5@5 - Food Network's Sandra Lee
October 25th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Halloween is a scary good time, that is unless you're futzing over the stove in preparation for a monster mash chez you.

Let's face it: being the (g)host with the most isn't exactly a painless task - and that's where Sandra Lee comes in.

Sandra Lee is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine and host Food Network’s Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee and Sandra’s Money Saving Meals.

With a little lead time and a few spooktacular shortcuts, Sandra says you too can have the most coveted RIP…or RSVP…in town.

Five Semi-Homemade Tips for Hosting a Halloween Gathering: Sandra Lee

1. Festive first impression
"Check out your local party, crafts and variety stores to see what kinds of creepy creatures can welcome your guests. Many stores carry ready-made characters like scary butlers, Frankenstein and witches that can court right outside/inside your doorway."

2. Fabulously fun host
"A relaxed hostess is a fun hostess. One of the most magical things about Halloween is that it’s a night for pure fun.

For a bountiful buffet, serve a blue and brie cheese platter with elegant crackers and champagne grapes. A deli-bought salmon mousse serviced on fresh endive leaves and deli-purchased Greek stuffed grape leaves surrounded by three gourmet-select olives or stuffed olives. Black beans with small cubes of mango and avocado served with tortilla rounds and a simple salsa will round out your menu nicely.

Additionally, make your cocktails in large batches. Mix them in pitchers without ice, so they don’t get watered down. Cover the pitcher in plastic and chill them for a few hours until guests arrive. Then pour your cocktails over ice filled glasses and serve. Try mixing up my Vampire’s Kiss."

3. Set the stage
"In love with wicked jack-o'-lanterns, black chandeliers, candy corn or witches? Choose a festive icon and use it sparingly but in areas where it will make major impact throughout your party - as a garnish on food or in drinks, on napkins or decorations."

4. Mini main course magic
"If you’re facing a time crunch, pick party foods that are delicious and impressive without being fussy. I recommend: "Dracula’s Bat Wings," "Short Rib Sandwiches" and the "Creature from the Black Lagoon Salad." All of these tasty treats can be prepared before your guests arrive and served at room temperature or straight from the oven. It’s Halloween - the perfect night to serve flavorful foods that will make your guests squeal with delight."

5. Devil is in the details
"For a spooky place setting that’s high on creativity and low on cost, wrap a white cloth napkin around a small foam ball. Finish off your supernatural place setting by tying wispy tulle and black ribbon to create a ghost. Decorate your table with dried or just plain decrepit blooms into napkin rings.

For more decorations that will impress your guests, rent a fog machine, they’re available at party rental stores for less than you think. Other inexpensive materials that can turn a ho-hum party into a proper monster mash? Big, black plastic trash bags from the grocery store and large spiders - try using torn fishnet stockings to make impressive webs."

Got more delicious treats for an All Hallow's Eve soiree? Let us know in the comments.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Celebrity Chefs • Sandra Lee • Think

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soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Jessica Jacobs

    I couldnt refrain from commenting. Well written.


    June 21, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
  2. Pantyhose

    I personally don't like fishnets. I prefer ultra sheer, sheer to the waist. My favorite brand and style is Wolford Naked 8.

    November 1, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  3. Pantyhose

    I love her decorating ideas for parties. They are often quite cute and inexpensive.

    November 1, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  4. Foodie

    She must really like halloween. found another video of Sandra talking about halloween dinner for kids http://www.ifood.tv/recipe/halloween_dinner_for_kids

    November 1, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  5. SophyB

    She may be easy on the eyes and I don't doubt she pulled herself up from poverty, but Sandra's 'recipes' are atrocious. Too much processed stuff for me. Tablescapes are also pretty tasteless. I do know a lot of guys appreciate her "oven" rack, though.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  6. Thenextstep

    Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her, Love her. Her outfits are pretty captivating as well............... :-)

    October 26, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  7. Ron

    ....SAVE AMERICA.......SAVE YOUR JOB...........SAVE YOUR HOME...


    October 26, 2010 at 2:47 am |
  8. Justina

    The world is so scary and unsafe for children, we don't need Halloween. This stupid American Halloween totaly wrecks the beauty of autumn sights in town altogether.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:35 am |
  9. Raphael

    This woman is a joke. I can't believe Wisconsin – La Crosse gave her the first honorary degree they've ever given out. She spent 3 years at school then left her senior year because all of her friends were older/graduated and she got bored. Then she went out to the coast to sell stuff on the boardwalk and somehow makes it big. Rude when she visits towns, a girl named Leigh had to change her name because it was the same as this jerk's last name. Not only did she receive an honorary degree after just quitting school because she felt like it, she went on to sound like a complete tool and ditz during her speech.

    What a disgrace to the educational system.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:32 am |
  10. Feo

    Take a can of creamed corn, a smear of miracle whip, a can of sardines, and a handful of cheerios and shove it into a pan: It's Sandra's semi-homemade pile of sh*t. Yeah she's cute but she's as dumb as a box of hair. Why does this no talent Aryan have her own show?

    October 26, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  11. betty

    She's been dating Andrew Cuomo for some time now. w

    October 25, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  12. Fremry

    Sandra Lee is to good food what a hammer is to a fabrege egg.


    Seriously. A Kwanzaa cake.

    1. There's no such thing as a Kwanzaa cake.
    2 Store bought angel food cake, store bought vanilla icing with cocoa and cinnamon, canned apple pie filling, acorns, pumpkin seeds and 6" table candles is not "semi-home made". It's "atrocity of hungover alcoholic who has a contract and a deadline".
    3. She's an attractive blonde.

    Ugghhhhh... Food Network was bad enough putting her on. We get it. She sells because she's the mother that our generation wants to be. Making half-a$$ed dinners that sacrifice nutrition for convenience and having a well made (and stiff) cocktail afterwards.

    Notice in this article that the only thing Sandra Lee tells you not to cut corners on is the fact that she tells you to "Make your cocktails in large batches, and don't add ice". I'm sorry Sandra, we're not all stepford wife alcoholics, and ice is actually a great way to make your cocktails last longer without anyone being blindsided by an overly strong drink. My guests drive to my home and would like to have a cocktail without being impaired.

    October 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • lisa r

      thank you and well said, i read how she tried to devour anthony bourdain at a party in front of his wife!! skank!!

      October 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
      • PairAzzHilton

        OOOOOOOH! I see a BitchSlap coming!

        October 29, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • geri

      You really have nothing to do with yourself.

      October 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  13. Jude

    eyeballs for salad. peel radishes leaving some red for veining. make a small divet with peeler and insert piece of black olive. yum.

    October 25, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  14. Viper1j

    I can't think of a better Halloween treat than her on my couch next to me!

    October 25, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
  15. LadyBlahBlah

    This woman belongs behind the counter at a craft store......her 'tablescapes' are hideous!

    October 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  16. victoria

    shouldn't you kids be doing homework right now?

    October 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • SciFi Guy

      It's o.k. Mom,we learnt everything in physical science class.

      October 25, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  17. RichardHead

    Umm,Are ya'll mad cause the Texas Rangers won?

    October 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  18. RichardHead

    I have been thrown to the bottom of the page like a Bad Hemingway Novel. Lower than a snake in the grass with a 300mm lense at a nudist party! I have been beaten by the written word,similar to the Dallas Cowgirls.

    October 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants @ home

      I noticed. Thought I was seeing things. You're in the doghouse, Mister! =o

      October 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  19. Don

    I would like to do things to her that I wouldn't do to a farm animal.

    October 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  20. RichardHead

    Hey It's the Food Dating Game-only on CNN.

    October 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  21. Brian

    She, if the story is accurate, grew up poor as so many of us. She dedicated herself to teaching people how to stretch the food dollar and does a ton of work for charity. Talent, beauty, brains and a heart. Not easy to find. Sandra, keep up the good work. BTW, I am single too!

    October 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  22. Stacy

    um, what i am wondering is, how did those fishnet stocking she is using to make spider webs get ripped in the first place (read to end of article). hhmmmmm.....

    October 25, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • RichardHead

      Julia Child had these same problems–chickens falling on the floor-getting snagged in her nylons,looooooong pan handles,and the most obvious,kids in the kitchen.

      October 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  23. Kenny

    I love this woman, she is hot, she is pretty, she's single and she can cook.

    October 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Why is she single? Hmmm.

      October 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
      • RichardHead

        Dang,Got Busted by the Moderator. Remember the Nurse GF?

        October 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Yeah. Was just trying to think if I saw your post before it got yanked.

        October 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
      • RichardHead

        Yea,this makes me look like a real DickHead and I meant no offense to anyone. My apologies to Sarah if this comment was taken the wrong way.

        October 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        What'd you say? Was it that post I saw earlier about shooting spider webs all over the door?

        October 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
      • RichardHead

        Wrong page Mr.Jdizzle. It was Sandra with her pretty smile and her eyes etc. They must have hired Sanchez as a moderator!

        October 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  24. Steve-O

    Didn't she used to be in porn?

    October 25, 2010 at 6:05 pm |

    DAMN SHE IS HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  26. Truth

    "Fabulously Fun Host"...

    I get the feeling that she can accomplish this by very little effort...;)

    October 25, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  27. RichardHead

    Depression affects 1 in 3 failed football team choices at the start of the season. Besides,Sandra Lee is hot and can cook better than your Grandma and look better doing it!

    October 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • Excelda

      Sandra Lee cooks MUCH worse than my grandmother, and my grandmother couldn't cook for sh*t. Have you ever eaten a Sandra Lee recipe?

      October 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  28. dave

    i'd totally hit it

    October 25, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Me, too.

      I love how we always degenerate into this type of thread within the first few posts whenever a chick shows up on 5@5.

      October 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
      • Truth@Jdizz, RichHead

        And funny how one of us three is usually leading the charge...

        And 2.5 more hrs until I am ready for some football...!

        October 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  29. Yahoo

    Make sure, if you must use real human blood for anything,e.g., filling for crepes and chip dip, that it is not hepatitis positive.

    October 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  30. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    I'm too broke to be throwing sweet parties. Plus, I have no friends.

    October 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • mark in nyc

      that sucks....

      October 25, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • David Sun

      I'll be your friend.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:09 am |
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