• Tatum Williams and Monty Alexander

Red and Black's guide to Halloween tricks and treats

With Halloween around the corner, many households are putting together ideas for Halloween festivities, including ideas pertaining to delectable delights and spooky decorations.

In our Red and Black Halloween entertaining guide for 2017, we have three suggestions for food, as well as two party decorating suggestions. We hope you enjoy!

Recipe Ideas

One idea for snacks and deserts would be Pumpkin Pops, which only consist of three simple and easy-to-get ingredients. Pumpkin pops are one of the easiest Halloween sweets to make. According to sweetsugarbelle.com, its ingredients are round orange lollipops, mini-baking cups, and stiff green royal icing. Here are the recipe and instructions from the website:

Pumpkin Pops

"A mini-muffin pan makes working on these a lot easier, so if you have one I would definitely suggest using it.

After placing a liner in each compartment use some kind of star tip to add a dollop of icing to each cup. This will keep the pops securely in place.

Next, gently press a lolly into each dot. At this point let the liners dry securely in place. I gave them overnight. Once they’re dry, you’ll be able to pick them up liner and all.

The next day, use a #1.5 {or #1} icing tip to add a little vine or two to the top of the pumpkin starting at the top.

Next, using a #4 tip, add a stem. I built it up the stick to make it sturdier.

Finally, use a #66 tip to add a small leaf. Let them dry for another hour or two."

Another mouth-watering dessert is Graveyard Chocolate Cheesecake Dip, which served with graham crackers or cookies would add a delightful appetizer or side dish to the menu. Here is the recipe and instructions from wellplated.com.

Graveyard Chocolate Cheesecake Dip

-The base of this dip is a fudgy brownie batter and chocolate cheesecake mixture.

-Next top the base with a crushed oreo layer.

- To create the tombstones use writing icing to put designs on your vanilla chocolate sandwich cookies which will serve as your tombstones.

- Place your 'tombstones' in the 'dirt' and spread pumpkin candy corn and normal candy corn around on the dish.

These cute, edible Skeleton Cupcakes are almost too adorable to eat, yet really easy to make. The skeleton on top is made simply from white chocolate-covered pretzels, marshmallows, popsicle sticks, and decorating pen. Here is the recipe and instructions from delish.com.

Skeleton Cupcakes

"- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 regular size muffin cups with white liners.

- Beat cake mix, egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl with mixer on low speed 1 minute until blended; increase speed to medium and continue to beat 2 minutes or until batter is smooth. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

- Bake 20 to 22 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes before removing cupcakes to rack to cool completely. Frost cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

- To decorate: Slightly flatten marshmallows with palm of your hand. Insert a lollipop stick into each marshmallow. With the black decorating pen, using photo as a guide, draw the skeleton mouth along the bottom of each marshmallow. Draw 2 nostrils above the middle of the mouth, as shown. Make the eyes with dabs of the black writing gel.

- For each skeleton, carefully thread the stick end of the marshmallow head through the small hole of a pretzel, slowly twisting the pretzel from side to side as you push it up toward the head, stopping about 1/2 inch below the head. Secure the pretzel in position with a dab of frosting. Add 2 more pretzels, lining them up, to resemble the rib cage, securing with dabs of frosting. Stick the skeleton into the top of a cupcake. To make the arms, carefully cut a pretzel in half with a serrated knife and attach to the top rib with frosting as shown. Repeat with remaining skeletons."

Decoration Ideas

The first spooky party decoration we found is an easy-to-make, evil eye wreath that gives an ominous feel to the entrance of your home; you can find this wreath at aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com. The second decoration we found was a floral skull centerpiece which can bring about a sinister sense. The original post can be found at honestlyyum.com.

Give passerby an evil eye this Halloween with this easy do-it-yourself Eyeball Wreath!

You will need:

- 1 grapevine wreath

- 1 can flat black spray paint

- 92 eyeballs (doesn't matter if they are fake or real)

- 1 glue gun

How To:

- Spray paint the wreath with the black spray paint

- After painting the wreath, randomly glue the eyeballs on to the wreath.

Perk up your Halloween home decor with a Floral Skull Centerpiece this year!

You will need:

- A life size model skull with a removable calvarium

- A wet floral foam block

- Pruning shears

- A knife

- A large Ziploc bag

- A variety of fresh flowers

How To:

- Remove the top of the skull and cut a square out of the floral foam big enough to fit inside. The foam needs to be deep enough in the skull to hold the flower stems. Then remove the foam from the skull and then place it in water.

- Next place the Ziploc bag over the skull (this will prevent water from leaking out) then place the foam.

- Trim your fresh flowers at an angle and place 3/4 of the stem in the foam.

- Add foliage around the skull to hide the foam.

The flowers should last at least a week. Water the flowers every day and keep them out of direct sunlight.

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