No-fuss hors d'oeuvres are one of those golden tenets of entertaining, and for that, nothing beats a good crudité. Prepare ahead, refrigerate, and assemble. That way, there's plenty more time for actually enjoying your party, instead of running around the kitchen working up a sweat—so not pretty. Here's a creepy version of a crudité I did on the Halloween special this month. It's an easy way to use all the colorful gourds of the season, but in a totally unconventional way. Plus it's healthy, so you won't feel guilty frying up a few fall tortilla chips to go along with it. Start by assembling a good mix of sizes, shapes, colors and textures.    


Grab a sharp serrated knife—I used a wood saw from Home Depot—cut a wavy pattern around your gourd, scoop out the innards, then slice off the bottom so it sits nice and flat.


And there you go! It's the perfect container (with lid!) for a creepy crudité.


To save time, you could even get all pre-cut
vegetables from the grocery store. Just make sure you ditch the plastic platter for a more
spooky spread.


And for the swamp dip? It's super gourmet, so take notes: Lipton Onion
Soup Mix and sour cream. How easy is that? Sure, I could have concocted something
completely original (and so could you!), but why bother when you could
use a 1950s classic that everybody loves anyway. At least they did for Spooktacular Cocktails & Beastly Bites, the ghoulish gathering we had at the fantastic home accessories store Wish in Rye. 


Among the other tasty treats, fall leaf tortilla chips and spiderweb cupcakes, both reincarnations from a previous life. And for a blood-red punch as quick and delicious as this one, combine Pom juice, vodka, Fresca, and fresh floating pomegranate seeds and slices to satisfy even the most sanguinary among you.


Our most sincere thanks to the temptress of Wish herself, Denise MacDonald, and to our dear friend Elizabeth, whose stylish house you may have toured around town.   


And so with Halloween a day a way, and a growing guest list of hungry heathens, why not create a crudité that's beautiful, healthy and oh-so-creepy?