This cute recipe comes from a faithful follower, who says she found it on the Taste Of Home website, and she says it was the hit of the kid's Halloween party at school last year! Let's check it out.....

~1 loaf (1 pound) frozen bread dough, thawed
~3 pieces string cheese
~2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
~1 envelope fiesta ranch dip mix
~1 pitted ripe olive
~Assorted crackers and fresh vegetables

Let dough rise according to package directions. Place dough on a greased baking sheet. For mummy, roll out dough into a 12-in. oval that is narrower at the bottom. For the head, make an indentation about 1 in. from the top. Let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Arrange strips of string cheese over bread; bake 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream and dip mix. Chill until serving.

Cut mummy in half horizontally. Hollow out bottom half, leaving a 3/4-in. shell. Cut removed bread into cubes; set aside. Place bread bottom on a serving plate. Spoon dip into shell. Replace top. For eyes, cut olive and position on head. Serve with crackers, vegetables and reserved bread. Yield: 16 servings (2 cups dip). Makes: 16 servings.


I was looking for a good cookie recipe on line the other day, and I remembered seeing some cute gingerbread skeleton cookies. So I was on a quest to find them!

Well... I'm still looking, but I got a bit sidetracked....... I found ZOMBIE COOKIES! How adorable are these guys? How fun would these be to make for a party for the kiddos, or better yet, why not have a "Zombie Cookie Party"?!

Get all the ingredients ready for the kids, and lay out all the icing and cookie toppings for the little hands to decorate after they've been baked in the oven. Then have the little monsters take their creations home at the end of the night. Sounds like a scary good time for the little ones!



For today's post I want to show you some really cool tablescapes that I found while surfing the web!

Over the last few weeks, I've given you some really great recipe ideas, and who doesn't love party food? After all, it's one of the best things about a good party.

Think about it.....The food is where everyone gravitates to at any party, so really make it stand out. Regardless of your party there are only two types, a buffet or a sit-down table. Here are some ideas to get you off and running towards your nearest craft store.

A buffet is great for children's parties or if you are hosting a large adult party.... and decorating a food table is always fun. A groan-ups' Halloween buffet table complete with tantalizing treats and decadent decor or this fa-boo-lous feast. A whimsical buffet complete with yummy mummy dogs and spiderweb soup will tickle the bones of all present. And Martha Stewart's sweet-laden table is terrifying yet tantalizing.

Check out this awesome site to get more crafty ideas!


Here's another fun recipe for the kids to gobble up before trick or treating.....or for your party guests to "ooh" and "aaahhhh" over. "My, you're so clever!"

~1 package Habarnero Lime Flour Bright Orange
~1 tablespoon olive oil
~1 yellow onion, chopped
~2 garlic cloves, minced
~1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
~1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
~2 cooked boneless chicken breasts, shredded
~Juice of one lime
~1 teaspoon adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (or to taste)
~1 teaspoon salt
~2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to cut tortillas into small pumpkin shapes (You can get 3 pumpkins per tortilla). Carve faces into half the pumpkins.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion and sautee for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and cook one additional minute. Add pumpkin, black beans, shredded chicken, lime juice, adobo sauce, and salt to the pan and stir until smooth and heated through.

Preheat broiler. Place non-carved pumpkin shaped tortillas on a large greased cookie sheet. Spread filling evenly on top of the pumpkins, and top evenly with cheese. Place carved pumpkin tortillas on top and broil for 2 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and quesadillas are heated through. Makes 5 servings (of 3 pumpkin quesadillas each).


"A Jug of Wine, A Loaf of Bread and Thou......"

How cool is this? Perfect for your next gathering of witches! Bela Lugosi Malbec 2007 · The Lugosi family has gottten into the wine business with the Domingo Hnos winery from Argentina.

I think I gotta try it! Click around on their website to see all the goodies they have to offer. Cheers!


Here's another one of my favorite cocktail recipes.

• 1 part Midori Melon Liqueur
1 part Dark Rum,
1 part Light Rum
2 part White Cranberry Juice

• 1 part Unfiltered Apple Juice
1 part Simple Syrup
Juice of one lemon

For a Punch Bowl (32 ounces), use this recipe times 8. Add the liquid ingredients and mix well. Top with apple slices, blueberries and melon balls.

This recipe can be modified for a kid-friendly punch by using a few drops of green food coloring and Cream Soda or Sprite, instead of the liquer and rum.


Everybody loves deviled eggs! I've used this recipe several times that I found at Mixing, and it's always a big hit with visiting ghosts and goblins!

~6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
~3 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
~1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
~1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
~1/2 teaspoon paprika
~1/8 teaspoon salt
~1/8 teaspoon pepper
~Whole black olives, to decorate eggs

1. Cut eggs lengthwise in half.
2. Slip out yolks and mash with fork.
3. Stir in mayonnaise, vinegar, paprika, mustard, 
    salt  and pepper.
4. Fill whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping it
5. Slice and arrange olives into spider bodies legs
6. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Servings: 12 egg halves


This recipe looks SO gross, and is so much fun. The general idea is based off of one by Better Homes and Gardens. This one comes from the fabulous site, Divine They stacked their shrimps in a glass bowl and used a more basic gelatin recipe. This version of this very gross Halloween food is Cajun flavored and prepared in a Jell-o brain mold instead of a bowl. And it looks a little too realistic for comfort!
Serves 10-12.

~3 lbs. shrimp, peeled, cooked, deveined
~2 small roasted red peppers, julienned
~1 green onion, sliced into 2" pieces, then julienned

Gelatin Mixture:
~2 1/2 C. chicken broth
~1 1/2 tbsp. (1 1/2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
~1 tsp. lemon zest
~1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
~1/2 C. tomato paste
~3 cloves minced garlic
~1 tbsp. honey
~1-2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
~Pinch salt

1. Into a purchased jello brain mold, layer your shrimp in, tails facing the middle of the brain. It's best if you layer them into the brain mold with the tails facing the middle, according to each "hemisphere" of the brain. This will give you the most realistic look. Tuck the shrimps in close together.

2. Drop bits of roasted pepper and green onion in around the shrimp. These should look like veins and nerves when you're finished.

3. Repeat, alternating between shrimp and vegetables, until you fill your Jello brain mold.

4. Now make the gelatin. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the unflavored gelatin.

5. Stir in the lemon zest, juice, tomato paste, garlic, honey, cajun seasoning, and a pinch of salt (the amount will depend on how much salt is in your Cajun seasoning-- mine's salty so I don't use much).

6. Pour this mixture over the shrimp in your brain mold, filling to the top. Discard any extra. With a rubber spatula, smooth the top of your shrimp and gelatin to create a smooth surface.

7. Refrigerate until firm, at least several hours.

8. To unmold, set your Jell-o brain mold in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds. Place a serving tray underneath, then flip your mold over. The brain should pop right out. This is one of the easiest gross Halloween foods to make in advance! Maybe serve with fava beans and a glass of Chianti.


Sometimes all you need is a few bad apples and a lot of imagination!

I'm a big fan of people finding inspiration in everyday things to create something interesting. Here are a few neat "sculptures" that could really spruce up your dessert table decorations. These apple creations are pretty amazing! Each one is so origional....except I think I'd make the butterfly a bat....but that's just me.

I think I need to stop and buy a bag of apples on the way home from work tomorrow and try some of these....and I'm sure I'll get completely "obsessed!"


The Pumpkin Ball

Who doesn't love cheese and crackers? Try this pumpkiny twist on a plain old cheese ball, when company comes a callin'. This is pretty neat whether you're having a wicked Halloween party or how cute for a little girl's "Cinderella" theme party.

~1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
~1 carton (8 ounces) spreadable chive and onion   
  cream cheese
~2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
~2 teaspoons paprika
~1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
~1 celery rib or broccoli stalk
~Sliced apples and assorted crackers or pretzels

1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheeses until smooth.
2. Stir in the cheddar cheese, paprika and cayenne.
3. Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate
    for 4 hours or until firm.
4. With a knife, add vertical lines to the cheese ball to
    resemble a pumpkin; insert a celery rib or broccoli stalk for the    
    stem. Serve with apples, crackers and pretzels. Makes 2-1/2


OK, no recipe for an actual 'punch' here as you can use whatever beverage you like - mulled wine for adults, juice based for the kids. Here's what you need:

~8 firm apples
~1/2 cup lemon juice
~2 Tbsp salt

 Note that the shrunken heads are too salty too eat but just too much fun not to make! For the shrunken heads - In a large bowl combine the salt and lemon juice with 1 cup water until the salt dissolves. Peel the apples, cut in half lengthwise and spoon out the seeds and core. Turn into the mixture to stop them browning. Using whatever tools you have carve out the eye sockets, nose and mouth - I have a pumpkin carving kit that was perfect for this. Return them to the mixture turning to coat. Leave them in there for 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Pat them dry and place on a wire rack over a roasting tin or rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 250 degree oven for 2 - 3 hours, until they begin to shrink and edges are lightly browned, or until they look the way you want them to. Let cool on rack. You can make them ahead and refrigerate in paper towel lined airtight container for up to 24 hours.

Place the little heads in the punch bowl, after you filled it with your beverage of choice!


What a cute dinner guest for Halloween. It's a perfect dinner before the kids go out trick or treating, or if you have to bring a dish to the neighbor's Halloween party. So easy to make, and it can be ready to serve in under an hour!

~1 tablespoon vegetable oil
~1/2 cup chopped onion
~1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
~1 clove garlic, minced
~3/4 pound ground turkey
~3/4 teaspoon chili powder
~1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
~1can (14-1/2 ounces) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
~1can (15 ounces) chili beans in mild chili sauce, undrained
~1cup corn
~1/4 teaspoon black pepper
~1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix plus ingredients to prepare mix
~2 cups taco-flavored shredded cheese, divided

Green and red bell pepper, pickle slices, pimiento pieces, chopped onion, chopped black olives and carrots for decoration.

1 .Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook until crisp-tender. Stir in garlic. Add turkey; cook until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in chili powder and oregano. Add tomatoes with juice; cook and stir 2 minutes, breaking up tomatoes with spoon. Stir in beans with sauce, corn and black pepper; simmer 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 1-1/2- to 2-quart casserole. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions; stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Spread half of turkey mixture in prepared casserole; sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese. Top with remaining turkey mixture and 3/4 cup cheese. Top with corn muffin batter. Decorate with assorted vegetables to make monster face. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown.

Note:  Make this pie cute instead of creepy by creating a simple jack-o'-lantern face with bell pepper cutouts. Makes 6 to 8 servings .


I know that one of the things that can be quite exasperating when party planning, can be... "When am I gonna have time to make all this stuff?"

Well, the real "trick" when it comes to "treats" for your party, is to make what you can...and buy the rest! Let someone else do all the work, and you just add a few decorating touches...and it's gonna look fabulous! (And save you a lot of time!)

Here's a good example, this cake is so pretty, but on party day, I might not have the time to bake a cake, so why not buy a chocolate cake and just make some icing for piping, and decorate it!

This will give you more time to prepare your other ghastly goodies. Work smart, not hard!


Ok, talk about goofing off in the kitchen! See what happens when you have Halloween on the brain! You turn everyday things that you do, into things you can do every day for Halloween.

It's so easy, here's how:
•Cook spaghetti according to package directions, making sure to keep some long noodles intact, as opposed to breaking them to fit into the pot.

•Line a cookie sheet with foil. Pull some noodles out and form the word "boo" on the foil; make a few, just in case.

•Bake at 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes until firm, and place your "boos" on top of red sauce on pasta!

More ideas: add some mini meatballs with black olive eyes, or make tombstone shaped garlic bread to place on the side of the pasta, when serving! It's yummy and spooky!

I have a feeling that I'm not done with the recipe just yet....... more to come.


In honor of my wedding anniversary today, I thought some cool Halloween wedding cakes were in order! I bet if you took one of these pictures to your favorite custom bakery, you could get something pretty cool, like one of these. I'm thinking that "Zombie Wedding" is going to be my theme for this years party, and a fabulous cake like this for a centerpiece would be spook-tacular!


This is such a fun recipe from the wonderful people at Women's Day, and I've made this so many times for parties, and it's great!

Step 1:
Using a serrated knife, horizontally slice through top third of bread loaf, keeping top of bread attached along the long side opposite you; this will be the coffin lid.

Step 2:
Carefully raise lid three-quarters open. Insert a skewer through bread top at each back corner of the lid, carefully threading each skewer through the bottom part of the loaf. This will keep lid open.

Step 3:
Using kitchen shears, snip top of skewers flush with bread lid.
Following the contours of the loaf, and starting a 1/2 inch from loaf edges, score a rectangle in cut surface of bread bottom with a small knife.

Step 5:
Carefully discard bread from inside the rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch bread wall on all sides and a hollow into which to put the dip.

Step 6:
Hollow out bread from coffin lid.

Step 7:
Insert 3 or 4 toothpicks into breadstick along one length.

Step 8:
Attach breadstick handle to front of coffin.

For the Dead Man's Dip recipe and to watch step-by-step directions, click here.


Well....not really poisoned. But how creepy. These candied apples are dripping with blood red and black glass-like candy with natural twig branches that serve as the sticks. They are perfect for Gothic and Vampire themed Halloween parties. Kudos to the talented apple dipper and the stunning visuals from the photographer. I can foresee these forever charming my macabre dinner parties for many years…

~8-10 medium sized apples
~8-10 wooden twigs, cleand and trimmed
~3 cups granulated sugar
~1/2 cup light corn syrup
~1 cup of water
~several drops of cinnamon flavored oil
~1/4 teaspoon of red food coloring
~1/4 teaspoon of black food coloring

Clean and dry the apples. Try to remove as much of the wax as possible. If you purchase them from your local farmer’s market then chances are they have not been treated with the food grade wax that makes then shine. Remove any stems or leaves and insert a twig into the end of each apple. To facilitate easier twig entry you can carefully sharpen the end of the twig or use a candy stick to create a guide hole. Set apples aside.

Heat and stir sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the syrup reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Don’t go over 310 degrees or your candy could burn.

Remove from heat and stir in flavored oil and food coloring.

Dip one apple completely in the syrup and swirl it so that it becomes coated with the melted sugar candy. Hold the apple above the saucepan to drain off excess. Place apple, with the stick facing up, onto a baking sheet that’s greased or lined with a silpat. Repeat the process with the remaining apples. If your syrup thickens or cools too much, simply reheat briefly before proceeding. Let the apples cool completely before serving.

A note about the black apples: Lighter colored apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious) work well in making the red appear bright and glassy; darker apples like red delicious help the black candy appear as dark as possible. Very spooky!

Also, to make the red apples darker you can reheat the candy mixture and add black food coloring. Adding black to red will make it darker. Then repeat the dipping process. Black food coloring can be found online or at specialty baking stores.


You know when having a party, presentation is everything! Here's an example of such an easy thing to do. If you're serving ribs for your sit-down or buffet Halloween dinner, just slice a red pepper in half, and stick a knife in the middle of it! How cool does this look?

Just put it all in the middle of a wooden cutting board...and voila!

Add your typical spiders, mini pumpkins and candles for the whole effect.....again, it's a mix of pretty and creepy!


Sharpen up your candy-making skills to make these Zombie Brain cupcakes! Just mix white and dark chocolate to get it the right "brainy" color and pour it in the mold. Let cool then add to your cupcakes!

And if you're running short on time, and can't make the cupcakes, go buy 'em and add some strawberry syrup (or heated strawberry jelly) on top of the icing, then push the brains into the top of the icing....add more gooey stuff to the top.

Pretty darn easy AND the kids will be so grossed out!  Click here to find these mini brain molds!


I think this is such a great idea, but I would have used a pumpkin instead! But how cool is this? It's a great idea if you're going to serve all "finger" food at your Halloween party. I think it's pretty "spook-tacular!"


There sure are some smart "mummies" out there. I found this kid-friendly recipe on the web, that you can make by wrapping cooked hot dogs in strips of Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough, and baking them until they look done. Then dot on some mustard for eyes and add some cookie decorations for more eye depth. It's sooooooo easy to do!

Check out this site for more great Halloweenie recipes!


Like real zombies, the walking dead's namesake cocktail packs a powerful punch thanks to apricot brandy and three types of rum: light, dark and high-proof Bacardi 151. Grenadine and orange juice give the drink its lovely pumpkin hue.

~1 oz. apricot brandy
~1 oz. light rum
~1 oz. dark or Jamaican rum
~1 oz. lime juice
~2 dashes grenadine
~Orange juice
~1 oz. Bacardi 151 rum

Mix light and dark rum and brandy in a cocktail shaker, add lime juice and grenadine. Shake well and strain into a higball glass filled with cracked ice.

Fill glass with orange juice but leave enough room to float the 151 on top. Garnish with a cherry and orange slice.


This is a really easy reipe and it's fun to make if you're asked to bring a Halloween-dish to the big Spookfest! And don't forget the bat wing chips!


Bean Layer:
~2 cans (16 oz each) lowfat refried black or pinto beans
~1/4 chopped cilantro
~2 Tbsp lime juice
~1 Tbsp hot Mexican chili powder
~1 tsp minced garlic
~3 large plum tomatoes sliced
~1 1/2 cups thick and chunky salsa
~1 cup (4 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend

Guacamole Layer:
~4 ripe Hass avocados
~3 Tbsp lime juice
~2 Tbsp lime juice
~2 Tbsp minced red onion
~2 large jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced


1. Bean Layer: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Scrape the mixture onto a 12- to 14-in. round serving plate and smooth into a 10-in. circle with a spatula. Arrange tomato slices around edge of bean layer to make a border.

2. Drain salsa in a strainer to get rid of excess juice. Spread over bean mixture, leaving some of the bean layer showing around the edge. Sprinkle cheese over salsa, leaving some of the salsa layer showing.

3. Guacamole: Halve avocados; remove seeds and spoon flesh into a medium bowl. Add lime juice, onion, jalapeƱos and salt, and mash until fairly smooth. Spoon over cheese layer and spread into an even layer.

4. Place sour cream in a ziptop bag; seal bag and snip a small tip off one corner. Pipe a spiderweb design over guacamole and onto the plate. Decorate with toy spiders. Serve with bat-wing (Blue tortilla) chips!

Plan Ahead: You can make 4 hours ahead, cover and refrigerate.