14 Make-Ahead Halloween Treats for a Stress-Free Party
Halloween is arguably one of the most fun holidays. There are no gifts to buy, there’s candy corn recipes galore and you get to be someone you’re not for a night! That means you want to spend most of your time partaking in the party and *not* slaving away in the kitchen. The solutions to this are no-bake Halloween treats and a stockpile of make-ahead recipes that you can either prep early or cook way in advance so that you can relax once guests arrive. While you’re contemplating this year’s costume, get to pinning these 14 make-ahead recipes that will make your Halloween a breeze.
1. Gummy Worm Ice Cubes: Whether you’re indulging in a cocktail or serving a bunch of kids mocktails, these creepy crawly cubes will liven up any drink. You can dye the cubes any color you wish or you can try using juices instead. (via Taking Care of Monkey Business)
2. Bloody Good Cheesecake: Red velvet cheesecake serves as the bloody base for this massacre. The dripping blood is a frightening mixture of corn syrup, red food coloring and cornstarch… Or is it? Make sure you start the cheesecake a day in advance so it has plenty of time to chill. (via Sugar Dish)
3. Halloween Bundt Cake: Thanks to boxed cake mix, this cake isn’t nearly as difficult to make as it looks. The fun part is getting messy with icing and sprinkles to create your own Halloween masterpiece. (via Love Bakes Good Cakes)
4. Chocolate-Dipped Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats: Enlist the help of a few kids and these candy corns will basically make themselves. When stored in an airtight container they’ll keep for several days… If you can keep everyone out of them. (via Pint-Sized Treasures)
5. Chocolate and Caramel Apples: Why would you spend a fortune on gourmet chocolate apples when you can easily make your own? Decorate each one with different toppings and prepare for people to fight over them. (via Hey Modest Marce)
6. Creepy Jello Cups: Jello is the ultimate make-ahead treat because it can last for ages in the fridge without changing. Pro tip: Definitely turn these into creepy Jello shots for an adults-only party. (via From Brazil to You)
7. Day of the Dead Cookies: Get your piping bags ready, because you have quite the task ahead of you. These intricate masks may be more advanced, but if you enjoy cookie decorating, it’ll be a fun challenge for the holiday. (via Wilton)
8. Halloween Trail Mix: No good Halloween party is complete without a snack mix. Combine all of the components way before guests arrive and try your best not to pick out all of the good stuff. (via The House of Hendrix)
9. Halloween Candy Saltine Bark: Break into your Halloween candy early to top this sweet and salty bark. It’s quick, it’s delicious and you don’t have to wait until the last moment to fix it. (via The Blonde Buckeye)
10. Pumpkin Slice and Bake Cookies: Slice and bake cookies are a must during any holiday. If you decide to make your own, you can freeze them and then slice off however many you need at a time. (via My Name is Yeh)
11. Pretzel Pumpkins: Instead of handing out the same old candy every year, make these pretzel pumpkins to give to trick or treaters. Pre-package them in baggies and they’re ready to distribute on Halloween. (via About)
12. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip: Halloween kicks off pumpkin pie season, so it’s only fitting that you represent at your party. Serve this cheesecake dip in a hollowed baking pumpkin alongside Biscoff cookies for the ultimate dunking experience. (via A Night Owl)
13. Cheesy Halloween Breadstick Bones: These scary and delicious bones can be made up to the baking point and then frozen. When you’re ready, just pop them in the oven and serve with your favorite blood — er, marinara. (via Just a Taste)
14. Shredded Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers: Even if you’re just having a chill Halloween at home, you have to celebrate a little bit. Turn your mundane dinner into a festive pumpkin by carving a jack-o’-lantern face in an orange bell pepper. (via Everyday Jenny)
Follow us on Pinterest for more easy + delicious Halloween recipe ideas.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com