Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween Party Hosting Tips

Halloween is a great opportunity to throw a party! We’ve compiled some handy tips and ideas to help you throw a spook-tacular Halloween party your guests will long remember!

RSVP!

Consider making or buying some Halloween-themed party invitations;  I suggest you have guests RSVP for your party and consider asking guests to bring a dish or beverage to pass. This can help you plan accordingly and help lighten your workload.

Set the Scene

One of the key elements to a Halloween party is the ‘mood’.  And mood can be set a number of ways: decorations, lighting, music and sound, food and more. Let’s start with decorations. Figi’s and other retailers have all kinds of fun and scary Halloween items you can use just about anywhere in and around your home.  Popular ideas include setting up your yard to look like a graveyard complete with tombstones and zombie or skeleton hands coming up from the graves. Many people also use pumpkins, corn stalks, straw bales and other autumn props. Stringing up ghosts, spiders, witches, and bats is another Halloween decorating staple.  You can also buy and apply fake cobwebs indoors and outdoors; add small plastic spiders into the webbing for some ‘extra-yuck!’

Find the Perfect Props

Sonic Heads Off SkeletonThere are many varieties of illuminated, animated and inflatable items available, if your budget allows for them. Include animated props and decorations in the open and hidden away to create a fun experience for party guests and trick or treaters alike. Decorations that light up, move and make spooky sounds, especially when people don’t expect it, can really give your party some ‘wow!’ Figi’s Gallery has some Halloween décor items on sale right now; click here (while supplies last). To see the Sonic Heads Off Skeleton (pictured left) and more fun Halloween decor, click here.

Strike a Spooky Tune

Set the mood with a spooky sound effect soundtrack or Halloween-themed music. Pandora is a great site for creating a playlist that you won’t have to fuss over.  Use black lights, dim lighting and candle light to set the mood. Flameless candles are safer, especially if there are children around.  Christmas style Halloween lights are also available in orange and purple – they’re safe and can be  a cool mood setter as well.  One idea I like is to take empty glass liquor bottles and re-label them with Halloween themed labels.

Prepare your “Horrors D’Ouevres”

Halloween Greetings Petits FoursAnother important aspect of your party is planning what to serve. There are many “cleaver” ideas for spooky foods, icky appetizers and wicked beverages – the easiest way to start is to pick something you’ll like and want to share! Here’s a link to some terror-ific food and beverage ideas from Food Network and of course, we have some great food gifts for the occasion here.

The Devil in the Details

The first thing they teach you at haunted party planning school is that themed plates, table cloths, candles, serving trays, cups, & napkins go a long way to help bring your spooky theme full circle. Pay attention to these little details to completely transform your home into an exciting Halloween event. Find these essential party supplies at larger retailers and party supply stores, or stop by your local haunted mansion and ask the maitre d’!

Let the Games Begin!

Halloween Fun BagsYou can also incorporate party games and a costume contest; some great ideas for this can be found here. Again, many retailers and party supply stores have ribbons for costume party contests. You can give each guest Halloween goody bags, like these from Figi’; these are fun ways to say ‘thanks for coming!’  Figi’s also has great Halloween food baskets you can give away as prizes or to set out as finger-foods for you party.

Tips & Tricks from the Pros

There’s almost no end to what you can do for your party, but keep a few very important things in mind: your budget, setup and cleanup, storage and guest safety.

Budget: If you over-spend on your party, you won’t enjoy your party very much. Set a budget and stick to it.  Many of the party items you have will be reusable, thankfully!

Setup & Cleanup: Do yourself a favor: if you’re throwing a large event, enlist some help with the setup AND cleanup; the bigger your party, the bigger the setup and cleanup.

Safety: If you keep things dark and spooky, keep open flames away from children or use flameless candles. Tape down extension cords in walkways to minimize tripping and illuminate entry and exit points.

Storage: And finally, the more stuff you have at the party, the more stuff you need to store for next year’s party; do you have the space?

Finally, we have some other great Halloween party Tips and Tricks ideas for you on our Pinterest site, so be sure to check that out!  Do you have some Halloween party ideas? Share them with us on Facebook or in the Comments Field below.

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Top 7 Figi’s Spooky Treats for Halloween!

The leaves are changing color, football is well underway, and you know what that means…Halloween is almost here! Are you afraid you’re not going to be ready for the ghosts and goblins that will knock on your door this year? It’s time to put your worries away, and let Figi’s help you out! We have everything you need to keep those evil spirits at bay.

Halloween Candy Coffin TreatsHalloween Candy Coffin Treats: Open…if you DARE! Our cute little coffin boxes filled with candy tricks and treats! We designed these ourselves with our friendly spider and happy “boo” ghost! You won’t find these anywhere else. Perfect for all your little trick or treaters!

Halloween Fun BagsHalloween Fun Bags: Our exclusively designed and filled felt Halloween candy bags! These are too good not to share with all your big and little monsters!

Halloween Snackin' FavoritesHalloween Snackin’ Favorites: Where else can you find this variety of Halloween candy and snack assortments? From traditional Sanded Jelly Pumpkins to our new Harvest Pretzel and Candy Mix. There’s something for everyone to enjoy! P.S. our favorite is the Halloween Gummi Bears…scary good!

Halloween Cookie AssortmentHalloween Cookie Assortment: Our cookie assortments are almost too pretty to eat! This exclusive variety of cookies will have you coming back for more at every holiday and occasion!

New Ghost Cookie JarNEW! Ghost Cookie Jar: Our happy “Boo” ghost is ready to hold all your candy or cookie treats!  We designed “Boo” ourselves – our artist wanted to spread the happiness so made sure “Boo” had a nice big smile!

Halloween Greetings Petits FoursHalloween Greetings Petits Fours: These tasty little hand decorated cakes are the ultimate indulgence! A fun and delicious way to say “Happy Halloween”!

Halloween Popcorn AssortmentHalloween Popcorn Assortment: Our most popular and traditional Halloween gift! The popcorn is made right here in Wisconsin and the tin is made in the USA so you could call this an All American Halloween gift!

Figi's LogoWhether you’re sending Halloween gifts from afar or giving out those spooky sweets in person, Figi’s has you covered! Click here to see our entire Halloween Collection!

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Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Halloween is fast upon us and we wanted to remind everyone that while Halloween should be a fun time for children, it can also be dangerous without proper precautions and planning. Unfortunately, roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening versus other evenings of the year. In addition, a leading cause of Halloween injuries for children is falls caused by darkness, large or long costumes and impaired vision from masks.  Thankfully, many of these injuries can be prevented by taking some simple precautions provided by the National Safety Council, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics as outlined below.

 Carving Pumpkins:

  • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with ample lighting.
  • Allow children to draw the ‘face’ on the outside of the pumpkin, but parents should do the carving.
  • Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lighted pumpkins unattended. Also consider using a small light bulb to illuminate the pumpkin rather than an open flame.  

Safety Tips for Children:

  • If possible, trick-or-treat during daylight hours.
  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches; do not enter houses.
  • Visit neighborhoods you are familiar with.
  • Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult.
  • Carry a cell phone, know your emergency contacts and know how to call 911 in the event of an emergency.
  • Have your child’s full names and phone number attached to their costumes if your child is too young to remember that information.
  • Bring all treats home and inspect them before eating them. Chances are your Halloween candy has not been tampered with, but it’s worth checking. Also look for and discard candy that is unwrapped or spoiled.
  • Costume knives and swords should be flexible rubber rather than rigid or sharp.
  • Carry and use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks where they exist, and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Look left, look right, and look left again before crossing the street.
  • Stop at all street corners and stay together in a group before crossing the street.
  • Wear bright, reflective, and flame retardant clothing.
  • To maximize visibility, consider using face paint instead of masks as masks can obstruct vision. Avoid wearing hats that will slide over the eyes.
  • To avoid trips and falls, avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or over-sized shoes.
  • Treat the neighborhoods you visit with respect; do not vandalize.

Safety Tips for Parents:

  • Clearly communicate your ground rules, safety tips and expectation to your children before they venture out.
  • Go trick-or-treating with children under age 12; supervise them as they cross the street, etc.
  • Establish a curfew for older children.
  • Prepare your own home for trick-or-treaters by having the driveway, sidewalk and entry way well-lit. Clear your porch, lawn, and sidewalk of trip hazards; place jack-o-lanterns away from doorways and landings.
  • Avoid giving gum, nuts, hard candies, coins or small toys as treats to young children as they can be chocking hazards.
  • Inspect all candy before letting children eat it.
  • Drive slowly and be alert for pedestrians; watch for children especially.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.

We hope you have a happy and safe Halloween! If you need any Halloween Candy Gift Baskets or Halloween Decor, Figi’s still has some great gifts available, but hurry – they’re going fast!

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Figi’s 20% Off Sale 10/16/13 – 10/18/13

Halloween SaleSave 20% at the figis.com Spook-tacular Savings Event from 10/16/13 – 10/18/13. Get your Halloween Candy Baskets and everything else, on sale.  But hurry – scare up your savings now before it disappears!

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Figi’s History Part 2: Figi’s on Top of the World – Literally!

Would you believe that Figi’s cheese and sausage has been to the top of Mt. Everest, an elevation of 29,028 feet above sea level?  Interestingly enough, in 1982, during a two month climbing expedition, our cheese and sausage accompanied the first group of Americans to ever climb the Chinese side of Mt. Everest.

The story begins in 1981 when Rainier Mountaineering of Tacoma, Washington received official permission from the Chinese Mountaineering Association to attempt the ascent of Chomolungma, the Chinese name for Mt. Everest.  Months of practicing and planning followed.  Donations were solicited as the expedition, at that time, was expected to cost several hundred thousand dollars.  Included on the list of required equipment/supplies was food, of course, and because cheese and smoked meats are high energy foods that travel well, Rainier Mountaineering sent a donation request to Figi’s for their historical expedition.  Figi’s was thrilled to ship an extensive assortment of Wisconsin’s finest cheese and sausage to Washington for reshipment via boat to China in preparation for the August 1982 climb.

Unfortunately, the team of Americans was unable to reach the summit due to terrible weather conditions and the tragic death of Marty Hoey, who hoped to be the first American woman to climb the world’s highest peak.  Nonetheless, Figi’s received a thank you letter from Lou Whittaker, the expedition leader and now quite famous mountaineer.  Enclosed in the letter was the photo below; Figi’s Colby Cheese and Summer Sausage with the Everest Peak in the background!

Figi's Gifts on Mount Everest

If you missed Figi’s History Part 1, you can read it here. We’ll share Part 3 early next month. Thanks for reading Gourmetmarket.com!

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5 Candy Gift Baskets for Fall

Labor Day has passed and the first hints of Fall are in the air. Leaves are slowly beginning to change, days are growing shorter, and coffee shops everywhere are rolling out their much beloved pumpkin spice lattes. No matter what the changing season brings for you, there’s just something about September that makes the sweets of summer a little less savory, which is why we’ve put together these harvest-inspired candy gift baskets to capture the best flavors of Fall.

1. Spiced Pumpkins
Spiced Pumpkin Candy Gifts
Inside each of these miniature treats is a moist pumpkin cake stuffed with a generous portion of rich, creamy cheese filling. Finished with hand-decorated sweet creme icing, these spiced pumpkins create a perfectly balanced sweetness that comes ready-to-serve for your next get-together, gathering or party this Fall. Order a tin to share today!

2. Gourmet Caramels
Gourmet Caramels for FallWe took our classic recipe for rich, buttery caramel and blended in our favorite gourmet flavors for Fall. Each individually wrapped caramel features melt in your mouth taste that comes fresh from the harvest! Try our Apple Twist, Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla & Butter Toffee flavors and let us know which gourmet caramels are your favorites.

3. Autumn Celebration
Autumn Candy Gifts by Figi'sA true kaleidoscope of sweets come together in our Autumn Celebration to help bring in the harvest season. From chewy Jelly Pumpkins and classic Candy Corns to Jelly Belly’s® unique Autumn Mix, this tin is packed with something everyone can share and enjoy.

4. Pumpkin Pie Almonds
Pumpkin Candy Gifts
An easy snacking favorite for Fall, our Pumpkin Pie Almonds go by the handful! Savor the aroma of homemade pumpkin pie when you sink your teeth into these confection wrapped morsels. The smooth, creamy flavor of pumpkin pie combines with the crisp crunch of fresh almonds in a tin of tasty Fall goodness. Take one home or send to a friend as a preview of Thanksgiving!

5. Autumn Abundance
Autumn Abundance Candy Gift BoxThis gift box covers all the basics of Fall flavor & more! With the addition of snack sized steakhouse and garlic sausages, cheddar and Colby cheese, our Autumn Abundance takes a simple candy gift to the next level. Pair these savory treats with silky-smooth chocolate tortes, nonpareil chocolates & foiled chocolate leaves for an abundantly delicious gift.

Do you have a favorite candy, snack or treat that reminds you of Autumn? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+!

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