Meal Photo

Good Goblin' for a Ghostly Night

Trick-or-treating is difficult in our rural area, so I planned a Halloween party at our home for our son, Ward, and his friends.

Dressing up an old favorite for the occasion, I made hearty Spooky Joes, served open-faced so everyone could see slices of cheese cut into Halloween shapes topping the beef. The sandwiches were accompanied by orange cheese curls and jack-o'-lantern Jell-O jigglers.

Fingers Photo Holiday snacks were also a big part of the fun! As the young guests arrived, we joked about "finger food," then offered them Fingers of Fright (shown at left). Their eyes widened at the sight of these chewy digits made with circus peanut candies. Jelly beans cut in half lengthwise are pressed in for the fingernails.

Glowing Egg Hunt

Then we sent everyone outdoors for a pumpkin egg hunt. (Our invitations asked guests to bring along a flashlight for this special event.)

My two children had helped me spray several dozen hard-cooked eggs with orange reflective paint. We drew scary jack-o'-lantern faces on them with black markers and hid them outside all around the house and barn. Because the eggs glowed in the dark, it was spooky fun! (Note: These painted eggs should not be eaten.)

When the kids came back inside, it was time to enjoy some Halloween Caramel Apples, Spider Cupcakes and a Great Pumpkin Brownie.

A chocolate drizzle sprinkled with crushed candy makes ordinary caramel apples especially yummy—like the fancy ones in some candy shops. Be sure to start with the apples at room temperature so the caramel won't slip off like it tends to on chilled apples.

Creepy Crawlers!

Spider Cupcakes are creepy—and easy! Make a chocolate cupcake into a spider by adding a half-marshmallow "body" under the frosting, licorice legs and mini M&M's eyes. Add chocolate sprinkles for a "hairy" effect.

Our children beg for a Great Pumpkin Brownie every year. To make this eye-catching treat, bake brownie batter in a pizza pan, spread with orange-tinted frosting, and let the kids design a pumpkin stem and jack-o'-lantern face using candy.

It wasn't very tricky to pull off this party. I'm happy to share the idea with other busy moms who may want to scare up some tasty Halloween fun.