Happy Halloween: Dinner Party Inspiration

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Halloween is around the corner. Its gross-out side has always seemed too low-brow, and it looks like most of you prefer a harvest celebration too. And yet that doesn't mean we have to miss out on Halloween fun. We saw that Emily of EmilyStyle is pondering a fun yet grownup Halloween dinner, and this sparked our imagination.

Here are our ideas for a grown-up yet playful Halloween dinner party... • Decorate with the Pumpkin Placeholders above, $19.95 at Sur La Table, along with Parchment Paper Leaves or real autumn leaves. Add some drippy white candles for a pleasantly eerie glow, or some brown paper bags with votives, and some crazy fall gourds.

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Rest in Peas: A tongue-in-cheek dip to start off the evening, from Martha Stewart.

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Spiderweb Soup: Use yogurt or creme fraiche to draw spidery webs on our Spicy Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup. (Photo: Le Chat Gourmet)

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Squash Rolls: Try making miniature versions of these Squash Pull-apart Dinner Rolls. Small, bite-size rolls are just right with soup.

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Rare Tenderloin: This pork tenderloin looks delicious yet vaguely creepy - just right. We can't read the recipe, however, so we'll direct you to our Grilled Pork Tenderloin instead. Quickly sauté some green beans with soy sauce and oil for a side.

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Decomposed Salad: Icky name - let's substitute Deconstructed. Radicchio, squash, and pumpkin seeds, also from Martha Stewart. Also try our Warm Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad; add a few spicy toasted Pumpkin Seeds.

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Ooey Gooey Dessert: Molten Chocolate Cherry Cakes from Epicurious ooze and delight. Cherries are out of season; you can use frozen like the recipe calls for, or substitute a seasonal fruit like late plums or Cape gooseberries. Or skip dessert in favor of some very gooey and blue-veined cheeses. See our Cheesemonger Picks for suggestions.

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Blood Red Wine: What to drink? Red wine of course! Check out our Vino entries for some ideas.

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Chocolate Migniardise: Finish off the dinner with a tiny, perfect skull from Valerie Confections, via not martha for design*sponge.

Related Links
Spiced Apple Cider
Jack O Lantern Roundup
How to Cut a Pumpkin
Baby Pumpkins with Garlic Custard

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Halloween

Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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