This is not so much “gardening” related, but I thought those of you readers with kids might appreciate it. We spent time with our little nephews over the break who live in town. They are Harry Potter fans, as are we, so we had a movie party with lots of movie-themed goodies.

Mostly the menu consisted of sweets, but I talked them into eating dinner first. We called it a Quidditch Player’s Pie, which is really just a Shepard’s pie. We got the idea from lots and lots of websites online, but made up a recipe on our own since I didn’t like the ones I saw online. They are both fairly picky eaters, so we were crafty about how to sneak in lots and lots of veggies.

We used homegrown carrots, peas and kale plus store-bought potatoes and ground beef. In a alrge cast-iron skillet, the beef was cooked first until browned. We made a simple, creamy gravy and mixed in the cut up veggies with the beef. The “pie” was topped off with mashed potatoes, like a crust. Everything baked for about 45 minutes, until the carrots are done. We all devoured it! Awesome meal on a cold winter night.

For dessert… licorice wands, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, gooey slugs, Cauldron Cakes, and my sister-in-law baked up some pumpkin pasties.

The licorice wands are just melted almond bark dipped on the ends of licorice sticks, with sprinkles on top. They dried on wax paper and were super easy to make.

The Bertie Bott’s were just Jelly Bellies, although I have heard it’s possible to order the “real” thing. Sounds a bit gross to eat something that tastes like booger, but whatever. I bet the kids would think it was hilarious.

The gooey slugs were gummy worms. Cheap, full of corn syrup I am sure, but a big hit.

The Cauldron Cakes were time consuming little buggers! We baked up some devil’s food cupcakes. After they were cool, we added a few drops of green food coloring to frosting and frosted them all. We then sprinkled on some powdered sugar and brown sugar to make it look a little foamy. We then cut black licorice into little strips to plug in the tops like handles. I kind of wanted them to look a lot more impressive for how much time it took, but oh well.

My sister-in-law made the filling for a pumpkin pie, then stuffed pastry dough into little pockets. They were so good! Just like your very own pumpkin pie.

It was super fun and the kids got WAY hopped-up on sugar. Being the auntie and uncle, we get to do these horrible things and then return said over-sugared children to their parents. Hahaha!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson