How to Have a Fall Party (Part 3)

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The party was a big success! Here is a closeup of the food island. In the foreground are salami bites which were easy, delicious and successfully prepared the day before the party. In addition you can see that to add interest to the display I took several Amazon boxes and placed them on the island. I purchased a piece of dark brown cotton from Hobby Lobby that I draped over the boxes. These served as platforms for the various foods. I plugged in a strand of white lights and placed two hurricanes on an angle as well.

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For the flowers I took a soup tureen and made a grid over the opening with Scotch magic clear tape. Then I cut a Costco bunch of mums all at the same height and popped them into the grid. To fill in the edges I cut some hydrangea leaves from my yard and to finish it off I added some yellow goldenrod flower sprigs (also from my yard). I added the tureen’s decorative lid to the island display as well.

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One appetizer that was particularly well-received was this plate of deviled eggs. I put a small bud vase filled with orange zinnias and tied with raffia in the center of that platform.

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These ginger cookies were displayed in an orange pumpkin bowl. They were my favorite. Several guests have already requested the recipe.

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This yellow and red cherry tomato bruschetta was a big hit. I displayed it on an old pumpkin platter from William Sonoma.

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These bacon wrapped dates were delicious. I whiffed on an “after photo”, but they were great! Chewy, salty and sweet. Perfection! I displayed them in this Nora Fleming divided piece with a candy corn “charm” attached to the corner.

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For a fun fall touch I put some candy corn in an old pewter dish.

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Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!

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The last item was a fun fleur de lis sugar cookie. It was decorated with pink sugar (my favorite color) and it comes with a story. Since the party was to celebrate the kicking off of my new blog I thought I should harken back to my “Dr. Julie” roots. Well when I was in private practice this fleur de lis symbol was my logo. I love French food, style and decor, so it was a natural choice.

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To all my faithful blog readers thank you from my heart for taking the time to read my blog. Your comments mean so much to me. I love knowing that some of my musings resonate with you. Happy Fall parties to all of you🍁🎃🍂!

Fall Lamb Dinner

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This week we had good friends over for a fun fall meal with rack of lamb as the main course.

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Mr GQ made the lamb and we served it on this great pumpkin platter (old from William Sonoma). This is an excellent entree for a dinner party as it can be assembled way before the guests arrive and then popped in the oven 30 minutes before you want to eat.

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For an appetizer I made these easy and tasty one ingredient cheese appetizers. I made them the day before the dinner and kept them under a glass dome until the guests arrived.

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For a side I made the Barefoot Contessa’s orzo with roasted vegetables. I made it the morning of the dinner and I finished it with cheese, basil and scallions right before serving.

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In addition I served roasted Roma tomatoes. I roasted the tomatoes for two hours right before dinner.

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For the table I used a tan cloth as the under layer. Over that I placed a yellow, green and blue harvest pattern cloth on an angle for visual interest. I then layered dark brown rattan placemats (from Amazon). The cream plates are from William Sonoma. The napkins are deep olive green from Amazon and the wine glasses are from Crate and Barrel (old). The yellow roses are in a Waterford biscuit jar.

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The meal was delicious and the company was terrific! I love dinners by candlelight especially in the fall when the evenings come sooner. Happy early fall!.

The Best Dry Rubbed Grilled Chicken

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This is the chicken dish we made this weekend. It was so delicious when we had it and was even better a few minutes ago when I awoke in the middle of the night raiding the frig looking “for a little something”. For those of you following my blog you know I’ve been WAY under the weather for the past twelve days. Tonight was the first night in many that I wasn’t in a major cough medicine coma. I’ve slept so much I almost have bed sores 😉. And thus here I am bringing you my readers up to speed with my great dinner.

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In addition to the chicken, we had grilled summer veggies. By the way these are also EXCELLENT cold in the middle of the night. (I’m just saying…)

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These rolls completed our meal. I learned about these recently from my dear friend Molly. They’re delicious and heat up straight from the freezer in nine minutes.

So let’s get down to the recipes;

Dry-rubbed Grilled Chicken 🐓

Ingredients:

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 tsp lemon zest (from two lemons)

1 tsp sumac

1 tsp za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice found at specialty markets)

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Steps:

  1. Mix together all the spices and zest.

  2. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.

  3. Sprinkle the spice mixture all over both sides of the thighs.

  4. Pop in the frig for at least an hour.

  5. Grill over low heat until done (about 15-20 minutes).

  6. Enjoy!

Grilled Summer Veggies 🌶 🌽 🌶

Ingredients:

One red onion (medium sized), sliced into 1/2 inch rings

One green, one red, and one yellow peppers, all seeded and cut into quarters

One zucchini cut on an angle into 1/2inch thick slices

One medium eggplant, cut cross-wise into 1/2 inch slices.

Olive oil (about 3 Tbsp)

Kosher Salt (about 1 1/2 tsp)

Freshly ground pepper (about 1/2 tsp)

Steps:

  1. Take all the cut up veggies and put them in a gallon sized ziplock.

  2. Add the olive oil to coat all the veggies. Now sprinkle in the salt and pepper and massage all that all around until everything looks coated and seasoned. (This can be done early in the day and left on the counter until cooking time.)

  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You could also grill these, but I find it easier to stay inside to roast the veggies in the oven instead.

  4. Dump all the veggies on two large sheet pans (with edges on all four sides). Be sure there’s a bit of space between each vegetable because if the items are too close together they will not roast but instead will just steam. The idea behind roasting is to develop the natural sugars in the veggies and get that to carmelize a bit.

  5. So what I do is after I put the pans in the hot oven, every 20 minutes or so, I take the pans out, rotate them, shake the veggies a bit and brush on a little more olive oil and sprinkle on more salt if things are looking too dry. I usually cook these bad boys for a good 30-40 minutes.

  6. Take out of the oven and consolidate the two pans of veggies into one (as the items shrink with roasting).

  7. Enjoy!

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So make this easy and delicious dinner soon. Or maybe just swing by my house for great leftovers 😉!

This chicken recipe is adapted from Marissa Lippert’s of NYC’s Nourish Kitchen and Table.

Great Weeknight Supper

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This is what I had for dinner the other night. It’s a delicious and easy brown-sugar spiced salmon with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and green peppers. I love how colorful and flavorful this combination tasted. Here’s how I made the meal:

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Starting with a well scrubbed sweet potato and green pepper, I carefully sliced them into similar sized pieces. I don’t peel the potato. I halved the sweet potato first so that the flat edge is against the cutting board. This makes cutting the potato much safer and easier.

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3. Now I place both the potatoes and green pepper pieces on a large sheet pan.

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4. Then I toss the veggies with one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper all over.

4. I pop these in the oven for 25 minutes but I shake them around halfway through. I want the potatoes soft and golden brown and the peppers have a bit of char on them.

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5. Enjoy!

Now for the brown-sugar spiced salmon:

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Ingredients:

Four 8 ounce salmon fillets

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Mix the sugar, chile powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Put the salmon on a sheet pan. Pack the sugar/spice mixture thickly on to the fish. Pop the tray into the oven.

  3. Bake for about 10 minutes depending on fish thickness and desired degree of doneness.

  4. Enjoy!

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Yum! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did! It’s a great combination of flavors, texture, color and healthy foods. Try it and let me know if you agree.

This salmon recipe is from Katie Lee on Food Network.

This darling striped placemat is from Pier One, the red dessert plate is from Homegoods, (a similar one here https://amzn.to/2Zo3yio), the flatware is from Crate and Barrel.

*Please note referral and affiliate links in my posts may generate a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

Breakfast for Lunch

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I love eggs and smoked salmon. I also think it’s fun to have breakfast food for lunch, or even for dinner. On this day, I was having a lunch meeting so I went with an easy meal of scrambled eggs with lox and dill.

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Ingredients: (for one serving)

2 green onions, chopped

1 tsp olive oil

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp milk

1/4 tsp dried dill

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp pepper

2 ounces of smoked salmon, sliced into small chunks

fresh dill for garnish

  1. Using a small skillet heat the olive oil over medium-low heat for a minute. Then add the green onions and sauté for one minute or so to soften them.

2. Using a small bowl wisk the eggs, milk, dried dill, salt and pepper for a minute and then slide them into the skillet with the green onions.

3. Cook the eggs, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until they’re done, about two minutes.

4. Remove from heat and fold in the smoked salmon. Slide onto a plate and garnish with the fresh dill.

5. Enjoy!

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For this casual home meeting I wore a Uniqlo light blue linen shirt, blue and white shorts (also by Uniqlo), and Stuart Weitzman nude, flat sandals with a bit of a gold chain detail.

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The table was a summery one with watermelon placemats (here are ones from Amazon with a similar vibe) and gingham napkins (both from Pier One) , here are similar ones from Amazon, flatware from Crate and Barrel, and red tumblers from Homegoods. Here are even cuter ones from Amazon.

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This was an easy, delicious breakfast for lunch. Happy Tuesday!

PS Please note referral and affiliate links in my posts may generate a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.