Bone Appetite: Tricks and Treats for a Hosting a Spooky Wine and Cheese Party

Tricks and Treats for throwing a Spooky Wine & Cheese Party

Halloween is less than a week away but there’s plenty of time to scare up a spooky wine and cheese party for entertaining your friends or neighbors with a trip to the grocery store and just a few easy tricks and treats!


Trick #1: Pull out your best tarnished silver. . . no need to polish.


I picked up some worn silverplate trays for a Halloween party several years ago that were pitted and tarnished beyond polishing, for just a few dollars each at a thrift store. Ideal for serving up some decrepit and spooky ambiance for a Halloween party!


Trick #2:  Forgo the fancy tablecloth and use a ghostly white sheet and layer with black gauze and creepy fabric for your table. You can find creepy cloth at dollar stores, craft stores or Walmart.


Trick #3: Serve something scary like Ghost Pepper Cheese. . .


Make sure you serve it with a warning label. . .Beware.


Trick #4: Use some unexpected items for risers and to add some height to the table for serving. A vintage black scale or a stemless gray or ghostly white pumpkin can provide height and a place for trays of cheese or plates.


Trick #5: Serve some spooky wine or add haunted labels to your favorite vintage or bottles. Search Pinterest where you can download free printables and labels for your spooky beverages or brew.


Halloween wines are easier than ever to scare up at the wine or grocery store. Bogle Phantom is one our favorite red wines and available for only a limited time before it vanishes again. You can find suggestions for 31 wines for All Hallow’s Eve, here.


Trick #6: Add a spooky glow with votives or candles. Download free graphics and place under cloches with flameless LED candles. My spooky graphics are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy. . .enter Halloween in the search box for images and proceed with caution. . .


Halloween is the time of year when everyday items can appear a little creepy and spooky . . .and when chia or poppy seeds can resemble Graveyard Dust.


Trick #7: Give your cheese or appetizer a spooky description or name.


 Graveyard Dust Cheddar Cheese Ball, recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma

The original recipe calls for poppy seeds but when I went to buy them the price was scary at $6 for 1.25 oz. jar.  Chia seeds were cheaper per ounce, provided the same texture along with being a superfood with omega-3 fatty acids. Who says Graveyard Dust can’t be a little healthy? ;)


4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. smoked paprika

3 Tbs. mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1/3 cup chia seeds (substitute poppy seeds if prefer)

Crackers for serving



In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire, paprika, mayonnaise and pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Place the cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the edges of the plastic wrap and pull up, twisting it around the cheese to form a ball. Place the cheese ball on a plate and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

(If you’re not satisfied with the shape of the cheese ball after it has chilled, let it soften slightly at room temperature and then reshape. Refrigerate the ball for 1 hour more before rolling in chia seeds.)

When the cheese ball is firm, remove the plastic wrap. Place the chia seeds in a bowl and roll the cheese ball in the seeds until evenly coated. Transfer the cheese ball to a serving plate and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers. Serves 20.

You can find a printable recipe, here.


Trick #8: Witch Fingers are easy to spell from String Cheese. Use a knife to carve lines for knuckles and attach sliced almonds for fingernails with a little cream cheese.


I made Witch Fingers last year for my photo shoot with BH&G Halloween Tricks and Treats Magazine Serve them under a cloche as a specimen to up the spook factor, if you dare. . .


Add your favorite jarred marinara for a blood red and spooky dipping sauce.


Trick #9:  Make mozzarella eyeballs with bocconcini and top with an olive slice to stare up at you from marinara sauce for serving.

Provide wooden stakes or skewers in a spooky skellie martini glass for serving.


Add some crackers, grapes, smoked or marcona almonds, walnuts, olives, fig preserves, and/or dried apricots to accompany your wine and cheese. dsc_3809-002

Trick #10: Last but not least, make some quick and spooky tortilla chips for dips or hummus using spinach tortillas and cookie cutters.

Spooky Spinach Tortilla Chips

I used the same method as with my tortilla shamrocks, cutting out spooky shapes with cookie cutters and placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spritz your shapes with olive oil or baking spray and sprinkle with sea salt, then bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes until tortilla shapes are crisp and just beginning to brown around the edges. Allow to cool and serve with store-bought dip, hummus, or make your own.


Black Bean and Olive Hummus, adapted from Allrecipes


1 clove garlic

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 1/4 teaspoon paprika

 1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained


Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add all other ingredients processing until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add additional seasoning to taste if needed. Garnish with paprika if desired.


You can find a printable recipe, here.


Bone Appétit and Happy Haunting!


Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday

  35 comments for “Bone Appetite: Tricks and Treats for a Hosting a Spooky Wine and Cheese Party

  1. October 26, 2016 at 7:23 am

    It all looks incredible!

  2. October 26, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Mary, what time does this spooky party begin? Great entertaining ideas for the adults…the cheddar cheese ball looks wonderful! Have a wonderful Wednesday, Pam @ Everyday Living

  3. Sandi Lee
    October 26, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Fabulous! Where did you find the spinach tortillas? Have not seen those.

    • October 26, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Hi Sandi, My grocery store sells them, the brand I bought was Mission.

  4. Kathi Layfield
    October 26, 2016 at 7:41 am

    What a fun display of appetizers! Yummy!

  5. October 26, 2016 at 7:46 am

    You could make a girl love Halloween. This is terrific. Pinned.

  6. Ellen Stillabower
    October 26, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Looks SPOOKYLICIOUS!!! 🎃💀🍁🍂🕷🕸🎃

  7. October 26, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Congrats on the magazine spread. Somehow I missed this last year or maybe my memory is slipping. You sure have fun with this event and your creativity is amazing. Food looks wonderful and whoever decided that tarnished silver was in I am all for it.

  8. October 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Gosh darnit Mary, how did I miss your feature last year??? :/

    I love the wine and cheese spread. It’s adorable *and* spooky!!!

  9. October 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Bone Appetite Mary, your spooky spread offers up everything a ghoul could want! Love the fig jam held up by the bony hand and all your buffet tips. The grave yard dust is very brilliant! I think an adult wine & cheese buffet is a bewitching idea for Halloween, and I could certainly scare up some tarnished silver :) Love your eerie wine selections! I must admit, I am a little sad that Halloween is only days away, and we will have to store our brooms away until next year…it’s going to be hard to cook without my cauldron!

  10. Sue
    October 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Thank you Mary, for such a fun party for Halloween!

  11. Jan McF
    October 26, 2016 at 9:38 am

    All your posts and recipes are wonderful, but your Halloween ones are pretty spook-tacular!! Your visuals are one of the best out in blog-land! Thank you so much!

  12. Donna
    October 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Very cool and creative . . . . things that most of us would never have thought of. THANKS.

  13. Yvonne Shafer
    October 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Once again I want to get everything you have! I love your creative ideas and sense of whimsy!

  14. October 26, 2016 at 11:51 am

    The treats look fantastic ♥

  15. marja carew
    October 26, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I love all your recipes and decorations for Halloween!! They are great!

  16. Virginia
    October 26, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    How creative! I am going to try some of your suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

  17. October 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    You have shared a plethora of spooky ideas for a great Halloween party. I’m pinning these for future reference. Need to find a copy of the magazine. Have a great weekend. Looks like you are ready for Halloween.

  18. October 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I want to be your neighbor/friend!! Love all your ideas!! I made the Witch Wreath for my son’s girlfriend. She loved it!!

  19. October 26, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Oh my goodness…I want to come to a Halloween party at your house, Mary!! Thanks for all the inspiration, as always! You’re the best!!

  20. October 26, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    My kind of party-you know I’m all about the appys Mary! Love your skull tortilla chips-have fun:@)

  21. October 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Ooooh, Mary, my bones are rattlin’ at the thought of that ghost pepper cheese! It must be delicious and Beware warnings are certainly needed! I love your clever wine bottles and the fig preserves in the hand and the bloodshot cheese and olive eyeballs! So much fun~~I would love to come to this wine and cheese party. Linda

  22. Ann Shannon
    October 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    I always adore your party ideas. I will be repeating the spooky soup with “eyeballs” and bread stick “witches fingers” that you featured last year. My book club loved it. Thanks for the great inspirations.

  23. October 26, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    I want to come to your party!!! Everything looks just SPOOKtacular! Wish we were having a party now, but we will be trick or treating with our little Colleen:):) Can’t wait!

  24. October 27, 2016 at 7:58 am

    What a Ghoulishly Delicious wine and cheese spread for Halloween. Pinning the recipes for future use. No spooky party at this house this year. We have been invited to a Spooktacular Adult party. This party begins at the strike of seven, and we can’t be late! Have a Happy and safe Halloween!

  25. October 27, 2016 at 10:03 am

    You are always an amazing inspiration for party ideas! That cheddar ball look awesome and those eyeballs are so creepy but fun!

  26. October 27, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Bone appetite….I love it. Mary, your amaze me with your never ending creativity.

  27. October 29, 2016 at 10:52 am

    What a fun combination of foods and display! I love all of it! Will be pinning for some inspiration for next year.

  28. October 30, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Pinned away!…..Congrats, congrats on your magazine feature!!!…..They picked the best to feature!…This leads me to repeating this statement….you should have a book on your most incredible tablescapes and recipe ideas for all occasions and seasons….you are the best!!!

  29. Diane
    October 31, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Hi Mary, just wondering if you have a link to all your recipes? I printed mini pumpkin pies and there is a list on the left side, but in order to print it would take 8 pages. I’d love to be able to check out all your recipes.
    Thanks if you can help.

  30. September 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Wonderful to revisit your outstanding array of Halloween fun!

  31. October 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    each idea is better than the next. i love them all! great photography capturing all of it. xo- maryjo

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