It’s no secret that I love a good Halloween party, but I’ve also been into healthy eating lately (not exactly what Halloween is known for), which has presented me with a new challenge.

A healthier Halloween challenge

My uber chic friend at In New York Paris Tomorrow gave me a copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF FOOD by Clare Crespo, and problem solved! I’m loving Clare’s wildly fun, yet nutritious recipe ideas so much, that I’ve got to share a few of them with you in time to plan for your big Halloween bash! Treats that will trick your little ghouls and goblins into healthy holiday fun.
Hand Punch: photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Who wants sodas when you can have punch with a couple hands floating in it? Just fill unpowdered surgical gloves with cranberry juice, and tie a knot at the end to keep juice in the glove while you freeze it overnight. Mix light colored juices of your choice (here she’s used pineapple and lemonade) in a large punch bowl, then carefully peel the glove off of the frozen hands, and place them in the bowl.

Eyeball Snacks: photo by Eric Staudenmaier
Getting Tatjana to eat boiled eggs might be a stretch, but she would have loved eating eyeballs just to shock me as a kid. Slice the cooled and peeled boiled eggs in half, cut pitted black olives into quarters, and place in the center of each “iris.”
Spider Web Soup: photo by Eric Staudenmaier
Here Clare’s made a yummy tomato soup, but you can make any family favorite. The clever spider web is made by mixing a 1/4 cup of sour cream with 1 tablespoon of milk, then putting the mixture in a squeeze bottle to form a small circle in the center of the soup, with larger circles around it until you reach about 1/2 inch from the edge of the bowl. Use a knife to draw lines from one circle to the next to form the web. Tip: practice makes perfect on this one.
Spaghetti with Eyeballs: photo by Eric Staudenmaier
I love this simple everyday bowl of spaghetti and meatballs that stares back at you! Just bake the meatballs with pimento-stuffed olives for the eyeballs, and place two meatballs on top of each bowl of spaghetti.
We’ve been awfully good up until now, so I think we deserve a little naughty with our nice.

Finger Cookies: photo by Eric Staudenmaier
Everyone knows I’m a sucker for a keyboard player, plus I happen to be a certified cookie monster. I think I just fell in love again. Roll some cookie dough between your hands to make finger shapes, then use a knife to make indentations for the knuckles. While the baked fingers are cooling, mix 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon water to make an icing glue. Use the glue to attach an almond slice “fingernail” to the end of each finger.

What fiendish goodies will you nightmare up?
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  • October 15, 2010
    1:45 pm

    Those photos are awesome. I make a peanut butter snack that is rolled in grape nuts cereal, so we serve it in a litter box full of grape nuts, with a scooper (both purchased new, of course LOL). Looks very lovely on the dinner table.We also like to make Dirt Dessert which has oreos, Jello brand cheesecake filling, cool whip, and gummy worms in it, served in a child's pail with a child's shovel to serve. I'm probably not going to partake in any snacks this year…I am feeling great with the weight loss, and don't want to spoil my appetite/cravings by eating that stuff again. But…it's fun to make for the kids.

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  • October 15, 2010
    4:35 pm

    I love the eyes and soup! Definitely will be trying those out. The spaghetti with eyeballs scared me LOL

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  • October 15, 2010
    4:53 pm

    Wow Mari – the litter box is hysterical, and I never thought I'd hear myself say these words, but the pail full of dirt sounds yummy.I need some of your weight loss determination – I've been eating healthy, but still too much of a good thing.

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  • October 15, 2010
    4:54 pm

    PS. The photos are beyond fabulous, but I can't take credit – they are by Eric Staudenmaier for the book, THE SECRET LIFE OF FOOD.

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  • October 15, 2010
    5:26 pm

    ooh. Halloween Happiness … love this (and so does America – I think it's the #1 spending holiday)Madeleine Gallay

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  • October 15, 2010
    5:27 pm

    I'll have to try the tomato soup!Dorah Caulfield

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  • October 15, 2010
    5:27 pm

    That is adorable!!!Carly Guerrero

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  • October 15, 2010
    5:28 pm

    Jewels, thanx 4 the spaghetti shot u posted. I'm gonna freak the younger ones out tonight w/ this. Brilliant!!!Carly Guerrero

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  • October 15, 2010
    5:30 pm

    You can still buy this cookbook (The Secret Life of Food) online. I highly recommend it, especially if you have young ones at home.

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  • October 15, 2010
    5:31 pm

    In your glam hands, this is sheer delightful food as art …

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  • October 15, 2010
    5:35 pm

    My daughter is 12 and a big vampire fan. I recently threw her a vampire themed birthday party. I picked up an old fashioned punch bowl @ thirft store, made a bright green punch and dropped green glow sticks into the bowl. I used cookie cutters to cut bats, bones, cats, moons etc out of pita bread and I sprayed them w/ olive oil, baked them into crisp chips and served with a variety of dips, (this would be a cute concept for tiny pizza appetizers too.) I put out trays of "blood red" fruits and veggies (berries, grapes, cherry tomatoes etc) with rustic cut wooden toothpicks (stakes)in them to go with the dips. I also picked up a variety of mis-matched wine glasses at Goodwill and glass painted red blood dripping down them so each guest had their own custom glass. I served spaghetti with meatball eyes, "non garlic" bread and for dessert I made red velvet cake with white frosting, using red gel to create blood dripping down the sides of the cake. Instead of happy birthday I wrote "Bite Me" across the top of the cake. It was super fun. :) I love Halloween, so any excuse to pull out my black velvet runners, candelabras and porcelain skulls is heaven to me. Kim Phillips Cuccia

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  • October 15, 2010
    6:32 pm

    how utterly fangtastic!!!!!

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  • October 15, 2010
    7:27 pm

    Julie Anne, these are great! Thank you for sharing.Karen Gilbert

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  • October 15, 2010
    7:48 pm

    Jewels, being from the midwest, i'm surprised you never heard of dirt dessert…seems to be a standard at any and all pot lucks (without gummy worms unless it's halloween). The recipe is here: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1613,151183-255201,00.html And it is very yummy! Cream cheese anything and peanut butter anything are two huge temptations for me. ~mari

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  • October 15, 2010
    7:55 pm

    Mari – I'm Ooooooooooold! I think dirt dessert was probably after my day.

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  • October 15, 2010
    9:19 pm

    Dirt is very yummy and incredibly fun, but it's also pretty rich and if you're not careful, one scoop can send you into a diabetic coma!Kim, I LOVE your vamp party! You're daughter and her friends must have had so much fun!

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  • October 15, 2010
    9:27 pm

    Love the pics. Must get online and buy myself a copy of the book. I'm sure Mia will love it too.The hand punch is great, I've got to do that one and although the cookie fingers are extremely ugly, they look fantastic.Aussie Mum

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  • October 16, 2010
    12:34 am

    Julie Anne, I love these – I'm going to try the hand in the punch and the spaghetti and meatballs (which also has one of the cutest food pictures I've ever seen). I just came across this blog entry for Mummy Meatloaf, and I think this is begging for a shot at tomorrow night's dinner. http://www.theknead4speed.com/2010/10/meatloaf-like-mummy-never-used-to-make/Congrats on the weight loss, Mari! I just started back on my healthy eating life after far too long, and am afraid of Halloween just sending all my progress to the beginning. I'm taking it meal by meal. Good luck to you.

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  • October 16, 2010
    3:34 am

    Love the spaghetti with eye balls! Too funny and I'd love to make it when my sister visits next year. LOL I've seen the dirt dessert done in individual flower pots so each guest had a worm coming out of the dirt. This was at a banquet for college aged students and they loved it. All these ideas are so fun, but I think I deserve the spaghetti with eye balls on Hallowe'en just for a treat. I've been eating healthier for the most part, but there are times when dinner is a bowl of oatmeal or a muffin. My bad! :)

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  • October 16, 2010
    4:12 pm

    Thanks going to try the soup it looks like fun. I've made the hands before and I had trouble with the fingers cracking off once the ice hits the warm air so make extras. I also make eyeball "eyess" cubes with coconut milk and a cherry dropped in it.JoAnne Patten Malanowski Gleason

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  • October 16, 2010
    4:14 pm

    I've never tried this – I probably will later this week – add gelatin to the coconut milk and drop in a cherry for jello eyeballsJoAnne Patten Malanowski Gleason

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  • October 16, 2010
    5:12 pm

    LOL! Love it. xLesley Zimmerman

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  • October 16, 2010
    5:24 pm

    Even with those crusty fingers? (LOL)Bj Nelson

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  • October 16, 2010
    5:56 pm

    You probably miss doing stuff like this with TajJulie Spinoso

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  • October 16, 2010
    6:05 pm

    Thanks for the cool ideas!!! xxxMariFer Cruz Ortega

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  • October 17, 2010
    4:41 am

    fabuloso, as usual, Jewels. xoJohn J. Smith

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  • October 17, 2010
    2:03 pm

    Halloween is my absolute favorite time of year, the changing leaves, cooler weather (at least here in the Northeast), just makes it the best time of year. I decorate my house every year and just love having the kids dress up. We try to throw a Halloween bash every year as well. I love the "healthy" good ideas here, I will definitely try to incorporate them this year! Thanks! :-) Andrea Schlegel-Wallace

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  • October 17, 2010
    2:07 pm

    Halloween and the fall are my absolute favorite time of year! The colorful leaves, cooler weather (at least up here in the Northeast), just makes for one of the best times of year! I love to have the kids dress up and watch the creativity of all of the parents and children. We try to throw a Halloween bash every year and I will try to incorporate some of these great healthy recipies this year! Thanks so much for sharing! :-) Andrea Schlegel-Wallace

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  • October 17, 2010
    5:50 pm

    Keyboard players …. hmmmm … REALLY? Now THERE is a surprise. LOLJustine Owls

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  • October 17, 2010
    5:51 pm

    Just something about those keyboard players ;) Tracy Williams Walls

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  • October 17, 2010
    5:51 pm

    So did Nick push it? ;) Carly Guerrero

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  • October 17, 2010
    5:52 pm

    No Carly, Nick has beautiful fingers. Odd, but I remember thinking that when I met him.

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  • October 17, 2010
    6:33 pm

    Hahahaha!Nordine Kadri

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  • October 17, 2010
    6:34 pm

    He really does, having seen them up close onstage, gotta admit very nice…… Are these made w/ white chocolate and almond slivers? ClassicCarly Guerrero

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  • October 17, 2010
    6:35 pm

    OMG — I will NOT say what just went through my head then!!! LOLYou know, Julie Anne, looking at all the pictures and catching glimpses of your memories in your blogs . . . I kinda wish things had worked out between you and Nick . . . Oh well, c'est la vie.Justine Owls

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  • October 17, 2010
    6:36 pm

    Oh, my piano teacher would have a fit at the length of those nails! lol Those really are creepy!Morgan Raymond

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  • October 17, 2010
    6:37 pm

    Hahaha, Morgan, my dad would have me pinned to the floor trying to clean the dirt from beneath them (edge of almond makes them look dirty- creepier still).

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  • October 17, 2010
    6:40 pm

    Those are some of the most creative Halloween-inspired dishes I've seen yet! Lara Hayes

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  • October 18, 2010
    1:47 am

    LOL !!!!!!MariFer Cruz Ortega

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  • October 18, 2010
    1:47 am

    Lol…that's funny:)Minnie Sanchez

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  • October 18, 2010
    3:19 am

    This such fun…I enjoyed the Halloween party recipe blog soooooo much!Kathy Davis

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  • October 18, 2010
    5:18 am

    My kids will love this!Andrea Schlegel-Wallace

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