Sunday, October 23, 2016

Crazy Bones Cafe!

No rattlin' bones about it! We're Halloween-crazy over here and mighty proud of it! Every year brings a new creative challenge: What are we going to do to top last year's extravaganza? 

The grandkids and I love to play act when we're together. One moment we're magicians. The next, we're operating a family library. We publish our own family newspaper and have gone digging deep in the woods for dino eggs. Seriously, what was left to do besides assemble a wait staff, cook up some googly-eyed goodies and open our own cafe to celebrate this year's spooky season?

My "Halloween Snack" pin board bursts at the seams, but for this event each selection needed to be kid-friendly for cooking and eating, plus freezable or easy to store. My crew assembled a week in advance for a top secret workshop that yielded an impressive display of "Boo-Nanas," "Swamp Monsters,"* tasty little "Cockroaches," and a perky half dozen popcorn "Monster Munchies."**

BOO! We were in business!

I filled out the repast with some "grandma-made" choices and produced a set of menus. The scary thing about them was the lack of proper info! "Moldy Monster Mash?" Huh? "What on earth is that?" The only wise thing to do was circle everything!.....

Secret Decoder!
Adult Menu:
Baby Mummies = jalapeno poppers wrapped in Crescent dough
Little Devils = deviled eggs
*Swamp Monster = dinner roll blob with raisin eyes and almond slice hair perched in hummus
Swamp Juice = orange punch
Boneyard Platter = ribs, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Moldy Monster Mash = mac and cheese tinted green

Munchkin Menu:
Bowl of Bugs = mixed fruit
Mini Mummy = tiny pizza with string cheese strips and olive slice eyes
Goofy Juice = orange punch

Made by the kids as linked above. My first, and favorite place to go for seasonally unique recipes is Hungry Happenings. That's where our chirpy orange popcorn monsters** and dozens and dozens more easy-to-make, very creative treats for every season of the year come from!

There was some behind-the-scenes work to be done before the Crazy Bones Cafe opened for business. I set a self-serve drink bar at table-center for the adults ("mummies" and daddies!)....

"Drunk and Disorderly!"

Whoa! What's this?

Rubbery cocktail-umbrella-toting skellies wobbled precariously from the plastic Dollar Tree martini glasses I glued 'em to!

Had I not amply sampled the "Purple People Eater" cocktail, I might have reasoned that if you're too early putting out bowls of candy corn for post dinner Halloween Bingo you should expect to attract rats!

Oh, and ghosts, too!

At last! 6 P.M. Dinner hour! My staff arrived, quickly donned Crazy Bones Cafe signature apparel and received menus and final instructions: "greet, seat, and eat!"

Dollar Tree - always grandma's friend! Wire a generous bow to their cute pumpkin headbands! "Done-Done!" as Kaylee (at left) would exclaim!

"We've been waiting for you!"

The food was great, the company better, the wait service outstanding! - and guest diners tipped accordingly! With everyone stuffed and immobile, bingo cards came out - we played eagerly with what candy corn was left!

Here's youngest daughter, Karen, in full Halloween glow, smiling over her first win!

It's heartwarming to see grandchildren playing games alongside their parents. I try to include an activity like this at each family event. Sometimes it's as simple as printing out grandma blogger Lisa's holiday jokes, like the Halloween version on this post at Grandma's Briefs. Cut the answers from the questions and give a scrambled set to each guest for matching. And who knows? Maybe one of them will "deserve" to get a prank set that has zero matches! :)

Our bingo game was purchased, but there's a really cute one here at One Creative Mommy that you can print out and enjoy for free right now!

Need more Halloween ideas for kids? Spiders don't fall far from the web! My daughter, Mary Jo, has great suggestions for you at Mrs. Party Planner. Scurry on over to see them!

Crazy Bones Cafe will return next year, there's no doubt about it. In the meantime, this grandma is beginning to noodle about a Christmas version! Hmmm....."Santa's Snack Stop?" Elf capped wait staff? "Reindeer feed" salad? Mac and cheese "snowballs?" Meatball "mice before Christmas?"....??

Happy Halloween every-bone-y!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mega Monster Mania!

Over here, we fancy our monsters! They've been part of our lives since the two oldest grandsons took a liking to their crookedly odd looks when they were a team of pint size monster hunters at the tender age of three. Since then, we've added younger sisters and a pair of girl cousins to the mix. Under normal circumstances, you'd expect little ladies to flinch at the fearsome fury created by these greedily grasping crazily creeping creatures.....

But not over here!

We recently sat down together at "Grandma's Mega Monster Mania" to paint some scary looking dudes destined to return in the form of embellished pillows that promise to forever haunt the scariest month of the year! I took hold of those freshly painted bodies, turned 'em inside out, stitched 'em up, buttoned 'em, dated 'em and sent 'em right back into the delighted little hands of their original creators!

The only thing we're scared of over here is missing out on Grandma's annual Halloween Workshop Events....the place where cousins gather to paint, decorate, bake and create! We wrap things up like a mummy with sleepovers preceded by backyard-after-dark fire pit s'mores-munching and (age appropriate!) ghost story telling sessions. Moms and dads sometimes join us for Glow Stick Hide and Seek, or a super fun "Vampires at Dark" game you can print out for free right here at "Prepared Not Scared." Be sure to check out Trish's entire treasure trove of exceptionally cute games and graphics that will give you a great start on the path to your own series of grandma-sponsored Halloween workshops!