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Cooking Corner 
Hosting Halloween for Small Spooks

Trick or treat—it’s party time! This year, plan a Halloween party at home for ghouls and goblins as an alternative to trick-or-treating—or do both! It's as easy as saying "boo!"

Decorate the house with traditional jack-o-lanterns and Indian corn, or go with a spooky theme and suspend fake cobwebs, bats, and pretend witches. Let kids invite friendly spooks and goblins, turn on scary music, and play a few games while you serve easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly snacks. Enjoy the party!

Ghoulish steps for a perfect party

Plan ahead so all you’ll have to do Halloween night is put on your costume, put out the refreshments, and start the activities.

Four weeks ahead, have the kids help:

  • Invite guests
  • Decorate the house

Two weeks ahead:

  • Decide what treats to make and serve; keep it casual with things you can prepare in advance (and remember to ask about food allergies)
  • Ask kids to help choose music and a scary movie to watch
  • Plan tried-and-true activities such as pumpkin carving and bobbing for apples
  • Older kids will enjoy setting up a haunted house and planting spooky surprises in the bathroom, stairway, basement, garage, or back yard

Two to three days before the party:

  • Complete grocery shopping
  • Baking and store goodies in airtight tins or freeze
  • Set up the party room, haunted house, pumpkin carving area, etc.

The day of the party:

  • Arrange the party room if necessary, set the table, organize drinks
  • Make homemade Halloween face paint
  • Set up a carving station and set out pumpkin carving tools, carving templates, markers, sponges and paints
  • Arrange serving plates with home treats
  • Set up music, DVD player, etc.

Whip up some edible face paint

  • 3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon food coloring (experiment with bright berry juice and other natural alternatives pigments if you prefer to avoid artificial colors. Add food coloring, drop by drop, to achieve desired color)
  • 1/4 teaspoon glycerin (sold at cake decorating and craft stores)


Stir together the cornstarch and flour in a small bowl, and blend in the shortening. Add food coloring, drop by drop, to desired color. Stir in the glycerin and mix well. To apply face paint, use a brush, fingers or a make-up sponge. Make additional batches for multiple colors.

Decide on devilishly delicious treats

Buy or make guaranteed kid-pleasers such as homemade cookies or a festive cake, brownies, cupcakes and rice crispy treats with orange and black decorations. Honor the occasion with apple- and pumpkin-themed goodies. Or serve a meal with kid-friendly chili, mac 'n' cheese, or sloppy joes, and coleslaw.

Copyright © 2010 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Aisle7® content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Aisle7. Healthnotes Newsletter is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Aisle7 shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. AISLE7 is a registered trademark of Aisle7 in the United States and other jurisdictions. 

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