cocktail mix. By guiding them in a direction, they can be as creative as they want and contribute to the feast! Should anyone show up with food other than dessert…FINE BY ME!
Here is my plan (and let’s hope all goes accordingly) :
5 days before party….send reminder to guests to ensure accurate head count
4 days before party…..table decorations and finalize menu
3 days before party….wall decorations and grocery shopping
2 days before party….kitchen decorations, Costco shopping, cut out cheese shapes and bake cookies
1 day before party….make potatoes (refrigerate overnight), roll out cheese log (refrigerate overnight), marinate ribs, chop veggies and more decorating
morning of party (starts at 5pm!)….set up carving tables outside, last-minute clean up, bake potatoes, make guacamole, and get the spread laid out….BBQ ribs after most of the party arrives so they are finger lickin’ good
I also have the added bonus of great friends who like to help and pals who done care if it’s picture perfect. Though I still like to try.