Katie Miller, Staff Writer

As the night for spooks and sweets approaches, many of you are scrambling to pick costumes, decorations, and of course, treats for your nightly Halloween festivities.

Being an ambitious and easily excitable cook, I like to go all out with party themes by incorporating the food into the overall package.

When I think of Halloween, I imagine the contrasting effect of bright orange pumpkins with jet-black cats; walls of cobwebs littered with multi-colored leaves; people dressed like our favorite movie stars walking next to our most feared monsters. All of these can be used to create truly Halloween-y party foods and drinks.

For those prospective Martha Stewarts out there, you may desire a more challenging approach to your Halloween eats.

My olive eyeball hors d’oeuvres are sure to both disturb and satisfy. Take your favorite soft cheese (feta, goat, mozzarella,) squish onto a serving tray (with or without crackers) and then top each blob off with a green olive, with the pimento facing up. The key here is to get the olives with the pimentos to give the full eye ball effect.

The more traditional among you may be looking for the ease of age-old Halloween favorites. Going with the colors of Halloween as the base for the food produces a very consistent and chic effect. Nothing catches the eye better than a clear color scheme.

Combined with simple black and orange streamers, having a table littered with pumpkins, leaves, bats, cats, witches and ghost sugar cookies; Halloween themed candies such as candy corn, orange, yellow and brown M&M’s, as well as simply filling a bowl with oranges or grapes draped in cob webs can give your party guests an impressive array of treats that are delectable, eye catching, and easy to do.

While food is the best way for all ages to creatively incorporate the Halloween feeling, themed cocktails add an extra flavor and punch for the lucky few of age. The Food Network recommends Candy Corn Cordials. All you need is a bottle of vodka, orange liqueur, several lemons, egg whites (sounds strange, but completely necessary) and candy corn!

For two drinks, first combine a half a cup of candy corn and one and a half cups of vodka in an airtight container and set it aside for at least three hours, the strain.

Next, pour four ounces of the candy corn vodka, two ounces orange liqueur, half of a lemon’s juice and one large egg white to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. After shaking for a little under a minute, pour into favorite martini glasses and enjoy!

Other drinks include The Zombie, which has four types of rum, two types of brandy, four different types of juices and an almond sryup called oregat.

Take one-fourth measure oregat, three-fourth measure lime juice, one-half measure light rum, dark rum, cherry brandy, apricot brandy, papaya juice, one measure golden dark rum and orange juice, and two measures pineapple juice.

Mix together in shaker with ice, pour into glasses, and then dribble glasses with one-third measure over-proof dark rum. It is sure to make you walk like the living dead.