Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
If you need a Halloween snack in a flash, these recipes fit the bill: They're easy to make and scarily fun.
Editor's Tip: For a Halloween party display, layer black and white cupcake liners, and machine-stitch through both layers to craft tiny snack baskets. Thread a length of black-and-white covered wire or pipe cleaner through opposite sides of the baskets to serve as handles.
Everyone will hoot with delight at this owl's haunting appearance. Dip large soft pretzels in melted white candy coating. Layer sandwich cookies, white candies, and chocolate chips for wide-open eyes. Use leftover candy coating to attach bits of black licorice for eyebrows. Dust with black sugar, add a black jelly bean nose, and use black licorice candies to make feet.
Conjure some welcome spirits for Halloween snacks. Start with a basic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Cut it into a ghost shape using a cookie cutter. Press two raisin eyes into bread. Use peanut butter to attach eyes, if necessary. Use small cookie cutters to make snack-size treats or a large cutter for a haunted lunch centerpiece.
Editor's Tip: To feed lots of hungry ghouls, cut out sandwiches using Halloween-theme cookie cutters in shapes such as pumpkins, witch hats, and cats to make an eerie and fun sandwich platter.
Argh! These Halloween treats look like they've been decaying in a deep, dark cavern, but they're a real treasure. Dress up favorite popcorn balls with a dose of green food coloring for a gruesome gem your little pirates will search for.
A roll of the dice can decide who survives your haunted party, but these treats are always a winner. Cut homemade or store-bought marshmallows into large cubes. Make the dots on each side using edible cake-decorating markers. Stack the dice in favor of fun!
Editor's Tip: Homemade marshmallows require significant chilling time. If you don't have time to wait, online confectioners offer a wide assortment of the gourmet treats. Some are already cut into the cube shape.
Carve a little fun into snack time. Open-face bologna-and-cheese sandwiches are easier to carve than a pumpkin. Use small cookie cutters to cut jack-o'-lantern features into cheese slices. Remove crusts from bread slices, and trim bologna slices to fit the bread. Layer the cheese face on top, and complete the pumpkin with a bread-crust stem and basil leaf.
Crooked pretzel walls define a mysterious graveyard, while tombstone-shape dippers hint at what's beneath the surface. But there's no mystery about how much you'll love this delicious dip with it's buried layers of hummus, honeyed onion, and garlic-seasoned yogurt.
This experiment always succeeds! Popcorn, nuts, and cereal make ideal test subjects, and a kicky honey-mustard potion ensures the results are always positive.
Grow a little Halloween fun at snack time. Cupcakes take on Halloween charm with some quick decorating magic. Mound bright orange frosting on cupcakes then gently roll the entire top or just the edge in orange decorating sugar, alternating fine and coarse sugars for the look you prefer. To make indentations that resemble the lines of a pumpkin, press a wooden skewer on top of sugared cupcakes, spacing evenly. Finish with pretzel-stick stems.
Editor's Tip: Bake or buy mini, regular, and jumbo cupcakes to create three sizes for your pumpkin patch.
Eek! There's a skeleton on that plate! He's made with pretzel sticks and cheese spread, and sure to tickle a child's funny bone.
Shape "stones" from an easy shortcut fudge, and roll them in cocoa powder dust. They look frighteningly like the real thing.
Hand these fingerlike treats over to guests as an eerie party buffet offering. Dip large pretzel sticks into melted white candy coating and add nails of sliced almonds. Display the fingers in a jar covered with an old shirt cuff.
Decorate this treat witch-ever way you want. To summon up an oddball spirit, go wacky with crazy colors. For something a little more wicked, choose traditional black and orange food coloring pastes. Either way, the popcorn-and-candy snack hints that a wayward crone has passed these parts, casting a colorfully crazy spell on your party.
Bake and decorate a litter of these witch's cats. The dough is a brew of orange and chocolate flavors.
Sandwich a layer of chocolate frosting between purchased chocolate cookies for a hat brim. Top with a chocolate ice cream cone, held in place with more frosting. Use frosting bags with decorative tips to embellish the witch hats.