Parties are way more fun if you don't have to do all the cooking, so host a Halloween Potluck and let your friends show off their favorite Halloween potluck ideas. The best potluck ideas are dishes that can be shared, but that doesn't mean you have to make it all main dish. Ask guests to sign up for courses so that you get a range of appetizers, desserts, mains, and sides, not fifteen plates of (adorable!) cupcakes. As host, you should provide the plates, utensils, and napkins, but you can also set up the bar if that makes party planning easier.
Hallowed Eve Cheese PumpkinDon't just settle for a typical appetizer. Mix things up this Halloween and serve this hauntingly-good cheese pumpkin masterpiece to your party guests.
Honey Chicken WingsYou're sure to get a standing ovation when guests sample this sweet-hot salsa, honey, and ginger marinade. Bake the wings during the first quarter and serve at halftime with blue cheese or Ranch dressing.
Witch's PurseKeep it simple by preparing just about everything ahead of time.
Ghostly PizzaFrozen pizza dough is the secret to this easy pizza which is topped with slices of mozzarella cheese shaped like ghosts.
Mummified Cheese LogShaping this log into a mummy is half the fun. Let the kids help decide how they want this cheesy mummy to look and then start sculpting!
Boneyard Chicken Pot Pie
We made good old chicken pot pie Halloween party-worthy by loading up the filling with fresh vegetables and herbs, and decorating the top with bones and skulls cut from puff pastry. You'll need special cookie cutters; or you can create your own skull and bones from cardboard and cut around them on the pastry with a knife. For the best "puff," keep the pastry cold as you work.
Bucket o' Bones
Devilish Chorizo Chili with Hominy
Not only is this chili easy to make ahead, it actually improves with time. If you like your chili very spicy, add an extra teaspoon of chipotle powder. Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes. Notes: Prepare chili up to two days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill; reheat before serving. Buy the best-quality chorizo you can find, preferably from a butcher or Mexican market, and avoid the type of chorizo that is very soft and sold in plastic casings; it tends to break down too much in cooking. Substitute another spicy uncooked sausage if you can't find good chorizo.
These make-ahead hot dogs use refrigerated breadstick dough, perfect for goblins, pretty princesses, superheroes, and even their parents. Watch the how-to video at SouthernLiving.com.
TIP: Let fresh-baked brownies chill, uncovered, overnight. For a perfect slice, cut while they're cold. Serve at room temperature.
Boo-tiful Pumpkin CakeMake two recipes of this pumpkin cake and create your own tasty pumpkin!
What could be more fun than a cauldron full of seething, smoking sangria? It's delicious and wickedly strong (use more sparkling water if you want to dilute it a little). Although dry ice is not toxic, it's dangerous to swallow chips because of the extremely low temperature. Using a chunk of the ice, and wrapping it in cheesecloth, avoids that problem.
Spiced Lamb Chops with Rosemary CrumbsGreat for cocktail parties since you can eat them one-handed.
Ghoul-Aid PunchGive your guests a scare by float a creepy ice face in your punch bowl. Fill a Halloween mask with water (seal the openings with sturdy tape), freeze overnight, then remove the ice from the mask and float face up.
Cauldron Full of Devilish DipFill a bread bowl with a chunky Devilish Dip to create the look of a creepy bubbling cauldron.
Witch's Cauldron ChiliPrepare up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat, stirring frequently. If it's too thick, stir in a little water.
Boil and Bubble Soup Cauldron
Notes: The hominy can pass for teeth and the green peas as beady little eyes. If making soup ahead, don't add peas; cover soup when cool and chill, then add peas when reheating. For a tureen, use a rustic pan, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven. Or you can use a pumpkin shell. You'll need a pumpkin at least 12 to 16 inches tall and wide. Cut off top and scoop out seeds. About 10 minutes before serving, fill shell with boiling water to warm. Drain and fill with hot soup. Use top as lid for the pumpkin tureen.