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Throw a Fall Themed Dinner Party… Pumpkin Style!

Let’s celebrate fall with a fun dinner party and the guest of honor?  The humble pumpkin, of course!


We say “humble” because for all we’ve done to it… carved it, roasted it, or spiced it, the pumpkin remains a staple every fall season that keeps coming back.  So, in honor of this supple fruit, we throw a themed dinner party.  Go ahead and pick out your outfit, we’ll take care of all the courses!

Setting the Table

We know when we used the word, party, you were already thinking about what you wanted to wear but don’t forget to dress up the dining room table too!  Country Living has some beautiful and simple DIY centerpiece ideas that should get your creative juices flowing, number 17 is one of our favorites!  If you go as far as adding festive dishware to your party theme, these functional yet adorable ceramic pumpkin cocotte’s by Staub had us swooning!  Pick them up at Williams Sonoma.

Staub Ceramic Pumpkin Cocotte – Williams Sonoma
Botanical Pumpkin Collection – Williams Sonoma
Figural Pumpkin Collection – Williams Sonoma

For Starters…

Let’s kick off our soiree with appetizers and an aperitif.  The Pumpkin Pie Martini will add just the right warmth, and color, and a little je-ne-sais-quoi to the party as guests peruse the appetizer selections.

For appetizers, it is fall after all, so we’re not thinking crudité here.  A few delightfully sinful appetizers will give you a nice toasty feeling to the evening, and if you eat too many, don’t worry, it also happens to be sweater (and robe) season!

For starters, we love Amy Locurto’s Pumpkin, Bacon & Goat Cheese Appetizers drizzled with honey.  If you love goat cheese and bacon, then this sweet and salty combination will have you hiding extras under your napkin.  Another winner is a rich rugelach bursting with flavors of walnut, sage, and pumpkin in a cheese dough. Try this Pumpkin Rugelach recipe and see if you can keep from eating them all before the guests arrive.  Good luck with that one!  Of course, healthy appetizers can still be exciting: How about vegetables served with a classic hummus recipe made exotic with a twist of pumpkin!

Pumpkin, Bacon & Goat Cheese Appetizers drizzled with honey – PHOTO:
Pumpkin Pie Martini, PHOTO:
Pumpkin Rugelach, PHOTO:

Main Dish

Let’s pull up to the table for the main course!  The fall season has us thinking of warm kitchens and pots of stew, so for our main course, we chose this Slow-Braised Beef and Pumpkin stew by Chef Will Leroux.  Simple to make and elegant to serve, this amazing dish will have your guests licking the bowls!  Better still, serve the stew in these Super Easy No-Knead Pumpkin Bread Bowls, (fewer dishes at the end of the evening), or serve the bread on the side for yummy dipping.  Stop it, we’re fainting!

Slow-Braised Beef and Pumpkin Stew.  PHOTO
Super Easy No-Knead Pumpkin Bread Bowls.  PHOTO:

Dessert and Digestif

Even if guests are stuffed, there must always be a dessert (or two)!  Our mouths are watering for this Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding with Bourbon-Pecan Hard Sauce.  This is a hybrid dessert with a lattice top made of strips of butternut squash, making it look like a pie but with the comfort of bread pudding.  The bourbon hard sauce is decadent!

Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding with Bourbon-Pecan Hard Sauce. PHOTO:
Boozy Pumpkin Spiced Latte

For guests who prefer an after dinner drink rather than dessert, serve a boozy version of the pumpkin spiced latte (you know we had to get a “Pumpkin-Spiced” something in there):

  • 1 oz of your favorite brand of Pumpkin Rum
  • A double shot of expresso or 4 oz. of strong black coffee
  • Steamed or warmed milk
  • Cinnamon

Make espresso or coffee, and heat or steam your milk.  Combine with pumpkin rum and dust lightly with cinnamon.  Add sugar or sweetener to taste.

Wow, we are stuffed just looking at the pictures, but seriously, how fun does this pumpkin-themed party look? And it gets us so excited for a new season. Three cheers for the mighty pumpkin, and we’ll see you in the next blog!

Deb Fries works with the Julianna Rae team to offer the best shopping experience for quality silk and cotton sleepwear while also writing for the blog at