When it comes to celebrating holidays I’ve always been a ‘God (or perhaps for the the sake of this post) the Devil is in the details’ kind of person. For me it’s always the subtly stylish and sometimes quirky ideas that makes for the most memorable of times.
I love how creative Halloween makes people, and though I’m not a huge fan of blood curdling scary- some spooky, eerie and slightly unexpectedness- all ‘rock my haunted boat’.
With this in mind, I’ve decided to throw a little last minute ‘hallowed happening’ for a few of my favorite ghouls and goblins. Nothing big, just a little post-treating tete a tete where the goblins can trade off their candy and the adults can secretly trade off favorite ways as to dispose of the fore-mentioned candy.
You might not realize it but Sleepy Hollow, the home of Washington Irving’s legendary tale of the headless horseman, is only about 20 miles north of NYC. Eddie Ross’s HGTV Halloween Block Party special was inspired by the spine tingling story and historic NY village. I found his behind the scenes blog posts chock full of such great decorating ideas- I had to share! Plus, I was in Sleepy Hollow last weekend and found some inspiring Halloween ideas myself- but more on that in a minute.
With a shortage of time and an even shorter stack of bills for a budget, I’m thinking it’s going to take a witch’s spell of some serious inspiration to successfully pull it all off. Lucky for me, I’ve got some creative friends, some inspiring neighbors and even a few tricks up my own sleeve to get me going.
With plans to keep things special but uber-simple (and because everyone will have eaten dinner so I will only have to provide drinks and a few nibbles), I’ve decide to do something I’ve never done before and offer my adult guests a ready to be poured colorful treat when they arrive.
Realizing my bartending repertoire is about as limited as my time, I enlisted the help of my friend and author of ‘It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere: The Global Guide to Fabulous Cocktails‘ Colleen Mullaney for a little stylish direction.
Besides being an accomplished author, Colleen is a stylist and former magazine Editor-in-Chief who knows a thing or two about creating memorable events. I knew I could count on her to have the perfect libation in her arsenal of goodies.
Once I told her of my plans, she quickly sent me the recipe for a concoction she calls a ‘Spookatini’.
1. To sugar rims: rub rims with lemon juice, press rims lightly into shallow dish filled with black sugar.
2. In a large pitcher filled half way with ice, mix all ingredients except for seltzer.
3. Strain into martini glasses, top with seltzer and serve.
Colleen’s own blog offers up even more stylish Halloween ideas. Her Witches’ Broomsticks, made from a rather creative pairing of pretzels and fruit roll-ups (how easy is that!) is added to my ‘sure to bring a jack-o-lantern smile’ list of treats.
Of course I realize that I can’t have such a special treat for the ghouls without the goblins getting jealous so I searched around for an equally easy but awe inspiring brew for the kids. This recipe from Cookie Magazine is just brilliant! I don’t happen to have a cauldron on hand but I do have a big soup tureen that I’m thinking I can wrap with a left over scrap of burlap, tied on with garden twine. (I did notice though that Target has plastic cauldrons if you aspire to go truly authentic).
( f.y.i you might have to google where to find the dry ice pellets- usually a beverage center has them. I think kids will be impressed even without it- especially if you serve it it in clear plastic cups and add a little gummy spider or worm as a garnish. If you forgo the dry ice, I’m thinking a little Sprite or 7- Up could be added for a kick of carbonation.)
1. Mix the juices and add 4 to 8 drops of green food coloring-depending on how green you want it.
2. Using plastic or silicone tongs or leather gloves (do not allow dry ice to touch your skin), drop a few pellets of dry ice into the mixture.
3. Wait until all the dry ice has dissolved before serving. (It will add carbonation to the drink.)
Okay, now that I’ve got the drinks covered…I’m off to toil with some quick and cheap decor ideas. First up I’ll attempt to follow a few choice tips from a guy who has the rather colorful job of overseeing the carving of around 3000 pumpkins every Halloween season!
to be continued….