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Simple(ish) Fall Party

 

Fall_appetizers-8702It has been brought to my attention that having children will change your life. Especially your sleep habits and your social life. That being said…..I can’t help but think it may be a long while before I can expect to host a demanding social gathering, or get my schedule to compliment and coincide with some of our single and (pre-children) coupled friends.

So…… A small and simple, early evening, Fall social with some neighbors who we hadn’t seen in a while seemed in order.

Fall_appetizers-8607I’m proud to say I only made 4 things! Unless you count dessert. Then it would be 6. And if you count drinks then 7. However, my husband is in charge of making drinks. Drinks are no extra work for me. So, I don’t think drinks count. But, we can mention them.

On to the FOOD!!!!!

We had these Sausage hand pies with a roasted red pepper sour cream sauce

Fall_appetizers-8609The best part about these pies is that I made them an entire week in advance. I froze them unbaked and the day of the party I simply put an egg wash over them and baked them for 30-35 minutes. So easy, a very pregnant lady could do it.

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A warm cheesy artichoke dip that only requires 4 ingredients (most of which come in jars or cans). A couple hours before guests were to arrive, I mixed the ingredients and placed them into two small gratin dishes and then into the refrigerator. I baked one of the dishes just before guests arrived and the other I saved until later in the evening. I did the same with the hand pies. I only baked half of them for the start of the party.

Fall_appetizers-8613Smashed potatoes. Because everyone seems to love potatoes in every and any form. Not to mention….you can boil and smash your potatoes ahead of time and bake when needed.

Fall_appetizers-8615This beautiful fall salad that I found on Pinterest. The weather is still hot in LA (80s and 90s this week), so I roasted the veggies in the early morning before the day got too hot and then set them aside for the evening.  Making my job much easier as the party neared.

Fall_appetizers-8614These pumpkin crisps and goat cheese from Trader Joe’s.  No work on my part! Other than opening the packaging.

Because I decided to prepare everything in two batches, one batch for the start of the party and one for later in the evening, I was able to fit the pies, the artichoke dip and potatoes all in the oven at once. I just pulled things out and plated them as they finished baking. It was great. So easy.

Oh! and can I mention I took a nap! About two hours before the party I took a short cat nap!!!! I’ve never been able to take a pre-party nap before.

Let’s toast to that!

Fall_appetizers-8685We had an Apple-Ginger  Mocktail/ Cocktail. I only had the pleasure of trying the mocktail version, but I heard positive things about the cocktail which included bourbon.

 

We had 2 desserts! Dessert #1 was apple crisp with maple ice cream.

Fall_appetizers-8695 In the morning, before roasting the veggies for the salad, I baked a simple apple crisp.  The Thursday before the party I made a maple ice cream to compliment it. I know that homemade ice cream can often get rather hard when frozen for more than a couple hours. But, I find that ice creams sweetened with syrup and/ or caramel, rather than granulated sugar, seem to keep a bit softer. So, I didn’t have to worry about taking my ice cream out ten minutes before serving or anything like that. Yippy!

For dessert #2, my lovely husband got me a beautiful birthday cake. I’m sad to say I didn’t get any good photos of it. But, that didn’t keep me from thoroughly enjoying it. Thank you!!!!

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If you start preparing ahead of time, your home-made mini parties can really come together with limited stress. Easy enough so that you can even take a cat nap before your guests arrive.

 

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