Anatomy of a Party

This past Saturday we hosted what’s becoming our annual fall party.  A party where we pretend it’s not 80 degrees outside with palm trees and flowering bougainvillea but rather there is the perfect crispness in the air, a blanket of crunchy leaves on every lawn and sidewalk, and the aroma of spices warms each household.  We filled our home with oranges, burnt reds, and subtle yellows and brought elements found in nature inside.  It’s an evening where we soak up all things fall.

Table

We kept the decorations simple and used as many natural elements as possible, most of them originating in Massachusetts.  On my last trip, I brought as many pine cones and pine needles as my carry on bag could hold.

For the table, we filled mason jars with acorns and Mexican Pumpkin votive candles from World Market.  We a jar in the center with fall colored flowers and surrounded it with candles, mini pumpkins, gourds, and pine needles.  We used this table runner from World Market as well.  In person it’s a bit more burnt red color.  Very simple but it left enough space on the table for food and drink.

candles, pumpkins, and gourds

For the side table, leaving room for people to set their drinks, we filled a glass circular vase in pine cones and placed two birch candles on either side.  We also had a leaf tray with candle corn, but being new to blogging, I forgot to take a before picture…..guess we all have our weaknesses.  There were liquid amber leaves for a bit more color.  

SIde Table 2

We had quite the spread of food.  I wish I got a picture of everything.  For appetizers, we had:

Chese Plate 2

Cheese and cracker plate (as I mentioned earlier, I forgot to take a picture on the actual day….from Trader Joe’s cracker assortment box, we originally served the vegetable, wheat, and original crackers.)  We have these cloth cocktail napkins and we just love them.

Tortilla chips with homemade pico de gallo using Against All Grain’s recipe (it’s so delicious!)

Baked polenta with agave ricotta (Slice polenta, bake at 400 degrees on a piece of parchment paper for appoximately 15-20 minutes or until crispy.  Once baked, let cool.  In the meantime, mix about 1 cup of ricotta with agave until it is the desired sweatness.  Once the polenta has cooled, scoop a little less than a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on top each slice of polenta.)

Almonds

For the main course, I made two batches of sweet potato and sausage soup.  For the meat eaters I used Mulay’s Mild Italian Sausage and for the vegetarians, I used Field Roast’s Italian Sausage.  This is the best non-meat sausage we’ve found.  I love that it doesn’t have soy and is made from real ingredients.  I used vegetable broth for both.  Cathrine just loves this soup…..I made her a batch before I went to the east coast earlier this month and she happily ate it for many days in a row.

We also made a delicata squash with kale and white beans salad.  I frequently do what most people say not to but this was the first time we’ve made this salad and we served it to other people.  But we love delicata squash and were fairly confident that it would come out!  We used cannellini beans instead of cranberry.

For drinks we had a couple bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and hard cider.  For our signature drink, we made a mulled cider and served it with a shot of Maker’s Mark bourbon.  These seemed quite popular.  There also was the usual selection of liquor and mixers.

For dessert we had two different kind of grain free pumpkin cookies.  I started off making pumpkin pie sugar cookies but I burned half of them and didn’t have enough ingredients to repeat the recipe, so I made a half batch of almond pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to fill out the plate.  Both were tasty!

Cookies

All in all, it was fun getting ready for it and even more fun spending time with friends.  Even if part of the conversation was dedicated to Cathrine explaining mileage running with lots of FlyerTalk lingo….Our friends did ask.

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