If you haven’t done so yet, the first weekend in October is an ideal time to head to the pumpkin patch, then bring everyone together to carve jack-o’-lanterns.
Set out some gourds and clever tools that make carving pumpkins a cinch, then let guests get creative with their charming (or chilling…) designs. All that friendly competition triggers hearty appetites. In the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve, we’ve created a menu for a pumpkin carving party where pumpkin rules, from a warming pumpkin lasagna to spiced pumpkin cupcakes.
Kick off the party with a couple of foolproof appetizers: a platter of classic deviled eggs and a medley of marinated olives. Both make great snacks while guests mix, mingle, and tap into their creative sides. Meanwhile, sip on a couple of festive drinks — blood-red punch for the kids and hot-spiced cider with Calvados for the adults.
For the main course, give a nod to the theme of the occasion with hearty, cheesy pumpkin lasagna, made easy with our ready-to-use pasta sauce. On the side, a simple salad of butter lettuce in a mustard vinaigrette offers fresh, light flavors.
For dessert, you guessed it—more pumpkin! Make a batch of spiced pumpkin cupcakes, topped with a white chocolate-cream cheese frosting.
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the marinated olives. Prep the vegetables for the lasagna. Bake the cupcakes and store (unfrosted) in an airtight container.
- Day of: Make the deviled eggs, cover and refrigerate. Assemble the lasagna. Frost and finish the cupcakes. Make the cider.
- Just before serving: Make the salad. Bake the lasagna. Make the punch and the cider.
Stock up on tools. Have tools like carving saws, etching tools and knives on hand so guests can work simultaneously.
Create a contest. Bring out competitive spirits by offering awards, like the funniest face or scariest scene. The winning prize: a Coffin Chocolate Box from Cacao, an artisan chocolatier out of Atlanta, Georgia.