I missed this week’s Farmers’ Market Monday on purpose; I was busy preparing myself for Monday Bites, researching recipes, and attempting to plan out the upcoming holiday season. I like a plan. I make lists. They comfort me. What doesn’t comfort me is trying to fit two birthdays, a pumpkin carving competiton, and a Halloween party into one month, but we did it anyway, and except for a breakdown over a triple chocolate mousse cake (more on that later) and my pumpkin getting knocked off in the first round, everything went well. I’ll be back tomorrow with actual food, but today I thought I’d share our weekend Halloween party with you.
This one was hard to photograph: it doesn’t have the impact in 2 dimensions as it does in 3, but I think you’ll get the gist. I swear this looks way more awesome in real life. I went for a woodland theme; sort of “Tim Burton/Sleepy Hollow” without scary hessian Christopher Walken. Because who wants Christopher Walken at a party with a toddler? No one.
I didn’t want to scare the Wee One, but I didn’t want to go cartoony either. We spent a few crisp fall mornings in the backyard collecting branches from a deceased tree – one of her favorite yard projects. Wait: did I just say I decorated with dead tree branches? Yes, because here’s what: leafless, lifeless branches make for spectacular indoor Halloween decorations. add a little fishing line, some spiderweb cotton, and a curtain rod, and boom: eerie floating ghost treescape.
Some of you saw a sneak peek of this on my Facebook page, but I searched through the sale scrapbook papers at the store for black and cream patterns, and then cut them into pennants. Total cost for decorations? $8.00. Because clearance paper is cheap, dead trees are free, and fishing line costs like, $2.oo.
Nighttime parties = photos are impossible, so here’s a few of the food. We made “bloody” (red sauced) meatballs, a version of my butternut squash pizza, had your standard veggie and relish trays, et cetera. Nothing crazy with the dishware or utensils; just your normal plate/fork/spoon/knife/axe combinat…what? Axe?
I made axe-shaped sugar cookies. This is my favorite cookie cutter, people. Mostly because it came in an circa 1950′s vintage “holiday” cutter set, and mostly there are Christmas trees, and angels, and shamrocks, and….an axe. There’s no indication as to why an axe made the holiday cutters list, but the only thing we can think of is that they used to care way more about George Washington’s birthday around here, and there’s the whole “chopping down the cherry tree” story, which may be best symbolized by an axe. It makes a great cookie shape, and it’s small enough to use if you wanted to say, decorate cupcakes with axes. or throw some pie crust axes on top of your thanksgiving pie.
Also, I made the most embarrassing thing I know how to make. A recipe which I have never shared with you because it’s almost like I don’t want to be in the room with myself when I make these. I was never going to tell any of you that I occasionally make these. But now; I am.
I make cake mix cookies. And I make darn good ones.
I really wanted to make something cute and caramel apple-like for the party, but let’s face it: caramel apples? Messy. Not really that easy to sit and eat. Also, I get nervous about caramel and I didn’t need the hassle. Instead, I chose to make cookie “apples,” shove sticks in them, sandwich them together with my favorite easy vanilla buttercream, dip them in melted chocolate, and cover them with almonds. Instant, unfussy fake caramel cookie apples. Fauxramel Apples, if you will. Best part: they’re not just cute; turns out dumb cookies plus a little chocolate and nut coating equals delicious.
Would you like the recipe? I shall give it to you later today in a separate post. I was going to hide them in this one, but as I’m typing this, I’ve realized they probably deserve their own.
So Happy Halloween, and I’ll see you all later today. I promise more epic party decorations on Thanksgiving, when there’s more than like, 2 extra people here and it’s a legitimate party and not “Shannon’s calling it a party so she can decorate and make random food” dinner.