24 October 2014

Halloween Party

Okay, so you obviously already know of my love for holidays. I mean, I went all out for Labor Day, of all things. And, while Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday, Halloween is a very close second. Growing up, my parents did not ascribe to whole "Halloween is an evil and un-Christian celebration of witchcraft and mischief" thing. Rather, they thought it was a great time to have fun and be silly. They understood that going out Trick or Treating gives the whole family a chance to meet our neighbors that we wouldn't otherwise have. I was raised with the understanding that Halloween is about fun and candy.

Next week I'll go into my thoughts about the holiday itself and, if you're really lucky, I might even get into a historical discussion of the origins of Halloween. But, this week, I'm feeling very distracted by a Halloween party that I'm going to tonight. I recently became a youth leader at my church and we're having a Halloween party this evening. I'm so excited, I could burst! I spent the last several weeks perusing Pinterest and getting ideas for festive snacks. Last night I made much of what we'll be serving today.

As you can see, I really got into the spirit. What can I say, I love a theme!

These Rice Krispie pumpkins turned out to be so easy! You just make Rice Krispie Treats and dye the melted marshmallows orange before you mix in the Rice Krispies. I found that it took A LOT of food coloring to get them bright enough because the white marshmallows make the color pretty pastel. But, as you can see, I accomplished a nice pumpkin orange. Once you've mixed the Rice Krispie Treats up, let them cool for a little while before you shape them into balls. If they're too gooey, they won't hold shape and Rice Krispie Treats remain pretty malleable, even at room temperature. You'll want to spray your hands with cooking spray to keep the marshmallows from sticking to you. Don't worry about making the balls squatty like a pumpkin, that will happen when you add the stem. The stem is made from a tootsie roll, cut in half. When you push it onto the top, your pumpkin fattens and gets more pumpkin-y. Some of the pictures I saw online had icing leaves, but I liked them like this. (Plus, I didn't feel like making green frosting.)

This is my attempt at offering a healthy(ish) snack. Turns out, apple slices, peanut butter and marshmallows make a surprisingly great mouth. These were just my prototypes and I think I will have to cut thin apple slices for the party as they kept falling over. I love how cute and simple these are. I wish I would have been able to find the colored mini-marshmallows since then they would look more like zombie teeth. These are still pretty awesome, though.

This one is super cute and it was really easy. I'm calling it Zombie Puppy Chow. All you have to do is make puppy chow using whatever recipe you prefer. Then, add Halloween/fall themed candies. I chose candy corn, Reese's Pieces and candy eyes. 

This was by far the most complicated of all the snacks, but the payoff is pretty great. These Jello Worms are going to be a big hit, I am sure of it. You take three packets of unflavored gelatin and one packet of red jello (I chose raspberry flavor, but anything red will do) and mix them into three cups boiling water. Once it's fully mixed, stir in 3/4 cups whipping cream; this gives it the two-tone look since it will separate. Add a lot of green food coloring to make it kind of brown/gray. (As you can see, I was too frugal with the food coloring.) Then, take 100 straws and extend the bendy part to get the ridges. Rubber band them together and put them in a cylindrical container, bendy part down (only to make sure it gets filled with jello). You don't want the container to be much wider than the bundle of straws because the jello on the outside is just waste. (I'm sure I could come up with something clever to do with the leftovers, but I've got a lot on my plate already.) I decided to do two bundles in two tall tumblers since I didn't have a container that was the right size for all of them. Let them set and then squeeze the worms out into a bowl. Squeezing them out is time-consuming, but look at how cool they are!

I'll try to post pictures of the actual party next week. Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!

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