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a GRAND Halloween! celebrating with friends!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Here in Minnesota, we are celebrating the beauty of the season

as fall’s splendor is all around us!


This beautiful autumn weather makes us wonder if the coming Halloween night

will be unseasonably warm

OR if, as per usual,

our Littles will be bundled up with coats, hats and mittens

as they trick or treat!

Hmmm! Only time will tell!

Of course, we also find ourselves reminiscing about our very own Littles

and Halloweens past…

Cherished memories, indeed, for these two Grands!

While our posts typically focus on our families

and especially the Littles who are so loved,

we’ve decided to sit back and switch things around a bit today!


In this post, we are celebrating our friendships

and the ways they make our lives Grand!

After all…

This is so true!

Some of the best advice we’ve ever received as Grands

Is to take care of ourselves

and enjoy a little adult time, when possible!

We'll all be better grandparents for it!


With that thought in mind, get ready for

Halloween is the perfect setting to throw a spooky soiree!

From an intimate gathering with a few close friends

to a larger costume and/or cocktail party, we’ve got you covered!

We’re sharing a holiday idea for a charcuterie board and a few other nibbles

as well as three fun beverage options… this time, for adults only!

Time to celebrate!

Who doesn’t love nibbling on a variety of sweet and savory treats?

There is something for everyone on our spooky CharBOOterie board,


Our CharBOOterie is simply a traditional charcuterie board,

with a few Halloween inspired additions!


CharBOOterie Basics!

A charcuterie board is really just a fancy name for a cheese board and it provides a wonderful way for guests to graze on savory and sweet nibbles!. Most classic charcuterie boards include a combination of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, olives, nuts and a sweet treat or two! We also like to add a few small bowls for spreads (a dip, honey or a jam) and juicy foods (fruit, marinated items) and then we usually finish up by adding something eye-catching, just for fun!


There really are no rules for creating a beautiful charcuterie board but having a plan can be helpful and, remember, it can be as simple as you’d like! Begin by choosing the items you want to include on your board!

Once you know what foods you’d like to include, make sure to choose a platter, serving tray, tiered tray or wooden board that will hold it all (or you can always divide items between two or more serving trays, too, depending on the size of your gathering).

A Grand Tip!

Before you begin,

you may want to line the board

with parchment paper to avoid getting stains on it!


Below you'll find the steps we followed to create our

CharBOOterie…


1. Place small bowls (for your spreadables/juicy foods) on your board first, as shown. Add your cheeses next. We partially crumbled a wedge of bleu cheese, sliced cheddar on the diagonal and cubed pepper jack string cheese… easy!


2. Next, it’s time to arrange your meats, placing them around the bowls and cheeses. We used an aged salami that we cubed, pepperoni that we layered and larger Genoa salami that we rolled!

3. Add crackers, bread options and other snack foods where space allows. We chose a white flatbread cracker and a dark fig and olive crisps to add variety and color!

4. If you’ll be serving fruit (that is not in bowls), add that at this point. (Again, drain the fruit on a paper towel before adding it to your board. We used blackberries and we peeled a few clementines and sectioned each. Later, we placed black grapes all around!

5. Fill the empty spaces with nuts, sweet treats, fresh herbs and any other snack foods. We didn’t have much room left at this point, so we filled in empty spaces with pistachios! We also filled our little bowls at this point. We used three bowls and filled them with marinated mozzarella balls, fig butter and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups. And., DON'T FORGET to pull out serving utensils - a cheese knife, cocktail spoons or forks, tongs and toothpicks might come in handy!


Our CharBOOterie board is almost ready to serve!

6. As a final step, add any Halloween decor you’d like. This will add a festive touch! We added our olive Eyeball Skewers (see explanation below) and some Halloween gummy worms!

A Grand Tip!

Food safety is important!

Cheeses get better at room temperature for up to 4 hours!

Meats will need to be rechilled after 2 hours, so plan accordingly!



CharBOOterie Extras!

We chose some simple ways to make our serving area festive

and we added a few other snacks to our grazing table, too!

We’re sharing our ideas below!


HALLOWEEN COLORS HIGHLIGHTED!

The foods we used for this special board were items that were primarily black, orange, and white! We had fun brainstorming lists of these foods and then we picked what we had on hand or items that would be easy to find!


As you can tell from our photos, we used, among other things, black olives, orange clementines, white pistachios, blackberries, orange cheese and white crackers!


Here’s a list of Halloween foods we brainstormed!

Here’s a fun find for you…

We'd never seen these veggie chips before but found them at our local Target!

We bought them for our board, thinking that these crunchy bats and ghosts

would be a fun addition!

While we didn’t actually use them for our GRAND Halloween get together,

we know that our Littles will love them!


PLEASE NOTE: All of the products we share on our blog

are simply items we love and choose to share with you!



HALLOWEEN TREATS & TOUCHES!

To add a festive touch to our setting, we included Halloween candies (candy corn, sour pumpkins and gummy worms) and sweets (mini peanut butter cups and Halloween cookies)! We also decorated the table with mini skeletons and a Halloween felt garland! Our glowing pumpkin and lanterns sat on black and gold cobwebs (a.k.a. placemats), completing the eerie vibe we were going for!



1, 2, 3… EASY HALLOWEEN ADDITIONS!

We’re sharing three favorite ideas that we included as part of our grazing table! Each one is easy and, we promise, any or all will make your table more festive!


IDEA #1 - EYEBALL SKEWERS!

This idea requires only two or three ingredients! We made two varieties of eyeball skewers, using olives as our inspiration! For one, as you can see, we threaded three green olives onto each toothpick, with the pimento (eyeball) showing outward on each olive!


For our other version we used black olives and piped herb and garlic cream cheese into each olive hole. Then we threaded two of these olives onto each toothpick!


We scattered these all around our CharBOOterie board as a final touch!


A Grand Tip!

Don’t forget to drain the olives before you begin…

In fact, we let them sit on a paper towel for a bit!

Once you’ve made your eyeball skewers, set them on a paper towel again.

That way, if there is any additional liquid, it will drain off

before you add these to your board!



IDEA #2 - GHOSTLY QUESO & CHIPS!

This is a simple and easy addition to your party menu. We bought a bag of blue tortilla chips (they look black, don't they???) and a container of ready-made white queso dip. We heated the dip, put it in a bowl and surrounded it with the chips! At the last minute, we added some mini carrots for color and to provide another dipping option! We think our platter looks like a bat… can you see it?


IDEA #3 - HALLOWEEN POPCORN!

We filled a bowl with popcorn and sprinkled in some candy corn thrown in for good measure. We even had some fun skeleton scoopers to add to the Halloween atmosphere!


As a final touch, we added a platter of Halloween cookies we'd purchased

and scattered more Halloween candy on the table and serving pieces!

Easy-peasy!


We’re almost ready for our guests!



You know what’s missing… right?

Try one of our fun cocktails for grown ups!

Your guests will be glad you did!


1 ½ ounces vodka

1 ounce raspberry liqueur

½ ounce 100% unsweetened cranberry juice

(not sweetened or cranberry juice cocktail)

½ ounce fresh lemon juice

½ ounce grenadine


Simply shake up all the ingredients, and strain into a cocktail glass.

Add ice, as desired.

A Grand Tip!

You can also make a fancy straw, using a vampire’s “kiss” clip art!

We simply googled “vampire kiss" and chose the graphic we liked best.

We copied and pasted the graphic onto a document and printed out color copies.

We then cut around the design and made 2 horizontal slits about ½ - 1 inch apart..

To finish, you'd slip the straw through the “vampire’s kiss” as shown above!

Cheers!


ice

1 oz. gin

5 oz. lemon juice

.5 oz. raspberry liqueur

4 oz. Sparkling Ice Black Raspberry drink

Lemon slices for garnishes.


Mix ice, gin, lemon juice and raspberry liqueur in a cocktail shaker until chilled.

Pour into glass. Top with Sparkling Ice Black Raspberry.

Garnish with lemon slices.


This one is super easy! You’ll use your own margarita mix/recipe but before adding ice to the glass, do the following:


Wet the rim of your glass with a slice of lemon or lime.

Set the rim in a layer of black salt on a plate.

Lift the glass up and set it down for a moment.

Add ice and your favorite margarita recipe!.


NOTE: You can also rim your margarita glass with a sweet touch...

wet the glass as described above,

but dip the rim in chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips.

Of course, you don't need to rim your glass...

it will be delicious either way!

A Grand Tip!

If your beverage is not green enough,

simply add a few drops of green food coloring and stir!


If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option check this post

for our Magic Potion Punch and Eyeball Ice Cubes!



Can you think of any black, orange, and white foods that are missing from our list?

Do you have a favorite grown up Halloween beverage?

Will you be spending Halloween with your grandkids/your Littles,

and, if so, will you be dressing up?

We’d LOVE to hear about your adventures and celebrations!

Feel free to comment at the bottom of this post

or email us directly at ourgrandlives@gmail.com

THANK YOU!

If you are looking for any last minute Halloween inspiration,

don’t forget to check out our recent posts….



As always, you’ll find us sharing our latest ideas on

You may find even more Halloween inspiration there in the coming week!

And don’t forget that you can always subscribe

to catch our latest posts!


Halloween is right around the corner

and we will return soon after with a very special post!


In the meantime,

we wish you, your family and friends and, most especially, your Littles

a safe and memorable holiday!




SPECIAL THANKS TO

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