It is almost Halloween and many of you have probably already planned and hosted your Halloween parties. Well, here at our house, I’m a little slow and lazy! I didn’t want to plan a large Halloween party with lots of hyper friends, but this weekend I decide I should be a nice mom and plan a spooky dinner and pretend like I hadn’t turned into the Halloween version of Scrooge quite yet 😉 My problem with planning parties is I LOVE to do the cooking, but the decorating and the craftiness of a party seems outside my budget and comfort zone. So, at 3:00 yesterday my children and I decided to plan and host a SIMPLE Halloween party for the 15 cousins (12 and under mind you 😉 and have them all over for a few games and treats. It was a great opportunity for my kids to plan some fun games and help with the food. I was grateful to keep their minds and hands busy so they would stop fighting for a few minutes of their fall break 🙂 It worked! We spent 3 hours planning, cooking and getting everything ready for the spooky party.

If you need a few ideas of SIMPLE spooky meal ideas, these Halloween foods worked perfectly with everything I already had in my pantry and fridge. I am all about cheap…so the fact I didn’t have to go to the store and buy anything for this party was a major bonus to me! Now…I know there are cuter, more crafty ideas out there on the internet but if you need ideas that are simple and can be thrown together at the last minute, these ideas are for you!!

 

Why not start with dessert first 😉 These Eyeball Popcorn Balls were the hit of the party! The kids had fun making them, decorating them with blood (aka red tube frosting), Oreos & M & M’s. I used my friend’s recipe for Marshmallow Popcorn and it worked perfectly (this is an outstanding recipe on it’s own btw!)

Eyeball Popcorn Balls
Ingredients
  1. 2 sticks butter
  2. 1 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup corn syrup
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla
  5. 1 large bowl popcorn (or 2-3 bags of microwave popcorn)
  6. 3/4 bag (16 oz.) mini marshmallows
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Instructions
  1. Melt the butter, sugar and corn syrup in a sauce pan and boil for 2 minutes (no longer or it will be too hard). Pour the popped popcorn in a bowl and add the mini marshmallows. Once the butter mixture is finished, pour it all over the popcorn and marshmallows, stir and set aside to cool. Once the popcorn is cool to the touch, form into balls and place one opened Oreo cookie ontop of the popcorn ball and top with an M&M. Use tube red decorator frosting to make the blood-shot eyeball look and voila! You are done and ready to move on to the next project 😉
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The next dessert we made was these Twinkie Headstones. They were SUPER simple to make and a lot of fun. We crushed some Oreo cookies and placed them on the bottom of a plate. We then cut the Twinkie’s in half (all different lengths work great) and wrote a message on each Twinkie with red tube frosting (the same one we used above). Place the Twinkies cut side down into the crushed cookie crumbs. Easy, shmeesy!

The next easy snack we made were Pumpkin & Ghost Pancakes. I took the easy way out and used Bisquick mix and made up some pancake batter (a little on the runny side). I poured the batter into our handy-dandy pancake pourer and did the best I could at shaping our pancakes into pumpkins and ghosts (the ghosts we made first with the white batter and then colored it for the pumpkins). The kids then decorated the pancakes with chocolate chips. (By the way, use theis pancake pouring method to make really fun shaped pancakes for your kids..they will LOVE it!)

 

I was shocked when my eleven year old son even said, “Wow, this is actually fun Mom! I might actually want to come back to this party after football” He tried to be Mr. Tough Guy and not want to join the ‘little kid’ Halloween party but he actually ended up having some of the most fun! It’s moments like these that make you appreciate being a Mom. It’s the simple things like making pumpkin pancakes with your kiddos that you hope they will remember about you when they are old and gray..and not all the screaming-crazy-mom moments 😉 Ha! Who has those anyway?!?

Fungus Fingers…cut a string cheese in half, cut a small divet in the top of the cheese and place a piece of a green pepper at the top for a ‘fungus’ looking fingernail. They turned out pretty fun..however, the kids were so grossed out they didn’t dare try them. Silly kids!

Vampire Apples…cut a piece out of an apple, fill with peanut butter and use slivered almonds for teeth. Totally cute and a tasty snack all kids will eat! (My picture didn’t turn out, so I borrowed this cute one from dailybitesblog.com).

This carrot Jack-O-Lantern is so simple we have used it several times over the years. Sliced celery make for the stem and mouth, cups of ranch make the eyes and nose and baby carrots create the rest of the pumpkin. Super easy AND tasty!

Potato Ghosts, surprisingly these were some of the kids’ favorite appetizer. They seemed kind of boring to me, but they all seemed to really like them. Funny enough when I tasted them they were actually really good. All you do is scrub several russet potatoes, poke them and place them in the microwave for 10-15 minutes, or until they are soft. Remove them from the microwave and let them cool. Cut them in half and then cut off the last 1/2-1 inch of the potato. Lay all of the potatoes out and brush them with a very small amount of melted butter. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Frost each potato with a thick layer of sour cream. Slice green onions for the ghost’s eyes and mouth and you are done!

And now for our main dish. My sister brought bloody brains (spaghetti sauce & noodles) along with bone shaped breadsticks and candycorn pizzas. The pizzas were so cute and did look just like candy corns once they were cut. She just used the same breadstick dough as she used to make the breadsticks and then shaped them into round pizza shapes. Drizzle olive oil on the pizzas along with garlic seasoning and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese on the pizzas (the mozzarella cheese being placed more in the center so it’s the tip of the pizza). Bake the pizza’s on a stone for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and then remove and cut into triangle pieces.

Now..for games, we got most of our ideas from this great site http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/halloweengames/a/halloweengames.htm Our kids loved the Eyeball Hunt, Zombie Tag, Costume Relay and Halloween Bingo. They were simple, but kept the kids moving and having fun which we needed with 15 small kids!

I hope these ideas helped you plan your next simple and fun Halloween party! Have a happy & spooky Halloween!