Trick or treating just doesn't cut it once you reach a certain age. Halloween is party time. It's also a great excuse to decorate and get spooky. Planning a Halloween party for family, friends or neighbors can be overwhelming between work, kid’s sports, school Halloween events, etc. It is important to keep it simple so you aren’t frazzled on the day of the party. Here are some tips for ensuring your party is a monster hit!
Music and Contests…Prepare a music mix. Do this well in advance and set up the music where it can be heard easily. Music doesn't just have to be straight up music -- think of sound effects, too! Play this outside to get your guests excited even before they walk in. Plan Halloween games or a costume contest while considering guest numbers, ages, and interests. Costume parties are a tried and true favorite. An easy game could be a pumpkin decorating contest -- a great idea as long as your guests don't get too rowdy and turn it into a pumpkin throwing and mashing contest.;)
Decorations….Put out the decorations on the day of the party. Move furniture out of the way, make sure that there is plenty of free space for guests to mill around, dance, play games, etc.. The food table should be away from anything that shouldn't get spilled on or ruined. It is always nice to decorate the table Halloween style, with an orange tablecloth, a witch's hat, a pumpkin, etc., whatever takes your fancy and is available. Provide plates, utensils, serviettes/napkins, drinking glasses.
Food and Drinks….Consider easy food and drink recipes that you will serve. Make the food in advance when possible, especially if it's tricky (such as making hands, skulls, etc.) Put the food in an easily accessible place but not somewhere that impedes movement. It's best to party proof your house beforehand, too. Set out the food just prior to the party. Serve the drinks nearby. Wait to add ice to any drinks or to bring out any food that needs to be warm until numbers have accumulated. Of course to Bellisar’s the food is the most important thing at the party. That is why we have created Bellisari’s Gourmet Convenience Halloween Recipes to make it even easier on you!
Breadstick Bones w/ Calabrian
1 can refrigerated breadsticks (6 breadsticks)
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 jar of Bellisari’s Calabrian and Sweet Tomato Fennel Spread, heated
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough; separate at perforations into 6 breadsticks. Roll each until 12 inches long. Loosely tie knot in both ends of each breadstick; place on cookie sheet (do not twist).
Brush breadsticks with egg white. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm "bones" with warm Bellisari’s Calabrian and Sweet Tomato Fennel Spread for dipping.
Spooky Veggie Tray with Balsamic Veggie Dip*
2 Tablespoons Bellisari’s Balsamic Shallot & Black Garlic Spread
1 16oz Sour Cream
Mix two tablespoons of Bellisari’s Balsamic & Black Garlic Spread and 16oz of sour cream and mix thoroughly. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least two hours.
*Spooky Serving Ideas
Pumpkin Serving Bowl
1. Thoroughly wash the outside of the pumpkin
2. Cut the lid of the pumpkin and scoop out the insides
3. Line the pumpkin with plastic wrap and pour the Chilled Balsamic Veggie Dip in and Serve
Veggie Jack-O-Lantern Veggie Holders
Cut the tops off clean, washed bell peppers (colors are your choice, of course). Use a paring knife to free the center section of the pepper and pull it out, making room for your veggies.
Then cut out the faces, just like you would on a pumpkin. While we recommend an adult do all the cutting, this is a great time to get the kids’ input on the expressions and features of your peppers. Fill peppers with a selection of your family's favorite vegetables, and arrange on a plate with some your pumpkin bowl for dipping.
Tip: When you’ve eaten all the veggies out of your ranch-o-lanterns, you can slice and eat them, or save them for use in another dish.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Bellisari’s Saigon Sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Large Red Bell Pepper Sliced into ¾ length pieces for Devil Ears
Paprika, for garnish
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water that there's 1 1/2 inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute.
Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, and placing the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, Bellisari’s Saigon Sauce, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Carefully put the red bell pepper devil ears on each side of the egg and sprinkle with paprika and serve.
Frankenstein Barista BBQ Chicken Cheddar Wrap
4 extra-large green tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts or left-over rotisserie chicken
Seasoned salt and Pepper
1/2 of 1 bag of salad mix
1/4 cup of Bellisari’s Barista Sauce
1/4 cup chipotle ranch dressing store-bought or homemade, or plain (optional)
Sliced Cheddar Cheese(for decorating the outside and layering on the inside)*see photo
Black olive slices for decorating the outside
4 sets of Candied Eyes for decorating
Heat up the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the skillet is hot, use tongs to place the chicken in the skillet. Allow it to brown for about 3-5 minutes and then flip the chicken to the other side. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to just below medium heat. Cook for another 5-8 minutes (depending on how thick the breasts are) or until completely cooked through. Remove the chicken onto a cutting board and allow to cool while prepping the other ingredients.
Toss the coleslaw with the Bellisari’s Barista sauce and chipotle or plain ranch. Top the tortillas with the dressed coleslaw and whatever toppings you enjoy. I put on Cheddar cheese slices, sliced avocado pieces, some red onion slices, and fresh cilantro.
Chop up the slightly cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the tortilla. Squeeze on some extra Barista sauce on the chicken if desired. Roll them up, decorate and enjoy immediately.
Frank's RedHot Buffalo Hummus with Bellisari’s Blue Cheese Honey & Shallot Spread
2 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ Cup Bellisari’s Blue Cheese Honey & Shallot Spread
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup FRANK'S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
Pita Bread, crackers or veggies
Combine chickpeas, Bellisari’s Blue Cheese Honey & Shallot Spread, tahini, Frank's RedHot Sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt in food processor. Cover; process until very smooth. Chill the dip 30 min. before serving. Serve with crackers or pita bread and vegetable dippers.
Adapted from WikiLeaks Halloween Tips