Harvest & Entertain

It’s been established that fall is indeed in the air and I decided that the change in season needed to be celebrated with a proper dinner party. There is no better feeling than being able to get good company together over delicious food and a great cocktail, especially for festive occasions. The idea of hosting a quick pregame is one thing, it’s another beast entirely to think about producing an entire dinner party. I’ve broken down this fall party with my own tips and tricks.

Inspiration: Every great party needs to have a purpose and inspiration. The changing leaves, sweater weather and general charm of fall inspired this get-together. Inspiration  can be found everywhere. Pinterest, magazines, or Instagram are great places to start. I personally love to window-shop to find ideas for decorations and the menu.

Decoration: During that “pre-shop,” I stopped dead in my tracks over this wood server. It really brings the outdoors in, and will work perfectly moving into winter too. For this party, it’s a charcuterie board, (I’m starting to hoard them) but it’d be a great to hold candles or serve as a tray. I picked up these incredibly affordable oversized leaf-shaped placemats too just for a pop of color.

I believe all parties should have always blend high and low, or natural and handmade elements. Various shaped pumpkins from the pumpkin patch (a local grocery store will have them too) mixed with leaf garland are the perfect combination! The glitter garland is from my favorite local gift shop while the paper garland I made myself. Free decorations are sometimes the best! (scrapbook paper, black thread and craft glue) It doesn’t hurt to have some bragging rights with something handmade, especially if you’re like me and can’t guarantee you’re making every dish yourself.

Food and Drinks: Now for perhaps the most important part. I, like everyone I know, am a huge fan of charcuterie and cheese boards. Grab your favorite cheeses and try a couple new ones! I grabbed a truffle salami to add to my usual spread along with a pumpkin cranberry crisp cracker to keep in theme. Trader Joe’s will never not be my savior when it comes to a dinner party. Easy, affordable and great taste. For a main dish, gnocchi with their Autumn Harvest sauce, because… basic, why not? Au Gratin butternut squash and plenty of bread make up the rest. Consult a cocktail book for the perfect drink, I chose a Trader Joe’s recipe instead and it did not disappoint.

Advice:

Have guests bring something– Even though I hate giving up control, let someone help. Ask guests to bring wine or a dessert. Put out an ice bucket so they can easily drop of their contribution when they walk in. Your wallet will thank you.

Invest in the essentials: A solid cheese board, great glassware and a nice tablecloth are key party staples that never go out of style.

Have fun: Sit back and revel in your hard work! You’ve cleaned, cooked, and served it all up, you deserve that glass of wine!

At the end of the day, the little details will pay off and you’ll be able to make new memories around a table you set yourself! Happy party planning!

Cheers,

TW

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