Host a Hogwarts at Night Event for Grownups: Part Two
Updated: Mar 4, 2022
Plan a memorable Harry Potter party for adults with easy themed food and drinks, and fantastical costumes. This is Part Two of our two-part series about hosting an immersive Hogwarts at Night adventure. If you missed Part One, click back to see to create a Hogwarts “set” in your home or event space, and what activities to offer your guests.
NOTE: If you'd like to watch this discussion on YouTube (with WAY more photos), please CLICK HERE.
As I mentioned in the last post, author JK Rowling did a fantastic job creating and describing a wide array of magical refreshments in the Harry Potter book series, which makes our job as event planners much easier. There are probably more options for themed food than guests at your party!
So that means you have choices to make. You can serve replicas of foods that were specifically mentioned in the books, like chocolate frogs and Butterbeer, or you can create your own dishes inspired by items in the story, like Pumpkin Pasty Shooters and Half Blood Oranges.
You will also need to decide whether you’re offering a “full service” menu at your party, meaning you’ll be serving appetizers, dinner food, desserts and drinks, or whether you’d rather pare down the food and concentrate on one particular course -- maybe your event has a cocktail party vibe and you just want to offer finger foods, or you have a sweet tooth and you love the idea of a dessert buffet. It's your choice.
Today I’ll share a few foods from each potential category, and you can mix and match to suit your needs. In each category, there will be an item you can make, an item you can buy, and an item you can modify (which is where you take a food from the store and add a few things to it to make it fancier.) As you are probably aware, there are a TON of Harry Potter themed recipes available on Pinterest, but some of them are really hard to make, and the last thing you want to do is be stuck in the kitchen for a week before your event, agonizing over your Pinterest fails. The foods I’m going to share with you today are accessible to everyone, no matter what your skill in the kitchen, AND I’ve made them all myself for various events over the years, so I can vouch for their flavor!
Let’s start with appetizers and finger foods. Most recipes online are for sweets, and there really aren’t any appetizers mentioned in the books, so these are all normal recipes that we’ve given themed names to. Today we’ll talk about three options - one you make, one you buy, and one you modify - and those are Huffle Puffs, Pretzel Wands and Slytherin Snake Slivers.
You can MAKE these Slytherin Snake Slivers really quickly. These are little mini pizzas made of zucchini slices, topped with a pepperoni slice and grated parmesan cheese. These are so simple to make - you’re really just assembling things. Just arrange your zucchini slices on a baking sheet, add the pepperoni and cheese on top, and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is starting to melt and brown. These are light and really flavorful, and they go fast so make a lot.
Next we have the appetizer you can BUY, for those times that you just want to have fun at the event and not worry about cooking. Huffle Puffs are simply savory puff pastry appetizer bites from the frozen aisle at your local grocery store. These can be filled with spinach and cheese, or potatoes and bacon, or roasted peppers - there are a lot of options out there. Just heat and serve, and don’t forget to make a little sign to set by the tray with the name of the food so people can enjoy the pun!
And our last appetizer, the one you can MODIFY, is Pretzel Wands. These are very simple as well - see the pattern? Start with long pretzel rods, cover half with ready-made frosting, and roll them on a dish of colored sugar or sprinkles. Super fun. Serve these with a napkin, because they drop sprinkles all over when you eat them.
Now if you’d like to offer more substantial foods, something heavier to fill your guest’s stomachs (or absorb alcoholic drinks), yet still easy to grab from a buffet and eat standing up, here are three more delicious and easy options for you to consider: Hogshead Cornish Balls, Pumpkin Pasty Shooters and Basilisks in a Blanket.
You can make the Hogshead Cornish Balls, which are actually sweet and sour meatballs, in all of 15 minutes if you start with frozen meatballs from your grocery store. Just dump two bags of Italian meatballs (still frozen) into a large pasta pot over medium heat on your stove, add a large jar of grape jelly and a large bottle of taco sauce, then stir occasionally as the jelly melts to coat all the meatballs in the sauce. I know it sounds like a weird combination, but people LOVE these meatballs. You can serve them on platters with a toothpick in each one, or set up a crock pot and keep in running on low during the party and let people help themselves.