Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Party #2 - The Rat Trap

Our Second Halloween Party This Week.."The Rat Trap"

Seven days ago at this exact same time I was doing the exact same thing but in Pink ... A house full of kids here to celebrate Halloween!! I love Halloween so I enjoy doing it, but boy, two parties in one week created some serious "creation overload".

I survived my daughter's Pink-o-ween party Halloween/Birthday party .. so my son convinced me I could do it all over again for him except this "Foof" .. "just food and hanging with his friends" ... it sounded pretty easy ... then he said I hope you make some cool food for my party too.

So once again cooking, searching recipes, and trying to be creative as I can in a short period of time. And thanks to Anders Ruff Halloween printables for inspiration and to help tie all things together.

I really didn't have a theme, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do so I headed to my studio and rummaged through fabric, decorations, recipes (yeah .. recipes are in my studio too). I found some black & white fabric, black spider webbing, decorations, etc. So off I went and, in the end, I created "The Rat Trap" (a party created from a pack rat's studio)...

Since there were going to be ten 13 year old boys gathering here for the evening, I had to limit what areas of the house they could go in..the kitchen and the family room only! So I setup a window display in the kitchen with the fabric, spider webs, rats, pumpkins, cauldrons, skeletons, and Anders Ruff Halloween printables ... I made a small Rat Trap banner w/tatters using the printable black & white paper and Halloween label cards..(like I said .. not much time so I had to think quick -that's what makes Anders Ruff printables so awesome-you can create quickly and even on the fly). The rats trapped in the black spiderweb are mice printables from Martha Stewart.

Food was a necessity to keep the boys happy. I served pizza, chicken wings, soda/punch and I made snacks and foods easy to pick up and munch on. In between 'feedings' the boys did some X-boxing (not too much, to my surprise) and they hung outside and played night time football, man-hunt and some Airsoft wars were going on as well.

Sweet Treats
Marshmallow pops decorated with black frosting (did the same thing for the Pink-O-Ween Party), and a cauldron filled with Hershey chocolate bars (these were the favorite treat of the night-imagine that!)

Bloody Brains
I used Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake mix to make cupcakes and then decorated to look like bloody brains using vanilla frosting and red gel (I tried my best).

Peanut Butter Truffle Eyeballs
Peanut butter balls dipped in melted white chocolate and decorated with black frosting (for the pupil) and red gel frosting.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Eyeballs:

2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
1 1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal (optional)

In a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat, melt the peanut butter and butter. Add sugar and mix until a dough consistency. Add Rice Krispies. You may need to use your hands to get the Rice Krispies mixed in.

Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate for an hour or two so they are easier to handle when dipping. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate (I add some crisco to the chocolate to make it smooth). Dip each PB ball in the chocolate, leaving the top open. Decorate by adding a black pupil to each PB ball with black frosting. Next, drip red gel frosting to make them look bloody. Note: you may use chocolate chips for each eye pupil in place of the black frosting - push the chocolate chip, tip side down, into the center of each PB ball.

Spiderweb Taco Dip
Taco dip made with 8 0z. cream cheese, 16 oz. sour cream, 1 package taco seasoning, green salsa verde, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and then embelished with a sour cream spiderweb.

Parmesan Chex Mix
3 cups Rice Chex, 3 cups Wheat Chex, 3 cups Corn Chex, 1 bag microwave Popcorn (popped), 2 cup Cheez-Its crackers, 1 cup Pretzels all mixed with 6 tablespoons of butter, Parmesan cheese, some garlic bread seasoning (or garlic salt). Shake all together in a large plastic back. Remove from bag and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 250 degrees, flipping mix every 15 minutes or so.

Bubbling Cauldorn Cheese Dip (I love this stuff!)
1 lb Velvetta processed cheese, 1 lb ground beef, 1 package jimmy dean sausage, 1/2 jar salsa, a few slices of jalapeno peppers. Brown the meats and drain off fat. Aadd cheese, salsa and peppers and slow cook until cheese is melted. Hallow out a loaf of bread to make a cauldron and then fill with cheese dip right before serving.

Breadstick Fingers
"Finger Food" - Breadstick Fingers made from Pillsbury refrigerated Breadsticks.

Separate breadsticks and cut each one in half. place on a greased cookie sheet. Cut pepperoni into fingernail shapes and press into dough. Cut knuckle marks into each finger and sprinkle with dried parsley of rosemary (for hairy knuckles). Bake according to directions on package.

Rotting Swamp Punch/Witches' Brew
I've used this punch recipe for several Hallloween parties. Everyone always likes it. I made a frozen ice brain using a brain mold. Added some green food coloring to the water before freezing. It came out this glowing green color. As it melted it got darker in color. The boys really liked this.

Here are some of the decorations we set up .. there were others but I just didn't get the time to take pictures. Maybe I'll take some more pictures tomorrow before trick or treating.

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pink-O-Ween Halloween

Halloween is my favorite holiday! I love to decorate this time of year with all the great fall colors, orange, yellow, black, red, brown...and pink! Yes pink!!! This year we took the plunge and went for a pink and black halloween party theme. Thanks to Anders Ruff, my daughter and I were completely inspired to have a Pink-O-Ween party to celebrate Halloween along with celebrating her 11th birthday. I purchased a personalized Pink-0-Ween party invitation and printable Pink-O-Ween Halloween design collection from Anders Ruff Custom Designs on Etsy. During the month of October they will donate $2 The Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of October's Breast Cancer Awareness month. I can't say enough nice things about the invitation and printable design collection ... and so friendly to work with.

Come have a look at our Pink-O-Ween Halloween 11th Birthday Party that we created with Anders Ruff great printable design collection, some internet searching, some imagination, cooking, sewing and a bit of creativity...
Personalized party invitation made by Anders Ruff. I printed the invitation on white card stock and assembled the party invitations by attaching the printed invitation onto pink & black card stock. I found some really cool black card stock that felt like leather...the girls loved their invitations!

The party food was in our dining room. I decorated my dining room hutch with the printable Pink-O-Ween Halloween design collection. And I made a paper spider web using Jennifer's hanging spider tutorial over at Muse Lodge ... so easy, so cute!

 RIP Graveyard Dirt Cake Cups
..always a good treat

1 (20 oz) package chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 (3.9 oz) packs instant chocolate pudding mix
• 3 cups milk
• 1 (12 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
• 16 8oz clear plastic cups (for serving)
• 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies
• Black frosting (pre-made or add black food coloring to canned vanilla frosting)
• Candy pumpkins for decorating
• Pink sprinkles (optional)

1. Put the chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor and process until they become fine crumbs. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter or margarine, cream cheese, confectioners sugar and vanilla flavoring. Beat on low speed to mix then beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the chocolate pudding mix and milk to the bowl. Beat on low speed to combine.
3.Fold the whipped topping into the pudding mixture with a rubber spatula.
4. In each clear plastic cup, assemble in layers as follows: first layer, 1/3 cookie crumbs; second layer, 1/2 pudding mixture; third layer, 1/3 cookie crumbs; fifth layer, 1/3 cookie crumbs.
5. Decorate each Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie with black frosting by piping the letters RIP (or whatever you choose) at the top of each cookie.
6. Insert decorated Milano cookie into each plastic cup and place a candy pumpkin next to and in front of inserted cookie.
7. Garnish top of each graveyard with pink sprinkles (optional).

For a little splash of pink I used Pepperidge Farm's Strawberry Chocolate Milano cookies and garnished with neon pink sugar sprinkles

Pink lemonade with spiders and lemonade spider ice cubes.
A creepy punch bowl filled with pink lemonade, spiders & lemonade spider ice cubes all labled with a Tickled Pink Punch tag had the girls thinking something real special.

Small bottles of water labeled "Pink-0-Ween Potion" got some giggles
and good conversation going among the 11 year old girls...
Who would have guessed?! 

Creepy Cookies
I made little mice cookies (actually they were more like a truffle) and scattered them around the cookie serving platters amongst little pink-o-ween boxes that were filled with strawberry and chocolate wafer cookies. I have to say the little mice were quite tasty!
Grape Jello molded into a Brain
Finger Sandwiches
PB&J on homemade Pink bread

Easy to do by just adding a few drops of neon pink food coloring (or even some beet juice) to your favorite homemade white bread recipe. If you don't want to make your own bread, purchase bread dough and kneed some food coloring into your dough before rising and baking.

 Sweet Treats
Pink and white marshmallows decorated with black frosting.
Pink rice krispie treat pops (added neon pink food coloring while making the rice krispie treats)
Boo Pops
Tooties pop lolipops wrapped in pink and black fabric and tied with some ribbon...the girls gobbled these up in no time. For the props I wrapped foam blocks in foil and the covered them in pink and black tulle. Great little props for treats, pops and lollies.
My mom found this adorable "Queen of Halloween" wooden hat decoration which made a great table decoration. I think we'll be using this for many years.
My all time passion is sewing and creating with fabric so I had to sew something but wanted something quick and cute. So for each of our guests, I made these white, pink and black Candy Corn Shaped Goodie Bags using crushed velvet and added some ribbon for the pull ties. I filled each bag with pink nail polish, pink nerds, pink & black bubble tape gum, and playdough. My daughter made thank you name tags for each goodie bag from the printable Pink-O-Ween design collection.

Pink-O-Ween Apron
I couldn't resist... Punkie Pie's loves aprons
so I made a pink & black apron ... great for any Pink-O-Ween hostess!
Aprons can be purchased on Etsy at Punkie Pie's Boutique

Pink Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treat Decorating
This was a 4 hour party so it was a must to keep these girls activity we did was I made pink pumpkin shaped rice krispie treats and had the girls decorate them with frosting and sprinkles.


After eating all this sugar it was time to run it off by playing a Cotton Ball Relay...
2 teams, 2 bags of cotton balls, 2 bowls...the object of the game is to get all the cotton balls from your pile (or bag), that are at one end of the room, into a bowl at the opposite end of the hands allowed!

So much fun watching them scoop, push, scoot and even hop.

I think the girls all had a good time.
I know my daughter loved it and really enjoyed herself - it's what it's all about...
...lots of smiles and giggles!!

Happy Pink-O-Ween

I'm so glad I found Anders Ruff and their Pink-O-Ween Halloween Design Collection. Head over to their shop and see all the wonderful collections they offer.
I can't wait to for Christmas......