Entertaining, fall
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Haunted Halloween Party

Ghosts, ghouls and goblins galore! Halloween is just around the corner and I cannot wait to celebrate! This year, I am hosting a spooky soirée at our apartment and I am bringing a few elegant touches and fabulously retro menu to my Halloween Party this year.  Read on for how you can through an elegant yet spooky Halloween Party of your own…if you dare! Muahaha!

This year, I decided to aim for a more elegant vibe for my Halloween Party in terms of decor. If you remember back to when you were a kid, Halloween was all about blood, guts and gore. While I can definitely appreciate these gory decorations on Halloween, it is a bit more fitting to do this outside of your home since it can be complicated and messy (I mean fake blood is cool and all, but I don’t want to be scrubbing it off my walls and mirrors the next day!). But what we are lacking in blood and guts, we are making up with some classy, yet scary Halloween decor. I used a combination of everyday decor pieces that I had around my home, and tied them in with some cheap (but reusable) dollar store items that I found, and I did a wonderfully simple DIY that you can keep in your home throughout the year. So without further adieu, here is what I did!

For my table, I decided to decorate with mainly black pieces (because obviously black is the colour for Halloween- and is timelessly elegant) along with some gold and silver accents for a bit of shine. I used my everyday black dinner table as the base (you can always throw a black tablecloth over your table if it is not black) and added a few tasteful pieces for decoration. I anchored the left corner of my table with my thrifted gold candlestick holders in which I placed some tall black candles in… because obviously we need some spooky candlelight for Halloween. On the opposite side, I wanted another tall piece to balance the table out, so I went for a nice, tall vase of sunflowers. These sunflowers had a dark orange colour on the flowers and leaves that were almost purple- something that is not typical of this cheery flower. I found out that the florist that I went to actually made the sunflowers this darker orange colour by keeping them in a tub of water mixed with red dye. If you have red food colouring, you can simply add it to your vase of regular yellow sunflowers and in two days, you will have these delightfully dark sunflowers for your table. I loved the deep moody vibe that it brought to the tablescape! I also went ahead and placed my white “Casper” pumpkin next to my candles along with my dark green Kabocha squash for a bit of colour.

   

Next, I added my servingware. I placed my wooden cake pedestal to the center/back of the table to give my food some height (I’m all about varying heights on buffet-style tables) and then placed a round brushed-gold tray and silver placemat in front of the pedestal. I loved the silver placemat for Halloween- it totally reminded me of a spider web! And of course, where there is a spider web, there are spiders! So I picked up some sparkly plastic black spiders from the Dollar Store and placed them all over my table. I also added a few sparkly black pumpkins to the table as well (another great reuseable Dollar Store find!) to fill in the empty spaces.

I also discovered these fabulously cool, yet elegant black glass skull cups from Homesense (a home-goods store in Canada) that I knew needed to be a part of my Halloween tablescape. I added these to the table and made sure to back-light them with some tea lights to make them look extra creepy for when my guests arrived. I made sure to place the tea lights in short glass jars (for safety reasons) but I found these plain jars to be fairly boring, so I did a quick and easy DIY! I simply wrapped each glass jar with black lacey ribbon and used a hot glue gun to secure the lace around the jar. I love the sexy, sultry look that it brought to the table- perfectly elegant and spooky if you ask me!

Now for the good stuff…THE FOOD! When I was planning this Halloween Party I was thinking of a combination of elegant, retro and of course, spooky- like something around the 1920’s to 1950’s- so I decided to borrow some retro food ideas from this era to fit this theme and give it a Halloween twist. I decided to stick to appetizers and small snacks that people can nibble on throughout the party while they mingle. I also decided make the majority of the recipes myself, but also improvised with some store-bought foods just to make things a bit easier for the host (because hey, you gotta get your Halloween costume on too!). And of course, as every good host knows, one of the key tricks to entertaining is to not make everything yourself!

So those are the tricks… here are the treats! First up on the menu is Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Cockroaches…I mean dates. The look of dates always freaked me out as a kid because I thought they looked like cockroaches. But once you get past their questionable appearance and take a bite, you will fall in love with their sweet and soft taste. It’s almost like eating candy! This recipe for Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates is a play on the retro recipe, Devil’s on Horseback, which is traditionally made with prunes stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. I wanted to go for a healthier, vegetarian recipe so I swapped out the prunes for the dates and the bacon for a toasted walnut- and do they every look spooky. Oh, and if the thought of blue cheese in this recipe is enough to scare you alone, simply swap it out for a smoked cheddar or gouda- these cheeses also taste delicious with dates and walnuts!

Now, with it being Halloween, there are going to be many vampires around, so we are going to keep them at bay with my homemade French Onion Dip. This recipe is inspired by the old school French Onion dip made from those French Onion soup packets and sour cream. Super retro, right!? Rather than using a soup packet, you can make this dip yourself- and it won’t have any nasty preservatives or additives in it! I simply fry onions and garlic until they are nice and caramelized then toss them with sour cream and Greek yogurt and a few other secret ingredients to lighten it up. Serve with classic ruffled potato chips, or fancy vegetable chips and you got yourself a great party dip!

My next recipe is a play on the classic tea sandwich: Mrs. Frankenstein’s Tea Sandwiches. In other words, Cucumber-Dill Tea Sandwiches. This is definitely a retro dish as this has been served at many fancy tea parties over the past century or so. I simply layer butter, an elevated homemade cream cheese spread, and slices of cucumber on top of pumpernickel bread and slice it into wedges. I really like the fresh, cool cucumber and dill in this recipe as many appetizers can be heavy- but this one is light and refreshing (and it will freshen your breath from the French Onion Dip!). If you can make a sandwich, you can easily make these Cucumber-Dill Tea Sandwiches for your party!

My final savoury appetizer that I made for this party was inspired by the retro pinwheel sandwiches made with tortilla wraps and deli meat/cheese. I never really liked these as a kid (I found them to get super soggy and gross). But I took this idea and made it much better with my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Cheddar Pinwheels. Rather than using tortilla wraps to hold everything in, I use a sheet of store-bought puff pastry. All you need to do is sprinkle it with the roasted red peppers and cheese, roll it up, slice it up, and bake! It’s so simple and easy- and looks impressive too! Your guests will think that you spent hours making these!

Now onto my favourite course: dessert. Now as we all know, with Halloween comes tons of sugary candy and chocolates, which is a great treat in small doses. But rather than making an overly sugary dessert or placing a bunch of candy on the table, I decided to keep things a bit on the healthier side with a Healthy Dessert Board. On this dessert board I mixed store-bought and homemade treats. From the store, I picked up some maple-flavoured mixed nuts, coconut macaroons (I thought they looked like little ghosts), and some crazy spooky Moon Drop grapes. I loved the deep purple colour of the grapes and the elongated shape (almost like fingers!).

The homemade treats that I made are simple and can likely be made with ingredients that you have in your pantry right now! Bonus! First up, I made my Autumn-Inspired White Chocolate Bark. What’s a dessert board without some chocolate? I made it a bit healthier by adding vitamin rich cranberries and apricots and oil-rich walnuts and pumpkin seeds. I mean just the colours alone look gorgeous- it’s truly perfect for fall/Halloween!

And last but not least, since it is fall after all, I had to made something with Pumpkin Spice. And what’s a better treat than Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls?!? The basic white girl inside me literally can’t even right now. You have all the delicious warm flavours of pumpkin spice combined with healthy dates, almonds and oats- such a great healthy treat!

And there you have it ghosts and ghouls! A fully planned, and fully designed Halloween party. All you need is some spooky music and a great costume and you will be ready to have a great time! For all the recipes featured in this post, simply click on the links or head over to my blog!

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

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