We *love* Halloween parties - it's the perfect excuse to get creative with food, and wow people with that winning combination of great and gross.
But we don't all want to spend hours carving watermelons into brains or stamping out individual bat shaped tortilla chips with a cookie cutter. We've got more important things to do. Like shopping. Or sleeping. So we've made a fail-safe Halloween party food list to give you maximum spook for your seconds spent - art degree and saintly patience not required.
Punch bowls are the way to go my friends. Slosh something up with a cranberry juice, red grape or cherryade base for a blood red beverage - or mix Blue Curacao and orange juice for a ghoulish green. The night before, fill a plastic glove with water, tie with a rubber band and freeze, for instant spookiness in ice cube form.
Quick hack: Buy a bottle of Blavod black vodka - you can rustle up spooky looking drinks in seconds and you don't need to be a top mixologist, just use as you would normal vodka, or try floating it on the top of your drink instead of stirring in.
These hotdogs won't take you much longer than the average dog, and they give you max gruesome points. Just slice off a sliver for the fingernail and add a couple of slashes for the joints. Do this before you heat them so you can serve them quickly and they don't go cold. Make sure you've got plenty of ketchup and, ahem, finger rolls.
The ribs and sausages combo looks gorily spectacular but really it's all in the presentation. Simply cook two racks of ribs and a bunch of sausages (keep the links connected for an extra gutsy vibe). Then add a pound shop skull at the top. You could even add a roasted red pepper where the heart should be. Mmm yummy!
Pizza is a really great way to feed lots of people with minimum fuss. You could rustle of a stack of mini party pizzas each individually decorated with monster faces... but we say go big or go home, then you only need to decorate once. (Just make sure you take your Instagram snaps before they start to get devoured...) Buy a pizza base box mix to make the ghost or go for the eyeball design and just work from a ready made margherita (a pie or quiche would also work). For the mummy split a large french stick or other long flat loaf then add pizza sauce, strips of cheese and black olive eyes.
Quick hack: Buy a bunch of plastic flies, snakes and spiders and dot around your regular party food. Be sure to tell folks they are not edible though...
SICKENINGLY GOOD CUPCAKES
If you up to making a batch of cupcakes there are some really easy ways to decorate without having to fiddle about for ages. Or you could always add some extra touches to shop bought cakes, such as chocolate buttons on white cupcakes to make ghostly faces. If you're icing yourself try making 2 or 3 colours of buttercream (orange, purple and green work great). Put them all in the same piping bag in large chunks. The magic happens when one colour starts to mingle with the next for nightmarish effect - and you don't even need a topper.
Quick hacks: Buy a ready made cake or traybake, a tube of ready to pipe icing and draw on a simple spider web design. Gummy snakes and spiders are also great for dotting over ready bought cakes or setting into jelly. Or why not try these toothsome doughnuts? A few vampire fangs and chocolate chips on some ready bought rings and you're away.
Will you be rustling up any Halloween treats this October Lindy Boppers?