Zombies, vampires and cakes shaped like the creepiest of clowns? Here's a little Halloween inspiration for this season of trick-or-treat.
Halloween Wars: Food Network's quirky four-episode Halloween competition returns to the airwaves just in time to amuse and, er, educate you with a multitude of creepy themes and horrifying sweets. The show is hosted by Justin Willman of "Cupcake Wars" fame and judged by professional cake decorators as well as celebrity judges, including stars from "Saw," "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries." (They may not know much about food, but clearly, they've got the blood factor down.) The show, which airs at 9 p.m. Sundays, kicks off Oct. 7 as five teams of cake decorators, pumpkin carvers and confectioners vie to make edible evil clowns. Vampires are up on Oct. 14, followed by "Science Gone Wrong" and "Zombie Wedding." Details: www.foodnetwork.com/halloween-wars.
Hostess with the Mostess: For sheer over-the-top Halloween euphoria, there's just one place to go, Hostess with the Mostess. This entertaining-focused blog is a fount of detailed, clever theme party ideas from the pros -- special events coordinators, caterers and designers -- and the occasional average joe. But the Halloween ideas are particularly fun. They include how-tos for making glowing lanterns, as well as decorating and culinary tips for Day of the
Our Halloween archives: If you're looking for inspiration from the past -- including the adorable meringue ghosts, spider truffles and Great Pumpkin cookies we featured in a spread on Halloween-themed cookie exchanges a few years ago -- you'll find it in our special Halloween archive at www.mercurynews.com/halloween. In addition to recipes and food-related tips, the archive includes pumpkin carving how-tos, ideas for your Halloween party play list, creepy horror flicks, 2012 costume trends and a map of the Bay Area's best haunted houses.