All across the country tonight people will be dressing up, going out and getting down in bars or at parties. There is no reason that the destination can't be your house. Getting together a party full of frivolity doesn't have to involve weeks of planning. Using the following menu, a great Halloween hoedown is simple.
The trick to entertaining is having all of the food as pre-made as possible so the host isn't stuck in the kitchen while the guests are in the other room. Having hors d'oeuvres and entrees made the night before or ready to cook the night of the party will greatly reduce the time the cook/host has to spend in the kitchen. Even if this means simply purchasing pre-made dips and pre-cut vegetable/fruit trays and spending a little more money, time is money, as the saying goes.
For a Halloween bash at a different location, such as the office, having foods that are cooked in a container that can be easily picked up and taken away is helpful. Two out of the three recipes in this column were simple to bring in for the co-workers. The Frozen Frogs' Eggs were just thrown into a plastic shopping bag while the Baked Rats were easily contained within the baking dish.
These recipes came from various Internet sources and were simple enough to make. The entire bill was far cheaper than $30 and the recipes can be modified to feed more or fewer people without much thought.
One remark on my behalf: Although none of the items were difficult to put together, there were tedious parts to the dessert and the appetizer. Covering the cups with foil and wrapping the "toes" with tortilla strips - it seemed like I would never finish. Eventually, I began folding the foil in half and cutting a small slit for the popsicle stick instead of employing the poke method. Another comment about the Frozen Frogs' Eggs: The frozen goodness stuck to the bottom of the paper cups.
For the rats, the recipe says it feeds four, however, I easily made nine of various sizes. I used some shredded cheddar but cubes or slices would work just as well for the "guts." Adding some shredded cheese to the top of the rats eliminated the need for occasional basting. Not having a taste for peas, frozen corn kernels were subbed for the eyes. I was also surprised that the "tails" cooked without being submerged in the sauce.
Searching the Web for Halloween recipes and/or party ideas will bring up all sorts of desserts, entrees, appetizers and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. From Food Network's site to my personal favorites (allrecipes.com and cooks.com), this season is full of quick easy ideas for throwing a creepy get-together.