Halloween day

4 Tips for a Happy Halloween Night (for adults too)

October has finally arrived, which means Halloween decorations are coming out on houses and fall festivals are popping up everywhere. Candy will practically be thrown at you every place you look, but are you ready for a fun Halloween night?

Consider these four tips to turn Halloween into a night for everyone, not just the kids.

Make it a Party

A party always makes a holiday more fun and is an instant way to involve your adult friends in this night which is often dedicated just to kids. Set up the party at a friend’s house in a neighborhood with houses close together. If you have kids, the trick or treating will be fantastic. If you are kid free, you will still have fun getting to see all of the little tykes coming through with their costumes. You can keep the menu simple with a big soup to share or some of these fun Ghastly Ghoulish Recipes. Everyone can chip in and bring an item so that the host doesn’t have to be responsible for it all.

Dress Up

Whether you are a kid or an adult, everyone can have a little fun playing dress up on Halloween. The kids may not need much encouragement to participate, but to make it more fun for everyone, have contests like best dressed, most creative/original, scariest, etc. for kids and adults. Encourage everyone to participate at least to some degree. Even those who are a little shy to jump in can find something to wear like these Darth Vader socks. It doesn’t have to be lavish, but dressing up helps get everyone in the Halloween spirit.

Spike (I mean Spice) it Up

A nice seasonal drink can always add to the fun. Be sure to have kid friendly drinks around, like apple cider or soda, but for the adults, have an adult friendly fall beverage around as well. Try one of these Pumpkin Cocktails or this Apple Cinnamon Fall Sangria for something festive, easy, and delicious.

Stay Safe

Finally, be safe while you’re having fun, especially if you’re taking your kids out to trick or treat through the neighborhood. Make sure everyone in your group knows the rules for safety and fun. Is everyone staying together or is it okay for them to run ahead? What’s the plan if someone gets separated from the group? How do they know which houses to visit and which ones to skip? Do they have on reflectors or lights (maybe glow sticks) so they can be spotted easily by cars driving by or by the adults in your group? Are they allowed to eat the candy before getting back to the house?

Halloween is a holiday that can be fun for all ages, so get ready to enjoy it like you did when you were a kid.

AddvantageUSA hopes you have a happy and safe Halloween this year, whether you are young or old!

Halloween Recipes

Ghastly Ghoulish Recipes for Halloween

Halloween is sometimes overlooked for its opportunity to be a great time for creative fun in the kitchen. We tend to think of Halloween only as a time for trick or treat, candy, and costume parties. These are all good fun, but at our house we like to add a gastronomic dimension to Halloween celebrations.

Of course, we didn’t do all of this on Halloween night when the kids were young and trick or treating. Then we would do one fun food thing before we went out to spook the neighbors. Now that the kids are older (some off to college) we do the big spread and have a party. (Warning: shameless commercial plug: this is a blog post about cooking. You know that great cutlery makes cooking more fun. Did you also know you can also use them to scare away Halloween psychos? Yes, you can.)

Anyway, here are some of the favorite appetizers from years past. Starting with appetizers: We’ve done dancing pretzel broomsticks for appetizers. Wrap your favorite pretzel sticks with a string cheese skirt. It’s easy, all you need is some string cheese, green onion, and pretzel sticks. Cut the string cheese in half and slice it long ways to make the broom. Punch a small hole at the top and push the pretzel through the hole. Wrap a bit of onion around it. Delicious.

Ghoulish Recipes

There is a desert variation on this theme. If you are headed out to trick or treat, you probably won’t want to add even more sugar to the meal. But, if you are having a party, try making Reeses broomsticks. Push a pretzel into the bottom of a mini Reeses peanut butter cup. Warning: these go fast, so make sure you make plenty!

Another fun finger food is the ever popular spider egg. Use your favorite recipe for deviled eggs. If you want some really orange yolk, add a few drops of food color. Don’t start with all of the yolk. Color small amounts until you get the right formula, which will be slightly different every time you do this. When you get it the perfect orange, add it to the whole bowl of creamy egg yolk. Stuff the eggs and set on a platter. Now take black olives and cut the spider parts. Place them on top of the eggs. You can decorate these with a mixture of mashed olive and mustard.

Ghoulish Recipes

All of our Halloween meal is finger food. For a salad we eat goofy ghouls on a slice of tomato. It’s a twist on the caprese salad, which is about as easy to make as anything you can do in the kitchen. Drizzle some good olive oil on a plate, something with fresh flavor. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and black pepper. Toss some basil leaves on top. Slice some plum or roma tomatoes and put a slice on each leaf of basil. Make some globes of fresh mozzarella di  bufala with a melon baller. Cut them in half and put the eyeballs on the tomato slice. To add the iris, slice some pitted olives. You can use green or black for the iris. For the pupil, punch a hole in the olive color you did not use for the iris with a straw. (As an alternative, you can slice stuffed olives.) Put the iris and the pupil on the white of the eye. Hello! Your salad is looking at you. I promise, a plateful of these goofy ghouls will give you the giggles.

Halloween Recipes

Finally, if you are doing a whole sit down to family dinner on Halloween, then you want to check this out. I want to give a shout out to a really creative chef whose idea I found while preparing to write this post. I think this is one of the best ways to present a Halloween meatloaf I have ever seen. And, you cooks out there know: presentation is essential to the imagination that is at the heart of a good kitchen. Great job, Megan at NotMartha.org. I think the meat hand looks like it was taken from Frankenstein’s creature after the fire.

Not Martha - Meat Hand

From AddvantageUSA, we wish you have a Happy Halloween. Trick or treat!

Mom and the Holidays

It’s Never Too Early to Start Thinking About the Holidays

Autumn is here, and the start of the new season ushers in many exciting things to come. Kids have settled into their routines at school, along with their many after-school activities. But beyond cooler weather, football games, and pumpkin spice lattes, autumn is full of excitement with holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Let’s be honest though, before the Halloween candy has been removed from store shelves, we start seeing Christmas trees and other holiday decorations overtaking stores in anticipation of the big holiday rush. Why wait for the big rush, when you can start buying gifts for your loved ones now?

In the recent post, One More Thing About Why We Love Our Moms, it discusses how moms are always thinking forward about what is to come. It says, “When the kids are trick or treating, mom is having a great time. But, she is also planning Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kids will be opening Christmas presents. Mom will be there, heart and soul. But, she also has an eye on the fact that school will start again soon and she has things she wants ready for that.”

So yes, Mom may be thinking ahead about the holidays and what needs to be done, but so can you. In fact it’s never too early to start getting ready for the holidays. How great would it be to have all of your gifts bought ahead and then be able to relax and enjoy the fun of the holiday season!  It would be so much better than feeling the stress of waiting too late and not being able to find the right gifts for the people you love most. In the post, Take the Stress out of Christmas by Planning Ahead, [email protected] agrees. She states, “By making some positive steps toward getting your holiday plans and needs in order now, you can spend more time enjoying family and friends when the season actually arrives.”

So go ahead and start thinking through your lists of who you will be buying for and what you would like to get them. Does your son want the Xbox 360 or has your wife been dropping hints for some time that she would love some diamond stud earrings? Just think how impressed she will be when you surprise her with them and even better when she finds out you put so much thought into it that you bought them months ahead. And again, the more you can get done now, the more time you will have to really take in the true joys the holiday season brings.

Visit AddvantageUSA and see the broad range of gifts we have for all of the people you will be buying for this holiday season. Or talk with one of our representatives to learn about our gifts for children, men, and/or women.  (888-601-5527)