All Hallow’s Eve


One of my jack o' lanterns

This is, hands down, my favorite holiday. Who doesn’t like playing dress up to go to parties where EVERYONE is doing it too, being offered ungodly amounts of every kind of candy imaginable, bobbing for apples when they’re at their peak, and scaring everyone you can (including small children) by looking like something out of your favorite zombie movie? It’s THE BEST!!!

Anywhoo, I’m going to keep my gushing about Halloween to a minimum and offer up drink and food ideas in the hopes of inspiring you to host an All Hallows’ Eve party of your own. Get into the spirit!!!

MUUUAAAAHHAHAHAHHAHA!!! (Creepy Vincent Price “Thriller’ laugh…)

Makes 1 drink.

2 oz vodka
1 oz vanilla simple syrup*
1 oz cream
2 oz club soda

Shake vanilla simple syrup, cream and vodka in a shaker with ice. Pour into a martini glass and pour in soda and stir gently to combine.

Makes 1 cup of simple syrup.

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 vanilla beans

Bring sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan until sugar melts completely. Meanwhile, split the vanilla beans lenghtwise and place into a heat proof jar or bottle. Pour the syrup over the vanilla beans and let sit for 8 to 10 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 1 drink.

2 oz vodka
5 oz orange juice
4 oz Dr. Pepper
Lemon or lime wedges for garnish

Fill a glass with ice.  Pour liquids in order listed. Enjoy!

This can be made without the vodka for a kid-friendly version.

Makes 1 shot

1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
1/4 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
Splash of Grenadine

Pour Schnapps into a shot glass. Slowly pour/float the Irish Cream into the Schnapps so that it forms a “brain” in “formaldehyde”. Dribble the grenadine (dribbling over the curved back of a spoon into the Schnapps helps) directly into the center of the Irish Cream mass. As the grenadine amount slowly increases it will eventually burst through the Irish Cream creating a brain hemorrhage.


Ghoul-Aid Ingredients
1oz vodka
1oz chambord
3oz pomegranate juice
squeeze of lime

Shake ingredients and serve over rocks.

Speared Eye Ingredients
canned lychee in syrup, drained
raspberry preserves (or other red-colored preserves)
fresh blueberries

Dry lychee and fill cavity with preserves. Insert blueberry, blossom end facing out. Spear with a toothpick or cocktail skewer.  Iew!

Makes 12 appetizer servings.

3 lbs frozen cooked medium sized shrimp with tails, thawed and drained well
1/4 cup roasted red sweet peppers, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
1.5 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a 1.5 qt glass bowl (3-in high, 7.5 in in diameter), begin arranging shrimp, tails toward the center, in a circle to make 1 flat layer in the bottom of the bowl. (Only the round backs of the shrimp should be visible from the outside of the bowl.)  Repeat layers until bowl is full, pressing down every couple of layers.  As bowl fills up, tuck strips of the roasted pepper in and around shrimp forming “blood vessels”.  (It helps to peer through the sides of the glass bowl to adjust as necessary.)  When bowl is full, press down firmly with a plate that fits inside the blow. Set aside.

In a small saucepan combine chicken broth and unflavored gelatin; let stand 5 minutes.  Cook and stir over medium heat until gelatin is dissolved.  Whisk in lemon peel, lemon juice, tomato paste, honey, garlic, salt, ginger, and cayenne until combined.  Pour mixture over shrimp in bowl.  Cover and chill at least 5 hours or overnight.

To unmold, set bowl in a sink filled with warm water for several seconds.  Invert a large plate with sides over bowl.  Invert plate and bowl together and remove bowl to unmold.  Cover and chill until needed (up to 24 hours).

Makes 20 pieces

1 cup boiling water
20 pitted prunes, halved lengthwise, leaving the two sides attached
6 chopsticks, not plastic
8 thick-cut bacon slices, chilled
3oz creamy blue cheese, like Roquefort or Gorgonzola

Preheat oven to 400F.  Pour boiling water over prunes and let soak while cooking bacon.

Line a large baking sheet with sides with foil, then wrap each chopstick with foil. Place sets of two covered chopsticks 1 inch apart on baking sheet.  Cut bacon in half crosswise and cut each half slice in 4 strips lengthwise (it’s easier to do this when the bacon is well chilled).  Drape strips 1/2-inch apart over sets of chopsticks to create spider legs.  Bake bacon strips until browned and just crisp (if they are too crisp they will break easily), 15-18 minutes.

Drain prunes and pat dry.  Working with one prune at a time, lay open and spread both sides of opening with about 1 tsp blue cheese.  Lay three strips of bacon inside to create legs, then close prune over legs, pressing slightly to adhere. Repeat with remaining prunes and arrange spiders on serving tray.


Click here for Jenna’s Smoked Salmon Dip recipe.

To form brain, mix all of the ingredients well. Form two balls, one for each half of brain, and press together. Use wet hands to smooth the surface. Use a chopstick to etch out the lines of the brain using a picture for reference. Use wet hands to smooth

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