Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn Inspired Make Ahead Dinner Party Planner

Fall is certainly in the air around my place!

Whether it be pulling out vintage books, lighting candles, or adding richly sumptuous throw cushions...

Autumn makes me feel like getting closer to my roots.

And what better way to celebrate Metamorphisis Monday on Between Naps on the Porch than by cooking an incredibly warm and comforting Autumn inspired meal for friends?

As many of you know, I belong to a book club that is as much about food and cooking as it is about the things we read.

Every month for the last fourteen years we have gathered together to share our love of food, books, wine, and friendship and this month it was my turn to host.

As is my usual practice, I set the table the night before using a mixture of Italian pottery and clear glass salad dishes. I cut and placed tiger lilies in vintage juice glasses, and continued the theme with apples, pinecones, and candles - all designed to complement the colours of my pottery plates.

From there I chose the menu which was inspired by the theme I created with the tablescape. Rich, juicy apples, toasty almonds, fresh rosemary, garlic, onions and sage, grain fed organic chicken, cider, mushrooms, wild rice, and sweet roasted beets would make up the flavour profile for this "Love for the dearest of friends" Autumnal feast.

Better still, it could be mostly prepped a day ahead.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”

On the Menu:
Hot Mushroom Turnovers

Autumn Salad

Roast Chicken with Apples and Rosemary

Wild Rice Casserole

Roasted Beets in a Balsamic Orange Reduction

And Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert

Now for the plan...
For printable version click HERE

Start your preparations the day before by making the cheesecake, wild rice casserole, and mushroom turnovers.

The casserole and cheesecake should be cooled, covered and refrigerated.

Stuff and fold your turnovers but do not bake. Place on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper or paper towel, seal with Saran Wrap and refrigerate.

Toast and store extra almonds for your salad and remove and store the pomegranite seeds in an airtight container. Refrigerate.

On the day of your party...

Roast and prepare your beets in the morning. They are served at room temperature so can sit covered until ready to serve.

Prep the chicken and roast it for 2 hours in a 325 oven. ( I put my chicken on at 2:00 pm)

Remove wild rice casserole from fridge and set on counter to bring to room temperature.

4 pm - Remove chicken from oven and let rest a half hour. During this time, prepare your apple pan sauce. Remove it to a saucepan and leave it covered on your stove.

Clean your roasting pan.

4:15 pm - Pre-heat oven to 350. Place wild rice casserole in oven to warm for 40 minutes.

4:30 pm - Carve chicken and remove all meat. Transfer to serving dish and cover with foil.

5:00 pm - Remove wild rice casserole from oven, cover with foil. Increase oven temp to 400 and put in the mushroom turnovers. Bake in oven app ten minutes until golden.

Pour cocktails for your guests, pass around a tray of the turnovers and prep your salad.

Serve on individual plates.

Heat your apple pan gravy stirring constantly until just boiling and then pour over chicken. Mix it all up and garnish with fresh parsley.

Serve buffet style with wild rice casserole and beets.

And, most of all, enjoy your precious friends!

This blog is linked to: The Tuesday Night Supper Club


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  1. Everything looks Beautiful and YUMMY !!

  2. Looks all yummy!!!!!!!

  3. Oh YUM!!!!! I may steal some of these recipes, I am hosting a craft group for dinner and a craft in a couple of weeks. Thanks!!!!

  4. I just printed out the whole shebang:) Thanks!!!!

  5. Thanks all!

    Pinky, honestly, every single one of these recipes is to die for. You will be a big hit.