Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Trick or Treat After Party

There's no doubt my best Halloween high comes from being a people pleaser and not the Halloween candy.  Sharing my creativity with others brings me such joy and a feeling of accomplishment.  I know I was put on this earth to inspire, please and nurture.  I get so much out of fulfilling those gifts, and when I put my head on my pillow at night, I know I did my job, therefore I can rest easy.

On that note, with only a week or so of planning, I put together an easy, yet fun gathering for my sons friends and their parents for Halloween.  I knew when the boys would return from trick or treating on a crisp night, that a welcoming warm fire burning, some hot chocolate steaming, a comforting pot of chili simmering and some sweets and treats would no doubt, hit the sweet spot!  I began to set up shop, pulling out all shapes and sizes of covered, clear glass jars to house every size and shape marshmallows for roasting and hot cocoa, and tying simple orange ribbon around the lid handles.  I unearthed my roasting sticks and placed them in a jar besides the marshmallows and pulled out the Redi Whip and Halloween sprinkles for hot cocoa topping.  Stacked paper coffee cups with stacked tops, is great not only to avoid spills while the kids are trading candy but also, a nice touch when offering a "to-go" beverage.  I then baked a vanilla boxed cake within a pumpkin shaped cake pan I bought at Michael's Craft Store, and colored Betty Crocker fluffy white whipped frosting for a quick, sweet top coat.  I then filled a pumpkin trick or treat bucket with miscellaneous Halloween gizmos and gadgets, and lined up some Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown games for added fun.  A large pot of spicy turkey chili hit the spot for the adults.  A no fuss station was set up on the large stove-top, which included all the fixin's from shredded cheddar to sour cream.  Hot chocolate was made inexpensively but deliciously by heating up a pot of organic whole milk, mixed with HERSHEY'S cocoa and some organic cane sugar for sweetening.  I can't forget that I also found a double wrack test tube set at the Halloween costume shop, which I filled with green Hi-C juice for a quick shot of goblin blood.  Freshly dipped chocolate and caramel apples stole the show and mini pumpkin pies and treats sweetened up a double tiered cake stand. 

A simple cake mold from the craft store and a boxed cake mix was a hit with the children


Gizmos, gadget and treat bags fill this bucket


This was a help yourself, effortless evening that literally took a matter of hours to throw together.  As for us parents, the camaraderie was spirited and the food was comforting.  Most of all, the boys and their friends were in Halloween heaven and the night ended on a high note, that being a sugar high!


Dollar store dishes


Ramekins for chili line the stove


Jamie Gottschall
The NYClifestylist

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