Last weekend I invited some of our friends over for an al fresco autumn dinner party. We were celebrating Yummy Hubby’s birthday, and his completing a 100 mile bike ride the previous day. We had 10 adults and 9 kiddos over. Little miss Four was so excited to help me set the kiddie table while I worked on the grown-up table scape. She loved making the table pretty with flowers. Clearly we don’t have 10 matching chairs, which is the reason for all the mixing and matching at the tables.
Instead of a runner, I used olive branches and decorated the table with mini white pumpkins, pomegranates, persimmons, and roses from our garden. Wouldn’t this be pretty for Thanksgiving?
We let the girls out to free range during the party. Cutie pies.
I am looooving the warmth and touch of glamour of gold flatware right now. I got mine at West Elm
sells a similar set, as does Amazon.com
. So gorgeous for Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? Right!
Happy kids, happy parents. It’s so hard to find time to sit down and connect with our friends, but lately these dinner parties have been a fantastic way to do just that.
Three of us mummies in the group are vegetarian, so I happily made a meat-free feast. I don’t think the carnivorous guests even noticed. I served all the dishes family style on the table. Casual and cosy.
We had a couple of very different salads made almost entirely with heavenly ingredients from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market
and my backyard. There are still some summer ingredients like these colorful heirloom tomatoes, but fall-winter crops are available too, so you’ll see both in this menu.
Lasagna is my go-to for a make ahead dinner. I made a Pumpkin & Chard lasagna, as well as a Garden Veggie Lasagna the night before the party, refrigerated them, and put them in the oven an hour before dinnertime.
Baby E relaxing under the glowing lanterns. Gold baby moccasins… I can’t even handle the cuteness. This little darling’s family has been in the news quite a lot recently. You may have seen them on Today.com. You have to read their inspiring story here
Oh this pumpkin lasagna was good. I love sage and pumpkin together in savory recipes.
For dessert I bought 2 pies from the Solvang Pie Co., and decided at the last minute to make an apple crisp as well. Vanilla Bean and Coconut & Cream ice cream from McConnell’s was the perfect accoutrement! I’m proud and amazed to say that the apple crisp was the winner over the pies – shhhhh, it’s ridiculously simple to make.
Here are all the scrumptious recipes! Make them for your friends or for a meatless Thanksgiving.
Autumn Dinner Party Menu
Garden Vegetable Lasagna