Friday, October 23, 2015

A Harvest Gathering with Delectable Fall Morsels

I get a ridiculous amount of enjoyment from entertaining. Making the meal plan, cleaning, organizing, and coming up with decor is for some reason a source of pure joy for me, so when I saw the opportunity to have some family down for a low key fall gathering I just couldn't help myself.
 For decor I made the acorn pins and leaf decor that I've already shared on the blog, and for the menu I focused on a lot of rich fall flavors.  Some things came from recipe books and online blogs, and some of the menu was made up or adapted from recipes.

Fall Harvest Gathering Menu:

We went with the red wine version, and chose Merlot instead of the Pinot.  It was a great fall pairing with the cider, and we topped it off with the cinnamon sugar rim for added yummy factor.

Chorizo and Squash tarts from The Farmer's Market cookbook
We also adapted this a little bit, and made them mini tarts instead of one big one.  The recipe called for acorn squash, but we chose to use sweet potatoes instead!

Goat Cheese Honey Hazelnut Dip, made up by me
My mother has always inspired me with her creative thinking in the kitchen, and it came through on this one.  Basically, I got a log of goat cheese and put it in an oven safe dish with a bunch of honey drizzled on top and crushed hazelnuts.  I set the oven to 350, and baked it for about 10 minutes.  

Because there's really no such thing as too much honey, this seemed to be the perfect pair for our goat cheese dip.  We've made this bread numerous times with different beers, but I love the lighter ones the best with it.  For our gathering I used Yuengling, and it added to that light golden honey taste, successfully rounding out the flavors for our appetizer round. 

Main Course

Pulled Pork and Polenta with Tomatoes, Shiitake Mushrooms and Tarragon, adapted from a number of Blue Apron recipes.  We took the grits recipe from their Southern Style Shrimp and Grits, and added a different topping with sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, and tarragon, topped with pulled pork.  It was an adventure that thankfully turned out great!

- The Lovely Red Fox

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