A backyard Harry Potter Picnic full of magical recipes that will transport you to Hogwarts!
Last week my niece asked if I’ve ever thrown a Harry Potter party before on The Rose Table. I told her that I hosted a Harry Potter party in high school every time a new movie was released, which is where my famous Cauldron Queso recipe comes from, so I feel like I’ve done it but no, I’ve never done a Harry Potter episode. She said, “Why don’t you do a Potter Picnic? That way you could make all of your Harry Potter recipes without decorating your whole dining room.” The girl is a GENIUS. So I decided to surprise her with her very own backyard Potter Picnic on Halloween weekend.
I used my favorite dark quilt for a neutral background and hung floating candles from a small tree right above the picnic blanket. I used my very Harry Potter-esque brown lanterns and pumpkins to make the picnic feel a bit like the great hall at Hogwarts. I dug through my closet and found the fabulous wand and Marauder’s Map I bought at Universal Orlando on a trip with my sister-in-law, aka Cali’s mom.
We of course had to invite Hedwig (a gift for my niece!) to the picnic and we arrived via broom (Nimbus 2000 obviously). I borrowed my sister-in-law’s numerous Harry Potter books, adorned with the wizard’s famous glasses. It wouldn’t be a Potter Picnic without The Sorcerer’s Stone!
For the flowers, I arranged yellow roses, red roses, and red and gold mums – ten points for Gryffindor! If you’re more of a Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, choose flowers accordingly. I set the whole vase in a cauldron so we could feel like we’re in Professor Snape’s potions class.
Cali and Cassi and I donned wizard robes for the occasion complete with a Gryffindor scarf for me and a Gryffindor tie for her.
Cali had already requested that I bring Cauldron Queso for Halloween this year, as I brought it last year and it was a hit. I made the filling at my house, then just threw it in a bread loaf and baked it at her house. As always, I served it with cubed bread, crackers, apples, and celery. Get the recipe here.
If you’re doing a Potter Picnic somewhere other than your backyard and want something more portable, make these delightful sweet and savory Pumpkin Pasties.
I also baked Harry Potter Cookies, aka lightning bolt sugar cookies to honor our favorite boy wizard. I love this sugar cookie recipe because it turns out perfect every time and the cookies stay fresh for days! Get the recipe here.
I also made chocolate Magic Wands, which I’ve made nearly every time I’ve watched Harry Potter since I was about fourteen. I decorated the wands with sprinkles for each Hogwarts house. Even though I’m a firm Gryffindor, the Hufflepuff wands were my favorite! Get the recipe here.
I also brought an official chocolate frog that I got at Hogsmeade in Universal Orlando and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Let me tell you what…these kids today have it easy! The package now has a color chart of every bean. In my day it was Bertie Bott roulette. You didn’t know which color was what. It could be toasted marshmallow, it could be earwax. But alas, that’s part of the fun!
Last but not least, I made butterbeer. It just wouldn’t be a Harry Potter party without butterbeer! If you’ve never made butterbeer before, you’re in for a treat. It’s delicious! With a homemade butterscotch sauce and cream soda, it’s always a hit at my Harry Potter watch parties. Get the recipe here.
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