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The Entertainer

Add These Spooktacular Sides to Elevate Your Halloween

Fall brings yearnings for warm and cozy gatherings with friends and family. If hosting a Halloween party is on your agenda this year, you are in luck! From alarming appetizers and devilish dips to spooktacular salads, we have gathered some of the most delicious and fun recipes for creepy fun.

Appetizers

Set the mood for your party right from the start with Halloween-themed appetizers. We’ve found some adorable and delicious bite-sized snacks that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. 

These charming Cheese Ball Pumpkins feature pretzel sticks and parsley leaves as the stem and leaf for pumpkin-shaped mini cheese balls. The pairing of cheddar cold pack cheese and crackers are the perfect combination to get the party started.

Jalapeno Mummies are sure to be the hit of the party. Stuff jalapenos with a pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, garlic, and onion powder mixture. Then wrap with refrigerated crescent dough and bake. Add candy eyes peeking out between the layers of flaky croissant for a tasty and spooky-looking snack.

Your guests will love these Adorable Halloween Deviled Eggs! Start with the most delicious deviled egg recipe and mix in a bit of creativity with red bell pepper wings and horns for these devilishly delightful appetizers!

Dips

The Jack-O-Lantern Cheesy Beef Taco Dip is made with browned beef, cream cheese, mayonnaise, shredded cheddar, and spices. The combination of the cheddar and paprika makes a delightful pumpkin-coloured dip. Then add a jalapeno as the stem, tortilla chips as the eyes and nose, and black olives for the mouth to create your Jack-o-Lantern look. 

Halloween 7 Layer Taco Dip is a spooky take on this party favourite! Start with a base of sour cream, cream cheese, and taco seasoning. Then add layers of ground beef or refried beans, salsa, and green chillies. End with guacamole as the top layer and draw spider webs using sour cream and a ziplock bag with a hole in the corner. 

For a sweeter dip, this Witches Brew Cream Cheese Dip is made with pistachio pudding, milk, whipped cream, cream cheese, and green food colouring mixed together in a stand mixer. Top with gummy eyeballs and worms and serve in a fun dish like a cauldron. 

Photo: svetikd via gettyimages.com

Salads

Looking for something a bit healthier to put out at your party? This Halloween Pasta Salad is chock full of colourful vegetables like broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and carrots. Toss it with cooked whole wheat pasta, Italian dressing, and parmesan cheese. Then top with cutely cut jack-o-lantern cucumber slices. 

This Halloween Fruit Salad uses mini Halloween cookie cutters to create pumpkins, ghosts, cats, and bats out of melons and pineapple. Use satsumas or clementines with a piece of cucumber to create little pumpkins. Kiwi, grapes, and blackberries add additional colours to this Pinterest-worthy salad. 

The Freaky Halloween Salad is a fun blend of healthy vegetables with a Halloween twist. Make a nest of spiralled carrot noodles and add brain-like cauliflower florets, romanesco, and edamame. Whip up some homemade buttermilk green goddess dressing served in a syringe, and you have created a unique, nutritious, and spooky dish. 

Desserts

You can make this easy-to-make recipe for Halloween Muddy Buddies on the fly for a Halloween party or an after-school treat to celebrate the season. Simply melt peanut butter, milk chocolate chips, and butter in the microwave. Stir in Chex cereal, coat with powdered sugar, and add some spooky candied eyeballs. 

Frankenstein Rice Krispie Treats are another simple to make but fun Halloween-themed dessert. Make Rice Krispie treats using the directions on the box and add a bit of green food colouring. Dip the tops into melted chocolate or black candy melts for the hair, attach marshmallows for the bolts on the side of Frankenstein’s head, and candy for his eyes. 

We’ve kept the spookiest for last with these Witch Finger Cookies! Make sugar cookies rolled into finger-sized pieces with almond slices for the nails and dipped into raspberry jam for the bloody ends. 

Who’s ready to host a Halloween party now that you are armed with these delicious and spooky recipes?

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The Entertainer

Top Halloween Costumes for 2021

Halloween is just around the corner, so it’s time to start planning costumes for the whole family! Whether you’re trying a DIY look for your crew, hosting a party for friends, or trying to win the office costume contest, knowing this year’s hottest looks will give you the edge. Here are some of the costumes sure to be popular for kids and adults this year.

Space Jam: A New Legacy

Characters from this popular movie will be common choices for kids and adults alike. Fortunately, creating this look is easy: Wear a blue basketball jersey and shorts, then add the Tune Squad lettering and orange and yellow bullseye. This image would be easy to create with paper or yarn. Carry a basketball for the perfect accessory.

Miraculous! Ladybug and Cat Noir

Gaining an impressive following this year on Netflix, Miraculous! characters Ladybug and Cat Noir will be top choices for kids this year. For Cat Noir, a basic black bodysuit is best, but you can use a black long sleeve top and pants to achieve the same look. Add some cat ears, a black mask, and a green and black ring, and you’re set! Ladybug’s costume is simple as well: Cover a red bodysuit or pants/top combination with black dots, put your hair in two low ponytails, and add a red mask! Two small red/black earrings to highlight the character’s iconic accessory would complete the look perfectly.

Photo: FatCamera via gettyimages.com

Bridgerton Inspired Looks

This Netflix series was the hit of early 2021, so expect teens and adults alike to gravitate towards the 18th century luxury and decadence of its costumes. Queen Charlotte sports an iconic towering hairdo a la Marie Antoinette, while other characters have more reserved updos with natural curls framing the face. Dresses feature an empire waist and lots of jewels and embroidery, so search thrift stores for fabrics that might fit the bill. For men, suit jackets with tails and high-collared white shirts give off the perfect 18th-century vibe. Small accessories like white gloves will serve to complete your look.

WandaVision Characters (and Other Superheroes)

This Marvel series captured top ratings in 2021, so it’s a clear choice for adults who want to go the classic superhero route. Vision’s face is red and silver, so break out the paints and get to work. If you want the iconic superhero cape and leotard, choose a gray or silver. For a rendition of Vision as he’s masquerading as a human, choose any decade and dress to impress! Wanda follows a similar direction. Make sure that you have her iconic red hair, and then choose a decade to emulate.

As is typical, kids will gravitate towards superhero costumes this year. Spiderman and Captain America are popular choices, so blue and red outfits could serve as the base layer for both. Add webs and a spider logo on Spiderman’s chest or a cardboard shield emblazoned with a star for Captain America to complete the looks.

Minecraft Characters

The world of Minecraft is as popular as ever this year, so expect kids to dress as their favourite characters. Because everything in this game is built out of cubes, you can easily create these costumes using recycled boxes. Don the main character’s attire with an extra-large turquoise shirt and dark pants, create a skeleton look with a black and gray jumpsuit, or dress in all green to be a Creeper. The key to resembling a Minecraft character will be in the headgear – use a whole box as your helmet (decorated appropriately) to give the illusion that your head is made from an in-game cube.

Disney Characters – Now with Star Wars!

Adults and kids alike will always love dressing as their favourite Disney characters, so remember that this category now includes the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian (featuring a baby Yoda character) is still popular this year, so watch out for kids dressed in tan robes with their faces painted green. Princess costumes are always a classic, but this year, Frozen characters and the new heroine, Raya, will take center stage. Raya’s fierce warrior look is easy to replicate with green pants, a yellow shirt, and armbands. Her iconic staff completes the look and could be made from a broom handle or long stick.

Choose your favourite look from this list to create a memorable Halloween 2021 costume!

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The Entertainer

Host a Frightfully Fun Horror Movie Bash With These Tips

Hosting a Halloween Movie Night is the ultimate way to hunker down with family and friends to experience some fright night thrills and chills. From serving up tasty treats and devilish décor to enjoying a classic list of scary flicks, your adults-only cinematic soiree is sure to deliver a ghoulishly grand time. Just follow these recommendations to ring in the spookiest night of the year – at your own risk. Mooo – wah-haha!

Choose a Spine-tingling Movie

The most important part of hosting an epic Halloween Movie Night is choosing the right movie. Horror buffs will likely agree that the spookier and more spine-tingling a film is, the better. A Halloween-themed movie list is jam-packed with hair-raising options. Doing a quick Google search for “best Halloween movies” or “scariest Halloween movies” will yield many results.

Some legendary serial killer-based flicks include “Halloween,” “Friday the 13th,” “Scream,” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.” If you love classic Halloween monsters, some critically-acclaimed films include “Dracula” (1973), “An American Werewolf in London” (1981), and the original “Frankenstein” (1931).

Iconic psychological horror movies include “The Shining” (1980), “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Rosemary’s Baby” (1986), “Carrie” (1976), “Psycho” (1960), and “Get Out” (2017).

Or, if you’d like some comedic relief, some hilarious spooky spoofs include “Young Frankenstein” (1974), “Ghostbusters” (1981), and “Scary Movie” (2000).

Overall, there are plenty of spooky movies to conjure some Halloween spirit and stir up some old-fashioned fright.

Set the Spooky Scene

Nothing sets the spooky movie scene better than some festive Halloween décor. Use flickering wax or flameless candles for dim lighting, drape some “cobwebs” in corners or around tables, carve some jack-o-lanterns for a centrepiece, and string some tissue ghosts along the fireplace mantel. Decorations like these are inexpensive, but you can get as elaborate as your budget and imagination allows.

Halloween-themed throw blankets also add a cozy touch to the room – and provide protection during those heart-pounding movie moments when you feel compelled to close your eyes or hide. Check out Country Living’s 75 Easy DIY Halloween Decoration ideas here.

Photo: Pekic via gettyimages.com

Play Halloween Soundtrack Name That Tune

To kick off your movie night, play Halloween Soundtrack Name That Tune:

  • Before the gathering, create a playlist of popular scary movie soundtrack or Halloween songs. Give players orange paper and black pens. 
  • Have them number their papers with the number of tunes in the playlist. 
  • Set a timer and see who gets the most correct answers when the time runs out. 
  • Give a Halloween-themed prize to the winner – a bag of any kind of Halloween candy is a popular prize. 

Get a printable version of this game from The Tiptoe Fairy.

Enjoy Chilled Halloween Drinks

Quench your guests’ thirst with some chilling Halloween drinks. Serve your favourite brand of orange soda or Just a Pinch’s Dreamsicle Orange Punch in black party cups as easy, crowd-pleasing, nonalcoholic refreshments. Or, whip up some wickedly wonderful adult beverages like The Flavor Bender’s Witch’s Heart Cocktail that combines purple Blackberry Liqueur, Apple Brandy, and Grenadine. Yummly’s Zombie Brains also has a fun blend of raspberries, pomegranate juice, orange juice, vodka, Chambord, ginger ale, and ice.

Note: Be sure to drink responsibly, never drink and drive, and always use a designated driver.

Serve Tasty Halloween Treats

Every movie night needs some tasty treats – and Halloween is known for some of the best. Popcorn is a movie-time favourite. You can serve microwave or fresh-popped or your favourite brand of ready-to-eat cheddar, caramel, or kettle corn. The Coffee Mom offers a unique sweet and salty Halloween movie snack mix that contains candy corn, skull-and-bone candies, and popcorn drizzled in melted white chocolate turned orange with orange food colouring. Get the recipe here.

Additional ideas are individual candy cups with Halloween M&M’s, peanut butter pumpkins, gummy worms, candy orange slices, or this amazing Candy Spiders recipe from The Spruce Eats. Black licorice, pumpkin muffins, or Pillsbury’s Jack-o’ Lantern Sugar Cookie Pops also make some scrumptious movie night treats.

These are just a few ideas to get your wicked watch party started. Use some of these Halloween Movie Night suggestions or dream up some of your own – then, most importantly, sit back, chill out, and prepare to scare yourself silly!