It’s that time of the year again, when goblins, witches, and ghosts come out to play for an evening of fun. If you’re planning on scaring up a few friends and celebrating the season with a party, here are a few amazing ideas for some creepy-crawly cocktails and frighteningly festive food. (Okay, I’m done, I promise!)
However, if partying isn’t your thing and you prefer a low-key adventure, check out a few of these hair-raising, awesome date ideas. (Okay, now, I’m really done.) Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
|2 Tbsp graham crackers for rimming, finely crushed|
|1 Tbsp granulated sugar for rimming|
|1 1/2 tsps divided pumpkin pie spice|
|1 1/2 oz vanilla vodka|
|1 1/2 oz Irish cream liqueur (add some extra for rimming)|
|1 Cinnamon stick for the garnish|
- Combine the finely crushed graham crackers, sugar, and 1 tsp of pumpkin spice into a small dish. Mix to an even consistency.
- In another small dish, pour a tiny bit of Irish cream.
- Rim a cocktail glass by dipping it into the Irish cream. Then, roll it in the graham cracker mixture. Tap off excess.
- For a quick chill, place the glass in the freezer while making the cocktail.
- Pour the vanilla vodka, 1 1/2 ozs of Irish cream, pumpkin purée, and the remaining 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice into a cocktail shaker. Fill up the shaker with ice.
- Vigorously shake for approximately 30 seconds.
- Use a strainer and pour into the prepped cocktail glass.
- Garnish with one cinnamon stick.
Okay, so you have all the gruesome cocktails prepped, but you can’t have the drinks without serving ghoul-inspired foods. So, this is the time to showcase your creativity with yummy Halloween-themed snacks. The best part is that these delicious snacks are easy to make and appropriate for kids, too. So, grab your apron, and let’s go.
Chilling Chex Mix
|¾ C butter|
|¾ C packed brown sugar|
|1 Tbsp vanilla extract|
|3 C Rice Chex|
|2 C pretzels|
|2 C Bugles (or corn chips)|
|1 C Halloween M&Ms|
|½ C Reese’s Pieces|
- Preheat oven to 300°F and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix Chex cereal, pretzels, and Bugles(or corn chips) on your prepared baking sheet. Make sure to spread the ingredients out into an even layer. Set aside.
- Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil while often stirring over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, constantly stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add in vanilla and stir.
- Pour the sauce over the Chex mixture on the lined baking sheet. (Be careful, it’s hot) Toss to coat.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. (Stir halfway through.)
- Remove from the oven. Let cool to room temperature.
- Add the cooled Chex mixture, M&Ms, and Reese’s pieces to the bowl. Toss to mix.
- Serve immediately. You can also store it in an air-tight container until ready to serve.
Simple Jalapeño Poppers, Mummy-Style
These yummy Halloween treats are not only fun to make, but they are also delicious as a Halloween appetizer for your party. These mummy-style poppers are stuffed with a tasty cream cheese mixture with googly gruesome eyes bugging out between each layer of a flaky crescent roll dough.
|5 jalapeno peppers, stems included|
|4 ozs of softened cream cheese|
|4 ozs pepper jack cheese, grated|
|¼ tsp of garlic powder|
|¼ tsp of onion powder|
|¼ Kosher salt|
|⅛ tsp black pepper, ground|
|20 candy googly eyes|
|1 can of crescent roll dough, refrigerated|
|1 beaten egg|
If you have trouble finding the candy googly eyes, try your local grocery store or a candy store. Most stores have their Halloween candy out for the season.
Another option is Michael’s and other hobby/specialty stores that sell candy-making supplies.
Soften cream cheese by leaving it out at room temperature for at least an hour. Another option is to unwrap it, place it in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave it for 10-20 seconds.
Be sure to add the googly eyes immediately after taking the mummies out of the oven. The cheese will still be hot and they will stick better.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet. You can also use a silicone baking mat.
- Slice the jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the insides. Leave the stems on if possible. Throw away the insides.
- Mix the softened cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper inside a small bowl. Combine well.
- Fill each jalapeño pepper with the cheese mixture. Be careful not to overfill because this will cause oozing while baking.
- Unroll the crescent roll dough but keep the triangles together. Pinch the perforations together. Cut thin strips that are approximately a half-inch wide of dough. Wrap one to two pieces around each pepper half, but allow enough space at the top to insert the googly eyes.
- To make the egg wash, combine the egg and approximately 1 Tbsp of water. Whisk until combined. Put the mummies on a baking sheet. Brush a bit of egg wash onto each one.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes (or until golden brown.) Take it out of the oven. Put the candy googly eyes in the melted cheese.
- Serve immediately.
Since you’re using jalapeño peppers, avoid eye irritation by washing your hands thoroughly immediately after handling or wearing gloves.
Halloween Polka Dot Cupcakes
You have the cocktails and a few snacks, and now you need a festive (and easy) dessert. So what’s easier than cupcakes? Try this simple recipe for a quick Halloween treat.
|1 package of cake mix (any brand)|
|1 container of fluffy Vanilla Frosting|
|Orange gel-paste food coloring|
|1 container of milk chocolate frosting|
|Brown and orange mini M&M’s|
- Follow the directions on the box to prepare 24 mini cupcakes.
- Use the orange food coloring to tint the vanilla frosting.
- Use orange frosting for half the cupcakes. Use the chocolate frosting for the other half. Alternately arrange the cupcakes on a serving tray.
Simple Gluten-Free Meatballs
Just because these meatballs are gluten-free doesn’t mean they’re taste-free. These simple-to-make meatballs are megaflavorful, and use only a few ingredients already found in most kitchens. I guarantee you will love these yummy treats!
|1 lb 90%-95% lean ground beef (turkey or chicken work, too!)|
|1/2 C crushed Schar Crackers (available on Amazon.com)|
|1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese|
|1/2 tsp salt|
|1/4 tsp pepper|
|1/2 tsp onion powder|
|1/2 tsp garlic powder|
|1/2 tsp garlic powder|
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line a 13×9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Using hands, round the meatball mixture into 24 (approx 1 1/2-inch) meatballs. On the prepared baking sheet, place the meatballs an inch apart.
- Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes. The temperature should reach 160°F.
- Serve warm.
Halloween Date Ideas
Take a lengthy drive around the countryside with your partner after the sun has set. View and appreciate the stunning fall scenery, showcasing the leaves and their changing colors. Turn on a creepy podcast and drive while listening to terrifying ghost stories to heighten the atmosphere. Add in a touch of relaxation by bringing your own pumpkin spice latte, or if you prefer, head to a warm little spot and cozy up while sipping some warm apple cider.
Now, doesn’t that sound perfect?
Pumpkin Patch Excursion
Nothing says autumn, like visiting your neighborhood pumpkin patch and buying a few pumpkins. Then, take a break from all the picking and have some spiced cookies and hot cinnamon cider on a picnic bench, or bring a blanket for a mini picnic for two.
The Shining and Jaws are excellent examples of vintage fright flicks to watch on a huge, big screen around Halloween time. Check your local listings to find out which drive-in thrillers are playing nearby.
Other must-see drive-in movies
- Nightmare on Elm Street
- Motel Hell
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space
- Sleepaway Camp
- The Town that Dreaded Sundown
- Psycho Beach Party
- Drive-In Massacre
- Blood Rage
- Dead End Drive-In
- New Year’s Evil
- Drive-In Horror Show
By enrolling in a fall-themed cooking class, you can get into the ideal mood of the season. Look through the local listings to find one that teaches how to make seasonal delicacies, like roasted squash and pork hash, or the classic pumpkin soup.
Halloween Cocktails for Two
Who wouldn’t enjoy creating their own custom cocktails with a Halloween theme? First, search online to identify your top three favorite drinks and those of your partner. Then, proceed to the store to purchase all the beverages you’ll need for a frightfully fun evening. You can even check out a few recipes mentioned in the cocktail section above.
Halloween falls on a Monday this year, so plan a weekend escape for a romantic autumn retreat. Additionally, if you want to add a little terror to spice it up a bit, watch a classic horror film like Psycho or An American Werewolf in London. This staycation is enjoyable and simple to arrange.
Go on a traditional ghost search if you want to be close to your spouse and want a few thrills in the process. The only preparation needed for this occasion is to search through the listings for a hunt in your neighborhood. You’ll spend a thrilling evening discovering the city’s most haunted areas and learning about their eerie histories.