As a personal chef, of Your Culinary Experience, Inc., for over ten years I have been creating dinner parties for so many clients that I thought it would be fun to finally have a party for my friends to kick off my most favorite season…Autumn!
There is something about the crisp air and blue sky days, the peaceful cool nights and the beautiful foliage out my window during the fall that capture me and get me excited about the next few months of entertaining.
If you entertain during this time of year and are looking for tips about planning, decorating and simple recipes, than use this party as a guide to create your own!
Ask about food allergies. Ask your guests ahead of time if anyone coming has a food allergy. The most important job as a host is to make your guests feel comfortable and to enjoy themselves. You want them to feel included and to enjoy the food like the rest of the guests. Plus it saves you from rummaging through your pantry last minute trying to find something safe for them to eat!
Always have a theme. It makes the party feel complete and put together if the season is paired with the menu, if the menu is paired with the beverages, and if the décor is tied into everything, even down to the small details.
Label your dishes. It is important to label your dishes in case a guest has an allergy, if they are new to items in the menu and can’t identify it or if they are picky eaters and think its chicken and find out its eggplant! Everyone wants to know what it is that they are eating!
Have an activity or entertainment. You always want to create an ice breaker for the guests that don’t know each other, you want to create a memorable experience for that event and you want to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.
Start early. Start early thinking about what theme the party will have, what colors you want to incorporate into the party and what you will need. Start early looking for decorations to fit in with your theme, just pick up a little bit here and there. That way you don’t get overwhelmed with organizing the party and decorating for it. You don’t want to do it all at once, it will take all the enjoyment out of it and you will be exhausted before the party even begins! If you start early you can also pay for the items a little each time so you won’t have one large sum at once. I like to shop at dollar stores or discount stores for the best deals! My favorite finds have been at the Dollar Tree, Five Below, Christmas Tree Shop and HomeGoods.
Less is more. When decorating you don’t want to overdo it with too many ideas. For this Halloween party my theme is leaves and pumpkins. Even though I saw tons of skeleton, ghost and witch decorations, I wanted to stick with one idea and have it look clean, simple and elegant.
Don’t forget the small details. When you decorate for a party do not just decorate the one room that you will be hosting the party in. Have little accents of décor in the guest bathroom, in the front entrance when they arrive and in the kitchen…because everyone is always in your kitchen during a party!
(recipes to follow in our newsletter*):
Prosciutto, Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini, Balsamic Drizzle
Cranberry Maple Baked Brie (or cream cheese) served with Bagel Chips
Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Sweet & Sour Meatball
Herb Butter Pumpkin Shaped Pasta, Sweet & Sour Meatballs (for the kids!)
Butternut Squash Shooters
Parmesan Crusted Pig in a Blanket
Sweet Potato – Sausage Skewers with Lemon Garlic Aioli
Warm Kale Asiago Dip with Warm Biscuits
Candied Pecan Salad with Cranberries, Apples, Pears, Goat Cheese, Romaine and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Pumpkin bread pudding with Citrus Drizzle
Danish Pastry Apple Bars
Mini Spiced Donuts with Cinnamon Icing and Fall Themed Sprinkles
Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Parfaits
Visit our website and add your email to our newsletter mailing list, to read more about the party, view recipes and see photos.
* The party will be on October 18 and the newsletter will be sent out soon after that. Also in the newsletter will be a $25 off coupon for new clients.