August is here, and that has us looking forward to cooler weather, dreaming about orange and yellow décor and thinking about our favorite fall foods. Like it or not, it’s time for all things pumpkin flavored! While visions of comfort food - warm apple pie and TURKEY - are within our grasp, it’s also time for tailgating and impromptu get-togethers in your home sweet home. For those times when a full buffet just won’t fit the bill, you can still incorporate the tastes of the season into a smaller spread that is just right for your event.
A quick Google or Pinterest search provides an exhausting list of fall food, but don’t let this overwhelm you! Here are a few easy ways to make your fall party menu even more simple:
1. Let the guest list be your guide
Think about your guest list (kiddos, adults only, etc.). This will help you choose an appropriate menu. Do you have any guests with food allergies or specific dislikes when it comes to flavors? Don’t be shy about asking your guests for their input and recruit their help if you need it.
2. Keep it simple
Caramel apples remind us of the annual county fair and preparing them is simple. Choose your favorite apple variety and pair with caramel apple sauce (either homemade or store-bought if you are in a pinch) for a treat that is sure to please. Check your local market for the freshest produce. If you want a cleaner version that is more finger food friendly, simply cut your apples into cubes, or use a melon baller if you prefer spheres, cover in a thick caramel apple drizzle and insert toothpicks.
Speaking of apples, what about a warm apple dip? Add graham crackers on the side for a dish that everyone is sure to enjoy. Yum… cinnamon! Here is a quick and easy recipe from Kraft:
- 1 tub (8 oz.) cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 apple, chopped, divided
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix reduced-fat cream cheese, sugar and spice in medium bowl until blended. Stir in half the apples. Spread onto bottom of shallow baking dish; top with remaining apples, cheddar and nuts. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. or until heated through.
3. Spice it up with a fall drink
And don’t forget the warm apple cider – no fall party is complete without it! This recipe from one of our favorite online recipe resources, Sally’s Baking Addiction, is certain to please your taste buds. Check it out here.
4. Top off your main dish delight
Need something more substantial than appetizers or snack foods? Burgers on the grill are always a crowd pleaser, and remember to leave options for guests to customize with condiments and veggies of their choosing. Don’t forget to put a thumbprint in those patties before putting them on the grill – it helps them cook evenly and maintain their shape. Add some sweet potato fries for a nice fall touch.
The perfect blend of spices in a warm and filling bowl of chili can hit the spot as well, especially as those fall temperatures begin to drop! Shredded cheese, corn chips and French-fried onions are just a few choices for topping off your meal.
5. Display away!
While you are thinking about all of the yummy party food prep on your agenda, don’t forget about styling your setup. Splashes of red, yellow, orange, brown and forest green can certainly spice up the visual element! Tablecloths, appropriately placed napkins or dinnerware and colorful serving bowls can truly make for a stunning presentation, whether you are looking for something casual or something elegant. A thoughtfully placed candle in a warm fall scent can add ambience to an indoor shindig. And lucky for you, we have a large selection of your favorite, delicious-smelling Melinda May and Cotton Top Candles in store now!
Planning a tailgate party? Gather some of your favorite team’s regalia and incorporate team colors into the food display area. You can truly make your design as simple or as detailed as you like. Want to pack some extra punch into the appearance of a typical cheese tray? Give your snacks some shape with minimal effort, and your guests will be impressed. Bring on the football festivities!
So, now that your stomach is growling, and you are thinking of all the delicious foods you’ll be placing on your shopping list for your own fall gatherings, don’t forget to stop by Rubies to grab those perfect pieces of décor that will make your event shine with a personal touch. We’ll be happy to help you find just what you need to achieve the special look that you desire. And we won’t mind a bit if you stay a spell and share a recipe or two with us.