5 Dessert Ideas for Your Halloween Party

Party foods always seem so far down on the to-do list in October. Halloween is kind of the trifecta of busy holiday madness. If you have kids, you’re trying to get some costumes together, they have their own school Halloween parties and probably some parties with friends, and you’re trying to pull off your own spooky shindig with all the drinks, appetizers and goodies that entails. When you’re so busy, it’s best to have one or two dishes to wow your guests, and some simple but delicious cookies, cupcakes and other bite-sized sweets to add variety.

To help you out, I’m putting a few simple Halloween party food ideas out there to help fill out your party menu. And they’re mostly desserts because — let’s be honest — All Hallows Eve is more about the treats than the tricks these days.

Cookies, Cocktails and Other Spooky Side Dishes

Halloween cookies are bite-sized magic. Cookies are one of my absolute favorite fall treats, probably because nothing beats the cold like hot cocoa and a chocolate chip cookie, in my mind anyway. Moist pumpkin cookies are definitely a fall favorite through October and November. And may I suggest sugar cookies for the kids to decorate at your kid-friendly soirée; you’ll be knocking out a treat and an activity at once. Guests may not go back for a second helping of the grape “eyeball” salad, but they’ll constantly be snatching up cookies if they’re hanging around.

Everyone goes home with goody baskets. It’s always fun to come away from the party with a little memento of the fun you had. I always try to find some goody gift baskets or bag of treats to send people home with. I try to keep it neutral, something that everyone will like, such as candy or cookies. Throw in a few silly party favors or dollar-store toys for the kids. They’ll see their favors the next day and rave about your party to everyone.

Halloween concoctions lift everyone’s spirits. It’s not too early to whip up some pumpkin-spiced hot chocolate, and I think it’s about time I had some hot apple cider (with whip cream, a dash of caramel and some chocolate sprinkles on top). And a party is always the right time and place to try out some new cocktail recipes that are part of your holiday theme. A friend of mine made a cocktail for me last year with black vodka, coffee liquor and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I have to say, it was pretty awesome, and perfectly dark for Halloween. If you’re using a black light for fun, consider just about anything with tonic water in it; the quinine in it will glow. And a cube of dry ice is all you need to make just about any drink feel like a witch’s brew, brimming with fog.

Brownies are your secret weapon. Is there anyone who doesn’t like brownies? This one is kind of a cheat because they’re my go-to side dessert for just about any holiday part that I have. They have universal appeal, and they’re not specific to any theme or party until you add garnishes of, say, orange and green to make them Halloween-esque? It must be working, because I’ve never had any left over at the end of the night!

I think there are some winning Halloween goodie ideas, here. What are your go-to snacks and finger-foods for parties this time of year? And tell us your costume ideas, too!

Father's Day V.. Mother's Day: Who Get's The Best Gifts?

We recently participated in a debate among our coworkers. The debate surrounded the issue of whether moms or dads receive the best gifts for their respective holidays? The answer was obvious to the men in the room while the women begged to differ. Neckties are one of the most common presents dads receive on Father’s Day. However, presenting ties as gifts at a backyard barbecue usually doesn’t break the bank. Men in our office suspected that much more is spent each year on moms but they didn’t have proof. So we contacted the National Retail Federation to learn whether disparities lurk between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day spending. The numbers surprised us so much that we are sharing them with you.

See the results here:  http://www.mrsfields.com/incoming/mday_vs_fday

If you’re struggling on what gift to give your dad this year, don’t skimp on dad like our research showed, add a batch of Mrs. Fields cookies to spruce up any humdrum socks, necktie or item-turned-paperweight.

Your Gifting Tips and a Giveaway

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this blog, it’s that our readers are smart, savvy and full of great ideas. I’ve shared some gifting tips with you (find them all here), but now I want to hear from you! What gifting tips do you have to share?  What are your tips, tricks, and secrets that make your gifts and parties extra special?

Leave your ideas in a comment and be entered to win our Top Notch Thank You Box. You know, as our way of saying thanks! Plus, earn extra entries by spreading the news on facebook, Twitter, or your own blog. (Leave a comment for each thing you do.) Let the ideas flow!

Top Notch Thank You Box

Top Notch Thank You Box

Comments will be accepted until midnight, Sunday July 18th. One entry per person. Winner will be selected randomly and contacted via email.

Occasions Catalog Preview

Hot off the presses and fresh to your mailbox, the 2010 Occasions Catalog has arrived! This is your all-year, go-to, keep-in-your-nightstand guide to giving. It’s filled with gift ideas for all of those year round gifting occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, thank yous, thinking of yous, and sympathy gifts. Plus, it’s chock full of great gifting tips!

Here are a few of my favorite selections from this year’s book:

The Bite-Sized Bubbly Box is a fabulous, versatile gift. It can toast an anniversary, a job promotion, or any other celebration. I think it’s perfect at a wedding as a non-alcoholic option for the wedding toasts!

Bite-Sized Bubbly Box

Bite-Sized Bubbly Box

The Top Notch Thank You Box is another favorite. This preppy design is so smart and sassy, it’s bound to become your favorite way to show some gratitude.

Top Notch Thank You Box

Top Notch Thank You Box

Our Logo Perfect Cookies are getting a lot of buzz lately. I think it’s because they are AMAZING! You can add any image to our decadent frosted sugar cookies to create an unforgettable party favor or promotional tool at your next event or celebration. Imagine the possibilities (or check out a few examples here, here, and here)!

Logo Perfect Cookies

Logo Perfect Cookies

If you don’t already have a copy of our 2010 Occasions Catalog, order your free copy now. You’ll thank yourself all year long!

Gifting Tip: Open Presents Later

Precious Present Box

Precious Present Box

You’ve been there, right? At a four-year-old’s birthday party, when the presents get opened as the partygoers sit around and watch? It never fails—minutes later at least half of the room is in tears, kids fighting over gifts and parents apologizing for the bad behavior.

If you’re hosting a party that involves gift-giving, do yourself and your guests a favor and open the presents later, after all of the guests are gone. It is good etiquette for young and old alike and for a few reasons. First of all, it keeps the focus on the actual party and the guests. Second, it avoids any awkward moments for your guests if there are duplicate gifts, or if there is a wide range in size or value. Nobody should ever feel bad about the gift they brought, especially as it compares to others. And finally, opening gifts later allows the recipient to enjoy receiving each gift individually with no time constraint, no moving quickly to the next gift and the next in order to have time for cake and ice cream and pinatas and karaoke.

Think about it—gifting is a very personal tradition. A gift is selected personally and should be received personally. During the party, have a table set up to collect the gifts as guests arrive and then leave them put until everyone is gone and the guest of honor has a chance to take a breath and focus on each gifts individually and at her own pace. Acknowledge each gift later with a thank you note.

It’s a good idea whether you’re four or forty. No more party tears or awkward apologies. Trust me, you’ll never regret adopting this practice.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...