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Fall Dinner Party (Part I)

Published November 6, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe
Fall is such a special time of year and it’s the best time to gather with your friends and family! So why not throw a small dinner party? There’s nothing better than having a fun time with your closest friends enjoying good food, drinks and a fabulous time! So maybe you don’t like to stress over a party or feel like you’re in over your head well don’t worry because I think that a party hostess should be stress free the entire night! I have always loved planning parties and today you’ll be getting a glimpse into my dinner party ideas for fall. This is part one of my fall dinner party that includes my inspiration, and the menu.
The first thing I always do is start to compile pictures and create an inspiration board. You can save all your fav pictures to your computer and then set up an account (it’s free) at Style Me Pretty and once you have created an account you can start to “build your board”! They have pre-designed templates so all you have to do is drag and drop your pictures into the spaces.
Here’s what inspiration board looks like for my Fall dinner party
As you can see I’m all using all the beautiful colors of nature as my color palette. There’s tons of oranges,yellows, dark reds, greens and white to balance it all out.
So since all of my friends are kind of dispersed in the DFW area we always meet in the middle for our dinner parties at a restaurant. You could also do this at home which, would be much cheaper! So if you are deciding on an at home party let’s get into the good stuff… the food!
What’s a party without some amazingly yummy food?! Well it wouldn’t be much of one so to make this as easy as possible for all you fabulous hostesses here’s a moderately simple menu from appetizers to cocktails.
Appetizers
                      Sweet Potato Fries
Main Dish
Chicken Florentine Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 lb.  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tub  (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups  cooked farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
  • 1 cup  KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled

Directions

  1. HEAT oven to 375ºF.
  2. HEAT oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook and stir 6 to 7 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in all remaining ingredients except bacon. 
  3. SPOON into 1-1/2 qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; cover. 
  4. BAKE 25 min. or until heated through, uncovering and sprinkling with bacon after 15 min. 

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with your favorite KRAFT Light Dressing.
**Substitute : 1 can (15 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, for the spinach.
Sides
Baked Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on brown paper. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Place the bread slices in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. 
  2. Add the remaining breadcrumbs to the skillet and cook until they are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. 
  4. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the milk and butter. 
  5. Place the potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender and they crumble when pressed with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  6. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain them well, put them back into the pot, and mash them. 
  7. Slowly mix in the warm milk and butter mixture until incorporated. 
  8. Mix in the grated cheese and cream cheese. Don’t over mix or the potatoes will become gummy. 
  9. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. (Reserve 2 cups mashed potatoes for Round 2 Recipe). 
  10. Put the potatoes into the prepared baking dish, crumble the bacon over the top, and sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs
  11. Bake until heated through and golden brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve garnished with chives.

 Sandra Lee’s baked mashed potatoes

Dessert
Sangria Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 1 Butter Flavor Cake Mix (yellow or white will work fine too)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Granny Smith apples, diced small
  • 1 cup green grapes, sliced in half
  • 4 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 cup red wine

Directions

  1. Combine cake mix according to directions, I use oil, and 4 eggs to make it taste like it’s made from scratch. 
  2. Fold in apples, grapes and orange zest. 
  3. Bake as directed on box. As soon as they come out of the oven, brush the wine onto the tops with a pastry brush.
**If you are serving children, you could use grape juice or another dark juice.
Frosting

Directions

In a sauce pan on the stove, bring the red wine to a boil and let it reduce to one cup, making a red wine syrup. Place in fridge to chill. Beat the Buttercream frosting, and then add the red wine syrup.
Apple Chip Garnish
  • Simple Syrup: 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water – bring to simmer on stove until sugar is dissolved
  • a splash of lime juice
  • 2 apples (Rome or Honey Crisp are best)
Cocktails
Blueberry Mojito

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 bottle ready-to-serve Mojito mix (recommended: Smirnoff)
  • 1 liter bottle sparkling water
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large pitcher, add the blueberries and muddle until they release their juices. 
  2. Pour in the ready-to-serve Mojito mix and sparkling water and stir. 
  3. Pour into glasses filled with ice and garnish with a mint sprig and serve. 
Have fun cooking and entertaining!

Stay tuned in the next few days I’ll be covering the tablescape, favor ideas and other goodies!

Have a sweet day!

xoxo,