help with menu ideas? Let’s Bring on Fall party!

by Amy on 26 August 2011

today’s history lesson: in many cultures, people performed ceremonial rain dances to try to bring rain to protect their crops. seeing as temperatures here are still in the 90s (+ will be as far as the 10-day forecast can see), we’re putting a new spin on the rain dance. no, we won’t be dancing for rain. however, we will attend a ‘let’s bring on cooler weather by pretending it’s Fall‘ party on sunday.

what does that mean? we’re putting on cool weather clothes + sitting down to a traditional cool weather meal — roast turkey, apple pie, all those fall weather staples. maybe we’ll even kick it up a notch + discuss the crisp weather outside, the leaves changing colors, or our upcoming holiday plans. will it be silly? oh yeah. will it be fun? absolutely. will it bring us cooler temps? HOPEFULLY!

i need a little help — what do i bring?! the hosts are letting me bring whatever fits my fancy — side dish, vegetable, appetizer, drink, or dessert.  however, i’m stumped. most seasonal veggies i’d turn to in november/december simply aren’t available now. so, dear readers, can you help me out with some ideas? what would YOU bring to this party? i appreciate it, + i can’t wait to see your ideas!

(above is the most fall-ish picture i have – my pumpkin spice latte amidst the leaves last october!)

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brooke August 26, 2011 at 8:59 am
2 amy August 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

those look sooo good, brooke. definitely a good idea!

3 sarah August 26, 2011 at 9:52 am

what a fun party idea! it is hard to decide what to make! i think i’d try to use zuchini and squash from our garden, maybe in a tart or even just a casserole?

4 amy August 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

my husband suggested zucchini or squash, too, but i hadn’t thought of putting them together in a tart. i think a rustic ‘fall’ tart could be awesome. great idea!

5 Ally Garner August 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

Oh I have tons of Fall ideas swimming around in my head right now. Three that come to mind: caramel-pecan pie, sweet potato souffle, and bacon-brown sugar brussels sprouts Although i’d add some pom seeds to the brussels sprouts. Sounds like a fun dinner party! HOpe you post about it next week :)

6 amy August 26, 2011 at 10:33 am

holy moly, those all sound good! can you believe i’ve never made a sweet potato souffle? that would be fantastic because sweet potatoes are easy to find even in the summer. i wasn’t sure if brussels sprouts would be in the stores yet, but i loooove them. + obviously, it goes without saying that the pecan pie is to. die. for. eek, so many options!!!

7 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl August 26, 2011 at 10:34 am

Fall is my FAVORITE time of the year; I love the idea of this party (if it works, let me know–I’m so over these 100+ degree days!). I love hearty soups and stews with crusty bread/cornbread; anything with pumpkin or cranberries, caramel and/or cinnamon. Yum, now I’m ready to start my fall baking. :-)

8 amy August 26, 2011 at 10:43 am

fall is my favorite season, too. it’s just like spring here, except far less rainy + humid. =) all the fall flavors you mention sound sooo delicious. i wonder if i could do something involving apples, since they’re easy to come by now. maybe some sort of apple / cinnamon / caramel crumble? all these responses are making me so hungry + SOO ready for fall. i’ll let you know if the party works! =)

9 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. August 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

I love fall too and this kind of party! I can’t wait. It is SO hot here. This looks great!

10 amy August 26, 2011 at 11:20 am

thanks, alison! let’s hope it works, + we’ll all be enjoying cooler weather soon. =)

11 Jaclyn August 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

I have two great ideas for you if you’re interested in bringing something sweet:
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream:
Pumpkin and Salted Caramel Macaroons:
I agree! I cannot WAIT for fall – the food, clothes, costumes, colors. It is the best season of the year.

12 amy August 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

pumpkin plus salted caramel? oh my goodness, sounds AMAZING! i have never made macarons, so i’m a bit intimidated by them, but i could definitely tackle the pumpkin / salted caramel cupcakes. how fantastic do both recipes look?! thank you so much, jaclyn – these are great!!

13 Caroline @ chocolate and carrots August 26, 2011 at 11:50 am
14 amy August 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

i knew you’d be all over this post, you crazy fall lover, you! i’m looking through the links now (as you may have guessed from my comments + twitter questions). i want to make ’em all! yeah, i probably won’t be able to accomplish that this weekend, but i have a whole fall to tackle the rest of them. thank you!

15 Lesley August 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Well, I certainly can’t beat any of these suggestions! I like the oatmeal creme pie suggestion. Just today, I was trying to make a cakey cookie. I failed. Should have checked that first. :)

16 amy August 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm

yeah, those oatmeal creme pies look insanely delicious! sorry your cakey cookie failed but i’m sure your next attempt will be fantastic – you seem pretty savvy in the kitchen. =)

17 Sue (KyddSR) August 27, 2011 at 12:16 am

I’ve made those pumpkin whoopie pies a bunch of times, and always get requests for them. (actually, i had to make them last week by special request, and it made me yearn for slightly cooler weather.) Also, if you’re looking for non-sweet, i’d suggest turkey pumpkin chili. (i can send you the recipe.)

18 amy August 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

ooh, i didn’t even think of the pumpkin whoopie pies. those things are delish! i’d love to see your turkey pumpkin chili recipe – feel free to post it here or email it to me at – thanks, sue!

19 Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) August 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm

For fall? I would bring my famous gumbo with shrimp, crawfish, sausage, and crab! I only make it when the weather turns cool, so it’s been a while. It’ll be at least October before I make gumbo again, but we have it at least once a month between Oct-March. We’re expected to be 109 here in SA tomorrow. So wrong…

20 amy August 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

i’ve never made gumbo myself so i’d love to see your recipe (or taste it!) one day. it sounds just delicious. sorry that it’s still even hotter in texas. if this ‘let’s bring on fall’ party works here, i’ll come down to texas + host one with you to cool off the texas temps. =)

21 Renee August 27, 2011 at 6:26 pm

When it gets to fall I start thinking about comfort foods. Soups, stews, and so many hearty dishes. Foods that warm you when the chill of fall/winter is in the air. But it is hot and a big bowl of chili might not be the answer. Maybe something with cheese, like a great macaroni & cheese or just a cheese tray with local cheeses. You could put together a fabulous cheese tray with additions of honey, jams, & chutneys. Hard to think about fall since it is in the 90’s here where I am.

22 amy August 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm

agree, it was in the 90s here today, too. we’re definitely on the same page — for one dish, i’m leaning towards a cheese + potato recipe, which is both comforting / fall-like, without being too heavy in this heat. i can’t wait to make my first batch of chili in months – one of my favorite fall foods!

23 Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 28, 2011 at 6:43 am

If it was me, I’d bring a pumpkin gooey butter cake. 😉 But pumpkin has been hard to find around here recently. I hope it gets back into the stores quickly!!

24 amy August 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

i, too, definitely associate fall with pumpkin, so i am planning to bring something pumpkin-related, so long as i can find it in the store today. keep your fingers crossed for me! =)

25 dana @ my little celebration August 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I would bring my creamy pumpkin pie. It’s my favorite and so easy!

26 amy August 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm

dana, that looks great! i love that it’s chilled, too, so it would be just as tasty in warm weather as it is at thanksgiving. thanks for the link!

27 Simply Life August 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm

This sounds fun -I can’t wait to see what you bring! I’d go with any type of soup!

28 amy August 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm

it was last night + it was a ton of fun! i debated soup but decided on something else in the end (two thing, actually). both will be revealed on the blog soon!

29 BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} August 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I am excited to see what you decided on! What a fun party idea. I love Fall! I made some chocolate chip cookies on Sunday for a little get together and I used cinnamon chips instead of the chocolate. They were a big hit and my friends told me the tasted like Fall. :)

30 amy August 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm

i’ve never worked with cinnamon chips but i can completely see how they’d taste like Fall. cinammon chip cookies sound delish! i bet a cinnamon-chip bread pudding would also be amazing – maybe i should make that my next recipe to tackle? =)

31 Mommyof2Girlz/StephD August 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

What a fun party! It’s been cool around here since Irene went through so I’ve already been thinking about warm autumn What about a warm (or maybe cold) pumpkin, cinnamon type soup with a dollop of sweet creme fraiche or mascarpone? Never made it before, but in my head it sounds good…lol

32 amy August 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm

wow, that soup sounds amazing! as soon as pumpkins come out, you need to come up with a recipe for that + send it to me (or feature it on your blog). it would be delicious + i’d love to try it!

33 Marina August 31, 2011 at 4:16 am

I am really bad cook, so I don’t have some neat ideas.. Maybe some kind of cream soup.. Soup always reminds me on cooler weather. :)

34 amy August 31, 2011 at 7:52 am

i bet you’re a better cook than you think. =) cream-based soups definitely make me think of fall – good idea!

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