Party food that screams ‘Boo!’

halloween: Simple treats and drinks for your bash

The Associated PressOctober 24, 2012 

Party food is supposed to be easy. You are, after all, having a party to have a good time, right?

That’s why we assembled these easy Halloween party dishes. Not only are they simple to assemble, they also require little planning and help keep the mood light and festive.

We started off with the dip. It’s nice if not everything on Halloween revolves around sugar. Equally at home with a platter of vegetables or chips and pretzels, this avocado and cream cheese-based dip will appeal to kids and adults. Plus, Halloween is one of the few times of the year where food doesn’t need to look pretty.

For something bready, we went with frozen puff pastry formed into “bones.” Puff pastry is a cinch to work with. You’ll find it in the grocer’s freezer section. Each package contains two sheets. Simply thaw according to package directions, then unfold, slice, season and bake. And feel free to play around with the spices we suggest, swapping in Italian seasoning, chili powder or even curry powder for the Old Bay seasoning.

For a sweet touch, we went with pots of mud. Or rather, peanut butter and hot fudge blended with a few other tasty ingredients to resemble mud.

So what about the drinks? It’s not enough for Halloween drinks to be delicious. They also have to be creepy.

And that’s where we drew our inspiration for these beverages – a kid-friendly, delightfully slimy grape “eyeball” punch and a not-so-kid-friendly murky and thick “orange haze” that blends orange liqueur, chocolate liqueur and honey.

To up the creep factor of the eyeball punch, you can peel the grapes before adding them to the other ingredients. There are two ways to do this. You can freeze the grapes (wash them, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet keeping them apart, then freeze), then run them under warm water to loosen the skins. Alternatively, you can plunge fresh grapes first into boiling water, then into ice water to loosen the skins.

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