Host the Best Halloween Potluck

by Team HomeServe Top Tips and Lists  

Ever since I was a kid, Halloween has been “the most wonderful time of the year” (not the Christmas holidays.) Trick or treat. Decorating the house. Pumpkin carving. Eating tons of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. Watching Hocus Pocus and Disney’s Halloweentown. Pure kid heaven.

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My love of this ghoulish, spooky season hasn’t changed now that I’m an adult, though the celebrations are a little different. My favorite adulting way to celebrate is a Halloween theme potluck dinner. I've made it an annual tradition with other families in our neighborhood and everyone loves it. Check out some of the essentials you'll need for a great Halloween celebration of your own:

Spooky eats and treats

No Halloween theme potluck is complete without a whole host of appetizers and snacks that have been spookified. No need to be Top Chef to put these together. Here are a number of satisfyingly spooky Halloween potluck foods that are easily prepared:

  • Spider-web dip: Just about everyone loves chips and seven-layer dip. The blog Chelsea's Messy Apron shows how you can create a creepy spiderweb by artistically deploying the sour cream at the top - complete with olive-assembled spiders!
  • "Deviled brains:" With a little bit of food coloring and ingenuity in how you apply Dijon mustard, you'll quickly make an amusingly ghoulish savory snack out of deviled eggs with this Brit + Co recipe.
  • Spooked-up snack platters: You can go for the gusto and make the assembly of jalapeno-popper mummies, peanut butter and apple monsters, bat cookies and other treats in this elaborate platter, or something simpler but just as scary with Cutefetti's culinary spin on the same concept.

Halloween entrée ideas aren't always as easy to dig up, but Taste of Home has some good ideas including flying-bat pizzas, "bewitched" chili and a fusilli-based pasta salad that can be made to look like a batch of worms and grossness. For dessert, Martha Stewart.com suggests pumpkin spice-based, chocolate-covered "graveyard cake" is perfect.

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DIY decorations

Spectacular spooky decor should be a prominent item on any Halloween potluck list of essentials. But going out to your local party supplies store for all of these items is a good way to rack up an unnecessarily huge bill in a hurry.

Instead, try some ideas that are more on the DIY side. Country Living suggests several ways you can make your entrance more eerie - covering the door in witches' brooms or making it look like a morgue, fashioning a basic wreath into a giant spider's web or using masks to form a truly bizarre wreath from scratch.

On the more quaint side, Crazy Little Projects.com has glamorous painted pumpkins, Mason jars turned ghostly with white paint and tiny fake eyes you can buy at any craft store and garlands made using Halloween-colored felt, ribbon and construction paper. You can even make crafts with real utility, such as candy dishes fashioned out of summer lanterns.

Frightful flicks

The final touch to your Halloween potluck night is with a frightfully good Halloween-themed movie. But the type of spooky movie you choose is important - especially if you or your guests have young children. Here are some of our age-appropriate suggestions:

  • Frights for all ages: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit; Toy Story of Terror (yep, starring Woody, Buzz and gang); The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Scary, but not too scary: Coraline; Paranorman; The Corpse Bride; The Witches; Ghostbusters
  • For preteens and teens: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark; The Addams Family; Beetlejuice; Halloweentown; Hocus Pocus
  • Adult Halloween potlucks only: The Shining; It; Rosemary's Baby; The Changeling; A Quiet Place 

You know what else is scary? Not being prepared with a plan for unexpected and costly home repairs! See how plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.

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