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Create your new favorite Halloween party food

Parties are supposed to be fun for everyone, and that ‘everyone’ includes the host. No more being sequestered in the kitchen while your guests are mingling and giggling in the next room. No more pity faces from friends who wander in to ask: “Can I do anything to help?”

Parties are supposed to be fun for everyone, and that ‘everyone’ includes the host. No more being sequestered in the kitchen while your guests are mingling and giggling in the next room. No more pity faces from friends who wander in to ask: “Can I do anything to help?”

Let’s start thinking about party food as easy, without sacrificing the fun or specialness of your creations. But it takes thinking about designing party food in a new way.

Your friends aren't coming to your party to dine on a gourmet meal. Your friends are coming to have fun. So let us start with the food. And the ideas behind making a memorable party food presentation start with the basics of presentation.

Color contrast: You can talk about flavour all day long, but when friends are at a party, they spend more time looking at the food then eating it. Yes, the food should taste good and include those belly pleasers like chocolate, cheese, sweet, and salty treats, but think about colour when planning the menu. How do the colours of the food work with your party theme? And if the colours don’t work, add straws, napkins, frosting, flowers, or candies to provide the dynamic colour you are looking for.

Smile power: Food is serious business to many people, and I don’t want to make light of a passion. But when it comes to party food, friends want to be delighted and surprised. A unique pairing of sauces, an unusual way to decorate a cupcake or a cocktail designed for the occasion can give guests plenty to talk about. And when you take the time to add a touch or two of smile power for the party food offerings, then your guests will feel how much you appreciate them being there with you.

Get creative: Yes, you can make your crab dip or your meatballs, but why not add elements to enhance the theme of the evening. For Halloween, you can add little scare surprises in the meatball tray and for the crab dip, serve it from inside a pumpkin face. While those suggestions are on the gross end, you can also line up the meatballs or the dippers for the crab dip in a way that spells out Halloween or BOO! If you take a minute to step back and get inspired, you may be delighted and charmed by what you can create.