“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!
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
- 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
- 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.