entertainingfoodFood & Drink

Dinner Party: An Autumnal Meal with The Kinfolk Table & Cookbook Giveaway

by Maxwell Tielman


“The idea for the magazine Kinfolk,” Nathan Williams writes in his introduction to The Kinfolk Table, “was born in the course of trying to describe those evenings spent with friends when the hours pass effortlessly, conversation flows naturally, cooking is participatory, and the evening ends with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.” We’ve been huge fans of Kinfolk ever since its inception—not just because of its stunning imagery and down-to-earth writing, but because of this laid back, communal philosophy towards entertaining. Throughout the pages of Kinfolk magazine, it is apparent that the lifestyle being espoused is not one of lofty, exclusive soirees, but of calm, familial gatherings, one where easiness and enjoyment are key. The Kinfolk Table, the cookbook that accompanies Williams’ quarterly lifestyle journal, seems the natural extension of this entertaining philosophy. Within its pages, numerous cooks, artisans, and craftspeople share their own recipes for delicious food and beautifully simple gatherings—a warm antidote to overly-fussy and antiquated ideas of entertaining.

With our copy of the deeply beautiful Kinfolk Table in hand, we decided to throw a little dinner party of our own—with a dark autumnal twist. With warm, hearty dishes and easily crafted decorations (including a beautiful skull garland and a shibori-style tablecloth), it was the perfect occasion for some chilly-weather warmth.

Continue after the jump for more photos, two full recipes, and DIY instructions! —Max


Giveaway: The wonderful people at Artisan books are allowing us to give away a few copies of this wonderful cookbook. To enter for your change to win a copy of The Kinfolk Table, tell us in the comments what your perfect fall gathering would be. We’ll choose our favorites! (Last day for entries 10/24.)


Skull Garland DIY: We crafted these charming hanging garlands using Paper Source’s Sugar Skull Gift Wrap, Rhombus Black Paper, and Raised Grey Floral Paper . Skulls were cut out according to the pattern and circles were cut from the other papers. The cutouts were then attached, back-to-back, to black and white twine with a glue stick.

Shibori-Style Tablecloth DIY: We crafted this beautiful dyed tablecloth in the Shibori style using a canvas dropcloth and standard black Rit Dye. First, we folded the tablecloth zig-zag style lengthwise and then again, widthwise, bunching the whole thing together with several rubber bands. Following the directions with the dye packet, we then dyed the entire cloth. The process is quite simple, but the results are beautiful!

kinfolktabledp_5 kinfolktabledp_2

Above image: Breakfast Bread from The Kinfolk Table cookbook, page 189.


Above image: Mushroom, Tomato, and White Bean Stew from page 212.


Above image: Spiced Raw Chocolate Mousse from page 127.



Mushroom, Tomato, and White Bean Stew

Serves 4

  •  1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • Pinch of dried sage
  • 12 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium0high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, fennel seed, and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the onion is soft and starting to brown.

Stir in the mushrooms and stock and simmer, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes or until the mushrooms have shrunk and released their juices. Add the beans, tomatoes, and parsley, then cover and return to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot over brown rice or whole wheat pasta (we chose black rice for a more creepy, Halloween-y feel!) or just in a bowl as a meatless stew. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.


Spiced Raw Chocolate Mousse

Serves 2

  • 1/4 Cup hemp seeds (see note)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 large banana, frozen and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey, agave, or pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Cold water, as needed

Blend the hemp seeds, cacao, avocado, banana, honey, cayenne, ginger, and salt in a blender until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to adjust the consistency to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: The hemp seeds may be replaced by raw almonds, raw cashews, or raw sunflower seeds. Soak the nuts or seeds in water for about 10 minutes or until softened prior to proceeding with the recipe.

Suggested For You


  • perfect fall gathering would be having an apple picking outing with friends and then coming home and making apple recipes together. we would share a aimple appetizer of sliced apples and some kind of cheese and honey (love the salty/sweet combo). We’d bake an apple pie while we ate and cooked. We’d make turkey sliders with sliced apples and a jam compote. And wash it all down with some spiked apple cider!

  • A group hike to find natural materials to dye fabric (kind of like your shibori dyeing) like black lichen off of rocks plus ammonia for a light purple dye, bark and other goods. Bring it back to someone’s yard, and do some hand-dyeing before having a big veggie grilling cook out with pumpkin, squash, eggplant, tomatoes and other autumn foods while folks play bluegrass and other folks songs together. <3

  • The perfect fall gathering would entail getting friends together to listen to old records (we found a great record player in working condition at a garage sale) like Fleetwood Mac or Bruce Springsteen. Candle light. A simple roast chicken with garlic mashed potatoes. Homemade rolls. There would be some wine or cider. For dessert, we’d dig into an apple and pear crumble while dancing the night away.

  • Friends peeling apples, fireside, red wine, my son’s pumpkin pie, cream for the apples and some brandy, stars into the evening and plenty of smiles. Thank you – that was fun, Katie.

  • My perfect fall gathering would be under the stars around a campfire with my closest friends and loved ones. Having drinks, cooking food on our camping BBQ, sharing stories and laughs.

  • My perfect fall gathering would involve a group of us doing something active by the sea for the afternoon – surfing, crabbing, walking – then warm sweaters, thick socks and boots, and a fire on the beach to cook the haul. Yes please.

  • My perfect fall gathering would involve multiple generations: my parents, my children, my parent’s friends, my friend’s children. The air would be cool and time would be spent slipping between inside and outside, where a fire burned and people sat on haystacks with piles of warm blankets at their disposal. Soup would simmer of the stove and roasted vegetables would be pulled out of the over, there would be so much old, stinky cheese and cured meats, and a record would be spinning in the background, forgotten while friends and family laugh, recall old memories, and make new ones.

  • Fall is my favorite season and what I imagine is a late Sunday afternoon luncheon in an apple orchard. I see the rows of trees, and that perfect light of Fall (somewhat of an golden orange cast on everything. The table would be 3 or 4 long tables, set together so that it looks like one long table. Wooden mix-matched old chairs. Rough linen across all the tables. Buckets full of apples, run the length of the table along with branches of leaves that are turning color, small pumpkins, nuts strewn through the entire center. In between it all those wonderful tall mexican candles in their glass holders.
    The meal – a huge pot of coq au vin, platters of cheeses and nuts, sliced pears, persimmons and apples, bottles of red wine or hard cider (apple cider for the kids) and wonderful freshly baked breads with home-crafted sweet butter. Dessert – a pumpkin mousse drizzled with a soft caramel and hand whipped cream. I hear laughter and an impromptu jam session where the musicians pull out their guitars and everyone gets up and dances (spanish gypsy music). There are kids running around, dogs and cats sleeping under the trees, birds twittering. In my heart and imagination – this would be a perfect Fall gathering.

  • My perfect fall gathering would be inviting my family who live in Seoul, Korea to My husband and My ‘First Home’ in Oceanside, CA (for the first time ever.) I’ve been married my husband for 3years now and we were ridiculously busy with new life and work. I didn’t get to meet my family for that long. They couldn’t even imagine that I’m cooking! So it will be so so amazing if I get to be with my family at least one of them:p.

  • my perfect fall gathering would be a hike up a trail, crunching on colorful leaves, with a picnic at the end of it all, overlooking the beautiful changing scenery.

  • A cool fall day in the foothills of the Smokeys, drinking fresh pressed cider and relaxing with the family. Some grilled food, nothing special.

  • A fall gathering means family and closest friends. There is something about the crispness in the air and the cool breeze that makes me want to snuggle with the ones I love. This gathering would have all things pumpkins and squash. And an auora of burnt orange and amber would surround the table, and late afternoon sunlight streaming in the room.

  • My approach to gathering friends and family together resonates with what I have read about Kinfolk Table. It would be a sunny Colorado Sunday, the crisp air would invigorate us as we took a walk through the nearby Bluff Lake Nature Center east of Denver. We’d return to my place for steaming cups of spiced cider. After we warmed up by the fireplace, we’d move to the kitchen and collectively prep for our green chili cooking. As the pot of fragrant deliciousness bubbles away on the stove I would give everyone a demonstration on making chalupas which we would snack on while waiting for the green chili to finish cooking. There would be some fun salsa music playing and we’d all relish each other’s company.

  • I’ve always wanted to have an outdoor, evening picnic in the fall. Rustic tables, good bread, wine and a bonfire. And of course good company and maybe something funky like a face painter or magician. :)

  • A perfect Fall gathering would be my closest friends gathered around a bonfire telling stories, laughing, and listening to the crackle-y night.

  • One of my favorite fall gatherings is having a small group of friends over for an easy dinner of homemade chicken noodle soup and chunks of fresh bread and then taking cider and hot chocolate out to the patio with extra blankets and sweaters and a fire going in the chiminea.

  • a deck of cards | tasty pumpkin adult beverages | sonoran desert landscape | cozy socks | sharing memories with old friends | butternut squash & pomegranate seed soup | candy corn for dessert = happiness

  • My favorite Fall gathering would be one with family from far, far away. In honor of my deceased parents, and grandparents, it would be rustic spins on traditional Czech recipes, and those I remember Grandma simmering in her Chicago bungalow: Chicken Paprika, cake dumplings, Pigs in a Blanket with her sour cream, dill dressing. And of course, peach dumplings. Not a dessert for us, but a main dish: Giant peaches surrounded by a tapioca-based dough. Served hot, topped with melted butter, teaspoons of sugar and cold cottage cheese!

  • My perfect fall gathering is coming to fruition this weekend! I’m flying to Boston to help an old friend throw a New England clambake for 30 friends and family in honor of her birthday. On Friday, we’ll harvest seaweed and clams by canoe in Cohasset harbor, go to a nearby farm for potatoes and root veggies, and pick up Maine lobster from a local purveyor. We’ll start the fire pit in her backyard at dawn on Saturday, and have a slow-cooked meal and warm cider ready for friends arriving with blankets and guitars for a long evening around the fire in the crisp New England air.

  • My perfect fall gathering would be an after-football-game party, with copious amounts of mulled wine, my grandfather’s chili on the stove as friends come-and-go, a football game on the tv in the background, but with most people outside huddled around a fire pit chatting and laughing the night away.

  • My favorite fall gathering always includes baking together (crusty bread, anyone?) with friends while munching on almonds, cheeses, quince butter, and just barely baked brownies.

  • Perfect Fall gathering. For me it would start off, the night before, with a full restful sleep. I would awaken to a stillness and the presence of sunlight on my eyelids. I’d enjoy a hot cup of joe on my balcony with a light breakfast, possibly some toast with a slathered topping of whatever is in my fridge or on my countertop. Then, I’d dress and head to the market to grab a few simple, beautiful ingredients. Food prep would have started the night before. Friends would arrive with pumpkins, which would then be gutted and carved. After carving, we would begin to prepare a simple but flavorful fall feast ranging from vegan to pescetarian; a barley salad with fresh herbs, fruits, nuts and onions, a fish stew of some sort, bottles of wine, ice-cold seasonal beer, a platter of cheese, figs, grapes and bread. Afterwards we’d roast our gutted pumpkin seeds, enjoy our beverages and sit around a fire, soaking in the day and connecting. Leftovers would be minimal so cleanup would be easy. I’d fall asleep on the couch wrapped in a blanket. Perfect day.

  • Fabulous brunch at home – biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs with grilled veggies, and cheddar hash brown casserole, then heading out for a long drive in Amish country to check out the leaves and do some shopping.

  • My perfect autumn gather is Thanksgiving! I’m surrounded by the people I love, eating recipes that have been passed down for generations like cranberry compote and cornbread stuffing. Heaven.

  • homemade apple cider, great friends, the crackle of wood in the fireplace. we’d be sitting on cushions on the floor, circled around a table, playing board games. the autumn chill outside, and the warmth of the season of communing within.


  • My favorite fall gathering is a small, intimate group of people — each bringing their specialty dishes geared around fall and the fresh foods available at that time of year.

  • There are so many things I love in this post. The recipes look perfect! I love that the title of the book is The Kinfolk Table- again, perfect. I love that the photo of the girl on the cover reminds me of one of my favorite Gerhard Richter paintings (of the girl turning away), and I love the photographs, the styling, and the decorations you made.

    But none of these explains precisely why I had such an emotional response when I first read it and thought about my perfect gathering. I think it’s because a very important section of my personal kinfolk are the friends I have made over the last decade. We’ve traveled together, had countless meals together, changed together. This year, this season, feels like a crossroads. Some dear couples are splitting up, others are getting married. All around us our peripheral friends are moving, having children, receding into their lives. So I am feeling very nostalgic. My ideal gathering would gather these lovely people once more to be again as we once were- perfect- animated, arguing, laughing, sometimes even dancing- our voices always growing louder into the night. I would show my love by preparing dishes such as these and breaking out “the good bottles”. The house will be scrubbed, candles in vintage jars lit, and the fire pit will be at the ready, but in the end all that matters is that we Kinfolk get to see each other.

    I hope I haven’t waxed too poetic- did I mention I am feeling nostalgic :) Thanks for all you do!

  • My perfect fall gathering would be with a few close friends, wine- and cheese-tasting at a riverside vineyard. Surrounded by gorgeously changing leaves, of course.

  • I really want to have a chili party. We’ve had such a gorgeous fall, we could even have it outdoors at a park, load up on chili and toppings, and then play on the swings.

  • I confess it was lovely to consider this to it’s slightly unrealistic extreme. After some thought I finally happened upon my ideal. I always loved the idea of “midnight margaritas” from the movie Practical Magic (a ‘living in’ I would adore to see as that house is my dream, any qualms about movie quality aside) and I find it to be particularly appropriate for this time of year. I love how these women gather together, in the middle of the night to drink and talk, even if the movie takes a turn. In my ideal though, this would change to brunch. I would love to have a midnight brunch with some of my closest female family members, where we settle in amongst low light, wrapped in blankets and comfortable pajamas, eating every autumnal-flavored thing. Being the fan of pumpkin and apple that I am, there would be a decided theme present in the food- pumpkin pancakes, hot cider, roasted apples- basically any sweet carbohydrate of a seasonal variety. And then we would talk and tell stories about our family, those myths that prove so important in maintaining the bond of kin. My family has experienced the loss of several loved ones this past year, but amidst the difficulty, a wedding is being planned and a baby born soon. I want to hold onto that. I want to hold onto the good and every one that would be around that table . And fall, in all it’s dimming light and cooler evenings makes you want to pull things in closer around you, whether it is food or a blanket or loved ones. Ideally we would laugh and eat and talk til the sun would begin to rise and then we would blow out the candles and climb into bed for a nap, leaving dishes for the later hours. It’s mainly unrealistic because to convince certain people to spend half the night awake would prove difficult, let alone the logistics of gathering distant family members. But thank you for giving me something lovely to think about all the while, as corny as it may sound.

  • My favorite fall gathering is always Sukkot. I love building the Sukkah with my husband and kids, and filling it up with friends, colorful linens and dishes, platters full of the yummiest harvest foods. Stuffed squash, savory and sweet pies, challah, roasted veggies, a rib roast or brisket, a lovely great wine. The meal always ends in the dark, with paper lanterns glowing and everyone carrying mountains of dishes and furniture back into the house. Then the children dance in the grass with those paper lanterns and the grownups sip hot cider and relive hectic, loud summer adventures and look forward to cozy and quiet winter ones. Then everyone eats apple cake and sleepy children get tucked into bed or cars for the ride home.

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