Ice cream is the perfect dessert for busy hosts and there are so many ways to fancy up a simple scoop. Here's a tasty, seasonal idea that would work for an autumn dinner party, or even as a Thanksgiving dessert: serve scoops of pumpkin ice cream in no-bake gingersnap cups!
Every Halloween, I cook a big pot of pumpkin chili and put a bunch of easy appetizers on the table. Most of them are simple and healthy, to counteract the candy: chips and salsa, carrots and a bowl of ranch dressing, maybe a bowl of grapes. We usually have cornbread, either homemade or from Lizard's Thicket, a local meat-and-three. This year, I may experiment with an all pumpkin menu.
Everyone has heard of a baked potato bar — but how about a baked sweet potato bar? This fresh twist on the classic party meal was the centerpiece of the fall pumpkin-carving party I hosted and it was a great way to feed a crowd without a lot of fuss. I chose to go with an Indian-themed meal full of spices, curries and coconut, but there are so many other directions you can take an idea like this.
This week I've been sharing the fall pumpkin-carving party I hosted with my friend Lydia, an autumnal afternoon of carving pumpkins, sipping cider and sitting down for a romantic outdoor dinner at dusk. Today I'm going to give you a full look at how we transformed the blank slate of Lydia's backyard into party central, with a casual pumpkin-carving zone and a cozy buffet and dining area.
I'll also give you all the details how I created a mostly make-ahead menu centered on a healthy Indian-themed sweet potato bar full of fresh yet comforting flavors. And there's a fun DIY project: an eye-catching (but simple!) table runner made out of butcher paper and neon tape. Ready to dive in?
Boeuf Bourguignon is so much more than just another beef stew. This classic French dish, made so popular by a certain Ms. Julia Child, is the kind of stew that can earn marriage proposals. The aroma alone — that deeply savory aroma of onions, slow-cooked beef, and red wine — is enough to make your eyes roll skyward and your knees go weak. Make Boeuf Bourguignon once and you'll wonder why anyone ever bothers making anything else.
For the past several weeks, we have welcomed Tara Mataraza Desmond to The Kitchn to share her recommendations for great side dishes to go with our most favorite meals, like Fiery Kale with pizza and Pan-Seared Squash with roast chicken. After all, Tara is the expert on such things. So much of an expert that she has written an entire book with the sole purpose of helping us prepare creative, super-tasty sides for everything from Spaghetti Night to Thanksgiving dinner. Choosing Sides is the cookbook that fills the gap in our meal planning and gives a little love to the humble foods that go on the side.
I've talked a little in the past about my very favorite kind of fall dinner party: the soup party. And this week, my partner Sam and I started planning what is becoming an annual tradition. While we discussed chunky minestrone versus puréed butternut squash, the one question that has us inspired this year was: what to put on the toasts?
The point of an aperitif it is to wake up your taste buds, readying them for the meal to come. For me, bubbly aperitifs are always a win. This week's 10-Minute Happy Hour is a mash up of Spanish pours and a ripe Bosc pear, perfect for a refreshing, fall-inspired aperitif.
Q: How do you get people to sit down together? A: Feed them dinner. Maggie Stuckey's latest book Soup Night is founded on this very principle: A community soup night to bring people together — not for any grand purpose, but just to share a meal with neighbors. With over 90 completely irresistible recipes for everything from creamy cauliflower soup to spicy taco soup, trust me: you'll want to share.
When the dimmer seasons turn you inward toward big pots of braising things or simmering batches of slow-cooker meals, match those recipes with a sturdy side dish that won’t cower behind their homey hardiness. Chili, for example, with its robust kick and bulky beany, meaty sauciness would use a “mixed greens salad” as a footrest, stomping out the side’s subtlety. This apple cabbage mélange is made for fall comfort classics, but it’s as vibrant and fresh as any summer predecessors.