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Entertaining the Question
Skip Trick or Treating and Host a Halloween Party for Friends and Family
October, 2006 - Issue #24
Its jack-o-lantern time! Halloween has become quite the social event over the years. Adults have been enjoying it even more than the children!

Halloween is the perfect excuse to host an amazing costume party. Consider making it easy on your guests by creating a theme around a favorite TV show or movie. How about "Miami Vice," "Lost" or "American Idol?"

We foodies like the idea of gourmet-inspired costumes. Personally, we can't think of a better temporary persona than the Iron Chef Chairman; find the most outrageous outfit you can, complete with ruffled shirt and lots of gold embroidery, or dress "new chairman" style with a simple suit, a crunchy apple and some martial arts stylings.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840s by Irish immigrants fleeing the country's potato famine. The jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from an Irish folklore story involving a man named Jack, the devil and a hollowed-out turnip. Of course, in America pumpkins were more plentiful than turnips, so the jack-o-lantern became a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.

Every Halloween party needs at least one signature cocktail. Select one of your favorite beverages and come up with a suitable spooky name to really impress your guests. Don't forget to drop in creepy garnishes, or if you want to really go for the gruesome, take apart plastic dolls from a dollar store, clean them well and use the little limbs as stirrers!

For a party with kids and adults, make a batch of Wormy Ice Cubes to liven up the punch.

Blood-colored fruit juices are pomegranate and rube red grapefruit; even picky kids will love the flavor the frozen fruit cubes will impart in a regular old glass of lemon-lime soda. For the older set, the welcome beverage could be as simple as champagne and pomegranate juice with pomegranate seeds as garnish.

On a final note, if your Halloween party involves intense costumes, keep the food simple. Have you ever tried to eat leg of lamb dressed as an eight-legged spider? It's not as easy as it sounds!

Spellbinders with Devil Eyeballs - Great for a Group!
1/4 cup blue curacao
3/4 cup Galliano liqueur
1-1/2 cups coconut rum
2 quarts pineapple juice
2 quarts club soda


Spooky Ice Cubes
Food Coloring
Water
Novelty ice cube trays shaped like bats, pumpkins or full moons


Devil Eyeballs
20 maraschino cherries
20 chocolate chips
20 Lychee nut fruits (canned and pitted, found in oriental market)


For the punch, combine all ingredients in large glass punch bowl and mix well. For the ice cubes, color water with desired food colorings, pour into ice cube trays and freeze. For the Devil Eyeballs, remove the stems from the cherries and insert a chocolate chip point-side in, creating a "pupil." Stuff cherry into pitted lychee nut fruit. Ladle punch into each glass and garnish with ice cubes and eyeballs.

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Despite multiple requests, Cindy and Tamra will not dress as Baywatch lifeguards at any of their RSVP - The Catering Company parties this year.
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