Starting in the 1920s they published a series of "Bogie Books," which were part advertisement, part instruction manual on how to use their products to craft your own Halloween decorations, costumes, and party favors to throw the perfect party. Few Bogie books have been digitized, as they are insanely popular collector's items, as are the paper goods the Dennison company produced. However, via the Library of Congress, the Internet Archive has a digitized copy you can peruse! Chock full of fantastic images like this one:
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love to decorate, dress up, and feed people. So it's no surprise that throwing a vintage-inspired Halloween part was right up my alley. When I said I wanted to dress up as a spiritualist medium, a friend suggested making the whole party 1920s and '30s themed! So I did. Costumes in the theme were required and some folks really outdid themselves.
Sadly (or perhaps, wonderfully), most of my guests are usually so busy chatting and eating and having a good time, that we never have the chance to do games or activities! I did take some inspiration from the Bogie Books, however, as paper decorations definitely played a leading role.
With that in mind, and channeling an early 20th century home economist, I made sure all the food was color themed in orange, white, and black! And because I had a lot of events and late work nights leading up to the night of the party, I tried to simplify things to help-yourself snacks.
- Veggie tray - ranch dip with orange peppers, carrot chips, orange cherry tomatoes, sliced English cucumber, celery, and the extremely delicious - very juicy and crisp - sliced daikon radish
- Sharp cheddar, colby jack, and habanero cheddar with port wine cheddar spread with crackers
- Pumpernickel, olive batard, and charcoal (!) bread with homemade black olive tapenade (ripe, kalamata, and oil-cured black olives in the food chopper with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar)
- Fruit tray - jumbo blueberries, blackberries, black grapes, and ripe figs with sliced apples, bosc pears, dried mango, and dried apricots with a fruit dip made of Icelandic skyr yogurt and marshmallow fluff
- Roasted garlic and white bean dip and hot blue cheese dip with blue corn chips and sweet potato chips
- Smoked almonds, rosemary marcona almonds, and harissa peanuts
- Assorted vintage candy including cow tails, Abba Zabba, peanut butter crunch, candy corn, circus peanuts, and Milky Way bars
- Pumpkin cranberry bread pudding with plenty of whipped cream
- Persephone punch - homemade Hedgerow gin with pomegranate blueberry juice and pomegranate seltzer
- Fallen Apple punch - sweet cider, cranberry juice, and ginger ale
The smash hit of the evening was blue cheese dip with sweet potato chips. And everyone, even people who claimed not to like bread pudding, loved my bread pudding. Because I make the best. :D
It was a bit of a scramble, but I was able to get all the fruit and veggies chopped and all the dips made (with a few exceptions) in like, two hours. Three, if you include the time to make and bake the bread pudding.
Stay tuned for more recipes, but here are two: the easy-peasy blue cheese dip (seen here in the cute white pumpkin baking dish), and the roasted garlic white bean dip.
Hot Blue Cheese Dip
3 packages (16 oz.) neufchatel cream cheese
2 packages (8 oz.) Castelano or other very soft creamy blue cheese (or gorgonzola dolce)
about a handful shredded mozzarella cheese
Place blocks of cream cheese, blue cheese, and mozzarella in an oven proof dish. Bake at 350 F, uncovered, until cheese is soft and melty. Stir thoroughly to combine. Serve hot or room temp with plenty of sweet potato chips.
Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip
This also makes a LOT. So feel free to cut the recipe in half if you're not feeding a crowd.
2-4 heads of garlic, roasted and removed from skins
2 double cans cannellini beans, drained
Process the beans and roasted garlic in stages with the olive oil until smooth. Add to crockpot and keep warm. Serve warm or room temperature with blue corn chips or pita chips.
If you wanted to spice things up a bit, some dried thyme or fresh basil or parsley (or all three!) would not be remiss.