Issue #1 – October 4/07
And just like that, October has snuck up and pounced on us! I was too busy to notice, though some definite telltale signs are all around – leaves turning crimson red, a cold wind blowing in from seemingly nowhere, and the sun still absent when the alarm clock erupts into life. The lazy days of summer barbeques are being replaced by the smells of autumn decay and warm pumpkin pie. Yes, perfect conditions for a Halloween party!
In this issue of HallowZeen, you’ll learn all about hosting a great party. From setting up your buffet table to some party theme ideas, if you’re thinking of turning your house into Halloween central, read on for some great tips and ideas.
The division between the land of the living and the land of the dead is softening, culminating on October 31st, when spirits will be roaming the land. Whether they be pirates, goblins or Elvis, they will be hungry. Along with other goodies, feast on a coffin cake. As a party favor, hand out a creepy Skeleton Spider Victim treat. View other great Halloween recipes and tips in the party section of Halloween Alliance.
Halloween is one of the few times (only time?) of the year where strangers meet strangers. Take this opportunity to visit with neighbors you might not know. Invite them over to your party and celebrate together. You may just foster a new friendship or two. When you meet again, they will look less scary out of costume!
Have a Boo-untiful Halloween,
Editor, Halloween Alliance
Table of Contents
- Party Planning Tips
- Party Favor – Skeleton Spider Victim with Candy Bar
- Building a Buffet Table – Think Up!
- Halloween Recipe – A Coffin Cake to Die For
- What’s New at Halloween Alliance
Throwing a party looks so easy – just send out a few invites, throw a bowl of chips on the table and call it a night. Unfortunately, a lot can go into a successful party, especially on Halloween. If you’re stuck for ideas or just need some help getting started, we can help. Keep reading for tips on how to choose a theme, work within that theme to make your life easier, and, of course, survive the actual event.
Choosing The Theme:
Starting with a theme will bring a focus to your party planning. Once you have that central idea, everything else like decorations and invitations should fall into place.
You can pick something as broad and basic as just a general Halloween party and from there you’ll know that you need Halloween-related invitations, scary decorations, spooky music and plans for a costume contest. By having that theme as your focal point, all the little decisions will be infinitely easier. But, what are some other theme ideas for a fun Halloween or costume party?
Looking for party supplies or costumes? Buy any one item, get the second for 20% off at BuyCostumes.com. Use coupon code SAVE20 at checkout to get 20% your less expensive item. Hurry, offer expires on October 8th!
by Sarah Briggs
Halloween party favors are so much fun to make except when the directions are hard and it almost kills me to get them done. A teacher asked to put some favors together on short notice, and I was all out of ideas. Later that day, I sat on the front porch staring at a pile of goodies and craft supplies to try and divine a new idea that would jump out from my piles and yell at me. I drew a blank, so I leaned back and idly watched a busy spider. I marveled at how fast she wrapped a poor bug that had accidentally landed on her death web. An idea slowly formed …
- Full or Fun sized candy bars
- Plastic skeleton, spiders, spider rings and other icky bugs
- Package of spider webs
- Double stick tape
- Hot glue gun
Lay a candy bar on the table, place a strip of double stick tape on the front, and lay a plastic skeleton on the bar. Cut his arms loose from his body and make sure they stay free throughout the project. Add more double stick tape and start layering on the webs and attach the webs to tape. Wrap the webs around the head and body of the skeleton except for the arms. Now glue a big spider on the top of the webbed skeleton and glue the other bugs or spider rings on the web randomly. Ta Da! Finished!
by Sarah Briggs
You’ve made a list of ghoulish goodies you want to make, grabbed decorations to use on the table, and set it all up. You stand back smiling at your handywork, thinking the table will look great. Then you see it finished. Suddenly, it hits you. Your food and decorations just don’t look like the cool presentations you see in magazines and on tv.
Your decorations look mountainous, while the dishes look squatty and short – your guests will have to lean over bowls of dip or chips to get to the cheese. Because the serving table doesn’t look anything like you thought it would, you hate the cramped and unattractive way it looks. Something is wrong with the table, but you just don’t know what it is and how to fix it. Well, you’re not alone!
This beautiful coffin-shaped cake is the perfect dessert to add a little bit of class to your Halloween party. In fact, why limit the recipe just to Halloween? This cake would also make an outstanding birthday cake, either for the morbid Goths in your social circle or for an over-the-hill birthday party. Whatever time of year you choose to enjoy it, this rich chocolate cake is to DIE for!
- 2 contrasting colors of icing-for example, chocolate and vanilla, red and black, etc.
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup canola oil (yes, that much! Don’t worry, it’s a big cake)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Heat the water until boiling. Then, add cocoa powder. Stir until the cocoa dissolves.
- In a large bowl, combine remaining liquid ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla). Mix with a mixer until they are blended.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (sugar, flour, salt, baking soda). Stir until the dry ingredients are well-mixed.
- Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture and blend with the mixer until a smooth batter forms.
- Add cocoa/water mixture and mix until blended.
- Pour batter into a greased rectangular cake pan (I used a 7×9 pan that was 3 inches deep, but you can use other sizes as long as the pan is rectangular).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the size pan you use). The cake is done when a toothpick or knife inserted through the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool.
- Once the cake has cooled, turn it upside-down out of the pan and onto a large platter.
- Cut the two top corners off, as shown here, in this picture.
- Then, complete the coffin by trimming the sides as shown in this picture.
- Cut the top inch off of the cake and set aside-this will be the lid.
- Frost the cake with one of your icing colors.
- Set the "lid" on top, and cover it with the same color frosting.
- Put 1/4 cup of the contrasting icing into one corner of a sandwich bag. Cut off the corner.
- Use the bag to squeeze icing out to outline and define the edges of the coffin and the lid. You can also write a message on the coffin lid-for example, "R.I.P" or "Happy Halloween."
- Decorate coffin cake as desired. You can use Halloween figurines such as bats or skeletons, or experiment with edible flowers like rose petals and violets.
Here’s some of our latest articles you may be interested in:
- Host a Halloween Block Party
- Haunting Music on iTunes
- Make a Gorilla Mask With Your Preschooler
- Black Death Punch
- The Ten Minute Tombstone – Coming Monday, October 8th!
Below are some party equipment ideas. View more at BuyCostumes.com:
|Fright Party Deluxe Party Kit (8 guests)
||Spooky Spider Ceiling Drape