Halloween isn't just for the kids - this fall festival is a holiday no grown-up should miss out on. Adults might want to skip the fancy dress and overloading on processed sugar, but you can still get into the spirit of things and make the most of this wonderfully atmospheric and festive time of year. With gorgeous autumn vegetables filling the shops, Halloween is a great opportunity to get creative with those pumpkins and throw a show-stopping party. Any excuse! If you're planning a sophisticated soiree this All Hallow's Eve, your menu will definitely need a spooky edge. Traditional Halloween party food is all very well, but I like to add a grown-up twist to some of the classics. I've put together some inspiration and ideas for a killer Halloween menu. It's time to deck the kitchen out in Gothic finery, slip into something black, and dust off your cauldron... Drinks: Blood red blenders You can't do Halloween without a bit of gore - and I like to serve my blood fresh and fruity! My virgin Watermelon and Mint cooler has a blood-curdling colour, but don't let that put you off. It also has a sharp refreshing taste to prime your palate for the feast! Or you could mix up your bone-rattling red beverages with a drop of something stronger to really get the party started. Alternatives: Gruesome green melon-bomb shooters // Spicy mulled cider (ladled fresh out of your steaming "cauldron" pot!) Savoury: Sticky Short Ribs Kick off your ghoulish night by feasting on flesh and bones: start as you mean to go on! This recipe with a coffee and chilli sauce is a particularly rich and indulgent take on the classic dish. Or why not go for an Asian vibe with my Umami Miso Ribs? Whichever recipe you choose, vamp up your ribs by laying them out in two rows like a ribcage - and make sure the glaze is extra-sticky to get that "fresh blood" effect! This one's guaranteed to bring out the squeamish side in a few guests... Alternatives: Swamp slime guacamole and gory red salsa dip with tortilla chips // Fried "eyeball" scallops in anti-vampire garlic butter // "Stewed brains" dumplings // Bubbling pumpkin soup Sweet: Pumpkin cheesecake You might be nearly full up after all those delectable savoury dishes - luckily, the creamy, zesty filling in this pie is so light you can definitely manage a small slice or two... Plus, its vibrant orange hue is a perfect match for those cute Halloween decorations! Alternatives: Grown-up brandy caramel apples / Black forest gateau (with extra lashings of dark chocolate sauce) / Hotel Chocolat's effortlessly chic pumpkin chocs Whatever combination of terrifying treats you choose, remember to greet your guests with a ghoulish grin and have a hauntingly good time this Halloween! x
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