Fall Fun: Harry Potter-Themed Dinner Party
Believe it or not, my husband hasn’t read any of the Harry Potter books nor had he seen the movies! We just returned from Harry Potter World in Universal Studios and my friends and I figured it was time we catch him up, at least on the movies. We decided to make the movie night fun with a Harry Potter-themed dinner, complete with all the Polyjuice Potion and Butterbeer (the adult versions, of course!). My friends hosted and did such a great job decorating the dinner table. Would you look at that adorable Harry Potter pumpkin?!
This is what we prepared for a delicious three-course meal:
Appetizer: Pumpkin Pasties and Polyjuice Potion
Main Course: Guinness Steak Stew with Cauliflower Mash and Mashed Peas
Dessert: Hot Bourbon Butterbeer and Butterbeer Cookies
Below are the recipes we followed along with some modifications we made, and of course, mouth-watering photos of all the yumminess!
Pumpkin Pasties (savory version)
Prep Time: 40 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 55 minutes
7.5 oz. (1/2 can) of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/8 tsp sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 package refrigerated pie dough
Flour for dusting
1 egg, slightly beaten for egg wash
Thaw pie dough in refrigerator overnight.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place parchment on (or grease) two half-sheet pans.
Mix pumpkin puree with room temperature butter in a large bowl, and stir in garlic, cheese, and seasonings (or just seasonings and sugar for the sweet version). Set aside.
Dust a flat surface with flour, roll pie crust out to 1/8 inch thick, and cut into 4-inch circles (or larger, if you prefer) with a pastry cutter or edge of a glass.
Spoon out a half teaspoon or less of the pumpkin mixture onto one side of the dough circles, fold over to create half-moons, and crimp the edges closed. Cut three tiny slits into the top of each to vent.
Transfer pasties to baking sheets, and brush each with egg wash.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes before diving in.
Typically pie dough is frozen but I found Pillsbury Pie Crusts at Lucky’s the morning of our dinner and ready to use. If you don’t have a cookie cutter for your dough, you can use the rim of a round glass or a cocktail shaker, which is usually sharper and cuts through the dough easily. There were 2 rolled-up pie crusts in the package and I was able to make up to 25 pumpkin pasties and have some mixture left over. I’ll just have to make more I guess. They were delicious!
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients for Polyjuice Potion
1 cup orange juice (without pulp)
3 tbsp sweetened ginger tea concentrate (recipe below)
2 halfed peach slices (canned)
½ cup Sprite
1 drop blue food coloring
4 tbsp vodka(optional)
Ingredients for the Sweetened Ginger Tea Concentrate
2 ginger tea bags
1 cup hot water
2 tbsp honey
Steep bags of ginger tea in hot water for 10 minutes.
Mix in honey.
Place the orange juice, peaches, and sweetened ginger tea concentrate in a blender.
Blend until peaches have been crushed and mixed into the juice.
Add vodka, Sprite, and blue food coloring.
Adjust the food coloring until you get the perfect shade of green that you want.
Serve chilled and enjoy!
Guinness Steak Stew with Cauliflower Mash and Mashed Peas
Prep time: 30 mins | Cook: 2h 30mins | Ready in: 3 hours (give yourself some time for this one!)
4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.9 ounce) can dark beer (such as Guinness®)
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or as needed to cover
Cook and stir bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat and transfer bacon into a large stew pot, reserving bacon fat in the skillet.
Season beef chuck cubes generously with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Turn heat to high under skillet and sear beef pieces in the hot fat on both sides until browned, about 5 minutes. Place beef in stew pot with bacon, leaving fat in skillet. Turn heat down to medium; cook and stir onions in the retained fat in the skillet until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes; season with a large pinch of salt.
Cook garlic with onions until soft, about 1 minute; pour beer into skillet and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up and dissolving any browned bits of food into the liquid. Pour cooking liquid from skillet into the stew pot. Stir in tomato paste, thyme sprigs, carrots, celery, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and enough chicken broth to cover.
Bring stew to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine; reduce heat to low and cover pot. Simmer stew until beef is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir stew occasionally and skim fat or foam if desired.
Remove cover and raise heat to medium-high. Bring stew to a low boil and cook until stew has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange mashed potatoes in a ring in a serving bowl; ladle stew into the center of the potatoes.
For the stew, instead of sugar, our friends used raisins and they also added mushrooms. It was so delicious that we definitely had seconds! They also prepared mashed cauliflower in lieu of mashed potatoes. This was smart because the meal was already pretty hearty so the cauliflower helped to balance everything.
Prep Time: 5 mins | Total: 10 mins | Servings: 4
1/2 cup butterscotch sauce (use 1/3 cup for a less sweet version)
4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup bourbon, or more or less to your taste (optional)
1 cup ginger beer OR sub ginger ale
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
Whipped cream, for garnish
Edible Gold Stars or cinnamon, for garnish
Combine the butterscotch sauce, apple cider and bourbon in a large pot and cook over medium heat until steaming, about five minutes.
Stir in the ginger beer and cook another 1-2 minutes or until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Ladle into mugs.
Serve with whipped cream and cinnamon.
We decided to make our own whipped cream and it was super easy.
Place an aluminum bowl and the beaters of a hand mixer into the freezer for 10 mins to cool them down, then take them out.
Pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 2 tbsp of powered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract into the bowl.
Using the hand mixer, mix the ingredients together on a low setting for 3 minutes.
The mixture will start to ripple and then peak. Once it looks like whipped cream, you can stop mixing.
Prep time: 2hrs 15mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Total time: 2hrs 25mins
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
1/4 cup instant butterscotch pudding mix, dry
2 large eggs
1 additional egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp imitation butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup Heath toffee bits, straight toffee, not the chocolate toffee mix
lightning bolt sprinkles, optional
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, if needed.
Add the pudding, eggs, additional egg yolk, vanilla, and imitation butter. Beat for about one minute on medium speed.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a 1/2 cup at a time and mix until combined.
Mix in the toffee chips.
Form the dough into a giant ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least two hours. Remove the dough a little while before baking so the dough can soften a bit and is easier to work with.
Scoop the dough using a medium cooking scoop and roll the dough between your hands to form round balls of dough and place onto a nonstick baking sheet about two inches apart. Top with yellow sprinkles, if desired.
Bake at 350 F for 10-13 minutes.
Cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Instead of butterscotch pudding, our friends used the vanilla pudding only and added in butterscotch chips. They also flattened the cookies before baking them. They were SO good and addictive!
…the FINAL ENSEMBLE!!! Credit to our friends for the creative table decor!
We started off with the first movie and of course, my husband liked it! We’ll be watching all the others this holiday season for sure.
Hopefully this helps inspire your next Harry Potter-themed dinner, or any event you have coming up. What fun fall-themed dinner parties have you hosted or been to? Comment below!