September 24, 2015

How to Host a Casual Fall Party on a Budget

Fall is finally here! And all the frizzy haired girls like myself heaved a collective sigh of relief. Less humidity means my coiffure might actually behave for some of the time. Of course might is the operative word.

But we love fall in the south. It's a respite from summer's sweltering heat and it also means football, pumpkin patches and everything apple and pumpkin flavored. I'm not wasting any time. Fall may have just begun, but I'm kicking it off with a casual fall party here on the blog.

I'm also visiting with my pals over at Mornings with Foxville 43 to share some ideas! There's no shortage of great pumpkin and apple products in stores right now. All you have to do is get creative!

And we're going to start with something delicious to drink!

1) Caramel Apple Sangria

I can't take credit for this incredible idea (or that gorgeous photo), but the Internet is a friendly place where we share and share alike, right? I stumbled across this recipe on a great blog and couldn't wait to recreate it!

All you need is:
  • Apple Cider
  • Sparkling wine (or sparkling water/ginger ale if you want to go the non-alcoholic route)
  • Caramel sauce
  • Sliced Apples
I guess it's really not Sangria if you don't use the wine, but I like to have options for folks who don't imbibe. Plus, I don't always feel like drinking wine (say what?). 

2) DIY Sweet Potato Bar

My southern beau and I have been enjoying sweet potatoes long before fall started, but they are perfect for the season and we don't plan on stopping anytime soon. 

I found a recipe for baked sweet potatoes in some magazine I read and they were topped with sauteed spinach, black beans and feta. We've made some variations of this a couple different times. But I always save half of my baked sweet potato and eat it with butter and cinnamon. What can I say, I like variety. 

To solve this problem, I'm setting up a DIY sweet potato station for my next gathering. I'll put out all sorts of various toppings and let my guests go wild creating their own unique combinations. 

Here are just a few that you might want to try:

Black beans + Salsa + Greek yogurt 
Steamed broccoli + almonds + Parmesan cheese
Salted butter + cinnamon + honey + pecans
Rice + soy sauce + snow peas 
Sun dried tomatoes + sauteed spinach + mozzarella 

I would probably also serve the usual baked potato toppings (sour cream, chives, black olives, and bacon bits). Setting up a baked sweet potato bar is such an easy way to feed your guests something hearty and delicious for fall. 

3) Pumpkin Parfaits 

This recipe for Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits comes from that doyenne of deliciousness herself, none other than Ina Garten. You just can't go wrong with Ina. 

Fall means bring on pumpkins. Pumpkin everything as far as I'm concerned. And there's nothing so great as pumpkin dessert. 

This one's easy to make, light and fluffy and served in small individual cups, which always makes for an extra special presentation.


These are just a few simple ideas you can try for a casual fall gathering at your house. If your friends are worth their salt, they won't care if it's perfect or not. Usually, folks just want to be together. And what better excuse to gather than the new season.

Happy Fall Y'all!