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Pumpkin Carving Party Menu

Come Party With Me: Pumpkin Carving — Menu

From 2003 to 2006, every October I hosted an annual pumpkin carving party. In 2007, I threw a huge Halloween bash, and last year, I didn't do anything!

Now, I've decided it's time to bring back my beloved pumpkin carving dinner. I supply the pumpkins and a hearty Fall dinner and ask everyone to bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer. Since the party is all about creating interesting pumpkin designs, I like to serve a menu that guests can enjoy at their leisure.

For starters, I'll offer an orange and black cheese ball and spicy sausages wrapped in pizza dough.

A huge pot of vegetarian chili will bubble on the stove, and in between carving pumpkins, guests can grab a bowl and top it with an assortment of items like cilantro, avocado, and sour cream. A side of jalapeño cornbread muffins are ideal for dipping. To look at these recipes, read more.

Cheddar Cheese Ball

Cheddar Cheese Ball

Poppy Seed Cheddar Cheese Ball Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup poppy seeds

Directions

  1. Process all ingredients except poppy seeds in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Unmold onto a plate. Press poppy seeds evenly over surface, rounding top. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Serves 12 to 15.

Spicy Sausage in Carrozza

Spicy Sausage in Carrozza

Spicy Sausage Pigs in a Blanket Recipe

Ingredients

6 spicy Italian sausages
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
15 whole garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 (4-ounce) pieces pizza dough, store bought

Directions

  1. In a saucepan add 1/2-inch water to the pan. Immerse sausages in water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove sausage and dry the pan.
  2. Return to the heat and add the olive oil on medium heat. When hot return the sausage to the pan with garlic cloves and saute until medium brown all over.
  3. Remove garlic to a bowl. Remove sausage to a plate to cool.
  4. Use a fork to mash the garlic with salt and pepper. Stir in mustard and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Cut each piece of dough into 2 and roll out until 1/4-inch thick. Cut 6 pieces of dough about 3 inches wide and 1/2-inch shorter than the length of sausage, just enough to wrap around sausage with the ends peeking out.
  7. Spread bottom of each dough with a tablespoon of garlic/mustard paste. Set sausage on top, moisten 1 dough edge with a wet finger so it sticks together and roll. Press the seam firmly and set them on a lightly floured sheet pan, seam side down.
  8. Brush with olive oil. Bake until brown all around.
  9. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into 3/4-inch long pieces and serve.

Serves 6.

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Whole Foods Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped chipotles in adobo 1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
3 cups cooked red kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until vegetables are softened but not browned.
  2. Add chipotles, oregano, cumin, chili powder and salt. Stir to blend. Add tomatoes and 4 cups water. Gently simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  3. Add beans and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Garnish individual bowls with green onions or sour cream, if desired.

Serves 6-8.

Nutrition Per serving (about 17oz/495g-wt.): 230 calories (45 from fat), 5g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1200mg sodium, 37g total carbohydrate (13g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 11g protein.

Jalapeño Corn Muffins

Jalapeño Corn Muffins

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

One 8.5-ounce box corn muffin mix
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh corn kernels (3 ears)
4 ounces jalapeño jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, prepare the mix according to the package directions, using the milk in place of water. Stir in the corn, cheese and basil; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grease a muffin pan and fill each cup with batter. Bake until lightly golden, 30 minutes; let cool.

Serves 6.

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