Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Carving Dinner Party

Every year, Stuart and I throw a Halloween costume party the Saturday before Halloween. This year, since we have been so busy with the move and the new jobs, I decided to scale it back and have a low-key pumpkin-carving dinner party instead.
To be fair, the idea was not my own but "borrowed" from Apartment Therapy. (We even did the sweet potato/ potato bar for dinner.) 

What a success! 

Here's what's involved:

1)  Decorations- I did not go over board with decorations. Just a simple skull center piece on the table, a black tablecloth, some orange bowls for the sides, a few small, plastic spiders on the plates and napkins, a spider web bowl for the Halloween candy (a must!) and some plastic bats on the windows. Took me no time at all to set-up but still made the evening feel festive (if that's the right word?).  

2) Pumpkins for carving- We did one large pumpkin per couple. Everything was set-up before anyone arrived. I divided our kitchen counter into work spaces and laid out newspaper under each pumpkin. Each work space had a pen for marking, a knife for cutting and a bowl for scooping out the pumpkin. An iPad was passed around to give everyone a chance to look up pumpkin carving ideas on the internet.

3) Dinner- We chose to go with a mostly Mexican-inspired sweet potato bar consisting of sweet potatoes, potatoes, vegetarian chili, sauteed mushrooms, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, blue cheese, a variety of hot sauces, garlic bread and salad. Everything was put out separately and everyone was instructed to make up their own combinations of ingredients.

I had everyone arrive at 5pm and from start to finish the pumpkins took us about 2 hours to carve. The chili was made earlier in the day and was continuing to cook during the pumpkin carving. Almost everything else had been prepared ahead of time, except the baking of the sweet potatoes and potatoes and the sauteing of the mushrooms.The party turned out to be an excellent alternative to the usual Halloween costume party! Added bonus- now we all have pumpkins to display for the trick or treaters on Halloween night!