Every year my community holds a Halloween Party in our Community Building. It's great fun for kids of all ages. There are prizes for kids costumes, and a Halloween Treat Decorating contest. I always wanted to enter something in the Treat Decorating Contest, but inevitably something always came up, or I got busy, or I just never got around to it. Well last year was my year.
I baked up a batch of sweet little Kitty Cat Cookies, and whipped up a Witch's Brew Punch. Instead of serving it in a plain old punch bowl and cups, I used a pumpkin and mini pumpkin gourds. I carved out a pumpkin and put my brew in it! I was going for best decorated here, and I really wanted to win! I also carved out a few mini pumpkin gourds and painted "blood" drooling from the top where I cut the tops off. I completed the look with spooky black gauze, some festive fall leaves, spiders, bats, and a snake (all fake of course!). But the one thing that I thought would really put me over the top, and hopefully sway the judges, was the dry ice I added to my Brew! I would have added a bright red glow-stick as well (for an eerie red glow!) , but I knew the lighting at the party would be too bright for it to be effective. Anyway, I was just sure my creativity would give me the win! Ha!!!
Well...as it turns out, I did win. It was a win by default. You see, I won because I was the only entrant in the contest!!! Who would've guessed?! A little competition would have made it more satisfying, but none the less it counts as a win in my book. ;)
Here's my first place win in the 2008 Halloween Treat Decorating Contest...
1 32oz Fruit Juicy Hawaiian Punch
1 2-liter 7-up
1 pint of sherbet - your choice of flavor
1 fairly large pumpkin (the round kind - not the tall variety)
It's nothing fancy, just your basic traditional party punch; just combine everything in your pumpkin and very carefully add some dry ice. Yes! The punch is perfectly safe to drink even though there is dry ice in it...as long as the dry ice stays in the pumpkin. When dry ice melts, it produces a gas (the steam). It is not safe to allow dry ice to touch any part of your body, especially your mouth!! Just keep it in the pumpkin and enjoy the swirls of steam in there. Adult supervision is definitely needed if little ones are around. Just to be sure nobody got hurt, I stayed with my display for the duration of the event.
Kitty Cat Cookies:
1 bag of skinny pretzel sticks
1 bag of mini M&Ms
1 bag walnut halves
Make your favorite full batch of chocolate chip cookies.
Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, decorate each cookie with 4 skinny pretzel sticks for whiskers, 2 walnut halves for ears, a red mini M&M nose, and 2 green mini M&M eyes. These cookies won't stack well at all, but the cute factor makes it worth while!
I cut out pumpkins from waxed paper to place the Kitty Cat Cookies on. I didn't think they'd be too appetizing just sitting there on that gauzy fabric! The guests were so polite, everybody made sure that it was ok before they took a cookie! Well, of course it was ok! And once it was clear that it was ok, the Kitty Cat Cookies did a major disappearing act! I think I only brought a couple home (I held them back so my guys could have a couple later). I originally started out with a batch of 60 or so.
My pumpkin gourd cups were just for looks. In order to actually use them, the insides of the gourds would have needed a coating of paraffin just to be safe. I served up the punch in good old fashioned solo cups (orange of course!). The pumpkin punch bowl was not coated, but I did scrape out every piece of string, goo and seed. I rinsed it several times to make sure nobody had a "chunky" Brew!
The kids were so cute! There were so many adorable costumes (most of them were home made), I don't know how the judges made any decisions. The Association had a photographer set up in a corner with bales of straw and pumpkins. The grand prize Kids Costume Contest winner was a little guy who was made up to be a fireman. He was walking around with a firetruck made from a cardboard box that night (steering wheel, bell and all!). His cardboard firetruck was held up by suspenders over his shoulders. It was really well designed, and he was so shy and cute! Everybody had a good time, went home with candy, and had their bellies filled with Halloween goodies.
Have a very safe and Happy Halloween!