Halloween shouldn’t be about shortcuts. The best part about giving treat out, is to see the reactions of children’s smiling faces as they receive freshly baked cookies, popcorn balls or shiny red apples. Unfortunately the charm of the holiday has gotten lost somewhere along the way. Today packaged Nerds and Jolly Ranchers from large-sized Costco candy bags have become the standard treat. I’m encouraging we give Halloween back its charm. Without overly complicating the movement, let’s dress our treats up in theme. Spruce up your treat basket with candy corn, candied apples, Witches’ Fingers in Bandages, essentially pigs in a blanket, and Vampire Teeth – red syrup covered marshmallows. If you’re planning a treat for the adults of your neighborhood, serve Satan’s Whiskers with vermouth, orange juice and bitters, Black Widows decorated with black licorice, or a Bloody Apple Cranberry Cocktail, with apple cider and apple vodka. Enjoy in traditional Halloween style.

Here’s a simple yet creative idea, if you’re entertaining guests or planning on throwing a fall harvest party, try transforming a pumpkin into a punch bowl. It’s the perfect DIY project for any fall occasion that doesn’t require a ton of skill or time. Choose a large and round pumpkin. With a serrated knife, cut off the top one-fourth of the pumpkin. With a large spoon, scoop out innards and seeds.  Dry the inside with paper towels. In a large bowl, add 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup spiced syrup, 1 bottle of spiced rum, and 10 oz of pumpkin puree. Stir together. Pour mixture through strainer. Once strained, pour into punch bowl. Guests can use a ladle to serve their glasses. Garnish with cinnamon sticks over ice. This festive centerpiece will be the talk of the night.