Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Night of Eating Dangerously

I am so excited that Cathy Brockman will appear next Tuesday on “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time”! Please come back because she will have some great treats for the party plans I  put together for you this week!

Okay, so I ripped off NaNoWriMo for the title of this post, but I couldn't resist. It's so perfect for Halloween week. And since I am writing Potluck, the 3rd book in my culinary mystery series, for National Novel Writing Month, I figured I could use it.
I miss the fun of Halloween when we had kids around. Sans kids at home and living in a neighborhood with no children has kinda taken the shine off this holiday. But why does it have to? Why not have a grown-up Halloween party that is easy peasy to do but great fun? So, okay, this is maybe too late for this year, but what about next year? And if you have flexible friends and neighbors, you could pull it off this year.

First things first:
How many and who can you invite? In the Phoenix, AZ area, it is still warm enough for the party to spill over to outdoors. But inventory your space. This is finger-food eating, not sit-down-dinner, so perhaps you can invite more. Or not, if you want a more intimate party. If you decide to make it a family party you will have to plan activities for the kids.

What foods will you have? The Internet is loaded with adult-friendly Halloween foods like Halloweenies and cheese in ways you never considered.

These links give you dozens of ideas for fun foods to try.
LINK http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/halloween-party-appetizers-drinks-recipes
LINK http://www.parenting.com/gallery/eerie-edibles-halloween-snacks
LINK http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/halloween-party-appetizers#1a9n7gl
LINK http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/packages/halloween.html

What about entertainment? Will you have a TV in another room playing classic scary movies playing all night? Will you have a contest for funniest, scariest, etc. costumes? Will you put on dance music like “Monster Mash”? You could create a Haunted House room or maze. Or will you let sparkling conversation drive the evening?

What about decorations? There are lots of ways to decorate for Halloween parties. Pull out all that stuff you had for your kids. Or you can go cheap party-store items or create elegant and classy decorations. It’s all up to you. Here are some links for DIY decorations. Remember that your gross/scary/funny foods can be part of the décor.


Getting it all done:
I’m huge on list making. Write down every single item in a column, arranged in categories (like these headings) and figure out each tiny step. Planning now saves headaches later.

After you have your menu planned, you choose the hardest, most elaborate, or expensive items for yourself. Make sure you prepare enough food so if people “forget” their assigned dish, you don’t run out. Divvy up the other menu items and get the directions/recipes for each.

Send an invitation to each family you’re inviting and ask them to bring the recipe you enclose with the invitation. If they can’t come, have them let you know well in advance so you can make it or ask someone who’s doing a small thing.

Your invitation should specify who’s invited, when and where the party is, and if costumes are de rigueur, is there a theme to dress toward or not?

There! Here you have everything you need to pull off the neighborhood party of the year. It truly is merely a matter of organization supplemented by Internet ideas!


  1. this sounds so fun! I don't have a party, but I make a themed dinner for all the family that may drop in. I love Halloween and any occasion I can cook a themed meal Great post

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Cathy. Looking forward to you in this space next week!