Friday, July 29, 2011

Harry Potter's Magical Menu

It is both amazing and heart breaking to see such a spectacular series come to an end... Harry Potter may not be your thing but, the book series that swept the world is without a doubt one of the most enchanting ways kids have been brought back to reading. 

And if I love two things, they're magic and reading. 

It was established a LONG time ago that my roommate, Em, and I would throw a Harry Potter party in celebration of the final movie coming out. As fate would have it, things timed out so that it also ended up being a celebration of the final party in our apartment. We moved just 5 days after throwing our Potter Party, from our first big girl apartment in the city to a house 10 minutes away with even more of our friends.

Which will be/so far has been COMPLETELY stellar! But as the movie series coming to the same end the books did was bittersweet, so was our move. Luckily, these Harry Potter treats got us through the hard times. Plus, Alcoholic Butterbeer and Spiked Pumpkin Juice. Hope you enjoy these recipes and the Potter theme as much as we did!

First item on the wizard check list! House Themed Iced Sugar Cookies. I used the same recipe as I did here and simply used canned icing. I dyed it blue and had some super amazing ladies help me with the plain iced ones while I worked on the seal. It's a combination of chocolate and icing that I drew/molded until it represented all 4 houses cheerfully. 

A very dear friend (and now, housemate!) went as a very impressive Luna and made herself a Quibbler to carry around the party! Even more impressive was the inside which she had changed several articles to match.  Which should answer your question: yes, my friends are just as geeky as I am.

In line with the Hogwarts Express Trolley treats, we had to make all the candy we could think of. The most important of which was Chocolate Frogs. I got the chocolate frog molds on Amazon (I would post a link but, I can't seem to find the right ones anymore) and used my family's fudge recipe. I simply made up a batch and poured it into the molds that had already been greased and dusted with green disco dust and sprinkles. The frogs came out shiny (which looked like frog slime!), green, and delicious. Just what you'd expect :)

With more of the Trolley in mind plus some Diagon Alley and Weasley treats! We have:
-Licorice Wands: Twizzlers dipped in chocolate and rolled in silver sprinkles
-Droobles Best Blowing Gum: Hubba Bubba, unwrapped
-Acid Pops: Dum Dums dipped in honey and rolled in unsweetened pink lemonade mix
-Ton Tongue Toffees: Werthers Originals, unwrapped
-Jelly Slugs: Sour Gummy Worms
-Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans: Various Jelly Beans

We made our own decorations and bought this all inclusive Harry Potter Party Pack. Paper chains in the house colors, balloons to match. Once our guests showed up in their costumes, it was a real fantasy fiesta! Em was Tonks, I was Rita Skeeter. 

For the other Trolly Treats, I made Cauldron Cakes. I found these mini cauldrons on this site and stuffed them with two mini cupcakes each and topped them with icing. So cute! 

The chocolate iced cupcakes are devils food topped with rainbow sprinkles. The other cupcakes are vanilla cookies and creme cupcakes topped with vanilla icing and crushed Oreos. 

It wasn't all a sugar rush! Well, kind of, ha. I made these Pumpkin Pasties which helped break up the sweet routine with savory. I used an adapted/combined version of the Butternut Squash Lasgana filling with pumpkin instead (shared below), pressed between pie crust dough cut to look like pumpkins. They were washed with an egg wash and sprinkled with brown sugar and nutmeg. I had about 4 roommates working on these for me. Super champs.

  • Pumpkin Pasties:
  • -2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces- I found some already cleaned up and diced which made this step AMAZINGLY easy
  • -2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • -Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • -1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • -1/2 cup heavy cream
  • -2 large egg yolks
  • -1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
  • -Freshly grated nutmeg
  • -2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • -1/3 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • -1 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

-Pie Crust, cut into pumpkin shapes or hand size circles.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake until light gold and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Combine ricotta, cream, yolks, mozzarella, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl. Season with salt.
  3. Melt butter in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add sage, and cook until light gold and slightly crisp at edges, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Place squash in a medium bowl, and mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Gently stir in sage-butter mixture and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Combine gently with ricotta mixture. 
  5. Spoon filling into pie crust dough, top with another layer of dough, seal with a fork, and top with the scraps of dough as a stem. Brush with egg and sprinkle with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Or parmesan and salt/pepper if you want to go strictly savory. Bake at 350 til golden, serve immediately. 
    I used the rest of the filling (after filling about 100 with my friends) in a pasta bake later. It was delicious. You'll have extra filling, get creative or actually go make the intended lasagna. Pumpkin Pasties are more fun though- FYI.

For most everyone but me, the food highlight of the party was the Hogwarts Cake and Forbidden Forest Cake. I seriously wish I had had more time to work on each of them. The party had come up on us too quickly and I was literally icing the castle within moments of people arriving. I had guys cutting windows and hastily gluing them onto the sides for me! Needless to say, the crooked manner, the smears, the drips- all things I wish I had been able to avoid by being more organized. Still- people seem to think it turned out pretty cool. And since it was my first time working with fondant (yes, that's a good idea! When I've never before touched fondant, I should make a giant CASTLE cake! Not something easy and simple/flat/round), I suppose I am pretty happy with the results. Thanks to Food Network for having 50 shows on cakes/cupcakes which made it easy to know how to mess it up ;)

The castle cake was 6 layers: 3 devils food, 3 dark chocolate brownie. It was layered with fudge and then covered with vanilla icing. The towers were made out of ice cream cones, covered in black icing, and rice treats- all of which were covered in fondant. The sloping grounds and lake were icing and rice treats too, with some dyed coconut sprinkled on as vegetation. The green coconut also topped the grounds of the forbidden forest cake- which was a lemon cake with blueberries and coconut icing. Green iced ice cream cones and a Lego set completed the rest of the scene.

I swear there was more than sugar at the party too though! I made a Dark Mark Veggie Pizza! 

Can you kind of see the mark? It's outlined in olives? The snake is peppers all woven?

See? Snake? Snack snake? 

This pizza is probably one of my all time favorite recipes. It got demolished at the party- a sure sign that people loved it. The recipe is simple:

Dark Mark Veggie Pizza:
-2 rolls refrigerated crescent rolls dough
-2 8oz cream cheese, softened
-1 cup mayo
-1/2 pkg. (Dry) Italian Dressing Mix
-1 tbls Dill Weed

Open up dough and press onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 mins, let cool about 20 mins. Mix remaining ingredients. Spread on crust. For toppings, use any sliced/diced veggies you'd like. For the Dark Mark, I used broccoli, peppers, olives, mushrooms, and cauliflower. For this recipe I also LOVE tomatoes, green onions, and cucumber. Once you top with your veggies, sprinkle with about 1/2 cup each mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Cut into squares and serve. So good, promise.

But that's not all!

The most sampled pieces of the party were the drinks. 

Isn't that always the way?

To make Spiked Pumpkin Juice, I strained canned pumpkin pie filling through cheese cloth. Sweetened pumpkin water juice was all that remained in the pitcher. 

Ha, yum? 

Well. When mixed with Gin and Ginger-ale, it was phenomenal. 

This drink was only about 1 cup pumpkin juice to 1 bottle gin and 1 bottle ginger-ale. It was SO good though. The little bit of pumpkin flavor goes a long way. It just tastes crisp and fresh with the ginger-ale and gin. Please try it. Please. Even if cheesecloth is involved. Look how pretty it turned out:

I mean, so pretty. 
Love fall sprinkles too...

And then there was the main event, the reason I am convinced 90% of the people came to the party: Alcoholic Butterbeer. 

We made Butterbeer for the masses in a giant cooler. It was several bottles of cream soda, butterscotch schnapps, a 24 pack of Natural Light beer (any cheap beer would do), and some rum. To make it creamy and delicious, we added about 2 gallons of vanilla ice cream. It was then stirred vigorously with ice and got to be like that frozen consistency of a melty rootbeer float. 

But butterscotch flavored.

And warming because of the alcohol.

It was REALLY good. Very sweet, (too sweet for me, I loved the Spiked Pumpkin juice though), and went fast. Which was concerning at first since it's rather alcohol filled, ha. But people were alright. Friends are both geeky and responsible apparently. Even though we made almost 4 gallons of Butterbeer, we only had 2 pitchers left when all was said and done. We used it as incentive the next nights for people to move boxes. Worked like a charm. Get it, charm?

Oh, come on. I pretty much didn't make ANY Harry Potter puns. 

In conclusion! A toast to the end of an era! Both HP and my first apartment were true game changers for me, and both better than I could have ever imagined. 

Cheers :)


  1. Sounds like it was an amazing party! Love the butter beer recipe. :-)

  2. Everything looks AWESOME!! I so want to join your party!! The invite must have been lost somehow... hehe. I thoroughly enjoyed the last film and cannot wait to watch it again next week. I'm sad it's over.

  3. What a great idea, Meaghan! All the Harry Potter items look terrific. Great job!


  4. Oh My! They look great, very creative. Looks like a fairytale. Happy to follow your lovely blog :)

  5. Very creative and everyone had to have a blast eating the food!!!
    BTW the cake looks great! My son has those Lego figures.

  6. What fun! Honestly people who don't bake or cook really miss out on a lot of creativity and fun.

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  11. I LOVE Harry Potter, and also have the Lego set!! :D I recently made a review on Harry Potter as well! :)

  12. hey :) i just wanted to know some information about your harry potter themed party.
    what foods did you serve?
    did you have a menu?
    thankyou :)