Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Party

Fall is here and it's the perfect time to get your friends together; have great food and enjoy each others company.

I have what I have so lovingly call "The Party Curse." See I love to entertain and host, but the people I invite either end up going out of town, family matters, or my party coincides with flu season (even my own wedding was sparse!)

Alas, the same thing happened this time. My best friend, her sister, and her daughters came, which was great, but not what I had planned for.

So, here is my party set up to help give ideas if anyone else is thinking of throwing a Pumpkin Party next year. Who knows? Maybe I'll put myself through this again and it will be different.

Pumpkin Party Intimate Get Together 2011


I borrowed a long table from my local church and set up two working tables, one for adults/older kids and one for younger kids.

I had a left over tablecloth roll from my sons birthday so I covered all the tables in that. My mom is a teacher so I went to her school and took about 6 feet of orange paper. I cut that to make a runner to go down the middle of the table. Then I had two pumpkin luminaries which I placed pumpkin carving tools inside.

I also had two bowls available for pulp and seeds.

The kids table was my sons work table, covered with table cloth. I set out tempera (washable) paints, brushes, disposable plates and some push in decorations for the non-carving table. 

The backyard so far...

Besides the tables I also made a pumpkin pennant which I posted about here, and these adorable corn husk pom-poms

I got this idea from one of my favorite blogs CentsationalGirl, she gives a good tutorial on her page here.


The party was in the afternoon, so I only served munchie foods.

Dish 1: Apple slices and Pumpkin Dip. 
The apples were served with the cores cut out using a mini cookie cutter. Served alongside with a pumpkin dip. This went the fastest, between my family coming by and munching, I was out of apples and dip :) 
I got about 5-6 slices from each medium fuji apple, then they took a bath in some pineapple juice. I wrapped them up and put them in the fridge a few hours before the party.

Pumpkin dip
8oz cream cheese
1/4 c brown sugar
15 oz pure pumpkin
spices to taste (ginger, cinnamon, cloves)

Cream together ingredients until smooth, place in serving container and chill at least an hour before serving. Also great with gingersnaps, carrot sticks and honey pretzels.

Dish 2: Veggie Tray. Easy. Simple.

I took a wide, clear platter and spread out a 16oz bag of baby carrots. Sliced up some cucumber eyes, a celery stalk for a stem and snap peas arranged in the shape of a mouth.

Dish 3: Pumpkin Empanadas

I made these about 2 weeks ago and just popped them into the freezer. I took them out the night before and they were just as good. I'll post a recipe for these soon.

or literally, “crunch in the mouth”. This piece is the traditional wedding cake in France, and is often served at baptisms and communions as well. The classic piece montée is a high pyramid/cone made of profiteroles (cream-filled puff pastries) sometimes dipped in chocolate, bound with caramel, and usually decorated with threads of caramel, sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons.

I had been waiting to do something big and fun and DIFFERENT, so I attempted the CROQUEMBOUCHE (I love saying it). I filled mine with a custard, which is traditional for most creme filled desserts, and of course mine had to be pumpkin for my pumpkin party. I found a pretty good recipe here.

I doubled my recipe and made two batches, one of just pumpkin and one of pumpkin-chai (this one is a winner). I'll post a recipe of my adventures in this piece later too.

Snack Table

Because the bulk of the party I figured was going to be for carving pumpkins, I didn't want to go overboard by planning a lot of games. But I did make one easy one, kids of all ages enjoy (even if they say they are too old for those kid games).

Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin

I bought a poster board from the dollar store and cut out a pumpkin from the orange paper I brought home from school. Then out of black card stock I cut out a mouth and eyes then made about 12 noses or so (more or less depending on how many kids are playing). Keep a blindfold or a sleeping mask handy and you're ready to play.

What does the winner get to take home?

This Pumpkin trophy!

Ding! Ding! We have a Winner!

I bought a small fake pumpkin at Micheal's Crafts and carved "Winner" into it, then filled it with candy. I love it. It's a memorable prize and it's a pumpkin!

Because I only had two kids at the party (my son and my friends daughter, both 2 yrs old) I gave my game and prize to my mom who is a teacher so she can use it in her classroom on Halloween.

Goodie Pumpkins

Finally, before everyone leaves, they were to take home a goodie pumpkin basket. I found these babies at a yard sale, I grabbed all 20 for $5!

Each one was to be filled with some candy, a pumpkin scented candle (dollar store) and....

Once everyone gutted their pumpkins and they gave me all their seeds, I was going to wash, dry, spice, and bake them while they carved their pumpkin faces. Then I had some small candy wrappers on hand to wrap them up so everyone could take home a pumpkin treat from their own pumpkin!

I thought it was a nice personal treat. Alas, my friend who did come didn't want her seeds so I still have them. I'll post that recipe later.

At the end of the day, I was tired; but I had this to show for it.

In some small way, it's goofy, smiling face makes me feel better about my "party curse." There is always another holiday or birthday to plan for and get together.

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