Posts Tagged ‘party’

Halloween Delights Delivers No Tricks, Plenty of Treats

posted by Karen Hood
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It’s that time of year again! The weather is turning crisp and cool, leaves are changing to vibrant autumn colors, and the holidays are just around the corner. First up is Halloween, a favorite for the child in each of us, a magical and spooky night filled with delicious goodies, fun costumes, and frights galore. To help make the most of the holiday, pick up a copy of Halloween Delights by Karen Jean Matsko Hood. More than just a cookbook, Halloween Delights is a treasure trove of creative ideas to make your fright night celebration one to remember! The book is also packed with extras, like information on how to grow your own pumpkins, interesting facts about the history, folklore, and symbolism of Halloween, and a helpful glossary of cooking and baking terms.

I’ve been impressed with each entry in Hood’s Cookbook Delights series that I have seen so far, but this one honestly blew me away. From the clever to the creepy to the downright ghastly, each recipe is a masterpiece of ingenuity that will delight, scare, and gross out your Halloween guests in the best way possible. The variety of recipes is staggering, enabling you to choose just how ghoulish you want your party to be. The Halloween Haunted Forest Platter, for example, is a really creative way of dressing up the ordinary vegetable platter that will entice even kids into nibbling on healthy treats, and it’s a really cute idea. (Imagine a forest of broccoli trees haunted by egg ghosts and other creepy, edible creatures.) If you’d rather horrify your guests, there are recipes like the Boogers and Slugs Halloween Cake and Chocolate Slime, foods that may sound or even look disgusting, but are guaranteed to be delicious. The Bleeding Human Heart, a heart-shaped gelatin that oozes thick grenadine blood when cut into portions, is one of my favorites–there’s no doubt it’ll make an impression!

Halloween Delights is so full of fun and creative ideas that my kids literally could not stop poring over it. They had a blast helping me try out some of the recipes in the kitchen and have been begging to try out more ever since. We made Witch’s Hat Chocolate Cupcakes, Creepy Crawly Spider Cookies, and Jack-O-Lantern Cheeseburger Pie. All of the recipes were easy to follow and turned out fabulous, not just in taste but in visual impact as well, which is at least half the fun with a holiday like this. I was also pleased to find a number of recipes that are designed for feeding large crowds, which will make planning a party all the easier. This is the ultimate Halloween cookbook, crammed with enough ideas to see my family through all the spooky parties we will ever throw. Now the only problem is picking which recipes to use–and how to prevent my kids from wanting to celebrate Halloween all year long!

Halloween is Just Around the Corner!

posted by Karen Hood
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All Hallow’s Eve is less than a week away, and if you haven’t started planning for the holiday, you may be in a panic right now wondering what costume you will wear, how you will decorate your house, and what to do for the party you promised all your friends. Not to fear! First, take a deep breath and take a look at some of the excellent articles preceding this one. From costumes to harvest festivals, they’ll give you some great ideas to get started on your Halloween celebration no matter how much you’ve procrastinated.

Another quick and easy tip to jumpstart your Halloween planning is to peruse a copy of Karen Jean Matsko Hood’s Halloween Delights. Far more than just a cookbook, Halloween Delights is a treasure trove of ideas that will help you create the most memorable Halloween possible. Packed with innovative recipes that will both delight the tastebuds and send shivers up and down your spine, this book gives you everything you need to quickly develop a theme around which to plan your entire holiday. You will find yourself inspired by just a brief glance at the recipes–there are over 200 to choose from, and they can help create an atmosphere that is spectacularly ghoulish, fun and playful, or anything in between.

For example, you may be inspired to use a monster theme by such treats as Goblin Dip with Bone Crackers and Eerie Eyeballs , or perhaps the Graveyard Cake and Disappearing Ghost Cookies will prompt you to decorate your house as a cemetery and dress up as a haunting spirit. Doubling as both a decorative centerpiece and a tasty treat is the Bleeding Human Heart, a delicious red gelatin that bleeds when you slice it. You could design an entire party around that one item: imagine the lair of a mad scientist, perhaps even Dr. Frankenstein himself, and all the grisly things you might encounter there. Witches, vampire bats, even less frightful symbols of Halloween like the black cat and jack-o-lantern, and so much more can be found in Halloween Delights. You will be thrilled with the abundance of creative ideas, and your party guests will be impressed and delightfully spooked.

Halloween Delights Cookbook – Paperback ©2008

Halloween Parties

posted by Karen Hood
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Perhaps the easiest way to plan any party is to pick a theme and design your food, activities, favors, and decor around that central idea. If you have already chosen a theme for your Halloween decorations, as discussed in our earlier article, why not use this as the theme of your party as well?

For example, if you chose to decorate your house as a spooky graveyard, build on this by serving creepy skeletal treats like Brittle Meringue Bones or create an entire edible cemetery with the Haunted Halloween Forest Platter, both fabulous recipes from Karen Hood’s idea-filled cookbook Halloween Delights. Play Pin the Skull on the Skeleton, bob for apples in a coffin–whatever you do, be sure to include plenty of ghosts, vampires, and other creatures of the night!

A great party idea for younger kids who may frighten easily is to base it on the classic holiday cartoon It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Decorate your house as a pumpkin patch with hay bales and pumpkins; serve pumpkin bars, roasted pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin-shaped cookies as treats; hold a Jack-o-lantern carving contest–and be sure to designate one very special gourd to be the Great Pumpkin himself!

Party ideas for Halloween are almost endless. Invite your friends to a Monster Mash, and you decide whether the theme is traditional Hollywood monsters like The Mummy and The Wolfman, or a more open theme that welcomes all beasts of fur, scale, claw, and fang. A creative costume contest for this party would be a blast. Go with today’s popular trends and throw a vampire party complete with Blood Punch, flitting bat and coffin decor, and party games like Mafia are easily adapted to suit the undead. Another trendy choice is, of course, the zombie apocalypse. A ghoulish game of tag would be the perfect end to the evening.