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There is no childhood thrill that quite matches up to the week of Halloween — when friends compare costume ideas, the classroom partakes in a huge party and the merriment culminates with a night spent trick-or-treating. Is there anything better than running through the neighborhood and loading up on candy as a child … or as an adult, for that matter?!

Halloween may not possess that same sugar-induced hysteria as it did when you were in elementary school but it still manages to be one of our favorite holidays, even today. So, how do you throw a Halloween party that’s fun for the littlest ghouls and goblins yet still manages to be cool for the older witches and wizards in your crew?

halloween party

Halloween parties allow you to get really creative when it comes to hosting an event for the young and the young at (undead) heart. Image: Elle Decor

First off, candy is a no-brainer, as anyone with a sweet tooth — old or young — appreciates this sacred night of Butterfinger binging. But think a bit outside the box when it comes to actual substantial food you may serve. Just remember B.O.O. when it comes to creating your menu: Bewitching. Odd. Oh so delicious.

Keeping the B.O.O. angle in mind, you can either go super cutesy with your planning for Halloween and stalk Pinterest for some great ideas. Or you can go highbrow-ish Halloween with clever names for some filling, savory dishes. We decided to go route No. 2 and asked food writer and The Cardigan Kitchen blogger Lia Picard to come up with some great recipes that are tasty, substantial and something that eaters of all ages will enjoy. Lia shared with us — and now with you — three great recipes that will kill (figuratively) at your next Halloween party.

insect plates for halloween

How creepily cool are these place setups?! Take some old plates (or plain white paper plates) and paint a few bugs walking across. Then, create a 3D experience by adding the plastic varieties marching across the table as well. Image: HGTV

skull and moths west elm

Halloween decor can be goth and beautiful with table elements like this moth-covered skull from West Elm. Image: West Elm

In regards to finger foods, Lia has two great recipes that totally fit the theme and are super delicious. The “blood hummus” is that good ol’ Mediterranean standby with a Ghostbusters twist: using beets to create the bloody hue. The other appetizer is Lia’s “witches’ toes” — her version of stuffed jalapeños —straight from the underworld! This cheesy app will fill bellies, entertain guests and always satisfy because let’s be honest — you can’t go wrong with bacon.

RELATED: WOW! These Atlanta Homes Are Decked Out for Halloween!

Killer Halloween Recipes From Lia Picard

Blood Hummus

  • 2 small beets or 1 medium/large beet, roasted
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • ¼ cup tahini (found in the peanut butter aisle of most grocery stores)
  • 1 teaspoon Sultan Papadopoulos salt by Beautiful Briny Sea (or blend turmeric, salt, chili powder and coriander)
  • lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS: Place beets, chickpeas, tahini, salt mix, lemon juice and garlic in food processor and blend. When thoroughly combined, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until consistency is creamy and smooth. Serve with pita and/or veggies and an extra drizzle of olive oil on top.

*To roast beets, wrap individually in foil and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes until fork tender.

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Add all your ingredients into the blender to create a smooth finished product.

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You know what tastes delicious with “blood hummus?” Albino bat wings (aka pita triangles)!

Witches’ Toes

  • 12 jalapeños, halved and seeded (use gloves to ensure no skin burns)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (If short on time, microwave for 30 seconds to help speed up the softening process.)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whichever cheese you prefer)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slices of bacon, halved
  • 24 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with foil. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic and spices. Scoop a heaping teaspoon (a little more or a little less, depending on personal preference) into each jalapeño half. Wrap a piece of bacon around the jalapeño, securing with a toothpick. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the cheese mixture is bubbling. Turn the oven to broil and cook for a final 5 minutes. Let cool. If you want to get rid of excess fat, place them on a plate lined with paper towels.

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Add as much cheesy mixture into the jalapeño as you think your crowd will enjoy.

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Make sure to secure each “toe” with 1-2 toothpicks in order to keep the entire appetizer together during the cooking stage.

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The final product! Who knew witches’ toes were so dang delicious?!

To throw a Halloween party with the best of them, you need something delicious brewing in your cauldron — enter the Poisoned Apple Cocktail! This concoction is only for fairies and ogres over the age of 21. However, as we said earlier, our B.O.O. menu has been created for party guests of all ages. We suggest serving the Poisoned Apple Cocktail as is and also have a mocktail version.

Poisoned Apple Cocktail

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon
  • 3 ounces apple cider (try Georgia’s own Mercier Orchards)
  • squeeze of juice from a lemon
  • sugar and cinnamon combined
  • apple slices for garnish

DIRECTIONS: Place cinnamon and sugar mixture on a plate. Wet the rim of an old fashioned glass and coat in mixture. In a shaker filled with ice, combine bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Strain into old fashioned glass and add ice. Add a few apple slices as garnish.

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Besides our wonderful Poisoned Apple Cocktail, another easy way of spook-ifying your beverage menu is to pour shots and drinks into vials instead of traditional glasses. Image: Elle Decor

When you’re throwing a Halloween party this month, keep B.O.O. in mind to ensure a fun time is had by all! Have a great time and cut a rug with Leatherface, swap mom stories with Norman Bates and reminisce about childhood memories with Chucky. Happy Halloween!


If you’re throwing one hell of a spooky party, we want to see it! Post your photos on Instagram or Facebook and make sure to tag us! 

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