In the first installment of the FALL in Love with Apples series, I presented ideas for an apple themed pedicure. Now, its time to get down to business... and talk about what's to eat at this fall affair? If you read my last K.I.S.S, you already know I'm going to say SOUP! Soup is great for cold weather entertaining because it is simple, warm, hearty, and can be a whole meal if done right. Soup is also easy for guests to serve themselves, and get second helpings without the pomp and circumstance associated with a sit-down dinner.
If you are lucky enough to have a New England Soup Factory nearby, they have a great selection of soups to choose from that are just scrumptous. One of the Soups that I really loved when we had a NE Soup Factory around was their Pumpkin Apple and Sage. I've scoured the internet for recipes and found this recipe for Farmer John's Pumpkin Soup. To add more variety to your soup bar try a more brothy soup like this Spinach, White Bean & Turkey Sausage Soup, and a tomato based vegetable, or seafood soup like Maryland Crab (which I was introduced to while @ UMCP Go Terps!), this recipe by Paula Deen is sure to beat the dining hall's version any day.
Bread is a perfect accompaniment to soup and you should serve up 1-2 different varieties at least. This recipe for Cheese-Garlic Biscuits from Bisquick produce biscuits that taste like the one's served at Red Lobster. More great bread options include simple baguettes or cornbread, or artisan breads like Olive Oil Rosemary Cibatta.
If you want your bread to play more of a starring role, instead of second fiddle, offer guests bread bowls. There are two ways to go about bread bowls, one is molding dough around ceramic bowls and baking them so that they take on the bowl shape, the other which I prefer is hollowing out a small round loaf of bread. The inner portion of the bread can be baked or fried to make croutons for soup or salad, or left soft as a great accompaniment to spinach dip (which can also be served in a hollow loaf). The great part about hollow loaves as bread bowls is that you can leave some of the soft bread on the inside to soak up your lovely soup.
I was smitten with the idea of a candy apple bar the moment I saw it featured in Vermont Vows Magazine. I am always a fan of a "bar" that allows guests to customize their experience and make something that is truly unique to them.
In order to pull off your own candy apple bar you'll need: apples of course (offer at least two varieties), candy apple sticks, caramel, a crock pot/chafing dish to keep caramel warm, and a variety of toppings including chocolate drizle, nuts, candies, and toasted coconut. If you'd like to allow guest's apples to "set" and have them act more as favors than dessert you'll also need apple boxes or cello bags/sheets to package them in. Most of the supplies necessary to create your candy apples can be found at Sugar Craft. Printing out personalized labels to adhere to apple boxes is a sweet and stylish way to thank your guests for attending your affair.
If guests are going to be packing up their candy apples for the road, be sure to have some sweet treats like Apple Cider Doughnuts available for them to enjoy during the party.
What are your favorite fall treats?
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