<img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5263229795968733698" style="FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: pointer; HEIGHT: 120px" alt="" src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55413e07e4b0cd39c01f4040/5546dc6de4b09a1d83e23aad/5546dc8ee4b09a1d83e2430a/1430707670196//img.jpg've not been invited to one Halloween party tonight. Apparently, we've gotten to the point where the endless stream of house-party invitations and preoccupation with costumes that revolve around the word "naughty" (cop, cowboy, nurse, etc) are over. That said, I'm thrilled with our plans for the evening: watching our favorite scary movies over tacos made with the seasoning-packet and pre-formed shells…followed by a hearty helping of Halloween candy. Yay.
Of course, thats not to say that I haven’t had my share of Halloween fun already. This week, it was my turn to host my bi-weekly knitting group…and on top of it being Halloween week, the girls had requested that my mother — an expert knitter and all-around fun lady — join us as a “guest speaker.” I ended up taking the day off on Wednesday, to spend some time with Mom and generally prepare for our little soiree. We had such a good time running errands, having lunch and getting ready for the party. Makes me wish I really was a homemaker sometimes!
But back to the party! I wanted the party to be low-key but fun, featuring a few cute “spooky” elements without going to far over-the-top. We haven’t even carved a jack o lantern this year, so instead, I arranged some small squashes and gourds in a pretty basket, and decided to try my hand at a few flower arrangements. I had a few squatty glass vases around from flower arrangements I’d received from the florist that worked perfectly. Gorgeous tan and cream mums were on sale at the grocery store, and I also bought some inexpensive red carnations and red “filler” berry-looking thingys (technical term). I’ve decided the key to professional looking arrangements is three-fold: Stick to couple of colors, buy more flowers than you think you’ll need and really stuff your vases and — finally and most important — cut the stems shorter than your insticts tell you to. To get that professional look…the flowers really need to be bunched together and not flopping around in the vase. I got two arrangements out of the flowers I bought…they look SO pretty and since the flowers are all hearty varieties…if I change the water regularly, I’m hoping they’ll last well into November!
Now, on to the menu: For appetizers, I set out some sliced apples with caramel and peanut dipping sauce (store bought caramel topping, with some crushed nuts sprinkled in), and freshly popped truffle popcorn.
For dinner, I made the roasted red pepper tomato soup, from a recent post — but to give it a Halloween feeling, I made “eyeballs” out of fresh mozzarella cheese balls, hollowed with a melon baller and stuffed with a black olive and a piece of roasted red pepper for the “retina”. They floated amazingly well in the soup and were so cute…definitely worth the time to make.
Then, to jazz up the accompanying grilled cheese sandwiches, I used a pumpkin cookie cutter to make a pumpkin-shaped window in one slice of bread for eachsandwich. When grilled (in the broiler, to ensure they were all finished at the same time), they melty sharp cheddar makes a cute orange pumpkin, showing through the bread! Fun!
Finally — the most fun part of the menu — dessert! We kept things low-key again, with some easy Halloween-themed cookies. In addition to Vampire cookies, my mom made the most adorable Nutter-Butter ghosts! They are so easy to make using store-bought cookies and some chocolate chips; not to mention addictively good! She has kindly shared the recipe:
Nutter-Butter Ghost Cookies
Makes 24 cookies; recipe courtesy of Mommabear
1 package white chocolate chips
2-3 tsp. canola oil
1 package original Nutter Butter cookies
1 package semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Melt white chocolate in the microwave or double boiler, according to package instructions, adding canola oil as indicated. Stir mixture occasionally until smooth. Using a set of tongs, or your fingers, dip one side of each Nutter Butter in the white chocolate to coat thoroughly and make it look like a ghost. Set dipped cookies on wax paper and, while the white chocolate is still wet, add mini chocolate chips to form eyes and a mouth. Leave cookies on the wax paper until the chocolate is completely firm. Transfer to a plate to serve, or store in an airtight container.
<img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5263228158022896802" style="FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; WIDTH: 133px; CURSOR: pointer; HEIGHT: 200px" alt="" src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55413e07e4b0cd39c01f4040/5546dc6de4b09a1d83e23aad/5546dc8ee4b09a1d83e24310/1430707659951//img.jpg I've got my Halloween costume afterall: Huge Dork.